UTT Throwback Thursday: No Wider Plot?

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, June 22, 2017:

If a Special Forces soldier was captured in a foreign land with which America was at war, would our enemy consider him a “lone wolf” disconnected from any “wider plot” or larger army?

On March 11, 2004, 10 bombs were detonated on four trains by Islamic jihadis in Madrid, Spain killing 191 people and injuring nearly 2000 others.  In analyzing the attacks, American academic Scott Atran, who investigated numerous Islamic jihadi attacks, said, “We’ve been looking at it closely for years and we’ve been briefed by everybody under the sun and … nothing connects them.”  Apparently, this was an “isolated” event conducted by “self-radicalized lone wolves.”

On November 5, 2009, muslim Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan stood on a table on base at Fort Hood, Texas, shouted “Allah u akbar,” and began shooting anyone he could.  When it was over, 14 were dead and over 40 people were wounded/injured.  Before the FBI even reached Fort Hood they publicly stated this was not an act of terrorism.  The extensive DoD after action report entitled “Protecting the Force” was chaired by VA Secretary Togo West and Admiral Vernon Clark (USN, ret) and made no mention of Islam, jihad, sharia, or anything which Major Hasan said were the reasons he did what he did.  The DoD assessed this was a case of  “workplace violence” with no wider plot connected to anyone else.  Apparently, Hasan was a “lone wolf.”

Soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas treat their fellow soldiers wounded by jihadi Major Nidal Hasan

On June 13, 2013, muslim Omar Mir Seddique Mateen killed 49 people and wounded over 50 others in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  As the attack was unfolding, Mateen let officials know he was associating himself with ISIS.  Mateen’s father was involved in Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations in the United States and declared his support for the Taliban.  FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper stated the FBI interviewed Mateen three times beginning in 2013.  An investigation was opened, but was closed after the FBI was unable to tie Mateen to a wider plot. Apparently, Mateen was a “self-radicalized lone wolf.”

On Wednesday June 21, 2017, Canadian-muslim Amor Ftouhi yelled “Allah u akbar” and stabbed a police officer in the neck.  FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit office, David Gelios, said there is “nothing to suggest a wider plot.”

And so it goes.  Nearly 16 years after 9/11 and with all of America’s technology and bloated federal intelligence and law enforcement resources, there is not one ounce of logic nor an understanding of the threat.

In fact, the individuals who perpetrated these acts were not “lone wolves” who “self-radicalized.”  Like the Special Forces soldier mentioned in the opening sentence of this article, these men are a part of a large army, guided by doctrine, supported by nation-states, and dedicated to their focused singular objective.

Our enemy identifies itself as the “Global Islamic Movement” and tells us they are “muslims waging jihad in the cause of Allah to establish an Islamic State under sharia.”  All the jihadi organizations on the planet from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood say it.  100% of authoritative Islamic doctrine and the highest authorities in Islam, like Al Azhar University, say it.

Their paths to the objective may differ, but they all have the same objective.

There is a WIDER PLOT.  It is called the Global Islamic Movement.

It is the same Islam the West had to deal with at the Battle of Tours in 732 AD.

It is the same Islam from 1095 when the Crusades were launched in answer to over 450 years of muslim violence and incursion into Western lands.

It is the same Islam defeated at the miraculous Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

It is the same Islam pushed back at the Gates of Vienna on September 11, 1683.

It is the same Islam America fought in our first war after the Revolution – the war against the muslims of the Barbary (Islamic) States.

Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon at Derna.

American is at war with this adversary again.  All of these muslim jihadis are not “lone wolves” but soldiers for Allah.

They are part of the wider plot called Islam.

Spanish Jihadist chatter on the rise say experts, with sights set on Spain

A masked man with an ISIS flag in the background.  REUTERS

A masked man with an ISIS flag in the background. REUTERS

El Pais, by Patricia Ortega Dolz, Aug. 29, 2016: (h/t Blazing Cat Fur)

Spanish counter-terrorism authorities have issued an alert about “the increase in mentions of our country” in recent propaganda material produced by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), including text documents, videos and graphs.

Jihadists are now writing in Spanish, and even analyzing the political situation in Spain through written reviews of election results.

This is raising Spain’s profile on ISIS’ communication networks. “The progressive increase of texts and releases translated into Spanish is giving our country growing relevance from a propaganda point of view, and increasing the possibility of action by an autonomous terrorist working on our territory,” terrorism experts say.

Potential targets include crowded areas, police officers, Christians, Jews and homosexuals.

“…In any place that you consider a valid target to punish criminal Spaniards… through any available means,” reads a document dated July 18 and released by the Wafa Media Foundation, which supports ISIS. The foundation’s spokesman has encouraged citizens of the Maghreb region, which encompasses Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya, to attack Spanish individuals.

Following the Spanish general election of June 26, a media group called Ifriqiya Media, which is the official mouthpiece of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, wrote the following analysis: “26-J: Everyone has lost, except for Morocco.” The document went on to examine the Spanish election from the viewpoint of its impact on Morocco’s prolonged conflict in Western Sahara.

Recent attacks across the world – Orlando on June 13, Nice on July 14 and Normandy on July 26 – have underscored how one of ISIS’s main tools is its propaganda machine, now that it is losing part of its physical territory. The July 2015 issue of Dar al Islam magazine explicitly encouraged readers to attack Christians as a priority target.

Spanish counter-terrorism experts say that propaganda videos with Spanish subtitles have been cropping up regularly since the beginning of this year. One such video, produced by a jihadist channel from Anbar, a district of the Islamic State located in Iraq, was titled “The predators’ incursions” and had Spanish subtitles.

Another 14-minute video titled “The path of the just fathers” and aimed at attracting new recruits also has Spanish subtitles. All these messages are being disseminated from wilayas, or districts of the Islamic State, “which entails action by various individuals following specific guidelines from a central organization,” say Spanish experts.

The Spanish flag has also been seen in an image headlined “One religion, one caliphate” and showing an individual with a black ISIS flag in his hands and 12 other flags, including the Spanish one, at his feet.

A graph made by Amaq Agency, ISIS’ official production company, shows 100 suicide attacks perpetrated by its followers in the month of June. All text included in the chart is written in Spanish.

In fact, the Spanish is so good that experts suspect that some of the copy is being written by native Spaniards, with the goal of encouraging action by “homegrown terrorists who are frustrated at their inability to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight side by side with the jihadists, and instead may choose to carry out attacks in their own country of birth or residence.”

186 Spaniards have traveled to conflict zones

Since 2004 (the year of the jihadist-inspired attacks against commuter trains in Madrid), counter-terrorism authorities have launched 181 operations against Islamist terrorists, resulting in 692 arrests. In recent years, the police and the judiciary have ramped up their efforts, detaining growing numbers of suspects with each passing year: eight in 2012, 20 in 2013 and 36 in 2014.

Most arrests are tied to recruiting activities in Spain, including the practice of sending individuals to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Many of the raids have been carried out in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

So far this year, there have been 15 operations in Spain and one joint action with Morocco. Spanish secret services have identified 186 Spaniards or residents in Spain who have traveled to Syria or other conflict zones, of whom at least 31 may have died there. Authorities are also aware of 25 who have returned to Spain, 15 of whom are in prison and the remaining 10 walking free.

The myth of Andalusian multicultural utopia debunked

Tundra Tabloids, April 14, 2016:

As history and human experience proves, utopia can never be achieved, and islam is not peace.

tours-moslem-andalusia

A Myth Demolished
by Srdja Trifkovic

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise:
Muslims, Christians, and Jews Under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain
by Darío Fernández-Morera Wilmington, DE: ISI Books 336 pp., $29.95

Over the past two decades a great chasm has opened up between the tenured American professoriate specializing in the humanities and social sciences, and the meaningful discussion of its subjects in the public arena. It is hard to find a recent work by an academic authority on social, historical, and cultural anthropology in general, or on the specific issues of religion, family, race, immigration, education, gender, and sexuality, that is not “informed” by the legacy of critical theory and its conceptual and methodological framework. The authors may divide themselves into different “schools” (constructivist, postmodern, poststructuralist), but they are all initiates of the same sect.

Almost a century after Julien Benda coined the phrase, the trahison des clercs has morphed into a new form. By rejecting the notions of objectivity, truth, and historical reality in favor of the approved forms of ideological “antihegemonistic discourse,” the treasonous clercs of our time have severed the link between what can or should be known and the knowledge itself. The result is a myriad of myths covering every area of human endeavor, past and present. Some have had far-reaching political consequences: The myth of “diversity” has engendered a massive state apparat dedicated to social engineering and control, while the chimera of “human rights” has produced an assault on the institution of marriage hardly imaginable a generation ago. What they all have in common is their visceral antipathy to Western civilization, and to the Christian concept of personhood (dignitas personae) and its related historical “constructs.”

61KpBmmFJeL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Seen against this cultural and ideological backdrop, Darío Fernández-Morera’s Myth of the Andalusian Paradise is doubly subversive. It is a first-rate work of scholarship that demolishes the fabrication of the multiethnic, multiconfessional convivencia in Spain under Muslim rule. The book is also an exposé of the endemic problems of contemporary Western academe, as manifested in the dishonesty, corruption, and dogmatic intolerance of the Islamic-studies establishment both here and in Europe. The author ascribes this phenomenon to a mix of “stakeholder interests and incentives,” “motivated blindness,” “Occidentalism” and “Christianophobia,” and to the corrosive influence of the multimillion-dollar grants that many leading Islamic-studies departments receive from the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and others.

Fernández-Morera’s book presents a clear and present danger to the “stakeholders.” It undermines one of their cherished orthodoxies so comprehensively that it potentially threatens many careers and reputations. They will take note. An optimistic reviewer has predicted that “[i]t will soon find its place on the shelves of premier academic institutions,” but there is reason to fear the opposite. It is more likely to be demonized, as Sylvain Gouguenheim’s debunking of the myth of Islam’s key contribution to the late-medieval civilization of Europe was demonized in France in 2008; or else ignored, as Raphael Israeli’s prescient Islamic Challenge in Europe was in that same year and after.


The book’s seven chapters deal with the Islamic conquest and subsequent Christian reconquest of Spain; the jihadist destruction of the nascent Visigothic civilization; the daily realities of al-Andalus; the myth of Ummayad tolerance; and the condition of women, Jews, and Christians. Each chapter starts with two or three quotations by prominent academic authorities asserting some elements of the myth, which Fernández-Morera proceeds to discredit point by point. His narrative is supported by massive research: There are 95 small-font pages of Notes, citing hitherto unknown or neglected Muslim, Christian, and Jewish primary sources. Fernández-Morera also relies on dozens of scholarly monographs and articles, many of them published in Spanish and duly ignored—with breathtaking arrogance—by the promoters of the establishmentarian narrative who write in English.

In dealing with the central myth—religious tolerance, the harmoniously multicultural coexistence of Muslims, Jews, and Christians who willingly accepted the enlightened order, and the civilizational flourishing of al-Andalus—Fernández-Morera refutes a host of subsidiary postmodern myths and historical judgments, which now serve as canon law for Western academia. They include: Generations of medieval Muslim scholars and warriors failed to grasp the Koran’s true message of peace and tolerance. They also misinterpreted jihad as a divinely ordained duty to wage perpetual war against infidels, rather than as inner spiritual struggle for moral improvement. Old Muslim chronicles (primary sources, or “texts embellished by legends, serving political and religious agendas”) should not be taken at face value when they celebrate violent conquest, murder, and subjugation of infidels. On the other hand, those same chronicles are completely reliable when they celebrate the splendor of the civilization of al-Andalus, or denigrate El Cid as a sordid mercenary. The political and social change in Iberia in the first half of the eighth century was not a “conquest” but an “expansion,” similar to spontaneous migratory processes through the ages. A primitive Visigothic realm collapsed swiftly because it had reached an advanced stage of social decomposition and was devoid of any excuse for continued existence. The expansion was facilitated by peaceful pacts, generously offered by the new authorities and willingly accepted by many natives. That expansion was materially rather than religiously motivated, and it certainly had nothing to do with the misunderstood notions of jihad. By contrast, the Reconquista was a ruthless war of aggression waged by greedy Christian zealots who were unrelated to the inhabitants of pre-Islamic Iberia, and who replaced tolerance with the Inquisition and ethnic cleansing. And in speaking of all of this, we should refer to Iberia, which evokes a diverse entity comprising Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Arab, European, and other “essences,” rather than Spain, which is an inherently Euro/Christocentric name for something that did not exist at the time. (Islamic Spain is right out!)

Space does not allow us to list all of the fables—some bizarre, others laughable, most of them infuriating—that Fernández-Morera dispatches with unassailable logic and ruthless efficiency. Occasionally, his joy at getting the job done almost radiates from the printed page.

