Arab allies of US welcome push against Muslim Brotherhood

Fox News, by Ben Evansky, Aug. 8, 2017:

Arab allies of the U.S. are expressing support if the Trump administration declares the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, according to statements from foreign officials and a senior administration official who spoke to Fox News.

Speaking last week at the United Nations in response to a question from Fox News, the Egyptian Ambassador to the U.N., Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, expressed support for such a move.

“It would be a positive step forward indeed,” he said.

Salman Al-Ansari, president of the Saudi American Public Affairs Committee, told Fox News that the West is suffering from “laziness and must do its homework.”

“The U.S. needs to confront the evils of the Brotherhood as soon as possible,” he said. “If you have Saudi Arabia saying the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group, if you have Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) saying it’s a terrorist group, then what should stop the U.S. from designating the MB as a terrorist group as long there are hundreds of pieces of evidence that prove this fact?”

The Brotherhood is banned as a terrorist organization in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

Fox News previously reported on the internal debates and deliberations in the Trump White House on the move to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO.)

“The fight is far from over,” a senior administration official told Fox News.

“The commitment inside the West Wing to the question of designating the Brotherhood has not waned,” the official told Fox News.

“The White House completely understands how the modern global jihadi threat, which the president has rightly described as radical Islamic terrorism, can be driven back at its roots to the Brotherhood.”

“This president is unprepared to follow the disastrous policies of prior administrations, especially the Obama White House’s empowering of the Brotherhood that led to the catastrophic consequences of the so-called Arab Spring and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people from the Sinai to Sinjar,” the official concluded.

Christopher Holton of the Center for Security Policy, a group that has been at the forefront of efforts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, told Fox News, “It is an absolutely essential step. As the Egyptian ambassador well knows, the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood are identical to those of all the jihadist organizations, such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and Hamas: the establishment of an Islamic state ruled by Sharia.”

Holton blamed what he called “The Swamp in the State Department” for stopping the designation so far. He blamed some members of the Trump administration, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

“Combined with all the other distractions that have largely paralyzed so many initiatives on Capitol Hill, the effort to block the designation has thus far succeeded,” he said.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News that during the early weeks of the Trump presidency a large number of analysts warned that the move was, “ill-advised,” arguing that the move “would alienate the Muslim world and encumber diplomacy.”

Schanzer, a former terrorism finance official at the Treasury Department, said he does not believe the administration has given up on designation of the Brotherhood but he suggested it would be easier to target certain Brotherhood groups through the U.S. Treasury’s targeted sanctions program.

“The way forward is not to pursue the FTO approach at the State Department, primarily because the initiative is likely to fail,” Schanzer said. “The State Department will remain opposed…the Muslim Brotherhood is not a homogeneous organization, rather, it is made up of disparate affiliates, some of which could likely be classified as terror groups, and some not.”

“The right move is to pursue these designations in the less-politicized Treasury process in a way that is incremental and pragmatic. From there, additional affiliates can be added,” Schanzer said.

David Reaboi, the senior vice-president for strategic operations at the Security Studies Group, added, “Designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be a tremendous step in the right direction. The Muslim Brotherhood has been identified, rightly, as a threat by the countries that know it best — like Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia — among others.”

“These countries understand that the MB isn’t just another political or religious movement,” Reaboi added. “It’s the main engine driving the terror radicalization process. Any effort to combat Islamist terrorism needs to take the MB’s global network into account.”

Ben Evansky reports for Fox News on the United Nations and international affairs. He can be followed @BenEvansky

Qatar Is Playing a Dangerous Game of Political Chicken

Saudi Arabia and its allies are right to pressure Qatar to end its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The National Interest, by Nawaf Obaid, August 6, 2017:

Last month a Saudi-led group of nations that includes Egypt, UAE and Bahrain modified the thirteen demands it had made on Qatar over a month ago and instead insisted on six principles. These principles are an attempt to convince the Qataris to combat extremism and terror, to prevent the expression of incitement to violence, to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other states, and to refrain from supporting illegal entities, among other things. And while moving from making demands to urging an acceptance of principles is being spoken of as a reconciliatory gesture on the part of the anti-Qatar bloc, the central contentious issue remains: Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudi coalition knows what the experiences of numerous Muslim governments have long proven: the Muslim Brotherhood is an oppositionist movement that does not represent a sustainable form of governance, offers little in the way of social or economic programs, and some of its members have been linked to political violence and jihadist terror.

