Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Anyone Surprised by Weekend’s Islamic Terror Attack ‘Has Been Asleep for the Last Two Years’

Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images

Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John  Hayward, Sept. 19, 2016:

On Monday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Dr. Sebastian Gorka said, “All of the attacks over the weekend, all three of them, and the detonation of a backpack that we had just now, is part and parcel of the new jihadi tactic that we’ve seen in the last two years.”

Gorka added:

ISIS has encouraged, since it declared the Caliphate, the use of classic guerilla warfare. It’s not like al-Qaeda. It’s not about giant spectacle. It’s not 9/11-style attacks. It’s cheap, low-investment, high-yield return.

We have seen, literally, scores of knife attacks in Israel since September. They’ve taken a leaf out of the Palestinian playbook. We’ve seen the attack, the murder of the French priest. We’ve seen the lorry attack, the truck attack in Nice, France.

These are all very, very simple to do, and the ISIS mantra, from their magazine Dabiq, has been clear: look for high concentrations of unarmed civilians. What did we see? We see a food court in St. Cloud. We see in New Jersey a Marine Corps five-mile run. If those pipe bombs had detonated when the runners were going past – by the grace of God, the runners had been delayed at the registration desk – it would have made the weekend’s events much worse.

Another bit of “connective tissue” between these terror attacks highlighted by Gorka was the use of pressure-cooker bombs, similar to those favored by the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston. “A lot of people miss the fact that when they were being chased by the police, after the marathon attack, they also used pipe bombs,” he added. “They threw pipe bombs at the police officers that were trying to neutralize them.”

“Anybody who says they’re surprised by what happened over the weekend has been asleep for the last two years,” he declared.

Marlow trenchantly noted that Hillary Clinton seemed to have literally been asleep during the latest round of terror attacks: “sleepwalking through it, she can barely keep her eyes open as she first declares it a bombing and then condemns Donald Trump for using the word ‘bomb.’”

Gorka addressed Marlow’s point about the danger of Americans growing accustomed to terrorist atrocities:

Let’s just look at the numbers. Three attacks, okay? Eleven devices. There were five that were found in a backpack just last night. There were four; only one detonated in New Jersey. Then we have the two pressure-cooker bombs, and on top of that, we have the knife attack. This is the kind of density of attack and devices that we recall from the Cold War. This is like the IRA period.

The war is real, and the war has arrived at America’s shores, and I think it makes the November decision all the more a decision about which candidate you think is going to be the more effective commander-in-chief, who takes this war seriously, and who doesn’t have just incredible gaffes, like Johnson, or just complete non-sequitur oxymoronic statements, such as Secretary Clinton?

Gorka said there are two big reasons the Left is more obsessed with policing language than stopping terrorism:

Number one, if they admit this is a jihadi threat coming from Arab or Muslim communities or Egypt, then the whole multicultural narrative is proven to be bankrupt. Number one is this huge failure, for the last 30 years, of politically correct multicultural narratives.

And secondly, the other reason the administration, and people like Secretary Clinton,have to deny the reality of the escalating threat is the natural conclusion everybody will draw. So what does that mean about the last seven-and-a-half years of your counterterrorism policy? It means it is an utter, abject failure.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is the National Security Editor for Breitbart News, and the author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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Chelsea bomb suspect caught after shootout with cops

Images of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who is wanted for questioning by the FBI Photo: NJ State Police

Images of Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, who is wanted for questioning by the FBI Photo: NJ State Policedail

New York Post, By Jamie Schram, Reuven Fenton and Yaron Steinbuch, Sept. 19, 2016:

A 28-year-old Afghani native wanted in connection with blasts in Manhattan and New Jersey that left 29 wounded has been caught after shooting at a police officer in New Jersey, according to a report.

Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested after firing at the cop in Linden, WNBC reported.

Rahami, whose fingerprint was found on an unexploded device, was hunted in connection with the explosions that sparked fears of a local terror cell, according to federal officials.

Earlier Monday, FBI agents raided the Elizabeth, New Jersey, home of Rahami, a naturalized US citizen who was deemed armed and dangerous, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“We need to get this guy in right away,” de Blasio said on CNN. “My experience is once the FBI zeroes in on someone, they will get them.”

The apartment search began after one of five devices found in a backpack at a nearby Elizabeth train station exploded while a bomb squad robot tried to disarm it. No one was injured.

Authorities have evidence that Rahami also was connected to an unexploded device on 27th Street and a blast Saturday morning at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, ahead of a race for Marines and sailors, The New York Times reported.

A key piece of evidence to Rahami was a fingerprint found on an unexploded device, a law enforcement official told The Post.

Authorities also were able to identify the suspect with the help of a cell phone left behind with a pressure cooker found on West 27th Street — blocks away from the explosion on West 23rd Street, a source told ABC News.

A law enforcement official told The Times there was no direct evidence yet linking Rahami to ISIS or Al Qaeda.

“We don’t know his particular ideology or what his inspiration was or whether he was directed or whether he was inspired,” the official said. “We don’t have any of that.

“So, the ideology, the connection to international terrorism, we might flesh that out as we go through the results of search warrants, looking for computers, discs, things like this. Search warrants that we did Sunday night at the residence in Elizabeth,” the official added.

“Here’s a guy who has been involved in what appears to be four bombings in rapid succession in recent days in crowded places,” the official said. “So we need to get him.”

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that officials believe Rahami is the man seen in surveillance video taken Saturday night in Chelsea.

Rahami is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has brown hair, brown eyes and brown facial hair.

FBI agents and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided an apartment where Rahami lives above the family’s restaurant — First American Fried Chicken — on Elmora Avenue.

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said at a press conference that Rahami’s father, Muhammad, opened the 24-hour-a-day eatery about 10 years ago and employed his sons,

Neighbors complained about the restaurant, which attracted noisy crowds – some of whom urinated on people’s properties.

The City Council voted to shut it down by 10 p.m., but neighbors said the Rahamis ignored the directive and sued the mayor, the city and about 20 cops – claiming ethnic and racial discrimination.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo now believes there may be a “foreign connection” with the explosion Saturday night in Chelsea.

