House Acknowledges the Need for a National Terrorist Registry

IPT News, by Patrick Dunleavy,  

A bill that passed the U.S. House last week would create a vital tool to help the United States track dozens of convicted terrorists whose prison terms are nearing completion.

The Terrorist Release Announcements to Counter Extremist Recidivism Act (TRACER) would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to inform state and local authorities about anticipated release dates and the locations where the terrorists would live post-release.

It’s an idea the Investigative Project on Terrorism has advocated for more than a year.

Since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, hundreds of people have been arrested and convicted of terror related offenses.

Most were motivated by a radical Islamic ideology which calls for the destruction of the United States and Western democracies. The Bureau of Prisons and the Justice Department have struggled to develop a viable de-radicalization or post release program.

The bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., acknowledges that failure and offers a way to fill in the gap.

“TRACER would actually do the same thing [as a sex offender registry] and be providing notification that someone has been released,” said According to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

McCaul also wants a viable program “to ensure that radicalization is not taking place because it is.”

testified about prison radicalization in 2011 before the House Homeland Security Committee. Recognition that Islamic radicalization occurs in prison, I said, was a necessary first step.

I also encouraged committee members initiate a comprehensive program that included information sharing among federal, state, and local authorities. It is necessary component for public safety, and this bill will do just that.

The bill passed on a voice vote which may indicate strong bipartisan support. But it has not been without its naysayers. Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham University’s Center on National Security, demonstrated her naïveté when she said, “I do not distinguish them [terrorists] as any more dangerous than other people who might have been apprehended before they committed a crime or people who were convicted of committing a crime.”

It is absurd to think that an individual who indiscriminately mows down innocent pedestrians on a New York City walkway or who travels overseas to join a terrorist organization and fight against U.S. coalition forces is no more a threat to society than a third rate burglar or confidence artist.

Thankfully, House members did not agree. A companion bill in the Senate is awaiting action in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The very real threat of recidivism by a released terrorist or a prison-radicalized parolee must be dealt with effectively and the Tracer Act is a step in the right direction.

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

Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, June 23, 2017:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Kelly’s statements here.

House Report: ‘Unprecedented Spike’ in Homegrown Terror Threat

Homeland Security Committee

Homeland Security Committee

Breitbart, by  Edwin Mora, February 9, 2017:

The 2017 terrorism forecast for the United States and the rate at which Americans are being radicalized at home is “alarming,” according to a monthly assessment by the House Homeland Security Committee.

Citing an “unprecedented spike in the homegrown terror threat, primarily driven by the rise of” the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the House panel’s Terror Threat Snapshot for February warns that, “at this rate, the forecast for 2017 looks alarming.”

“Authorities continue to track a high number of homegrown terror plots in the United States, and the number of cases since 9/11 is nearing a historic milestone: There have been nearly 200 total homegrown jihadist cases in the United States since 9/11 (the figure currently stands at 193), a majority having taken place in just the past few years,” points out the House report.

The monthly assessment attributes the alarming rise in the terror threat to the pressure ISIS is facing “in its key safe havens,” noting that the jihadist organization’s “external operations plotting appears undiminished.”

According to the report, there have been at least 39 homegrown jihadist plots or attacks across 19 U.S. states since the beginning of 2016.

In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey predicted that, as ISIS came close to defeat in its home turf of Iraq and Syria, the number of terrorist attacks against the U.S. and other Western countries would increase.

Echoing Comey, Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement:

I am very encouraged that the Trump Administration is preparing to put greater pressure on jihadists in their safe havens throughout the world. But as they do, we can expect to see militants returning to the West to build new networks and to plot more deadly operations. I look forward to working with the new Administration on shutting down terror pathways in America. We must also remain vigilant here at home, because Americans are being radicalized at an alarming rate.

The Terror Threat Snapshot notes that the jihadist threat against Europe has also increased dramatically.

“European nations are moving forward with counterterrorism reforms designed to cope with the surging terror threat,” points out the assessment. “Yet despite improvements, the continent still suffers from major security weaknesses that make European countries more vulnerable to attack and put U.S. interests overseas at risk.”

Since 2014, there have been at least 166 ISIS-linked plots or attacks against Western targets, including 69 in Europe, 36 in the U.S., and 61 targeting Westerners outside those two regions.

The U.S.-led war against ISIS began in 2014, soon after the group announced the establishment of its now shrinking caliphate.

In the assessment, the House panel also notes that al-Qaeda and its ally the Taliban remain dangerous after more than 15 years of U.S.-led war against the terrorist groups.

“The Taliban threat has proven resilient and powerful in Afghanistan. According to an Afghan Defense Ministry official, the group is responsible for nearly 19,000 attacks throughout the country in just the past 10 months,” states the assessment. “Throughout that time, however, Afghan National Security Forces only carried out approximately 700 counter-insurgency operations.”

U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that a few thousand more U.S. troops would help break the current “stalemate” with the Taliban.

“We remain very focused on the defeat of al-Qaeda and its associates, as well as the defeat of Islamic State Khorasan Province, which is the ISIL affiliate in Afghanistan,” he added. The U.S. declared war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in October 2001.

Republicans Propose Bills Designating Iranian Guard And Muslim Brotherhood As Terror Groups

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Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, January 12, 2017:

Two bills reintroduced in the Congress late Wednesday designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz re-proposed the two bills in the upper chamber while Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul and Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart dropped companion bills in the House.

The bills, according to a press release, will direct the State Department to hold accountable both the IRGC and the Muslim Brotherhood “two foreign entities that espouse a violent Islamist ideology with a mission of destroying the West. Both bills require a report on whether these organizations meet the criteria to be designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and if so, will enable the U.S. to take action that could stifle the funding they receive to promote their terrorist activities.”

McCaul introduced the IRGC Terrorist Designation Act in the House, which asks the State Department to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization and Diaz-Balart filed legislation for the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, which urges State to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The passage and adoption of such legislation would be very different from the Obama administration’s relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly in Egypt, where the administration supported the previous Muslim Brotherhood Islamist government headed up by Mohamed Morsi.

“I am proud to reintroduce these bills that would codify needed reforms in America’s war against radical Islamic terrorism,” Sen. Cruz said of the legislation. “This potent threat to our civilization has intensified under the Obama administration due to the willful blindness of politically-correct policies that hamper our safety and security.

Rep. Diaz-Balart agreed saying a statement, “I am proud to once again work with Senator Cruz to introduce this legislation in the 115th Congress. The Muslim Brotherhood continues to support terrorist organizations that are responsible for acts of violence around the world.” He added, “This bill would impose tough sanctions on a hateful group that has spread violence and spawned extremist movements throughout the Middle East. This designation is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the incoming administration and the appropriate committees to ensure that this bill becomes law. We have an incoming president who appreciates the threat of terrorism and has vowed to defeat it. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is an important step in defeating violent extremists.”

The IRGC terrorist designation bill comes on the heels of reports that the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran announced delivery of 116 metric tons of natural uranium to the Iranian regime on Monday.

Rep. McCaul said of the IRGC legislation that “If a foreign organization looks like a terror group, operates like a terror group, and supports terrorism, then it should be called for what it is – a foreign terrorist organization.” He added, “As obvious as that seems, for years the IRGC has been allowed to operate clandestinely using front companies and illicit networks to evade formal designation. The Obama Administration has chosen to turn a blind eye to these activities for the sake of a flawed nuclear agreement which Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei stated publicly would not alter Iran’s behavior.”

How Rep. Louie Gohmert exposed House leadership’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ bill on the House floor

Bill Clark | AP Photo

Bill Clark | AP Photo

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, Sept. 21, 2016:

It’s a sad day when conservatives have to expend all of their political capital preventing Republicans from making the Islamic terror problem worse rather than uniting to fight the willful blindness of the Left. Unfortunately, that is exactly what some conservatives had to do on the House floor yesterday.

We already know what the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, as the body closest to the people, does NOT do. It does not use the power of the purse or oversight to fight for the people on any gravely consequential issue in a meaningful way, such as refugees, immigration enforcement, Obamacare, Iran, etc. But what does it do with all that time in Washington?

If you answered “sitting on the ball and running out the clock,” you have correctly accounted for everything Republicans do in a given week.

Late yesterday afternoon, Republicans voted on a whopping 35 suspension votes. There are another 14 to come today. Suspension votes were designed for legitimately non-controversial issues, such as the naming of post offices, whereby the bill is brought to a vote with no committee action. These bills are subject to limited debate and win passage so long as they garner a two-thirds majority. Instead of using this procedural move as an exception to passing legislation, Republicans have been using the suspension calendar as the main course of their agenda; pushing banal or often liberal bills through without scrutiny. The practice itself is offensive because most congressional offices don’t have the time to analyze so many off-topic bills on a variety of issues. Moreover, Republicans chastised the Pelosi Congress for spending most of their time on vanity issues instead of addressing the core problems with our economy and security.

Initially, House leadership planned to ram these bills through by voice vote. Doing so would not have required a recorded vote. While some of the bills covered the naming of post offices, others created new programs and should have required scrutiny and input from the membership. One bill, for example, mandated that all public bathrooms have change tables for babies. Another bill expanded Medicaid programs, even though we already spend $365 billion on this behemoth which does nothing for upward mobility, but rather perpetuates a need for its own existence. To protest this action, Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas (A, 96%), Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. (A, 91%), Justin Amash, R-Mich. (A, 96%), and several others stood on the floor throughout the day to demand roll call votes.

But one bill, which was rigorously protested by Gohmert, deserves a special mention. As part of House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul’s, R-Texas (F, 58%) obsession with throwing money at the jihad problem instead of addressing the willful blindness at a policy level, he sponsored a suspension bill (H.R. 5859) to create a new $195 million counterterrorism grant program. DHS already spends $1.6 billion on wasteful programs to train local law enforcement, but as we’ve noted before, much of those funds actually exacerbate the problem because they go towards “Countering Violent Extremism” programs. They literally empower the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups to train local law enforcement in Islamophobia instead of spotting jihadists.

Facing criticism for previous CVE bills, McCaul got smart and took out all references to CVE. Supporters of the bill claim that the money will go directly to law enforcement and does not involve CVE. The problem is that the bill still requires applicants to develop a plan to “work with community partners, ”which, in this sphere of work — especially under the current DHS —  is heavily influenced by groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Furthermore, why are Republicans acting like Democrats and throwing money at a policy problem? It’s like responding to a raging fire with a hose of coins instead of a hose full of water. It’s like Democrats spending $1.1 billion to fight Zika (when we already have unspent funds) and at the same time banning pesticides.

That we’ve brought in thousands of jihadists and that the FBI has allowed all of the recent terrorists to slip through their crosshairs is not the result of a lack of funding, it’s a result of willful blindness — the very willful blindness that is fostered by the groups that would be subcontracted under these programs. As Gohmert asked on the House floor, what is the purpose of throwing money at programs that train law enforcement to spot the Islamophobe instead of the jihadist?

Ironically, when McCaul called up the bill, he had Democrat Rep. Donald Payne Jr. D-N.J. (F, 16%) speak on the floor in favor of the bill because liberals support it. It’s an easy way not to talk about the real problem — CVE, the Muslim Brotherhood, mass migration and refugees, etc. In comes Louie Gohmert and claims time in opposition against “his own party” and absolutely demolishes the entire premise of the bill. It’s worth watching his full speech:

Gohmert made a simple demand: that if this bill is genuinely not about the CVE agenda, why not attach an amendment to prohibit any funding from being awarded to groups listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial?

The House will finish all of the roll call votes today (along with an additional 14 suspension votes) and will likely pass this bill with overwhelming support. Senate conservatives would be wise to put a hold on this bill and refuse to fast-track it to the Senate floor unless the limiting rider is placed in the bill.

In many respects, the activity on the House floor yesterday afternoon embodies the divide within the party. Mainline Republicans refuse to confront Democrats on important issues, spending most of their time with banal and liberal bills that offer the palest of pale pastel differences between the parties. Meanwhile, conservatives like Gohmert and Huelskamp fight the lonely battles for We the People.

The 3 flaws in Rep. McCaul’s plan to secure the homeland

Carolina K. Smith MD | Shutterstock

Carolina K. Smith MD | Shutterstock

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz and Nate Madden, Sept. 21, 2016:

It’s impossible to craft a solution to a security threat when policy-makers refuse to identify the nature of the threat, its source, and its threat doctrine. Given that Democrats refuse to even recognize any correlation between any form of Islam and Jihad, their policies reflect a perfectly consistent and unvarnished willful blindness of the modern jihadist threat. In releasing the House GOP’s plan to combat Islamic terror, however, Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas. (F, 58%) exhibits the same systemic misdiagnosis of the problem, albeit one that is a step or two closer to the truth than the Democrats.

Yesterday, Chairman McCaul unveiled “A National Strategy to Win the War against Islamist Terror.” While the plan at least references Islamic terror as the key threat and very broadly and generally outlines worthy end-goals, the overarching outline has two fatal flaws.

  • It still refuses to name names when it comes to specific threats and;
  • The overall policy objectives, strategies, and suggestions, are overly general, almost vacuous, and obfuscate the true common sense path forward screaming out for much-needed attention from our political leaders.

This all stems from McCaul’s refusal to identify the specific threat of mass Sharia-adherent immigration, unreformed-Islam in general, and the fifth column that operates within this country to ensure that Muslim communities become disenchanted with America’s constitutional system of government.

The introduction sets the tone for the entire policy paper. McCaul asserts that “Islamist terrorists have perverted a major religion into a hateful worldview, and while most Muslims do not share their beliefs, their influence is spreading like wildfire.” While this definitely sounds more refreshing than the Democrat refusal to mention Islam at all, it is still a factually troubled statement because it completely divorces the problem from anything inherent in the practice of the religion itself by those who strictly adhere to Sharia. That is not a small group of people perverting a religion and it’s not isolated to terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. While ISIS’s successful propaganda campaign has definitely fanned the flames and provided Sharia-adherents with a fulfillment of the caliphate, the problem existed long before 2013 and will continue after the caliphate collapses.

McCaul continues down this false narrative of divorcing “terrorists” (the scary network people abroad) from the general population of Sharia-supporting Muslims already living in America or those who seek to immigrate: “Terrorists are trying to send operatives to our shores and radicalize new ones in U.S. communities.”

Once again, McCaul believes that the threat is limited to potential infiltration of known terror networks into immigrant or native Muslim populations, completely disregarding the inherent threat of large populations of Sharia-adherents clustered together in the West. It’s as if McCaul can’t find Europe on a map.

Moreover, McCaul completely ignores the fact that civilization jihad is being waged on our shores, within the government, and within our political class by the Muslim Brotherhood to radicalize Muslim communities and marginalize reformists. They don’t need to send operatives to our shores when Hamas fundraisers are already here, obtaining security clearances and downright training our law enforcement in “counter terrorism.”

While this is not the bold Hillary/Obama form of willful blindness, it presents us with Bush 2.0, a woefully inadequate approach – especially after eight years of Obama’s malfeasance.

The willful blindness in identifying the threat and its doctrine manifests in many of the polices laid out by the report:

Immigration/Refugees

McCaul’s report speaks of the need for better “vetting” of immigrants. He even mentions researching an applicant’s social media posting to see if they have pledged support to a terror group. But foundationally, he has no inherent problem with the record-high immigration from the Middle East. While this approach is one step ahead of the Obama blindness, in which applicants have a right to “privacy” from DHS officials investigating their social media activity, it misses the point. This is not merely about vetting for known individual terrorists or those espousing support for terrorist networks. This is about those who subscribe to the ideology that cultivates the climate of homegrown terror in the family, neighborhood, and community.

Take the case of Somali immigration, for example. We have admitted well over 100,000 Somali refugees over the past two decades — in contravention to America’s national interests on any level. Dozens from the Minneapolis community have been charged with terrorism-related activities, and statements from the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota indicate that there is a culture that runs much deeper than those numbers suggest. Was this something we could have weeded out through “vetting” 15-25 years ago? Perhaps in a few cases. But for the most part, this is a cumulative problem inherent in mass migration from dangerous Islamic countries.

This is the enduring lesson from the jihadists of Boston, Ft. Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, Orlando, and the pair of Somali and Afghani immigrants who perpetrated attacks this past weekend. Typically, the parents will not engage in terrorism. Nonetheless, they cluster in communities that adhere to Sharia and are educated through Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. The attackers in each of these cases were the second generation; the children brought to America by their parents or born on American soil. McCaul’s plan to look myopically for connections or allegiance to a specific terror group might save a few more lives than under the Obama Administration, but it fails to identify the core of the problem and the enduring lessons from Europe.

Prison jihadism

To its credit, the report rightly warns that our prisons have become veritable jihadist breeding grounds, but it declines to name the biggest contributor to that reality. “As the number of convicted homegrown terrorists grows, so does the risk that our prisons will become wellsprings of fanaticism,” it reads. The report continues,

The federal government must examine non-governmental rehabilitation options for convicted terrorists to prevent more individuals from entering the prison system primed to spread their hateful ideology. The Bureau of Prisons should also take steps to combat prison radicalization, including proactively monitoring known extremists and putting measures in place to prevent them from inspiring fellow inmates to embrace terror.

One can only hope the federal government would be watching for groups with ties to organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. Or how about the Islamic Society of North America, which was found on a list of Chaplaincy Endorsers provided by the federal government earlier this year. However, without making that clear, we cannot expect the federal government to do just that.

Thirteen years ago, the FBI arrested Abdurahman Alamoudi,the man responsible for establishing the entire Muslim chaplaincy program within the Bureau of Prisons, for funding Al Qaeda. In 2003, Chuck Schumer railed against the Bush administration for doing nothing to investigate all the people Alamoudi appointed (more on this from Ben Weingarten’s article yesterday). What is McCaul doing to this very day to go after the Muslim Brotherhood in the chaplaincy?

Terrorist travel

Here, again, the report confronts us with a premise that, as a baseline, nobody can find much fault. However, in doing so, the report muddles the details. It rightly states that jihadists leaving the United States to visit high-risk countries is a massive security concern, but says very little substantively to directly confront the problem. Perhaps the worst part of the report is that it calls on the Obama administration — which did a phenomenal job of enlisting Muslim Brotherhood affiliates for its ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ program — to develop a plan to stop jihadists from re-entering the United States. It says nothing of the plans already before Congress, like the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which would strip the citizenship of anyone who leaves to train with a foreign terror organization.

Instead, it says, “The White House should produce a strategy to combat terrorist travel and to prevent Americans from leaving to join terrorist organizations.” This is nothing short of laughable, given Obama’s track record.

Conclusion

McCaul is absolutely correct to observe that, fifteen years after 9/11, our counterterrorism policies have failed miserably. But they have failed because we didn’t accurately identify the threat confronting us, and that willful blindness did not begin with the Obama administration. Until political correctness is put aside and the threat is accurately identified, policymakers will continue missing the target with their solutions. This isn’t to say that it’s completely errant, however. Make no mistake, while McCaul’s proposals are far closer to the mark than anything we’ve seen from the Obama Administration thus far, they’re just far enough off of it to still be dangerous. And given McCaul’s prominent role in advising Donald Trump on homeland security, that should concern everyone who wants a bold change in direction.

SOME GOOD NEWS: Homeland Security Bill Will Target Muslim Brotherhood by Name

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CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, August 2, 2016:

In mid-July Rep. Rep. Mark Meadows (R.-N.C.) announced that conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus appear to have reached a deal with Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, over McCaul’s signature bill H. R. 5611, known as the “Homeland Safety and Security Act.”

McCaul’s bill had riled conservative House members and critics of the Obama Administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program for providing millions of dollars to create a CVE office in Department of Homeland Security, and for failing to focus on Islamic terrorism in favor of the generic Administration preferred nomenclature of “violent extremism.”

The bill was then amended to include references to “radical Islam” and Islamic terrorism to replace generic extremism language, as a nod to critics. But these changes were largely textual, not structural, and didn’t address concerns that Countering Violent Extremism funds would be directed to Muslim community organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and terror finance.

Rep. Meadows told Breitbart News on July 11th of a recent conference with Homeland Security Chairman McCaul, Rep. Scott Perry and Rep. Barry Loudermilk where the decision was reached to update the bill to include a number of conservative priorities.

An agreement was reached to include language to direct the U.S. State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Designation of the Brotherhood is also the subject of another bill authored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart in the House and currently supported with 64 co-sponsors, and being included as part of a Homeland Security legislative package may be the designation bill’s best hope for passage.

Additionally, H.R. 5611 will also, according to Meadows, include language prohibiting unindicted co-conspirators in the landmark Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Trial from participating in CVE grant programs.

These are issues of great concern to critics of CVE, who have repeatedly pointed out that CVE participants from the Muslim community have included Muslim Brotherhood groups, including those led or founded by unindicted co-conspirators.

An example of this includes 2010 DHS Homeland Security Advisory group member Mohamed Magid, a frequent visitor to the Obama White House, past president and executive council member of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an HLF unindicted co-conspirator. A Federal judge noted that the U.S. government had supplied “ample evidence” during the Holy Land Foundation trial for associating ISNA with the terrorist group Hamas.

Other examples include the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), a CVE partner for the city of Boston, one of the three “model cities” represented by the Obama Administration’s CVE effort.  ISB was founded by convicted Al Qaeda financier Adurrahman Alamoudi, and included as trustees Yusuf Al Qaradawi, and Jamal Badawi, all three of which were unindicted co-conspirators, and has been the mosque of choice for multiple terrorists including the Boston Marathon bombers.

These changes are major improvements over the original McCaul bill, and the Chairman should be applauded for accepting the constructive criticism for the betterment of the bill. The agreement over H.R. 5611 would represent an injection of sanity into the Obama Administration’s otherwise deeply flawed CVE program.

Challenges remain, including the bill’s inclusion of a ‘No Fly/No Buy” style program, which invokes the ire of constitutionalists and 2nd Amendment advocates.

Additionally, both the prohibition against Holy Land Foundation unindicted co-conspirators in CVE grant programs, and pressuring the State Department on the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood are amendments likely be extremely unpopular in the Senate. House Republicans will need to hold the line in any future conference committee in order to see they remain in the final version.

Even if the bill should pass and reach the President, it would require an engaged and knowledgeable Congress to hold the Obama Administration, and subsequent administrations, accountable for their positions, and tough oversight to insure they are upheld.

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