Flynn’s plan to beat radical Islam starts with schools and social media

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn AP

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, February 4, 2017:

President Trump’s national security adviser wants to fight not just Islamic terrorists but the “radical ideology of Islam,” and he plans to do it from the grass roots up, starting with our children at schools while also using social media.

Dealing with the global Islamist threat on a tactical level through drone strikes and arrests hasn’t worked, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn argues, according to his largely overlooked 2016 book, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.” He wants to combat it more broadly, using informational warfare, among other things, on a scale not seen since World War II.

But first, he writes, the government has to overcome the political taboo of tying Islamic violence to the religion of Islam, including its sacred texts, which he says the enemy is using as a manual of warfare.

Last week, Trump asked Flynn to work with the Pentagon and other security agencies to draft a comprehensive plan to not only defeat ISIS on the battlefield but “delegitimize its radical Islamist ideology,” and have it on his desk by the end of this month.

Advance details of the plan can be gleaned from Flynn’s book. In it, the 33-year Army veteran proposes discrediting the “evil (religious) doctrines” motivating jihadists — namely the Islamic rewards for martyrdom (or suicidal terrorism) and the totalitarian tenets of Sharia law — using psy-ops and counter-propaganda, not just through federal government channels but also through “our schools, media and social networks.”

“If we can’t tackle enemy doctrines that call for our domination or extinction,” Flynn writes, “we aren’t going to destroy their jihadis.”

He says in the book that the government may have to draft digital media giants to help “wage ideological warfare” against radical Islam: “We can’t possibly have an effective campaign against Radical Islamic ideology without the cooperation of the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.”

He also wants to use radio and TV to conduct psychological warfare.

“It’s long past time for us to denounce the many evils of Radical Islam,” he writes, while highlighting the many defeats of ISIS and al Qaeda to show potential recruits that “the Almighty has changed sides in the holy war.”

Fired by former President Barack Obama from the Defense Intelligence Agency for taking such stands, Flynn vows to reverse the longstanding government practice of whitewashing the violent nature of the enemy’s faith through pleasant platitudes like, “The terrorists are hijacking a religion of peace” and other apologia. He calls such policies “Islamophilia,” and complains they border on appeasement.

“I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed,” he writes.

In his book, Flynn says the Islamist enemy studies our culture “very carefully” and excels at “identifying our weaknesses,” while we, on the other hand, have done very little to exploit weak points in their ideology. We suffer pangs of guilt just “calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization.”

That “failed civilization,” he notes, is Islam, and he says the government must publicly point out its failures, from depressed economies to high illiteracy rates to oppression of women, while supporting “a complete reformation of the Islamic religion” throughout the Muslim world.

He suggests working closely with the president of Egypt, who has called for a renewal of Islam. He also praises reforms pushed by Singapore to convince Muslims that there’s no requirement to follow Sharia in a secular state and that Allah hasn’t blessed jihad against the West. He also cites the half dozen countries that have banned Islamic headscarves around the world.

“We’ve got to get inside the minds of the jihadis” and understand the doctrinal justification for “the cult of killing, the worship of death” and why they, literally, “eagerly drink the blood of their dying enemies,” Flynn writes. What in their scripture brainwashes them into thinking, “We love death more than you love life?” Once that doctrine is exposed, it can be undermined to the point where it loses its potency.

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

In his 2016 book, Flynn writes ““I firmly believe that Radical Islam is a tribal cult, and must be crushed.”Getty Images

“People need to recognize the strategic power of words and pictures,” Flynn writes. “Ideas, and the words that express them, are very much a part of war, but we have deliberately deprived ourselves of using them.”

He proposes using a modern psy-ops unit to wage psychological warfare against radical Islam — not just abroad but at home, in the American Muslim community.

“The war against Radical Islamists must begin at home,” he writes. “Muslims want to apply Sharia law by using our own legal system to strengthen what many believe to be a violent religious law that has no place in the United States,” he writes, adding the government must stop implying Islamic and Western civilizations “are morally equivalent.”

“Let us accept what we were founded upon: a Judeo-Christian ideology built on a moral set of rules and laws,” he writes. “Let us not fear, but instead fight those who want to impose Sharia law and their Radical Islamist views.”

The West overcame the fascist ideology of the Nazis and Imperial Japanese with ruthlessly effective counter-propaganda. Likewise, defeating the jihadists will require discrediting the Islamofascist ideology that catalyzes them.

“There has to be an entirely new strategy,” Flynn insists, “because nothing we are doing seems to be a winning strategy” after 15 years of war.

“We can’t win this war by treating Radical Islamic terrorists as a handful of crazies and dealing with them as a policing issue,” he writes. “The political and theological underpinnings of their immoral actions have to be demolished.”

Sperry is editor of CounterJihad.com and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

GORKA: The Front Line of This War Runs Through Art Galleries in Ankara and Christmas Festivities in Berlin

Fox News

Fox News

Breitbart, by John Hayward, December 21, 2016:

Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, discussed Monday’s terror attacks in Turkey and Germany with Fox News host Bret Baier on Special Report.

Gorka said the attacks were “yet again verification that in this war, there isn’t a front line like there was in World War I or World War II.”

“The front line is when you leave your house in the morning. The front line is in art galleries. The front line is at Christmas festivities in Berlin,” he said. “The fact is, Europe is at war. America is at war, and the jihadis are already in place.”

“We saw in Ankara that this is perhaps the most grievous example of insider threat. This is a police officer. This isn’t somebody who came off a boat yesterday out of Syria,” Gorka said of the man who murdered Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov. “This is somebody who clearly was trained with a weapon, who was carrying a weapon. That is perhaps the most insidious potential threat that we have to face.”

Baier noted that the Islamic State’s publications were urging precisely the sort of vehicular assault that occurred in Berlin, as far back as early November. There were even early warnings specifically concerning attacks on Christmas markets.

“Yes, don’t forget that the San Bernardino attack occurred when? It occurred during a Christmas party at the office where the couple, Farouk and Malik, worked,” Gorka pointed out. “The symbolism is very important here. This is the infidel holiday that they’re attacking.”

“ISIS has learned from al-Qaeda’s mistakes,” he said. “Al-Qaeda was obsessed with spectacle, and with killing as many people as possible. Ironically, 9/11 was perhaps too successful – 3,000 people in 102 minutes. ISIS said, well, it’s not about more people or WMD. Let’s just do classic guerrilla warfare. You don’t even have to build a bomb. You don’t even have to steal a gun. Just get in a vehicle. Mow down the infidel.”

Gorka noted that “mow the infidel down like grass” was literally the instruction given to followers of ISIS in Rumiyah, the magazine Baier quoted from.

“And what did we see in Nice? Almost a hundred people killed. Somebody has just taken that to Germany,” Gorka said.

He said the reluctance of authorities in the U.S. and Europe to acknowledge acts of Islamic terrorism have “become a joke.”

“It’s like a bad SNL skit. I mean, you’ve all seen the memes on Twitter, you know, ‘Could it be terrorism? Could it be related to jihad?’ When a man is shouting ‘Allahu akbar,’ when you see a tactic that comes straight out of the tradecraft of al-Qaeda, of ISIS, being used, what are we waiting for?” he asked.

“It was interesting, a former intelligence officer who’s very active on Twitter said the longer the authorities don’t provide the name of the suspect, the higher the likelihood that it’s a jihadi attack. What are we finding again? Exactly the same in Germany,” he noted ruefully.

Gorka said it was “very obvious what’s going to change immediately” when President-elect Trump is inaugurated.

“If you read, the best advice I can give is, anybody who wants to know what’s going to happen, read President-elect Trump’s Youngstown speech. Not a lot of people paid attention to it. The Youngstown speech is his rhetorical plan for defeating the jihadi threat that is a global movement,” said Gorka.

“The first thing I can guarantee – having read that, having read Lt. General Flynn’s book Field of Fight, he is now the National Security Adviser-designate to Donald Trump – the first thing that’s going to happen is the total jettisoning of political correctness. This idea that the enemy calls themselves jihadis, and we’re not allowed to call them jihadis, that ends the evening of January 20th. The politicization of the intelligence cycle will be finished,” he predicted.

The full text of Donald Trump’s speech on terrorism in Youngstown, as referred to by Dr. Gorka, can be found here.

***

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Combating Political Islam

political-islam-captureClaremont Institute, by David Reaboi and Kyle Shideler, December 9, 2016:

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump voiced beliefs about national security that many Americans have shared since, at least, the early days of the Obama administration. The inability to speak honestly and coherently about the enemy and its ideology, Trump argued, has repeatedly led to failure: terror attacks at home that were not stopped; wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria that were not won.

Millions of Americans agree with Trump’s assessment, believing the Obama White House had, for reasons of political correctness, mischaracterized the terrorist threat, treating Islam as a secondary feature instead of the defining one. Any such assessment, however, necessarily implies this corollary: an accurate representation of the enemy based on its ideology would indicate a far larger threat to U.S. interests, encompassing more of the Islamic world than previously admitted by either of the past two presidential administrations.

On national security, Trump has a mandate from the American people to expand the focus of the Obama years—which fixates on the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, all of whom seek to forcibly impose an Islamic state—to a more comprehensive understanding of the enemy and the threat it poses. “We can beat them,” Trump’s nominee for National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), told Fox News in September, “but we have to decide that this is an enemy first.” This more expansive understanding, then, centers on an ideology that promotes implementing an Islamic political order as the sole legitimate method of religious and political expression.