“I suspect there may be a foreign connection,” Cuomo told CBS News. “That’s what we are hearing today, as the investigation goes on.”

Cuomo hedged, however, suggesting that it is still unknown where the investigation will end up.

“But, again, I was the former attorney general in New York and I did many — I participated in many of these investigations. They take different twists and turns. So you want to be careful what you say early on because you want to protect the information, but that would be my guess,” he said.

Cuomo refused to say whether he believed ISIS was directly behind this attack –and the possibly related attacks in New Jersey.

Read more

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NY, NJ bombings: Suspect wounded, arrested after shootout; 2 officers hit

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Also see:

Dozens Hurt in NYC Blast Hours After Pipe Bomb Goes Off at N.J. Race

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016:

Explosions in New Jersey and New York on Saturday quickly drew the involvement of FBI terrorism investigators, as the latter blast injured dozens and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted there was no terror threat against the Big Apple.

The first blast occurred at the start of the Seaside Semper Fi Marine Corps charity 5K in Seaside Park, N.J., as a pipe bomb detonated in a garbage can. No one was injured at this incident, but the race was canceled.

“Race officials working closely with local authorities made the decision to cancel the race and evacuate the area,” race organizers said in a statement, thanking “all those who showed up today in support of our military for their patience and understanding.”

The race was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Ocean Avenue and D Street, but was delayed due to snafus with runners’ registration, the Asbury Park Press reported. Thus, the start line area was largely empty when the device detonated at 9:35 a.m. About 3,000 people were gathered around the registration area.

Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, said three pipe bombs were inside the trash can but only one detonated. “If it was just a matter of minutes, in terms of difference, there would have been a good number of people running past that explosive device,” he said.

Citing federal law enforcement officials, CNN reported that the bombs were “rudimentary” and set on a timer.

At about 8:30 p.m., an outdoor explosion was witnessed by officers on patrol in front of 131 West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement.

“As of this time, there is no evidence to indicate that this explosion is a result of any natural gas cause. Again, the exact nature and cause of this explosion has not yet been determined,” O’Neill said Saturday night. “As of the most recent information, there have been 27 injuries reported. One of these injuries may be considered serious. The Fire Department is currently assessing the extent of any possible structural damage resulting from this explosion.”

Most of those injured were hospitalized, the NYFD said. The number of wounded was later updated to 29.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted after the explosion: “Investigation is ongoing. Though we believe this was an intentional act, there is no credible terror threat against NYC at this moment.”

De Blasio told reporters there was “no specific evidence” of links between the NYC attack and New Jersey bomb.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state officials are “coordinating our response with federal and New York City authorities, and full state resources have been made available for this investigation.”

“We are closely monitoring the situation and urge New Yorkers to, as always, remain calm and vigilant,” Cuomo said. “Those traveling in or through the area should be advised of closed sidewalks and roadway, and check MTA.info for subway and bus service alerts. As a reminder, the PATH station at 23rd Street is closed for previously-announced weekend closures.”

“We are in close contact with health providers to monitor the extent of the injuries and will provide information as it becomes available.”

A White House official said President Obama “has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation.”

“The president will be updated as additional information becomes available,” the official added.

Then news broke that another device had been found just four blocks from the crime scene: a pressure cooker with wiring and an apparent cell phone detonator, the Associated Press reported, in a plastic bag on West 27th Street between 6th and 7th avenues.

The NYPD said the area was not being evacuated, but the department tweeted a message asking residents on the block to “stay away from windows facing 27th Street until we clear the area of a suspicious package.” The police called it “a precautionary measure only.”

The May issue of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine, which gave the Boston Bombers their pressure cooker recipe, featured step-by-step new recipes on how to build a parcel bomb, a magnetic car bomb, and a door-trap bomb. It also contained what could be an Election Day reference: “Hidden bomb, car bomb, pressure cooker, assassinations,” read a checklist, followed by “make your vote count.”

An ISIS video released in June ripped off mock-up footage from an Al-Jazeera segment on terrorism to portray a man getting ready for a suicide bombing in Times Square. The video then showed news footage of the ABC News building banner in New York scrolling a headline about the November Paris attacks.

Also that month, when the terror group was taking a victory lap over Omar Mateen’s attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the ISIS-linked Al-Battar Media Foundation suggested jihadists target movie theaters, hospitals, airports, trains, amusement parks and restaurants. Lone jihadists shouldn’t “shy away from targeting the so-called civilians… the so-called innocent people,” the statement said.

A new English-language ISIS magazine this month said “the blood of the disbelievers is halal, and killing them is a form of worship to Allah,” thus jihadists should expand their targets to include “the businessman riding to work in a taxicab, the young adults (post-pubescent ‘children’) engaged in sports activities in the park, and the old man waiting in line to buy a sandwich.”

UPDATE 3:30 a.m.: CNN reported that a third suspicious device was being investigated at West 28th Street and 5th Avenue. Police investigated and determined it to be a false alarm.

NYPD shut down traffic eastbound and westbound from West 14th Street to West 32nd Street and from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue. “The closures are in effect until further notice,” the department said.

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U.S. Terrorism Sentencing Needs to be Overhauled

Scales-of-Justice-01Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton, Aug. 15, 2016:

Embedded in a story in The Philadelphia Tribune touting 15-year sentences for some Jihadis convicted on terrorism charges is the revelation that U.S. terrorism sentencing is ridiculously lightweight.

Consider this quotes from the article:

The majority of terrorism defendants in the United States who have been sentenced for supporting the Islamic State group received the maximum 15 years in prison, according to a summary filed Friday by federal prosecutors in Minnesota.

The report looked at sentencing data of Islamic State-related cases over the last two years and focused on material support convictions, not sentences for convictions such as lying during a terror investigation.

Some of the cases cited in the report are similar to the Minnesota cases: In two separate cases, a Texas man got nearly seven years and a Georgia man got 15 years after they were arrested while trying to leave the U.S. A New Jersey man received 15 years after planning to join the Islamic State group himself and helping his brother successfully make the trip abroad.

Davis has been open-minded when it comes to sentencing terror defendants in Minnesota, and has pioneered a program that’s designed to assess a defendant’s prospects for de-radicalization and risk of re-offense. He has said he plans to use that information in sentencing.

