DHS John Kelly: Islamic Terrorists Are Sincere, So Regulate the Internet

Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, June 23, 2017:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly acknowledged Thursday that sincere Islamic beliefs are fuelling deadly jihad attacks during Ramadan — but he quickly hid that key recognition behind vague calls for Internet regulation and suggestions that Christian and Jewish beliefs are also causing terrorism.

“As far as Ramadan goes, you know, first of all, the uptick in violence and activities [during Ramadan is] done by a very, very small percentage of people who have just corrupted the whole concept of Islam as a religion, but it is what it is,” Kelly told the chairman of the House homeland defense committee on June 22. He continued:

We are in the middle of it, so they are out there doing what they think is their religion and think [it is] what they are supposed to be doing. In Flint, Michigan, as an example, a completely off-the-screen individual who attacked this police officer — who will be okay, as I understand it… We’ve seen these terrible things happen in Europe.

Instead of focusing on the jihad doctrine that is part-and-parcel of orthodox Islam, Kelly quickly tried to spread the blame for terror attacks, saying “Whether they are church, synagogues or mosques [we need] an open line of communication so they know if they see this [belligerence] happening in the home or they see it happening — that is to say, the move towards radicalism — or they see it happening in the churches or mosques, they know to call someone before that person typically crosses the line,” he told the chairman, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul.

Kelly added racist and even anti-Semitic groups to the blame gallery, even though Islamic radicals are anti-Semitic, saying: “Whether they are white supremacists, anti-Jewish or neo-Nazi or Islamic radicalism, until they do something [criminal], generally speaking, the best law enforcement can do is watch,” adding “I don’t know how to predict it.”

Kelly also blamed the Internet and urged businesses to block access to “some” websites. “The one constant that I have seen, Mr. Chairman, since I have been in this job, the one constant in all of this has been the Internet … The one constant is the Internet. I’m not blaming the Internet but I’m just saying that we probably need to step back, and say, maybe [have] stricter rules on what is hung on the Internet,” he said.

The secreary also cited existing laws against child pornography, which require companies to disconnect websites offering images of sexualized children, saying “just like in terms of child pornography sites that are taken down like that, we need to have probably a stricter set of rules to look at some of these [jihad] sites and bring them down maybe faster.”

He suggested the United States should follow the example set by Europe’s new policies against free speech, which this week prompted teams of black-clad German secretive police to raid 60 homes of people accused of illegal speech. Kelly said about the Europeans:

I think kind of the [Internet] rules and thinking they are operating under — that frankly that our country has been operating under — is probably five or ten years old … I know the Europeans are, particularly in the last five months, what they have dealt with — whether it is Paris, Manchester, I mean all of it, running people down on London bridge or Westminster bridge, they have really stepped back from their thinking [on free speech], as I think we should.

Kelly’s refusal to focus on jihad as the problem can lead his agency down a blind alley, said Robert Spencer, the best-selling author of books on Islam, and the director of the Jihadwatch website. “Instead of dealing with the threat, he’s threatening the freedom of speech of all Americans to maintain his politically correct veneer,” Spencer said.

“He needs to look at [Koran verses] 47.4 or 9:5, where there is an abundant incitement to violence in a place where he dares not acknowledge where it comes from,” said Spencer. According to those Islamic scriptures:

So when you meet those who disbelieve {Islam} [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds …

And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the {non-Muslim} polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Pointing the blame at the Internet also ignores the danger of Islamic teachings in U.S.-based mosques, said Spencer. “We’ve seen again and again that there are jihadis who are very active in their mosques and yet nobody will monitor them, so he has to find some scapegoat … [and] he finds it with the Internet, which is practically a cliche,” Spencer added. “I just hope that his politically correct euphemism don’t lead him to waste time and resources charging down what he knows are blind alleys.”

Chairman McCaul did not push Kelly to justify spreading blame for the Islamic attacks, but Kelly also admitted that the courts are pressuring his agency as it tries to prevent planned attacks:

My guidance to the department is to be very very cautious about getting near where the court tells us we can’t go … I have a real good sense of right and wrong but that doesn’t always work when it comes to courts and lawyers. So I’ve just said [to agency officials] ‘Be very very conservative about where we go on this.’”

The recent court decisions have repeatedly claimed President Donald Trump’s effort to curb Islamic attacks are motivated by unreasoning hatred, threaten the religious freedom of Islamic immigrants, and have not been endorsed by government experts.

But amid Kelly’s court-pressured, blame-everyone rhetoric, he only cited Islamic attacks, saying:

In Paris the other day they dodged a huge bullet because the individual ended up that rammed the police car ended up dying before he could do all of what he had planned to do…

[Parents say] ’My son was on the internet and he did this,’ whatever this was, or San Bernardino, or ‘My daughter was on the Internet and she ran away to Syria to become someone’s bride.’…

I know the Europeans are, particularly in the last five months, what they have dealt with — whether it is Paris, Manchester, I mean all of it, running people down on London bridge or Westminster bridge..

Kelly also recognized that one of the long-term fixes to terrorism is better vetting of immigrants to prevent “hostile attitudes,” including Islamic immigrants, saying:

I think we have a long way to go before we can be comfortable as to identifying who the [immigrant] person is, why they are coming to the United States and whether they can support themselves when they come here. So as [what] defines extreme vetting, that’s what we’re looking at. Those three questions need to be answered [for each would-be immigrant], I think, properly.

That comment echoes Trump’s January Executive Order on immigration, which sought to exclude refugees and immigrants with “hostile attitudes.”

But Kelly’s refusal to focus on the jihad ideology means “more Americans will suffer,” said Spencer. Kelly “is not facing the real root-cause of the threat, and it will continue to proliferate.”

Watch Kelly’s statements here.

FBI Investigating Radical Terrorists in All 50 States as Threats Hit Peak

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly / Getty Images

Robert Spencer has a very good comment on this article. I’m wondering why the word “radical” needs to be used as a qualifier for  the word terrorist.

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, April 18, 2017:

Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike “each and every single day.”

The FBI has “open terrorist investigations in all 50 states,” according to DHS Secretary John Kelly, who disclosed on Tuesday that there have been at least 37 “ISIS-linked plots to attack our country” since 2013, a number that shows no signs of diminishing.

Kelly, in his first wide-ranging public address on the threat of terrorism in America since taking office, warned that America’s borders remain wide-open and that there is evidence terror-linked individuals are exploiting these national security weaknesses and entering the United States.

“We don’t know their intentions,” Kelly said during an address at George Washington University. “We don’t know why they’re here or why they’re coming. We are completely blind to what they’re capable of.”

Terrorist also continues to sprout inside American communities across the country, according to Kelly, who said that in just the past year, there have been “36 homegrown terrorist cases in 18 states.”

“We’ve seen an unprecedented spike in homegrown terrorism,” Kelly disclosed. “These are the cases we know about—homegrown terrorism is notoriously difficult to predict and control.”

Terrorists in the United States are plotting attacks “every single day,” according to Kelly.

“I tell you, without exaggeration, they try to carry out this mission each and every single day and no one can tell you how to stop it. No one,” he said.

The United States, he continued, is “under attack” from a wide variety of bad actors, including “failed states, cyber-terrorists, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals.”

“And we are under attack every single day,” he said. “The threats are relentless.”

Those who slip over the border undetected, including criminals and potential radicalized terrorists, pose an unparalleled threat to the country.

“We don’t get to vet them,” Kelly said. “We don’t know their intentions. We don’t know they’re here. They slip into our country unnoticed, living among us, and we are completely blind as to what they are capable of.”

These threats just scrape the surface of the danger posed to America by terrorists inside and outside of the country, Kelly said.

“This is all bad news, but it gets much worse,” he explained. “Experts estimate that perhaps 10,000 citizens of Europe have joined the caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Thousands more are from nations in Asia, Africa and the Western Hemisphere. They have learned how to make IEDs, employ drones to drop ordnance, and acquired experience on the battlefield that by all reports they are bringing back home.”

These highly trained terrorist fighters are likely to return to their countries of origin and “wreak murderous havoc” across Europe, Asia, and the United States, among other countries.

America lacks the ability to properly vet these individuals when they attempt to enter the country, according to Kelly, who warned that scores of radicalized individuals are trying each day to enter America.

“Many are citizens of countries in our Visa Waiver Program, they can more easily travel to the United States which makes us a prime target for their exported violence,” he said.

The threat to America “has metastasized and decentralized, and the risk is as threatening today as it was that September morning almost 16 years ago,” Kelly warned.

“We are under attack from terrorists both within and outside of our borders,” he said. “They are without conscience, and they operate without rules. They despise the United States, because we are a nation of rights, laws, and freedoms. They have a single mission, and that is our destruction.”

Trump’s Immigration Guidance: The Rule of Law Returns

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Ariz. (Reuters phoot: Lucy Nicholson)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Ariz. (Reuters phoot: Lucy Nicholson)

PJ MEDIA, BY ANDREW C. MCCARTHY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017:

On Tuesday, John Kelly, President Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, published a six-page, single-spaced memorandum detailing new guidance on immigration enforcement. Thereupon, I spent about 1,500 words summarizing the guidance in a column at National Review. Brevity being the sole of wit, both the memo and my description of it could have been reduced to a single, easy to remember sentence:

Henceforth, the United States shall be governed by the laws of the United States.

That it was necessary for Secretary Kelly to say more than this – and, sadly, that such alarm has greeted a memo that merely announces the return of the rule of law in immigration enforcement – owes to Obama administration abuses of three legal doctrines: prosecutorial discretion, preemption, and separation of powers (specifically, the executive usurpation of legislative power).

To the extent President Obama declined to enforce immigration law (notwithstanding his constitutional obligation to execute the laws faithfully), he did so under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. In the pre-Obama days, prosecutorial discretion was an unremarkable, uncontroversial resource-allocation doctrine. It simply meant that since resources are finite, and since it would be neither possible nor desirable to prosecute every crime, we target law-enforcement resources to get the most crime-fighting bang for the taxpayer buck. That means prioritizing enforcement action against (a) the worst offenders and (b) the unlawful causes of the activity.

This is easily illustrated by federal drug enforcement. There are comparatively few federal narcotics agents, compared, say, to police in a major city. But while both feds and cops have authority to arrest traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs, only federal jurisdiction is interstate and international. Consequently, the best use of finite federal enforcement resources is to limit them to prosecutions of significant felony importation and distribution offenses, leaving it to the states and municipalities to handle street pushers and misdemeanor violations involving the use of drugs.

Significantly, the fact that federal enforcement policy, which is made by the executive branch, does not target lesser felons or users does not mean this policy effectively repeals federal drug laws, which are written by Congress. The non-targeted crimes are still crimes, and the feds reserve the right to prosecute them in appropriate cases (e.g., if they encounter these offenses in the course of carrying out other criminal enforcement missions).

In the area of immigration enforcement, Obama contorted this resource allocation doctrine into a de fact immunity scheme. That is, the Obama Homeland Security Department announced what it labeled enforcement “priorities.” If an illegal alien did not fit into the priorities, it was as if the alien were insulated against prosecution – effectively, it was as if there was nothing illegal about being an alien unlawfully present in the United States; it was as if Obama’s policies were a legal defense against Congress’s duly enacted laws.

This was complemented by a second legal distortion: Obama’s mangling of the so-called preemption doctrine. As we’ve noted, there are certain areas of law – like immigration and narcotics enforcement – in which the federal and state governments have concurrent jurisdiction: both are permitted to regulate and prosecute. This can work well (it generally does in drug enforcement); but it can be counterproductive if the dual sovereigns work at cross-purposes.

In some areas, like immigration, the courts have ruled that the federal government is supreme (on the dubious but now well-rooted theory that immigration-law enforcement is primarily a federal responsibility). This means that the federal government has the power to preempt state action. Importantly, preemption is a power of Congress. That is, in an area of federal supremacy, states are prohibited to act in a manner that would contravene federal law.

Obama, to the contrary, took the position that states were forbidden to take action that contravened Obama immigration policy. This was brought into sharp relief by the administration’s conflict with the state of Arizona. Far from seeking to countermand federal law, Arizona sought to enforce Congress’s statutes. Yet, Obama took the position that the state was bound not by Congress’s statutes but by Obama’s proclaimed enforcement policies – even if those amounted to non-enforcement of Congress’s statutes.

This was a perversion of both preemption and prosecutorial discretion. As long as Arizona was taking action consistent with federal law, its enforcement measures could not be preempted. Moreover, even if Arizona’s enforcement policy was broader than Obama’s, that should not have mattered: as we’ve seen, a federal exercise of prosecutorial discretion just means lesser crimes are not targeted, not that they are no longer crimes. If Arizona took action against those lesser crimes, that was completely appropriate; it was filling a gap in federal enforcement, not defying federal law.

The obstacles imposed by Obama’s immigration proclamations bring us to the third legal abuse: the usurpation of legislative authority. In effect, Obama’s announced priorities became not guidelines for immigration enforcement but new federal laws. According to the administration, only those aliens who fit Obama’s guidelines could be prosecuted. The Homeland Security Department was instructed to halt enforcement action at the earliest possible stage – i.e., once it was understood that an illegal alien did not fit a priority category, all investigative activity was to stop, even though it was known that the alien was acting illegally.

In effect, the Obama priorities operated like law. They controlled what federal investigators and prosecutors could do, and they were used to block states from enforcing their own laws. In this, at least for as long as Obama was president, they supplanted Congress’s laws – a clear violation of separation of powers.

All the Trump guidance announced in Secretary Kelly’s memo really does is repeal Obama’s decrees. The memo essentially says: the law of the United States is back to being the law of the United States. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.