Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Taliban: The Terror Groups That Have Called Qatar Home

Mohamed Farag/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, June 13, 2017:

The government of Sunni-majority Qatar has long hosted and legitimized political leaders from the terrorist organizations known as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the Hamas Palestinian movement, and more recently the Afghan Taliban.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain have severed ties with their fellow predominantly Sunni nation Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the Muslim region with its support for Islamic terrorist organizations and plunging the Arab Gulf nations into a diplomatic crisis.

Qatari officials have repeatedly denied the allegations, dismissing them as “unjustified” and having “no basis in fact.”

“Qatar became a central target of the Saudi-Emirati-Israeli joint lobbying efforts for its perceived role in promoting the Muslim Brotherhood and hosting members of Hamas’ political bureau,” reports Al Jazeera.

In 2013, Qatar allowed the Afghan Taliban to open an official political office in its capital Doha. Although the Qatari government allegedly shut it down, Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to be still operating in Doha.

A senior Qatari official recently told Al Jazeera that Doha hosted the Taliban at the “request of the U.S. government,” led by former President Barack Obama at the time.

Under President Donald Trump, who has recently expressed strong support for Saudi Arabia, the United States joined the Sunni kingdom’s allies in condemning Qatar for supporting and assisting Iran and jihadist groups.

Hamas, officially deemed as a terrorist group by the United States, is considered one of Iran’s terror proxies.

Echoing comments made by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Tuesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) blasted Qatar’s ties to terrorism on the same day.

Qatar “must stop supporting Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Jubeir told reporters.

During a hearing held by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa hearing titled, “Challenges and Opportunities for the U.S.-Saudi Relationship,” Chairman Royce declared:

Qatar’s relationship with Hamas remains very concerning. Senior leaders of Hamas and the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood – which is an Islamist group designated as terrorists by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates – all reside in Qatar today.

And earlier this month – and I think this is what is most concerning for all of us here – more Hamas tunnels were found under two U.N. Relief Works Agency schools in Gaza. Found underneath the schools in Gaza. So Hamas is still using civilians and children to hide its activities. And that, to me, does not sound like a legitimate resistance movement.

Qatar’s foreign minister recently referred to Hamas as “a legitimate resistance movement.”

The Sunni country “has doubled down on its relationship with Hamas,” noted Congressman Royce, later adding, “This practice needs to end now. There is no such thing as a ‘good terrorist group.’”

According to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Hamas is responsible for for the death of more than 400 Israelis and at least 25 American citizens.

“Palestinian terrorism represents a grave threat to Israeli security and the prospects for a two-state solution,” said New York’s Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House panel, in a statement issued on May 26.“Congress must work to stop international support for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and foreign supporters of these organizations must understand the risks associated with perpetuating this perverse violence.”

The Obama administration refused to officially deem the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group despite requests from Republican lawmakers.

President Trump is expected to support efforts to label MB a terrorist organization.

Unlike its predecessor, the Trump administration did not hesitate to refer to the Afghan Taliban as a “terrorist” group.

The U.S. has officially labeled the Afghan Taliban a terrorist organization.

Qatari foreign minister’s special envoy on counterterrorism told Al Jazeera that Doha allowed the Afghan Taliban to establish an office at the “request of the U.S. government” in 2013 and as part of the country’s “open-door policy, to facilitate talks, to mediate and to bring peace.”

Qatar “was facilitating the talks between the Americans, the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan,” claimed Mutlaq Al Qahtani, the FM’s envoy.

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Trump and Leaks: The president must take aggressive steps to stop a grave national security threat

Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, May 29, 2017:

President Trump spoke out angrily Thursday against leaks of classified information to the press – including leaks of confidential information the U.K. government had shared with American intelligence agencies on the Manchester terrorist attack. These leaks “pose a grave threat to our national security,” he said, and pledged to identify and prosecute those responsible.

The president has it exactly right. He is facing an unprecedented campaign by career government employees to sabotage his presidency with a flood of leaks to the press of classified and confidential information. These leaks are damaging U.S. national security and constitute criminal behavior. They must be stopped.

Some of the leaks have been of highly classified U.S. intelligence reports, including “demasked” NSA reporting concerning former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn. Others were of President Trump’s confidential conversations with foreign leaders.

Concerning the false allegation that President Trump “leaked” classified information to Russian officials when he met with them in the Oval Office, bear in mind that the president has ultimate classification authority — he can disclose intelligence as he sees fit to advance his foreign policy.

