Smearing Trump’s national-security braintrust

Donald Trump and Sebastian Gorka. Reuters; Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, March 21, 2017:

No, Sebastian Gorka is not a goose-stepping Nazi.

This was a revelation to the writers and editors of The Forward, who all but accused him of being one last week, and to the publications that picked up and spread this juicy story before it was debunked by Liel Liebovitz at Tablet magazine. (At issue was whether Gorka is a secret member of a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazis during World War II. He categorically denies it.)

The personal attacks aimed at Gorka and Michael Anton, both key national-security aides to President Trump, aren’t the only false stories in the left’s smear campaign against these two.

They have been painted in outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Politico and The Atlantic as Islamophobic hardliners hellbent on dragging us into more Mideast wars. But that bears little resemblance to their writing, which the Trump haters haven’t bothered to explore in any depth.

A closer reading of their voluminous writings reveals a cold-eyed realism about global affairs vs. the wild-eyed “extremism” portrayed by the media.

Gorka has cautioned against using “inflammatory” religious terms to describe even terrorism done in the name of Islam, arguing in his largely overlooked Ph.D. dissertation that it offends “law-abiding Muslims everywhere.” Also in his 240-page dissertation, Gorka calls a policy of exporting democracy “totally wrong-headed,” especially in the Middle East. “Any notion that concepts of democracy are universal must be discarded.”

“There is much evidence beyond the core tenets of the Quran and the Muslim world that suggests that our culture has been consciously rejected by other parts of the globe,” he explained, adding that promoting our brand of democracy in those regions often leads to “instability.”

Gorka, whose father was tortured by the Communists as a Hungarian freedom fighter, calls the harsh US interrogation techniques used against Iraqi prisoners a “scandal.” Abu Ghraib, he wrote in 2007, “has provided grist to the mills of the propaganda machine of Salafists.”

Anton, meanwhile, has argued for a middle path between “paleo-isolationism and neocon overreach.”

“Among the many reasons to be hopeful about President Trump’s foreign policy is that he seems to understand that correcting the errors of the neo-interventionists does not require adopting those of the paleo-isolationists,” Anton argues in the current issue of American Affairs Journal.

Both he and Gorka part ways with isolationists like Pat Buchanan when it comes to dealing with Iran. They agree it’s in America’s interest to intervene to deny Tehran nukes. But toppling dictators simply for the sake of promoting democracy is a fool’s errand, the two realists argue.

“In some regions, democracy also correlates highly with instability, which breeds war and chaos that are antithetical to American interests,” Anton writes, adding that opening elections often installs tyrannies worse than what preceded the “democracy” (as with Hamas in the West Bank and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt).

When it comes to battling global terrorism, Gorka knows that “we cannot realistically hope for a perfect victory” against jihadists. At the same time, he asserts that we have to do more than the “whack-a-mole” strategy of the past eight years. The ISIS “caliphate” proves the folly of such a reactionary approach.

Victory demands a more comprehensive strategy, starting with recognizing the connection between Islam and terrorism. While “we are not at war with Islam,” says Gorka, who studied theology at the University of London, our jihadist enemy is using Islamic doctrine to justify its actions. Key to defeating it is understanding that threat doctrine.

A cohesive strategy also means preventing ISIS and other terrorist groups from using our immigration policy as a Trojan Horse to sneak jihadists inside our borders.

Anton, who holds two masters degrees and worked previously (2001-05) at the National Security Council, calls “terrorism and mass illegal immigration” the “two biggest threats of our time.” He’s right, and adjusting foreign policy to respond to them is hardly “xenophobic.” As he notes, “The first priority of every state is to protect its own safety and the safety of its citizens.”

For nearly a decade, Islamofascists have been on the ascendancy around the world. Acts of jihadist terror, aided by liberal immigration policies, have multiplied in Europe. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the most vocal critics of the Trump Doctrine and its architects are the architects or cheerleaders of the failed doctrine it seeks to replace.

Paul Sperry, a former Hoover Institution fellow, is author of several books on national security.

Gaffney defiant in the face of mainstream media attacks

Center for Security Policy, by Frank Gaffney, March 21, 2017:

Extract from Secure Freedom Radio, 20 March 2017:

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I want to take a few minutes for what is known in government as a “point of personal privilege.” It’s what you do when someone attacks you and you need to set the record straight.

In my case, reporters for prominent national publications have gone after me as a way of attacking Donald Trump and his senior subordinates. Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, Eli Lake of Bloomberg, Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post and most recently Peter Beinart of the Atlantic have largely ignored the substance of lengthy interviews I have given them, in order to vilify me and the work we do at the Center for Security Policy.

In each case, it’s clear these journalists don’t approve of our research and the fact that first Candidate Trump and President Trump have arrived at similar conclusions.

As I told each of these reporters, that research has demonstrated several realities:

  • The authorities of Islam contend that the practice of their faith requires abject adherence to a political, legal and military doctrine they call Sharia.
  • It has a veneer of religiosity to it – by some estimates ten percent is concerned with pietistic practices like how often Muslims are supposed to pray, what they can eat, and the like.
  • But at the end of the day, Sharia is about power, not faith.
  • Sharia has been defined for some 1300 years by a rendering of it known as The Reliance of the Traveler.
  • This massive book makes clear that the faithful Muslim is entitled, for example, to brutalize women and otherwise treat them as property, murder homosexuals and kill Jews, apostates, females accused of adultery and anyone who “defames” Islam.
  • I impressed upon each of these journalists – as I do with audiences I address across the country – thankfully, all Muslims do not practice their faith according to Sharia.
  • That is particularly true in the United States to which many of them came from Sharia-compliant countries to escape its horrors.
  • They neither want to live under Sharia nor impose it on others.
  • That said, there is no getting around the fact that Sharia is a supremacist ideology that commands its adherents, not only to practice it unquestioningly themselves, but to compel everyone else – Muslim and non-Muslim, alike – to submit to it worldwide.
  • Sharia dictates that the faithful must engage in jihad in one form or another – violent jihad, demographic jihad, financial jihad or the subversive, stealthy kind the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad.”
  • To the extent that Muslims conform to Sharia as the authorities of Islam and Reliance of the Traveler demand, they must reject such American principles and values as democratic self-governance, man-made laws, the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, respect for human rights, etc.
  • Instead, it is their duty to supplant those principles and values with Sharia.
  • For example, according to the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam adopted by 56 Muslim nations in 1990, Muslims can enjoy freedoms only to the extent allowed by Sharia.

These are statements of fact.

  • Recounting them is not “Islamophobia,” hate-mongering, racism or bigotry.
  • Rather, it is essential to an accurate understanding of the threat Sharia poses to this country and to Western civilization more generally.
  • And such an understanding is essential if we are to defend our constitutional republic from those who believe it’s Allah’s will for them to destroy it through whatever means is practicable.
  • Yet, Messrs. Rosenberg, Lake, Jaffe and Beinart promote in their respective publications and to varying degrees the false meme that pointing out such facts is evidence of hostility to all It’s said to reflect a desire to deny those in this country their constitutionally protected freedoms and keep those outside our borders from coming in.
  • They are not alone in promoting this phony narrative, of course.
  • According to documents from George Soros’ foundation released last fall by Wikileaks, “marginalizing” me and others who speak such truths has been a project for his philanthropy.
  • And Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council on American Islamic Relations, which was founded by Hamas in 1993, the leftist Center for American Progress and the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center have been among those determined to silence national security professionals and others who are effective in challenging Sharia-supremacism in this country and elsewhere.

Let’s be clear, by falsely accusing me and my colleagues of such views, these journalists are not just discounting the salience of our warnings. They are helping Soros and his minions suppress our freedom of expression and reinforcing what amounts to hate-mongering against us.

More importantly, to the extent that such reporters are promoting the fraudulent meme that Donald Trump and his subordinates are being unduly influenced by me or others – and are, therefore, also Islamophobes, racists, etc. – they are seeking to suppress them, too.

Indeed, that’s the transparent object of the exercise. Reporters and media outlets are making common cause with what’s been called the “Red-Green axis” for the purpose of neutralizing – if not actually removing from office – the President and his most principled and capable subordinates, such as Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Sebastian Gorka and Steven Miller.

Time won’t permit at this juncture a point-by-point rebuttal of the various, spurious charges made against me and others by the aforementioned reporters and their ilk.

Let me take a moment, though, to address a new one leveled by Peter Beinart in his hit piece in The Atlantic concerning the so-called “denationalization” of Muslims in this country.

I had never heard this term before and certainly have never used it myself. Neither have I ever advocated what it evidently describes – seeking to strip all American Muslims of either their nationality or their rights and shutting down all mosques in this country.

Here’s what I do believe: The Sharia-supremacist infrastructure built here over the past fifty years by the Muslim Brotherhood and its fronts –in the form of mosques, Islamic societies, cultural centers and organizations targeting our government, media, churches and synagogues, schools, businesses, etc. – is an incubator for jihad. We continue to ignore it and the stated purposes of those Brotherhood operatives and their Shiite counterparts at our extreme peril.

