Islamic State Using Funds to Recruit Children Among Illegal Alien Population

migrantsgreece-690x377Shariah Finance Watch, by Christopher W. Holton, Feb. 5, 2017:

The Islamic State is paying the smugglers’ fees of child “refugees” to attract new recruits.

Europol has identified as many as 88,300 unaccompanied minors among the illegal alien population overrunning Europe.

Both the ISIS and the Islamic State affiliate in Nigeria–Boko Haram–have been recruiting in refugee camps using financial incentives, as well as working with the human smugglers.

The Islamic State has reportedly offered as much as $2,000 per head in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. Jordanian special forces discovered an Islamic State “sleeper cell” inside a refugee camp in northern Jordan. The Islamic State has issued warnings that they are infiltrating the refugee population. Jihadist groups have been extremely active in their efforts to influence and recruit in the refugee population.

The term “refugee” is not meant to be all-inclusive here of all the people moving from the Islamic world to Europe and elsewhere in the West. Large numbers are better described as illegal aliens.

Reports also indicate that the Islamic State is using food to recruit from the refugee/illegal alien population.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/05/isis-recruitment-drive-child-refugees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Join the Revolution’: Al-Qaeda Makes Populist Pitch to Millennials

Osama bin Laden and Hamza bin Laden

Osama bin Laden and Hamza bin Laden

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, October 12, 2016:

Al-Qaeda is appealing to millennials with a cocktail of populism and Islam and directives to not admire grown “kids” in professional sports but “men… with their AK aimed at the enemy” — and to follow the latter into jihad.

The outreach was detailed in Al-Balagh, a recent magazine issued by al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, a successful chapter announced by core leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2014 that has conducted a spree of machete assassinations against individuals deemed to have insulted Islam. One of the group’s earlier victims was an Atlanta couple who were secular writers visiting Bangladesh; Avijit Roy was hacked to death, while his wife Rafida Bonya Ahmed was seriously injured.

The 53-page inaugural issue of the magazine was printed in English and Bengali. The editor’s note at the beginning first details and slams the “criminal demon-crazy nexus which is known as democracy.”

“Thus, while the anti-Islamic bigots and hate-breeders are hailed as heroes by the rulers and the media, the Tawheed [monotheism]-loving Muslims who came out in the streets to protest the defamation of their beloved prophet are humiliated and massacred,” the column states in apparent reference to the bloggers, professors and journalists who have been hacked to death by AQIS.

The appeal to youth first uses the politics of Bangladesh as a backdrop, arguing that “the criminals siphon billions of dollars from the share market with ease and immersed in mirth, with no accountability whatsoever, while the devastated, burdened youth faced with unrelenting poverty and debt are forced to commit suicide.”

“Domestic maids succumb to death after enduring barbaric torture at the hands of distinguished citizens, while the killers are showered with flowers and garlands. Our mothers and sisters are abused in broad daylight, yet the criminals roam free,” the piece continues. “Every moment a new tragedy is born. It is impossible to keep track of the disasters plaguing this nation. So which one of these can one speak about? Such is the state of the country.”

“And what about the Muslim Ummah [community]? It seems no one even cares to inquire about the Muslims in Palestine anymore, although the criminal Zionist Israel is still surrounded by Muslim countries. I think it was Ali Tantawi who once said, ‘If Muslims can’t learn to resist Israel with weapons then they should learn how to die. You will see Israel be wiped off of the map with a flood of Muslim blood.'”

The article laments that in “Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, China, Myanmar, India, Pakistan — nowhere have the Muslims been able to be liberated.”

“I am not merely talking about the Western concept of ‘independence’ or ‘self-determination,’ but I am talking about true liberation, which can only come through the victory of the deen [religion]. I am talking about making Islam victorious,” the write continues.

“But the good news is a new wave, a reversal of the world order has started all over the world. A wave of Muslim youth is returning to Tawheed. A wave of the youth is returning to Islam. It is a return to the roots in order to bring back the glory and reclaim the honor, and to destroy the satanic civilization and establish the reign of the divine Shariah.”

“The Muslim youth,” argues the AQIS piece, “have started to realize that they have to rise up and join the caravan.”

“They have to join the resistance and the revolution. They have to conquer fear and walk on the same road on which the Salaf stepped upon. Only then true liberation and true victory will come. The Muslims have recognized the reality of the system of kufr [disbelief] imposed by the global kuffar. The magic of the magician has finally come undone,” continues the recruiting pitch.

Would-be jihadists are told that “with our backs to the wall, now is the time to fight back.”

“It is now or never. The Muslims all over the world are witnessing the help of Allah granted to the Mujahideen.” A few operations are mentioned, including “the beginning of the Third Intifada” in the Middle East.

“Oh youth! Tie your shroud around your head and join the golden caravan! The grown men who spend their times playing like kids in the fields of cricket are not your role models. Rather, your role models are men, firm in speech and in action. Men who lived with their head high and with their AK aimed at the enemy. Your role models are the lions of the Ummah, such as Umar and Usama – may Allah have mercy upon them,” states the piece.

“Yes, your role models are the likes of the reviving Imam, the hero of the afflicted Ummah, Shaykh Usama bin Ladin, who boldly stated, ‘I swear by Allah who has raised the heavens without any pillars, America and those living in America will not even dream of peace until we live it in Filisteen, and until all the kufr armies are expelled from the land of Muhammad.'”

There are also articles in the magazine geared toward a millennial audience, including age-oriented marriage guidelines. Al-Qaeda publications have often tried to include women writers to reach out to that demographic as well, and Al-Balagh includes a “Sisters’ Column: How I Came to Love the Niqab.”

The State Department designated AQIS as a foreign terrorist organization in June, 16 months after Roy’s murder.

The Treasury Department noted that younger leaders — “part of a new generation of al-Qaeda operatives” — have been quietly building up al-Qaeda in its July sanctions against three members of the terror group sheltering in Iran.