As I discussed in an earlier Fox News Opinion article, the real scandal in that instance was that current and former intelligence and policy officials disclosed to the Washington Post sensitive details about the intelligence Trump allegedly discussed with Russian officials – details that were so highly classified the Post chose not to publish them. This was the real crime. The persons who illegally disclosed this information to the Post must be prosecuted.

Just as serious are the constant leaks concerning investigations of Trump officials. There’s no question in my mind that former FBI Director James Comey arranged to have his notes leaked to the press to hurt President Trump and influence the congressional investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. It also appears that anti-Trump government employees with the Justice Department and the FBI are systematically leaking a story a day to help CNN and MSNBC promote their false narratives that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.

These leaks are especially serious since Justice and law enforcement careerists are violating the due process rights of Trump officials by disclosing (and probably misrepresenting) confidential information from official investigations to smear them. Since the “evidence” of wrongdoing by Trump officials appears too thin to produce any charges, these officials are instead using leaks to try and convict Trump officials in the press.

It is urgent that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller stop these leaks which are an affront to the American system of justice.

The Trump administration also must take decisive action to halt leaks of classified national security information. The most effective way to do this is to fill vacant confirmable and non-confirmable positions in policy and intelligence agencies as quickly as possible.

This should include a housecleaning in the NSC, State, DOD, CIA, DIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other agencies to replace career government employees named to sensitive positions by the Obama administration. In some cases, these career officials are actually former Obama political appointees who converted to the career civil service, a practice known as “burrowing in.”

Although civil service laws and regulations make it virtually impossible to fire career government employees, the Trump administration can reassign these officials. If this is not possible, job descriptions can be changed so anti-Trump careerists suspected of leaking no longer work on sensitive matters. Their security clearances can also be stripped.

Other immediate steps must be taken to address recent leaks of classified and confidential information. Read-outs of the president’s meetings and conversations must be better protected. Investigations that include polygraphs should be conducted to find those who were behind recent leaks. And the NSC needs to bring in experienced personnel to help safeguard confidential information concerning the president’s policy deliberations.

Trump officials will never completely stop leaks to the press. They need to recognize that leaks are always worse during Republican presidencies because the career work force tilts to the left. That said, this recent flood of leaks is an unprecedented effort by government careerists to put U.S. national security at risk to undermine an elected president. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Fred Fleitz is senior vice president for policy and programs with the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank. Follow him on Twitter@FredFleitz.

How to stop homegrown terrorists before they strike

Salman Abedi

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, May 27, 2017:

Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi was on the radar of British authorities as a Muslim extremist, but they failed to stop him before he massacred girls at a pop concert. It’s a recurring problem on both sides of the pond. US authorities also keep missing “known wolves” who were under suspicion before they attacked.

This was true of the Chelsea bomber and the Orlando nightclub shooter and one of the Boston bombers before him. Cases were opened and then, tragically, closed.

In fact, according to terrorism analyst Patrick Poole, at least 12 of the 14 Islamic terrorists who carried out attacks in the US during the Obama years had been previously investigated on extremism fears.

But authorities say don’t blame them. They say their hands are tied by official guidelines that restrict how long they can leave a case open without convincing a court there’s evidence of a crime.

If FBI agents can’t advance a case within six months, they’re obligated to close it, though they can reopen it if they obtain new information, such as suspicious changes in a suspect’s behavior, associations and travel.

Problem is, nothing’s formally ringing alarm bells within the FBI when a suspect does something that should trigger a reopening of a case, such as overseas travel to a jihadi hotspot — and this creates dangerous gaps in the monitoring of suspects.

“The DIOG (Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide) should be revisited to address this, allowing them to set trip wires to alert them to such changes,” former assistant FBI director Ron Hosko told The Post.

Rules also limit how aggressively agents can profile Muslim suspects and infiltrate their places of worship, where many of them are radicalized. Law-enforcement officials agree that having eyes and ears inside mosques is key to taking down jihadists before they go operational.

The NYPD had great success penetrating radical mosques before Muslim groups sued and Mayor de Blasio agreed to shut down such covert operations.

The FBI even joined one successful sting involving a Newburgh mosque. Intelligence found the mosque was creating an environment for radicalization, so the FBI planted an undercover informant inside. The operation led to the arrest of four Muslim members before they could act on plans to bomb synagogues and shoot down military planes.

The key was being proactive. “If they had waited for the mosque clergy to report any suspicious behavior, the investigation would have failed and the terrorists would have been successful,” said Patrick Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the New York State prisons’ criminal intelligence division, who also worked with the NYPD’s intelligence division for several years.