The first order of business must be to be clear about the threat posed to our Constitution and freedoms by Sharia-supremacism. In his August 15th speech in Youngstown, Ohio, Candidate Donald Trump made clear that he gets that.

Second, we must stop importing more Sharia-supremacists. That is a purpose President Trump’s immigration pause could helpfully advance.

Third, the Trump administration must officially designate the Muslim Brotherhood as the terrorist organization it is. That would create a basis for countering those mosques and front groups it owns and/or operates in this country.

Finally, if the foregoing steps are taken, we have an opportunity to encourage the Muslim-American community to eschew the Sharia-supremacists and their efforts to promote the real denationalization agenda – namely, the Brotherhood’s practice of demanding non-assimilation in and hostility toward the United States, its culture and laws.

These are the sorts of recommendations warranted by the facts, appropriate to the challenges of our time and necessary to protect Western civilization. I am proud to espouse them and refuse to be intimidated or silenced by the relentless vilification to which I am subjected.

I am gratified that people who have arrived at a similar understanding of the facts are now in a position to ensure that those facts receive the necessary policy analysis and debate – instead of being officially suppressed in the name of “political correctness,” “multiculturalism” and “diversity sensitivity.” Whatever we call such behavior, our Sharia-adherent enemies regard it as evidence of our submission, which only emboldens them to secure that condition irreversibly through ever-more-aggressive acts of jihad.

The time has come for action in countering the jihad. Despite all the vilification, intimidation and coercive pressure aimed at silencing those of us at the Center for Security Policy, we will continue to speak the truth about Sharia-supremacism and help those in power act decisively to defeat it.

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White House Announces Six Names for Top Pentagon Positions

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File

Breitbart, by Kristina Wong, March 16, 2017:

The White House announced Thursday six new names for top political appointments at the Pentagon, including Deputy Defense Secretary.

The bunch has vast experience in the defense world: Three have congressional staff experience on defense-related committees, two have prior military experience, and four have prior government experience under the Bush administration.

The nominee for deputy defense secretary, Patrick M. Shanahan, boasts long-time business experience at Boeing, one of the largest defense contractors in the country.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the nominees were personally recommended by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. He said:

These are all highly qualified individuals who were personally recommended by Secretary Mattis to the President for nomination. Secretary Mattis is grateful to Deputy Secretary Bob Work for agreeing to continue serving until his successor is confirmed. His steady leadership is critical during this time of transition, and Secretary Mattis continues to have full confidence in him as he carries out crucial work in managing in the Department.

They are as announced:

Robert Daigle of Virginia will serve as Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), Department of Defense. Mr. Daigle previously served in CAPE during the Bush Administration as Director of Program Resources and Information Systems Management Division. Mr. Daigle earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Vermont. He was granted an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School and a Master of Science in International Security Studies from Georgetown University. Mr. Daigle is a Professional Staff Member on the House Armed Services Committee and was the Executive Director of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. He previously served in the United States Army.

Elaine McCusker of Virginia will serve as Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller. Ms. McCusker is the Director, Resources and Analysis, Headquarters U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, FL.  Previous to this position, she served as a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, with the Department of Navy Headquarters, and with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller). Ms. McCusker previously worked in the private sector and academic community, including with Argonne National Laboratory/Department of Energy and the University of Washington.

David L. Norquist of Virginia will serve as Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller. Mr. Norquist is a Partner with Kearney and Company, a Certified Public Accounting firm.  He has 27 years of experience in Federal financial management beginning as a Federal employee in 1989 with the Department of the Army.  He has also served on the professional staff of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense and as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).  He was the first Senate confirmed Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Homeland Security where he established a formal process to eliminate pervasive weaknesses in DHS’s financial statement and put the Department on its path to a clean audit opinion.  Mr. Norquist attended the University of Michigan where he received both a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy in 1989.  He also received a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University in 1995.  He is a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).

Kenneth P. Rapuano of Virginia will serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense and Global Security. Mr. Rapuano has a long career in national security and homeland security affairs in the private, public and academic sectors.  He currently serves as Senior Vice President and Director of the Studies and Analysis Group at the ANSER Corporation, and previously led the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute. Mr. Rapuano served as White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor from 2004-2006, has served in numerous roles with the departments of Energy and Defense, and has deployed numerous times on Active Duty, Reserves Duty with the United States Marine Corps and as a civilian with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Patrick M. Shanahan of Washington will serve as Deputy Secretary of Defense. Mr. Shanahan is senior vice president, Supply Chain & Operations at the Boeing Company, where he is responsible for oversight of the company’s manufacturing operations and supplier management functions. Mr. Shanahan came to this position from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where he served as senior vice president of Airplane Programs and oversaw the management of profit and loss for the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs. Previously, Mr. Shanahan was vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems and vice president and general manager for Rotorcraft Systems in Philadelphia, where he was responsible for all U.S. Army Aviation, including the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the CH-47 Chinook and the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter. Mr. Shanahan is a Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow, Society of Manufacturing Engineers Fellow, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow. He serves as a Regent at the University of Washington and participates in numerous professional and charitable organizations, including the Washington Roundtable. Mr. Shanahan holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and two advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: a Master of Science in mechanical engineering, and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

David Joel Trachtenberg of Virginia will serve as Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Policy. Mr. Trachtenberg is the President and CEO of Shortwaver Consulting, LLC, a national security consultancy.  Prior to this role, Mr. Trachtenberg was the Vice President and head of Strategic Analysis Division at CACI-National Security Research. Mr. Trachtenberg previously served in several roles at the Department of Defense, most recently as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy where he was responsible for issues relating to NATO, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, technology security, counterproliferation, missile defense, nuclear forces, and arms control.  Additionally, Mr. Trachtenberg was a professional staff member with the House Armed Services Committee. Mr. Trachtenberg holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

14 Obama Holdovers Still at the Pentagon

Drew Angerer – Pool/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Kristina Wong, March 16, 2016:

WASHINGTON – There are 14 Obama holdovers still at the Pentagon, two months into the Trump administration.

Currently, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is the only presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed appointee at the Pentagon, out of 53 such positions.

Obama holdovers are filling four of those positions: Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work remains in his position; Robert Speer is serving as Acting Army Secretary; Sean Stackley is serving as Acting Navy Secretary; and Lisa Disbrow as Acting Air Force Secretary.

The Pentagon said there are 10 other Obama holdovers still serving, but has declined to name who they are or what positions they are filling.

Trump has filled an additional 32 slots for non-Senate confirmed positions, for a total of 33 hires, including Mattis. That number is less than a fourth of the 163 political appointees at the Pentagon on election day.

The White House was expected to announce a handful of names for top political positions at the Pentagon as soon as this week, a defense official told Breitbart News. The White House declined to give a time frame for the announcement.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis on Monday brushed off suggestions it was taking longer than usual to get appointees in:

“You have to remember, eight years ago, we kept our secretary — Secretary [Robert] Gates at the time, so a lot of people stayed on with him, and you didn’t have as abrupt of a transition. For those of us who were around 16 years ago, it was pretty abrupt and we saw positions that went unfilled for many months. It takes time to interview, to find the most qualified candidates, to vet them, to get agreement on them, to send them to the Senate for confirmation.”

Trump has also named picks for Pentagon general counsel and Air Force Secretary, but the Senate has not yet confirmed them.

“There will be more to come. It’s a process,” Davis said.  He said Mattis has “put a lot of names forward that are currently going through the final stages of vetting. We think that there will be multiple announcements coming very soon.”

Civil servants and former defense officials say the lack of political appointees has had an effect on Pentagon’s operations.

One civil servant complained privately that the Joint Staff — military staff who support a body of senior military leaders who advise the president — is running “roughshod” over the Office of Secretary of Defense, according to a former defense official.

The former official said civil servants who are filling leadership roles temporarily don’t want to formulate new policies that get ahead of Trump appointees who may change or disagree with them, and either sit silent in meetings or advocate for previous policies.

It’s not clear how that might be affecting several reviews the Pentagon is currently undergoing, including on the strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), on how to rebuild readiness of the armed forces, and on its nuclear missile defense posture.

Former Obama administration defense official Loren DeJonge Schulman said without a trusted agent from the Trump political team in the building to lead those reviews, it may be a more military-led process.

“There are fewer politicals, there are civilians who are not in power, and President Trump trusts the military more…the [elements] are there to have a more military-led process,” said Schulman, currently deputy director of studies and the Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

“It’s hard to run a strategy review when you don’t have your political leader in place,” she said.

Another official at the Pentagon said it is possible the military is having more influence in policy discussions, but pointed out that at the end of the day, policy decisions go to Mattis, who despite being a retired-four star Marine general, is a civilian.

A spokesman from the Joint Staff said in an email to Breitbart News: “From our perspective, the Joint Staff is being participating, contributing and working collaboratively with OSD fully when, where and how asked,” he said.

Schulman, who first served as a special assistant to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said that what is more worrisome is that the lack of appointees is preventing important work from being done, particularly with foreign partners.