Osama bin Laden’s 11th son, Hamza, now in his mid-20s, has also been rallying millennials to jihad in audio messages over the past 14 months.

“The followers of the thought of Sheikh Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, which is represented by targeting the head of global disbelief that supports the Jews, have increased in number within a decade and a half, and became double in number,” Hamza bin Laden said in a July message.

“If you think that your sinful crime that you committed in Abbottabad has passed without punishment, then you thought wrong,” he added, referring to the U.S. raid in which his father was killed. “What is correct is coming to you, and its punishment is severe.”

***

What makes someone become an Islamic extremist? Is it poverty? Lack of education? A search for meaning? Haroon Ullah, a senior State Department advisor and a foreign policy professor at Georgetown University, shares what he discovered while living in Pakistan.

The Saudi-Iran Rivalry and Sectarian Strife in South Asia

sunni-vs-shia

Iran and Saudi Arabia are recruiting and radicalizing local Muslim populations in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.

IPT, by Abha Shankar
The Diplomat
October 6, 2016

Note: This article originally was published at The Diplomat website.

Islamic militant groups’ recruits likely to be well educated, study finds

 Islamic State fighters parading through Raqqa in Syria. Photograph: Uncredited/AP

Islamic State fighters parading through Raqqa in Syria. Photograph: Uncredited/AP

Guardian, by Jason Burke, October 5, 2016:

Recruits to Islamic militant groups are likely to be well educated and relatively wealthy, with those aspiring to be suicide bombers among the best off, a study by the World Bank has found.

The research, based on internal records from the Islamic State group, will reinforce the growing conclusion among specialists that there is no obvious link between poverty or educational levels and radicalisation.

The data, leaked by a disaffected former member of Isis in March, includes basic information on 3,803 foreign recruits from all over the Islamic world and Europe who joined the organisation between early 2013 and late 2014, when the flow of volunteers to the organisation reached a peak.

Those arriving in Isis-controlled territory were vetted and interviewed. Data on country of residence, citizenship, marital status, skills, educational status, previous extremist experience and knowledge of Islamic law was recorded.

The World Bank study found that 69% of recruits reported at least a secondary level education while “15% left school before high school and less than 2% are illiterate”.

The educational level of recruits from north Africa or the Middle East was significantly greater than that of most of their compatriots, the researchers found.

“A large fraction have gone on to study at university … Recruits from Africa, south and east Asia and the Middle East are significantly more educated than individuals from their cohort in their region of origin,” the report said.

The recruits were also asked by Isis what role they hoped to play within the group. The proportions of those who wanted to be administrators and “suicide fighters” increased with education, the report’s authors noted.

Neither inequality nor poverty was a driver of involvement in violent extremism, and wealthier countries were more likely to supply foreign recruits for Isis, the report found.

“In countries with a large Muslim population, low degrees of religiosity, low levels of trust in religious institutions and strong government and social control of religion seem to be risk factors of radicalisation,” the report said.

Ongoing research into causes of Islamic militancy has underlined the complexity of motives of recruits and volunteers, as well as the differences between different conflict zones.

Read more

Also see:

AP Report: Islamic State Used ‘Islam for Dummies’ to Train Recruits

Reuters/Stringer

Reuters/Stringer

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Aug. 18, 2016:

The Associated Press published a report on Monday, compiled from court testimony and interviews with former ISIS fighters, that painted a dim picture of the Islamic State’s recruits. The early waves, in particular, were so clueless that some of them had to order Islam for Dummies from Amazon.com to brush up on the religion.

That juicy little tidbit is, naturally, the basis for the AP’s headline: “Islam For Dummies: IS Recruits Have Poor Grasp of Faith.” However, only two recruits from Britain were that unclear about the concept of jihad. 70 percent of early recruits claimed to have “basic” knowledge of sharia law, while 24 percent described themselves as “intermediate” students of the Islamic legal code, and 5 percent “advanced.” This would suggest only one percent of the people ISIS roped in were largely ignorant of sharia law.

The takeaway from the Associated Press report is not that Islamic State recruits were broadly unfamiliar with Islam — it is that they knew just enough about “moderate Islam” to fall prey to the Islamic State’s appeal.

ISIS radicalizes young Muslims by telling them, in essence, the Islam you get from your parents, and the imam at the mosque you scarcely bother to attend, isn’t the real deal. We are the champions of authentic Islam. Here’s what the moderates don’t want you to hear from the Koran.

This message is mixed with appeals to factional and national solidarity. For example, the AP spoke with a European recruit who “thought he was joining a group to fight President Bashar Assad and help Syrians, not the Islamic State.” He ended up packed into a safe house with other recruits while ISIS imams indoctrinated them.

The Associated Press concludes this means ISIS preys on “religious ignorance, allowing extremists to impose a brand of Islam constructed to suit its goal of maximum territorial expansion and carnage as soon as recruits come under its sway.”

It would be equally valid to describe this as religious curiosity, added to the sense of alienation and frustration that drives so many radicals, violent or otherwise. There seems to be little evidence that would suggest intensive study of Islam halts or reverses the radicalization process — in fact, there is a dismaying shortage of evidence that ISIS recruits can be talked out of radicalization, once it passes a certain point.

The constant refrain from the families of Islamic State recruits and “lone wolf” jihadis is surprise: no one in the family ever seemed to realize just how far gone their ISIS-supporting child was until it was too late. One of the reasons radicalization seems so puzzling and sudden to experts is that such denials are accepted at face value.

Only later do we learn that the jihadi held radical beliefs for much longer than the press was originally led to believe, or the jihadi had a history of run-ins with the law. Alternatively, the families of Western jihadis may be missing important signs of radicalization because they have been taught not to see them, by the media/government that insists terrorism has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

For example, the AP report quotes ISIS recruit Karim Mohammad-Aggad, who journeyed to the Islamic State in Syria with his brother and a group of friends after an Islamic State recruiter contacted them in Germany, claiming he was bamboozled with “smooth talk” from the recruiter.

“My religious beliefs had nothing to do with my departure. Islam was used to trap me like a wolf,” he said in court, insisting he didn’t “have the knowledge” to answer questions about sharia. A co-defendant gave the same answer, and the Associated Press points out that both Karim and his brother Foued said they had only “basic” knowledge of sharia when they filled out the ISIS entry questionnaire.

Those statements are a very thin reed to hang the “ISIS recruits don’t know anything about Islam” argument upon, especially since Karim’s little brother Foued was one of the monsters who carried out the unspeakable atrocity at the Bataclan nightclub in Paris last November.

Another assertion in the AP report, made by a study from the U.S. military’s Combating Terrorism Center, is that ISIS recruits who claimed advanced knowledge of sharia were less likely to volunteer for suicide missions.

“If martyrdom is seen as the highest religious calling, then a reasonable expectation would be that the people with the most knowledge about Islamic law (Shariah) would desire to carry out these operations with greater frequency,” said the Combating Terrorism Center report. However, “those with the most religious knowledge within the organization itself are the least likely to volunteer to be suicide bombers.”

That is a difficult assertion to evaluate without knowing a great deal more about the backgrounds of the individuals in question. A very small group, since as the AP noted, only 5 percent of incoming Islamic State fighters claimed to have “advanced” knowledge of sharia on the entry paperwork. Broad conclusions cannot be drawn from the way a tiny fraction of ISIS recruits described themselves. They might not have wanted to go on suicide missions, but they were still willing to fight for the Islamic State.

Also, sharia law does not require suicide bombing. There is an argument among Muslim scholars about whether sharia forbids suicide, or murder, but the Koran repeatedly encourages courageous battle against infidels, with a willingness to kill or die in the effort. It is a mistake to confuse sharia law with the totality of Islamic belief and tradition, as practiced by many different groups across an enormous worldwide population.

“Sharia forbids suicide, so suicide bombers don’t understand sharia” is a variation on the No True Muslim fallacy, a tautology which argues terrorists can’t possibly understand authentic Islam because no one who practices authentic Islam would be a terrorist.

The ultimate ends of such an argument — a reformation of Islam in which violence is expunged from the religion, and assimilation-minded moderates triumph in all of Islam’s many factions — is highly desirable. The question is how to get there, and ignoring or downplaying the importance of Islam in the appeal made by ISIS and other extremist groups is not likely to help either moderate Muslims or secular governments devise an effective strategy for combating the radicals.

History renders a grim verdict on that approach: the Western world has been pushing No True Muslim arguments with all of its might, especially after the 9/11 attacks, and yet ISIS happened. The young Western recruits described in the Associated Press report spent their entire lives in the “Religion of Peace”/”Terrorists are on the Wrong Side of History” era, but they still ended up fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. What they tell courts today, as they fight for reduced sentences, is very different than what they probably would have said when they first arrived in the “caliphate.”

Former CIA case officer Patrick Skinner told the Associated Press that most ISIS recruits are “reaching for a sense of belonging, a sense of notoriety, a sense of excitement,” and he claimed, “religion is an afterthought.” If that’s true, then why is the Islamic State so much more successful than the many other groups that offer disaffected youngsters a sense of belonging, notoriety, and excitement? Falling in with a local gang is easy; abandoning your family, and evading the law enforcement agencies of several nations, to join ISIS in Syria or Iraq is hard.

The Islamic State’s religious appeal may be only one ingredient in the fuel that drives people to make that awful choice, but discounting it as irrelevant is dangerous.

Also see:

VIDEO — “Gangster Islam” in Europe

arrestGatestone Institute, July 12, 2016:

“Gangster Islam,” a crime wave packing prisons and overtaking Europe, is a problem the mainstream media will not report. Ordinary Europeans — for fear of being called “racist” or even being imprisoned for “hate speech” — are afraid even to talk about it. Timon Dias, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, discusses the issue in our latest video:

Also see:

Dr. Jihad: Muslim doctors and the global jihad

Muslim doctorAmerican Thinker, by Carol Brown, July 11, 2016:

Where Trump goes, so do protestors. The GOP convention in Cleveland will be a flash point for many of them.

One group will be from the Stand Together Against Trump PAC which was formed by local physicians who want to protest Trump’s position on Muslim immigration. The PAC has eight leaders including six doctors, four of whom are Muslim. The founder, Dr. Bryan Hambley, said the group finds the “rhetoric” of banning Muslims from the United States “shocking.”

The upcoming protest at the GOP convention will not be Hambley’s first. He was escorted out of a protest in March after removing his sweatshirt to reveal a t-shirt that read: “Muslim doctors save lives in Cleveland.”

With all this talk of Muslim doctors saving lives, I thought I’d highlight a few examples where they strayed a long way (to put it mildly) from their oath of “first do no harm.”

Last month an international search began when medical school graduate Mohamed Maleeh Masha vanished from Flint, Michigan. Authorities believe he is now in Syria providing medical care to wounded ISIS jihadists, tending to dozens if not hundreds each day. Masha is also likely making propaganda videos since upper-class professionals like doctors are sought after for this job with the hope they’ll convince other professionals in the West to join the cause.

In Masha’s case, as with others, there are the usual questions being raised about how he became “radicalized” (aka devout; hint: the Quran) with a hypothesis being floated that he “may have become more invested in the Islamic faith before fleeing to join ISIS.” (Including the word “may” is probably unnecessary, but other than that the link between Islam and terror is a welcome change from the usual battery of lies.)

Masha is the latest in a string of Muslim physician terrorists. Several years ago in Florida, Dr. Rafiq Sabi was sentenced to 25 years in prison for providing material support to terrorists. The trial judge stated that part of what contributed to the near maximum sentence was Sabir’s lack of contrition coupled with his “deeply held views regarding militant fundamentalist Islam.” (Hmm. There’s that link again, though the words “militant” and “fundamentalist” are superfluous.)

In the UK, doctors are coming down with sudden jihad syndrome at an alarming rate. In May of this year, Dr. Issam Abuanza left his wife and children to join ISIS. Abuanza was active on social media until the end of last year, posting sentiments in support of terror. After the Charlie Hebdo attack he wrote: “Praise be to God for this terrorist act. God kill off their enemies, military and civilian, men and women, adult and children.” He also wrote about the Jordanian pilot who was captured and burned alive in a cage, stating his desire to torture and murder him over and over again, writing, “I would’ve liked for them to burn him extremely slowly and I could treat him so we could torch him once more.”

jihadist2The year before Abuanza left for Syria, a number of Muslim physicians in the UK had already joined ISIS, including a female doctor by the name of Mujahidah Bint Usama who posted on Twitter a photo of herself in a lab coat over a burqa holding a decapitated head. She captioned the photo “Dream Job. A Terrorist Doc” and accompanied it with a smiley face song and two hearts.

Among the Muslim doctors who’ve left the UK to become jihadists is one who brought his younger brother with him as well as a British surgeon who was about to stand trial for his ties to terror when he evaded authorities (despite his passport being confiscated) and started making recruitment videos for a Taliban splinter group.

Despite the trend of UK doctors joining ISIS and other Islam terror organizations, should any of the physician-turned-jihadists wish to return to the UK, they’reallowed to resume work at the National Health Service providing they didn’t do any actual fighting, as if (1) this information could be verified, and (2) that’s what matters. Apparently the fact that a doctor can aid and abet terrorists by, at the very least, helping to keep them alive and/or making recruitment videos is not deemed sufficient cause for the UK to keep them out of the country.

The phenomenon of doctor jihadists spans the globe. Last year, Australian doctorTareq Kamleh joined ISIS. In Canada, Dr. Khurram Sher went on trial for terrorism charges in a complex plot spanning multiple countries, including Canada, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan.

Other terrorist doctors include Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri (Al-Qaeda leader), Drs. Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi and Mahmoud Al-Zahar (co-founders  of Hamas), Dr. Fathi Abd Al-Aziz Shiqaqi (co-founder and Secretary-General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad), Dr. Bilal Talal Abdul Samad Abdulla (one of two terrorists behind major attacks in Europe in 2007), and Dr. George Habash (founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine responsible for numerous airline hijackings and bombings).

Muslim dentists are also joining the call to jihad, including three who storedbombs in a dental clinic and one who planned to murder British troops. Some might say that doctors from all religious persuasions have committed heinous acts and that the percentage of Muslim doctors who become jihadists is exceedingly small. And both would be true. But the critical difference is that the evil embraced by doctor jihadists is motivated by a totalitarian doctrine laid out in the Quran. These barbarians are not lone madmen who are misrepresenting their faith. (Nor are they poor and disadvantaged as dhimmis like to paint Islamic terrorists.) They are unified by the teachings of Mohammed. And while their beliefs and actions may seem extreme to us, they are not “extremists” within the context of their religion. They are devout.

As to the second point, while the percentage of Muslim doctors who become terrorists is incredibly small, the fact that this phenomenon occurs at all is a reality that cannot be ignored. Also worthy of note is that recruiting doctors has been discussed in terror circles for a long time, in part because doctors are not likely to be viewed suspiciously and, as noted earlier, they are ideal subjects to make recruitment videos.

In addition, though beyond the scope of this article, there are numerous examples of Islamic supremacy in medical settings that, while not outright violent acts of terror, are nevertheless deeply disturbing as Islam advances from all sides, in all manner of ways, including the assertion of sharia law by doctors and others who work in health care. (See here, here, here, here, and here for a few examples).

In closing and getting back to the planned protest in Cleveland, I have no doubt that Muslim doctors in Cleveland, and elsewhere around the world, save lives. But why is there selective outrage about Trump’s proposal to (temporarily) ban (some) Muslims from coming to the United States, yet nary a peep – no less “shock” – about the fact that Islam commands that all infidels convert, live as second class citizens, or die, in a world where all must submit as written in the holy book of these doctors? And as is born out every day as horror upon horror is unleashed in the name of Allah.

(To learn more about the threat of Islamic supremacy, see here, here, here, here,here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for a sampling of excellent resources.)

Hat tips: Cleveland.com, The Detroit News, Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch, Daniel Pipes, The Washington Examiner, The Telegraph, The Express, The Daily Mail, The Daily Wire, The Jewish Press, The Daily Star, Metro UK, Times of Israel, Militant Islam Monitor, Debbie Schlussel, FBI web site, Wikipedia, and Counterjihad Report

Beyond Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State’s HR Files Illuminate Dangerous Trends

ISIS-SniperToday at War On The Rocks, Clint Watts does a very detailed analysis of global foreign jihadist recruitment patterns which provides a predictive tool for counterterrorism strategy. Here is his conclusion:

Over the past 30 years, foreign fighters have been the thread by which one can trace jihadi violence.  Committed, motivated survivors of each mobilization go on to power the next round of terrorism. Those foreign fighters that cannot or will not return home tend to join the most promising emerging affiliates abroad.  Arab foreign fighters showed up in Afghanistan during the 1980s, settled in Pakistan, Sudan, and Afghanistan, and later became the backbone of al Qaeda in the 1990s.  Last decade, boys from the Arabian Peninsula, alongside an upsurge of North African recruits, fought in Iraq and soon after powered terrorism across more than a half dozen terrorist affiliates, notably in Yemen and the Sahel.

Language, ethnicity, and marriage often dictate which foreign fighters congregate together as battlefields open and close. As seen in social media recruitment over the past five years, recruits are drawn to jihadi leaders that talk like them and look like them. On the battlefield, foreign fighters mingle with those whom they can communicate and identify with ethnically. French and Belgian recruits more often fall into the ranks with Moroccans, Algerian, and Tunisians.  Russian speakers from the Caucasus and Central Asia join forces, as those from the Balkans band together. Germans last decade, for some reason, surfaced more often in Afghanistan and Pakistan. British and American English-speaking Somalis showed up with converts to join al Shabaab in Somalia.  Foreign fighter patterns are complicated, but somewhat predictable. Examining facilitation pathways and these foreign fighter linkages will be essential for anticipating the next wave of violence.

The trends revealed in the new Islamic State records alongside lessons learned from past foreign fighter migrations point to several actions Western powers should consider to preempt the next wave of violence stemming from the Islamic State’s survivors.  First, as seen by Tunisia’s massive supply of fighters, the West should move aggressively to disrupt terrorist facilitators. If left unattended, they’ll only fuel other jihadi pipelines as battlefields emerge.  Second, closely track surviving European foreign fighters, many of whom are unable to return home as the Islamic State falters in Iraq and Syria.  Where these trained, experienced, and committed European foreign fighters choose to migrate will prove a strong signal of where violent jihad will march next. This will also point to impending threats to European countries as their angry youth, as seen in Brussels and Paris, turn their guns on their homelands. Third, Western powers should determine whether Central Asian foreign fighters, along with Russians and Chinese, will band together as Syria closes.  Regionally, Central Asia, after Europe, showed the second highest increase in recruitment rates this decade.  Chinese and Russian foreign fighter migration stems not only from the opportunities of Syria, but because they’ve been squelched at home.  Should Russian and Chinese fighters, who together comprise 10 percent of the recent Islamic State sample, join with their Central Asian comrades, they will become a formidable, veteran contingent that may power an Asian terrorist group in the coming years. Finally, properly assessing where European and Central Asian survivors of the Islamic State coalesce requires an equal assessment of the opportunities available to them, namely what affiliates and regions offer the best chances of survival, regeneration, jihadi glory and prosperity. Recent foreign fighter records show the ingredients for the next round of jihad, affiliates will supply the recipe.

 Read it all

Clint Watts is a Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University. Prior to his current work as a security consultant, Clint served as a U.S. Army infantry officer, a FBI Special Agent on a Joint Terrorism Task Force, and as the Executive Officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

The Jihad in Ireland

unnamed (11)

By Counter Jihad, March 17, 2016:

An Irish Muslim named Sajid Aslam left his family in Ireland and went to join the armies of the Islamic State.  He is far from alone.  Though Ireland is a country of only five million people — and its Muslim population a tiny fraction of that number — it has contributed more fighters to ISIS than the massive nation of India with its vast Islamic population.  Ireland has also contributed seven times as many ISIS fighters per capita as the United States of America.

Recently a religious leader in Ireland raised concerns with the police about the visit of radical preachers from Kuwait. Muslim leaders in the Irish nation asked that the preachers sign an anti-extremism pledge that they authored.  The terms of the pledge would require these radical preachers to reject al Qaeda and ISIS as well as to praise Irish gays and lesbians.

“I am not in favour of banning foreign preachers but I am in favour of being very careful about bringing foreign speakers to speak to Muslims in Ireland,” said Dr Al Qadri, who is the Imam of the Al-Mustafa Mosque in Blanchardstown and chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council….

“I believe foreign speakers should be asked to sign a statement in which they condemn Osama bin Laden, ISIS and all extremist militants, call for tolerance and respect for all people including the LGBT community, respect democracy and the permissibility to vote in western countries,” he said….  “They don’t believe in democracy and to them, Osama Bin Laden is a hero. . . Dr Al Khamees is very outspoken against Shia Muslims, not just highlighting the difference in theology, but speaking of them in a very insulting and derogatory and sectarian manner,” he said.

The problem is that such pledges are completely unreliable. Under the Islamic law principle of taqiyya, it is perfectly fine — and can even be mandatory — to lie when it is useful to the cause of spreading Islam. There is no reason to think that even such a pledge as this would not be given gladly, and falsely, in order to have the chance to spread the dangerous ideology.

And it is dangerous.  According to the media advertising the event, one of the radical preachers held a fatwa session to give legal opinions on questions from the audience.

“He could be asked all type of questions in regards to living as a Muslim in the West,” said Al Qadari.  “This could range from religious affairs to political affairs such as democracy, engagement with non-Muslims, homosexuality and people will expect and assume the verdicts he will give are binding on them.”

Al Qadri said that both Kuwaiti were preachers of Wahhabism, the sect of Islam that produced both al Qaeda and the Islamic State.  We know what kind of answers such men would give.  They would likely lead to radicalized Muslims, who might follow other Irish Muslims in joining ISIS or stay to fight at home.

Also see:

Obama and the ISIS ‘Recruitment Tool’ Canard

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA)

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/Sipa USA)

PJ MEDIA, BY ANDREW C. MCCARTHY NOVEMBER 20, 2015:

I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIS than … Barack Obama.

This puts me at odds with Barack Obama, as is often the case. It is worth explaining my reasoning, though, since – as our bloviator-in-chief is fond of saying – this is a teachable moment.

The president of the United States, shamefully but characteristically, took the opportunity of being on foreign soil – in the Philippines with its large Muslim population – to smear his fellow countrymen over their effort to protect American national security. The Republican initiative, led by Senator Ted Cruz, would thwart Obama’s scheme to import thousands of refugees and prioritize the asylum claims of Christians. In response to this “rhetoric,” Obama seethed, “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL.”

The president elaborated that “when you start seeing individuals in position of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the ISIL narrative.”

So tough here to untangle the ignorance from the demagoguery. For starters, asylum does not involve placing comparative values on the lives of different categories of people. And no one would be more offended than Christians at the notion that Christian lives should be valued more highly than those of other human beings. (By contrast, the conceit that Muslim lives – especially the lives of male Muslims – are more worthy than others is a leitmotif of Islamic scripture that is reflected throughout sharia law.)

Asylum, instead, is a remedy for persecution that is controlled by federal law. Obama lashed out at Republicans for promoting a “religious test,” which he claimed was “offensive and contrary to American values.” Yet, because asylum addresses persecution, governing law has always incorporated a religious test. Again, that is not because the lives of one religion’s believers are innately better than others; it is because when religious persecution is occurring, the targeted religion’s believers are inevitably more vulnerable to murder, rape, torture, and other atrocities than co-religionists of the persecutors.

Consequently, longstanding congressional statutes (a) call on aliens claiming to be refugees to prove “a well-founded fear of persecution on account of … religion,” among other things; and (b) require refugees seeking asylum to “establish that … religion [among other things] was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.”

Despite his diatribe, I’m going to go out on a limb and conclude that this is not news to Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer who, for seven years, has been president and thus responsible for executing the asylum laws. He is also well aware, though, that the Muslim audience to which he was appealing, in the Philippines and in the broader ummah, does not have a clue about the vagaries of American immigration statutes.

Obama knows, moreover, that because sharia tells Muslims their lives are more valuable than those of non-Muslims, nothing is more apt to rile them up than an accusation that nativist Americans are portraying them as second-rate. And Obama knows that when Muslims get riled up, Western politicians curl up in a “religion of peace” ball and meekly back down. The president may not keep the U.S. Code on his shelves, but his bag of community-organizer tricks is ever at the ready.

One trick that never gets old is the claim that this or that American policy is a primo “recruitment tool” for jihadists.

Of course, the patent cause of violent jihadism is Islamic supremacist ideology. Washington politicians will not concede this fact because that ideology is unmistakably based on a literal construction of Islamic scripture – the Koran, the hadith, and sacralized biographies of the prophet Muhammad.

As it happens, there are ways of construing Islamic scripture that are not as literal. These constructions inform the view of millions of Muslims that violent jihad and systematic discrimination are not ordained in the modern world. These competing constructions, however, do not change the stubborn reality that Islamic supremacism – what we presume to call “radical” Islam – is a mainstream interpretation of Islam followed by tens of millions of Muslims, among them renowned sharia scholars, violent jihadists, and wily Islamists.

Though neither Republican transnational-progressives nor the hard Left will admit this palpable truth, the rationales of the two camps are significantly different.

The Republican moderates are well-meaning but foolish. Lacking confidence or competence to explain the different interpretations of Islam, they fear that if they concede the nexus between Islamic doctrine and jihadism, they will be perceived as “at war with Islam.” So they relentlessly pretend that the “true” Islam is irenic: a noble quest for justice and tolerance. Because these Republicans are more politically progressive than conservative, they delude themselves into believing their soaring words will someday alter reality: If they say “religion of peace” and “moderate” enough times, Islam will actually become a moderate religion of peace, its sharia seamlessly compatible with our Constitution and Western principles – regardless of what Islamic doctrine actually says.

The Left, to the contrary, is neither well-meaning nor foolish. It will not admit the nexus between Islamic scripture and jihadist terror for two shrewd reasons.

The first is that the alliance with Islamists is useful to the Left. I explained in The Grand Jihad why Islamists and Leftists align, despite their differences on important matters like the rights of women, homosexuals, and the unborn. Both are anti-capitalist, authoritarian central-planners, hostile to individual liberty. They become fast friends whenever they have a common enemy – e.g., the Egyptian monarchy, the shah of Iran, or the Western culture of freedom and reason. If the common enemy is overcome, Islamists and Leftists turn on each other with a vengeance because their utopias cannot coexist. But as long as the common enemy exists, they work well together – just as internecine rivalries between Islamist camps (e.g., Iran and al Qaeda) are set aside in order to present a united front against the West and Israel.

What is the second rationale for the Left’s insistence on bleaching away jihadism’s roots in Islamic doctrine? That brings us back to Obama’s claim that the conservative case against admitting thousands of Syrian refugees is a “recruitment tool” for ISIS.

Obviously, jihad does not erupt out of thin air. The American public, which remains widely uninformed about Islam, realizes something must cause the violence, and that the violence will continue unless that something is overcome. For Leftists, this presents a golden opportunity: They understand that our deeply ingrained tradition of religious liberty – a tradition the Left generally abhors – makes the public resistant to the notion that a religion can cause violence, and thus receptive to the assurance that Islam does not.

So if Islam, in the Left’s telling, has nothing to do with the savagery jihadists commit, what is the cause? Obama and his cohort fill in this blank with … the principles and policies they oppose: robust national defense, American leadership in the world, free speech, sovereignty, economic liberty, income inequality, Christianity, Israel’s character as a Jewish state, Guantanamo Bay, military commissions, … even climate change.

Yes, this is preposterous if you’ve familiarized yourself with Islamic supremacism and classical sharia. But, alas, much of America has not despite a generation of jihad from Tehran to Manhattan to Paris. What a powerful rhetorical weapon it is for the Left to claim that what it opposes is not just wrong but the cause of mass-murder attacks.

In the real world, however, it is the sharia supremacist interpretation of Islam that causes jihadist terror. With that as the foundation, jihadist recruitment has little or nothing to do with the pretexts conveniently conjured by the Left. To the contrary, recruitment is driven by one thing:the perception that jihadists will win. As Osama bin Laden recognized, people are drawn to the strong horse and shun the weak horse.

That is why I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIS than … Barack Obama.

Also see:

What drives Westerners to fight for ISIL?

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Published on Sep 15, 2015 by Sebastian Gorka

Anthropologist Scott Atran, one of the few experts who has talked directly with al-Qaeda and ISIL fighters, debates counterinsurgency expert Sebastian Gorka on why young people from the West leave their homes to fight for ISIL. Aljazeera’s Arena show, 11 September 2015

SHOCK VIDEO: Widespread Support for Sharia and Blasphemy Laws…in Minneapolis

252_large (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On May 28, 2015:

Going back to 2007, I’ve reported on the growing problem of terror recruitment in the Twin Cities, particularly in the Somali community there.

In December 2007 I reported here at PJ Media on a well-attended terror fundraiser held in a prominent hotel in downtown Minneapolis that Homeland Security was warned about, but did nothing to prevent. Note that this was nearly a year before anyone else in the media was even paying attention to the recruitment of Somalis by foreign terrorist organizations.

Fast-forward to July 2009, and the media only then began reporting that the same meeting I had covered a year and a half before was the tipping point for terror recruitment in the Twin Cities. By that time, nearly two dozen young men had already been recruited and were fighting with Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

I have continued to report on that continued terror recruitment, including suicide bombers recruited from the streets of Minneapolis, and the extremist statements made by prominent Islamic leaders in the community.

More recently, I reported here on the failed jihadist deradicalization program set up by the chief federal judge of the District of Minnesota.

And in my article earlier this week on the rapidly escalating number of terror arrests in the U.S., I noted that many of the terror suspects nabbed by law enforcement this year for attempting to travel overseas to join ISIS have come out of Minneapolis.

Now comes documentary producer Ami Horowitz, who went to Minneapolis and conducted interviews with members of the Somali community there, finding widespread support for Islamic law over American law, as well as blasphemy laws limiting the First Amendment to punish depictions of Muhammad.

Back in November 2013, I appeared in an episode of The Blaze TV’s “For The Record” news magazine program talking about how court documents in many of these terror cases reveal the systematic recruitment inside the largest mosque in Minnesota, Masjid Abubakar As-Saddique.

In the following clip from that episode, “Minnesota Martyrs,” Abdirizak Bihi — whose nephew was recruited and killed fighting with Al-Shabaab, and I talk about the dozens of terror recruits tied to that mosque:

The problem of terror recruitment and promotion of widespread extremist ideologies in the Somali community is not an abstract concept for me, as my own hometown of Columbus, Ohio, has also seen a series of terror arrests over the years. Columbus has the second largest Somali population of any city in the country behind Minneapolis.

In November 2007, Columbus resident Nuradin Abdi pled guilty to his role in an Al-Qaeda terror cell in my city. According to court documents, Abdi and his associates discussed attacking an area shopping mall on “Black Friday,” the busiest shopping day of the year. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Abdi was released in 2012 and deported back to Somalia.

Then in September 2010, I reported here on Dahir Gurey, another Columbus resident, who was killed in a firefight in Mogadishu fighting as a senior commander for Al-Shabaab. I noted that local authorities had been made aware of Gurey’s fundraising and recruiting for Al-Shabaab but declined to do anything about it because of his close ties to Islamic religious leaders who were favored by local political figures. Gurey was later featured in an Al-Shabaab propaganda recruitment video on three American recruits to the terror group called “The Path to Paradise.” Yet as I noted, the local media, namely the Columbus Dispatch, continued to downplay the terror recruitment problem in our city.

And just last month I reported on the case of Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, again from the Columbus area, who had traveled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State and had returned to conduct terror attacks in the homeland — the first known case of an ISIS terror recruit returning home with plans to engage in terror domestically. His brother was reportedly killed fighting with ISIS last June. Upon Mohamud’s return to Columbus last year, he began conducting weapons training classes at a local gun range with other prospective recruits, theWall Street Journal reported.

The widespread support for Islamic law highlighted in Horowitz’s video above shows the ideological breeding ground that these recruits are eventually drawn from.

With terror arrests this year alone approaching all-time highs and the growing acceptance of the worldview that radicalizes these individuals, it seems clear that the terror recruitment problem in Minneapolis, Columbus, and many other cities around the country will continue for the foreseeable future.

***

From Cultural Jihad:

COMMENT: The Somalis constitute a sizable ethnic group in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.   Some estimates are that 1 out of every 3 people with Somali ancestry in the U.S. live in Minnesota – a 2010 survey estimated the Somali community to be at 85,700 in the United States.  The largest growth influx  occurred as a result of refugee program efforts in response to the Somali civil war escalation in the 1990s.

The Minneapolis area has been experiencing a number of incidents involving ISIS recruitment.  A February 2015 NPR article notes:

In the discussions at the White House this week, one city has focused minds: Minneapolis-St Paul. It had been ground zero for terrorist recruiters in the past, and is fast becoming the center of ISIS’ recruitment effort in the United States.

See this post from the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog regarding April 2015 terror arrests in the area along with information on the US government contractors involved in the refugee resettlement program.

What it’s like to be recruited by ISIS online

isis-133Business Insider, by Jeff Bardin, May 22, 2015:

What does it take to motivate a US citizen to engage in atrocities on behalf of a militant group over 6,000 miles away?

As our country grapples with the growing risk of homegrown jihadists, key questions remain about how these individuals are recruited, what motivates them to “activate,” and what we should be doing to stop it.

Traditional jihadist organizations, like Al Qaeda or Hamas, used to spend months evaluating and cultivating potential recruits.

These handlers would go to mosques, universities, and community centers to identify people with the right traits and qualifications, and then they would embed themselves in their lives, learning everything they could about their backgrounds, interests, passions, strengths, and weaknesses.

There are lengthy jihadist manuals dedicated to the process of recruiting “holy warriors” — they describe in meticulous detail the need to choose the right recruit, properly develop this person, and lead him or her to the path of jihad.

While many of these groups around the world still use this process, the rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has created a dangerous new “fast track” for would-be jihadists. Using social media, ISIS is able to spread its propaganda to a broader audience and lay the foundation for radicalization among citizens in Western countries. Recruitments that used to take place in person or via elaborate cloak-and-dagger methods on the web now occur quickly over social media.

To be clear, ISIS is not advanced when it comes to technology. What distinguishes ISIS is that it has embraced technology in a way that few groups before it have. This technological foundation has given it a larger pool of candidates to draw from, made the organization more appealing to young people, and driven its message deep into Western societies in a way that would have been impossible just a few years ago.

Typical Twitter profile pictures used by ISIS supporters include variations on the flag used by ISIS and images of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and prominent ISIS members and leaders including "Jihadi John" and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

Typical Twitter profile pictures used by ISIS supporters include variations on the flag used by ISIS and images of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and prominent ISIS members and leaders including “Jihadi John” and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

For the past nine years, I have studied the online activities of jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, Nusra Front, Hamas, and ISIS. I have watched these operations evolve from private discussion forums on the backwaters of the web to the massive social-media propaganda campaigns that are being launched today. Over the years, I have infiltrated a number of these forums, cultivated hundreds of jihadist followers on social-media channels and created over 50 fake jihadist personalities (i.e., “sock puppets”) to see how they would be recruited.

What I have found from my own attempted recruitments is that jihadists are breaking down the barriers to joining their organizations, they are focused on franchising jihad instead of “owning” it, and they’re playing a numbers game that is making security at home far more difficult than in years’ past.

Who reaches out first?

It is more common these days for volunteers to contact ISIS handlers directly, rather than the other way around. In the past, handlers used to have to go out and hunt for good candidates, then spend months leading them down the path to jihad.

Now wannabe jihadists come right to them — in many cases, they have already self-radicalized thanks to the online propaganda campaigns, and they do not need as much catering to do the terrorist group’s bidding.

How does a social-media recruitment actually work?

A typical recruitment starts over Twitter or Facebook, with a friend request to one of the jihadist propagandists — these are the people who are constantly promoting the cause via war videos and photos, messages from leaders, prayer calls, etc.

At that point, the wannabe jihadist will most likely send this individual a direct message and ask how to get more involved. The administrator of the account might ask the person a few initial questions (such as why you are reaching out, what your religious background is, etc.) but will quickly hand it off to another person — one of the dedicated recruiters.

Twitter

Twitter

The recruiter then contacts the volunteer directly over the same social-media channel (and may supplement this later on over PGP-encrypted email or IRC chat) and begins the process. It will start with some initial questions, such as the ones mentioned above, but then it will quickly progress into a more detailed survey of who the person is, what other social-media accounts the person has, what the person’s views are on world affairs, and how knowledgeable the person is about Islam (the person will be quizzed on key elements of the religion).

While the process is much easier for recruits than in past years, multiple handlers evaluate and screen the target before making any important decisions. During the questioning process, the original handler will pass the person off to at least one, and probably two, other recruiters who will examine the person’s background, motivations, and capabilities.

ISIS recruiters aren’t as picky about their recruits as traditional jihadists were, so what they’re trying to determine with the interview process is whether the person is a spy and how useful he or she may actually be.

Skype is required

Before these conversations get too far along, however, the handler will insist that the person engage in a video call, usually over Skype.

This is an important test for ISIS, as it reduces the risk of imposters and gives the group more leverage over the recruit as it now has him or her fully identified.

‘Doxing’

Recruits probably will not realize it, but as soon as they start talking to an ISIS handler, he or she will “dox” them, creating a dossier that includes all of their online accounts, their friends and connections, family, posts they’ve made in the past, their current location, job, school/military/government background, etc.

This information is most likely used by the organization to weed out imposters, determine whether the candidate would be able to recruit others, and have leverage over the person later on if needed.

Personality types they are looking for

Prior to ISIS, jihadist groups were very selective in how they targeted potential recruits. For instance, Al Qaeda’s manuals advise recruiters to seek out strong candidates with key characteristics: leadership abilities, a positive and healthy disposition, a good family, lots of friends, financial stability, generosity, and a clear sense of purpose. They also warn against people who are loners, stingy or “excessive talkers.’

While ISIS still follows these guidelines to some extent, the group does not exclude people just because they have undesirable characteristics.

Caliphate-Seeking Group to Host US Conferences in Coming Weeks

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Breitbart, by JORDAN SCHACHTEL,  May 21, 2015:

A radical jihadist organization is set to host numerous conferences throughout American cities this summer, holding events in May and June in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Dearborn, Michigan.

Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation), a worldwide Islamist entity that openly advocates for Sharia law under an Islamic caliphate—the same doctrine promulgated by the Islamic State terror group—has chapters throughout the world. Hizb ut-Tahrir America, the United States chapter of the international jihadist group, will host a series of conferences in the coming months.

The group’s logo showcases the black flag of jihad, the flag which is commonly seen in the hands of jihadi holy warriors belonging to groups such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Shabaab, and the Taliban. Hizb ut-Tahrir openly advocates for a long-term strategy that starts with a process of ideological indoctrination and recruitment. The group will then commence a “period of attaining and seizing the reins of power,” according to its texts.

In years past, Hizb ut-Tahrir has openly urged its members to proactively support Islamist movements in the Middle East, specifically those prioritizing the establishment of a caliphate. In addition to promoting worldwide Islamic domination, the group has issued pamphlets that call for death to those who attempt to leave Islam.

Terrorism experts have described the organization as a “conveyor belt” and a “starting point” towards Islamist terrorism. Some allege that the fringe movement seeks to clandestinely recruit American Muslims to fight on behalf of terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Former Hizb ut-Tahrir members allegedly include the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and former al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, a Hizb ut-Tahrir leader rejoiced in the slaughtering of its cartoonists at the hands of terrorists, describing the attacks as a “cure” for “insults to [Muslims’s] book and prophet.”

Its 2015 Chicago conference, called the “Rise Of The Righteous Khilafah (Caliphate) On The Method Of Prophethood,” will take place on May 31 at the Lexington House in Hickory Hills, Illinois.

On June 7, the jihadist entity will host an event titled, “Sunni and Shia Under The System Of Islam,” which is set to take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Dearborn, Michigan.

On June 14, the group will host the “Reclaim Your Islam Khilafah (Caliphate) Conference” in Washington D.C. The exact location of the conference has not yet been disclosed.