What all this means is that, short of being convicted on conspiracy to commit murder overseas, the MAXIMUM sentence that someone convicted on terrorism-related charges can expect to serve is 15 years. In some cases, a felon convicted on terrorism-related charges will serve just a few years in prison.

Note that the judge mentioned in the article linked below is going to depend on a so-called “deradicalization” program to help him with determining sentencing.

http://www.phillytrib.com/ap/u-s-dishes-out-years-to-terrorism-plotters/article_b3146326-e751-5653-a31e-5a6e9d1d758a.html

15 years in prison is ridiculously light for anyone associated with supporting violent Jihad, especially the Islamic State. The even shorter sentences are obviously much too light. Our experience has shown that there is an even chance that a prisoner will be exposed to MORE Jihadi doctrine in prison, rather than being “rehabilitated.”

The first thing that needs to happen is that sentencing for terrorism charges, especially material support for terrorism, need to be lengthened, perhaps doubled.

But there is another measure that needs to be taken to account for all the Jihadis who are in prison who have already received light sentencing: New York State Senator Thomas D. Croci has introduced a bill that would establish the New York State Terrorist Registry:

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2015/s3464/amendment/original

The registry would work similar to the current sex offender registry. Right now, when a convicted sex offender moves into a jurisdiction he must register with the local sheriff.

The terror registry would work the same way. Those convicted on terror related charges would have to register with local law enforcement in the same manner.

The bill hasn’t passed in New York and may not, but other states need to pick up this idea and make it happen.

State and local law enforcement need to know if a terrorist is living in their midst.

State and Local Law Enforcement Must Take the Lead Against Jihad

Crime Scene

Crime Scene

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher W. Holton, July 4, 2016:

In case you haven’t noticed, the global Jihadist insurgency has entered a new, more dangerous phase in the past two years.

The number of Jihadis and the number of attacks that they have carried out–as well as the number of casualties they have inflicted and the number of countries they operate in–has grown drastically.

The excellent, private IntelCenter organization estimates that the Islamic State has killed 18,000 people in 28 countries since they declared their Caliphate on 29 June 2014.

This includes individual acts of Jihad carried out in this country in places like Orlando, Chattanooga, Boston, Garland, San Bernardino, Queens and Philadelphia.

There is no reason to believe that this trend won’t continue. The effort to take down the caliphate is half-hearted at best because it simply isn’t something our president is interested in. He feels as if he killed Bin Laden and that should have been enough. Never mind that the world has become awash in Jihad since then.

Because of the complete lack of leadership on this vital issue, our federal bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus is not even allowed to study Islamic threat doctrine–the very doctrine that the Islamic State cites repeatedly.

Time and time again we find that the warning signs of the Jihadi attackers were missed. We were warned about the Tsarnaev brothers (the Boston bombers) repeatedly by the Russians and the FBI knew that their mosque was founded by a convicted Al Qaeda member. Yet they were still able to carry out their attack.

There were warning signs about the San Bernardino Jihadis as well. The female, Tafsheen Malik, used a fake address to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. She also gained entry into the U.S. under the horribly flawed federal “Visa Express” program that allows applicants to bypass the interview in the screening process.

Moreover, DHS whistleblower Phillip Haney has testified before Congress and written in his new book, “See Something, Say Nothing,” that he had been ordered to cease investigations into Tablighi Jamaat, the notorious Islamist organization that had ties to the San Bernardino mosque.

Then there is the case of Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, who was twice interviewed by the FBI because he was in the contact list for an American Islamikaze bomber in Syria and because he made “incendiary” remarks to co-workers about Jihad. Oh, and his Dad posted pro-Taliban videos too. He was given the all-clear, only to end up massacring 49 innocent Americans.

What all this points to is the vital need for state and local law enforcement to take the lead against Jihad inside this country. I promise you, the NYPD does not wait for the FBI to vet suspected terrorists. Other state and local agencies around the country need to take the same approach, albeit with resources that can’t match the NYPD, which is probably the most effective counterterrorism law enforcement organization anywhere in the world.

The fact is, the Feds are unaccountable. They can’t follow up all the leads they have now and very often have a lack of knowledge as to what or who they are dealing with. I have a hunch that the FBI agents who interviewed Omar Mateen probably thought he was creepy at best, but they had nothing to charge him with and they had to go about their business. Complicating matters even more is the fact that both the FBI and DHS are forbidden from tying Islam to terrorism. That restriction right there makes them ineffective at conducting counterintelligence operations.

State and local cops are not unaccountable. They have deep roots in their communities. If an Omar Mateen is in someone’s precinct and they know he is a known associate of an Islamikaze bomber and made threatening statements about terrorism, they will keep an eye on him way past the initial interview. There won’t be much more important in that precinct once an Omar Mateen comes to the local cops’ attention.

Furthermore, state and local police are not under any restriction to refrain from studying the enemy threat doctrine. If the local sheriff or police chief is bold enough, he will mandate that his intelligence and investigative people get educated about the threat in an objective, unbiased manner–allowing the subject matter to take them where it leads them, rather than starting from the position that there is no connection between Islam and terrorism.

State and local police are now at the tip of the spear in this war. 15 years ago America sent soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines overseas to protect us all from Jihad. Today, local law enforcement is being tasked with protecting soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from Jihad inside our own country. This is a profound shift in this war that has been lost on the overwhelming majority of the American people.

In Garland, Texas, it was a 62-year old motorcycle cop who gunned down the two Jihadi attackers who were wielding AK47s.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, it was the local police who gunned down Mohammad Abdulazeez.

In Boston, it was Boston PD who ran down the Tsarnaev brothers.

In Queens, New York, it was rookie patrolmen who were targeted by and gunned down Zale Thompson.

The San Bernardino shooters were killed by members of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.

In Philadelphia, it was a police officer sitting in his patrol car that was targeted by Edward Archer in the name of ISIS.

And, of course, we know that it was the Orlando Police Department who responded to Omar Mateen’s massacre.

By the time DHS and FBI show up, they have to ask permission to cross the crime scene tape. In Marine Corps parlance, by the time the Feds get involved, it’s “right of bang.”

State and local police need to prepare to operate against Jihadis “left of bang,” and that means taking their own initiative and not depending solely on our bureaucratized, federal counterterrorism apparatus for training or intelligence about potential bad guys in their jurisdictions.

Islamic State-linked Twitter Account Threatens New Attacks In US For 9/11

IPT, by John Rossomando,  Sep. 1, 2015:

Several tweets from an Islamic State follower identifying himself as Abu Mohammed al-Khorasani hint that the terror group could be plotting new attacks inside the U.S. on the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.

A tweet featuring the Twitter hashtags ILLINOIS#, #11septmber and #KillAllAmericans went out at 12:04 p.m. Monday Aug. 31 saying, “Peace on the P.K. [a kind Russian machine gun] Its shots are thematic (rhymes) It strikes America. Our State is victorious.” A photo of the second airliner just before it hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 appeared in the tweet.

Six minutes later, al-Khorasani tweeted the same hashtags together with a muddled Arabic phrase saying, “If you say to me, Dushka (a kind of Russian machine gun) Oh God, You have a petitioner (Masha, rhymes with Dushka) He strikes America [sic] and our State is victorious.” A graphic saying, “every American citizen is a legitimate target for us,” followed the text.

On Sunday, al-Khorasani wrote a similar threat, saying “SOON,” accompanied by an image of Osama Bin Laden and images of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

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He showed his affection for Bin Laden in a tweet today, taunting Americans, “When you killed Sheikh Osama thrown his pure body in the sea for fear of Dead But U did not know that we have millions of #Sheikh Osama.”

Talk and images of what appeared to be a suicide vest or vests immediately followed the threats which included the #ISIS and #IslamicState hashtags.

Al-Khorasani wrote in a tweet at 12:38 p.m., “You have the aircraft You have the rockets You have the launchers We have explosive belts to kill U #IslamicState.” He tweeted again at 12:44 p.m.: “You have F22 You have tanks You have guns But we have Belts #IslamicState #ISIS.”

These tweets follow a summer of Islamic State followers posting images of the Statue of Liberty in ruins, with New York in flames in the background, and saying, “Coming Soon.” Additionally, the image depicting the aftermath of an attack on an American city has not been isolated to New York. One such image tweeted from an Islamic State account on July 28 addressed to Lone Wolves showed a masked jihadist running from an explosion in an unnamed American city.

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A statement ominously saying, “O Cross Worshipers Lone Wolves Will Hunt You In America’s Streets” overlaid the graphic. Another tweet by Islamic State supporter nightwalker/lonewolfe posted Aug. 21 depicted jihadists in Times Square with the script, “We Are Everywhere.”

In April, the New York Post reported that Islamic State supporters released a video threatening to unleash a new September 11-style attack, saying that the group’s fighters are stronger than those who brought down the Twin Towers.”Thus they are able to burn United States again,” the video said.

One thing is clear, Islamic State supporters want to remind Americans the group wants to strike against Americans on their own soil at a time and place of the terrorists’ choosing.

Man Arrested in NY for Providing Material Support to IS

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Center for Security Policy, by Jennifer Keltz, July 30, 2015:

On July 29, FBI Agents arrested Arafat M. Nagi for knowingly providing material support to a known terrorist organization, namely the Islamic State (IS).

Nagi was arrested in a home on Olcott Avenue in Lackawanna, New York. He is 44 years old and divorced with two adult children. He used to be employed as a deliveryman for a medical supply company but has not worked since 2009. He was previously arrested in 2013 for threatening to behead his daughter, who is now 21 years old.

In the criminal complaint lodged against Nagi, details are given as to the exact nature of the support he provided to IS. Nagi traveled to Turkey and Yemen multiple times in an attempt to enter Syria, and agents had probable cause to believe that he was able to join with IS operatives. He is believed to have used his family in Yemen as pretext to travel to the Middle East, giving him the ability to slip into Syria without drawing attention to himself. His now-defunct Twitter account offered praise to IS and to its proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The complaint also listed suspicious purchases he made online before his travels to Turkey, which included a tactical vest, combat clothing, and body armor.

Nagi’s defense attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, stated that the accusations against him are unfounded. Schwartz said, “He’s an American citizen, born here, and had no intention to engage in any terrorist activity.” Schwartz will plead not guilty on behalf of Nagi.

Lackawanna gained notoriety in 2002, when a group of six Yemeni-American men, known as the Lackawanna 6, was arrested for their association with Al Qaeda. The men had all traveled to Afghanistan, trained with Al Qaeda, and met Osama Bin Laden prior to the 9/11 attack in 2001. Nagi’s name appeared regularly in the early-2000s investigation of the Lackawanna 6. He apparently wanted to make the original trip with the 6 to Afghanistan, but was unable to do so, perhaps for financial reasons. He tried to take another, later trip but could not on account of the 9/11 attacks. According to Peter Ahearn, who ran the Buffalo FBI office that investigated the Lackawanna 6 in 2002, Nagi was never arrested or formally charged because “he never spent any money. He never provided the material support. He never really was able to get traction.”

The Lackawanna 6 were also connected to the Tablighi Jamaat Islamic movement. The movement is apolitical and mainly composed of South Asian Muslims, and it operates in 150 countries with somewhere between 70 and 80 million followers. It was designed to bring Muslims back to more orthodox roots. It is not violent by nature, but it does provide a conduit for violent, jihadist indoctrination because terrorist organizations use its message of calling Muslims back to their faith as a way to reach out to new recruits. Several Tablighi mosques operate in the US, and the movement’s US headquarters are in Queens, NY. The Lackawanna 6 was involved with Tablighi missionaries.

The criminal complaint filed against Nagi outlines years of hard work by the FBI to track his movements and learn about his sinister intent. Much of the information about Nagi’s activities in the Middle East is gleaned through conversations he had with family members, presumably his siblings. The complaint demonstrates the importance of the counterterrorism measures that exist in the US, but it also shows that the indoctrination of violent beliefs is not always an isolated event. Members of Nagi’s community, including close friends and family members, must be investigated too, lest they also try to run away to IS.