The current crisis has a geopolitical and historico-religious context. Qatar is a small island nation of 2.5 million people (of which fewer than 10 percent are nationals) that has long felt begrudgingly subordinate to larger Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Its ruling family, Al Thanis, also trace their roots to the Salafist cleric, Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, who allied with the Saudi ruling family in the eighteenth century to establish the first Saudi state (the current Kingdom is the third manifestation of the Saudi state).

Fueled by a desire to exercise outsized influence and a sense of its own importance within the original lineage of Islam, Qatar has long harbored Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supported its attempts to seize power in various Arab nations. The former emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who is the father of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is very close with the Muslim Brotherhood’s current spiritual leader, Egyptian-born cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has lived in Qatar since 1961. In addition, Qatar has funded the Al Jazeera network, which has long provided a global platform for Sheikh Qaradawi and others to promote the movement’s rigid political theocratic manifesto.

The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in Egypt in 1928 and spread via affiliate organizations into Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Jordan and Palestine, among others. Yet, in almost every case, it has proven incapable of working successfully and/or peacefully within established sovereign political systems. This has been largely due to three factors: its emphasis on religious ideology over developmental economics has alienated Arab populaces who have a growing preference for secular and effective governance; its inability to keep its numerous affiliates in step has led to the perception that it is too riddled with infighting to coherently govern; and it has been unable to quell suspicions regarding its connection to extremist violence.

The Muslim Brotherhood has never gained power in Egypt, save for a short period after the so-called Arab Spring when it proved even more inept than the Mubarak regime at solving the economic and social problems of the country, and the army, with large popular support, removed it from power. With certain Muslim Brotherhood elements having carried out terrorist attacks against its security officers, Egypt’s Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has called the Muslim Brotherhood “the progenitor of the Islamic State and similar terrorist groups.”

Also see:

Threat to Homeland High – Negotiation Not the Solution

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, July 24, 2017:

Famed terrorist Carlos the Jackal said:  “Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the United States.”

In September 2015, UTT published a brief article entitled The Convergence of Threats which illuminates the marriage between the U.S. Islamic Movement and the hard-left Marxists.  Today, this marriage moves ever closer to is objective of overthrowing the U.S. government.

In a time when the Republic is in such grave danger from external (China, North Korea) and internal threats (Jihadists, Marxists, Progressives, Communists), and because the threats have massed and are launching unending assaults in our courts, our schools, our political system, and our communities – both violent and non-violent – the response cannot be gradual and it cannot be measured.

The strongest action possible must be taken against revolutionaries inside our nation, be they Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Industrial Areas Foundation, Communist Party USA, Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas, or any others.  All nations working to undermine the United States, like China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Qatar, North Korea, Venezuela, and others must be dealt with harshly and swiftly.

We are at war for the integrity of our nation, and nothing should cause us to hesitate or falter.

During World War II, German spies/saboteurs arrived on American soil in 1944 with orders to destroy critical U.S. infrastructure.  Fearing capture, two of the spies turned themselves in and ratted out the other 6 who were captured at the end of June of the same year.  President Roosevelt ordered a military tribunal, and on August 8, approximately five weeks later, all six were executed.

While the Manhattan Project was in full operation creating the atomic bombs that would be dropped on Japan and end World War II, spies penetrated secret U.S. laboratories and were stealing secrets about the project.  Brigadier General Paul Tibbets (USAF, retired) who piloted the Enola Gay, which delivered the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan, spoke in November 2000 about his experiences.  Tibbets detailed how the United States handled at least two spies during wartime.  He told a story, directly related to him by one of the men involved, about a meeting between a traitor/spy and his handler in Chicago.  U.S. government officials witnessing the meeting shot them dead in the streets of Chicago and left them there. See Tibbets video HERE (43:55-45:50).

Today, Secret/Top Secret information is being leaked to the media for political gain, gravely damaging the security of the United States.  Government officials and elected representatives in both political parties at the federal level are protecting, aiding and abetting, and providing material support to enemies of the United States, including Hamas and Al Qaeda terrorists in suits, as well as leaders of hostile nation states like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Members of the media are providing material support to these same terrorists by allowing terrorists to use their networks as platforms for propaganda and for destroying the reputations and lives of people who are working to fight against this threat, uphold the law, and honor their Oaths of Office.

Judges are using their benches to assault the integrity of our nation’s laws while ignoring their duty to the Constitution and the ideals found in the Declaration of Independence.

Local officials, including mayors, city council members, school board officials, some law enforcement leaders, university presidents and officials, and others are regularly surrendering our founding principles and our security to hard-left Marxists and jihadis just for the sake of avoiding conflict and controversy.

Our universities have, to a great extent, become places of indoctrination and not education, which is an intentional means to achieve our enemies objectives.

Understanding the threat is always the first step, but Americans must also understand these hostile movements at a much deeper level.  Every action taken by these movements – even if the action itself is legal – serves to aid these Movements’ overall goal of overthrowing the U.S. government.  This makes these actions unlawful under Title 18 US Code Chapter 115 as they act to aid in conspiracies to overthrow the government.  This includes Advocating Overthrow of Government, Seditious Conspiracy, Misprision of Treason, Treason, and others.

Yet, the federal government is catastrophically broken and is not currently able to deal with the threats bearing down on us.  This is why it is imperative for all Patriots to understand this war will be won – or lost – at the local level in their community.  Sheriffs and Pastors are key, but active citizens will win the day.

If you live in a community which is surrendering to the Islamic Movement and the hard-left Marxists, UTT suggests you move to a community that has a desire to live and thrive as a free people.

There is a war going on and every able-bodied Patriot is needed.  County by county, state by state.

By the grace of God and the help of a few Marines, America can be liberated.

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Dom Raso warns that there is an organized anarchy occurring in America led by people who hate our president and who hate those who support him. With obstructionist politicians putting American security at risk in exchange for a cheering crowd and a photo opp, the media spewing false information and celebrities giving speeches about oppression, it’s time to cut the crap, Raso says. We’re at war with a growing evil culture that wants you dead.

Watch more episodes of Commentators on NRATV: https://www.nratv.com/series/commenta…

Dom Raso warns that the threat of radical Islamic terror is not going away. He urges Americans to get the training necessary to make our homes, neighborhoods and communities the worst places on earth to try to kill innocent people. The Second Amendment was written for times like these, says Dom, and it’s exactly what the founders intended.

The Son of the Man who Put the Saud in Saudi Arabia

by Mark Steyn
Ave atque vale
July 18, 2017

I see that Prince Abdul-Rahman bin Abdulaziz al Saud died the other day. If you’re having trouble keeping track of your Saudi princes, well, I don’t blame you. Unlike the closely held princely titles of the House of Windsor, the House of Saud is somewhat promiscuous with the designation: there are (at the time of writing) over 10,000 Saudi “princes” running around the country – and, in fact, at this time of year, more likely running around Mayfair and the French Riviera, exhausting the poor old blondes from the escort agencies. I believe that’s Abdul-Rahman at right, although to be honest all Saudi princes look alike to me, except that some wear white and others look very fetching in gingham. As I once remarked to Sheikh Ghazi al-Ghosaibi, the late cabinet minister, he was the only Saudi I knew who wasn’t a prince.

Abdul-Rahman was a longtime Deputy Defense Minister, whose catering company, by happy coincidence, held the catering contract for the Defense Ministry. The first Saudi prince to be educated in the west, he was a bit of a cranky curmudgeon in later years, mainly because of changes to the Saudi succession that eliminated any possibility of him taking the throne. But he nevertheless held a privileged place as the son of Ibn Saud, the man who founded the “nation” and stapled his name to it. When I say “the son”, I mean a son: Ibn Saud had approximately 100 kids, the first born in 1900, the last over half-a-century later, in 1952, a few months before ol’ Poppa Saud traded in siring for expiring.

Abdul-Rahman’s mother was said to be Ibn Saud’s favorite among his 22 wives – or, at any rate, one of the favorites. Top Five certainly. She also had the highest status, because she bore him more boys – seven – than any other other missus. They’re known as the Sudairi Seven or, alternatively, the Magnificent Seven. She also gave him seven daughters. They’re known as the seven blackout curtains standing over in the corner. This splendidly fertile lady’s name was Hussa bint Ahmed, and she was Ibn Saud’s cousin once removed and then, if I’m counting correctly, his eighth wife. But she’s a bit like the Grover Cleveland of the House of Saud – in that he’s counted as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, and she’s the eighth wife and also either the tenth or eleventh. He first married her when he was 38 and she was 13. But he divorced her and then remarried her. In between their marriages she was married to his brother, but Ibn Saud was a sentimental lad and never got over his child-bride-turned-sister-in-law, so he ordered his brother to divorce her.

Don’t worry, though: In the House of Saud, it’s happy endings all round. Two of their daughters wound up marrying two of the sons of another brother of Ibn Saud. The Saudi version of Genealogy.com must be a hoot: “Hey, thanks for the DNA sample. You’re 53.8 per cent first cousin, and 46.2 per cent uncle.”

Anyway, all this Saudomy reminded me that on The Mark Steyn Show back in January I offered a few thoughts on Ibn Saud’s establishment of his alleged kingdom. This is the first time this has been aired in the wider world, so give it a click and see what you think:

Also see:

Saudi-led bloc drops the list of 13 demands; now calls for six principles

Doha skyline

World Affairs Journal, July 19, 2017

The Peninsula / AP

UNITED NATIONS: Four Arab nations that are blockading Qatar have dropped their list of 13 demands to lift the siege.

Now the Saudi-led countries are urging Qatar to commit to six principles on combatting extremism and negotiate a plan to implement them.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain broke relations with Qatar in early June largely over their allegations that it supports extremist groups — a charge Qatar rejects. They initially made 13 demands, which Qatar said are “unrealistic and is not actionable”.

Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told a briefing for a group of UN correspondents that the four nations are now committed to the six principles agreed to by their foreign ministers at a meeting in Cairo on July 5.

According to Al Jazeera the six principles are:

Commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all their forms and to prevent their financing or providing havens.

Suspending all acts of provocation and speeches inciting hatred or violence.

Full compliance with the Riyadh Agreement of 2013 and the supplementary agreement and its implementation mechanisms of 2014 within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Adherence to all the outcomes of the Arab Islamic American Summit held in May 2017 in Riyadh.

Refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of states and from supporting illegal entities.

The responsibility of all states of the international community to confront all forms of extremism and terrorism as a threat to international peace and security.

Al-Mouallimi said both sides can talk about details of “the tactics” and “the tools” to implement them — “and that’s where we can have discussion and compromise.”

The list of first 13 demands handed to Qatar on 22 June included shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, closing a Turkish military base, cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading relations with Iran.

Al-Mouallimi said closing Al-Jazeera might not be necessary.

“If we can achieve that (the principles) without closing down Al-Jazeera, that’s also fine. The important thing is the objective and the principle involved.”

UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimy said all the countries involved have strong relations with the United States “and we believe that the Americans have a very constructive and a very important role to play in hopefully creating a peaceful resolution to this current crisis.”

“We hope to be able to resolve this internally and among ourselves with the assistance of strong mediation, whether it’s from the U.S. or the Kuwaitis,” she said.

Diplomats from the four countries who attended the briefing said there have been discussions about possible next steps.

UAE Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said that “if Qatar is unwilling to accept core principles around what defines terrorism or extremism in our region, it will be very difficult” for it to remain in the Gulf Cooperation Council with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.

“So it may be a parting of ways for a little while in order to work things out,” she said.

Also see:

Analysis: Saudi Arabia’s troubling educational curriculum

(Photo credit FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

LONG WAR JOURNAL, BY DAVID ANDREW WEINBERG, July 20, 2017:

Editor’s Note: Below is Dr. David Andrew Weinberg’s testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Terrorism, Non-Proliferation, and Trade Subcommittee on July 19, 2017. Dr. Weinberg is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. A version of his testimony with footnotes can be read here.

Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Keating, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, thank you on behalf of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies for the opportunity to testify before you today about incitement in Saudi Arabia’s government-published textbooks for school children. It is an honor to be back, particularly because I first engaged with Saudi Arabia on this issue as a staff member for this body’s full committee.

Half a decade after 9/11, Nina Shea wrote in an outstanding Freedom House report that Saudi officials accepted their textbooks had problems but “have repeatedly pledged that reform is underway or completed.” That is still the case today.