As articulated by prominent Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary preoccupation of Islamist movements is “Islamic Awakening,” a revivalist strategy activating Muslims throughout the world to impose totalitarian Islamic law—first within a given territory, a Caliphate, then across the world. The imposition of Islamic law means restricting free speech and persecuting minority and non-Muslim communities. These goals being antithetical to liberal democracy, the success of Islamist political movements are inherently destructive of America’s vital interests.

Ideological Threat Focus: Islamism, Not Just ISIS

Among those who have supported a wider national security threat focus, opinions differ as to whether practitioners of this ideology—call it political Islam or Islamism—represent an aberration of Islam generally; a strain among many strains of Islamic thought; or whether it is, as Islamists themselves claim, the only faithful representation of Islam’s historical and legal practices. But few dispute the entity most responsible for advancing the notion of political Islam is the global, secretive organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, the new administration’s counterterrorism efforts are likely to focus on it. Trump campaign advisor Walid Phares recently indicated to an Arab-language newspaper that the incoming administration will designate this Islamist group a foreign terrorist organization, the goal of a year-long legislative effort led by Senator Ted Cruz. While the House version of the bill, authored by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, easily passed the House Judiciary Committee, Republican congressional leadership has stymied its passage. Reports from staffers indicate that establishment Republicans have expressed concerns about how such a designation would impact U.S. policy, both at home and abroad.

One difficulty in making the case for the Muslim Brotherhood’s designation has been a fundamental lack of knowledge about its role in waging terrorism. Since 1928, when it was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian, the Brotherhood has kept terrorist violence—or the threat of such violence—within its doctrinal toolkit, maintaining close ties to other sympathetic terror groups. As the 9/11 Commission reported, the Brotherhood’s comfortable association with violent jihadist terror stretches from establishing clandestine “Special Apparatus” terror cells in the 1930s—which are still active—to the deep influence of Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb upon al-Qaeda.

The Brotherhood also constitutes the ideological wellspring for nearly every current jihadist organization. As al-Qaradawi notes in Islamic Education and Hassan al-Banna, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that invigorated and promoted a view of Jihad that had lain dormant” “The movement of Ikhwanul Muslimoon (The Muslim Brothers) breathed new life into jihad: giving it a place of honor and prominence in writings; stressing its importance in lectures, meetings, and songs; and asserting its sovereignty over individual and collective life.” Where al-Banna provided inspiration and organization, Sayyid Qutb provided the roadmap. His 1964 book Milestones operationalized a plan for the reestablishment of totalitarian Islamic law through a skillful mixture of indoctrination and physical violence, all pegged to long-established concepts in Islamic law.

Any move in Washington against the Muslim Brotherhood faces, even more than a lack of knowledge, intense ideological resistance. For decades, a bipartisan American foreign policy consensus has endorsed engagement with and promotion of Islamists in an attempt to use them as a counterweight, to either other Islamic terror groups or larger geopolitical adversaries.

Seeking to engage Muslim Brotherhood officials or franchises has a long historical pedigree within our foreign policy establishment. As Ian Johnson documented in his outstanding history, A Mosque in Munich, America first turned to Islamists in the early days of the Cold War in order to nurture alternatives to the Soviets. During that time, however, many in the U.S. foreign policy establishment seemed to recognize that, ultimately, the long-term objectives of the Islamists were both anti-democratic and harmful to American national interests. An internal analysis from the period noted that leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Said Ramadan—then a guest in the Eisenhower White House who was backed by the CIA—was “a fascist” and obsessed with seizing power.

Unfortunately, such a blunt assessment of the U.S. government’s Islamist interlocutors seems as quaint today as a 1950s TV commercial. By 2009 skepticism of Islamists’ long-term goals had been thoroughly abandoned, as President Obama formally announced the full-throated promotion of political Islam as the legitimate expression of democratic will throughout the Middle East.

For the Obama administration, the Islamists’ goals, motives, and doctrines were immaterial. It followed that spasms of violent Islamic terrorism are merely the product of authoritarian societies in the Middle East and the citizens’ attendant lack of freedom to pursue their political aspirations peacefully. The most productive response, the foreign-policy class reasoned, was to encourage authoritarian rule by these countries’ leading opposition. Of course, then as now, almost all Islamist parties in the Middle East are either formally or ideologically linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Logic seemed to dictate, then, that support for democracy would, necessarily, translate into de facto support for various local tribunes of political Islam. Since Islamists were the immediate beneficiaries of a democratization policy, the administration was disposed to consider nearly all Islamist movements “moderate.”

Nevertheless, a bipartisan consensus on this issue turned this theory into a touchstone concept of Obama administration policy. Promoting Islamist groups has, over time, come to define the American national interest.