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Three Detained in Thwarted NYC Bomb Plot

omar-saleh-and-munther-355x350CSP, by Caitlin Anglemier, June 18, 2015:

20-year-old Munther Omar Saleh was appeared in federal court Saturday, June 13th after he was arrested the previous Saturday for charging an unmarked police car that had been following him. His arrest took place on the Whitestone Expressway in New York, and followed a three-month long FBI investigation. Saleh has been suspected of pursuing terrorist activity and planning an operation in New York, in support of the Islamic State.

Saleh is an American citizen who recently enrolled in Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Queens, NY. His family’s apartment is located in Flushing, New York, which is not far from where Saleh attends school. Two men who identified themselves as Saleh’s father and brother were present at the house when officers arrived for questioning after the arrest.

A federal complaint in March began the investigation of Saleh. During the three months, investigators tracked Saleh’s movements, Internet searches, and social media commentary. He posted various disturbing tweets displaying sentiments “mocking Al Qaeda for being too moderate compared with ISIS”, supporting the vicious murder of the Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State, and supporting the attackers involved in the Garland, Texas incident.

Saleh also recorded information from the Internet on the construction of a pressure cooker bomb (the same type of device that was utilized in the Boston Marathon bombing) as well as information on how to obtain the components needed to build such a device. On May 28, Saleh “surfed for web images of New York landmarks and tourist attractions”, presumably to look for targets for his operation.

According to a post by the New York Daily News, a local community activist named Sherrell Jordan, noticed a strange shift in Saleh’s appearance and mannerisms over the past six months. “He shaved his head and grew a billy goat beard…He became gruff, dogmatic almost, like he got tunnel vision”, said Jordan.

Reportedly, a co-conspirator was with Saleh last Saturday, and also attacked the police car and was arrested with Saleh. His identity and personal information have yet to be released.

A third man wanted for his connection to Saleh was arrested yesterday “after lunging at federal agents with a knife”. The man has been identified as 21-year-old Fareed Mumuni. When forces from the Joint Terrorism Task Force came to Mumuni’s house to presumably question him, Mumuni grabbed a knife by his bed “specifically for the use in a confrontation with law enforcement officers” and tried to attack the officers. The officers were able to subdue Mumuni without firing any shots. He is currently being held without bail.

Frontpage Mag seems to be the only source reporting a significant component of this story. While many are expressing disbelief at the actions of “such a nice kid” in regards to Saleh, no one seems to be talking about Omar Saleh, Munther’s father. “Omar Saleh, the ‘Palestinian’ patriarch of a large family of Muslim settlers living in Queens, posted [in the past] Hamas propaganda from the Hamas-affiliated Shebab News Agency…”, writes Frontpage Mag. Omar Salah also reportedly, supported an ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel. Omar has not released any statements in regards to his son’s actions and alleged beliefs, other than expressing his own shock and disbelief.

Many are spending their time scratching their heads trying to pinpoint Munther’s inspiration and source of Islamic indoctrination. While there is no proven connection between Omar Saleh’s past beliefs and Munther Saleh’s action, one cannot help but wonder whether such a general tone of support for a jihadist group like Hamas didn’t carry influence over into Munther’s decision.

Also see:

3 arrested in New York City for allegedly conspiring to support ISIS

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by AlohaSnackbar01

Fox News, By Edmund DeMarche, February 25, 2015:

Three New York City residents — two with Uzbekistan citizenship, and one a citizen of Kazakhstan — plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS militants and ‘wage jihad,’ the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.

One of the defendants also offered to kill the president of the United States if ordered to do so, the criminal complaint alleged.

The men were identified as Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan; Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Kazakhstan; and Abror Habibov, 30, a resident of Brooklyn and a citizen of Uzbekistan.

Saidakhmetov and Juraboev appeared in federal court in Brooklyn late Wednesday. Both were ordered held without bail on charges of attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. During the arraignment Assistant US Attorney Douglas Pravda said both suspects confessed post-arrest that they wanted to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad.

Habibov appeared in federal court in Florida earlier Wednesday and was also held without bail.

Federal prosecutors say two of the men came to the attention of law enforcement last summer after they expressed online support for the groups. Hilofatnews.com was an Uzbek-language website that called for readers to join the terror group, the complaint said. Authorities were able to link Juraboev to the post, the complaint said.

In August, federal agents met with Juraboev and he spoke of his hopes of fighting with the terror group in Iraq or Syria, the complaint said. He also allegedly mentioned to the agents that he hoped to harm President Obama because of  ‘Allah.’

“Juraboev added that he would also plant a bomb on Coney Island if he was ordered to do so by ISIS,” the feds charge.

Saidakhmetov was arrested early Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he tried to board a plane headed to Istanbul, authorities said. Juraboev had plane tickets for March 29 and Habibov helped fund Saidakhmetov’s trip, the complaint said.

Authorities have a recorded conversation where Saidakhmetov expressed interest in joining the U.S. military, the complaint said. He allegedly said he could offer information to Islamic militants or open fire on American troops to kill as many as possible.

According to the complaint, Saidakhmetov was recorded in January saying, “I will just go and buy a machine gun, AK-47, go out and shoot all police.”

The two had hopes of joining the terror group and–if their travel plans were dashed– had intentions to commit terror in the U.S., the complaint said. Saidakhmetov–if prevented from joining the terror group– wanted to purchase a machine gun and shoot law enforcement, the complaint said.

Saidakhmetov allegedly said, “It is legal in America to carry a gun. We will go and purchase one handgun…then go and shoot one police officer…Boom…Then we will take his gun, bullets and a bulletproof vest…then we will do the same with a couple others. Then we will go to the FBI headquarters, kill the FBI people…”

They were officially charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The three are expected to appear in court today.

“We will vigorously prosecute those who attempt to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad on behalf of ISIL and those who support them,” U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. “Anyone who threatens our citizens and our allies, here or abroad, will face the full force of American justice.”

Reuters reported that there are ISIS-related investigations in all 50 states.

Also see:

Obama’s Anti-Cop Jihad

obama-glareBy: William Michael
misterchambers

The Protests were Organized for one Specific Purpose – Dead Cops

In December 2012, a respected Egyptian news magazine named six Obama administration officials who were in fact agents of the international terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. They claimed that these individuals had helped change the White House “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

One of these alleged agents was Imam Mohamed Magid, a Koranic scholar from Sudan. In the Obama administration, Magid was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violence and Extremism working group in 2011. He is on the FBI’s Sikh, Muslim, and Arab advisory board (yes, we have one of those). He has trained and advised personnel affiliated with the FBI and other federal agencies.

Under Obama’s dictates since he entered the Oval Office, the United States government decided to publicly announce a softer approach to countering Islamic terrorism and the ideology behind jihad (i.e., war in the name of Islam). Imam Mohamed Magid has been a centerpiece in Obama’s show of tolerance (of violence) and diversity (of means of death), so much so that he and his organization have been “cited … as the primary means of outreach to the American Muslim community.”

It’s now known that Magid has a remarkable connection to the murderer of two NYPD officers this December.

***

Unlike his approach toward American Muslims, who apparently (at least based on policy since 2009) need the White House to reassure them that they are not “violent extremists,” Barack Hussein Obama’s attitude toward police officers has been hostile from the beginning. Multiple instances mar the six year old administration’s relationship with law enforcement.

The anti-police stance of the administration has been toxically mixed with anti-gun propaganda, and the blatant fanning of racial tensions that have resulted in violence, murder, and even city-wide chaos.

The first example came in July 2009, when Harvard Professor Henry Louis ‘Skip’ Gates was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by the Cambridge Police department. Sgt. James Crowley saw Gates trying to break into a home, and, not realizing it was actually his own home, arrested Gates. The charges were later dropped by the police, but not before Obama said on national television that the police “acted stupidly,” and further insinuated that the arrest was racially motivated. To make everyone feel better, Obama later held a “beer summit” at the White House, hosting Gates and Crowley in what was presented as some great healing moment. (No word on whether pork or all beef hot dogs were served.)

In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder, while noting that the number of officers killed in the line of duty jumped 13% that year, blamed the increase on illegal gun ownership. In 2013, Holder went on the record saying that he had to tell his son how to protect himself from the police, because, you guessed it, he’s black. Holder said this talk was family tradition.

For his part, Obama came out in support of the 2011 anti-cop and anarchist movement, Occupy Wall Street, who were not only occupying Wall Street, but terrorizing downtown Manhattan.

Then came the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Martin was shot by George Zimmerman, as he was being violently assaulted and threatened with death while on neighborhood patrol. In what has become a national tradition, Al Sharpton and Eric Holder descended to prey upon the citizens of a small community, calling for “justice.”

In fact, mob justice is what they were looking for.

The next stop for the Obama, Holder, and Sharpton anti-police racial mob circus was Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Michael Brown by the gun of a police officer who he was attacking and threatening. The case is familiar and fresh enough in everyone’s minds not have to rehash in any detail. Once again, Obama and the administration issued thinly veiled attacks on the police and insinuated that the officers and the department were racially motivated haters.

The caustic and raw social tumult that ensued led to widespread looting, riots, arson (even by allegedly “peaceful” protestors), and even the murder of a friend one of the trial witnesses.

Obama’s, Holder’s, and Sharpton’s carnival of hate then went prime time, this time to the Big Apple. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And, with a little help from the all-too-willing Mayor Bill DeBlasio, in the Staten Island death of Eric Garner, which was caused not by bullets but by a lung condition, the carnival got what they were looking for all along: the blood of police officers.

On December 20, 2014, five days before Christmas, Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley in their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. After weeks of anti-police protests, which explicitly shouted for “dead cops,” Brinsley had bragged to pedestrians just prior to the shooting that he was going to satiate the protestors with their pound of flesh.

***

At this time, you may be asking what Mohamed Magid, the alleged Muslim Brotherhood agent, has to do with the assassination of two NYPD officers. This will be clear to you soon enough. But first it is necessary to understand that the supposedly grassroots protests, in Ferguson and in New York, were anything but organic.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton at NoisyRoom.net has documented the nefarious players behind the protests, and has an incredible list of organizations involved in the protests. One of the most prominent organizing groups is ANSWER, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. ANSWER is often found alongside Occupy Wall Street. A little digging into ANSWER’s coalition partners and speakers reveal their roots; groups such as the Muslim Students Association, Free Palestinian Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, the Nicaragua Network, and Korea Truth Commission (you got me ?).

Furthermore, ANSWER is described by DiscoverThe Networks as “a principal player in all anti-war and pro-Palestinian demonstrations… ANSWER was formed a few days after 9/11 as a ‘new anti-racism, anti-war, peace and justice’ group and led its first protest just weeks later against the impending US-led attack on Afghanistan.”

To be blunt about it, ANSWER is a pro-jihad front organization that was fully behind Hamas in this summer’s Gaza war. Hamas, it’s noted, is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood – the same Muslim Brotherhood that the Egyptian magazine claimed Mohamed Magid was a member of.

***

Isn’t it odd that a Muslim Brotherhood front group would lead protests in New York City over the accidental death of a black man in the course of an arrest? Last time I was there, Staten Island wasn’t a center of Israeli-Palestinian debate, and there are no public pictures of Eric Garner smoking hookah or riding camels in Giza. On the contrary, Garner was dealing single cigarettes, and tobacco is decisively haram (forbidden) according to Islamic sharia law.

Puzzling, perhaps, but the Facebook page of Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley Muhammad ties the story’s loose ends together. According to his own biography on Facebook, Brinsely-Muhammad “Worked at: Islamic Society of North America.” The Islamic Society of North America, aka ISNA, is headquartered in Plainfield, Indiana. Hmm.

Killer's Facebook page: Obama and Magid are caught red-handed

Who is the President of ISNA, where the cop killer said he worked? That would be Imam Mohamed Magid, Obama’s advisor to DHS and the National Security Council.

Obama himself addressed ISNA’s annual convention in 2013. You can read about one of ISNA’s greatest influences, Pakistani radical Abul A’la Maududi, here.

Here are a few other facts to consider when contemplating that the Obama and Holder-inspired cop killer was, according to himself, employed at the organization of one of Obama’s most trusted security advisors, the Islamic Society of North America.