The book ends with a short Epilogue that summarizes the record: In Islamic Spain there was no tolerant convivencia, but a precaria coexistencia. In cultural terms alone, the invasion, conquest, and colonization of Christian Spain by Islamic warriors was a disaster for her population because a promising young civilization—far superior to that of the coarse North African invaders—was nipped in the bud:

This Christian Hispano-Roman-Visigoth population “deserved” to be conquered and enlightened by Islamic rulers no more than the population of the Americas deserved to be conquered and enlightened by the Christian Europeans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, or that the population of India deserved to be conquered and enlightened by the Christian British in the eighteenth.

A similar hypocrisy, one might add, applies to the academic establishment’s treatment of the Crusades. The meta-message is the same: Islam’s “expansion” into the Holy Land was normal and even desirable—the Eastern Roman Empire’s southeastern flank was as “deserving” of conquest in the seventh century as Visigothic Spain was in the eighth—but any subsequent attempt by Christians to turn the tables was deemed a barbarous crime. Fernández-Morera is right to say that few periods in history have been more misrepresented than that of Islamic Spain. The same verdict applies to the two centuries of Outremer.

In this age of rampant victimology, the largest group of victims in history—tens if not hundreds of millions of Christians who were murdered, enslaved, terrorized, or marginalized by Muslims from Muhammad to our time—is consistently denied its rightful status in the Western academy. This is a scandal, and in the final pages Fernández-Morera abandons his restrained tone when he summarizes the condition of the Christian Mozarabs (italics original):

[T]hey were by definition a subaltern group, a fourth- or fifth-class marginalized people in a hierarchical society . . . the victims of an extortion system, the dhimma, that gave them the choice that gangsters give to their victims: pay to be protected, or else.

To claim that the Christians might have been “content” with their status under medieval Islamic rule—in Spain, or later in the Balkans under the Ottomans—is even more preposterous, Fernández-Morera adds, than saying that American blacks might have been “content” with their treatment by paternalistic slaveowners in the antebellum South. Given Islam’s religious laws, the subaltern status of Christians was inevitable within the Islamic empire at all times and in all places.

Without the Christian resistance and eventual Reconquest, Darío Fernández- Morera concludes, “Spain today could well be an extension of the cultures of North Africa and the Middle East.” She would not have been able to develop the greatness of her own late-medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque civilization, culminating in the Spanish Golden Age, which yielded marvelously rich fruits in every field of artistic, literary, and intellectual endeavor. Compared with the splendor of post-Reconquista Spain, the fruits of medieval Islam were meager, and Islamic Spain failed to deliver much considering its early promise. I hope that in the second edition (and there will be a second edition) Fernández-Morera will devote more attention to the myth of Andalusian intellectual brilliance, which is also in need of a touch of Darío. A few scholars living under Islamic rule, not necessarily Muslim by faith or conviction, made limited use of Greek, Persian,
Hindu, and other pre-Islamic sources, and that’s about it. Claiming that the work of Averroës was the product of a distinctly “Islamic” civilization is on par with asserting that the performances of the Kirov ballet company in the 1940’s, or the launching of Sputnik a decade later, was the outcrop of Stalin’s enlightened cultural and scientific policies. Andalusian translators made a peripheral contribution to the popularizing of Aristotle in Christian Europe, but his works had already reached the Frankoi by way of the Greek Romei: St. Thomas Aquinas wrote detailed commentary on “the Philosopher” in the 1250’s, Barlaam of Calabria taught Aristotle in Italy in the early 1300’s, and Leontius Pilatus promoted Greek studies all over Western Europe a generation later. No Muslim good offices were needed for the flourishing of Greek language and learning in Florence under the Medicis or elsewhere. More importantly, Christian (not Muslim) thinkers actually built upon the legacy of Hellas. They were able to accommodate the pursuit of scientific knowledge within the framework of divine revelation, and to test their findings by adversarial method of proof. In the early 13th century, after al-Ghazali, Sunni Islam abandoned reason and logic and entered a long period of decline-without-fall, which lasts to this day. In that same century after Aquinas, Christian Europeans were able to “invent invention” and foster the exponential growth of knowledge. This theme may be worth an additional chapter.

My only criticism of Fernández-Morera’s Myth of the Andalusian Paradise does not concern what he has written but what is missing: an afterthought on the demographic and cultural peril in which Spain finds herself today. His book ends with the victory of Christian Spain over the most relentlessly anti-Christian project the world has known; but the drama of Spain’s relationship with Islam is not over. Her liberation from Muslim misrule in 1492 may not be as final and irreversible as it had seemed to be for half a millennium.

For the past three years I have been spending a quarter of my time in Gran Canaria, in Spain’s southernmost province 800 miles south of “the Peninsula” (as the locals call the mainland). Even in that short period of time a perceptible change has taken place in the ethnic mix of the island. Mostly Moroccan immigrants are gradually taking over the working-class suburb of San Fernando, just over a mile north of the beaches, hotels, and boutiques of Maspalomas. Their women—easily recognized by their hijabs and many children in tow—make up a large contingent of shoppers in the local Mercadona supermarket, while their men sip tea, talk, and smoke outside the mosque at the nearby Yumbo shopping center in Playa del Inglés. There are visibly more of them now than when I first came, and there are definitely many more balconies with the telltale satellite dishes pointing east to Africa.

Nationwide, there are just over two million Muslim immigrants in Spain, not counting hundreds of thousands of illegals. They account for four percent of her 46 million people. This is lower than the population of Muslims in France or Germany, but the rate of increase is higher in Spain than in any other major member-state of the European Union. (In 1990 Muslims numbered under 100,000.) As is the case in all other countries with a large Islamic diaspora, its leaders in Spain are making ever-escalating, sometimes outrageous, demands. They range from the suppression of the traditional celebrations of the Reconquista—Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos—to the granting of Spanish citizenship to millions of descendants of Muslims expelled after the reconquest, so as to rectify “the injustice inflicted on the Muslim population of Andalusia who are still suffering in the diaspora in exile since 1492.”

What amounts to the re-reconquista will likely continue for as long as Spain’s political, media, and even ecclesiastical establishment remains gripped by the same spirit of “Christian ideas gone mad” (Chesterton) that has made much of Europe unable to resist the ongoing migrant invasion. The writing was on the wall in 2004, when Church authorities wanted to remove the statue of St. Iago “the Moor Slayer” from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela because it was deemed offensive to Muslims. (They were forced to rescind the decision “for the time being” following a public outcry.) In December 2011 politicians in Madrid inaugurated a major exhibition, “Between the Two Worlds,” to commemorate the 1,300th anniversary of Spain’s “social and cultural transformation”—i.e., the Muslim invasion. Esperanza Aguirre, then-president of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, called it “one of the most thrilling moments in the history of Spain.” There are countless similar examples of the Spanish elite’s moral and cultural decrepitude.

The situation is critical, the consequences are potentially tragic, and the quest for a solution has not even started. It is long overdue. It demands the attention of an accomplished scholar who knows and understands Spain, who can examine her present condition in all its complexity, and whose heart in the right place. I suggest to Darío Fernández-Morera that his next book should be The Threat of the Andalusian Nightmare.

Srdja Trifkovic is Chronicles’ foreign-affairs editor

The Effect of Welfare on Muslim Immigration

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By Counter Jihad, April 1, 2016:

When asked to explain why radical Islamic violence occurs at a much higher rate in Europe than in America, activist Ann Corcoran says that there is only one difference.  “They have been seeing the colonization longer and [thus] the percentage of the Muslim population is higher than ours is here in America.”

There is another difference, however, which explains why not all of Europe has been seeing immigration by Muslim refugees at the same rate.  In Spain, the only Western European country that was once ruled by a caliphate, the mass immigration is not occurring.  This is because Spain, which has a high native unemployment rate, is treating its own citizens as the priority for government aid.

An estimated 98% of Syrian refugees move on to other European countries, Francisco Cansino the director of Spanish Refugee Aid Commission in Malaga says.  “They don’t stay. They leave because they think their chances are better in other countries. They ask to leave the same day they arrive. They say they have relatives in Europe,” Cansino added.

Refugees at the CEAR center in Malaga complain about the lack of benefits for refugees in Spain and say that asylum processing times are much longer than in other European countries. Some of them say that staying in Spain would mean being jobless (Spain has over a 25% unemployment rate) and being left without hope for a better future.

In the United States, by contrast, refugees are being assisted in laying claim to generous welfare benefits.  According to a government report, nearly four in ten are enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program alone.  Among immigrants from Latin America, though many are quite poor when they arrive, the rate is below ten percent.  Among immigrants from Southeast Asia, it is even lower than that.

Nor is it only TANF.  More than three quarters are enrolled in Medicaid.  More than a third are enrolled in Supplemental Security Income.  Nearly ninety percent are on food stamps.

Corcoran is aware of the degree to which we are electing to support immigrant populations in preference to native-born citizens.  The figures have increased substantially since she compiled a report on the subject in 2013.  Federal contractors who manage the refugee program are clearly involved in making sure that refugees from Muslim countries are especially well-insulated from the American economy.

The result of these kind of policies in Europe has been to nurture the jihad, according to the Gatestone institue. These policies slow or stop the process of assimilation, making recruiting easier among a population that remains separated by culture and language from its host.  Welfare transfer payments also give radicals time to recruit and train instead of seeking work.

Even where immigration is acceptable to a host nation’s citizenry, outcomes for immigrants and refugees are ultimately worse because they remain culturally isolated.  They are slower to learn the local language, slower to integrate, and more exposed to radical elements recruiting among them.  The danger only grows worse among their children, as second-generation Muslim immigrants have proven especially susceptible to radicalization.  Where the immigration of refugees is taken to be the answer, it must be done in a context of not settling them in to live off the public dole.  They need to be integrated and assimilated, and that means being exposed to the need to work in the regular economy.

Spain in the Eye of the Storm of Jihad

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, June 6, 2015:

  • The Islamists are especially interested in converts who have not yet taken on Muslim names and whose official IDs still have their Christian names, so they can purchase weapons without drawing the attention of police.
  • At least 50,000 Muslim converts are currently living in Spain. Police say that converts are especially susceptible to radicalization because they are facing increasing pressure from Islamists who are calling on them to carry out attacks to “demonstrate their commitment” to their new faith.
  • Spain has also become a key entry point for human trafficking mafias being used by jihadist veterans seeking to return to Europe after fighting in the Middle East.
  • “Turkey is the Seven-Eleven of false passports.” — Spanish agent working on a human trafficking case.

Spanish security forces have arrested a total of 568 jihadists over the past ten years in 124 separate operations against Islamic terrorism, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz revealed at an African security conference in Niger on May 14.

Fernández Díaz said that “constant police and judicial actions” have helped Spanish authorities prevent another large-scale terrorist attack similar to the March 2004 Madrid train bombings, in which nearly 200 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured.

At the same time, Fernández Díaz has warned that it is “very probable” that Islamic terrorists will strike Spain at some point in the future; he has estimated the probability of an attack to be 70%.

At a two-day terrorism conference held in Madrid on April 23 and 24, Fernández Díaz said that at least 115 Spanish jihadists — including at least 15 women — are now known to have joined the Islamic State. He added that 14 jihadists had returned to Spain; nine of those are in prison and five remain free.

In January, Fernández Díaz said the number of Spanish jihadists abroad was 70, which implies a jump of more than 40 new jihadists in the first four months of 2015 alone. In August 2014, the first time that Fernández Díaz provided an official estimate, he said there were 51 Spanish jihadists fighting abroad.

Meanwhile, “dozens” of jihadists and other Islamic radicals are entering Spain from neighboring France, where they are said to be “asphyxiating” due to a government crackdown following theCharlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January. (On April 29, French President François Hollande announced that a force of 7,000 troops would be deployed to patrol French streets on a permanent basis.)

According to an anonymous Spanish intelligence operative interviewed by El Confidencial, a media outlet based in Madrid, French jihadists are moving to Spain because they feel they have “greater room for movement” on the Iberian Peninsula. They include individuals “suspected” of being Islamic radicals, but for whom there is insufficient proof for either government to arrest them.

The report says that most of the jihadists from France are moving to Catalonia and Spain’s Mediterranean coast, where they are attempting to “blend in” with Muslim communities there. Also known as the Spanish Levant, the region roughly corresponds with what was once known as Xarq al-Ándalus, territories that were occupied by Muslim invaders for nearly five centuries.

Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. Many Muslims believe that territories Muslims lost during the Christian Reconquista of Spain still belong to the realm of Islam. They claim that Islamic law gives them the right to return there and re-establish Muslim rule.

In July 2014, jihadists with the Islamic State produced a video in which they vowed to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate. The video showed a jihadist speaking in Spanish with a heavy North African accent, warning:

“I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic flag, the Islamic caliphate. We will die for it until we liberate those occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia. And I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.”

A tweeted photo of an Islamic State supporter holding the Islamic State’s black flag of jihad in front of Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza, Spain.

Counter-terrorism authorities are now warning that the Islamic State is actively looking for Spanish converts to Islam who possess gun licenses and who can legally purchase rifles and shotguns. The Islamists are especially interested in converts who have not yet taken on Muslim names and whose official IDs still have their Christian names, so that they can purchase weapons without drawing the attention of police.

At least 50,000 Muslim converts are currently living in Spain. Police say that converts are especially susceptible to radicalization because they are facing increasing pressure from Islamists who are calling on them to carry out attacks to “demonstrate their commitment” to their new faith. “Converts are the perfect breeding ground for Islamism,” according to a Spanish intelligence operative.

These concerns have been confirmed in a new report published by the Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies, an organ of the Ministry of Defense, which warned that so-called lone wolves pose the biggest threat to Spain and other European countries.

“They are activists who secretly swear allegiance to [Islamic State leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and act independently without making contact with anyone, so locating them becomes a living hell,” the report said. It added:

“Terrorists no longer need to communicate directly with the leadership of the organization to which they belong, or use the telephone or emails to know exactly what to do, when and under what circumstances. There is no longer any need for prior contact to establish the type of signals to be used, the conditions and dimensions of an attack or any restrictions.

“These tactics end the dream of the intelligence services to control everything through the systematic interception of communications and the use of satellite imagery. If there is no communication, it is not possible to intercept anything.”

Spain has also become a key entry point for human trafficking mafias being used by jihadist veterans seeking to return to Europe after fighting in the Middle East. A report prepared by Spanish border police identifies three main routes of entry — Africa, South America and Europe — and warns that human trafficking is “more lucrative than cocaine trafficking.”

According to the report:

“The proliferation of organizations trafficking in human beings and taking advantage of counterfeit documentation is resulting in the introduction of thousands of people into European countries. The problem is compounded when one considers that European jihadist veterans who have fought in Syria and Iraq on behalf of the Islamic State are using the same networks to facilitate their return. Many have arrest warrants in different countries (Spain, France, UK, etc.) and Islamic State members may cross our borders to carry out terror attacks in Europe.”

In November 2014, police in Madrid arrested 18 individuals — eight Lebanese, four Spaniards, three Syrians, one Ecuadorian, one Moroccan and one Ukrainian — accused of running smuggling operation to bring people from Syria into Spain. Police estimate that the cell, which had branches in Lebanon and Turkey, generated earnings of between €50,000 ($55,000) and €100,000 ($110,000) each month. According to one of the agents working on the case, “Turkey is the Seven-Eleven of false passports.”

Meanwhile, at least 60 jihadists in Catalonia are said to be waiting for a signal from the Islamic State to attack, according to the Madrid-based El País newspaper. The warning was given during a closed-door meeting of anti-terrorism police held in late April in Viladecans, a town near Barcelona.

The unofficial meeting was convened after a counter-terrorism operation in Catalonia was compromised, when some jihadists were allegedly tipped-off that they were about to be arrested. Although the exact circumstances of the imbroglio remain unclear, it appears to have been the result of poor inter-agency coordination between counter-terrorism police in Madrid and Catalan police known as the Mossos d’Esquadra. The two groups were apparently investigating the same Islamist cell without consulting each other.

The meeting in Viladecans, attended by 130 agents from different police forces — Mossos, Civil Guards, national and local police — from across the country, got together to discuss their mutual concerns about “the lack of training of law enforcement to combat jihadist terrorism.”

Much of the daylong meeting was used to share information about how to detect “radicalization processes” and how to distinguish ordinary Muslims from Salafists and jihadists. A counter-terrorism specialist said that one of the key problems faced by police is that “jihadists have infiltrated society, they drink alcohol, eat pork and dress like a Westerner and are undetectable.”

One of the organizers of the event, Alex Pérez of a local branch of the International Police Association, said:

“We go out on the street every day but we do not have the tools needed to combat threats against the public. Some of us are digging into our own pockets to train ourselves, protect ourselves and provide an adequate service to society.”

Another police officer summed it up this way: “We are screwed and will be much worse off in the future because there are radicals increasingly inclined to attack.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Jihad in Catalonia

Spanish police arrest one of several Muslim jihadists who were conspiring to commit terror attacks in Catalonia, April 8, 2015. (Image source RTVE video screenshot)

Spanish police arrest one of several Muslim jihadists who were conspiring to commit terror attacks in Catalonia, April 8, 2015. (Image source RTVE video screenshot)

PJ Media, By Roger Kimball On April 25, 2015:

While Barack Obama is busy telling Americans that Islam has been “woven into the fabric [1]” of America since its founding, police in Spain have just arrested eleven members of a jihadist cell that, woven into the fabric of Spain, was plotting to bring ISIS-style beheadings to a western city near you.

As Soeren Kern notes in an important and depressing post [2] at the Gatestone Institute web site, police have accused the cell of planning to bomb various public and private buildings in and around Barcelona and of—this is especially nice—plotting to kidnap and behead a random person. I’m not sure that the Muslim presence in Spain has gotten the attention it deserves here, but as Kern points out Catalonia not only has the largest Muslim population in Spain, it also has [3] the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe. “The cell’s primary objective,” Kern reports, “was to show that terrorist attacks such as those perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria could be carried out in the West.”

Prosecutors allege that, among other plots, the group was planning to kidnap a random member of the public, dress their victim in an orange jump suit, and then film him or her being beheaded. The group also allegedly planned to kidnap for ransom the female branch manager of Banco Sabadell, a local Catalan bank, as a way to finance their terrorist activities.

Among those arrested is Antonio Sáez Martínez, a Spaniard who converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim woman. A police raid on Álvarez’s house uncovered a large cache of radical Islamic literature, how-to guides for terrorists, and many weapons, including grenades, military firearms, ammunition, and sharpshooter rifle scopes. His targets included police and military installations, as well as the Catalan Parliament building. Martínez, Kern observes, “is an acquaintance of a Spanish neo-Nazi ideologue named Diego José Frías Álvarez. The two are said to share a mutual hatred of Jews and allegedly discussed bombing Jewish targets in Barcelona, including synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses.”

While Martínez was busy dreaming of blowing things up, other radical Muslims in Spain are taking a longer view. Abdelwahab Houzi, a local jihadist preacher, has this chilling bit of advice [4]: “Muslims should vote for pro-independence parties, as they need our votes. But what they do not know is that, once they allow us to vote, we will all vote for Islamic parties because we do not believe in left and right. This will make us win local councils and as we begin to accumulate power in the Catalan autonomous region, Islam will begin to be implemented.”

Do you doubt it?

Islamic State: “We Will Take Spain Back”

by Soeren Kern:

Calls to reconquer al-Andalus are becoming more frequent and more strident.

“Clearly Spain forms part of the strategic objectives of global jihad. We are not the only ones but we are in their sights.” — Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz.

Radical Muslims in Spain have launched a social media campaign aimed at generating support for the jihadist group Islamic State [IS].

The campaign involves posters that include images of famous Spanish landmarks and monuments emblazoned with Arabic slogans such as, “We are all the Islamic State” and “Long Live the Islamic State.”

One poster includes an image of the medieval Islamic Aljafería Palace in the Spanish city of Zaragoza and the black flag associated with the IS. Another uses an image of the famous La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Yet another includes an image of the statue of Jesus Christ on Monte Urgull in San Sebastián, with the Arabic words “Al-Andalus Country” instead of “Basque Country.”

A tweeted photo of an Islamic State supporter holding the IS black flag of jihad in front of Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza.

Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. As the Basque Country is surrounded by mountains, however, the Moors never succeeded in occupying it.

The poster campaign comes after IS jihadists produced a video in which they vow to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate.

The video shows a jihadist speaking in Spanish with a heavy North African accent. He says:

“I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic flag, the Islamic caliphate. We will die for it until we liberate those occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia. And I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.”

Radical Muslims (and many moderate Muslims) believe that all territories Muslims lost during the ChristianReconquista of Spain still belong to the realm of Islam. They claim that Islamic law gives them the right to return there and re-establish Muslim rule.

In recent years, the return of “occupied” Al-Andalus to the fold of Islam has become an obsession for Muslims of all stripes, and calls to reconquer al-Andalus have become more frequent and more strident.

Commenting on the latest video, Spain’s Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Martínez, said Spanish police were remaining “vigilant” in the face of a “grave” jihadist threat.

Meanwhile, Moroccan authorities have warned Spanish police that some of the more than 3,000 Moroccan jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq are beginning to return home, and that many of them are likely to attempt to infiltrate the Spanish mainland via the North African Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

Read more at Gatestone Institute