Yet as the author of the most recent published study on incitement remaining in Saudi textbooks today, I can vouch that over a decade later Riyadh still has not persuasively shown that this problem has been resolved.

Unfortunately, U.S. policy has not been up to the task of convincing our Saudi allies to remove this incitement with greater urgency.

For example, I exposed in a 2014 monograph that the State Department appeared to have allocated half a million dollars in taxpayer funds to commission a two-part study on Saudi textbooks that was intended for public release but was instead withheld to avoid embarrassing the Saudis or the U.S. administration. Its detailed findings were hidden from public scrutiny for years and only raised with the Saudis at a senior level after the textbooks it had evaluated were already out of date.

In the testimony that follows, I will argue that this is particularly disturbing because incitement of this sort is not just a moral issue or a human rights issue, it is a national security issue. While Saudi textbooks are not the only significant source of incitement from the Gulf – or even in Saudi Arabia – they are an important bellwether and concern for U.S. policy.

I will then endeavor to present everything we know about incitement in the latest edition of Saudi Arabia’s official textbooks. Examples of such incitement include: (1) directives to kill people in response to their non-violent personal life choices, (2) messages that are undoubtedly anti-Semitic or anti-Christian, (3) lessons that are intolerant toward adherents of non-monotheistic religions as well as implicitly toward Shiite and Sufi Muslims, and (4) several other passages encouraging violence.

I will explain how Riyadh regularly oversells the success of its textbook reforms. I will then argue for why U.S. policy in this regard needs to change urgently. Next, I will refute some common counterarguments by those who claim that U.S. pressure cannot have a positive impact on the Saudi curriculum. Finally, I will conclude by offering a list of policy recommendations for Congress which could help encourage the Saudi government to address this issue in a more effective and timely manner.

Read more

***

Saudi Arabia’s Troubling Educational Curriculum

Also see:

Rex Tillerson: Secretary of State Sabotage?

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes a photo with the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain, and the Kuwaiti Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs after a meeting in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday, July 13, 2017. (U.S. State Department via AP)

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 17, 2017:

Who is ultimately responsible for U.S. foreign policy: the elected president of the United States, or the State Department, the CIA, and the media cartel?

That’s the question that must be asked after the past month. Rex Tillerson and the State Department have repeatedly sabotaged President Trump’s stated foreign policy position related to the ongoing crisis between the Gulf states and Qatar over the latter’s sheltering and funding of terrorist groups operating in the region.

This was seen last week, when Tillerson signed a so-called “anti-terrorism” agreement with Qatar:

But no sooner had Tillerson signed this “anti-terrorism” agreement than did Qatar openly state its support for the terrorist group Hamas:

In the region, this was seen as Qatar deliberately making Tillerson look like a complete fool.

Not only do Tillerson and the State Department’s moves in this crisis support terror-funding Qatar, but they alienate our long-time Arab allies in the Middle East. Tillerson’s meetings in Saudi Arabia — which came after signing his agreement with Qatar — were termed “a disaster”:

Needless to say, the other Gulf states and Egypt did not respond positively to Tillerson’s so-called “anti-terrorism” agreement with Qatar, either:

Meanwhile, President Trump has repeatedly supported the other Gulf countries and Egypt in this dispute. He has called out Qatar for its support of terrorism:

Yet Trump has been repeatedly sabotaged by his own secretary of State and State Department:

Tillerson continued his Middle East tour last week by hinting at closer relations with Turkey, which over the past year has nose-dived into open Ottoman Islamist authoritarianism to the considerable consternation of our Arab allies. Except, of course, Qatar:

One of the primary issues in the crisis over Qatar is their support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which in Egypt is waging an all-out insurgency against the government, and is actively working to destabilize other countries in the region.

At his confirmation hearing, Tillerson classified the Muslim Brotherhood as being in the same league as al-Qaeda:

But as secretary of State, Tillerson has taken an entirely different line, especially during this crisis. For instance, take the comments he made last month — he said the U.S. could not designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization because it is part of the government in some countries:

Well, the Bahraini foreign minister publicly called out the Muslim Brotherhood, which is part of Bahrain’s own government, as a terrorist organization earlier this month: