U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Allies With Terror Group That State Dept. Designated LAST WEEK

moderate-syrian-rebels-threaten-to-kill-us-special-forces-sized-770x415xtPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Sept. 29, 2016:

U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups are coordinating with al-Qaeda fronts in defending Aleppo, and other FSA groups — armed with CIA-provided TOW anti-tank missiles — are working together with a terror group designated by the State Department just last week.

That’s from a report filed today by Reuters about the rapidly changing situation in Syria:

In Aleppo, rebels in the Free Syrian Army are sharing operational planning with Jaish al-Fatah, an alliance of Islamist groups that includes the former Syrian wing of al-Qaeda.Meanwhile, in nearby Hama province, FSA groups armed with U.S.-made anti-tank missiles are taking part in a major offensive with the al-Qaeda-inspired Jund al-Aqsa group.

The FSA rebels have deep ideological differences with the jihadists, and have even fought them at times, but say survival is the main consideration.

“At a time when we are dying, it is not logical to first check if a group is classified as terrorist or not before cooperating with it,” said a senior official in one of the Aleppo-based rebel factions. “The only option you have is to go in this direction.”

A top jihadist leader killed in an airstrike on a Jaish al-Fatah meeting earlier this month was Abu Omar Saraqeb, who played an active role in al-Qaeda in Iraq’s campaign against the U.S. in Iraq. Presumably, U.S.-backed FSA leaders were also present at the Jaish al-Fatah meeting.

The alliance between the FSA and Jund al-Aqsa in Hama is particularly noteworthy, since the State Department designated Jund al-Aqsa a terrorist organization just last week.

In its September 20 designation, the State Department identified Jund al-Aqsa as a direct threat to U.S. national security:

The Department of State has designated Jund al-Aqsa (JAA) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.As a result of this designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which JAA has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with JAA.Jund al-Aqsa is a terrorist group in Northern Syria that primarily operates in Idlib and Hama provinces. Formed in 2012 as a subunit of al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusrah Front (ANF) – a State Department designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group – JAA has since split and now carries out operations independently. However, despite the split it is still openly aligned with ANF. In March 2015, JAA launched two suicide bombings at checkpoints on the outskirts of Idlib. JAA also carried out the February 2014 massacre in the village of Maan in central Hama province, killing 40 civilians.

Two weeks ago I reported here at PJ Media about FSA units threatening to kill U.S. Special Forces operating in northern Syria, eventually chasing them out of the town of Al-Rai near Aleppo.

Interestingly, President Obama said — at least sixteen times — that there would be no U.S. boots on the ground in Syria.

What exactly is the point of supporting “vetted moderates” if they have no problem with working with al-Qaeda — or even, in some cases, the Islamic State — whenever they feel its in their interest to do so?

We provide these “vetted moderate” FSA groups with U.S. heavy weaponry when FSA units themselves are threatening to use those weapons against American troops.

Now there is a very real possibility of those weapons being shared with designated terror groups.

For more than two years I’ve been reporting here at PJ Media on the escalating catastrophe of the Obama administration’s Syria policy:

July 7, 2014: U.S. ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic StateSept. 3, 2014: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra

Sept. 9, 2014: Fighter With ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Tells L.A. Times They Fight Alongside Al-Qaeda

Sept. 10, 2014: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

Sept. 13, 2014: Yet Another U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Makes Peace with ISIS

Sept. 24, 2014: U.S.-Backed Syrian Group Harakat al-Hazm Condemns U.S. Strikes on ISIS as ‘Attack on the Revolution’

Nov. 2, 2014: U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Nov. 3, 2014: How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

Nov. 24, 2014: More Defections of ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Rebels to ISIS

Dec. 2, 2014: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Dec. 14, 2014: Report: Al-Qaeda Using CIA-Supplied TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Northern Syria

Dec. 28, 2014: NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective al-Qaeda Control

March 3, 2015: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands

March 24, 2015: Video Shows Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra Using U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Syria

April 16, 2015: U.S. Analyst Admits ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Have Been Working with Al-Qaeda All Along

May 8, 2015: CIA-Backed, “Vetted Moderate” Rebels Now Working Openly With Al-Qaeda

June 27, 2015: ISIS Using U.S. TOW Antitank Missiles In Latest Syrian Offensive

July 9, 2015: Report: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Fighting Alongside Al-Qaeda, Islamic State Against Assad Regime

July 23, 2015: U.S.-Funded Free Syrian Army Unit Shows Off Its Kidnapping Skills in New Training Video

July 27, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels: Obama’s 50-Man ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Army Vanishes After Training in Turkey

July 29, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels Part 2: Al-Qaeda Arrests 18 U.S.-Trained Rebels On Their First Day in Syria

July 30, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels: Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately

July 31, 2015: Report: Al-Qaeda Kills Five Members of Obama’s 54-Man Syrian Rebel Army

July 31, 2015: Chechen Terrorists In Syria Have Obtained U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles

Sept. 22, 2015: Report: U.S.-Trained, ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Leader Defects to Al-Qaeda, Turns Weapons Over to Terror Group

Oct. 27, 2016: New Video Shows Al-Qaeda Using Weapons U.S. Gave to ‘Vetted Moderates’

Nov. 24, 2015: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels Destroy Russian Helicopter with CIA-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missile

July 20, 2016: CIA-Vetted, “Moderate” Syrian Rebels Behead Child Soldier

Sept. 3, 2016: British Journo: Syrian Kidnapper Who Shot Me Twice is Now a CIA-vetted ‘Moderate’

Sept. 6, 2016: New ISIS Commander Was Trained by State Department as Recently as 2014

Sept. 16, 2016: SHOCK VIDEO: U.S.-Backed, “Moderate” Free Syrian Army Threatens to Kill U.S. Special Forces

The ability to affect any positive change in Syria is compromised by the fact that we have no reliable partner in the country — notwithstanding the so-called “vetted moderates” — and a growing likelihood that American troops may be killed without any national strategic purpose.

***

An Al Qaeda terrorist tells a reporter, “The Americans are on our side.”

Washington State Mall Shooter Captured: 20-Year Old Arcan Cetin; Authorities Begin Identifying Victims

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PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Sept. 24, 2016:

Last night I reported on a mall shooting in Burlington, Washington, about 65 miles north of Seattle. Washington State Patrol said at a 2:30am ET press conference that four female victims were killed inside the Macy’s at Cascade Mall. Earlier today they announced that a fifth victim had also died while the killer was still at large.

Then earlier this evening reports began to trickle out that the unknown suspect had been apprehended in Oak Harbor, Washington, about 30 miles away from Burlington.

Police have confirmed that the suspected killer is 20-year-old Arcan Cetin.

Read more

DEADLIEST LIE: Without ‘Lone Wolf’ Lie, U.S. Could Have Stopped Nearly EVERY ATTACK

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PJ Media, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Sept. 21, 2016:

Some time ago, the invaluable Patrick Poole coined the term “known wolf,” sharply shredding the conventional Washington wisdom that “lone wolf” terrorism is a major domestic threat.

Pat has tracked the phenomenon for years, right up to the jihadist attacks this weekend in both the New York metropolitan area and St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Virtually every time a terror attack has occurred, the actor initially portrayed as a solo plotter lurking under the government’s radar turns out to be — after not much digging – an already known (sometimes even, notorious) Islamic extremist.

As amply demonstrated by Poole’s reporting, catalogued here by PJ Media, “lone wolves” –virtually every single one — end up having actually had extensive connections to other Islamic extremists, radical mosques, and (on not rare occasions) jihadist training facilities.

The overarching point I have been trying to make is fortified by Pat’s factual reporting. It is this: There are, and can be, no lone wolves.

The very concept is inane, and only stems from a willfully blind aversion to the ideological foundation of jihadist terror: Islamic supremacism.

The global, scripturally rooted movement to impose sharia — in the West, to incrementally supersede our culture of reason, liberty, and equality with the repressive, discriminatory norms of classical Islamic law — is a pack. The wolves are members of the pack, and that’s why they are the antithesis of “lone” actors. And, indeed, they always turn out to be “known” precisely because their association with the pack, with components of the global movement, is what ought to have alerted us to the danger they portended before they struck.

This is willful blindness, because of the restrictions we have gratuitously imposed on ourselves.

The U.S. government refuses to acknowledge the ideology that drives the movement until after some violent action is either too imminent to be ignored or, sadly more often, until after the Islamic supremacist has acted out the savagery his ideology commands.

The U.S. government consciously avoids the ideology because it is rooted in a fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of Islam. Though it is but one of many ways to construe that religion, the remorseless fact is that it is a mainstream construction, adhered to by tens of millions of Muslims and supported by centuries of scholarship.

I say “the U.S. government” is at fault here because, contrary to Republican campaign rhetoric that is apparently seized by amnesia, this is not merely an Obama administration dereliction — however much the president and his former secretary of State (and would-be successor) Hillary Clinton have exacerbated the problem.

Since the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, the bipartisan Beltway cognoscenti have “reasoned” (a euphemism for “reckless self-delusion”) that conceding the Islamic doctrinal roots of jihadist terror — which would implicitly concede the vast Islamist (sharia-supremacist) support system without which the global jihadist onslaught would be impossible — is impractical.

But how could acknowledging the truth be impractical?

Especially given that national security hinges on an accurate assessment of threats?

Bipartisan Washington “reasons” that telling the truth would portray the United States as “at war with Islam.” To be blunt, this conventional wisdom can only be described as sheer idiocy.

We know that tens of millions of Muslims worldwide, and what appears to be a preponderance (though perhaps a diminishing one) of Muslims in the West, reject Islamic supremacism and its sharia-encroachment agenda. We know that, by a large percentage, Muslims are the most common victims of jihadist terror. We know that Muslim reformers are courageously working to undermine and reinterpret the scriptural roots of Islamic supremacism — a crucial battle our default from makes far more difficult for them to win. We know that Muslims, particularly those assimilated into the West, have been working with our law enforcement, military, and intelligence agencies for decades to gather intelligence, infiltrate jihadist cells, thwart jihadist attacks, and fight jihadist militias.

None of those Muslims — who are not only our allies, but are in fact us — believes that America is at war with Islam.

So why does Washington base crucial, life-and-death policy on nonsense?

Because it is in the thrall of the enemy. The “war on Islam” propaganda is manufactured by Islamist groups, particularly those tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

While we resist study of our enemies’ ideology, they go to school on us. They thus grasp three key things:

(1) Washington is so bloated and dysfunctional, it will leap on any excuse to refrain from strong action;(2) the American tradition of religious liberty can be exploited to paralyze our government if national defense against a totalitarian political ideology can be framed as hostility and persecution against an entire religious faith; and

(3) because Washington has so much difficulty taking action, it welcomes claims (or, to be faddish, “narratives”) that minimize the scope and depth of the threat. Topping the “narrative” list is the fantasy that the Islamist ideological support system that nurtures jihadism (e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood and its tentacles) is better seen as a “moderate,” “non-violent” partner with whom we can work, than as what it actually is: the enemy’s most effective agent. The stealth operative that exploits the atmosphere of intimidation created by the jihadists.

In other words, in proceeding from the premise that we must do nothing to convey the notion that we are “at war with Islam” — or, in Obama-Clinton parlance, in proceeding from the premise that we need a good “narrative” rather than a truth-based strategy — we have internalized the enemy’s worldview, a view that is actually rejected by our actual Islamic allies and the vast majority of Americans.

The delusion comes into sharp relief if one listens to Hillary Clinton’s campaign bombast. Robert Spencer incisively quoted it earlier this week:

[W]e know that a lot of the rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they are looking to make this into a war against Islam, rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists, people who number maybe in the maybe tens of thousands, not the tens of millions, they want to use that to recruit more fighters to their cause, by turning it into a religious conflict. That’s why I’ve been very clear. We’re going after the bad guys and we’re going to get them, but we’re not going to go after an entire religion and give ISIS exactly what it’s wanting in order for them to enhance their position.

Sheer idiocy.

Our enemy is not the mere “tens of thousands” of jihadists. (She’s probably low-balling the number of jihadists worldwide, but let’s indulge her.) It is not merely ISIS, nor merely ISIS and al-Qaeda — an organization Mrs. Clinton conveniently omits mentioning, since it has replenished, thanks to Obama-Clinton governance and despite Obama-Clinton claims to have defeated it, to the point that it is now at least as much a threat as it was on the eve of 9/11.

ISIS and al-Qaeda are not the sources of the threat against us. They are theinevitable results of that threat.

The actual threat, the source, is Islamic supremacism and its sharia imposition agenda.

The support system, which the threat needs to thrive, does indeed include tens of millions of Islamists, some small percentage of whom will inexorably become violent jihadists, but the rest of whom will nurture the ideological aggression and push the radical sharia agenda — in the media, on the campus, in the courts, and in the policy councils of government that they have so successfully influenced and infiltrated.

Obviously, to acknowledge that we are at war with this movement, at war with Islamic supremacism, is not remotely to be “at war with Islam.” After all, Islamic supremacism seeks conquest over all of Islam, too, and on a much more rapid schedule than its long-term pursuit of conquest over the West. Islamic supremacism is not a fringe movement; it is large and, at the moment, a juggernaut. But too much of Islam opposes Islamic supremacism to be confused with it.

Moreover, even if being at war with Islamic supremacists could be persuasivelyspun as being “at war with Islam” — i.e., even if we were too incompetent to refute our enemies’ propaganda convincingly — it would make no difference.

The war would still be being prosecuted against us. We have to fight it against the actual enemy, and we lose if we allow enemies to dupe us into thinking they are allies. We have to act on reality, even if Washington is too tongue-tied to find the right words for describing reality.

The enemy is in our heads and has shaped our perception of the conflict, to the enemy’s great advantage. That’s how you end up with inanities like “lone wolf.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune Blames ‘Anti-Muslim Tensions’ for St. Cloud Mass Stabbing by ‘Soldier of the Islamic State’

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PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Sept. 18, 2016:

Just hours after a young Somali immigrant stabbed nine people at a shopping mall in St. Cloud, a mid-sized town in central Minnesota, the far-Left Minneapolis Star Tribune published an article hinting that the suspect may have been inspired by “anti-Muslim tensions.” The article was later scrubbed and replaced with a new article that directly raised the question of whether the attack by Dahir Adan was motivated by previous anti-Muslim incidents in the city.

Last night I reported here at PJ Media on the stabbing attack and the reports from local St. Cloud police that the suspect, who at that time hadn’t been named, had made references to “Allah” and asked at least one victim whether they were Muslim.

Earlier today, family members named Dahir Adan, a local Somali man who came to the United States 15 years ago and was a junior at St. Cloud State University, as the attacker.

But at 2:42 p.m. today, Pat Pheifer of the Star Tribune published an article, now removed and replaced on the newspaper’s website, titled “Anti-Muslim Tension Isn’t New in St. Cloud.”

I screen captured the article before it was scrubbed and replaced.

In the opening paragraphs, Pheifer writes so ambiguously that one could easily conclude that someone motivated by anti-Muslim beliefs was responsible for the attack:

A cloud of anti-Muslim sentiment and tension has hung over St. Cloud for the past seven years, with incidents ranging from bullying Somali and other East African immigrants at St. Cloud Technical High School, to women being screamed at in grocery stores, pig intestines wrapped around the door handles of a halal grocery store, and offensive billboards and license plates.The most physically injurious incident came Saturday evening when a man stabbed nine people at the city’s Crossroads Centerbefore the attacker was killed inside the mall by an off-duty police officer. No one but the attacker was killed.

Authorities said the man reportedly asked at least one victim whether they were Muslim before assaulting them and referred to Allah during the attacks.

So after  a recitation of previous anti-Muslim incidents, Pheifer introduces “the most physically injurious incident” — the mass stabbing at Crossroads Center. A reader could understandably think that this new incident was similar in nature to those just recounted.

And the ambiguous description of the incident might lead one to conclude that it was anti-Muslim in nature.

Only at this point is there any mention that the attack might have been motivated by radical Islamic ideology.

ISIL, on Twitter, claimed credit for the mall violence and called the attacked “a soldier of the Islamic State.”

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Nowhere else in the original article, which continues with more recitation of alleged “anti-Muslim” activity in St. Cloud, is there any indication that the attacker was Muslim and the victims targeted in the attack non-Muslim.

And despite the fact that the attacker’s name was already circulating in the media,Dahir Adan’s name never appears.

I wasn’t the only one to spot this problematic wording. Journalist Asra Nomani took issue with the article too:

Someone at the Star Tribune must have noted it as well, or been aware of some of the criticisms of how the article was framed, because without any notice the article was scrubbed and replaced with a different version posted at 8:21pm.

But now the new version of the article directly asks whether Dahir Adan may have been acting in response to the supposed anti-Muslim atmosphere in St. Cloud:

St. Cloud has dealt with tensions between Muslims and some non-Muslims for the past seven years, with incidents including bullying of Somali and other East African immigrants at St. Cloud Technical High School, women being screamed at in grocery stores, pig intestines draped on the entry of a halal grocery store, and offensive billboards and license plates.

Whether those incidents motivated a 22-year-old Somali man who stabbed nine people at the Crossroads Center on Saturday evening isn’t known and may never be known. The attacker was killed inside the mall by an off-duty police officer 5 minutes after the first 911 call was made. All of his victims survived.

Authorities said the man reportedly asked at least one victim whether they were Muslim before assaulting them and referred to Allah during the attacks. On Twitter, ISIL called the attacker “a soldier of the Islamic state.”

Such reporting, blaming non-Muslims for what is now clearly an attack inspired by a suspect inspired by radical Islam, in the absence of any evidence to support the claim, is itself inflammatory.

One could even claim that such unsupported assertions by the American media actually aid and justify the Islamic State’s “persecuted-Muslims” narrative.

As the presidential election enters its final phase, we can expect more, not less, of this yellow journalism. And when the election is over, the establishment media will emerge even more tarnished and distrusted by the public than ever before.

SHOCK VIDEO: U.S.-Backed, ‘Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Threatens To Kill U.S. Special Forces

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PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, SEPTEMBER 16, 2016:

Disturbing video emerged today of U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels threatening to kill arriving U.S. special operations forces in the town of Al-Rai near Aleppo. The city was just seized weeks ago from the Islamic State after a push by Turkish troops aided by U.S. air power.

Here is some video from the incident from BBC producer Riam Dalati:

Others shout in Turkish, “Death to America! We will behead you!”

Here is some of the video with translated subtitles:

The Telegraph reports:

The fighters scream anti-American chants as a column of pick-up trucks carrying US commandos drives away from them.“Christians and Americans have no place among us,” shouts one man in the video. “They want to wage a crusader war to occupy Syria.”

Another man calls out: “The collaborators of America are dogs and pigs. They wage a crusader war against Syria and Islam. ”

The US troops are not wearing traditional uniform but they carry American weapons and are wearing the distinctive round helmets favoured by US special forces.

Other video shows the U.S. troops leaving the city as the “moderate” rebels shout threats to “slaughter” them:

The Pentagon just announced that the U.S. troops were entering the area to assist our Turkish NATO allies:

But just yesterday, the U.S. troops came under fire reportedly by our Turkish NATO allies in Tal Abyad:

According to Barbara Starr at CNN, the problem grew so bad that that U.S. fighters had to put up American flags to show they were friendlies:

One problem in Al-Rai, where the U.S. troops were threatened, is the presence of “al-Qaeda-lite” Ahrar al-Sham fighters — the darlings of the Washington, D.C. think tanks:

Those who have been critical of the U.S. misadventure in Syria took time to note the obvious:

But Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and one of the chief think tank cheerleaders of the Syrian “rebels,” assures us that all is well after the incident in Al-Rai:

Perhaps some clarification from Lister on what “discharged” actually means is in order.

The incidents in Al-Rai and Tal Abyad demonstrate the ongoing collapse of the Obama administration’s Syria policy (though GOP congressional leaders have embraced the administration’s slow-motion disaster).

For more than two years I’ve been reporting here at PJ Media on the ongoing follies of the so-called “moderates” in Syria:

July 7, 2014: U.S. ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic StateSept. 3, 2014: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra

Sept. 9, 2014: Fighter With ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Tells L.A. Times They Fight Alongside Al-Qaeda

Sept. 10, 2014: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

Sept. 13, 2014: Yet Another U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Makes Peace with ISIS

Sept. 24, 2014: U.S.-Backed Syrian Group Harakat al-Hazm Condemns U.S. Strikes on ISIS as ‘Attack on the Revolution’

Nov. 2, 2014: U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Nov. 3, 2014: How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

Nov. 24, 2014: More Defections of ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Rebels to ISIS

Dec. 2, 2014: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Dec. 14, 2014: Report: Al-Qaeda Using CIA-Supplied TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Northern Syria

Dec. 28, 2014: NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective al-Qaeda Control

March 3, 2015: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands

March 24, 2015: Video Shows Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra Using U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Syria

April 16, 2015: U.S. Analyst Admits ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Have Been Working with Al-Qaeda All Along

May 8, 2015: CIA-Backed, “Vetted Moderate” Rebels Now Working Openly With Al-Qaeda

June 27, 2015: ISIS Using U.S. TOW Antitank Missiles In Latest Syrian Offensive

July 9, 2015: Report: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Fighting Alongside Al-Qaeda, Islamic State Against Assad Regime

July 23, 2015:U.S.-Funded Free Syrian Army Unit Shows Off Its Kidnapping Skills in New Training Video

July 27, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels: Obama’s 50-Man ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Army Vanishes After Training in Turkey

July 29, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels Part 2: Al-Qaeda Arrests 18 U.S.-Trained Rebels On Their First Day in Syria

July 30, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels: Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately

July 31, 2015: Report: Al-Qaeda Kills Five Members of Obama’s 54-Man Syrian Rebel Army

July 31, 2015: Chechen Terrorists In Syria Have Obtained U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles

Sept. 22, 2015: Report: U.S.-Trained, ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Leader Defects to Al-Qaeda, Turns Weapons Over to Terror Group

Oct. 27, 2016: New Video Shows Al-Qaeda Using Weapons U.S. Gave to ‘Vetted Moderates’

Nov. 24, 2015:U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels Destroy Russian Helicopter with CIA-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missile

July 20, 2016:CIA-Vetted, “Moderate” Syrian Rebels Behead Child Soldier

September 3, 2016:British Journo: Syrian Kidnapper Who Shot Me Twice is Now a CIA-vetted ‘Moderate’

September 6, 2016: New ISIS Commander Was Trained by State Department as Recently as 2014

If only there had been some warning that things were going badly in Syria?

Syrian Refugee US Arrivals in September To Date: 749 Muslims, 2 Christians

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PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, SEPTEMBER 10, 2016:

On August 1st I reported here at PJ Media about the ongoing Obama administration discrimination against non-Muslim Syrian refugees, noting that at that time, less than one percent (43 of 6,877, or 0.7 percent of the total) of refugees admitted to the U.S. as of July 31st were Christians, Yezidis, and other Syrian religious minorities.

For the month of August, 3,159 Muslim and 30 non-Muslim refugees were admitted to the U.S. – again, less than one percent.

And so far for September (as of today, 9/10), the numbers are even more depressing: 749 Muslim and just 2 Christian refugees, with non-Muslim admittance representing just 0.2 percent of the current monthly total.

So year-to-date, of 10,817 Syrian refugees admitted 10,742 were Muslim, and just 75 were non-Muslim (0.7 percent), while non-Muslim minorities in Syria make up at least 12 percent of the population.

During media conference call just days after my August report sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), both the Obama administration officials and the media were incurious and apparently unconcerned about the ongoing discrimination of non-Muslim minorities.

In fact, only one media outlet asked about the problem.

Coordinator:   Absolutely and as a reminder if you would like to ask a question you can press Star 1 on your phone and record your name when prompted. Our next question comes from Lauren Ashburn with EWTN. Your line is open.

Lauren Ashburn:   

Thank you very much and thank you for taking my call. The percentage of those Syrian refugees who have been let into the country – what percent are Muslims? Do you have that breakdown?

Anne Richard:     

Yes, most are Muslims over 99% are Muslims.

Lauren Ashburn:  

And then what percent are of religious (execution) are fleeing (because they) say religious persecution?

Anne Richard:   

I don’t have that breakdown for you.

And that was the entire substance of the discussion about why so few non-Muslim refugees were being admitted.

The USCIS-sponsored conference call was just days before the State Department released its annual international religious freedom report, which said that genocide was being carried out by the Islamic State against Christians, Shia and Yezidis.

This echoes statements by Obama administration officials this year, including the assessment by Secretary of State John Kerry back in March, where he said the attacks by the Islamic State against religious minorities constituted genocide:

“My purpose here today is to assert in my judgment, (ISIS) is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims,” he said, during a news conference at the State Department.Kerry said that in 2014, ISIS trapped Yazidis, killed them, enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and girls, “selling them at auction, raping them at will and destroying the communities in which they had lived for countless generations,” executed Christians “solely for their faith” and also “forced Christian women and girls into slavery.”

“Without our intervention, it is clear that those people would have been slaughtered,” he said.

And yet Kerry’s statement was only made AFTER the House of Representatives unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 75 declaring that the Islamic State was engaged in genocide.

Despite these genocide pronouncements – the first officially made by the U.S. since the Darfur genocide in 2004 – the State Department has taken no apparent measures to address the discrimination against non-Muslims in their Syrian refugee program.

In fact, during last month’s USCIS conference call Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration Anne Richard admitted she didn’t even have a breakdown on the number of admitted Syrian refugees escaping religious persecution.

Apologists for the Obama administration claim that the problem is with the U.N. who selects the refugees, and not the State Department.

And yet there is no indication that the State Department even finds the discrimination against Christians and other non-Muslim minorities in their Syrian refugee resettlement program a concern, let alone taking measures to correct the problem.

GOP congressional leadership has been absent on this issue as well. When H.Con.Res. 75 was passed in March, House Speaker Paul Ryan touted the House’s leadership on the issue.

Speaker Ryan also says that a religious test for entering the country is contrary to American values:

But Speaker Ryan has remained silent as non-Muslim Syrian refugees are discriminated against in the State Department’s refugee resettlement program.

The implications from the data are unmistakable. And those numbers show that so far this month, the problem is only getting worse with 0.2 percent of all Syrian refugees admitted from the religious minorities the State Department says are subject to genocide by the Islamic State.

New ISIS Military Commander Was Trained by State Department as Recently as 2014

new-isis-commander-gulmorad-halimov-trained-by-state-department-sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, SEPTEMBER 6, 2016:

Gulmurod Khalimov, the new ISIS military commander whom the U.S. just days ago announced a $3 million bounty for, was trained by the State Department in an anti-terror program as recently as 2014 while serving in the security service of Tajikistan.

He replaces former ISIS commander Tarkhan Batirashvili, aka Umar al-Shishani, who was also trained by the United States as part of the Georgian army and who ISIS claimed was killed fighting in Iraq this past July.

The State Department confirmed Khalimov’s U.S.-provided training to CNN in May 2015:

“From 2003-2014 Colonel Khalimov participated in five counterterrorism training courses in the United States and in Tajikistan, through the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program,” said spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala.The program is intended to train candidates from participating countries in the latest counterterrorism tactics, so they can fight the very kind of militants that Khalimov has now joined.

A State Department official said Khalimov was trained in crisis response, tactical management of special events, tactical leadership training and related issues.

Unironically, the State Department spokeswoman said that Khalimov had been appropriately vetted:

“All appropriate Leahy vetting was undertaken in advance of this training,” said spokeswoman Jhunjhunwala.

At that time, Khalimov appeared in a video threatening the United States:

“Listen, you American pigs: I’ve been to America three times. I saw how you train soldiers to kill Muslims,” he says.Then, he threatens, “we will find your towns, we will come to your homes, and we will kill you.”

Khalimov and Batirashvili are hardly the first terrorist leaders operating in Syria to have been trained by the United States.

In August 2014, the Washington Post reported that fighters who had been trained by Western forces, including the U.S., in Libya had found their way to terror groups at the beginning of the Syrian conflict:

Some European and Arab intelligence officials also voiced their worries and frustration about what they call the mistakes the United States has made in handling the uprisings in Arab states. “We had, in the early stages, information that radical groups had used the vacuum of the Arab Spring, and that some of the people the U.S. and their allies had trained to fight for ‘democracy’ in Libya and Syria had a jihadist agenda — already or later, [when they] joined al Nusra or the Islamic State,” a senior Arab intelligence official said in a recent interview. He said that often his U.S. counterparts would say things like, “We know you are right, but our president in Washington and his advisers don’t believe that.” Those groups, say Western security officials, are threats not only in the Middle East, but also in the United States and Europe, where they have members and sympathizers.The official’s account has been corroborated by members of the Islamic State in and outside the Middle East, including Abu Yusaf, the military commander. In several interviews conducted in the last two months, they described how the collapse of security during Arab Spring uprisings helped them recruit, regroup and use the Western strategy — to support and train groups that fight dictators — for their own benefits. “There had [also] been … some British and Americans who had trained us during the Arab Spring times in Libya,” said a man who calls himself Abu Saleh and who only agreed to be interviewed if his real identity remained secret.

Abu Saleh, who is originally from a town close to Benghazi, said he and a group of other Libyans received training and support in their country from French, British, and American military and intelligence personnel — before they joined the Al Nusra Front or the Islamic State. Western and Arab military sources interviewed for this article, confirmed Abu Saleh’s account that “training” and “equipment” were given to rebels in Libya during the fight against the Gadhafi regime.

Abu Saleh left Libya in 2012 for Turkey and then crossed into Syria. “First I fought under what people call the ‘Free Syrian Army’ but then switched to Al Nusra. And I have already decided I will join the Islamic State when my wounds are healed,” the 28-year-old said from a hospital in Turkey, where he is receiving medical treatment. He had been injured during a battle with the Syrian Army, he said, and was brought to Turkey with false documents.  “Some of the Syrian people who they trained have joined the Islamic State and others jabhat al Nusra,” he said, smiling. He added, “Sometimes I joke around and say that I am a fighter made by America.”

This problem of a terror “boomerang” also goes back to the Bush administration, as seen when Islamist rebels took over a large portion of Mali in 2013.

As the Financial Times reported:

To the dismay of the US, junior Malian officers trained as part of $620m pan-Sahelian counter-terrorism initiative launched in 2002 to help four semi-desert states resist Islamic militancy took part in a coup in March last year. Others among them defected to the Tuareg revolt that eventually led to a coalition of Islamist militias, allied with Algerian militants from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, capturing the northern two-thirds of Mali.Potentially, these US-trained officers are now using US counter-insurgency know-how against France’s intervention force.

“It is a great failure,” says Dr Berny Sèbe, an expert in Franco-African relations at the University of Birmingham. “Some of them defected. Others organised a coup.”

In two of the three other Sahelian states involved in the Pentagon’s pan-Sahelian initiative, Mauritania and Niger, armies trained by the US, have also taken power in the past eight years. In the third, Chad, they came close in a 2006 attempt.

And back in Syria, as I’m chronicled repeatedly here at PJ Media, “vetted moderate” forces armed and trained by the U.S. have defected to ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

July 7, 2014: U.S. ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic StateNov. 2, 2014: U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Nov. 24, 2014: More Defections of ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Rebels to ISIS

Dec. 2, 2014: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Sept. 22, 2015: Report: U.S.-Trained, ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Leader Defects to Al-Qaeda, Turns Weapons Over to Terror Group

Given these repeated instances, one might begin to question the quality of the U.S. government’s vetting capabilities.

British Journo: Syrian Kidnapper Who Shot Me Twice Is Now a CIA-Vetted ‘Moderate’

CIA-kidnapper-turned-CIA-moderate.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, SEPTEMBER 3, 2016:

British reporter Anthony Loyd recounts in The Times (UK) today his reaction when he saw his former Syrian “rebel” kidnapper Hakim Abu Jamal, aka Abdel Hakim al-Yaseen and Hakim Anza, celebrating a victory in northern Syria two weeks ago as part of a supposedly CIA-vetted “moderate” rebel group.

Loyd reports (The Times article is behind a paywall; link is to same article in The Australian):

It was with some surprise watching a video of a victorious band of western-backed rebels that I noticed the face of America’s newest ally in the war against Isis in Syria.

It was the face of a man I last saw in May 2014 when he leant forward to shoot me twice in the left ankle at almost point-blank range while my hands were tied. It was punishment for having attempted to escape his gang of kidnappers in northern Syria who had hoped to sell me on.He shot me in the middle of a crowd of onlookers, after a savage preliminary beating, denouncing me as “a CIA spy”. Now, it seems, he works with them.

The grainy footage of the video – posted last month on Facebook – showed Hakim Abu Jamal waving his Kalashnikov in the air to proclaim a small victory, courtesy of US air power, on a dusty street in the border town of al-Rai.

I remember him well from across the years. Now, Hakim, forage cap on his head, was standing in the middle of a group of ten other Syrian rebel fighters all belonging to a CIA-vetted group.

The group was backed by Turkish artillery and US airstrikes to oust Isis fighters from a key stretch of road before the capture of the town of Jarabulus last month. Hakim Abu Jamal, who also goes by the names Abdel Hakim al-Yaseen and Hakim Anza, was among the hundreds of other Syrian rebels who crossed from Turkey into Syria two weeks ago to purge ISIS.

And it seems that U.S. authorities aren’t eager to respond to questions about their newly minted “moderate” rebels:

Last month, however, video surfaced of Hakim Anza proving that he was not only free, but was also serving in a CIA-vetted Syrian rebel group, First Regiment (al-Fawj al-Awwal), which was receiving US weaponry, including Tow missiles, as well as air strikes in support of their operations. In between times he appears to be based in southern Turkey, where he takes orders from the Hawar Kilis Operations room.Four US hostages were murdered in Syria in 2014. Two British hostages were also beheaded there. The memories of Britain and America must be short, for on Friday sources in the Free Syrian Army and US confirmed Hakim Anza’s membership of the CIA-backed group, in which he is sub-commander.

Centcom, the US Central Command, did not respond to Times requests over three days this week to explain how such a well-known hostage taker with family connections to extremists could have passed US vetting procedures.

However, a Pentagon official, who preferred not to be named, described repeated US air support for a recent mission conducted by vetted Syrian rebel groups, where Hakim Anza was filmed with his men on August 17. He has apparently transformed effortlessly from criminal pariah to a worthy foot soldier allied to Operation Inherent Resolve, the 60-nation coalition, motto “One Mission, Many Nations”, in the Middle East to fight ISIS.

Remarkably, the New York Times reported four years ago from Hakim’s camp, where he was observed engaging in war crimes, namely, sending a Syrian regime prisoner to a Syrian Army checkpoint under the ruse of a prisoner exchange, but wiring the vehicle to remotely explode once it arrived at the checkpoint. In a video accompanying the NYT article, Hakim appears dejected when informed the bomb did not detonate.

This is hardly the first time that U.S.-backed “rebels” have been responsible for kidnapping Western journalists.

As I reported here at PJ Media more than a year ago, several U.S. reporters taken captive by U.S.-backed “moderate” rebel groups have ended up in the hands of Al-Qaeda, and even ISIS.

That would include American journalist James Foley, beheaded by the Islamic State in its first such grisly video, who reportedly came into ISIS custody when the Free Syrian Army (FSA)-aligned Dawud Brigade that kidnapped and held Foley pledged allegiance to ISIS and delivered him to ISIS as a token of their submission.

In October 2014, American journalist Theo Padnos — who was captured by the U.S.-backed FSA and then given over to — told the story of his two-year captivity in the New York Times Magazine.

At one point, Padnos says he escaped from his Al-Qaeda captors and found himself back in the hands of the FSA, who then, again, promptly turned him back over to the terror group.

An NBC News crew taken captive in Syria in December 2012, and who later repeatedly claimed they had been held by an Assad regime militia, later admitted – following a New York Times investigation – that they were in fact held by an FSA criminal network.

Also, there is evidence that NBC News executives knew from the time of the crew’s capture that they were held by U.S. allies, but allowed the blame to fall on Assad since that didn’t conflict with the Obama administration’s position at the time.

For more than two years I’ve reported extensively on the extensive vetting failures related to the U.S. support of the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels:

July 7, 2014: U.S. ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic StateSept. 3, 2014: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra

Sept. 9, 2014: Fighter With ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Tells L.A. Times They Fight Alongside Al-Qaeda

Sept. 10, 2014: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

Sept. 13, 2014: Yet Another U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Makes Peace with ISIS

Sept. 24, 2014: U.S.-Backed Syrian Group Harakat al-Hazm Condemns U.S. Strikes on ISIS as ‘Attack on the Revolution’

Nov. 2, 2014: U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Nov. 3, 2014: How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

Nov. 24, 2014: More Defections of ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Rebels to ISIS

Dec. 2, 2014: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Dec. 14, 2014: Report: Al-Qaeda Using CIA-Supplied TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Northern Syria

Dec. 28, 2014: NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective al-Qaeda Control

March 3, 2015: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands

March 24, 2015: Video Shows Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra Using U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Syria

April 16, 2015: U.S. Analyst Admits ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Have Been Working with Al-Qaeda All Along

May 8, 2015: CIA-Backed, “Vetted Moderate” Rebels Now Working Openly With Al-Qaeda

June 27, 2015: ISIS Using U.S. TOW Antitank Missiles In Latest Syrian Offensive

July 9, 2015: Report: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Fighting Alongside Al-Qaeda, Islamic State Against Assad Regime

July 23, 2015:U.S.-Funded Free Syrian Army Unit Shows Off Its Kidnapping Skills in New Training Video

July 27, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels: Obama’s 50-Man ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Army Vanishes After Training in Turkey

July 29, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels Part 2: Al-Qaeda Arrests 18 U.S.-Trained Rebels On Their First Day in Syria

July 30, 2015: #BringBackOurRebels: Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately

July 31, 2015: Report: Al-Qaeda Kills Five Members of Obama’s 54-Man Syrian Rebel Army

July 31, 2015: Chechen Terrorists In Syria Have Obtained U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles

Sept. 22, 2015: Report: U.S.-Trained, ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Leader Defects to Al-Qaeda, Turns Weapons Over to Terror Group

Oct. 27, 2016: New Video Shows Al-Qaeda Using Weapons U.S. Gave to ‘Vetted Moderates’

Nov. 24, 2015:U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels Destroy Russian Helicopter with CIA-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missile

July 20, 2016: CIA-Vetted, “Moderate” Syrian Rebels Behead Child Soldier

And yet the Obama administration continues on a reckless course of backing these rebels well knowing that any actual moderates have become few and far between in Syria, and that some of these CIA-“vetted” groups have been directly involved in the abduction and killing of U.S. citizens.

And a larger question looms: as the mountain of evidence continues to grow about the extremism of U.S.-backed rebel groups, at what point does the U.S. become complicit in their crimes?

State Dept. Confirms PJ Media Reporting on American Journalist Arrested in Turkey

Lindsey-Snell-Turkey.sized-770x415xt

PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, AUGUST 31, 2016:

On August 8, I reported here at PJ Media on American journalist Lindsey Snell, who had reportedly escaped from Jabhat al-Nusra/Jabhat Fateh al-Sham custody in Syria only to be arrested when she arrived back in Turkey earlier this month. No other American media outlet reported on this story — until now.

Snell’s biography notes she has worked for MSNBC, VICE News, ABC News, the Discovery Channel, and Amnesty International, among others.

State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed her arrest during his daily briefing today, stating that she is being held on charges of “violating a military zone”:

QUESTION: Do you have any information about a U.S. citizen who was arrested in Turkey?MR KIRBY: Who was arrested in Turkey? Yes. I can confirm that U.S. citizen Lindsey Snell was detained in Turkey on the 7th of August, 2016. She is currently being held in a prison facility in Hatay Province. I believe that’s how you say it. Consular officers from the consulate in Adana visited Ms. Snell most recently on the 26th of this month and are providing all possible consular assistance. The embassy and the department are following this case closely. State Department officials have been in contact with Turkish Government officials regarding this case.

QUESTION: Can you spell her name?

MR KIRBY: Lindsey. L-i-n-d-s-e-y. Snell. S-n-e-l-l.

Did you have more?

QUESTION: Yeah. Is – was the arrest at all related to her profession as a journalist or in any case – any way associated with that?

MR KIRBY: What I – what we understand is that she has been charged with violating a military zone, but I can’t speak to her reasons for being in Syria, for traveling there. I can’t speak to that. What I can tell you is that we’ve been informed she was charged with violating a military zone.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) that she entered a military zone that she wasn’t supposed to, or —

MR KIRBY: That would be my interpretation of that, Arshad. But that’s a better question for Turkish authorities since they’re the ones that issued the charges.

QUESTION: Did you say she was arrested in Syria and is held in Turkey? I’m sorry, I just didn’t hear the details exactly.

MR KIRBY: She was —

QUESTION: I thought you said she was —

MR KIRBY: She’s been – she was arrested – detained in Turkey —

QUESTION: Okay.

MR KIRBY: — and has been charged with violating a military zone.

QUESTION: I thought the word “Syria” came out of your mouth, and I just wanted to make sure that there wasn’t —

MR KIRBY: Yes. Yes, I did. As I understand it, she journeyed to Turkey from Syria, and I – what my answer was, I couldn’t speak for why she was in Syria in the first place. The question was was she doing the business of journalism, and I don’t know.

QUESTION: Thank you.

As I noted, PJ Media was the only U.S. media outlet to report on her detention by Turkish authorities.

***

This strange situation comes at a low ebb in U.S. relations with its NATO ally. Undoubtedly Snell’s detention, along with that of a NASA employee also detained in Turkey earlier this month, will come up when President Obama meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the Group of 20 meetings in China this week.

PJ Media will continue to report on this situation as developments unfold.

Read more

FBI Investigating Possible ISIS-Inspired Stabbing Attack in Virginia

Wasil-Farooqui.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, AUGUST 22, 2016:

The random stabbing of a couple in Roanoke County, Virginia, on Saturday is now being investigated as a possible ISIS-inspired terror attack, according to reports.

Witnesses to the incident say that the suspect under arrest, Wasil Farooqui, was shouting “Allah Akbar” while attacking a man and woman at their apartment building Saturday evening.

Several media outlets are reporting the FBI’s involvement in the case:

The Roanoke Times reports:

Roanoke County Police arrested a man in connection with a Saturday night stabbing that injured a man and a woman at The Pines Apartments, off Virginia 419.

Wasil Farooqui, 20, went to a hospital to seek medical care for his own injuries. He matched the description of the suspect and, following further investigation, was arrested, according to a news release.

Farooqui is charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and is being held at the Western Virginia Regional Jail without bond, according to the release.

Officers went to the 4300 block of Banbury Lane after receiving a call around 8 p.m. on Saturday indicating that a man and woman had been attacked with a knife while entering the apartment building. The man fought off the attacker, who then fled, according to the release.

Police believe the attack was random, and that Farooqui has no connection to the victims, according to the release.

WDJB7 adds these details:

The FBI is now involved in a stabbing investigation in Roanoke County.

Wasil Farooqui is charged in the incident that seriously hurt a man and woman at the The Pines Apartments on Saturday.

Witnesses told police that during the attack Farooqui was yelling “Allah Akbar.”

He remains in jail tonight without bond.

Earlier today a woman wearing a hijab injured three people with a machete in Uccle, Belgium, a suburb of Brussels, and was later shot in a confrontation with police.

Here is video of the confrontation with the woman filmed by a bystander:

Predictably, authorities invoked the woman’s “mental illness”.

The incidents in Roanoke County over the weekend and Belgium today are added to a growing list of incidents as ISIS calls on supporters to use baseball bats and power screwdrivers in a new video released this weekend, as reported by Bridget Johnson here at PJ Media yesterday.

Update from Patrick Poole on twitter:

Virginia ISIS attacker Wasil Farooqui attempted to go to Syria, was on law enforcement radar. Yet another #KnownWolf

This week in jihad: ‘If we lose Africa, we lose the War on Terror’

Boko HaramConservative Review, by Nate Madden, Aug. 18, 2016:

As Turkey arrests tens of thousands of political prisoners following last month’s coup attempt, and ISIS horrifically executes dozens of captives accused of spying, Boko Haram’s new leader and new mission in West Africa highlight the precipitous state of jihadism on the continent.

It has been over two years since almost 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in April 2014.

New video released Sunday by Nigerian-based ISIS-affiliate Boko Haram highlights the sad and troubling reality that the insurgency — now the deadliest terror group in the world — is still terrorizing West Africa, with a new focus on targeting Christians.

According to a report from the Associated Press:

The video posted Sunday on Twitter shows a young woman, covered in a hijab with just her face showing, who was one of the students abducted from a remote school in northeastern Nigeria in April 2014. She claims that some of her kidnapped classmates died in aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force. She also said that 40 have been “married” to fighters.

The video shows a militant warning in the Hausa language that if President Muhammadu Buhari’s government battles Boko Haram with firepower, the girls won’t be seen again.

“Presently, some of the girls are crippled, some are terribly sick and some of them, as I had said, died during bombardment by the Nigerian military,” the fighter says, appearing before a group of more than 40 young women in hijabs, some holding babies.

The video’s release comes just two weeks after news broke of an internal shakeup in the Boko Haram’s organization’s ranks, in which its long-time leader Abu Bakr Shekau was reportedly replaced by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who has pledged to re-focus the group’s terror focus on Christians and churches while ending attacks on markets and mosques.

In an interview published by ISIS and reported by SITE Intelligence on August 8, al-Barnawi vowed to respond to what he called attempts to “Christianize the society” by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those (Christians) who we find from the citizens of the cross.”

Al-Barnawi, who was confirmed by ISIS’ English language magazine, Dabiq, as the new governor of its so-called West Africa Province — a name that Boko Haram adopted last spring — had been a spokesperson for the group for over a year, speaking in lieu of the mysterious Shekau, leading to speculation of the latter’s death.

Boko Haram’s new announced strategy in West Africa echoes sentiments laid out in the latest issue of Dabiq, in which the multinational insurgency focused attacks directly at Christianity with articles as titled “Break the Cross” and “Why we hate you and why we fight you.”

Elsewhere in Africa, a Ugandan Islamist group hacked at least 64 people to death with machetes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The massacre was carried out by the Allied Defense Forces in the town of Beni, according to a report at the Daily Mail. The ADF is known as a quasi-jihadist militant group initially focused on overthrowing the Ugandan government with the intention of installing Sharia law in the East African country.

As pointed out in a previous two-part series at Conservative Review, the continued violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and the spread of jihadism in other regions is largely a result of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failed and reckless Africa policies. These have helped increase the jihadist footprint on the continent.

“We’re on the verge of losing the whole continent of Africa,” to jihadist groups Counterterrorism expert Patrick Poole told Conservative Review in a phone interview for the series.

“Africa is the war on terror,” he added. “If we lose Africa, we lose the war on terror.”

Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religion and culture. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate has previously written for The Washington Times, Catholic News Service, Patheos, and The Christian Post. Follow him @NateMadden_IV.

FACT CHECK: Islamic Terrorists Have Killed More In Domestic Attacks Since 9/11 Than the ‘Right Wing’

Fact-Check.sized-770x415xcPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, AUGUST 17, 2016:

In recent years the establishment media has pushed a narrative that right wing terrorism has been exploding while domestic Islamic terrorism posed very little threat to Americans at all.

Just last year, media outlets claimed that so-called “right wing” terrorists had killed more since 9/11 than Islamic terrorists. Even now the establishment media repeat this claim, despite the fact that even using their own preferred data sources, such claims are no longer true.

When that narrative was being spun last year, including by the New York Times, the data was at best questionable; after the jihadist terror attack in Orlando this past June, the claim isn’t even debatable.

In fact, the number of those killed at the Orlando Pulse night club by Omar Mateen (49) was more than all the deaths from “right wing” terrorism since 9/11 COMBINED (48).

This false media narrative is so ubiquitous that just yesterday Anthony De Rosa, digital production manager for “The Daily Show” was invoking it:

But according to the most recent data from New America – the same source cited last year by the New York Times and other media outlets, including taxpayer-supported NPR – shows that domestic jihadists have killed 94, while those attributed to “right wing” killers is 48.

JihadvsRWattackdeaths-1024x348

And yet the media “right wingers kill more than Islamic terrorists” narrative continues to circulate despite a string of deadly jihadist terror attacks in the U.S. since the media began circulating the claim last year.

When the media began to push this narrative in earnest in June 2015, the New America numbers cited in all the press articles claimed jihadists only were responsible for 26 deaths, while the “right wing” was blamed for 48 (note, that number hasn’t moved since).

But when those articles appeared last year, some noted the suspicious attributions by New America on the “right wing” side of the ledger included suspects whose “right wing” credentials were far-fetched at best.

Bloomberg View columnist Megan McArdle noted several “right wing” cases in New America’s data set that were dubious at best:

Counting the other types of extremist terrorism is a little murkier. Some of them are fairly obvious: When a white supremacist starts shooting people at a Sikh temple, I don’t think we need to wonder too hard what his motives were. On the other hand, the data set The Times relies on also includes Andrew Joseph Stack, who you may remember piloted a small plane into an IRS building in Austin. Stack left a manifesto behind, and it doesn’t exactly read like an anarcho-capitalist treatise. Oh, he’s mad at the government, all right, but he’s mad about … the 1986 revision to Section 1706 of the tax code, which governs the treatment of technical contractors […]Its closing lines are “The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.” Labeling this as a “deadly right-wing attack” is beyond a stretch; it’s not even arguably correct.

McArdle identifies several other eye-rolling examples of New America’s “right wing” killers.

Florida State Professor Andrew Holt also looked at New America’s data and criticized their cooked statistics for not including several cases of Islamic-inspired terrorist attacks, including DC Beltway snipers John Allen Mohammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who modeled themselves on Osama bin Laden and conducted their attacks to extort money from the federal government to set up a terror training camp in Canada to wage war against the United States.

Professor Holt notes other cases excluded from New America’s data set:

In June of 2006 in Denver, a man shot four of his co-workers and a swat team member, killing one. He later claimed he did it because it was “Allah’s choice.” In December of 2009 in Binghamton, a Saudi Arabian graduate student named Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani killed Richard T. Antoun, a non-Muslim Islamic studies professor who served on al-Zahrani’s dissertation committee, in revenge for “persecuted” Muslims. Prior to the killing one of al-Zahrani’s roommates tried to warn the university administration that he had been acting “like a terrorist.” In 2012 in Houston, in two separate incidents in January and in November, two people were shot to death by a Muslim extremist for their roles in his daughter’s conversion to Christianity. In March of 2013 in Ashtabula (Ohio), a Muslim convert walked into a Christian Church during an Easter service and killed his father, claiming it was “the will of Allah.” In August of 2014 in Richmond (California) killed an Ace Hardware employee by stabbing him seventeen times, claiming he was on a “mission from Allah.”

So if New America is going to include a 2004 Tulsa bank robbery, why would they also not include the May 2008 bank robbery in Philadelphia by three burqa-clad suspects inspired by “jailhouse Islam” that killed Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski who died trying to apprehend them?

And if you’re going to include the 2009 Pittsburgh police shootings (the circumstances of which McArdle raised issue whether it would be classified as “right wing”), why wouldn’t you include the April 2009 killing of Philadelphia Police Officer John Powlowski by Rasheed Scruggs, aka Rasheed Abdulghaffer, who Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said may also have also been inspired by “jailhouse Islam”?

The reason is that the establishment media and organizations like New America are driving an agenda trying to spin up fears about looming “right wing terrorism” while simultaneously downplaying domestic terror attacks.

It should be noted that the string of articles last year came right after the attempted terror attack on a Mohammed drawing contest in Garland, Texas, where law enforcement authorities killed the would-be jihadists before they could injure any civilians, and about a month before the Chattanooga terror attack that killed five.

The media has a history of bad luck spinning up the “right wing terror” narrative.

Take for instance the New York Times oped by a former State Department counter-terrorism official noting, “The Declining Terror Threat” — eight weeks before the 9/11 attacks.

Or a Peter Bergen opinion piece at CNN warning of the “Growing Threat of Right Wing Extremism” — eleven days before the Boston bombings.

There are other media failures pushing the “right wing terrorism” narrative. That’s not to say that some would-be Timothy McVeigh could kill dozens of Americans and up-end these statistics.

But the whole agenda of warning about deaths from “right wing terrorism” compared to Islamic terrorism becomes clear when you observe that these data sets begin their count THE DAY AFTER 9/11, something both Megan McArdle and Professor Andrew Holt note.

To talk about terrorism deaths on American soil while intentionally excluding the largest and most lethal terror attack in modern history is laughably lame. It would take a terror attack on an unimaginable scale for “right wing” terrorism to ever catch up to Islamic terrorism’s death toll.

And for anyone in the media to still repeat the now false claim that “right wing” terrorism is more lethal than Islamic terrorism, without fact checking the claim following a string of shockingly deadly jihadist attacks over the past year, is grossly irresponsible.

But don’t be surprised when you still see the false claim bandied about by the establishment media and political hacks. Just note the agenda.

America’s First Would-Be Somali State Legislator Embroiled in Potential Marriage, Immigration Fraud Scandal

Ilhan-Minneapolis2016.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, AUGUST 15, 2016:

Ihlan Omar scored a historic victory in Minnesota last Tuesday when she defeated 22-term incumbent Phyllis Khan in the DFL party primary, setting her up for an almost-certain election in November in heavily DFL state House District 60B. Omar would also be the first Somali state legislator in the country.

Now just days after her upset primary victory, Omar faces serious allegations that she engaged in marriage and possible immigration fraud.

In a story by attorney Scott Johnson at the Powerline blog on Friday, there are allegations that one of her sham marriages may be to her own brother:

A reader has written us to point out that the Somali website Somalispotposted information last week suggesting Omar’s involvement in marriage and immigration fraud. The post notes that Omar married Ahmed Hirsi in 2002. Hirsi is the father of Omar’s three children.Omar is depicted with Hirsi and their children on Omar’s campaign website here.The post further notes that Omar married her brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, implying that the latter marriage assisted his entry into the United States. Her brother was a British citizen. “As soon as Ilhan Omar married him,” the post continues, “he started university at her [a]lma mater North Dakota State University where he graduated in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Minneapolis where he was living in a public housing complex and was later evicted. He then returned to the United Kingdom where he now lives.”

Let me note here that Omar’s marriage to her brother, if it occurred in fact, is illegal under Minnesota law. I believe it would be void ab initio, as though it never occurred. If it occurred, I infer that it must have taken place for dishonest purposes.

Any such second marriage might be bigamous as well as fraudulent. That is not clear to me. Minnesota law defines bigamy as “knowingly having a prior marriage that is not dissolved” while also “contract[ing] a marriage in this state.” Bigamy is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine up to $10,000. The definition and penalty provisions of the crime of bigamy are set forth in Minn. Stat. § 609.355.

Twin Cities media are already investigating the allegations.

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Three Dozen Incidents Chronicle Europe’s Domestic Insurgency: The Week in Review

AP_migrant_europe_01_mm_150904_16x9_992.sized-770x415xb (1)PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, AUGUST 14, 2016:

Last week I reported here at PJ Media on the growing mountain of evidence showing that the European migration crisis is causing flashpoints across the continent. I noted two dozen incidents from the previous seven days revealing the scope of the problem.

Fast-forward a week later and now all indications are that Europe’s domestic insurgency fueled by the massive waves of migrants flooding into EU countries continues to escalate.

My August 3 report here at PJ Media looked at data from the Pew Research Center showing that military-age men represented the bulk of so-called refugees to Europe in 2015. It took nearly a week after my report for the establishment media to pick up on the ramifications of the recently released Pew data:

Europe’s migration crisis remains in the news as migrants and refugees continue to flood the continent:

And as this recounting of incidents from the past week shows, wishful thinking by the European political and media elites is not resolving the problem:

France: Corsica tense after clashes between North Africans and locals over burkini picsUK: Is missing Bradford schoolboy now a jihadist fighter?