She said, for example,  the prime minister of a small country who is visiting the U.S. may not meet with the president but will often meet with senior defense officials instead.

Now, she said, there is rarely anyone to meet with. Some defense officials have gone overseas to meet with foreign counterparts, but could only sit and listen, not participate or negotiate since they lack policy guidance, she said.

“Any meeting they go to which requires them to have a position or be a part of a negotiation, it either requires them to stay silent, or to rely on the old administration’s policy, or to have to go to Mattis and say, ‘Hey what’s our position on X, Y, and Z,’ and that’s simply not possible for him to weigh in on everything DOD does. That’s why we have political appointees,” said Schulman.

There has also been grumbling from Capitol Hill, with lawmakers complaining there is no one to talk to at the Department.

Schulman said it has always taken awhile for administration to get top appointees in place, such as under secretaries. However, she said under the Obama administration, deputy assistant secretaries put almost immediately in place in priority areas, she said.

“We’re not seeing that here,” she said.

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Islamic State Leader Baghdadi ‘Flees Mosul’ as Iraqi Forces Advance

AP Photo/Militant video, File

Breitbart Jerusalem, March 9, 2017:

(AFP) — Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is reported to have abandoned Mosul, leaving local commanders behind to lead the battle against Iraqi forces advancing in the city.

With Iraqi troops making steady progress in their assault to retake Mosul from the jihadists, a US defence official said Baghdadi had fled to avoid being trapped inside.

It was the latest sign that IS is feeling the pressure from twin US-backed offensives that have seen it lose much of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, the defence official said Baghdadi had left Mosul before Iraqi forces seized control of a key road at the beginning of this month, isolating the jihadists in the city.

“He was in Mosul at some point before the offensive…. He left before we isolated Mosul and Tal Afar,” a town to the west, the official said.

“He probably gave broad strategic guidance and has left it to battlefield commanders.”

Baghdadi, who declared IS’s cross-border “caliphate” at a Mosul mosque in 2014, in an audio message in November urged supporters to make a stand in the city rather than “retreating in shame”.

Iraq launched the offensive to retake Mosul — which involves tens of thousands of soldiers, police and allied militia fighters — in October.

After recapturing its eastern side, the forces set their sights on the city’s smaller but more densely populated west.

– ‘Ran away like chickens’ –

In recent days Iraqi forces have retaken a series of neighbourhoods in west Mosul as well as the provincial government headquarters and a museum where IS militants filmed themselves destroying priceless artefacts.

The military said Wednesday they had also taken the infamous Badush prison northwest of Mosul where IS reportedly executed hundreds of people and held captured Yazidi women.

On Thursday Iraqi forces were “combing the city centre area to defuse (bombs in) homes and shops and buildings,” Lieutenant Colonel Abdulamir al-Mohammedawi of Iraq’s elite Rapid Response Division told AFP.

Forces were also “searching for snipers in the city centre,” Mohammedawi said.

The area is located on the edge of Mosul’s Old City, a warren of narrow streets and closely spaced houses that could see some of the toughest fighting of the battle.

“Currently there is no order from the operations command to advance toward the Old City. We will advance when this order is issued,” Mohammedawi said.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are believed to still be trapped under IS rule in Mosul.

Those who did manage to escape the city said the jihadists were growing increasingly desperate.

Abdulrazzaq Ahmed, a 25-year-old civil servant, was seized by jihadist fighters as they retreated from the neighbourhood of Al-Mansur.

“We were used as human shields” said Ahmed, who managed to escape along with hundreds of other civilians to Iraqi police waiting outside the city.

Rayan Mohammed, a frail 18-year-old who was once given 60 lashes for missing prayers, said the jihadists were scrambling in the face of the Iraqi offensive.

“They ran away like chickens,” he said.

– Marines deployed to Syria –

West Mosul is the most heavily populated area under IS control and along with Raqa in Syria the last major urban centres it holds.

In Syria, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has been advancing on Raqa. Earlier this week its forces reached the Euphrates River, cutting the main road to the partly IS-held city of Deir Ezzor downstream.

A US official said Wednesday that a Marine Corps artillery battery had been sent into Syria to support the battle for Raqa — joining some 500 American special operations fighters who have been training and assisting the SDF.

The United States has been leading a coalition since mid-2014 carrying out air strikes against the jihadists in both Syria and Iraq.

Elsewhere in Syria, Turkish troops and their rebel allies have pushed south from the Turkish border and driven IS out of the northern town of Al-Bab.

Russian-backed government troops have meanwhile swept eastwards from Syria’s second city Aleppo and seized a swathe of countryside from the jihadists.

The US defence official said IS was now looking beyond the seemingly inevitable losses of Mosul and Raqa.

“I don’t think they have given up on their vision of their caliphate yet,” the official said.

“They… are still making plans to continue to function as a pseudo-state centred in the Euphrates River valley.”

About 15,000 IS fighters remain in Iraq and Syria, including some 2,500 in Mosul and Tal Afar and as many as 4,000 still in Raqa, the official said.

***

Exclusive video: Iraqi forces near Mosul mosque where IS group leader declared ‘caliphate’

***

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The Truth Behind Media’s New Favorite Euphemism: ‘Muslim-Majority Countries’

Breitbart, by John Hayward, March 9, 2017:

Both versions of President Trump’s executive order have been caricatured as a “Muslim ban,” even though they applied to only six or seven specific countries, leaving 90 percent of the world’s population out of the mix.

The fallback euphemism is to say that Trump is “banning” immigration (they never say it is conditional and temporary) from several “Muslim-majority” countries. This is also misleading because those countries are not merely inhabited by a majority of Muslims. They are Muslim countries, period. They all have some form of Islamic law written into their legal codes.

With Iraq removed from the equation, the remaining nations affected by the order are Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. The original executive order did not list the affected nations; it merely referred to Obama-era legislation that named them as nations of particular concern. The revised version of the order does name the affected nations because it explains why each of them is on the list.

The first version of the order did not mention Islam at all. The revised version does, but only to explain why the first order did not because this is not a “Muslim ban”:

Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside — to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.

Islam is not a “minority religion” in any of the six countries named by the order. In fact, all six of them officially incorporate Islamic sharia law into their legal codes.

Of the six, Iran is an outright Islamic theocracy. Its Supreme Leader is the Ayatollah, a top-ranking Muslim cleric. Iran’s legal code is explicitly based on sharia, with a smattering of civil ordinances thrown in. Iranian courts have been known to invoke sharia for such judgments as requiring a woman to be blinded in retribution for throwing acid in a victim’s face.

Iranian law nominally has some protections for religious minorities, but the absolute supremacy of Islam is not questioned. Observers have reported that religious freedom is growing steadily worse in the theocracy.

Libya is the most complex of the six nations to classify, because it does not have a functioning central government at all, following Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s disastrous intervention – a fact the mainstream media prefers not to dwell on. “Libya’s post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities,” as the CIA World Factbook tactfully puts it.

The capital city of Tripoli was seized by an Islamist coalition, with the Muslim Brotherhood a major player. Another is Ansar al-Sharia, a Salafist Islamic militia. The presence of “sharia” in its name is not a coincidence; they declared Libya an Islamic “caliphate” in 2014.

There has been success in the battle against Libyan ISIS, but al-Qaeda is still a major player. U.N.-backed unity governments tend to include a lot of people from the more extreme wings of Libyan politics. They have to because Islamists are a powerful political force in the country.

Another major force in chaotic Libya is widely described as a “secularist,” General Khalifa Haftar. Some observers wonder just how “secularist” he really is, especially if he gains control of the country and has to make deals with the powerful Islamist elements he is currently fighting.

Haftar is an old Qaddafi hand, and while the late dictator is remembered as a brutal and mercurial secularist loathed by hardline Islamists in Libya, he was sometimes given to Islamist sentiments of his own. For instance, Qaddafi once declared Islam was the only universal human religion and said, “all those believers who do not follow Islam are losers.” He named his son and once-presumed successor Saif al-Islam.

Libya’s future is a question mark, but it is highly disingenuous to describe even its present state as merely “Muslim-majority.” The interim Libyan constitution of 2011 begins with the invocation of “Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” states that Islam is the official religion of the country, and declares “sharia shall be the main source of legislation.” Until and unless a different constitution is put into effect by an internationally-recognized national government, Libya is a Muslim nation.

Somalia officially imposed sharia law through its Cabinet in 2009. “Islamic Sharia is the only option to get solutions for the problems in this country,” one minister declared. Less than 0.1% of the population follows a religion other than Islam.

The Somali government banned Christmas celebrations in December 2015, because “having Muslims celebrate Christmas is not the right thing,” as a top official put it. He likened Christmas celebrations to apostasy and said they are “not in any way related to Islam.” Foreigners were graciously allowed to celebrate Christmas in their homes, but even hotels were instructed to prevent guests from holding celebrations.

The al-Shabaab terrorist organization thinks the central government is not Islamist enough and imposes an even harsher sharia code on the sizable portions of the country it effectively controls. Many of the people living under al-Shabaab control have told interviewers they support its legal code.

Sudan is officially an Islamic state with a sharia legal code. Even the leaders of breakaway South Sudan, which want to return to a common-law system on the British model, have been struggling to purge sharia from the legal system.

Sudan, like Somalia, is not “majority Muslim” – it is about 96% Muslim, and the 3% Christian minority is brutally persecuted, despite some nominal legal protection for other religions. World Atlas notes that “some interpretations of the Muslim Law in the country fail to recognize or accept apostasy and marriages to non-Muslims,” and concludes that “Sudan leads the world as the most difficult country for Christians since freedom of religion or belief is systematically ignored.”

Syria is an uncomfortable case, as some religious minorities say they fared much better under the Assad dictatorship. Some Syrian Christians bluntly refer to Bashar Assad as their “protector” and have similar hopes for the intervening Russians. Of course, critics of the brutal Syrian regime argue that Assad’s alliance with Christians is purely cynical, and even accuse him of inflaming the Christian fear of Muslims for political gain.

Assad’s government is nominally secular, while even most of the “good guy” rebels supported by Western powers practice Islamic law through sharia courts. Syrians in contested areas complain that different sharia courts loyal to various factions, from “moderates” to hardcore al-Qaeda Islamists, issue conflicting verdicts.

At the height of the rebellion, many Syrians expressed a desire to replace the Syrian Arab Republic with an Islamic state. Then they found themselves saddled with the Islamic State, which may have led some of them to reconsider. However, there are still calls to impose sharia across Syria, portraying it as an instrument of peace and justice.

Having said that, the constitution of the “secular” Syrian Arab Republic explicitly requires the president to be a Muslim, and requires that “Islamic jurisprudence shall be a major source of legislation.” This was true of both the older constitution and the revised document prepared in 2012.

The same article declares “the State shall respect all religions, and ensure the freedom to perform all the rituals that do not prejudice public order,” but there is no question: Syria is a Muslim nation, not a “Muslim-majority nation.” Islam enjoys a privileged position in its legal code that Western liberals would not tolerate without comment from any other religion.

Yemen practices a mixture of sharia law and common law in what passes for its central government – which, of course, was overthrown by the Houthis, a Shiite Muslim insurgency supported by the Iranian theocracy. The internationally recognized Yemeni government has said the Houthis want to transform Yemen into a caliphate ruled by lineal descendants of Mohammed.

Even Houthi spokesmen who strongly disagree with that characterization have said they think “sharia should be one of the main sources of the law in Yemen, not the only source.”

The large portions of Yemen controlled by al-Qaeda are noted for the strict rule of Islamic law, including the oppression of women. Al-Qaeda regards the failure to strictly obey sharia as “debauchery.”

The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen explicitly declares it to be an Islamic state, and stipulates “sharia is the source of all legislation.” Islam is unambiguously named as the official state religion. Denouncing Islam is a crime punishable by death. Over 99% of the population is Muslim.

Iraq: Even though it is no longer listed in Trump’s executive order, it should be noted that Iraq is an explicitly Islamic nation, according to its 2005 constitution. “Islam is the official religion of the State and is a fundamental source of legislation,” Article 2 declares. “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.”

Religious freedom is nominally protected, as long as the supremacy of Islam is acknowledged by all: “This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice such as Christians, Yazedis, and Mandi Sabeans.”

Some Iraqi clerics agitate for stricter adherence to sharia law, which introduces the dangerous question of whether Sunni or Shiite law should reign supreme.

The incorporation of Sharia law into the legal codes of these countries occurs to a degree that would revolt the American Left, if any religion except Islam was involved. Rest assured that no one in today’s mainstream media would describe, say, 15th-century Spain as a “majority Catholic” nation.

For that matter, they do not seem inclined to describe Israel as “majority Jewish”; they simply refer to it as a “Jewish state.” Israel is, in fact, only about 75% Jewish. A recent effort supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to formally define Israel as a Jewish state failed, in part due to concerns that it could lead to discriminatory policies against the Arab population.

Its legal code includes extensive protection for religious minorities, and there are Muslim and Druze members of its parliament. Last November, one of them staged the Muslim call to prayer during a parliamentary session to protest a bill that would prevent all places of worship from using loudspeakers to summon their worshipers, because it was seen as unfairly targeting mosques.

Equivalent stunts are unwise for members of religious minorities in “Muslim-majority nations,” including the six listed in President Trump’s executive order.

In conclusion: all of the nations mentioned in both versions of President Trump’s executive order are Muslim countries, period. Every single one of them has Islam as the state religion and bases its legal code on sharia. Not a single one of these countries is a “Muslim-majority” nation that practices full and complete religious pluralism under a secular government.

President Trump Blasts European Security: ‘Take a Look at What’s Happening in Germany, Take a Look at What’s Happening in France’

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Breitbart, by Oliver JJ Lane, Feb. 24, 2017:

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland Friday morning President Donald Trump took a swipe at the security situation in Europe, which has seen a number of bloody terror attacks in recent years.

Vowing that he would not allow the same attacks to take place in the United States, and that his administration would “keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country”, President Trump at first made light of press coverage he’d received over his comments on Sweden earlier in the week.

Referring to the Swedes who spoke out against the widespread perception that the migrant crisis has been well handled by their nation, among them Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson, President Trump said that his comments were quickly vindicated by civil unrest and criminality in Sweden itself. He said:

“By the way, take a look at what’s happening in Europe. I took a lot of heat on Sweden, and then a day later, I said ‘has anyone reported what’s going on?’.

“And it turned out that not so many of them did. Take a look… I love Sweden, great country, great people. They understand, the people over there understand I’m right”.

Turning to other European nations struggling with the impacts of the migrant crisis and the Islamist terrorists it has enabled to gain access to Europe, President Trump also namechecked Germany and France. Germany saw an unprecedented two years of Islamist terror to the end of December 2016, when a Berlin Christmas market was ram-raided by a terrorist driving a stolen truck. 12 were killed.

Speaking of Nice, France — also attacked by an Islamist driving a truck at high speeds to mow down pedestrians — and of the French capital, the American president relayed an anecdote of a friend who once regularly visited Paris for pleasure. With the deteriorating security situation in the city, President Trump said his friend no longer visited at all.

The remarks come just days after the latest Paris tourism figures show visitors fell 1.5 million in 2016, which cost the French economy some €1.3 billion.

Looking at these problems in Sweden, Germany, France, and elsewhere, the President promised he wouldn’t allow the same fate to befall the United States. He said:

“Take a look at what is happening to our world, folks. We have to be smart, we can’t let it happen to us. Let me state this as clearly as I can, we are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.

“We will not be deterred from this course, and in a matter of days, we will be taking brand new action to protect our people and keep America safe. I will never, ever apologise for protecting the safety and security of the American people”.

Watch: The President Trump CPAC 2017 Speech in Full

Gorka & Jasser: We Are Fighting ‘Not a War with Islam, but a War Inside Islam’

Flickr/AFP

Flickr/AFP

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Feb. 24, 2017:

Broadcasting live from CPAC 2017, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow spoke with Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser about national security, Islamist terrorism, and their panel discussion, “When Did World War III Begin?”

Marlow began by asking his guests what they expected from the national security segment of President Donald Trump’s scheduled address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

LISTEN:

“Exactly what we’ve heard before,” Gorka replied. “If you really want to understand the direction of the White House and how much everything changed at 12:01 on January the 20th, you look at two things: you look at a speech that really wasn’t carefully addressed or really paid enough attention to, that’s the Youngstown campaign speech, which was about the threat of jihad in general and what we’re going to do about ISIS.”

“Specifically, it really bears repeating, the inauguration, the address that the president gave at the inauguration, was explicit,” he continued. “Number one, we are going to eradicate the Islamic State – not degrade, not manage, not ameliorate – eradicate. And secondly, words have meaning. When he says our enemy is ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ that is a 180 degree change from the last eight years, when we weren’t allowed to even say who the enemy was.”

“Zuhdi knows it better than anybody because he understands that this isn’t about poverty or lack of education. It’s about people who are fighting for the soul of Islam – not a war with Islam, but a war inside Islam; as King Abdullah, as General Sisi has said, for which version is going to win,” Gorka said.

Marlow asked Dr. Jasser about the topic of language control Gorka touched upon and the previous administration’s reluctance to use explicit language like “radical Islamic jihad” to describe the enemy.

“We got to this point because we had an administration who was being whispered to by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers, by apologists, by governments that might be our allies against al-Qaeda and ISIS, but they love a whack-a-mole program. They don’t want to treat the disease, which is not ‘violent extremism’ but violent Islamism,” Jasser charged.

“We have to start focusing on our own values,” he urged. “There’s nothing more American than fighting theocracy, and yet the Left for the last eight years has invoked blasphemy laws in America by telling us we can’t criticize Islamist political movements.”

Jasser predicted the new administration would succeed in destroying ISIS but warned that “it will come back in another form – two, three, four years later – unless we engage Muslim reformists, like our Muslim reform movement, to treat the underlying theocracy.”

Marlow complained that the mainstream media swiftly denounce candid talk about the problem of radical Islam as “hate speech” even when confined to straightforward reporting without editorial opinion, making it difficult to have a constructive discussion about the problem.

“I think this is exactly what the Saudi regime, the Iranian Khomeinists, the Brotherhood want, is they want to dominate what Islam means,” Jasser said. “And yes, it’s not my Islam, but we have to thread that needle. Because if you don’t call it political Islam or Islamism as the threat, you’re not going to be able to figure out who to engage. We want to engage anti-Caliphate, anti-violent jihad Muslims who are pro-freedom, pro-equality of men and women, who share our values. If we don’t do that discernment in our verbiage, we’re going to miss it and actually end up helping our enemies and end up actually not only being the firefighters, but the arsonists. We have to stop that cycle.”

“Let’s just take it one level deeper. It’s not just empowering our enemies, which would be bad enough,” Gorka added. “If you don’t talk truthfully about who the enemy is, how are you going to win? What we saw in the last eight years is a policy that actually weakened our most important allies.”

“So when you’ve got the president of the most populous Arab nation in the world say this is a war for the heart of Islam, General Sisi, when you’ve got King Abdullah with his Amman statement saying, ‘Look, we have to stop the jihadis hijacking the religion’ – we have a president here who stands up and says, ‘No, no, no, these are not the droids you’re looking for, the religion has nothing to do with this,’” he elaborated, referring to the Obama administration’s insistence on framing the war as a struggle against generic violent extremism.

“Do you know who we hurt the most? Those Muslims who are on the front lines with the jihadis, who understand this isn’t about poverty or lack of education; it’s about an ideology. So we’ve actually hurt the people who are on the front line the most. We’re not prepared to do that anymore. This administration’s going to help the Jordanians, help the Egyptians, help them fight this war,” Gorka vowed.

“I think we have to own what it means to be diverse,” Jasser suggested. “What is ‘diversity’ in the Muslim community? It’s not ethnic diversity. Being Muslim is not an identity movement of a monolithic homogenous group. It is a diverse ideological movement that has fundamentalist, orthodox, liberal, secularists that are all in this Muslim diverse group. So if the Left actually believes in diversity different from what Pelosi whispered into Andre Carson’s ear – ‘Tell them you’re Muslim’ – Islam is not a race. They’re racializing the faith. That’s the biggest obstacle.”

“I think the other thing I hope to see is not only us being against jihadists, but what are we for,” he added. “I think that will be the difference between some of the dictators in the Middle East, that yes, some of them have been on our side against jihad, the militants, but we are the adults in the world, in being for liberty and freedom. I hope that will be part of a Trump Doctrine.”

Gorka agreed, saluting Jasser as “the point man here in America for sense, for common sense in this battle.”

“The saddest part is there are people like him in the Middle East. There are people every day risking their lives on their blog sites, in North Africa, in the Middle East pushing back on this, saying, ‘I’m a Muslim, but I don’t think an infidel needs to be killed.’ That means he’s put the crosshairs on his chest,” Gorka noted. “In some parts of the Muslim world, that’s an instant death sentence.”

“That’s why the four million Muslims in America need to step up and act because we can do things here that you just can’t do in the Middle East,” Jasser said. “They end up in prison. They end up slaughtered, tortured.”

Marlow proposed that “the stifling of speech in the Muslim world is really what has allowed a lot of the jihadist movements to flourish.”

“Why do you think they use the term ‘Islamophobia’ instead of talking about, yes, there might be some bigotry against Muslims in the West?” Jasser asked. “They use the term Islamophobia because they want to anthropomorphize Islam so that you don’t criticize it, and they suppress free speech. That’s how they invoke blasphemy laws in the West.”

“You’re absolutely right. The freedom of speech issue is huge in the Middle East because it’s a life and death issue in many cases,” Gorka said. “But here, it’s almost as important. It’s not life and death, but it is closing down the discussion.”

“You look at what’s happened in the last four weeks with this administration,” he said. “There’s a phrase in soccer: you play the man on the ball. We’re not going to talk about policies; we’re going to attack individuals, whether it’s Kellyanne, the president, myself, Steve Bannon. They do that how? ‘We don’t want to talk about the threat to America. You’re a racist. You’re an Islamophobe. You’re a xenophobe. Oh, well, in that case, we can’t talk to you.’ That’s as dangerous as just the constant ad hominem attacks because then there is no discussion.”

Jasser said his message to CPAC was that “there is hope” for a lasting victory in the long war against Islamist extremism.

“The first step is to defeat the militants, which this president will finally do,” he said. “The second step is to go back to our American roots and defeat theocracy, work with Muslims and our Muslim reform movement. We have a two-page declaration that can be used, I hope, not only to vet refugees, to figure out which groups are with us and against us. I hope we start doing security clearances through those who share our values.”

“There are so many that are – not in this administration, but that are in the government from the previous administration – that I think are Islamists, that might not be violent extremists, but we need to shift the axis of the lens of Homeland Security, foreign policy, to countering violent Islamism. There’s nothing this group here and the country can do to better empower reform-minded Muslims that share our values than to shift from this blasé CVE to CVI,” Jasser said, lampooning the Obama administration’s acronym for “Countering Violent Extremism.”

Gorka referred to CVE as “garbage from the last eight years that obfuscated the threat.”

He said the most important step taken by the new administration was President Trump’s executive order to temporarily limit immigration from the most unsecure Middle Eastern nations.

“Whatever the final version of the reform measures are, the fact is, when an Iraqi collars me in the halls of Congress and says, ‘My friends back home in Iraq applaud this measure because they know how many bad guys are in Iraq that want to come over here, so do it. Thank you,’” Gorka said.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is deputy assistant to President Trump and was formerly national security editor for Breitbart News. He is the author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6AM to 9AM Eastern.

Listen to the audio of the full interview above.

***

KLEIN – New York Times in Full Panic Mode Over Reports Trump May Designate Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Feb. 23, 2017:

TEL AVIV – The New York Times this week continued its month-long campaign against designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization amid reports the Trump administration is debating the possibility of issuing an executive order making such a designation.

Declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist organization would add the U.S. to the growing list of nations to do so, including Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Times’ crusade culminated in the newspaper’s publication on Wednesday of an oped written from Egyptian prison by Gehad el-Haddad, the official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.  The oped was splashed on the cover of Thursday’s international edition of the newspaper.

In the piece, Haddad whitewashed the Brotherhood as inspired by an “understanding of Islam that emphasizes the values of social justice, equality and the rule of law.”

“We remain committed to our ideals of community development, social justice and nonviolence,” wrote Haddad.

While many Brotherhood wings indeed reject the use of violence as a strategic tactic, preferring instead a sophisticated gradualist strategy to achieve their aims, Haddad failed to mention that the Brotherhood has spawned terrorist organizations – most notably Hamas – that adhere to its philosophy of a world order based on Islam.

Al-Qaeda was founded in part on Brotherhood ideology. The Brotherhood was also a central player in the so-called Arab Spring, revolutions punctuated by violence across the Arab world.

Haddad’s claim that the Brotherhood espouses an understanding of Islam that pushes for “equality and the rule of law” is contradicted by the very nature of the Brotherhood itself, which is openly committed to the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law.

Sharia does not propagate “equality and the rule of law.” Sharia is explicitly anti-democratic and advocates Islamic supremacy over non-Muslims. For example, under Sharia non-Muslims cannot rule over Muslims; a woman inherits half that of a man; non-Muslims cannot inherit from Muslims or marry Muslim women; and churches and synagogues cannot be built taller than mosques.

These Islamic dictates were scrubbed from Haddad’s airy descriptions of the Brotherhood in the Times oped:

We are a morally conservative, socially aware grassroots movement that has dedicated its resources to public service for the past nine decades. Our idea is very simple: We believe that faith must translate into action. That the test of faith is the good you want to do in the lives of others, and that people working together is the only way to develop a nation, meet the aspirations of its youth and engage the world constructively. We believe that our faith is inherently pluralistic and comprehensive and that no one has a divine mandate or the right to impose a single vision on society. …

We remain committed to our ideals of community development, social justice and nonviolence.

Haddad’s propaganda piece was preceded on Monday by a Times article reporting on the alleged dangers of the Trump administration labeling the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

That article, titled, “Trump Talk of Terror Listing for Muslim Brotherhood Alarms Some Arab Allies,” warned that “of all the initiatives of the Trump administration that have set the Arab world on edge, none has as much potential to disrupt the internal politics of American partners in the region as the proposal to criminalize the Muslim Brotherhood, the preeminent Islamist movement with millions of followers.”

The piece continued:

In Morocco, it would tip a delicate political balance. In Jordan, it could prevent American diplomats from meeting with opposition leaders. In Tunisia, it could make criminals of a political party seen as a model of democracy after the Arab Spring.

The Times article quoted Issandr El Amrani, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, warning that designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization “could destabilize countries where anti-Islamist forces would be encouraged to double down. It would increase polarization.”

The International Crisis Group is funded by billionaire George Soros and his son, Alexander Soros. Both George and Alexander Soros sit on the group’s board of trustees.

Toward the end of the piece, Times reporter Delcan Walsh briefly mentions the Brotherhood’s ties to violence.

He writes:

By nature secretive, the Brotherhood takes different forms around the world. In some places, its members have condoned or committed violent acts. Its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, carries out suicide bombings; in Egypt, angry young supporters have been accused of attacking Mr. Sisi’s security forces.

However, that paragraph was followed by the following disclaimer: “But that does not make terrorists of the many millions of people who support the Brotherhood’s political ideology across many countries.”

The Times advocacy this week on behalf of the Brotherhood is part of a larger lobbying effort that has in recent weeks included numerous pro-Brotherhood articles and an editorial board piece published earlier this month, “All of Islam Isn’t the Enemy.”

In the editorial, the newspaper warned designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization “would be seen by many Muslims as another attempt to vilify adherents of Islam.”  The paper claimed that the possible designation “appears to be part of a mission by the president and his closest advisers to heighten fears by promoting a dangerously exaggerated vision of an America under siege by what they call radical Islam.”

A February 7 article warned, “Officially designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt, where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.”

“Critics said they feared that Mr. Trump’s team wanted to create a legal justification to crack down on Muslim charities, mosques and other groups in the United States,” added the Times. “A terrorist designation would freeze assets, block visas and ban financial interactions.”

A Times article on February 1 was titled, “Trump Pushes Dark View of Islam to Center of U.S. Policy-Making.”

The article lamented a worldview that “conflates terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State with largely nonviolent groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots and, at times, with the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world.”

A January 26 editorial titled “‘I Think Islam Hates Us’” informed readers the Trump administration “reportedly is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood, which is involved in Muslim politics in a number of countries, as a terrorist organization. Some experts see the move as a chance for the Trump administration to limit Muslim political activity in the United States.”

The Times’ advocacy for the Brotherhood is particularly noteworthy since it separately posted a full Arabic document from 1991 in which an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member set forth a strategy for “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” with emphasis on operations inside the U.S.

Addressing the Brotherhood’s support for the electoral process and purportedly becoming a political organization, an extensive report on the Brotherhood by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies explained the group’s use of some tools of democracy to advance the aim of achieving a world ruled by Sharia law, which is by definition anti-democratic.

Drawing from founding Brotherhood documents and original literature by Brotherhood leaders, the Center explained:

Unlike the militant factions of other Islamist movements, which completely rule out democracy on the basis of it being a Western, pagan, and ignorant idea, the Muslim Brotherhood does use the term “democracy.” In its view, however, it has two main connotations: a tactical, instrumental means of taking over countries through the use of the democratic process, and an “Islamic democracy” based on Sharia law (i.e., Islamic religious law) and a model of internal consultation within the leadership.

[Brotherhood Founder Sheikh Hassan] Al-Banna listed seven stages to achieve these objectives, each to be carried out in a gradual fashion. The stages are divided into social and political: the first three are based on educating the individual, the family, and the entire society of the Muslim world to implement Sharia laws in every aspect of daily life. The next four stages are political in nature, and include assuming power through elections, shaping a Sharia state, liberating Islamic countries from the burden of (physical and ideological) foreign occupation, uniting them into one Islamic entity (“new caliphate”), and spreading Islamic values throughout the world.

The defining works of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, ideologue and theorist Sayyid Qutb, considered the Brotherhood’s intellectual godfather, greatly influenced Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda doctrine.

An extensive March 23, 2003, article in the New York Times magazine by Paul Berman dissected Qutb’s writings as they relate to terrorist ideology.

In the article titled “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror,” Berman documented the centrality of Qutb’s influence on al-Qaeda:

The organization (al-Qaeda) was created in the late 1980’s by an affiliation of three armed factions – bin Laden’s circle of ”Afghan” Arabs, together with two factions from Egypt, the Islamic Group and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the latter led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s top theoretician. The Egyptian factions emerged from an older current, a school of thought from within Egypt’s fundamentalist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1950’s and 60’s. And at the heart of that single school of thought stood, until his execution in 1966, a philosopher named Sayyid Qutb – the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.

 Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With additional research by Joshua Klein.

Get Seb! A Case Study of Rufmord (Character Assassination)

The Weichert Report, by Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, February 20, 2017:

Rufmord is character assassination. My good friend Sebastian Gorka has become its latest target. Sometimes the media assassins also enjoy sniping at his wife, Katharine. Since this formidable lady has been swatting at cyber hacks most successfully on social media, I shall focus on her rather restrained husband. I am only sorry I had to wait so long before speaking up because certain crucial facts from Dr. Gorka’s life have been made public only recently. I was not at liberty to divulge them.

There are several charges against Seb.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is a patriot, not a Nazi.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is a patriot, not a Nazi.

The most serious one is that he allegedly lacks credentials and experience to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States Donald Trump and that he sports “Nazi sympathies.” That is complete bunk. Dr. Gorka actually has had a stellar, sustained track record in national security and military affairs for over 25 years. However, because the target of the Rufmord campaign worked for a long time in such type of vineyards where discretion is a must, there is precious little about his accomplishments outside of primary sources and eye witnesses, most of them sworn to secrecy. Suffice it to say that already in college in the UK, he was affiliated with the British military intelligence. Afterwards, Seb handled sensitive information and worked in confidential matters. In other words, he was involved in national security.

As for academic credentials, Sebastian Gorka earned his BA at the University of London and his Ph.D. at Corvinus University in Budapest. He also held fellowships at NATO Defense College in Rome (1997) and Harvard (1998). He co-founded and/or headed a number of think tanks and policy outfits, including The Council on Emerging National Security Affairs, The Center for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy, The Institute for Transitional Democracy and International Security, Threat Knowledge Group, and The Westminster Institute. He also worked for the RAND Corporation.

Further, focusing on irregular warfare and counterterrorism, Dr. Gorka has taught in a number of specialized schools focusing on national security and military affairs. Those included George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; United States Special Operations Command Joint Operations University, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL; National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, DC; Marine Corps University Foundation; and Georgetown University.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka was a highly popular professor at the Institute of World Politics. His class on “Enemy Threat Doctrines” in particular was not only popular, but also incredibly useful for the many students who were planning on entering the intelligence community. His presence at IWP’s campus is greatly missed.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka was a highly popular professor at the Institute of World Politics. His class on “Enemy Threat Doctrines” in particular was not only popular, but also incredibly useful for the many students who were planning on entering the intelligence community. His presence at IWP’s campus is greatly missed.

In 2005 Sebastian Gorka first became acquainted with The Institute of World Politics: A Graduate School of International Relations and National Security, Washington, DC. He taught for us as an adjunct for several years, before coming on board as full time faculty last year. It was at IWP that Dr. Gorka had an opportunity to become involved with the Boston Marathon Bombing case. I know because I likewise chimed in on the Tsernaev Brothers at the time. Rather than l’art pour l’art of mindless punditry of talking heads, this was intended for America’s protectors in the intelligence services. The nature of our school facilitates permanent, interactive links to the intelligence community. I mention this because Sebastian’s detractors have doubted the account of his involvement.

***

[CJR: I would add here the letter Dr. Gorka received affirming his contribution as an expert witness]

512u9tc8ll-_sx330_bo1204203200_Also at IWP, Dr. Gorka dealt with the global jihadi threat to the West. However, instead of producing a scholarly monograph (of the sonorous kind with a gazzillion footnotes I specialize in), he published a popular volume on this burning topic which became a bestseller: Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War. To put his point across, the author decided to pursue a non-academic format because we live in a democratic country. In a democracy the people ultimately decide policy. Dr. Gorka has passionately argued for years for a decisive and comprehensive showdown against the global jihadi terrorists. Hence, the objective was to persuade the persuadable – the American people – and not the politically correct and incestuously hermetic foreign policy elites in DC. Apparently, the author has succeeded. That also explains why Dr. Gorka agreed to become a national security editor for the populist Breitbart.

At IWP we teach the art of strategic communications. In electoral politics Breitbart carries more weight than Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and many other expert periodicals on international relations (perhaps also because most of them wax lyrical about “global security”, instead of focusing on national security which tends to be much more near and dear to the heart of the American people). Incidentally, before hooking up with Breitbart, Seb contributed for over a decade to prestigious Jane’s Intelligence Review from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. Did anyone notice outside of the esoteric circle of experts and friends? Exactly.

Hungary’s anti-communist Prime Minister, József Antall, Jr.

Hungary’s anti-communist Prime Minister, József Antall, Jr.

In addition to all the above, after 1989 Sebastian Gorka volunteered to assist in protecting freedom in newly liberated Hungary. He worked at the Ministry of Defense for the staunchly anti-Communist prime minister József Antall Jr., the nation’s first freely elected leader following decades of Soviet occupation. A passionate transatlaticist, Dr. Gorka’s duties included paving the way for Hungary’s admission to NATO. Of course, discretion was a must. However, when matters of principle were at the stake, my intrepid friend lifted up his visor and stepped up.

First, in the wake of 9/11 he championed America’s anti-terrorist cause for the Hungarian media in a stellar tour de force of public diplomacy and Western unity. Second, Dr. Gorka risked his career to unmask Hungary’s post-Communist prime minister Péter Medgyessy as a pre-1989 Communist secret police agent. Unvetted and unremorseful, Medgyessy disingenuously claimed that he had neither spied nor harmed anyone, a standard default position for the likes of him throughout the old Soviet bloc. Seb helped unleash forces which ultimately swept post-Communism away in Hungary a few years later. And when he disagreed with the direction the new government was taking, he moved away and became a US citizen.

So much for an alleged lack of credentials and experience of Dr. Gorka. Now for accusations of “Nazi sympathies”. You know that you have arrived when the scribal assassins resort to the reductio ad Hitlerum historionics against you. They are not bothered by the general rule that if one descends to name calling and, in particular, to invoking Hitler, one has already lost an argument.

What prompted the historionics?

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s father, Paul, had been tortured and brutalized by the ruling Communist Party and only escaped when the Hungarian people overthrew their Communist overlords–albeit temporarily. The thirst of freedom and rebellion against tyranny is ingrained in the Gorkas.

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s father, Paul, had been tortured and brutalized by the ruling Communist Party and only escaped when the Hungarian people overthrew their Communist overlords–albeit temporarily. The thirst of freedom and rebellion against tyranny is ingrained in the Gorkas.

Seb has been publicly wearing with pride the Order of Vitéz (Vitézi Rend). For him, this is a sentimental symbol on several levels. First, the Order was awarded to his late father Pal (Paul) Gorka by the Hungarian émigré authorities in 1979. Coming from a conservative Catholic milieu, Gorka senior opposed both the Nazis and Communists. After 1945 he became involved with the British intelligence and organized a youth group preparing ground for Hungary’s liberation. He was caught, tortured, and sentenced to death. This was commuted to life at hard labor. During the Hungarian Rising of 1956, the anti-Communist insurgents broke into his prison and liberated Pal. He fought against the Soviets and then fled to the West with a teenage girl he would shortly marry: Seb’s mother. The Order of Vitéz is practically the only recognition Pal ever received for his gallantry and perseverance. It would be churlish if his son failed to cherish it.

The Order of Vitéz, the medal that Dr. Gorka proudly wears to honor his father. This is not a symbol of Nazism, despite what the anti-Trump Left would have you believe.

The Order of Vitéz, the medal that Dr. Gorka proudly wears to honor his father. This is not a symbol of Nazism, despite what the anti-Trump Left would have you believe.

Further, the Order of Vitéz, is not just a decoration, it is an actual order of chivalry. It is based upon the medieval paradigm of chivalric orders, like the Knights of Malta. The Order of Vitéz was established in 1920 after the Hungarian patriots (with some outside help) triumphed over the short lived Soviet Hungarian Republic of Bela Kun. Having vanquished the Bolsheviks, the newly elected regent of Hungary, Vice-Admiral Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya, devised a land distribution program to benefit Hungarian military veterans. Those who served the nation well and acquitted themselves gallantly on the battlefield were awarded farms. And they were invited to join the Order of Vitéz. The Order remained a prominent reservoir of Christian conservatism and patriotism in the interwar period and afterwards. However, during the Second World War, it experienced internal splits with some members opposing Nazi Germany. Since that was the position of the Gorka family (and people like József Antall Sr., who was a Righteous Gentile), there should be no reason why either Pal should refuse the distinction or Seb to continue the tradition.

Finally, Sebastian Gorka appreciates the Order of Vitéz because of his family’s background. The Górkas are medieval Polish nobility of Wielkopolska. In 1848 some of them traveled to help their Hungarian brothers to fight for freedom during the Hungarian Insurrection at the time of The Spring of Nations. A few stayed behind and became Magyarized. But they never forgot that “vitéz” (witeź in Polish) means an intrepid knight.  And that Seb is. QED.  #CyberhatepurveyorsofRufmord beware.

Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is the Kościuszko Chair at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. where he conducts research on East Central Europe and Russia. His expert areas include History, Democracy Building, Communism, American Foreign Policy and International Relations. His most recent book, “Intermarium: The Land Between the Black and Baltic Seas”, was published in 2012 by Transaction Publishers.

***

Gorka continues to set the record straight on the Strategic Initiatves Group:

And the smears keep coming:

Three candidates emerge to replace Flynn as national security adviser

Vice-Admiral Bob Harward, Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.

Vice-Admiral Bob Harward, Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, Jr. and former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.

Fox News, February 14, 2017:

President Trump’s embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night and three names have emerged as possible replacements.

Vice Adm. Bob Harward is one name that has come up to replace Flynn as national security adviser, and the leading candidate to get the job, a senior official told Fox News.

Harward is a U.S. Navy SEAL, but also has a previous relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Harward was the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command under Mattis and was also the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.

He also served on the National Security Council for President George W. Bush and commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center.

White House sources described Harward as the “toughest guy in the SEALs” and a “real rock.”

A senior administration official added that if Howard is the choice to replace Flynn, he could be in place by the end of the week.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. has been floated as a permanent replacement for Flynn. Trump named him the acting national security adviser after Flynn resigned.

Kellogg is a decorated U.S. Army veteran, having served from 1967 to 2003. He earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device and the Air Medal with “V” device during his time in the Vietnam War.

Kellogg was chief operating officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, the interim governing body following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. He previously worked as executive vice president of research and technology for Virginia-based information technology firm CACI International, which works as a contractor for defense, intelligence and homeland security agencies.

Another name floated as a possible replacement for Flynn is retired Gen. David Petraeus.

Trump routinely dropped Petraeus’ name during his election campaign. Trump said that Petraeus was punished more severely for leaking classified documents to his mistress than Hillary Clinton was punished for setting up a private email server during his time as Secretary of State.

READ: MICHAEL FLYNN’S LETTER OF RESIGNATION AS NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

Petraeus was briefly considered for the secretary of state job, but was passed up because of his rocky tenure as CIA chief and the possibility that he wouldn’t be confirmed in the Senate because of those issues.

According to the Washington Examiner, Bush’s former national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Tom Bossert, a former national security aide under Bush have been considered a Flynn’s replacement. The paper added that Adm. James Stavridis, a dean at Tufts University, is also on the table.

Flynn’s resignation ended speculation about his fate following reports he had misled Vice President Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia.

Flynn conceded that discussions of sanctions may have come up during several calls with the Russian ambassador during the transition period leading up to Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

He acknowledged that he gave “incomplete information” about those discussions to Pence who, apparently relying on information from the national security adviser, initially said Flynn had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy.

Whoever emerges as Trump’s choice will take the helm of the National Security Council at a time when the young administration is grappling with a series of national security challenges, including North Korea’s reported ballistic missile launch. The president, who was joined at his Mar-a-Lago estate by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend, voiced solidarity with Japan.

The White House is also dealing with fallout from the rocky rollout of Trump’s immigration executive order, which has been blocked by the courts. The order was intended to suspend the nation’s refugee program and bar citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Also see:

Petraeus would be a disaster — a stalwart of the old establishment in an administration that said it would “drain the swamp.”

In May 2016, he published what was essentially an anti Trump screed, saying that proposals to restrict immigration from Muslim countries that are hotspots of jihad terror shouldn’t even be made, so as to avoid offending Muslims.

He was in favor of using al Qaeda jihadis to defeat the Islamic State, which would give us a region full of al-Qaeda jihadis with American weapons and materiel who hate the United States and want to destroy it. (This is essentially what we have now in Syria, where Obama armed “moderates” who were really al-Qaeda jihadis.)

When he headed up the international coalition in Afghanistan, he said that Florida pastor Terry Jones’ plan to burn the Qur’an was “hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible.” He warned that the Qur’an-burning would endanger American troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He issued a statement saying that he hoped “the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the holy Quran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.”

I opposed the Qur’an-burning, but not for the reasons Petraeus did. I don’t like the burning of books. And I’d rather that the contents of the Qur’an, and the ways that jihadists use those contents to justify violence, be known. However, Jones was free to do what he wanted to do. Petraeus would have done better to have told the Afghans that in America we have freedom of speech and expression, and that we put up with speech and expression that we dislike without trying to kill the speaker.

He has never shown evidence of having a clue about the jihad threat.

Klein: New York Times Lobbies for Muslim Brotherhood

Daniel Berehulak/Getty

Daniel Berehulak/Getty

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, February 10, 2017:

TEL AVIV – The New York Times in recent days has run numerous articles and opinion pieces advocating against designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization amid reports the Trump administration is debating doing just that.

The Muslim Brotherhood openly seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law. While many Brotherhood wings reject the use of violence as a strategic tactic, preferring instead a sophisticated gradualist strategy to achieve their aims, the Brotherhood has spawned terrorist organizations – most notably Hamas – that adhere to its philosophy of a world order based on Islam. The Brotherhood was also a central player in the so-called Arab Spring, revolutions punctuated by violence across the Arab world.

Designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization would add the U.S. to the growing list of nations to do so, including Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Times’ propagation of the Brotherhood culminated in an editorial board piece published Thursday titled, “All of Islam Isn’t the Enemy.”

In the editorial, the newspaper warned designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization “would be seen by many Muslims as another attempt to vilify adherents of Islam.”  The paper claimed that the possible designation “appears to be part of a mission by the president and his closest advisers to heighten fears by promoting a dangerously exaggerated vision of an America under siege by what they call radical Islam.”

The Times’ advocacy for the Brotherhood is particularly noteworthy since it separately posted a full Arabic document from 1991 in which an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member set forth a strategy for “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” with emphasis on operations inside the U.S.

In Thursday’s editorial, the newspaper laid out its case for the Brotherhood:

There are good reasons that the Brotherhood, with millions of members, doesn’t merit the terrorist designation. Rather than a single organization, it is a collection of groups and movements that can vary widely from country to country. While the Brotherhood calls for a society governed by Islamic law, it renounced violence decades ago, has supported elections and has become a political and social organization. Its branches often have tenuous connections to the original movement founded in Egypt in 1928.

Addressing the Brotherhood’s support for the electoral process and purportedly becoming a political organization, an extensive report on the Brotherhood by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies explained the group’s use of some tools of democracy to advance the aim of achieving a world ruled by Sharia law, which is by definition anti-democratic.

Drawing from founding Brotherhood documents and original literature by Brotherhood leaders, the Center explained:

Unlike the militant factions of other Islamist movements, which completely rule out democracy on the basis of it being a Western, pagan, and ignorant idea, the Muslim Brotherhood does use the term “democracy.” In its view, however, it has two main connotations: a tactical, instrumental means of taking over countries through the use of the democratic process, and an “Islamic democracy” based on Sharia law (i.e., Islamic religious law) and a model of internal consultation within the leadership

[Brotherhood Founder Sheikh Hassan] Al-Banna listed seven stages to achieve these objectives, each to be carried out in a gradual fashion. The stages are divided into social and political: the first three are based on educating the individual, the family, and the entire society of the Muslim world to implement Sharia laws in every aspect of daily life. The next four stages are political in nature, and include assuming power through elections, shaping a Sharia state, liberating Islamic countries from the burden of (physical and ideological) foreign occupation, uniting them into one Islamic entity (“new caliphate”), and spreading Islamic values throughout the world.

Sharia law is explicitly anti-democratic. For example, under Sharia, non-Muslims cannot rule over Muslims; a Caliph can come to rule through force and seizure of power; a woman inherits half that of a man and non-Muslims cannot inherit from Muslims.

In the Times editorial, meanwhile, the newspaper claimed that those “advising Mr. Trump seem unwilling to draw distinctions” between the Brotherhood and its violent adherents.

The paper continued:

Stephen Bannon, the chief White House strategist, once called the Brotherhood “the foundation of modern terrorism.” And Frank Gaffney Jr., an anti-Muslim analyst who heads a small think tank, recently told the Times that the Brotherhood’s goals are “exactly the same” as those of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

Both of these statements are true. The Brotherhood’s historic ideological principles of establishing a worldwide Caliphate are indeed shared by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, although their tactics greatly differ. And Brotherhood ideology has served as the foundation for groups like al-Qaeda.

The defining works of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, ideologue and theorist Sayyid Qutb, considered the Brotherhood’s intellectual godfather, greatly influenced Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda doctrine.

An extensive March 23, 2003, article in the New York Times magazine by Paul Berman dissected Qutb’s writings as they relate to terrorist ideology.

In the article titled “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror,” Berman documented the centrality of Qutb’s influence on al-Qaeda:

The organization (al-Qaeda) was created in the late 1980’s by an affiliation of three armed factions – bin Laden’s circle of ”Afghan” Arabs, together with two factions from Egypt, the Islamic Group and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the latter led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s top theoretician. The Egyptian factions emerged from an older current, a school of thought from within Egypt’s fundamentalist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1950’s and 60’s. And at the heart of that single school of thought stood, until his execution in 1966, a philosopher named Sayyid Qutb – the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.

In recent days, the Times has featured numerous other articles arguing against branding the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

An article on Tuesday warned, “Officially designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt, where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.”

“Critics said they feared that Mr. Trump’s team wanted to create a legal justification to crack down on Muslim charities, mosques and other groups in the United States,” added the Times. “A terrorist designation would freeze assets, block visas and ban financial interactions.”

A Times article on February 1 was titled, “Trump Pushes Dark View of Islam to Center of U.S. Policy-Making.”

The article lamented a worldview that “conflates terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State with largely nonviolent groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots and, at times, with the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world.”

A January 26 editorial titled “‘I Think Islam Hates Us’” informed readers the Trump administration “reportedly is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood, which is involved in Muslim politics in a number of countries, as a terrorist organization. Some experts see the move as a chance for the Trump administration to limit Muslim political activity in the United States.”

 Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

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.

New Report: The Purge of US Counterterrorism Training by the Obama Administration

purged-rpt

February 7, 2017, New Unconstrained Analytics Report:

On June 28, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts held a hearing chaired by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) investigating a series of policies established by the Obama Administration during 2011-2012 that effectively neutered FBI counterterrorism training and blinded our nation’s national security, defense and intelligence agencies to the threat from Islamic terrorism.

In what some experts have termed a hostile “political warfare campaign” driven by an alliance between the administration, Islamic organizations and cooperating media figures, analysts and subject matter experts were blacklisted, and books and training materials were purged from official counterterrorism training programs government-wide.

This “purge” has contributed to clues being missed by the FBI in major terrorism cases, including the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, and more recently the June 2016 massacre at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by Omar Mateen, who had been the target of previous FBI investigations in 2013 and 2014.

Patrick Poole of Unconstrained Analytics has written a new report detailing how this counterterrorism training purge happened, the players involved, the surprising but overlooked findings by a GAO report, and the consequences of having our law enforcement/military/intelligence professionals intentionally denied important training on the threat doctrine of the enemy, As a result, they have been blinded, losing any ability to identify, and then defeat, the enemy.

REPORT – Purged: A Detailed Look at ‘The Purge’ of US Counterterrorism Training by the Obama Administration (pdf)

Muslim Brotherhood Protests Removal of Jihad Verses From Jordanian Curriculum

Getty Images

Getty Images

Breitbart, by Ali Waked, Fe. 5, 2017:

JAFFA, Israel – Dozens of Quranic verses have been removed from the Jordanian national curriculum, including those referencing jihad, prompting criticism from the Muslim Brotherhood and its representatives in Jordan.

Huda Alatoum, an educator and high-profile MP for the Muslim Brotherhood, said that “far-reaching changes” have been introduced in Jordan’s school program that remove verses and hadiths (oral traditions) “pertaining to Prophet Mohammed’s life.”

“About 40 percent of the curriculum about Arabic language and Islam have been changed, including the removal of all reference to jihad and opposing the occupation of Palestine,” she charged, adding that “325 verses and 75 Islamic texts have been removed.”

She concluded by warning that “even worse changes” are ahead.

Alatoum said she decided to hold a press conference after her protest efforts in parliament met with failure. In her addresses to the plenary, she repeatedly claimed that the amendments were decided without the approval of parliament’s Education Committee.

Al-Monitor reported on the curriculum changes:

A religious and political dispute continues to brew in Jordan over a controversial move by the Ministry of Education to revamp the curricula of the three elementary grades. According to Deputy Prime Minister Jawad Anani, the changes are part of the government’s strategy to combat extremism in society.

Changes to school textbooks introduced this year involve coverage of Islam, history, Arabic and civics. For example, in civics, reference is made to acknowledge Christians as a demographic component of the population with pictures of churches as well as mosques. In religion, entire verses from the Quran and sayings by the Prophet Muhammad have been removed, while in Arabic literature, a picture of a veiled woman was replaced with one showing an unveiled woman. In Arabic-language textbooks for the third grade, a Quranic verse was replaced by a text on swimming. No changes were made to books on the sciences, mathematics and art.

The issue of extremism in the school curricula and the reforms proposed are dividing the country. Conservatives, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front (IAF), which contested the Sept. 20 Lower House elections, have denounced the move “as an affront to our heritage and values aimed at distancing future generations from its religion, its Arab identity, its history and traditions.”

Alatoum’s campaign became a sensation on social media.

“That’s what the West wants, a generation that knows nothing about its religion except prayer and fasting,” Misbah tweeted. “They amend the curriculum pretending to root out extremism, but they introduce only corruption instead.”

“Allah bless Huda Alatoum,” Ibrahim Altamimi tweeted after a speech she gave in December.

Mohammed Bilal called the new curriculum “American Islam,” saying, “Dr. Huda Alatoum, MP, talks about effectively teaching American Islam in her country. Allah forbid.”

Another user protested “the Jordanian liberals’ attempt to change the curriculum.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah II visited the United States last week and met several officials from the new administration, including President Donald Trump.

The king’s visit came against a background of growing concerns that terrorist organizations, especially the Islamic State, will seek to settle along Jordan’s borders with Iraq and Syria following their retreats from Raqqa and Mosul.