Officials say trusting imams to root out terrorists rarely bears fruit.

The latest example is the cleric of the Manchester mosque Abedi attended. He maintains he argued with Abedi about his extremist views, including his support of ISIS. Yet he failed to report him to police or even kick him out of his mosque.

“There is a paucity of really good sources even among the respected Muslim community leadership,” retired FBI official I.C. Smith said.

Islamic centers are a necessary target of investigation, because too many of them act as recruiting stations for jihadists, even in America, asserts former CIA officer Clare Lopez, who heads research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.

“Mosques here are no different than mosques in Manchester or Molenbeek [Brussels],” she said. Many “are recruitment and training centers” and virtually all share “active hostilities against the US government and US law.”

The number of mosques in the US has nearly doubled over the past decade to more than 2,100, with the heaviest concentrations in Detroit, the New York-New Jersey area, Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, roughly in that order. Areas with large numbers of mosques tend to produce more terrorism suspects. It’s no coincidence that more people from the Detroit area are on the federal terror watch list than from any other American city except New York.

Hosko called such isolated Muslim enclaves “bubbling cauldrons that are more difficult for law enforcement to penetrate.”

“They need cooperation within mosques,” he added. Only, “too many of these killers are seen by family and friends ticking, and no one acts.”

Terrorists don’t go from thought to action overnight. It’s a process, one that’s steeped in Islamic doctrine. And there are identifiable steps and signposts along the way, but authorities aren’t trained to see them, mainly because Muslim-rights groups have convinced politicians to shut down that critical training.

“The problem is our FBI, Homeland Security and local law enforcement are not trained to recognize what a jihadi is, and what a jihadi looks like and sounds like and when to go on high alert because he’s about to go operational,” Lopez said.

Abedi displayed outward signs of radicalization. He is said to have become increasingly religious and interested in jihadist groups. Neighbors say he was chanting Islamic prayers weeks before the massacre. Also, friends say he stopped smoking pot and last year grew an Islamic beard and went to his mosque more frequently to pray — just like the Boston bombers, who also became more radical as they got more religious.

“Evidence exists to demonstrate that a greater level of adherence to Islamic law correlates to a greater likelihood of violence by that individual,” former FBI Agent John Guandolo said.

“If a Sharia-adherent Muslim is under investigation and then surveilled or seen at a strip club or bar, they may be planning to commit jihad in the immediate future and need to be seized immediately,” said Guandolo, whose Understanding the Threat LLC is the only government contractor in the country training local law enforcement in how to look for such red flags. He explains jihadists believe all sins are wiped away upon martyrdom.

He advises police to use simple charges — for traffic violations, fraud and domestic abuse — to obtain warrants for suspects who appear to be preparing for jihad. Unfortunately, manpower and budget constraints also hamper efforts to defuse human bombs in the Muslim community.

The FBI says it’s actively investigating more than 1,000 ISIS-related cases in all 50 states, plus more than 300 terrorism cases tied to refugees from Muslim countries.

“Let’s say you have 10 suspects in a small city that need to be watched. To watch them effectively, you have to monitor their social media and credit-card transactions in real time — 24/7/365 — and that requires three people working three shifts,” a US intelligence official told The Post. “The manpower demand adds up fast, and that’s expensive.”

Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.” Follow him on Twitter: @paulsperry_

No, Efforts To Designate The Muslim Brotherhood Aren’t Abandoned

A diverse range of voices favors Washington putting the squeeze on the Muslim Brotherhood, despite debates about to how to move forward effectively.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, May 15, 2017:

If we are to believe media reports, the Trump administration has all but abandoned efforts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. While Brookings scholar Shadi Hamid trumpeted that “American experts who study the Muslim Brotherhood unanimously oppose their designation,” a wide range of opinion on the Islamist group remains, both inside and outside the Beltway.

In fact, a diverse range of voices favors Washington puting the squeeze on the Muslim Brotherhood, even if there are debates about to how to move forward in the most effective manner. Former Ambassador Dennis Ross, co-author of a leading work on the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, the terrorist group Hamas, recently wrote a stinging article targeting the tiny gulf state of Qatar for its role in financing the group. Ross notes,

Few countries have done more to promote the Muslim Brotherhood, including its Palestinian offshoot Hamas, than Qatar. The actions of the Muslim Brotherhood may vary from country to country, but it rationalizes attacks against American forces and interests, rejects the very concept of peace with Israel, and promotes religious intolerance.

Just so. While Ross doesn’t explicitly call for designating the group as a terrorist organization, he does poke holes in the view—prevalent during the Obama administration—that the Brotherhood represents a bulwark against Islamic terrorism rather than a network of support for it. That flawed approach has been the basis for much of the immense bureaucratic opposition from both the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department to designating the Brotherhood.

We’re Already Halfway There

Soon after Trump’s victory late last year, State Department and CIA memos opposing designation were leaked to sympathetic media, and fed into a fierce public relations campaign the Brotherhood funded abroad. An echo chamber of validators amplified these efforts, using self-proclaimed Islamist and counterterror experts whose think tanks receive lavish funding from Gulf States like Qatar.

Yet designating the Brotherhood enjoys a base of broad support among Republicans, from conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz to traditional centrists likes Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch, and even a handful of Democrats. Some foreign governments have also supported a designation, including the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Indeed, elements of the Muslim Brotherhood have already been designated. The effort began in 1993, when President Bill Clinton designated its Palestinian branch—better known as Hamas—as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Then, almost immediately following 9/11, U.S. counterterrorism efforts against the Muslim Brotherhood began in earnest. By the end of President Bush’s second term, numerous Brotherhood charities and organizations, both foreign and domestic, had been designated, and others criminally prosecuted for terrorism activity.

Additionally, a number of Brotherhood leaders were personally designated, including Yemeni Brotherhood leader Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani and one of the leaders of the International Muslim Brotherhood organization, Youssef Nada. Most of these designations took place without invoking the Brotherhood’s name, but they were still intentional blows to the group’s terror support network. While the Obama administration reversed some of these designations, others remain.

What the Trump Administration Should Do

Any effective policy to combat the Muslim Brotherhood would involve freeing the Treasury Department to once against begin designating and sanctioning the Muslim Brothers and their various front organizations and branches for terrorism finance and their other illegal activities.

This step can be taken as soon as key nominees are confirmed, a process that Democratic Senators have unfortunately slowed to a crawl. Just this week, Sen. Ron Wyden announced he would block the nomination of Sigal Mandelker to be undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.

In addition to Treasury enforcement action, knowledgeable federal law enforcement officers within the government recognize the nature and threat of the Muslim Brotherhood. These officers investigated Muslim Brotherhood-related cases during the Bush administration, and they understand the role the Muslim Brotherhood plays in terrorism and terror finance.

This includes agents who have dedicated nearly a lifetime of federal service to investigating the Brotherhood’s terror connections. Unfortunately, the Obama administration broke up the taskforce that won key counterterrorism convictions against Brotherhood leaders, meaning some of America’s best experts on the Muslim Brotherhood have been relegated to other tasks. Restoring this taskforce for federal law enforcement is a necessary step, and could be accomplished by the Trump Department of Justice with a modicum of effort.

Perhaps most importantly, the public debate around designating the Muslim Brotherhood deserves transparency. A tranche of Brotherhood documents federal law enforcement captured, while reportedly not classified, have not been made available to the general public. They should be released immediately.

Additionally, the nature of the U.S. government’s policy towards Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood over the past decade deserves clarification. Presidential Study Directive-11, which reportedly deals with U.S. policy towards Islamist movements in the Middle East, and its associated documents should be declassified and made available for examination. Former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Pete Hokstra made this argument at a hearing in September last year.

As with the documents taken during the raid on Abbottabad when Osama bin Laden was killed, and the so-called “side deals” of the Iran deal, these documents also deserve to see light of day so a reasoned debate can begin over how the U.S. government should best respond to the threat the Muslim Brotherhood poses. These are all actions the Trump administration can begin immediately.

Finally, a role for Congress remains in this debate. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Cruz, legislation on designation remains before both the House and Senate. Hearings on the Muslim Brotherhood, its role in supporting terrorism, and U.S. policy towards the group are all not only appropriate, but well overdue as a companion to White House efforts.

It’s inaccurate to say no support exists for designating the Muslim Brotherhood, but it is fair to say the window for a successful effort is closing fast. If the Trump administration intends to keep this important part of their broader platform to make America safe again, they need to move swiftly.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.

Trump in Saudi Arabia: Fight ‘Islamic Terror’ & ‘Drive Them Out’

President Donald Trump delivers a speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit, at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, May 21, 2017:

President Donald Trump delivered the first major foreign policy speech of his tenure Sunday evening in Riyadh, discussing his vision for how America should conduct its international affairs.

America will engage with the world through the lens of a “Principled Realism,” Trump explained, “rooted in common values and shared interests.”

The president delivered on a crucial campaign promise to identify the global jihadist movement as one of the key threats to world stability. Speaking in Saudi Arabia, in front of the leaders of dozens of Muslim nations, Trump called upon the world to “drive out” the “Islamic terror” movements that persist within their countries.

“The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” he proclaimed.

In labeling the enemies of world order as “Islamic” terrorists, he diverted from a final prepared transcript of the finished speech that referenced “Islamist” terrorists. The departure is significant. Defining the enemy as “Islamic” signals a call for reform within the religion, while labeling the enemy as “Islamist” refers to a violent supremacist political ideology.

The president demanded that leaders confront “the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamist and Islamic terror of all kinds.”

“And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians,” he added.

Delivering an impassioned plea to his counterparts in the Muslim world, he argued that “a better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists.”

“Drive. Them. Out!” the president exclaimed. “Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of this earth.

Marking a departure from the Obama administration’s coziness with Iran, Trump highlighted the threat posed by the Iranian regime and its proxies in Lebanese Hezbollah and the Houthis of Yemen. He called on American allies to isolate the Iranian regime and stop it in its quest for global dominance.

“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” President Trump said. “It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.”

The president called upon “nations of conscience”  to “work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.”

Trump will wrap up his visit to Saudi Arabia this evening and depart for Israel, where he will spend the next two days.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.

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EXCLUSIVE – Senior Jihadist: Hamas ‘In Plot Against Islam’ With New Charter

AP/Majdi Mohammed

Breitbart, by  AARON KLEIN AND ALI WAKED, May 6, 2017:

TEL AVIV – Hamas’ new charter, which is being sold as more moderate than its predecessor, proves that “Hamas was never an Islamic movement,” according to Egyptian jihadist Abu Abdullah Almuhajer, who is active in Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

“Hamas was mistakenly considered among the Islamic movements and also falsely among the resistance movements, said Almuhajer, speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem. “The Muslim Brotherhood is part of the democratic method in which political movements treat man-made laws as the foundation of life and fight for control only in order to exchange these laws for different laws while ignoring the laws of Sharia.”

According to Almuhajer, Hamas’ new charter, in which the movement recognizes the 1967 borders, “is proof that Hamas is part of a plot against Islam and Muslims by indirectly saying that Palestine, which is Muslim holy land, can be part of a compromise with the Jews.”

Almuhajer claimed that the entire state of Israel is being “occupied by the Jews.”

He said that the Quran is clear in its commandments and according to the text, “The Muslims must fight infidels in order to put the laws of Sharia into place over the land. Non-Muslims need to pay a poll tax and need to be submissive. Hamas’ announcement, according to which they’re fighting against the Jewish occupation and not the Jews, proves its lack of understanding of the conflict and proves that its mistakenly called an Islamic movement.”

Hamas announced its new charter on Tuesday in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The two most noticeable clauses in the new charter, besides those recognizing the 1967 borders while failing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, stress that the movement has no organizational connection to political movements outside of the Palestinian territories, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, and states that the conflict is not a religious one, but a national conflict over land.

According to Almuhajer, Hamas is trying to appease its members when it says its recognition of the 1967 borders has no impact on its refusal to recognize the Jews. “But it’s clear to all that there is a surrender of principles here and as far as we’re concerned, this is an opportunity for all the brothers who believe in Islam in Hamas. Hamas has abandoned Islam. Hamas has sold out the jihad. We’re the address, the Islamic State is the address. We are not manipulators, we don’t compromise and we have no aspirations to rule, only that Allah’s Sharia rules.”

Almuhajer claimed that immediately following the announcement of the new charter, “three Hamas members joined Wilayat Sinai and that’s in addition to seven Hamas and Islamic Jihad members who joined in the few days prior to the announcement of the new charter.” Wilayat Sinai is the Islamic State’s franchise in the Egyptian Sinai.

According to Almuhajer, “We are expecting an influx from the ranks of Hamas to the Islamic State in Gaza, in Sinai and in every place. This could significantly strengthen the Islamic State as well as the mujahedeen brothers. We hope and we’re sure that the awakening of the brothers in Hamas will lead them to the ranks of the Islamic State. We aren’t happy about the calamity of Hamas, on the contrary; we call on the leadership of the movement to reconcile with Allah, to ask for his forgiveness and to return to the path of jihad and true Islam, not the one that seeks to reconcile with democracy, the West and secularism.”

Dr. Sebastian Gorka to Astroturf Protesters: You Are ‘Victims of Fake News’

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian and Edwin Mora, april 25, 2017:

GEORGETOWN, DC – An astroturf protest campaign targeted Donald Trump’s national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka Monday, who appeared on a panel on cyber security at Georgetown University. Gorka branded the protesters “victims of fake news.”

Approximately 20 protesters gathered inside the hall where the event was held with signs falsely accusing Gorka of being a Nazi, a war criminal, and a fascist.

At the prestigious foreign policy event, Gorka discussed a variety of topics relevant to foreign policy and national security scholars. His remarks focused primarily on personal experiences in dealing with fake news and the manipulation of facts by the mainstream media:

“Eight out of ten times, I can read something written in the daily paper about an event that occurred the night before, and it is literally 180 degrees incorrect,” said Gorka in his remarks to the crowded room. “It is totally contrary to what happened inside the building 80 percent of the time. That’s something that has opened my eyes to the lack of true investigative journalism.”

He labeled “the idea that a 22-year-old with access to Google is a journalist” as “problematic” and noted his view that the days of classic investigative journalism, which required in-depth research, “are behind us.”

Gorka discussed his parents’ experiences fleeing both Nazis and Communists in his native Hungary and how biased journalists have manipulated the facts of his early life to create the impression that Gorka himself is a member of the Nazi and Communist organizations he fled.

Gorka is not a member of a Nazi organization and has never pledged loyalty to any such organization.

The media accusations claim a pin Gorka wears to remind him of his parents’ struggle against communists and fascists ties him to these illicit groups. When he was eight years old, Gorka’s father was awarded a medal that is associated with a military order, the ‘Hungarian Order of Heroes, Vitezi Rend,’ created after the First World War. An anti-Communist organization gave it to him, recognizing him for his resistance to fascists and Communist dictatorship.

On Monday, he explained once again the story behind the pin he wears:

My parents died 14 years ago, and in their memory, for what they suffered under the Nazis and the Communists — my father tortured in the basement of Andrássy út 60 (the secret police headquarters of the fascists first and then the Communists)–I wear that medal to remember their suffering and their resistance. And today, because I work for somebody named Donald J. Trump, that fact is used as part of a fake news propaganda campaign that brought those people in the back of the room, sadly, to a point where they are the victims of fake news.

Gorka also confronted the leftist protesters about their signs calling him an antisemite and fascist. Two of the female students wore hijabs, and one man wore garments traditionally worn by observant Jews. He tied the Jewish prayer shawl (known as Talis) over his shoulders like it was a fashionable scarf:

Every single person holding a placard to protest my parents and myself, I challenge you now: Go away and look at everything I have said an written the last 46 years of my life and find one sentence that is antisemitic or that is anti-Israeli. Because you won’t find it. You’ll find the opposite. My book Defeating Jihad, everything I’ve said on the conference circuit–in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem–tells you why I’m in this administration. Because this is one of the most pro-Israeli administrations in U.S. history. I’m sorry for you. You are the victims of fake news. But I’ll leave with this: I do what I do because I’ve learned that there is a connective tissue between Nazis, Communists, and Jihadists; they are all the same because they are all totalitarians. And if you perpetuate fake news, you are helping the bad guys.

Gorka cited a case study from the end of the Cold War by National Defense University’s Active Members Working Group as a model on how to identify and combat fake news during the Soviet era:

He explained how this group had “as its mandate, from the highest levels in the Reagan administration, the mission to identify Soviet propaganda, illuminate its sources, and destroy it from the inside to show just how much the message was a lie.” He suggested this group’s case study could be used to similarly combat fake news propagated over social media through mediums like Telegram and Twitter.

In conclusion, Gorka said:

What we are witnessing today–whether it’s RT, whether its ISIS tweets, Telegram–none of it is new. The platforms may be new, but the concepts of propaganda, dezinformatsiyaMaskirovka, none of these are true. They are just being packaged in new and far more effective ways. And this administration, with our allies and partners, including Israel, intends to take it very, very seriously. Thank you.

None of the few demonstrators congregated would talk to Breitbart News when Edwin Mora asked them to share their position on camera. Mora worked with Gorka during the latter’s tenure as Breitbart News’s National Security editor. Instead, the protesters shared a document accusing Breitbart News of perpetrating fake news.

No protesters responded to Gorka’s request to verbally defend their protest before the panel.

Follow Adelle and Edwin on Twitter @AdelleNaz and @EdwinMora83

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