Reaping the Whirlwind

The failures of American foreign policy in the Middle East that Trump articulated on the campaign trail follow from these assumptions about political Islam. The Obama administration’s promotion of Islamism has not only failed to deliver its intended results, but encouraged terrorism, both international and domestic, while destabilizing Egypt, Libya, Syria and other regions vital to America. Long-time Sunni allies panicked as they saw the spread of the Islamists—whom they had once funded to operate against the West—now threatening, with implicit U.S. support, their own rule. Saudi Arabia banned Muslim Brotherhood materials from schools, and the United Arab Emirates designated numerous Brotherhood fronts, including ones operating in the United States, as terrorist entities.

Where the wave of political Islam met success, it was short-lived. Rather than promoting good governance and ending corruption, the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt led to a rapid expansion of jihad in the Sinai, with the Brotherhood leaders’ tacit support. The triumphant Islamists spent more time establishing Islamic law and targeting Coptic Christians than providing desperately needed hard currency, natural gas, and food to the afflicted Egyptian people. The Brotherhood and other Islamists rose to prominence in Libya with the assistance of al-Qaeda-linked fighters, but could not maintain power democratically, rejecting the Libyan election result that favored their political opponents. The resulting civil war has made that country fertile grounds for both al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters. In Syria, despite Western backing, Brotherhood-linked militias continue to insist upon close ties and cooperation with al-Qaeda’s local affiliates. And while the Islamic State has publicly criticized the Muslim Brotherhood for its relationship with the West, Israeli and Egyptian intelligence officials say the Islamic State in fact receives support from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood for its attacks in the Sinai.

Here in the United States, law enforcement has been overwhelmed by hundreds of terror cases. While the focus of the media and the Obama administration has been on the Islamic State and its ability to influence potential supporters via the internet, few have noted the repeated appearance of Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Centers and organizations in attacks in Garland, Texas, San Bernardino, and Chattanooga, as well as in connection to several would-be Islamic State fighters who were caught before they could act.

It appears the new administration understands this error, and will correct it. At the Heritage Foundation last May, Secretary of Defense nominee General James Mattis asked the blunt but essential question: “Is political Islam in America’s best interests?” He went on to demonstrate that the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian theocracy (respectively, political Islam’s primary Sunni and Shia embodiments) were inimical to our well-being. President-elect Trump’s nomination of Mattis suggests he holds the same view.

From their service under President Obama both Generals Mattis and Flynn understand the mistaken premise of the outgoing administration’s engagement with political Islam: the unfalsifiable wish that, through participating in the democratic process, Islamists will be transformed from a source of anti-American terrorism into a bulwark against their more militant brethren. Despite the dangerous results of this hypothesis, the Obama administration viewed it as a way to simultaneously promote democracy and redirect militants’ energies from terrorist to politics. Consequently, even domestic Islamists stopped being the targets of counterterror investigations, and were treated instead as partners in “Countering Violent Extremism” programs.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood “Too Big to Fail”?

While the Bush Administration was engaged in a military and foreign policy struggle in the Middle East, it was also investigating domestic Islamist activity. Following the 9/11 attacks, investigations and prosecutions repeatedly touched upon individuals and groups in the United States affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. A careful study of these early cases revealed that the Brotherhood provided the ideological basis for jihadist violence, but also material support. In the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) case, for example, the U.S. government outlined a decades long plan by the Muslim Brotherhood to provide material support for Hamas. There were other instances:

Not only did each of these cases, and many others like them, involve Muslim Brothers, but the interlocking web of conspirators and co-conspirators makes clear that that the Muslim Brothers are not a cog in the Islamist terror machine—they are the engineers who designed and run it.

Law enforcement soon found that some of these cases were political hot potatoes. Many of the subjects were wealthy, politically connected, well-regarded religious figures, or perceived as prominent within the Muslim American community. At fundraising events held at many of the most prominent Islamic Centers around the country, for example, the Holy Land Foundation successfully solicited millions in donations for the violent jihad being waged by the designated terrorist group Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological offshoot in the West Bank and Gaza. This happened with the knowing cooperation of some of the most prominent and influential Muslims in the country. By late 2008, the Bush Justice Department would prove at trial that many of these organizations and individuals constituted a conspiracy to fund Hamas. Prosecutors would label 306 of these as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the terror-funding scheme, listing organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); as well as individuals like onetime HLF employee Kifah Mustapha and prodigious Hamas fundraiser Mohamed al-Hanooti.

In the wake of the Holy Land Foundation case, those who take the Islamist ideological threat seriously believed that secondary prosecutions targeting Muslim Brotherhood leaders and co-conspirators intimately involved in the Hamas funding scheme would be a crippling blow to domestic Islamist terror networks. But there were no secondary prosecutions. There’s some debate whether those prosecutions were squashed for political reasons by the incoming Obama administration, or by career Department of Justice officials. Regardless, the absence of follow-on cases against unindicted co-conspirators left in place a vast infrastructure that provided millions in hard currency—as well the equivalent of millions of dollars in media and public policy assistance—to terrorist groups. Even now, much of the evidence acquired by the government against the Muslim Brotherhood and its network in the United States—a large portion of which was entered into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial—remains classified. Despite multiple requests in the name of legislative oversight, the Obama Justice Department has taken pains to prevent anyone, including Congress, examining it.

Perhaps the government considered the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S. “too big to fail.” For example, a federal judge noted that the government supplied “ample evidence” to link a Muslim Brotherhood organization like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to the terror group Hamas. Yet ISNA is affiliated with something on the order of one out of every four American mosques. How would prosecution of such an entity appear to the broader American community? How would the rest of the Muslim American community respond to an indictment? If the Muslim Brotherhood network in America and its allies were able to raise a political maelstrom over the conviction of Sami Al Arian, a South Florida professor tied to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, how much louder would a hyper-partisan media and an aggressive, social media-fueled activist infrastructure shriek if, for example, the organizing force behind a quarter of American mosques were indicted?

It’s no wonder that capitalizing on the government’s “too big to fail” assessment has proven to be an effective strategy of Islamist leaders in the United States, as pressure groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood routinely conflate their own front organizations and political goals with the totality of American Muslims. Regrettably, an increasingly uncurious media accepts this falsehood—and membership records for Muslim Brotherhood groupsmake clear it is a falsehood.

A New Way Forward

The new Trump administration must be prepared to rebut the inevitable complaints from self-styled Islamist “civil rights” leaders and their enablers in the media. It’s important to remember that this would be the case whether or not the next president orders the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization. The Trump campaign and national security team has withstood the overwrought allegations that his proposals target all Muslims.

Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization should give law enforcement and intelligence officials the tools they need to begin a serious, long-term investigation of the Islamist group’s network in this country. The new administration must undertake a genuine effort to map this clandestine system, and key organizational leaders should be made the target of legitimate investigation, and prosecuted as legally appropriate.

It will be difficult to immediately reverse a culture within the U.S. government that has favored engaging the Muslim Brotherhood over investigating it. Since at least the Clinton administration, the White House Rolodex has included officials from domestic Islamist groups whose names routinely appeared in the court documents of terror finance cases. Even more, the Obama administration has quietly removed many organizations and individuals designated as global terrorists from the list, undoing much of the work by counterterrorism agents who were responsible for our post-9/11 response.

Because of the Brotherhood’s political influence, which frustrated Bush-era prosecutions and halted them altogether under Obama, rolling back the Islamist group will require a joint counterterrorism/counterintelligence initiative. U.S. policy should treat all contacts with known and suspected Muslim Brotherhood members the way government personnel examine and report contacts with potential foreign intelligence services. Contact or association with the Brotherhood should be immediately disqualifying during ordinary background investigations for security clearances.

Additionally, a designation should provide added leverage for counterterrorism officials. Instead of approaching Brotherhood members and organizations as respected community leaders for outreach purposes either at home or abroad, the primary goal should be to acquire the intelligence needed to disrupt terror finance or prevent indoctrination. If necessary, officials can use the possibility of prosecution under the Muslim Brotherhood designation to secure cooperation, which would be similar to the way informants are treated when approaching other conspirators, such as crime organizations.

Unlike the prosecution of the Mafia however, a Trump administration will need to accompany counterterrorism efforts with a strong public relations campaign. Informed, articulate spokesmen will need to explain how relevant prosecutions were conducted, why they were necessary, and—perhaps most importantly—how they targeted the Muslim Brotherhood for its criminal behavior, not its religious convictions. Officials will need to be prepared to push back with facts against accusations of inappropriate discrimination. This, in turn, may require a more open approach to terror prosecutions, making relevant documents available to journalists quicker, while doing so in a manner that protects sources and methods.

Additionally, such a campaign to target the Muslim Brotherhood will require gathering more and better intelligence on the group’s ideology than the Obama Administration permitted. Since the U.S. government’s threat-focused counterterror training has been aggressively purged during the past eight years, accurate subject matter instruction will be the first step before earnest policy reorientation begins. Due to the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow Islamic extremists, training for counterterrorism and counterintelligence officials will necessarily address sensitive issues of Islamic doctrine and legal theory. Political correctness mustn’t be allowed to deny access to training based on demonstrable facts.

It Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better

As has always been the case since its founding—and is currently the case in Egypt today—the Muslim Brotherhood has responded to crackdowns by proclaiming that Islam itself is under attack. The group has galvanized its membership to conduct numerous violent assaults, usually under the identity of a “splinter” faction. We can expect that, should it be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization, at least some element of the Brotherhood will respond by seeking to increase terrorist violence against the United States. This will be difficult for a U.S. law enforcement infrastructure already strained by the Islamic State, but is a storm that can and must be weathered. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood remains necessary. The potential for violence must be weighed against law enforcement’s ability to take swifter action and develop a deeper, more accurate view of Islamic extremism operating in the United States and around the globe.

President-elect Trump successfully campaigned on the repudiation of the national security views of the Obama administration. With the failure of the “democratic Islamist” project, the time has come to return to the alternative: (a) the promotion of Islamists accelerates, rather than stifles, Islamic terrorism; and (b) the Muslim Brotherhood remains at the center of Islamic ideological extremism throughout the world. Any policy not prepared to abandon America’s promotion of political Islam broadly, and the Muslim Brotherhood specifically, merely perpetuates old failures.

Sharyl Attkisson Investigates the Cost of Terror

full-measure

Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, Sept. 8, 2016

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


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


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


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

American Conservative Union Discusses Iran Nuclear Deal

1169645321Center for Security Policy, June 19, 2015:

The American Conservative Union Foundation hosted an expert discussion on the possible ramifications of the impending U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. The panelists included Lt. Gen Michael Flynn (Ret.), Clare Lopez, KT McFarland and Michael Rubin.

You can watch the event here: http://www.c-span.org/video/?326655-1/discussion-nuclear-deal-iran

By Stephanie Routzahn, June 23, 2015:
On Friday, June 19th, the Center’s Vice President for Research and Analysis, Clare Lopez joined an elite panel of experts on Iran at an event sponsored by the American Conservative Union Foundation to a packed audience in the Caucus room at the Canon House Office Building. Also included in the list of dynamic list of speakers were national security expert, KT McFarland, Former Director of the D.I.A., Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), and A.E.I. Scholar, Michael Rubin.
     The panel held an illuminating discussion on the topic of Iran titled, “Iran Nuclear Deal: What Can We Expect?” The subject matter experts’ topics ranged from refuting the misguided claim President Obama and Secretary Kerry both assert that a nuclear deal is the only alternative to war, despite the irrefutable fact that Iran has an extensive history of blatantly ignoring calls from the international community to cease nuclear proliferation, causing mistrust towards possible Iranian concessions.
    KT McFarland lead the discussion by telling the audience, “We have assembled the greatest group of experts that we could find, and it’s not so much numbers as quality.” Posing a question about the claim coming out of the administration that it’s either a deal or war with Iran, she asked, “Is this a legitimate question, or is that a straw-man option?” She asked everyone who spoke to summarize.
     Lt. Gen. Flynn (Ret.) answered by articulating what’s at stake for America, and what the U.S.’s policy towards the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism is, and laid out four points on the strategic outlook on where the United States should be from the prospective of history:
This country needs clarity right now, instead of confusion. The second thing is confidence. I want my leadership to be confident in themselves. I don’t want the United States to appear weak. The third word is coherence, instead of discord. If you don’t contribute, you don’t get a seat at the table, Iran.  You don’t contribute to the greater good of humanity. The fourth is character. What type of characteristics do we want the United States to be known for? We’ve sort of lost what our consciousness is of what America is built on – lots of sacrifice.
   When asked about the agreement with Iran, Lt. Gen. Flynn (Ret.) expounded upon the implications of the deal, how the deal is causing America to take sides with the Shiites, and elaborated on what the implications are for the region going nuclear, and the future rise in the proxy wars between the Sunni and Shia communities.
   Michael Rubin followed with an excellent discussion on what one can expect on the outcomes from the P5+1 negotiations, and discussed the red flag warnings coming out of the regime, notably, Kahamenei’s call for heroic flexibility.
His office has suggested that (heroic flexibility) means a change in tactics, not a change in policy. When we look at the term, ‘heroic flexibility’, it’s really astounding that the State Department prides itself on cultural understanding, and doesn’t recognize the religious connotation of this term going back to the Imam Hassan. Ultimately, we are projecting our own goodwill on the Iranian’s side.
     Leading expert, Clare Lopez discussed in depth the extent of the threats posed by Iran, possible military dimensions, the character of the regime, the components of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and the current status of the negotiations. Clare Lopez ended the panel discussion with a call to action for what citizens can do, and how Congress ought to approach the deal.
Congress has the responsibility, and it took upon itself the responsibility when it passed the 
Corker-Cardin bill to take a vote on any ultimate agreement between the U.S. and the Iranians.
 A bad deal is worse than no deal, and we need to let our Congressional representatives know to vote 
down this deal.

Obama White House Covered Up Al Qaeda Threat in Bin Laden Docs

Obama-nostrategy-450x337Frontpage, March 6, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield:

Two obvious takeaways from this.

1. National security is such a mess because White House staffers are obsessively micromanaging everything with a political agenda in mind. Intel agencies, law enforcement and the military are given marching orders that make no sense and told to cover it all up.

2. We’re in this current mess because Obama needed a fake victory that was built on layers of lies which went unquestioned by the media. There will be a hell of a book in this someday, but considering how much more biased the media is, no one will read it.

This is how the Bin Laden intel files and documents seized from his compound were used.

In a speech commemorating the anniversary of the raid, John Brennan , Mr. Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and later his CIA director, predicted the imminent demise of al Qaeda. The next day, on May 1, 2012, Mr. Obama made a bold claim: “The goal that I set—to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild—is now within our reach.”

The White House provided 17 handpicked documents to the Combatting Terror Center at the West Point military academy, where a team of analysts reached the conclusion the Obama administration wanted. Bin Laden, they found, had been isolated and relatively powerless, a sad and lonely man sitting atop a crumbling terror network.

The White House was shaping the reports it wanted by shaping the evidence. This is the sort of thing the military brass usually gets accused of by the civilian leadership in wartime. Here it worked in reverse.

After a pitched bureaucratic battle, a small team of analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency and Centcom was given time-limited, read-only access to the documents. The DIA team began producing analyses reflecting what they were seeing in the documents.

At precisely the time Mr. Obama was campaigning on the imminent death of al Qaeda, those with access to the bin Laden documents were seeing, in bin Laden’s own words, that the opposite was true. Says Lt. Gen. Flynn: “By that time, they probably had grown by about—I’d say close to doubling by that time. And we knew that.”

This wasn’t what the Obama White House wanted to hear. So the administration cut off DIA access to the documents and instructed DIA officials to stop producing analyses based on them.

Obama lied. Americans died.

And there were also things there that involved our “allies”.

According to one letter, dated July 2010, the brother of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s current prime minister, sought to strike a peace deal with the jihadists.

Al Qaeda’s network in Iran is also described in bin Laden’s letters.

During the Arab uprisings in 2011, Obama administration officials argued that al Qaeda had been “sidelined” by the peaceful protests. Just weeks before he was killed, however, bin Laden’s men dispatched operatives to Libya and elsewhere to take advantage of the upheaval.

Nothing to see here.

Former DIA Chief Flynn Calls for Global War on Islamic Extremists

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The respected general tells Congress it’s time to launch—and fund—a war that will last generations. Authorize the use of military force against ISIS? Yeah. And then some.

The Daily Beast, Kimberly Dozier, Feb. 13, 2015:

The Obama administration’s former military intelligence chief is warning Congress that Islamic extremism has expanded in every way imaginable over the past year—and the administration he was once part of is not doing enough to stop it.

“According to every metric of significance, Islamic extremism has grown over the last year,” said retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Friday, in remarks submitted to the House Armed Services Committee which were obtained by The Daily Beast.  “We are at war with violent and extreme Islamists (both Sunni and Shia) and we must accept and face this reality.”

His remarks are a pointed attack on the Obama administration’s handling of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and a public airing of some of the frustrations that led Flynn to leave his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency last summer—a year early.

“There are some who counsel patience, arguing violent Islamists are not an existential threat and therefore can simply be managed as criminals,” he said. “I respectfully and strongly disagree.”

His comments also reflect frustration with the White House’s refusal to use the term “Islamic militant”—linking the religion with acts of violence. Flynn stated in earlier remarks to a group of retired special operators in January that only by calling the movement by its name can one martial the right kind of tools to fight it.

“You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists,” Flynn told the National Defense Industry Association in Washington last month.

Administration officials have said they reject using such a term at the request of Arab and Muslim allies who do not want to play into the Islamic State group’s aspirations of building a caliphate.

Flynn also took issue with that, railing against U.S. cooperation with Arab nations he says support militancy by supporting extreme versions of Islam—a dimly veiled reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar who support Islamic schools and charities beyond their borders that practice a strict version of Islam.

“If our so-called partners do not act in accordance with internationally accepted norms and behaviors or international law, the United States must be prepared to cut off or severely curtail economic, military and diplomatic ties,” he said.

The White House rejected Flynn’s comments.

“There is no question that we are at war those who carry out acts of terrorism in service to a corrupted version of the Muslim faith,” including al-Qaeda, ISIS and others said Ned Price, the National Security Council’s assistant press secretary. “The President has not shied away from this confrontation with those who would do us harm, and anyone who may be inspired by their hate-filled rhetoric, and we will continue to be aggressive in confronting them,” he wrote by email Friday, in response to an emailed copy of Flynn’s prepared remarks.

“Regardless of what you call them, at their core, these individuals are terrorists,” Price wrote, adding that after six years in office, “no one can doubt the President’s resolve to confront this threat. He’s made it clear that we are at war with terrorist groups—AQ and ISIL. He’s taken scores of high level terrorists off the battlefield—from Osama Bin Laden to Anwar al-Aulaqi and Abu Khattalah, the Benghazi plotter. Whatever others call these individuals, we call them our enemies, and we will continue to treat them as such.”

Flynn, however, is calling for a wider, worldwide campaign against militancy.

“We have to energize every element of National Power—similar to the effort during WWII or during the Cold War—to effectively resource what will likely be a multi-generational struggle,” he said. “There is no cheap way to win this fight.”

The Iraq and Afghan war veteran, who once served as intelligence chief for the elite counterterrorist force, the Joint Special Operations Command, urged going on the attack, rather than waiting for the enemy to launch new violence inside the U.S.

“We must engage the violent Islamists wherever they are, drive them from their safe havens and kill them,” he said. “There can be no quarter and no accommodation.”

Flynn said he supported Congress issuing a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force to fight the new threat, but said the legislation should be free from time limits and other restrictions to allow the military to fight the enemy as long as it exists.

Flynn’s sentiment was reflected by many on the committee including ranking member, Washington state Democrat Adam Smith, who sees the fight against the militants as a “long-term ideological struggle,” much like the 75-year campaign against communism.

But Smith caveated that, saying the fight-back had to include moderate Muslim voices.

“The Muslim world does not want the United States to show up and tell it what it ought to do,” he said. “We have to figure out how we can be helpful to support those moderate voices so that they can triumph, so that they can defeat these extremist ideologies.”

Flynn’s testimony was countered by one of his fellow panelists, Dr. Marc Lynch, a Mideast specialist from George Washington University, who said the administration’s campaign against the Islamic State Group is working.

“The momentum of ISIL (ISIS)…has been halted,” he said. “They’re no longer able to advance, they suffered a serious defeat in—in Kobani thanks to coalition air power.”

Committee chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said he hoped Lynch was right, but his tone seemed to indicate doubt, throughout a hearing which seemed mostly designed as a vehicle to hear Flynn warn against a sweeping battle with militants to come.

***

Former Obama DIA Chief: Administration ‘Struggling to Define’ Threat of Islamic Extremism

DIA Chief: Al Qaeda Ideology Rapidly Expanding

Pro-ISIL demonstrators in Iraq / AP

Pro-ISIL demonstrators in Iraq / AP

By Bill Gertz:

The terrorist ideology behind al Qaeda is expanding significantly—contrary to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign theme that declared the Islamist terror threat in decline, according to the outgoing director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“It’s not on the run, and that ideology is actually, it’s sadly, it feels like it’s exponentially growing,” DIA Director Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said during a security conference Saturday.

Flynn was asked about the controversy over Obama’s statements during his 2012 reelection bid that al Qaeda had been “decimated” by the U.S. war on terrorism, and that the group was “on the run” as a result.

Flynn challenged use of the term “core al Qaeda” to identify the group once led by Osama bin Laden and now headed by his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri.

“My belief—so this is Mike Flynn—core al Qaeda is the ideology,” he said. “Al Qaeda command and control is where the senior leadership resides. So al Qaeda command and control resides today, Zawahiri, over in the [Federally Administered Tribal Areas], Pakistan.”

Flynn said al Qaeda’s leadership is being challenged by the offshoot Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS, whose leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who was once in U.S. custody, is declaring himself “caliph,” or leader of all Muslims.

Other Islamist terror leaders also are gaining influence.

“We use the term ‘core al Qaeda,’ and I have been going against these guys for a long time,” Flynn said. “The core is the core belief that these individuals have.”

A large number of young people in Africa and the Middle East are being sucked into Islamist terror groups.

“These organizations that are out there that are well-organized, they are well-funded, they reach into these young people and they pull them in,” Flynn said. “And there seems to be more and more of them today than there were when I first started this thing in, post 9/11.”

The comments by the DIA chief, an Iraq war veteran who announced in April he will retire in the fall, highlight what critics say is failure of the Obama administration to target the Islamist ideology. Instead, counterterrorism during the Obama administration has focused on “kinetic” operations, such as drone strikes and special operations raids aimed at killing terrorist leaders.

Many al Qaeda leaders were killed. But the newer generation of leaders, such as ISIL’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and leaders of groups like Yemen’s Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, appear more committed to imposing Sharia law and annihilating non-Muslims.

New video of ISIL-perpetrated beheadings appeared on the Internet over the weekend. Dozens of headless bodies were shown in a video from Syria with heads mounted on poles.

Obama has made ending the “war” on terrorism in place since 2001 a priority. The administration has asked Congress to end the authorization of the use of military force that was approved in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Critics of the administration’s counterterrorism policies say political sensitivities aimed at avoiding offending Muslims are preventing military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies from identifying the nature of the Islamist terror threat, a needed first step in developing an ideological counter.

For example, intelligence analysts at several U.S. agencies currently are constrained from using the term “Islamic” to describe terrorism over concerns it will upset Muslim activist groups.

Read more at Free Beacon