  • ISNA President and Obama advisor Imam Mohamed Magid was a lecturer at Howard University, teaching courses on the Koran.
  • The Trayvon Martin case only caught on after it was plucked from relative obscurity from a student at Howard University. This student, Kevin Cunningham, began a petition on the website change.org. Said Cunningham, a lawyer, “that’s how I think about life, is to be a social engineer.”
  • Cop killer Brinsley-Muhammad, who additionally may have attended a Brooklyn mosque associated with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, martyred himself by suicide in a subway station before being apprehended by police. He’s no longer with us to answer any questions.
  • In light of Obama’s recent embrace of Communist Cuba, it is worth noting that one of Castro’s last acts as a revolutionary leader was to order the targeted killing of Cuba’s police officers. Why? Police keep law and order on the streets, and because they’re uniformed, they’re easy targets for revolutionaries who thrive off anarchy.

Obama’s six yearlong anti-cop jihad has serious consequences. In 2014, there was an increase of 56% in police killed by guns – 50 officers, compared to 32 in 2013. Since the assassinations in New York, many infractions are going unpunished, as police are reluctant to engage with the community, fearing targeting by assassins and mobs. This is a very tenuous and delicate situation.

It might be worth mentioning, to the next person you bump into who still has a functioning brain, that Obama’s trusted advisor, Imam Mohamed Magid, had the NYPD cop killer as an employee of his nationwide Islamic organization. This, according to his own Facebook bio.

The circumstantial evidence presented above points to a deliberate plan by the administration and the Muslim Brotherhood to stoke violence that led to cop killings. These are revolutionary tactics, creating conditions that lead to chaos, anarchy, and eventually the total dissolution of societal trust. After that occurs, people beg for order, in whatever form it offers itself.

Is 2015 the year of the American Spring? In the New Year, several detailed reports will be published that point to deliberate, witting, and eager cooperation between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood aimed at precisely this end.

Beheadings, Bombings and New York’s Little Bangladesh

article-throat-0108-427x350by :

Walk along Church Avenue and turn east onto McDonald Avenue and you will see where the old standards of working class Brooklyn, aging homes with faded American flags and loose siding, surly bars tucked into the shadows of street corners and the last video stores hanging on to a dying industry give way to mosques and grocery stores selling goat meat.

Mosques grow like mushrooms in basements, cell phone stores offer easy ways to wire money back to Bangladesh and old men glare at interlopers, especially if they are infidel women.

This is where Mohammed Siddiquee settled a dispute the old-fashioned way by beheading his landlord.

Mohammed wasn’t the first man in Brooklyn to use violence to settle a rental dispute, but beheadings are more traditional in his native Bangladesh than in Brooklyn, though over in neighboring Queens, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, Bangladesh’s most wanted war criminal, heads up the local Islamic Circle of North America, whose Islamist thugs beheaded poets and buried professors in mass graves.

Here in Kensington, where the alphabet streets that march across Brooklyn down to the ocean begin, the bars retreat along with the alphabet from those areas marked by the crescent and the angry glare. And there is another one like it at the other end of the alphabet where the Atlantic Ocean terminates the letters at Avenue Z bookending the Brooklyn alphabet with angry old men and phone cards for Bangladesh.

These spots aren’t no-go zones yet. There aren’t enough young men with too much welfare and time on their hands who have learned that the police will back off when they burn enough things and councilmen will visit to get their side of the story. That generation will grow up being neither one thing nor the other, ricocheting from American pop culture to the Koran, from parties with the infidels to mosque study sessions until they explode from the contradictions the way that the Tsarnaevs, who huffed pot and the Koran in equal proportions, did.

It isn’t the old men who plant bombs near 8-year-olds. It isn’t the young women laughing with their friends outside a pizza parlor, knowing that in a year or two they will have to go back home for an arranged marriage. It is the young men who call themselves Freddy or Mo at the local high school or community college, who drink and do drugs and who all their American friends swear aren’t serious about religion, until they suddenly become fatally serious.

For now the Bangladeshi settlements in Brooklyn are quiet places where the tenements and shops close off the streets into small private worlds with their own justice systems, feuds and secrets.

“I feel like I’m living in my own country,” the editor of one of the Bangladeshi newspapers in New York, said. “You don’t have to learn English to live here. That’s a great thing!”

Overhead may be the same sky, but Little Bangladesh has been cut off from Brooklyn and attached to a country thousands of miles away. Immigrants step off a plane from Bangladesh at JFK airport, get into a taxi driven by a Bangladeshi playing Bengali pop tapes and step out into a small slice of Bangladesh on McDonald Avenue.

And when the infidels of Brooklyn wander into their territory, they are glared at as the foreign intruders that they are.

After Mohammed beheaded his landlord Mahmud, he rushed to JFK to catch a flight. It was natural for him to think that having settled matters in the traditional fashion; he could fly away without considering what lay in the intervening spaces of the American Dar al-Harb between the Dar al-Islam of Avenue C and the Dar al-Islam of Bangladesh.

For the Mohammeds of Brooklyn, the infidels are the empty air between the rungs of a ladder that their foot passes through without noticing. They are little aware of the other Brooklyn that they are pushing aside, the great stretches of the working middle class, the little homes where police officers and firefighters once lived together with teachers and clerks, where plumbers walked to work and bus drivers got on, where the thousands of small businesses from diners to pharmacies turned the grassy stretches of land into neighborhoods.

Read more at Front Page

U.S.Muslim Leader Sentenced to Death for Bangladesh War Crimes

khan2

Bangladesh, a country that is close 90% Muslim, has been taking on the Islamists that act in the name of their faith.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The Bangladeshi government has given the death sentence to Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a former Secretary-General of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) that lives in New York, for war crimes he committed during Bangladesh’s liberation from Pakistan

Khan was tried in absentia as part of a popularly supported crackdown on ICNA’s parent group, Jamaat-e-Islami.

Khan was found guilty of murdering 18 professors, journalists and physicians that were supporting Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971. The tribunal ruled that Khan “had de facto reasonable material and authority to control” the executioners. Bangladesh sentenced Khan to death by hanging if he were to be extradited to Bangladesh from America.

A Muslim leader in London named Chowdhury Mueen Uddin was also sentenced to death. Amazingly, he is the director of the British National Health Service’s Muslim Spiritual Care Provision. He also is a trustee for an organization named Muslim Aid that has beenaccused of having extremist links.

Jamaat-e-Islami, essentially a Muslim Brotherhood branch, set up the Al-Badr militia that ran death squads in Bangladesh during the war of independence. The assassins targeted Bangladeshis that promoted secession from Pakistan, particularly the elite members of the society – doctors, professors and journalists. During the war, the Pakistani government and its allies killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women, according to the Bangladeshi government.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has reportedly told Bangladesh that he’d help get Khan extradited so he can be brought to justice. At this stage, the Obama Administration is non-committal.

Read more at Clarion Project

National Park Service Promotes ‘Women’s Rights in Islam’

muslim womenProduced for the National Park Service, the New York-based Women’s Rights National Historical Park’s website has posted a three-video series arguing that Islam is a force for women’s rights.

In one video, we hear that:

“Seventh century A.D. Islam gave women the right to be involved in politics, the right to earn and keep her own money. Islam gave women the right to work outside of the home. Islam gave women the right to own property. Islam gave women the right to divorce. Islam gave women the right to choose who she marries. Islam gave women a whole bunch of rights that western women acquired later in the 19th and 20th Centuries. And we’ve had these rights since the Seventh Century A.D., and it’s just not acknowledged worldwide.”

A Muslim woman states, “People think that Islam oppresses women and there’s no equality, but they’re wrong.”

The first in the three-video series can be seen here. The second can be seen here.  The third can be seen here.

Viewers are left with the impression that the oppression of women in Muslim countries is rare, when it is actually the norm. Needless to say, the presentation leaves out the ideological basis for this oppression.

A look at the videos shows, for example, that viewers don’t learn about the rising problem of Female Genital Mutilation in the United States. The Clarion Project posted this informational video about FGM.

Nor is the problem of honor killings in the U.S. addressed, information that is readily available. Muslim anti-Islamist activist Dr. Zuhdi Jasser documented the honor killing cases of Aiya Altameemi, age 19, of Maricopa County, AZ; and Shaima Alawadi, of El Cajon, CA.  In 2009, Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, was run down by a car driven by her father, who thought she was “too Westernized.”

Instead, the message of the videos focuses on negative stereotypes of Islam and its adherents.

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

Israeli Security Service Arrests Iranian Spy

Ali Mansouri, an alleged Iranian spy / AP

Ali Mansouri, an alleged Iranian spy / AP

BY: :

JERUSALEM – Israel’s Shin Bet security service yesterday announced the detention in Tel Aviv of an Iranian-born businessman with Belgian citizenship suspected of spying for Teheran.

The suspect, named as Ali Mansouri, was arrested on September 11 at Ben-Gurion Airport as he was preparing to board a flight for Belgium. His detention was announced as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was making his way to New York where he is to address the UN.

Netanyahu is expected to refocus world attention on the Iranian nuclear issue after Iran’s new president, Hassan Rowhani, attempted to defuse the subject. Israeli columnists saw the timing of the announcement of Mansouri’s detention as an attempt to provide Netanyahu with rhetorical ammunition.

Israeli officials said Mansouri was spying on American interests in Israel. He was reportedly seen photographing the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and “recording activity there.” Officials said that he admitted to being promised $1 million for his activities in Israel by the special operations unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

“At a time when Iran is trying to get closer to the U.S. it sent an agent to try to gather intelligence in order to carry out a terror attack against the American embassy in Israel. This is one further example of Iran’s policy of doublespeak and further proof that Iran’s words do not match its actions,” a member of the prime minister’s delegation to New York told the Times of Israel.

Read more at Free Beacon

 

Congressmen Join Prayer Vigil for Imprisoned American Pastor in Iran

Ted Cruz at Saeed Abedini prayer vigil / Andrew Evans

Ted Cruz at Saeed Abedini prayer vigil / Andrew Evans

BY: :

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), members of Congress, and a representative from the State Department joined a prayer vigil on Thursday afternoon in front of the White House to protest Iran’s imprisonment of Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor and American citizen.

Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of Abedini’s imprisonment in Iran’s Evin prison in Tehran.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Saeed,” Jane Zimmerman, deputy assistant secretary for human rights at the State Department, told the assembled crowd.

“We’ve been working that issue very publically as well as privately and doing everything we can to try to secure his release,” Zimmerman told the Washington Free Beacon after her remarks.

Abedini is a dual American-Iranian citizen and a Christian pastor who lived in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two children. Abedini was in Iran last year to set up a secular orphanage when Iranian forces arrested him and sentenced him to eight years in jail for threatening national security. He recently lost his final appeal.

The imprisonment of Saeed Abedini has garnered headlines recently as Abedini’s wife delivered a letter from her husband to Iranian President Hassan Rowhani in New York asking for her husband’s release and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked Rowhani about Abedini’s imprisonment.

Rowhani was in New York for the United Nations General Convention.

“It’s a fundamental violation of universal norms and international human rights to arrest someone for their faith and their conscience,” Zimmerman told the Free Beacon, “and clearly he’s a prisoner of conscience for his beliefs.”

Abedini spends much of his day in solitary confinement in a jail cell measuring two feet by two feet, said Jordan Sekulow, director of international operations at the American Center for Law and Justice. The pastor has been beaten and is suffering from internal bleeding. His supporters do not expect him to survive the eight years in prison.

Sen. Cruz and several representatives from Congress joined the prayer vigil.

“Pastor Abedini’s crime was simply following his Christian faith,” Cruz said.

Cruz told the crowd about a resolution he has introduced in the Senate that would allow President Barack Obama to meet with Rowhani only if he affirms Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and releases American prisoners in Iran.

Cruz then led the crowd in prayer for Abedini.

“We ask you to be with him as you were with Daniel in the lions den,” Cruz prayed, alluding to the biblical story of a Jewish man who was thrown into a den of lions in Babylon for practicing his faith.

Rep. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.) criticized the Obama administration for its silence and the “disregard” it has shown for religious freedom

Read more at Free Beacon