Trump Administration Intel – White Hats Confer With Reform Agents Within Political Islam…

The Last Refuge,  by sundance:

To understand the activity within any intelligence action any observer must do two things:

  • #1 You must stay elevated. If you try to get into the weeds you will be lost because your insight will be lacking specificity briefs.
  • #2 You must always reflect upon the recent historic context of the engagement you are observing. Including, most importantly, the engagements of the parties therein.

The recent example of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo traveling to Saudi Arabia last weekend, at the request of President Donald Trump, to personally present Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef with an award named after former CIA director George Tenet, is an example of the need for this approach.

pompeo-and-crown-prince

If you want to understand what’s going on, you must understand the recent relationship of the parties.  It begins with understanding modern political Islam.

Within “political Islam” there are various factions. However, again with the intent to remain elevated, let us just approach two larger congregations as: “Authentic supporters” and “Reform Agents”.

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The modern extremist elements fall under the category of “Authentic Supporters” or Salafists (politically, The Muslim Brotherhood).   The “Reform Agents” are represented by people like Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah III.

Within “Political Islam” these two elements (Authentic -vs- Reform) are fighting for the heart, soul, intellect and -in larger measures- the future of Islam in a modern world.

All the various Muslim factions fall along a continuum of authenticity to the principles of Islam. The more authentic the expression, the more violent and confrontational the group. The more moderate the expression, the reformers, the less violent… etc.

Over the course of the past decade each political side has surged and/or retreated during the larger struggle for the heart of those who adhere to the Muslim faith. The so-called “Arab Spring” was a surge of the Authentic group, and was empowered/emboldened by the foreign policy activity of exterior nations. In particular, the ideological sympathy of former President Barack Obama.

In the face of the growth of the various Authentic expressions, the Reform elements were in a retreating position attempting to contain the internal damage being carried out by the extremist groups. Reformers and more moderate voices were simply trying to hold on to the construct of a civil society amid the growing crisis created by emotional demands of extremists requiring adherence to Sharia, the authentic political law of Islam.

On January 19th 2015, three days before Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died from a lung infection, Egypt’s President Fattah al-Sisi was urgently summoned to met with him.

It was only a few weeks earlier (New Years Day 2015) when al-Sisi delivered an impassioned speech to a scholarly audience in Al-Azhar University in Cairo comprised of Islam’s most important religious leaders.

As the most notable and visible reformer (<- important link) President Fattah al-Sisi made the case for “a religious revolution in Islam that would displace violent jihad from the center of Muslim discourse“:

“The corpus of texts and ideas that we have made sacred over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. You cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You must step outside yourselves and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.” –LINK

el-sisi-in-saudiPresident al-Sisi’s visit to Saudi Arabia to visit with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was a meeting specifically requested by an aging 90-year-old Saudi King to recognize Sisi for his courage and leadership.

King Abdulaziz was intent on honoring his friend.

Saudi Arabia had been coping with the same internal conflict as all other Muslim nations who were caught between the internal struggle.

President Sisi left Saudi Arabia with the full support of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, and upon his death a few days later the new Saudi King Salman; who  honored Sisi in a similar fashion as did his brother.

With the support of Saudi Arabia, the demands of al-Sisi to remove the extremism of the Muslim Brotherhood gained traction. The Gulf States finally, and collectively, pressured Qatar to stop aiding/financing extremism.

Under pressure Qatar conceded and expelled The Brotherhood along with the five leading voices of leadership within the Muslim Brotherhood. Recep Erdogan gave them refuge in Turkey.

This was the origin of the turning tide, when the Reform Agents began to stabilize and reassert their politics and internal domestic economies – the underlying wedge issue used by The Brotherhood to stir turmoil.

Unstable Yemen is to Saudi Arabia -> as unstable Libya is to Egypt -> as unstable Syria is to Jordan… and so it goes.

Each unstable nation being stirred by the extremist voices of various agents operating under the umbrella of the destabilizing politics expressed by The Muslim Brotherhood.

Remove the destabilizing agents and the Reformers believe they will be able to stop the extremists. This is the longer-term objective of those within the fight inside political Islam.

Now look again at the nations of Trump’s visa restrictions and you’ll note the presence of the destabilizing agents: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran [and Sudan, Somalia].

This is the necessary backdrop to understand events as they unfold and relate to President Donald Trump and his own foreign policy objectives and engagements.

It is not accidental that newly appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo traveled to meet with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Muhammad bin Nayef, after a phone call between Saudi King Salman and President Trump took place.

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Director Pompeo’s visit was to recognize the efforts of Saudi Arabia in the larger fight against Islamic extremism/terrorism.  However, based on internal consumption, Pompeo could not be seen publicly in this regard with King Salman himself.  The visible face of Saudi Reform is the crown prince.

  • Jan 20th – President Trump takes office.
  • Jan 26th – President Trump has a phone call with King Salman
  • Jan 26th – On the same day, State Dept. Nominee Rex Tillerson visits State Dept. HQ and the media report on the resignation of many existing State Department personnel.
  • Feb 1st – Secretary Rex Tillerson is confirmed by the Senate.
  • Feb 2nd – The three Muslim Awan brothers are terminated amid accusations they accessed congressional intelligence committee computers without permission.
  • Feb 8th – FOX reports administration considering labeling The Muslim Brotherhood as an official terrorist organization.
  • Feb 11th – CIA Director Pompeo travels to Saudi Arabia to deliver thanks.

By all appearances it seems the Trump administration was given a head’s up of sorts as to specific [Muslim Brotherhood] agents within the U.S. State Department. And also with key Democrat staffers, in highly sensitive intelligence positions, amid Congress.

Additionally:

To wit, Egyptian media announce that Fattah el-Sisi will be traveling to Washington DC to meet with President Trump:

[…]  Informed sources said that the presidency is currently coordinating with the US to arrange a visit next month. The sources referred to the visit as the first official one for an Egyptian president to Washington since 2009, as the last visit since then was paid by former President Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will leave Washington next Monday going back to Tel Aviv. Israeli TV reported on Sunday that Netanyahu is planning to form the ‘Israeli-Saudi-Egyptian’ axis.  (read more)

It is ironic, but not coincidental, that no official Egyptian delegation has visited the United States since President Obama traveled to Cairo and started “The Islamist Spring” which led to the uprising of the Muslim Brotherhood extremism in Egypt.

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Irony, because now the Trump administration is facing the internal extremist purging of the Muslim Brotherhood embeds remaining within the U.S. government leftover from President Obama’s aftermath…. and now, President Fattah el-Sisi, the destroyer of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt comes to officially visit President Trump in Washington.

I hope everyone can clearly see what’s going on in the bigger picture.

After eight years of Obama’s intense political embedding of extremist sympathy in every aspect of governance, and culture – President Trump is now tasked with removing it, all of it; and finding allies amid those who have already mounted the same effort.

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It is also important to remember the political enterprise of The Muslim Brotherhood not only employs congressional staffers, but also has key connections to elected officials within both parties.   Representative Adam Kinzinger and John McCain are two of the more obvious sympathizers on the right side of the UniParty.

Again, reference the seven states of turmoil/concern and you’ll notice a pattern:

Senator John McCain and Senator John Kerry in Cairo, Egypt – 2011

john-mccain-and-john-kerry-in-cairo-on-sunday-egypt-stock-exchange

What came next?…  The installation of the Muslim Brotherhood:

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Senator John McCain and Ambassador Christopher Stephens, Benghazi Libya 2012

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What came next?…. The rise of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood

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Senator John McCain travels to Syria in 2013

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What came next?  Yup, you guessed it – Muslim Brotherhood (via ISIS)

Isis soldiers in Syria

 

9/11 Families Group: McCain & Graham ‘Stabbed Us in the Back”

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Breitbart, by Lee Stranahan, December 23, 2016:

Terry Strada, the National Chair of the group 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism says that her group was “stabbed in the back” by Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who attempted to cut key provisions recently in the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act aka JASTA, passed by Congress earlier this year after overriding a veto by President Obama.

JASTA, which took 13 years to pass, would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for their role in terror funding. U.S. intelligence has long suspected that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia financed terrorist groups.

After years of working to pass the JASTA, Terry Strada’s group believed they finally might receive justice when Senators McCain and Graham attempted to cut key provisions just before Congress adjourned for the winter recess. Strada told Radio Stranahan that McCain and Graham “were trying to sneak something in that would definitely turn everything around. It’s the defense the Saudis want to use.”

Strada explained that Saudis “want to be able to say, as you said earlier, ‘Yeah, we gave money to terrorist organizations—we’re not gonna deny it—but what they did with it isn’t our fault,’ and that’s simply not true.”

The 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism were also shocked because Sen. Graham was one of the early supporters of JASTA. Strada said, “Senator Graham was an original co-sponsor on the bill when it was introduced seven years ago. He’s been on the bill ever since. When it was being voted on to come out of the Senate back in May earlier this year he put a hold on the bill specifically to look at it close and make sure that everything was accurate and fine and when he lifted the hold, that’s sending a signal that ‘I’m fine with the bill, no issues here’. And the bill went forward.”

Strada added, “To come around now and try to do this is very, very upsetting to the family.”

Graham and McCain have been acting alone in their attempts to introduce a discretionary clause to the bill, added Strada, who said that neither Senator responded to the group’s criticism. “I haven’t heard anything from them,” said Strada.

Strada also spoke about her experience dealing with massive, wealthy foreign lobbying by Saudi Arabian causes that have opposed JASTA and repeatedly threatened the United States in the event of the bill’s passing:

So the Saudis have hired I think 14 lobby firms and PR firms in the Washington D.C. area, and they’re spending upwards of 1.4 million dollars a month to try and change our law that we already enacted. So they have this very strong lobby presence in Washington D.C.. And you know, economic warfare is always one of their threats. They threaten to not work with us any longer to fight ISIS. They’re empty threats, clearly the economic one, they would financially ruin themselves and we would barely be affected. And as far as the fight on ISIS goes they need us more than we need them, so I don’t see where that would ever come to fruition either. They’re desperate not to be held accountable for the 9/11 attacks so they are using every tool they have, which is pressuring people.

Strada makes it clear that the goals of family members of 9/11 victims working to put JASTA into legal effect are not primarily goals of retribution or revenge, but a forward-looking attempt to stem the tide of terror, saying that “even a lone wolf can be stopped if JASTA is effective and starts to stem the flow of money, because they will not have the ability to recruit like they do now. And that’s really what the families hope for in the long run, that we will see the tide turn and that Saudi Arabia, who is the biggest funder, will stop funding terrorist organizations.” [emphasis added]

Strada continued:

(Lone wolf terrorists) do not come out of nowhere. There’s a network around these lone wolves that’s never reported on. When they start investigating their laptops or their cellphones, they have been in contact with someone who probably a lot of times recruited them in a mosque. I’m not saying every mosque is filled with them but many, many, many are filled with people put in place to recruit and to incite, and it’s a very frightening thing. And again, if you go after the financing and the funders, eventually this lifeblood of money is dried up and gone. The ideology can’t live without someone financially supporting it, because terrorists don’t have 9-5 jobs, they don’t collect a paycheck, they are funded solely by their wealthy paymasters in the Middle East.

When asked about whether she felt Donald Trump’s presidency would be helpful to her organization’s goals of getting justice for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, Strada responded positively, “I do believe Donald Trump is on our side, he did vocally support JASTA during the election — it didn’t get a lot of coverage but he certainly was in favor of it,” and she added how disappointed she was with President Obama, saying, “We were hopeful when he took office, we thought okay, new administration. He ran on transparency, we thought we were going to get what we want — we didn’t. We barely got the 28 pages.”

In a recent article in Politico, Saudi Arabia admitted to a former U.S. official that they both funded terrorism and misled the United States about it in the wake of the 9/11 attack.

Follow Breitbart News investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism School founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.

UTT Throwback Thursday: John McCain Awards ISIS Leader & Iranian-Born Muslim Takes Over FBI WMD Program

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 1, 2016:

This kind of crazy stuff only happens at the highest levels of the United States government.  In different decades people would call it “Treason,” but in today’s world…nothing.

Here is today’s UTT Throwback Thursday.  A look back at some news that matters in this war.

John McCain Loves Him Some ISIS

US Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT), John McCain (AZ), and Lindsey Graham (SC) give AQ/ISIS Leader Abdelhakim Belhadj an award for being a wonderful human being

US Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT), John McCain (AZ), and Lindsey Graham (SC) give AQ/ISIS Leader Abdelhakim Belhadj an award for being a wonderful human being

To say Senator John McCain cannot tell the good guys from the bad guys would be the understatement of the century.  Abdelhakim Belhaj was the leader of Al Qaeda in Libya (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group), and the target of a rendition operation by the U.S. government.  Belhaj was returned to Libya and spent seven years in prison because he is a senior jihadi leader and everyone knew it. Before that and now, as the reasoning must go, he was/is a “moderate Muslim.”

To be “bipartisian,” Mrs. Clinton also had her own part in this.  As Secretary of State her office coordinated the shipment of weapons/arms from Libya to Syria that went to ISIS fighters.  Ambassador Stephens, who was killed in Benghazi, met directly with Belhaj.

Adbelhakim Belhaj is “moderate” – just like Abdurahman Alamoudi, Anwar al Awlaki, and all the rest who turn out to be Al Qaeda or ISIS after they have worked with the U.S. Congress, White House, and everyone else in our government.

***

FBI’s Assistant Director for The Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate was an Iranian Born Muslim

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Where do you even go with this?

Dr. Vahid Majidi is an Iranian-born Muslim.  He was the FBI’s Assistant Director for their WMD Program from 2006-2012?  And Iranians are very proud of him.

Don’t worry though, Dr. Majidi is no longer with the FBI.  He is now the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters.

Somewhere in Tehran, Islamabad, Riyadh, and elsewhere in the Islamic world, Muslim leaders must be laughing uncontrollably at how easy this war is for them.

Huma Abedin’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

Greg Nash

Greg Nash

The Hill, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Aug. 23, 2016:

The Clinton campaign is attempting once again to sweep important questions under the rug about top aide Huma Abedin, her family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Saudi Arabia, and her role in the ballooning Clinton email scandal.

The New York Post ran a detailed investigative piece over the weekend about Ms. Abedin’s work at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs from 1995 through 2008, a Sharia law journal whose editor in chief was Abedin’s own mother.

This is not some accidental association. Ms. Abedin was, for many years, listed as an associate editor of the London-based publication and wrote for the journal while working as an intern in the Clinton White House in the mid-1990s.

Her mother, Saleha Abedin, sits on the Presidency Staff Council of the International Islamic Council for Da’wa and Relief, a group that is chaired by the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Perhaps recognizing how offensive such ties will be to voters concerned over future terrorist attacks on this country by radical Muslims professing allegiance to Sharia law, the Clinton campaign on Monday tried to downplay Ms. Abedin’s involvement in the Journal and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Clinton surrogate group Media Matters claimed predictably there was “no evidence” that Ms. Abedin or her family had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that Trump campaign staffers who spoke of these ties were conspiracy theorists.

To debunk the evidence, Media Matters pointed to a Snopes.com “fact-check” piece that cited as its sole source… Senator John McCain. This is the same John McCain who met Libyan militia leader Abdelkarim Belhaj, a known al Qaeda associate, and saluted him as “my hero” during a 2011 visit to Benghazi.

Senator McCain and others roundly criticized Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2012 when she and four members of the House Permanent Select Committee Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee cited Ms. Abedin in letters sent to the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, warning about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the United States government.

In response to those critiques, Rep. Bachmann laid out the evidence in a 16-page memo, which has never been refuted by Senator McCain or the elite media.

The evidence, in my opinion, is overwhelming: Huma Abedin is nothing short of a Muslim Brotherhood princess, born into an illustrious family of Brotherhood leaders.

Her father, Syed Zaynul Abedin, was a professor in Saudi Arabia who founded the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs, an institution established by the Government of Saudi Arabia with the support of the Muslim World League.

The Muslim World League was “perhaps the most significant Muslim Brotherhood organization in the world,” according to former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy. Its then-General Secretary, Umar Nasif, founded the Rabita Trust, “which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under American law due to its support of al Qaeda,” he wrote.

That is not guilt by association but what federal prosecutors would call a “nexus” of like-minded people who shared the same goals.

A Saudi government document inspired by Ms. Abedin’s father explains the concept of “Muslim Minority Affairs,” the title of the Journal Mr. Abedin founded, and its goal to “establish a global Sharia in our modern times.”

Simply put, Huma Abedin worked for thirteen years as part of an enterprise whose explicit goal was to conquer the West in the name of Islam. No wonder the Clinton campaign wants to sweep this issue under the rug.

Mrs. Clinton has sometimes referred to Huma Abedin as her “second daughter.” Whether it was because of their close relationship or for some other reason, Mrs. Clinton has done much to further the Muslim Brotherhood agenda while Secretary of State, and can be counted on doing more as president.

As Secretary of State, she relentlessly pushed the overthrow of Libyan leader Mohammar Qaddafi, a dire enemy of the Brotherhood, even when President Obama and his Secretary of Defense were reluctant to go to war.

Along with Obama, she pushed for the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and his replacement by Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi.

She pushed for direct U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, including the arming of Syrian rebels allied with al Qaeda.

As I reveal in my new book, she worked side by side with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the umbrella group where 57 majority Muslim states pushed their agenda of imposing Sharia law on the non-Muslim world, to use hate crime laws in the United States to criminalize speech critical of Islam, in accordance with United Nations Resolution 16/18.

Their first victim in the United States was a Coptic Christian named Nakoula Bassiley Nakoula, the maker of the YouTube video Hillary and Obama blamed for Benghazi.

New Abedin emails released to Judicial Watch this week show that Huma Abedin served as liaison between Clinton Foundation donors, including foreign governments, and the State Department.

When foreign donors had difficult in getting appointments with Mrs. Clinton through normal State Department channels, Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band would email Huma Abedin, and poof! the doors would open as if by magic.

Donald Trump has criticized this as “pay for play.” But it also raises questions as to whether Huma Abedin and Mrs. Clinton were in fact serving as unregistered agents for foreign powers who sought to impose their anti-freedom agenda on the United States.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in 2014. But by then, the damage had been done.

Do Americans want eight years of a President Clinton, who will do even more to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and impose its agenda on America?

Timmerman is a Donald Trump supporter. He was the 2012 Republican Congressional nominee for MD-8 and is the author of Deception: The Making of the YouTube Video Hillary & Obama Blamed for Benghazi, published by Post Hill Press.

Senators: Obama Counter-IS Strategy Failing

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined by the committee's ranking member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., right, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., speaks during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 7, 2015, about Counter-ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) Strategy. Defense Secretary Ash Carter defends President Barack Obama's strategy to defeat Islamic State group militants amid blistering criticism from Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined by the committee’s ranking member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., right, and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., speaks during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 7, 2015, about Counter-ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) Strategy. Defense Secretary Ash Carter defends President Barack Obama’s strategy to defeat Islamic State group militants amid blistering criticism from Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, July 8, 2015:

President Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State terror group came under harsh criticism from senators on Tuesday who said the United States is losing the war by not doing more to attack the group.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said the president was guilty of “self-delusion” in claiming progress is being made against the ultra-violent al Qaeda offshoot, also known as ISIL or ISIS.

During a committee hearing with Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, McCain said 5,000 allied air strikes on IS targets have so far done little to stop IS advances.

“Since U.S. and coalition airstrikes began last year, ISIL has continued to enjoy battlefield successes, including taking Ramadi and other key terrain in Iraq, holding over half the territory in Syria and controlling every border post between Iraq and Syria,” McCain said.

“Our means and our current level of effort are not aligned with our ends,” he said. “That suggests we are not winning, and when you’re not winning in war, you are losing.”

Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, said restoring Iraqi sovereignty over IS-held territory in Iraq will take at least three years, and defeating the terror group could take up to 20 years.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) also said the president’s strategy against IS is failing.

“And I am deeply disappointed,” Sessions told Carter. “I don’t see the confidence in your testimony or Gen. Dempsey’s testimony. I believe we’re actively carrying out a strategy that the president has, and I don’t believe it has sufficient respect for the use of military force necessary to be successful.”

Additionally, Republican senators criticized the Pentagon leaders for adopting a counter-IS strategy that excludes a concerted military effort to oust Syria’s Bashir Assad from power.

McCain said the failure to deal with the Syrian civil war, where Iran, pro-Iran Hezbollah forces, and Russia are supporting Assad, is the greatest accelerant for Islamic State gains in both gaining recruits and on the battlefield.

“None of our efforts against ISIL in Iraq can succeed while the conflict in Syria continues, and with it, the conditions for ISIL’s continued growth, recruitment, and radicalization of Muslims around the world,” McCain said.

A U.S.-backed program to train Syrian rebels has been restricted to training fighters solely to battle IS militants and not the Assad regime. Fewer than 100 fighters have been trained so far, the Senate testimony disclosed.

The administration launched a Syrian rebel training program just three months ago that plans to produce a force of 7,000 volunteer anti-IS rebels.

“As of July 3rd, we are currently training about 60 fighters,” Carter, the defense secretary, said. “This number is much smaller than we’d hoped for at this point.”

The Pentagon currently has some 3,500 troops involved in training Iraqi forces and has conducted over 5,000 airstrikes on IS targets in Iraq and Syria.

McCain, however, said a large number of the aircraft sorties returned to their bases without dropping bombs because of a lack of ground spotters.

Dempsey testified that IS terrorism is one of several global threats that include Russian revanchism in Eastern Europe, Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, Iranian terrorist activities in the Middle East, and new technical advancements by North Korea, as well as a growing cyber threat.

“While our potential adversaries grow stronger, many of our allies are becoming increasingly dependent on the United States and on our assistance, and some of our comparative military advantages have begun to erode,” Dempsey said.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said the Islamic State is expanding its operations to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

“There have been a series of spectacular terrorist attacks in the Sinai peninsula,” he said. “The Islamic State takes credit for those attacks. We still have the multinational force and observers in the Sinai peninsula, almost 1,800 soldiers, 1,200 of which are American personnel.”

Dempsey said the Joint Staff conducted a vulnerability assessment of the Sinai and added some new weapons and communications to U.S. and Egyptian forces there.

“I’m confident that [American forces] are adequately protected today, but I fully expect that threat to increase,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey, under questioning from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) agreed that currently more terrorist organizations are operating in more safe havens, and with more weapons and people capable of striking U.S. homeland than at any time since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The four-star general also said IS is expanding to other countries outside Syria and Iraq.

Graham said IS is “recruiting more foreign fighters than we’re training [for the] Free Syrian Army.”

“The math doesn’t work. This is never going to result in Assad or ISIL being degraded or destroyed. The only way I see ISIL to be degraded or destroyed is for a ground force, regional in nature, to go into Syria,” Graham said.

The defense secretary said the U.S. objective in Syria is to force Assad to step down through political and not military means.

Carter and Dempsey said in their testimony that the U.S. ground forces in the region are limited to being used as trainers for Iraqi forces.

Four divisions of U.S.-trained Iraqi military forces deserted during the IS incursion from Syria into Iraq last year, providing both military equipment and a propaganda edge for the group.

“The lack of coherent strategy has resulted in the spread of ISIL around the world to Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, and even to Afghanistan,” McCain said.

“We have seen this movie before, and if we make the same mistakes, we should expect similarly tragic results,” he said. “I do not want to attend another hearing like this with your successors, trying to figure out a strategy to clean up after avoidable mistakes.”

Under questioning from Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) Carter said IS exercises “mixed” command and control over affiliate terror groups and individual jihadists in the Middle East and North Africa, and in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

“ISIL is more resilient because it is more decentralized and informal in that sense,” Carter said.

Carter and Dempsey met Monday with Obama at the Pentagon to discuss the administration’s counter-IS strategy that includes nine “lines of effort.”

They include military, diplomatic, and intelligence programs, along with sanctions and efforts to counter IS propaganda and recruitment.

Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, a former senior CIA counterterrorism leader, said in an interview that the administration’s Syrian training program is a waste of time.

Clarridge said the Pentagon should fund and organize a regional military force of Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians, and Persian Gulf militaries based on the Sunni Arab National Front for the Salvation of Iraq, also known as the Awakening Movement, that was developed in Iraq from 2008 to bring stability to the country.

“Then you’d have a real force that could whack ISIS to the ground,” he said.

Additionally, Clarridge said the Pentagon needs to stop sending all arms and aid through Baghdad and should follow Germany’s lead in sending weaponry directly to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.

Clarridge also said that the Obama administration is doing nothing to counter IS propaganda and recruitment efforts, he said.

“Everyone says you can’t win this war militarily. But where is the psychological warfare effort? I have people monitoring this day in, day out, and there is none, zero,” Clarridge said, adding that the current efforts is limited to a few people at Fort Bragg, N.C.

“There are people standing by with large capabilities, Muslims, ready to put their capabilities to work, if someone would organize it,” Clarridge said.

Additionally, no radio broadcasting is being carried out in Iraq and Syria, he said.

Carter said the key Iraqi city of Ramadi that was overrun by IS forces on May 17 needs to be retaken but not until Iraqi forces are better prepared for the counter offensive.

“This will be a test of the competence of the Iraqi security forces, and it’s a test that they must pass,” Carter said. “Our and the coalition’s involvement is to try to train and equip and support them to be successful.”

Dempsey said a counter attack against Ramadi was called off about a month ago because Iraqi troops were not ready.

According to a detailed situation report from Iraq by the contractor Falcon Group, coalition forces conducted 11 airstrikes on July 6, near Sinjar, the Makhmour district, Kirkuk province, Baiji, Haditha, Ramadi, and Fallujah. The strikes hit an IS tactical unit and destroyed a heavy machine gun and a building.

Reports from the region indicated that IS forces near Baiji, where a major oil refinery is located, carried out a major counter offensive against Iraqi forces, the Falcon Group said.

“IS elements also attacked in the oil refinery and now control 60 percent of the refinery,” the report said.

The Iraqi government denied the reports and said most of the refinery remains under Iraqi security forces’ control.

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Also see:

NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective Al-Qaeda Control

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Dec. 28, 2014:

A remarkable report by Anne Barnard of the New York Times this weekend confirms my multiple reports here at PJ Media about the increased alliance between the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra.

As Barnard reports:

In northern and eastern Syria, where Mr. Assad’s opponents won early victories and once dreamed of building self-government, the nationalist rebel groups calling themselves the Free Syrian Army are forced to operate under the extremists’ umbrellas, to go underground or to flee, according to Syrian insurgents, activists and two top commanders of the American-financed F.S.A. groups.

Two weeks ago I reported that Jabhat al-Nusra had used U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles in the rebels’ seizure of the Syrian Army’s base in Wadi al-Deif. The terror group posted a video showing the use of the TOW missiles in the battle (at ~3:50):

 

Nusra fans on Twitter were also noting the U.S. missiles being used:

Tow missile

Now Barnard confirms that FSA elements were fighting at Wadi al-Deif under the direction and/or control of Jabhat al-Nusra:

The fall of the army base at Wadi al-Deif, which straddles an important supply route in Idlib Province, proved the Nusra Front’s dominance, they said. Other insurgents had long besieged the base without victory. Nusra succeeded after seizing much of the province from Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, two of several groups that until recently, American officials were calling the opposition’s new hope […]

How exactly the Wadi al-Deif battle unfolded remains murky, with different commanders giving different versions. But reports and images from the operation make two things clear: antitank missiles were used, and Nusra claimed the victory. That means that the American-backed fighters could advance only by working with the Nusra Front, which the United States government lists as a terrorist group, or that they have lost the weapons to the Nusra fighters, effectively joined the group or been forced to follow its orders.

One commander of a group that received antitank missiles said that some F.S.A. fighters were forced to operate them in the battle on behalf of the Nusra Front, which had captured them from American-backed groups — a turn of events that he worried would lead the United States to cut off support […]

Abu Kumayt, a fighter with the Syrian Revolutionaries Front who said he fought in the battle under cover, gave a slightly different version. He said that groups with the antitank missiles fought alongside Nusra fighters and under their command — but that only Nusra and its Islamist ally Ahrar al-Sham were allowed to enter the base when it fell. Nusra, he said, lets groups vetted by the United States keep the appearance of independence, so that they will continue to receive American supplies.

Earlier this month I noted reports from the Los Angeles Times and McClatchy that U.S.-backed units trained under a covert CIA program were openly operating with Nusra in southern Syria while other “vetted moderate” groups who had received heavy weaponry from the U.S. were surrendering their weapons to Nusra or delivering them to another hardcore jihadist group, Ahrar al-Sham.

Perhaps even more worrying is the $500 million in weapons that the FSA has surrendered to ISIS and admissions by FSA commanders that they are operating with both Nusra and ISIS. And last week a German journalist who spent 10 days embedded with ISIS in Iraq and Syria told France24 that ISIS is obtaining weapons supplied by Western governments and being sold by the FSA:

Todenhofer went on to say that the IS militants are being armed by the West – if only indirectly – as Western moves to arm moderate Syrian rebels have backfired.

“They buy the weapons that we give to the Free Syrian Army, so they get Western weapons – they get French weapons … I saw German weapons, I saw American weapons,” he said.

“The best seller of weapons is the Free Syrian Army, which is financed by NATO, financed probably also by France, but at least by the United States.”

So it is no wonder that the administration is openly ditching the FSA.

Thus, the heart of Obama’s three-year policy in Syria has collapsed into absolute catastrophe. In an interview in August with Tom Friedman of the Times, Obama even admitted that the belief that arming the Syrian rebels would have changed the situation in Syria had “always been a fantasy.” And yet it was the fantasy they pursued.

But at the same time the Obama administration was quickly abandoning its own policy, Republican congressional leaders, namely John Boenher in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate, were finally buying into backing the the so-called “vetted moderates” wholesale, approving $500 million in September over the objections of sizable portions of their own caucuses in both the House and the Senate, thus necessitating Democrats support to pass the measure in the House.

Despite the wholesale turn of the FSA into the orbit of al-Qaeda, its chief congressional champion — Sen. John McCain — remains undaunted. Despite clear and undisputed evidence of the FSA working in collaboration with Nusra, and even operating U.S.-supplied heavy weapons in support of the Al-Qaeda affiliate, John McCain was meeting with FSA leaders in Turkey earlier today and calling for more U.S. support:

McCain mtg with FSA

Unfortunately for McCain, the prospects of the FSA ever recovering and being an effective fighting force against ISIS, Nusra and other jihadist groups, let alone the Assad regime, are remote at best, or as Obama himself has said, a fantasy. As even the Times now admits, the FSA is operating as a de-facto extension of al-Qaeda in Syria. And with clear supporting evidence to that effect, John McCain’s continuing call to arm and support the FSA begins to hover perilously close to material support for terrorism.

Qatar Awareness Campaign – Letter to John McCain #StopQatarNow

qatar_awareness_campaign_logoSenator John McCain
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator McCain:

This letter is being sent to you on behalf of the Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition.  The purpose is to inform you and the public of the activities of Qatar.  In light of your unwavering support for the Arab Spring, it is important to weigh your concerns for “democracy” against empowering the nation’s enemies.  The State of Qatar was a consistent advocate for the Arab Spring, precisely because they are the home of the terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Before even President Obama, reacting to events in Tahrir Square, called for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down, you, Senator McCain, did so.  “Regrettably the time has come 4 Pres. Mubarak 2 step down & relinquish power. It’s in the best interest of Egypt, its people & its military,” you tweeted on February 2, 2011.  Mubarak’s resignation was the first significant step toward destabilizing the Middle East, which has led to anarchy across the entire region and the proliferation of jihadi militias.

The power vacuum left by Mubarak in Egypt was filled by the Muslim Brotherhood, a revolutionary, stateless organization currently based out of Qatar.  In the coming months, there would be government sanctioned pogroms against the Coptic Christians, as well as other religious minorities, in Egypt: entire faith communities came under assault from Muslim Brotherhood gangs, and dozens of Churches were burned.

The Egyptian debacle was repeated in Libya, as NATO airstrikes deposed a then-U.S. friendly Muammar Gaddafi.  Once again, you publicly called for deposing Gaddafi, and supporting the Qatari-backed rebels.  Libya’s Christians were treated as brutally as Egypt’s, or worse, and today Libya is a failed state tantamount to Afghanistan under the Taliban.  It is a haven for murderous and revolutionary Islamists, smugglers, and roving, lawless cartels.  It poses a security threat to all of North Africa.

Even as Syria is under siege by the same ideological group of jihadis, who have proven beyond reproach to be genocidal psychopaths, you still call for ousting Assad.  While no patriotic American wants to support a dictator, the real question to consider is: who will fill this vacuum?  Recent experience forewarns that something far worse will replace Assad, and indeed they already control parts of Syria and Iraq – ISIS.

Each one of these experiments in capricious regime change has a common backer (besides you and President Obama) – the State of Qatar.  Morsi was a Muslim Brother President of Egypt, fully backed by the Al-Thani monarchy in Doha.  In Libya, Qatar had ground troops training al Qaeda “linked” rebels, and even deployed fighter jets.  In Syria, PBS has reported that the American government has trained Syrian rebels in Qatar!

There are more relevant facts to consider when evaluating your positions over the last several years concerning Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood:

  • You came out in support of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, whose family has been conclusively linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in Pakistan.
  • You were arguably the loudest Republican voice supporting the Arab Spring from the beginning. You called it a “collective demand for human dignity, economic opportunity and peaceful political change.”  Yet, it has led to more indignities upon humanity than anything in recent memory.
  • After the Egyptian military removed the criminal Morsi regime, an action you determined to be a “coup,” you urged the punishing of Egypt by restricting military aid to the new government.
  • In Tunisia in April, 2013, you met with Prime Minister Ali Larayedh. Larayedh is a member of the Ennahda Movement, which is a Muslim Brotherhood-allied political party.

Additionally, Qatar is involved in Taliban narcotics trafficking through a relationship with the Pakistani National Logistics Cell, and profits from operating a virtual slave state.  A recent press report explained how a Qatari citizen was the moneyman for an Al Qaeda group in Syria.  His alias?  Umar al-Qatari.

The QAC Coalition and petitioners ask that you consider the attached sourced report on Qatar’s activities.  The links cited are vetted and credible sources.  We hope you take the time to verify the truth of the statements for yourself.

After doing so, the Coalition of the Qatar Awareness Campaign calls on you to exert due influence on the Qatari government and the Muslim Brotherhood to cease any type of involvement in all forms of Islamic terrorism, slavery, and drug trafficking!

Sincerely,

Lt. Col. Allen B. West (US Army, Ret) – AllenBWest.com

Charles Ortel – Washington Times

Frank Gaffney, Jr. – Center for Security Policy

Pamela Geller –  Atlas Shrugs

Paul E Vallely, US Army (Ret) – Chairman, Stand Up America

Robert Spencer – Jihad Watch

Walid Shoebat – Shoebat.com

& the entire Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition.

Qatar Research Report: http://www.stopqatarnow.com/p/research-report.html
Sign the Petition! Visit www.stopqatarnow.com
Facebook: Stop Qatar Now
Twitter: @stopqatarnow

Select signatures as of 9/27.  The Qatar Awareness Campaign Coalition is comprised of more than 25 journalists, national security experts, publishers, and independent researchers. To view all Coalition participants, please visit the Campaign’s website.