Germany: Officials in Hamburg monitoring ‘sharia police’ patrolling city after wave of refugees

Holland: Iraqi man hacks fingers of neighbor off with machete after dispute

Scotland: How Pakistan inspired Glasgow shopkeeper killer after perceived insult to Mohammad

Scotland: Supporters shout “praise for the prophet Muhammad as Muslim ‘blasphemy’ killer is sentenced

Denmark: Iranian asylum seeker threatens bombing of refugee center where he was staying

Germany: After four Islamist attacks authorities racing to figure out how to help youth before they radicalize

UK: British man convicted of making offensive comments about Muslims on Facebook

France: Police warn jihadi terrorists could be hiding in Britain-bound refugees in Calais

Greece: Yazidis targeted for genocide by ISIS being persecuted in refugee camps

Sweden: Somali migrant who stabbed asylum worker to death sentenced to psychiatric care

Italy: Milan overrun by ‘invasion’ of thousands of immigrants

Germany: Police arrest Syrian refugee after tip he was planning ‘Islamist-inspired attack’

Belgium: Manhunt for jihadi teen who called for extermination of Christians

Switzerland: Rise in number of child victims of forced marriage

Hungary: 3000 extra police dispatched to help protect border

UK: Home Office guidelines say Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members qualify for asylum

France: Teen cleared of being ‘third man’ in Charlie Hebdo attack arrested for trying to join ISIS

Belgium: Algerian man who stabbed two Charleroi police officers wasn’t deported despite two deportation orders

Holland: Two Turkish men assaulted by Erdogan supporters in Amsterdam

UK: London schoolgirl turned ‘jihadi bride’ killed in Syrian airstrike

Austria: Authorities see rise in attacks by asylum seekers

Belgium: Liege neighborhood on lockdown after man of ‘Turkish origin’ roams streets with machete day after terror attack

Germany: Federal chief of domestic intelligence says Islamists use refugee camps for recruitment, 340+ cases so far

Italy: Tunisian national deported after planning bombing attack on Leaning Tower of Pisa

France: Terrifying moment Calais migrants ambush British van driver with metal bars

Germany: Video of migrants clashing with police in Berlin goes viral

UK: Prime Minister May allowed terror suspect wanted in two bombings in India and killing of schoolgirl to remain in country

Sweden: Summer inferno of sexual assaults, almost all coming from Afghanistan, Eritrean and Somali refugees

Belgium: Police arrest three new terror suspects during raids in Brussels

Germany: Intelligence warns of ISIS hit squads among refugees

UK: Election fraud in Muslim-majority areas of London becoming a problem aided by political correctness, report claims

Sweden: Eight immigrants convicted of murder in restaurant attack, tried to kill 25

Italy: Pro-migrant group calls off rally after weapons found on protesters

France: Malian expelled on suspected jihadist links, 81 such expulsions since 2012

UK: Imams using prisons to radicalize recruits

Needless to say, Europeans aren’t taking comfort in assurances by their politicians that the problem is being handled…

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Revisiting the Muslim Brotherhood’s August 2013 ‘Reign of Terror’ Targeting Egypt’s Christians

St Mousa the Black Coptic Church, Minya, Upper Egypt (Photo credit: Patrick Poole)

St Mousa the Black Coptic Church, Minya, Upper Egypt (Photo credit: Patrick Poole)

PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, AUGUST 14, 2016:

Three years ago today a systematic campaign targeting Egypt’s Christian community by Muslim Brotherhood supporters began, causing the destruction of dozens of churches, monasteries, Christian businesses and homes across Egypt – attacks unprecedented for several centuries.

Even today many of these churches and monasteries that were looted and torched during August 2013 remain in disrepair as attacks on Christians continue in certain areas of Egypt.

Several months after the Muslim Brotherhood carved this path of destruction through the Egyptian Christian community, I had the opportunity to visit some of these sites and meet with Coptic church leaders to discuss the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in these attacks.

The Coptic Christian community in Egypt is significant not only because it is one of the oldest and largest Christian communities in the Middle East, but the Coptic Christians make up more than half of the Christians still remaining in the Middle East.

Escorted by Father Anthony Hanna of St. Mary and St. Mina’s Coptic Church in Concord, California, in April 2014 we traveled deep into Upper Egypt, where many of the attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood occurred.

Muslim-Brotherhood-church-attacks-August-2013

One of the first indications of how tense the situation remained even months after the attacks were the levels of security we had to pass through to attend the Easter service at St. Mark’s Coptic Cathedral.

Our driver was not even allowed close to the cathedral entrance, so we were dropped off about a quarter mile away. As we passed through the gates, we were checked for our passports and the passes to attend the service. This would be the first of seven ID checks we had to go through to enter the cathedral on the holiest holiday for Christians around the world.

There was good reason for concern for security. A year earlier, the cathedral hadbeen attacked during a funeral by Muslim mobs without any intervention by police under the government of then-President Mohamed Morsi, a top Muslim Brotherhood leader.

Several days later we had lunch with Father Hanna, where he introduced us to a young Coptic man, “George,” who had been been kidnapped for eight days in January 2013. The son of a prominent Coptic businessman, he was held until his family paid a $100,000 ransom.

“George” described his captivity at the hands of his Islamist captors. Initially he was beaten, and subjected to anti-Christian taunts throughout his captivity. When his captors had obtained the ransom, but before he was released, “George” was blindfolded and a gun held to his head, where he was told that if he didn’t renounce his Christian faith and accept Islam, he would be killed. Unable to get him to renounce his faith and with their ransom secured, “George” was released.

Sadly, the kidnapping of Christians in Egypt is still a regular occurrence.

Later that evening, Father Hanna, My Unconstrained Analytics colleague Stephen Coughlin, and myself received a personal audience with Pope Tawadros II at his office and residence in the St. Mark’s Cathedral compound. Again, we had to pass through layers of security, including armored vehicles stationed at the cathedral gates.

Steve Coughlin, Fr. Anthony Hanna meeting with Pope Tawadros II (Photo credit: Patrick Poole)

Steve Coughlin, Fr. Anthony Hanna meeting with Pope Tawadros II (Photo credit: Patrick Poole)

Armored vehicle protecting St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Abbassia, Cairo, Egypt (Photo credit: Patrick Poole)

Armored vehicle protecting St. Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Abbassia, Cairo, Egypt (Photo credit: Patrick Poole)

During our audience, Pope Tawadros detailed the ongoing fallout of the Muslim Brotherhood attacks in August 2013 and his reasons for backing Morsi’s ouster following the massive June 30 protests.

Two of the things he specifically cited were the April 2013 attacks on the cathedral, which he noted was without precedent in Coptic history and which a Morsi aide had blamed Christians for, and the torture of Christian protesters in March 2013 by Muslim Brotherhood cadres at a mosque following protests against the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi.

Pope Tawadros had been praised for speaking out during the Muslim Brotherhood’s August 2013 ‘Reign of Terror’ for discouraging attempts to save the churches and the monasteries. “We could replace the buildings, we couldn’t replace the people,” he told us.

Several days later Father Hanna and I set out for Upper Egypt with arrangements made by Pope Tawadros’ staff. Here is a video of Father Hanna discussing our trip into Upper Egypt with CBN News.

Murder in Minya

Our first stop in Upper Egypt was in Minya, one of the largest cities in Upper Egypt about 140 miles south of Cairo. A majority of Egypt’s Christian community lives in Upper Egypt, and considerable destruction occurred in the Minya region.

We initially met with Bishop Makarios, who had survived an assassination attemptjust months before. Bishop Makarios noted was that Christian homes and businesses in Minya had been marked with an “X” by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in the days prior to the attacks, much as ISIS did with Christian homes in Mosul, Iraq two years later.

During their ‘Reign of Terror’ the Muslim Brotherhood had openly encouraged the attacks, such as this justification for retaliation posted on the Facebook page of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in Helwan…

******

…In July 2014, Father Hanna and I met with a number of congressional leaders in Washington D.C. describing what we found on our trip and the necessity to changing the U.S. government’s current openness to the Muslim Brotherhood that had waged the August 2013 terror campaign.

Steve Coughlin and I met again with Pope Tawadros last September when we escorted a congressional delegation to Egypt. He told us of the efforts by the Egyptian government to help rebuild the churches – a promise by President Sisi that is being fulfilled.

But issues clearly remain. As previously noted, attacks on the Christian community in Egypt are increasing as the government continues to deal with a widespread terror campaign, while the Parliament takes up several draft laws to end discrimination against Christians in building churches and removing religion from national identification cards.

And as I’ve reported here at PJ Media the Muslim Brotherhood has escalated their terror tactics in Egypt, most recently with a Muslim Brotherhood IED terror cell in Alexandria that had targeted military and police officials.

Three years on from the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Reign of Terror’ it seems time for Egypt to ensure that all Egyptians enjoy equal protection under the law free from discrimination. And it is overdue for the U.S. government to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as the terrorist group it is and always has been, as witnessed by the events of August 2013.

Read it all (many photos and video)

Also see: