FBI Director: ‘Terrorist Diaspora’ Like ‘Never Before’ May Follow Islamic State Defeat

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, Sept. 28, 2016:

Defeating the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) could lead to an increase in terrorist attacks in Western countries rather than a reduction, declared FBI Director James Comey.

“At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before. Not all of the Islamic State killers are going to die on the battlefield,” he said during a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University Wednesday.

The FBI chief predicted that the U.S.-led coalition would eventually decimate ISIS but added that “through the fingers of that crush are going to come hundreds of really dangerous people and they are going to flow primarily to Western Europe.”

However, he also said that some of those potential terrorists could end up in the United States.

The New York Times (NYT) reports:

He drew a parallel between this scenario and the formation of Al Qaeda more than a quarter-century ago, which drew from fighters who had been radicalized fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“This is 10 times that or more. This is an order of magnitude greater than anything we’ve seen before,” said Comey, later adding, “We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and in Paris [terrorist attacks earlier this year].”

CNN points out, “And just not in the West. There have recently been stepped up ISIS attacks worldwide, including in countries near its home base territory that has been shrinking due to military losses in Iraq and Syria.”

In May, the FBI director told reporters that the number of Americans traveling overseas to engage in jihad on behalf of ISIS has dropped dramatically to an average of one person per month.

Nevertheless, he noted that there are “north of 1,000” cases in which FBI agents are in the process of evaluating a subject’s level of radicalization and potential for violence, of which an estimated 80 percent are linked to ISIS.

He said:

There’s still a presence online, and troubled people are still turning to this and at least being interested in it. But they’ve lost their ability to attract people to their caliphate from the United States in a material way…

There’s no doubt that something has happened that is lasting, in terms of the attractiveness of the nightmare which is the Islamic State to people from the United States.

Various Obama administration officials have predicted that ISIS is on the road to defeat in Iraq and Syria. Some American and Iraqi officials argue that the increase in attacks by the jihadist group are a sign of desperation.

“The FBI director’s warning that the collapse of the caliphate will mean increased attacks in Western Europe and the United States mirrors a consensus among intelligence officials,” reports CNN.

Emmanuel Khoshaba Youkhana, commander of the Christian Assyrian Army known as Dwekh Nawsha, recently told Breitbart News that ISIS “is losing” in Iraq and will “soon be vanquished.”

Nonetheless, he added that their ideology will remain alive and kicking, noting that there is no strategy to defeat the ideals that motivate members of the terrorist group.

The commander’s Christian forces have managed to hold territory in northern Iraq’s Nineveh plains, despite repeated attacks by ISIS.

CNN notes that Abu Mohammed al Adnani, the terrorist group’s chief spokesman and ideologue, tried to reframe how ISIS defines victory in an audio message released at the end of May.

Defeat would not result from losing control of territory but from “losing the will and the desire to fight,” he declared.

One Western counterterrorism official predicted “a metastasis of terror as it becomes increasingly difficult for ISIL to hold on to core territories,” reports the news network.

***

Gorka: Director Comey correct about ‘terrorist diaspora’

Also see:

Missing Afghans Raise Terrorism Fears

Afghan National army soldiers line up during military training / AP

Afghan National army soldiers line up during military training / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Sept. 28. 2016:

Several Afghan nationals undergoing military training in the United States disappeared from U.S. military bases this month, according to Pentagon and Homeland Security officials.

“During the month of September, seven Afghan students were considered absent without leave (AWOL) during international military student programs,” Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Patrick L. Evans said.

Three of the Afghan military trainees fled from a Pentagon training program two weekends ago during the bombing spree in New York and New Jersey by Afghan-born bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami, raising concerns among security officials that the missing Afghan students may be linked to terrorism or plans for attacks in the United States.

The disappearance of the Afghans comes amid heightened fears of increasing Islamist terror attacks around the country. The attacks have included the New York area bombings and attempted bombings, a knife attack at a Minnesota mall by a Somali jihadist, and other regional shootings.

Two of the missing Afghans had been training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and one was training at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

An Army source said the Afghans who left the weekend of the New York area bombings appeared to be part of a coordinated effort. The three men are being probed for possible connections to Rahami. “Initial assessment is that there is not relation and the timing is coincidental,” the source said.

Evans declined to comment on whether the Pentagon has security concerns about the missing Afghans.

Sarah Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, said authorities are pursuing the Afghans.

“ICE Homeland Security Investigations is aware of the situation, and is actively working to locate these individuals in coordination with the State Department and the Department of Defense,” she said, declining specifics because of the ongoing investigation.

However, the service, which tracks illegal aliens, was notified of the missing Afghans.

Four other Afghan military trainees fled over the Labor Day weekend, two from Fort Benning, Georgia, one from Fort Lee, Virginia, and one from an Army facility in Little Rock, Arkansas.

A defense official said two of the Afghans were accounted for and suggested the two men may have fled the United States.

It is not the first time Afghan military students have disappeared. Two maintenance airmen from the Afghan Air Force disappeared from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia in December. One was later found in Virginia.

Retired Army officer Joe Myers, who was posted in Kabul, Afghanistan, said the U.S. military frequently trains foreign military students as part of a security assistance and international training and education program.

“It is not unusual at times for some foreign students to use the opportunity to not return to their country of origin,” Myers said.

“In the case of Afghanistan it is more sensitive for homeland security when their students disappear, especially in light of actual graduates of programs such as the new ISIS military commander, Gulmurod Khalimov, who attended and completed several State Department sponsored counterterrorism programs,” Myers said.

The missing soldiers were part of the International Military Education and Training program under the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

According to the agency’s website, the military education is aimed at training future leaders, fostering a better understanding of the United States, and establishing closer ties between the U.S. and Afghan militaries.

Evans, the Pentagon spokesman, defended the program to train Afghan troops. “It is important to note that the majority of Afghans who train in the U.S. successfully complete their training and return to their country,” he said.

“However, there have been occasions where [military officials] have learned of plans to go AWOL. In some of those cases, those students have been returned immediately to their country,” he said.

A manual for training foreign military personnel states that the training can include “potentially sensitive or lethal training.”

Foreign military students that are absent from scheduled activities for more than 24 hours are considered “AWOL.”

Once declared missing, details about the foreign military students are sent to military police as well as to the Defense Intelligence Agency, FBI, and U.S. Northern Command.

A working group currently monitors the status of all missing foreign military students. The group is composed of officials from ICE, DIA, FBI and Northcom.

Update 10:51 A.M.: This post has been updated to reflect comment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Orlando Terror Attack ‘Triggered’ by Pentagon Drone Strike

Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Sept. 28, 2016:

The domestic terrorist behind the Orlando nightclub massacre was motivated by a Pentagon drone strike in Iraq a month before the shooting, according to police transcripts made public last week.

Conversations between Omar Mateen and an Orlando police negotiator on June 12 were kept secret by FBI and local police until Friday. The secrecy contributed to misleading media accounts of the terrorist’s motives in the days after the killings.

The transcripts were released by Orlando police Friday after a Florida court hearing held in response to a lawsuit filed by several news organizations.

Mateen killed 49 people during the attack on the Pulse, a gay nightclub, and wounded 53 others. Police eventually stormed the club and killed Mateen in a shootout after talks aimed at convincing him to surrender failed.

During an exchange in the early morning hours of June 12, an Orlando Police Department negotiator identified only as “Andy” asked Mateen, who was speaking by cell phone from inside the club, to tell him what was going on.

“Yo, the air strike that killed Abu Wahid a few weeks ago… that’s what triggered it, okay?” said Mateen, who earlier in the conversation identified himself as a follower the Islamic State terror group.

“They should have not bombed and killed Abu Wahid,” the former security guard declared. “Do your fucking homework and figure out who Abu Wahid is, okay?”

Additionally, Mateen praised one of the bombers of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and another domestic terrorist whose name was transcribed as unintelligible in the released transcript.

At other points, Mateen told the negotiator that the United States needed to stop all bombing in Iraq and Syria.

Initial reports from several news outlets reporting on the mass shooting variously described Mateen as gay, a “homophobe” and a “wife beater,” despite his having made claims of allegiance to the Islamic State.

The New York Times, for example, stated in an editorial three days after the shooting that the “precise motive [of Mateen] remains unclear.” The editorial then said it was “evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred toward gays and lesbians.” Investigators later dismissed as a false claim that Mateen was driven to the killing spree by gay self-hatred.

The Orlando attack was the deadliest terrorist incident since the September 11, 2001, attacks. The FBI would later reveal it investigated Mateen twice but claimed there was a lack of evidence he was linked to Islamic terrorism.

The Orlando attack came just over a month after the Pentagon announced on May 9 that a U.S.-led coalition air strike killed Abu Wahib, a middle-level Islamic State military leader in charge of Iraq’s Anbar province on May 6.

Wahib was blown up along with three other jihadists in a drone strike on the car they men were riding in. The terror leader had been a high profile figure who appeared in several gruesome execution videos.

A defense official said the raid that killed Wahib employed a missile-firing unmanned aerial vehicle against the terrorist’s car. The fact that a drone was used in the attack also may explain the government’s reluctance to release the transcript.

The secrecy surrounding the transcripts of Mateen’s comments appears based on Obama administration fears that publicizing the jihadist’s statements would fuel further attacks.

The administration has sought to play down domestic ISIS-inspired terror attacks as disconnected from the Islamic ideology. The number of ISIS-linked attacks has increased over the past year.

FBI and Orlando police spokesmen declined to comment when asked why the full transcript was not made public earlier.

Heather Fagan, deputy chief of staff in the Orlando mayor’s office, said the transcripts were withheld by the FBI during the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation and released last week.

“The Department of Justice and the FBI recently advised the city of the FBI’s determination that the 911 calls no longer need to be protected as their release would not compromise the ongoing investigation into the Pulse nightclub massacre,” she told the Free Beacon.

The FBI and Justice Department released a partial transcript of the calls June 20—eight days after the attack. But those transcripts made no reference to the Iraqi airstrike that killed Wahid, or the Boston Marathon bomber.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said during his first call with the crisis negotiator, Mateen explicitly stated U.S. involvement in Syria and Iraq motivated the attack.

“This fact differs dramatically and widely from the initial media and police reports,” he said. “It is important for us to understand why that was the case. If officials intentionally sought to downplay the threat from radical Islamic terrorism, that would not only be wrong, but would also be a disservice to the American public.”

Counterterrorism experts questioned the FBI’s failure to release the full transcript sooner and suggested it is part of U.S. government efforts to obscure the nature of the domestic terror threat.

Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism expert, said the 911 transcript “completely destroys” the White House policy narrative of so-called “lone wolf” terror attacks.

“Omar Mateen isn’t a random individual discontented from a broader conspiracy,” Gorka said, noting the terrorist’s claim of allegiance to the Islamic State ties him to a broader global jihadist movement.

Also, Mateen’s references in the transcript to the Islamic observance of Ramadan and fasting the day of the attack “flies in the face of the administration’s argument that these attacks are wholly disconnected from Islam,” added Gorka, a professor of strategy and irregular warfare at the Institute of World Politics.

“Justifying the attack as a response to our targeting of Abu Wahib, the ISIS head of the Al Anbar Lions, reemphasizes to reality that this is a borderless war in which the individual neutralization of high value targets with not bring us ultimate victory,” Gorka said. “Only the delegitimization of the ideology that men like Mateen adhere to can do that.”

Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the failure to release the Mateen transcript earlier highlights the government’s reluctance to expose the threat.

“It is very disappointing that information like this is consistently withheld,” Hoekstra said. “It’s a pattern that is deeply troubling and calls into question the FBI’s whole strategy of keeping America safer by hiding information.”

Said Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor who handled terrorism cases: “The catalyst for all jihadist terrorism is Islamic supremacist ideology and its agenda to impose sharia.”

“We remain willfully blind to this ideology, so we are increasingly vulnerable to attacks,” McCarthy added. “And by failing to expose and discredit the ideology, we fail both our security and our pro-Western Muslim allies at home and abroad.”

The transcript also reveals that Mateen used deception in his calls to police in an apparent effort to prevent SWAT teams from conducting a raid against his location. Mateen falsely told the negotiator that he had planted car bombs around Orlando and was preparing to outfit four explosive vests on hostages, which he described as similar to the suicide bomb vests worn by Islamic terrorists in the November 2015 mass shootings in Paris.

During the initial conversation, Mateen was asked his name and told the negotiator, “My name is I pledge of allegiance to (unidentifiable name) of the Islamic State.”

The FBI statement said the 911 calls made by Mateen would not be released “out of respect for the victims” of the mass shooting. It stated that Mateen wanted the United States to stop bombing in Iraq and Syria. The FBI said Mateen told police, “I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings” and that he pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

A joint Justice Department-FBI statement issued June 20 included a partial release of the Mateen calls but did not disclose the details made public on Friday.

“The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter’s interaction with 911 operators was to provide transparency, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation,” the statement said.

“We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda.”

The statement went on to say that unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders “have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime.”

“As much of this information had been previously reported, we have re-issued the complete transcript to include these references in order to provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.”

The statement was referring to the first 911 call made by Mateen. The detailed calls to the police negotiator were withheld from release.

Police in Orlando released a number of 911 calls from victims in and around the club during the attack, but are withholding 230 calls made by victims to 911 emergency dispatchers under a law that allows keeping audio and transcripts secret when the calls involve a person being killed.

Also see:

Washington State Mall Shooter May Not Be a Jihad Terrorist

cascade-mall-shooting-arcan-cetin

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, Sept. 27, 2016:

The evidence is scant that Arcan Cetin, a Muslim migrant from Turkey, murdered five people in Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington last Friday night in the name of jihad and Islam, but the evidence that does exist is striking. Amid his busy online activity, Cetin posted admiration for the Islamic State caliph al-Baghdadi and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei and a call for Muslims to repeat “SubhanAllah” multiple times.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which someone who did not have jihad sympathies would post anything positive about Baghdadi or Khamenei, but the problem in Cetin’s case is that these references come without any supporting context. Dahir Adan, who stabbed nine people in a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota last week, had a sparse social media presence, but did take the time to list the Qur’an as his favorite book on his Facebook page. Cetin, who by contrast was all over social media, never speaks about Islam or jihad – except in the posts about Baghdadi and Khamenei, and the “SubhanAllah” post.

And so NBC News reported that “when asked on Sunday whether they could rule out terrorism as a motive, Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock said no.” It couldn’t be ruled out, but there was no initial indication that Arcan Cetin was a hardcore true believer a la Orlando jihad mass murderer Omar Mateen, who called 911 in the midst of his massacre to declare his allegiance to the Islamic State and repeatedly proclaimed that his murders were for Allah.

But Cetin could be something even worse. CBS News reported that he “was described by those who knew him as ‘creepy’ and a ‘bully,’ and he had a handful of arrests for assaulting his stepfather, as well as a DUI.” He was “reportedly ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation in August 2015, and that was completed as of March 2016.”

He scared at least one neighbor: “Amber Cathey, 21, lived in an apartment next to Cetin for the past three months and said she was so frightened by him that she complained to apartment management and kept a stun gun handy. Cathey said she blocked him on Snapchat after he sent her a photo of his crotch. ‘He was really creepy, rude and obnoxious,’ Cathey said.”

A high school classmate recalled that Cetin “was very hurtful towards girls. He would sexually harass them. And bully a lot of them.”

So Cetin had a history of violent, abusive behavior, and sexually harassed women. Not coincidentally, he comes from a cultural that sanctifies violent, abusive behavior, particularly toward women: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them” (Qur’an 4:34). The Qur’an also teaches that Infidel women can be lawfully taken for sexual use (cf. its allowance for a man to take “captives of the right hand,” 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” (33:59) The implication there is that if women do not cover themselves adequately with their outer garments, they may be abused, and that such abuse would be justified.

Arcan Cetin may not have known or cared about any of those Qur’an passages. But he may have lived in an environment in which such attitudes were taken for granted. Ex-Muslim cartoonist Bosch Fawstin has recounted how, even growing up in a secular, non-observant Muslim household, anti-Semitism and misogyny were commonplace and taken for granted. Even though no one in the house was particularly devout, no one thought to question the bedrock assumptions that Jews were evil and women were inferior.

If that is the kind of household Arcan Cetin, another apparently secular Muslim, grew up in, he and people like him should concern authorities even more than people like Omar Mateen and the San Bernardino killers, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Mateen, Farook and Malik were all devout and observant Muslims; Cetin, at least as far as we know right now, was not. When devout, observant Muslims who believe that the supreme being has ordered them to “kill them wherever you find them” (cf. Qur’an 2:191, 4:89, 9:5) end up doing so, it should surprise authorities who aren’t thoroughly sold out to politically correct fantasies. When, on the other hand, someone like Arcan Cetin goes jihad, his actions show that the violent jihad option is a live one even for the “moderate,” secularized Muslims upon which Western authorities are staking the future of the free world.

Arcan Cetin shows that even thoroughly assimilated Muslims who love video games and kidding around with non-Muslim friends on social media still retain a good many Islamic cultural attitudes that are incompatible with Western culture, and, at times of personal crisis, may pick up a rifle and start shooting.

This is a case that proponents of the massive Muslim migrant influx into the West should ponder. But they won’t.

Also see:

Jihad Is War — Not “Narrative”

rtx231u9-e1473703899354Daily Caller, by Abraham H. Miller Sept. 26, 2016:

“La rentrée” is what the French call back to school. This year something is conspicuously different about the festive occasion. Children as young as three are being taught to remain silent during a terrorist attack.

That’s not all that is different this season in France. Many French Jews will be staying away from synagogue during the high holidays beginning next week because of the threats posed by militant Muslims.

France has changed. Radical Islam has changed it.

Tear up your tickets to Turkey and find paradise beneath your feet, an ISIS recruiter tells his fellow Islamists through the encrypted web. Turkey of course is the gateway to the fighting in Syria, and “paradise beneath your feet” is encouragement to wage jihad in the West.

The ISIS recruiter, Abu Suleyman al-Firansi, who spouts this propaganda, is himself French.

These homegrown jihadis are not committing crimes. They are committing acts of war. They are agents of a foreign power intent on our destruction.

Ahmad Rahami’s bombing attack on New York City was not a criminal act but an act of war by an enemy combatant. By treating him as a common criminal, he has been given access to the rights of the system he sought to destroy. And he has lawyered up.

There is ample legal precedent for treating the homegrown jihadis as enemy combatants that should not have access to the civilian judicial system. In the case of American citizens during World War II who were brought back from Germany to conduct sabotage operations on American soil, the United States Supreme Court, in Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942), ruled that trial by military tribunal was legal in the case of any unlawful enemy combatants against the United States.

It would appear that one of the ways to keep our citizens safe would be to employ the legal tools granted us in Ex parte Quirin. If so, Rahami would not be able to avail himself of the Constitutional rights he sought to destroy but would be tried by the military.

Instead, our political leaders have chosen to view the homegrown problem as a problem in narration – a “public relations” conflict between ISIS and us. The idea is to counter ISIS’ propaganda. As White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, we are in a “narrative” war with ISIS.

To win the narrative war and prevent would-be jihadis from falling into ISIS’ hands, Hillary Clinton is calling for the absorption of more Syrian refugees. Barack Obama is fighting ISIS’ narrative while basking in the glory of raising the number of refugees to be absorbed as if he were some modern-day Moses leading the downtrodden of Egypt into the Promised Land

And to further counter ISIS’ propaganda, Obama is releasing hardened terrorists from Gitmo, who will soon join their brethren in waging jihad and recruiting Western jihadis.

The administration’s mantra is that without Gitmo and with a more liberal policy of refugee acceptance, there might not be a worldwide jihad.

As a consequence of such thinking, our children will face the increasing probability of another Beslan-type massacre. In 2004, on the opening day of school in Beslan, jihadi terrorists seized the school and brutalized the children over a three-day period before killing them. The death toll numbered nearly 400, and the situation required a military assault to be brought to denouement.

Unlikely to happen here? Not according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.) who has studied the Beslan massacre in depth and lectures to law enforcement about the appeal to terrorists of a large-scale slaughter at a school. Grossman and others see Beslan as a dry run for potential operations here.

The Islamists who have slaughtered our fellow citizens were the progeny of parents who came here seeking a better life. And these children repaid us as the Europeans have been repaid, with violence.

Claiming these are a minority of the Muslims coming into our country is a digression. How many people have to be slaughtered before we see this as a real problem? Not a problem in criminal justice but a problem of importing actual and potential enemy combatants whose hatred for us is so great they would rather die trying to kill us and our children than find a decent life among us.

This is not a fight about narratives. It is actual warfare. It should be treated as such. We have no desire to become like France.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center, a news and public policy group. @salomoncenter

Pentagon’s top brass explores Islamic ideology’s ties to terror

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Washington Times, by Rowan Scarborough, September 25, 2016:

U.S. Special Operations Command has privately pressed the staff of the nation’s highest-ranking military officer to include in his upcoming National Military Strategy a discussion of the Sunni Muslim ideology underpinning the brutality of the Islamic State group and al Qaeda.

Thus, behind the scenes, the Pentagon’s top brass have entered a debate coursing through the presidential campaign: how to define an enemy the U.S. military has been fighting for 15 years.

The National Military Strategy, authored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, is one of the most important guidances issued to global combatant commanders. It prioritizes threats to the nation and how to blunt them.

The 2015 public version does not mention Islamic ideology. It lists terrorists under the ambiguous category of “violent extremist organizations” and singles out al Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford took the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff two months later and is now preparing his first National Military Strategy.

It is during this process that Special Operations Command, which plays a major role in hunting down terrorists, has provided its input to the Joint Staff, Gen. Dunford’s team of intelligence and operations officers at the Pentagon.

Special Operations Command wants the National Military Strategy to specifically name Salafi jihadism as the doctrine that inspires violent Muslim extremists. Salafi jihadism is a branch within Sunni Islam. It is embraced by the Islamic State and used to justify its mass killings of nonbelievers, including Shiite Muslims, Sunnis and Kurds, as well as Christians.

People knowledgeable about the discussion told The Washington Times that SoCom has not been able to persuade Gen. Dunford’s staff to include Salafi jihadism in any strategy draft. It is unclear whether Gen. Dunford has been briefed on the proposals.

Spokesmen for the Joint Staff and U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, told The Times that they could not comment on a pending strategy. Gen. Dunford’s strategy will be classified in its entirety, meaning there will be no public version as was issued by his predecessor, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, in 2015.

Special Operations Command is headed by Army Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, a veteran terrorist hunter who led Joint Special Operations Command, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden and many other extremists.

There does not appear to be an effort to include the words “radical Islamic terrorism” in the strategy. But including a discussion of Salafi jihadism would tie acts of terrorism to Islamic ideology.

President Obama has fiercely rejected any connection between Islam the faith and al Qaeda, the Islamic State or any other Muslim terrorist organizations. He argues that they have corrupted the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran. His administration refers to them as simply “extremists.”

The counterargument from many U.S. national security analysts and Muslim scholars is that mass killings are rooted in the Koran and other primary writings and preachings of credible Islamic scholars and imams. These teachings at some mosques and on social media encourage youths to become radical Islamists.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ruthless Islamic State founder, is a cleric who studied at a seminary in Iraq. Al-Baghdadi has a Ph.D. in Koranic studies from Iraq’s Saddam University.

‘War of ideas’

If the cycle of global jihadism is to be broken, they say, U.S. officials must accurately assess the nature of the threat and its doctrines. If not, Gen. Dunford’s National Military Strategy is, in essence, directing commanders to ignore threat doctrine and relinquish the information battlefield to the enemy.

“If you look at threat doctrine from that perspective, it’s a much bigger problem because it’s not just the violent jihadists; it’s the nonviolent jihadists who support them,” said one person knowledgeable about the National Military Strategy. “Pretending there is no relationship between the violent jihadists and Islam isn’t going to win. We’re completely ignoring the war of ideas. We’re still in denial. We’re pretending the enemy doesn’t exist.”

A joint counterterrorism report by the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War concluded:

“Salafi-jihadi military organizations, particularly ISIS and al Qaeda, are the greatest threat to the security and values of American and European citizens.”

The Islamic State is also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.

Albert M. Fernandez, who was the State Department’s chief of strategic communication, said that on some level, if not the U.S. directly, people need to talk about the form of Salafi jihadism that promotes violence.

“Using the word ‘extremism’ is extraordinarily vague language,” he said.

Some voices in the Muslim hierarchy differ with Mr. Obama and say the encouragement of violence is a problem that Islam must confront.

One such leader is Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Drancy Mosque in Paris. France has Europe’s largest Muslim population and has been wracked by a series of brutal terrorist attacks planned and inspired by the Islamic State.

Mr. Chalghoumi spoke last year at a conference in Washington sponsored by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks jihadi social media and promotes moderate Islamic leaders.

Mr. Chalghoumi said mosques are one “battlefront” in the war on extremism.

“The third battlefront is the mosques, in many of which there is incitement to anti-Semitism, hate and ultimately violence,” he said. “This is the most critical battlefront regarding the future of Islam and its relationship with other religions. But even this one is not solely internal. The government should have a role in prohibiting money from terrorist organizations from reaching mosques and guiding their activities. It should prevent extremist leaders from preaching in pulpits from which they can abuse their power and spew hate and violence. It should make sure that the people who preach religion to others are qualified and endorse human values.”

Teaching terrorism

Advocates of publicly discussing the influence of Salafi jihadism point to Sahih al-Burkhari. It is a nine-volume collection of Sunni Muslim dictates from historical figures that is held as only second in importance to the Koran.

Volume 4, Book 56, justifies the killings of non-Muslims. “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him,” says one apostle of the Prophet Muhammad.

Volume 9, Book 88, contains this: “During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e., they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.”

Robert Spencer is an author who runs Jihad Watch, a nonprofit that reports on Islamic extremism.

He explains that Salafi Jihadism is a vehicle for taking the teachings of the Koran and applying them to jihad.

“The Islamic State scrupulously follows the Koran and Sunnah in its public actions, including its pursuit of jihad, and provides in Dabiq its Islamic justification for even its most controversial actions,” he said. “Thus the Islamic State is essentially the apotheosis [highest form] of Salafi Jihadism.”

The Sunnah contains the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Dabiq is a town in Syria where a final battle between Muslims and Christians supposedly will take place.

A 2008 strategy paper from Harvard University’s John M. Olin Institute said:
“Like all ideologies, Salafi-Jihadists present a program of action, namely jihad, which is understood in military terms. They assert that jihad will reverse the tide of history and redeem adherents and potential adherents of Salafi-Jihadist ideology from their misery. Martyrdom is extolled as the ultimate way in which jihad can be waged — hence the proliferation of suicide attacks among Salafi-Jihadist groups.”

Defining the enemy

How to define the Islamic State, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq and has franchises in over 20 countries, has been a hot topic in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Republican nominee Donald Trump criticizes Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for refusing to define the threat as “radical Islamic terrorism.”

He has surrounded himself with advisers who do see the threat that way. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, who has authored papers on the extremist Islamic threat, has joined the campaign as a foreign policy adviser.

Another Trump spokesman is retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who led the Defense Intelligence Agency under Mr. Obama. He has said he was fired by the White House for promoting the idea that there is a radical Islamic movement that must be confronted.

One of Mr. Trump’s most ubiquitous surrogates is former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was on Fox News on Saturday morning again criticizing Mrs. Clinton for not defining the threat.

Mrs. Clinton at one point said “radical jihadists” is the proper description. After the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, by an Islamic State follower, she said “radical Islam” is permissible. She infrequently uses either term.

“Inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric and threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim Americans as well as millions of Muslim businesspeople and tourists from entering our country hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror,” she said in June, taking a swipe at Mr. Trump. “So does saying that we have to start special surveillance on our fellow Americans because of their religion.”

The Defense Department on a few occasions has purged from its ranks those who advocate a discussion on how Islam the religion encourages violence.

In 2008, during the George W. Bush administration, the Pentagon ended a contract with Stephen Coughlin, an Army Reserve officer and lawyer. His consulting work centered on showing the links between Islamic law and violent extremism.

In 2012, in the Obama administration, Gen. Dempsey, then the Joint Chiefs chairman, publicly admonished Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley for linking the roots of Islamic teachings to the terrorism’s ideology today. Col. Dooley was removed as a teacher at Joint Forces College within the National Defense University and given a poor performance evaluation.

A student linked some of his training materials, and Muslims complained to the White House.

Gen. Dempsey called Col. Dooley’s training materials “academically irresponsible.”

The university’s teaching guidance says it permits outside-the-box instruction.

Muslim groups have petitioned the White House to end what they consider anti-Muslim training.

One set of complaints came in an October 2011 letter from 57 Islamic groups to Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, now the CIA director. Mr. Brennan refuses to use the words “Islamic extremists” or “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Some of the groups were unindicted co-conspirators in a federal terrorist financing prosecution in Texas. They also have ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood, whose goal is a world ruled by Islamic law.

Gen. Dempsey issued the Pentagon’s last National Military Strategy a little over a year ago.

It says the two leading terrorist organizations are al Qaeda and the Islamic State, which are defined as “violent extremist organizations.” That is the paper’s only use of the word “Islamic,” and there is no use of “Muslim” or “Salafi.”

Also see:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: ‘It’s Clear That Donald Trump Believes We Are at War, and Wants to Win’

Fox News/Screengrab

Fox News/Screengrab

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept. 26, 2016:

Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, joined former White House National Security Council staffer Gillian Turner to discuss how the presidential candidates would handle terrorism on Fox News Saturday.

Gorka said voters were looking for “meat on the bone” of an anti-terrorism strategy.

“It’s clear that Donald Trump believes we are at war. This is refreshing,” he said. “He believes this is a serious threat, and ISIS has to be defeated. And he wants to be a president that wins this war. So let’s hear the details, and Monday could be a perfect time.”

“I think it’s a golden opportunity for him, and people would respond to it really, really well,” Turner agreed. “And we’re not talking about a battle plan – because, you know, a lot of people push back and say, ‘Well, you shouldn’t broadcast to the enemy what we’re going to do.’ Of course not. We’re talking about a sort of macro-level strategy that outlines his vision, outlines the general approach he’s gonna take, what elements it will combine, if he ‘s gonna include military, and diplomatic, and political, and ideological, how that’s going to work together – something that at least gives us the contours.”

“I think Hillary Clinton has done a really good job of putting forward a plan like that,” she continued. “It’s not for everybody. A lot of critics don’t think it’s viable. But to her credit, you can log on to her website and read it, and decide for yourself. I think Donald Trump’s got to step up and do that, too.”

Gorka said voters would also be looking at the temperament of the candidates, and whether Clinton can overcome a poor track record of dealing with Islamist terror threats.

“I think Donald’s proven his temperament towards the threat, that this is a guy who wants to win. And that’s what he’s famous for, right? He’s a winner,” Gorka said. “I think the issue is track record, with regards to Hillary. The threat that we see in ISIS is, in large part, a result of policies that the Obama Administration brought when she was Secretary of State. If you look at Libya, if you look at Syria, the ‘red lines’ that weren’t red lines, if you look at the withdrawal of our troops in 2011 – if Donald Trump simply points these out, that ISIS has become the world’s most powerful insurgency of the jihadist enterprise, whilst she was in Cabinet, that’s a problem for her.”

“What she needs to do is be careful to not hedge herself in, which she’s already doing,” Turner suggested. “My biggest criticism of her kind of strategy on terrorism right now is that she’s already making proclamations, like ‘if I was President, I would never put another American boot on the ground in Iraq, ever again.’ That’s exactly the kind of approach that hedges in our military leaders unnecessarily. It really undercuts us on the international stage. If she can really stay away from reiterating that, I think that would behoove her a lot.”

Asked if the first debate might include a moment where Trump calls Clinton out for supporting the Iraq War, Gorka replied, “He’s done it before. I think he’s probably being advised right now to play it cool on Monday, to continue the presidential – I mean, this campaign has been turned around since Steve Bannon took over. In the last month, we’ve gone from problematic, trailing, trailing, trailing to a guy that, in even states that were a slam-dunk for Hillary, she may lose. So he has to maintain that steady hand.”

Bombing suspect is no lone wolf, but a terrorist with a family of sympathizers

Law enforcement officials work at the scene of Chelsea bombing. Photo: Getty Images

Law enforcement officials work at the scene of Chelsea bombing. Photo: Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 24, 2016:

Last weekend’s NYC bombing is yet another case of terrorism and hatred for America not being isolated to a “lone wolf” but running in the family. We’ve seen this horror before, in Orlando, San Bernardino, Chattanooga and Boston — Muslim families playing dumb after their son goes on a terrorist rampage, only to find out later that the family sympathized with terrorism.

The latest evidence is damning: Two days before Ahmad Rahami allegedly planted the Chelsea bomb that injured 31, a family member’s cellphone video camera was used to film him testing bombs in the back yard of the New Jersey residence/chicken shack where he had lived and worked with his parents. After one “cylindrical” device explodes, unidentified people are overheard laughing on the recording, an FBI document reveals.

The video isn’t the only piece of evidence suggesting the fiend’s family may have known about his plot. A cellphone used as a timer to detonate the Chelsea bomb “was subscribed in the name of a family member” until 2013, FBI Special Agent Peter Licata wrote in the government’s 13-page complaint filed against Rahami.

What’s more, Rahami allegedly used the family SUV to travel to Manhattan to plant the pressure-cooker bomb. Late the next night, the FBI pulled over the same SUV occupied by five people including Rahami relatives — including three women dressed in Islamic robes — who reportedly were headed to the airport. They were questioned by joint Terrorism Task Force agents, but authorities said they were not in custody and none had been arrested.

The FBI complaint indicates that Rahami started plotting his terrorist attacks as early as June — the same month his wife left the US for Pakistan. Placed on a terror watch list, Asia Bibi Rahimi on Wednesday returned to New York where she submitted to FBI interviews. Rahami’s mother left the US for Turkey three weeks before the bombing.

Rahami’s older brother and sister appear to share the same affection for terror leaders and same hatred for America as him. Reports have linked the sister to messages posted on social media quoting the late Anwar al-Awlaki, the American al Qaeda cleric who privately ministered to some of the 9/11 hijackers. (Rahami wrote that he sought “guidance” from Awlaki in a blood-stained journal FBI agents seized from him after a shootout.)

The brother, Mohammad, who is now in custody in Pakistan, posted ISIS-related propaganda, including images of jihadists with the message: “I bring the men who desire death as ardently as you desire life.”

In the 1980s, Rahami’s father fought with the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet Union, according to statements made by a family friend; he also opposed the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The media have portrayed him as a hero for ratting out his son as a terrorist. After the bombing, he shouted to them, “Two years ago, I call the FBI.”

In fact, the elder Mohammad Raham may have only mentioned that his son was a terrorist on a call with local police in 2014 to report a domestic fight between Rahami and a younger son involving a knife. Local police, in turn, contacted the FBI through the local Joint Terrorism Task Force out of concern Rahami had been radicalized. The FBI interviewed the father, who recanted his story about Rahami, who was never indicted for the alleged stabbing. The father let Rahami continue staying at his home and even let him run the family fried-chicken shop.

This is reminiscent of other recent homegrown terrorist cases, where extremism also runs in the family, including:

  • Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, whose father was an anti-gay Taliban booster, and whose wife’s Palestinian family proclaimed support for Hamas terrorists. His wife even drove him to sites he scouted as targets, including the gay nightclub he attacked in June and to the store where he bought ammo for the massacre.
  • San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook, whose father shared his hatred for Jews and even knew his son followed ISIS. His mother was involved in a subversive Pakistani front group and lived with her son where he and his wife made pipe bombs. Both parents were placed on a terror watch list after the 2015 massacre.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn., terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, influenced by his devout Muslim father who appeared at one point on a federal terrorist watch list. The FBI now says those close to Abdulazeez knew he had been radicalized a year before his deadly 2015 attack on two Tennessee military sites but failed to alert authorities.
  • The Boston bombers — influenced by their America-hating Muslim mother, who forced them to go to an extremist mosque and study hardcore Islamic texts. After 2013’s marathon attack, the Muslim convert wife of the older Tamerlan son expressed more sympathy for “people killed every day in Syria” than those killed and maimed by her husband.

Maybe Trump’s right. Maybe we do need to start looking more closely at the families of terrorists and holding them accountable, as well.

Paul Sperry is the author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.”

***

Clarion Project’s national security analyst, Prof. Ryan Mauro, appears on CBN News to discuss the latest with the bombings perpetrated by Ahmad Khan Rahami, targeting the Islamist ideology and the problems that come with describing terrorists as “lone wolves.”

John Bolton on Obama’s Internet Handover: ‘Within Ten Years, the Internet as We Know It Will End’

icann-tim-halesassociated-press-640x480Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept 22, 2016:

On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton predicted that the impending transfer of Internet domain control from American supervision to an international body will mean the end of the Internet “as we know it.”

Speaking to Breitbart Editor-in-Chief and SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Bolton explained that we should be “very concerned” about the transfer from “a national-security perspective.”

“What we’ve gotten out of the Internet, under the shelter of a private American organization that contracts with the Commerce Department, [is] one of the few cases that I can think of in our history where we’ve had that kind of government involvement without regulation and interference,” said Bolton.

He continued:

But because it’s entirely a U.S. government proposition with U.S. people involved, the Internet has been free and open. If, as the Administration wants to do, it’s transferred to an international body, I will predict right here: within 10 years it will come under the control of the United Nations, and the Internet as we know it will end because there are governments around the world that are already doing everything they can to prevent a free and open Internet in their countries, and it will extend to ours in due course.

Bolton called the Internet handover “a mistake of such colossal proportions that you would have thought we’d have a huge debate about it in this country.”

LISTEN:

“Ted Cruz has been leading the charge in the Senate to prevent this from happening,” he said. “There may be legislation passed in these last days of this Congress, as they try and wrap the budget up. But really, people need to wake up to this. This is something from Obama I have feared for eight years, his tendencies toward global governance. I’ve been surprised to have to say he hasn’t done more, but in his last days in office, we may see the full flowering of it, and this transfer of control of the Internet is perhaps the worst example right at the moment.”

Bolton elaborated on what he meant by the Internet as we know it dying within 10 years:

What they’re talking about is succumbing to the demands of foreign governments and foreign interests who say, in what is effectively a global means of communication, it’s just wrong to have the United States in charge of it.

But the fact is, under American control, it’s had remarkable growth. It’s been kept free. It’s been able to withstand a lot of pressure to try and set rules that favor one side or another. And in an international environment, I can tell you from my own experience, when you get all kinds of governments from all over the world setting standards and making decisions, it will be far less free than it is now.

And I don’t think the particular kind of transfer we’re talking about now is the end of the game. This is a black-and-white, binary choice: it’s either under American control, or it’s not. And once we let go of it, we are never getting it back.

Marlow turned the conversation to Barack Obama’s final speech to the U.N. General Assembly, describing it as a “toned-down Obama” with a few condescending lines, but not as much “fiery rhetoric” as he anticipated.

“I think he wanted this to be his swan song,” said Bolton. “It was a very pedestrian speech, so I think he certainly failed in that effort. A lot of was just domestic American politics, which personally I think is unseemly in a speech to the U.N. or an international forum. I think the President, especially a lame duck President, should be above that.”

“I think it shows that, really, Barack Obama is not a statesman. He is a political hack, when it comes right down to it,” Bolton judged. “He was unsparing in his criticism of many countries — criticism I agree with, in the case of Russia, North Korea, and so on — but he couldn’t withstand the temptation to criticize America. Thank God he’s the smartest man in the country, and he can tell us what we’re doing wrong.”

Bolton said he was “utterly struck” by “the reaction in the hall — which was essentially no reaction.” He noted there was “very perfunctory applause by the international community, after years where they’ve repeatedly interrupted him.”

“My sense was, they understand he’s a lame duck now. Maybe they’re just as tired as many Americans of being lectured by this morally superior being, and they’re happy to see the back of him.”

Marlow asked for Bolton’s take on the state of the United Nations and if there was still anything productive emerging from its meetings. Bolton replied that “things are happening, but not because it’s the U.N.”

He explained:

This week in September is just a very convenient point, where a lot of leaders come to New York. You can do a lot of business in a short period of time without having to travel all over the world, although traffic in New York makes it feel like it takes forever to get from one place to another. But it’s less about the U.N. than it is about other forms of diplomatic business.

That said, I believe that if Hillary Clinton wins, she will do what I expected Obama to do, which is try to transfer more and more American sovereignty into international organizations across the range of issues — whether it’s climate change or the conduct of international affairs. I think Obama didn’t do as much as I expected in that vein because he really just doesn’t care about international affairs as much as he cares about ‘fundamentally transforming’ our country.

I think Hillary does have even grander ambitions, and so that’s why what we started off, the end of ICANN or the effective control of ICANN over the Internet, is an excellent example of global governance replacing American sovereignty in effect. And I think she’ll be much more on that. I hope that’s something Trump emphasizes in the upcoming debate.

Turning to last weekend’s terrorist attacks, Bolton said they were “evidence that the terrorist threat continues to increase, as senior intelligence officials of the Obama Administration itself have testified in an open session of Congress.”

“It’s a demonstration of the diversity of the sources of terrorism and the kinds of terrorism that we see,” he continued, referencing the Chelsea bomber’s evident affinity for al-Qaeda, rather than ISIS, and the Somali origins of the Minnesota mall stabber. “It doesn’t all come from Syria or Iraq in the Middle East. It comes from as far away as Somali or Afghanistan.”

“And I think it’s also a measure of the kind of terrorism, that some people want to call it ‘lone wolf’ terrorism because they’re trying to downplay its significance. But it’s not lone wolf terrorism,” Bolton argued. “We’re seeing increasingly the networks, the connections of these two terrorists. ISIS has claimed credit for the one in Minnesota. We see how the terrorist arrested in New Jersey was in communication with terrorists in Afghanistan.”

“Terrorism doesn’t look like a corporate organization chart. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, or any easier to prevent,” he warned. “I think it’s one reason what that issue is so important in the 2016 campaign, and it should be.”

Marlow brought up the nuclear threat from North Korea, saying that “half the time, I feel like this is a joke, and half the time I feel like this is one of the scariest things happening on Planet Earth.”

“Unfortunately, it’s the latter,” Bolton said, explaining that the Communist dictatorship in Pyongyang presents a real danger to the United States and its allies:

The regime has always struck most Americans as a joke. Who can believe these people who talk and look the way the Kim family dictatorship has over the years?

But serious military officials, both American and South Korea, have repeatedly ramped up their judgment of what the North is capable of, and they’ve been saying for some time now that it’s only a very short period of time before North Korea is able to take their nuclear devices — and they’ve now tested five — and miniaturize them, and put them under the nose cone of their increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles, and hit targets on the U.S. West Coast.

So the need for missile defense, at an absolute minimum — national missile defense for the United States, a program the Obama Administration gutted when they came into office, with the full support of Hillary Clinton. Dealing more effectively with North Korea, and I think trying to get more intelligence on whether and to what extent there is a connection between the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea — because these may seem like very different threats, but we know that for 20 years, if not more, they’ve cooperated on their missile programs, and I personally think there’s every reason to believe they’re cooperating on the nuclear programs as well.

We just don’t have enough information, and people don’t take this threat of the ‘Axis of Evil’ seriously enough. But if either or both of them get the capability to deliver nuclear by ballistic missile, we’ll take it seriously then.

Bolton concluded with his thoughts on the situation in Syria, where he sees the Russians and Iranians as having a “very distinct interest,” namely keeping Bashar Assad in power, while Obama’s goals and strategies remain vague and ineffective:

The ISIS threat is something that could have been dealt with a year, year and a half ago, if the Obama Administration had had a coherent foreign policy, but it doesn’t. And I think now we’re seeing continued chaos in Syria. ISIS may have lost some territory, but it’s still there, still recruiting terrorists. The Assad regime is still in place. Russian influence has increased, Iranian has increased, American influence has decreased. Really, how could it get much worse?

Dr. Sebastian Gorka: Chelsea Bomber Is ‘A Man Who Has Taken Sides in a War,’ Not ‘Just Another Criminal’

Fox News/Screengrab

Fox News/Screengrab

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Sept. 23, 2016:

Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, addressed the idea of treating Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami as an enemy combatant, rather than a criminal, in a Fox News appearance.

“I think it’s very compelling to make an argument that this isn’t just another criminal,” Gorka told host Neil Cavuto. “This isn’t a member of the Mafia, this isn’t a bank robber. This is a man who has taken sides in a war, and he is on the side of an enemy entity – in this case, the Islamic State, the new caliphate, run by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

“If you look at World War II, we did not treat enemy agents captured on U.S. soil as just common criminals,” he pointed out. “In fact, they were treated as enemy combatants, and if they were U.S. citizens, the treason statutes applied. So if you believe we’re at war, Neil, then there’s a very compelling case to be made that you don’t treat this guy just like a common criminal.”

Cavuto noted that Rahami apparently will be treated as a criminal, with defenders of the practice arguing that other terrorists have been handled through the criminal courts successfully.

“It’s a question of perspective: do you think we are at war?” Gorka maintained. “I think we are. I think we are now in the 16th year – we just had the 15th anniversary of 9/11, and we are in the longest war America has ever waged, since 1776.”

“This isn’t just a bunch of random criminals. They’re not people making profit. These aren’t psychos. This isn’t Jeffrey Dahmer. These are jihadis who wish to destroy America and Western civilization. As such, i think they should be treated as enemy combatants, and not enjoy the rights and privileges that Americans enjoy, who are citizens of this nation, and don’t wish to destroy this nation.”

Cavuto asked Gorka if he thought Rahami had help, “maybe a lot of help.”

“Oh, my gosh. This is a man who, I’ve read the contents of the journal, this man was not just a consumer, he was a propagator of jihadi narrative,” Gorka responded, referring to the notebook taken from Rahami after his capture.

“Not only did his father turn him in, or try to turn him in, he made blatantly anti-American statements in public. He made blatantly homophobic statements. And then what does he do? He travels to South Asia and he visits Quetta. Quetta is the hotbed of jihadism,” he said.

***

Andrew McCarthy, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of N.Y., discusses calls for Ahmad Khan Rahami to be treated as Enemy Combatant

FBI Training Questioned in Recent Terror Attacks

This notebook recovered in the arrest of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami mentions deceased al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki / AP

This notebook recovered in the arrest of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami mentions deceased al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki / AP

Washington  Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Sept. 22, 2016:

Recent domestic terror attacks by Islamic extremists are raising questions among officials and security experts about whether FBI counterterrorism training is deficient.

The chief suspect in the New York City homemade bombing attacks last weekend, Ahmad Rahami, was probed for several weeks by the FBI in 2014 after his father alerted authorities to his terrorist leanings.

Rahami’s father, Mohammad Rahami, told reporters this week that he informed the FBI about concerns about his son after Rahami stabbed one of his brothers in a domestic dispute.

“Two years ago I go to the FBI because my son was doing really bad, OK?” the elder Rahami said. “But they check almost two months, they say, ‘He’s okay, he’s clean, he’s not a terrorist.’ I say OK.”

“Now they say he is a terrorist. I say OK,” Mohammad Rahami said.

The FBI acknowledged dismissing concerns that Rahami posed a terrorism threat. “In August 2014, the FBI initiated an assessment of Ahmad Rahami based upon comments made by his father after a domestic dispute that were subsequently reported to authorities,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.”

An FBI spokeswoman did not respond to questions about counterterrorism training.

Rahami is charged with setting off a bomb in downtown New York City that injured 29 people. Other bombs were planted nearby and in New Jersey. He was arrested after being wounded in a shootout with police.

Evidence gathered in the case reveals Rahami carried out the bombing in support of the terrorist groups Islamic State and al Qaeda.

A notebook found on Rahami mentioned ISIS terror leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria last August. The terror leader was quoted by Rahami as instructing sympathizers to kill non-Muslims.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to question FBI Director James Comey about its counterterrorism work at a hearing Wednesday.

“From San Bernardino to Orlando to the most recent terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, the United States has experienced a rise in radical Islamic terrorism and we must ensure that the FBI has the resources needed for its counterterrorism efforts in order to thwart these heinous plots and protect Americans from harm,” Goodlatte said in a statement.

Former FBI Special Agent John Guandolo said the FBI does not lack resources but has failed to understand the nature of the Islamist terror threat and thus has prevented proper training of counterterrorism agents over misplaced concerns of discrimination against Muslims.

“Obviously the FBI’s training program is catastrophically broken,” Guandolo said, noting the string of recent domestic attacks involving terrorists who were at least familiar to FBI counterterrorism agents because of indications they were linked to Islamists.

Six earlier terrorist attacks, among them mass murders at an Orlando nightclub and killings on a military base in Texas, were preceded by FBI investigations or inquiries into the attackers or their immediate family members.

The list of those recent attacks includes:

  • The 2009 shooting at a U.S. military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas, by a Muslim extremist who had been investigated earlier by the FBI
  • The 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people. Hassan was known to the FBI in 2008 through communications he had with an al Qaeda terrorist in Yemen
  • The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by two Islamist terrorists from Russia who were the subject of terrorism warnings provided to the FBI by the Russian government
  • The 2015 shootings at military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, carried out by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, whose father had been placed on a terrorism watch list in the past
  •  The 2015 shooting in Garland, Texas, by two terrorists, one of whom was known to the FBI in 2009 as a potential terrorist
  • The 2016 Orlando nightclub killings of 49 people by Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen who was investigated twice by the FBI prior to the attack

Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka said the FBI’s counterterrorism division has created excellent counterterrorism training courses since the 2009 Fort Hood attack.

“That is not the problem,” said Gorka, professor of strategy and irregular warfare at the Institute of World Politics. “The issue is the courses aren’t being held.”

Since last year, Justice Department funding for counterterrorism training was slashed by nearly 50 percent, Gorka said. As a result, the “Terrorism: Origins and Ideology” course designed specifically for Joint Terrorism Task Force members—whose mission is to catch people like Rahami before they kill—were reduced from eight courses per year to less than four.

“As a result our law enforcement officers are less prepared just as the threat has increased,” Gorka said.

Michael Waller, an expert on unconventional warfare, said the FBI is missing the bad guys in advance of their attacks due to a policy that prevents monitoring jihadists before they become violent.

“This policy began under the previous FBI director, Robert Mueller, and for years has had a chilling effect throughout the bureau,” said Waller, an analyst with the research firm Wikistrat.

Waller says the FBI made a strategic error after the September 11 terror attacks by reaching out to Muslim Brotherhood Islamists and their front groups in the United States to court “moderate” Muslims.

“That’s equivalent to the FBI asking the KGB for help in fighting Communist subversion and violence,” he said, referring to the Soviet-era political police and intelligence service.

“The administration’s whole approach to ‘countering violent extremism’ literally keeps avowed jihadists off the FBI watch list, as long as they are not ‘violent,’” Waller said. “So while the FBI does investigate some of these jihadis in advance, too often it lets them go, or misses them completely, until they murder and maim.”

Waller noted that any expression of Islamic extremism poses a threat to the Constitution because, whether violent or not, it advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government.

“Such individuals, by statute, are proper targets for arrest and prosecution,” he said. “The FBI’s job—like any federal agency’s job—is to defend the Constitution ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ In this regard, the FBI has failed.”

The FBI did not have information about the terrorists in advance of last year’s shooting in San Bernardino, California, in which a married couple pledging loyalty to ISIS murdered 14 people. However, the couple had communicated privately on social media about waging jihad, or holy war, before the attack.

A common tie between the perpetrators of several recent Islamist terror attacks, including the New York bombings, was English-speaking online al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011 but whose recruiting videos are available on the Internet.

Awlaki was an inspiration behind the shootings at Fort Hood, San Bernardino, and Orlando, as well as the New York bombings, according to investigations of those attacks.

Court documents in the New York and New Jersey bombing case reveal that Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, had made “laudatory references” to Awlaki that were found in a journal he carried at the time of his arrest after a shootout with police.

Rahami also praised Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people during the Fort Hood attack.

The FBI complaint against Rahami indicates that he constructed several pressure cooker bombs planted in a two-state bombing spree. The bombs contained homemade explosives and were meant to be triggered remotely by cell phones.

Similar pressure cooker bombs were used in the Boston Marathon bombings. Plans on how to manufacture the devices have been published in an al Qaeda magazine called Inspire.

Guandolo, the former FBI agent, noted that the FBI complaint against Rahami states that he received “instructions of terrorist leaders” to “attack nonbelievers where they live.”

Additionally, Rahami stated in a personal journal that “guidance came [from] Sheik Anwar”—a reference to Awlaki.

“From whence did that ‘extremist’ idea come?” Guandolo said, noting that the Koran directs Muslims to “fight and slay the unbelievers where you find them and capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush.”

Rahami’s notebook ends with the passage that “the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death to Your OPPRESSION.”

***

Also see:

Today there will be a hearing of the Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency subcommittee, looking at the failure to successfully identify the enemy in our current fight. Former HIPSC Chairman Pete Hoekstra and Anti-Islamist Muslim formers Zhudi Jasser and Shireen Qudosi will be going up against DHS hack and former Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee grievance monger George Selim and Pro-terror Islamist law professor Sahar Aziz. – David Shideler, follow @ShidelerK for running commentary on the hearing

Hearing: “Identifying the Enemy: Radical Islamist Terror.” livestream:

You Can Be Jason Falconer

Target practice at a shooting range in Marlboro, Md. (Reuters photo: Yuri Gripas)

Target practice at a shooting range in Marlboro, Md. (Reuters photo: Yuri Gripas)

You have control over whether you’re trained to protect yourself and those around you.

Natonal Review, by David French, Sept. 21, 2016:

The silver lining — the only silver lining — of the modern season of jihadist violence is the fact that each and every jihadist attack reveals that there are Americans of unusual courage. Sometimes, when they don’t have the means to protect themselves, even the most extreme acts of bravery don’t stop an attack. In San Bernardino, for example, three unnamed, unarmed men rushed the two heavily armed attackers but were cut down.

But in St. Cloud, Minn., the tables were turned. A jihadist on a knife rampage encountered a part-time, off-duty police officer, and the outcome was very, very different. The officer killed the terrorist and saved lives. But to call Jason Falconer a mere “part-time cop” is to do him a grave injustice. To use the proper sociological phrase, let’s just say that the dude is a boss.

Falconer is a former police chief and the current owner of Tactical Advantage, a gun range, gun shop, gunsmith, and training facility. He’s a personal-security trainer, an award-winning competitive shooter, and a three-gun shooter. To get a sense of three-gun, this Keanu Reeves video (yes, Keanu Reeves) is a fair representation:

In other words, Falconer wasn’t just in the right place at the right time, he was the right person. And here’s the key point: You can be the right person. You can be Jason Falconer. In most communities in this country, you can not only own and carry a weapon for personal defense, you can also receive comprehensive training. You have virtually no control over whether you’re at the right place at the right time, but you do have control over whether you’re the right person.

As I type this piece, my wife, Nancy, is getting ready for her latest class at Agape Tactical, a security firm in Franklin, Tenn. After a series of threats (isn’t 2016 wonderful?), she’s not only obtained her carry permit, she’s training extensively (and writing about it) and is finishing her “tactical level 2” course today. She’s training in firing on the move, drawing quickly from a holster, shooting even when grabbed from behind, shooting from her knees, shooting from the prone position, the difference between cover and concealment, and shooting while minimizing personal exposure.

It’s not enough to get a carry permit and fire away at a gun range every now and again. To be the right person — the kind of person who can and should react when lives are on the line — takes training and practice. And this training is available — better training, even, than many law-enforcement officers receive.

Lest anyone think this kind of training is a burden, or a sad concession to a broken and dangerous world, it is both challenging and enjoyable. The bonus is the people. Spend much time around the world of trainers and serious gun owners, and you’ll spend time with some of America’s best. American “gun culture” ultimately isn’t about weapons, it’s about the people. You’ll meet former (and current) cops, former soldiers, competitive shooters, and a whole host of others who’ve made a fundamental decision, to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their families. I’ve linked this before, but it’s too good not to link again. They choose to be the sheepdogs, not the sheep:

Just before she left for her class, Nancy said: “This is the first terrorist attack when I didn’t say to myself, ‘I should be doing more to protect myself and our family.’ I’m doing what I should do.” This has nothing to do with fear or panic. It has everything to do with responsibility and vigilance. It’s about living with humble confidence. None of us knows how we’ll react until the moment of crisis, but we can certainly prepare to react the right way.

Years ago, Jason Falconer made his decision — to protect. I don’t know how he feels today. Taking a human life is an act of extraordinary weight. Even when justified, some men struggle mightily with the aftermath. Others can drive forward, firm in the conviction that they fulfilled their purpose and grateful that they had the courage to rise to the moment. I pray that Falconer can be at peace, that he knows he did what he had to do.

Of course we can’t all be just like Falconer. After all, he shoots and trains shooters for a living. But we can make the same fundamental choice. We can choose to protect.

— David French is a staff writer for National Review and an attorney.

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The 3 flaws in Rep. McCaul’s plan to secure the homeland

Carolina K. Smith MD | Shutterstock

Carolina K. Smith MD | Shutterstock

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz and Nate Madden, Sept. 21, 2016:

It’s impossible to craft a solution to a security threat when policy-makers refuse to identify the nature of the threat, its source, and its threat doctrine. Given that Democrats refuse to even recognize any correlation between any form of Islam and Jihad, their policies reflect a perfectly consistent and unvarnished willful blindness of the modern jihadist threat. In releasing the House GOP’s plan to combat Islamic terror, however, Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas. (F, 58%) exhibits the same systemic misdiagnosis of the problem, albeit one that is a step or two closer to the truth than the Democrats.

Yesterday, Chairman McCaul unveiled “A National Strategy to Win the War against Islamist Terror.” While the plan at least references Islamic terror as the key threat and very broadly and generally outlines worthy end-goals, the overarching outline has two fatal flaws.

  • It still refuses to name names when it comes to specific threats and;
  • The overall policy objectives, strategies, and suggestions, are overly general, almost vacuous, and obfuscate the true common sense path forward screaming out for much-needed attention from our political leaders.

This all stems from McCaul’s refusal to identify the specific threat of mass Sharia-adherent immigration, unreformed-Islam in general, and the fifth column that operates within this country to ensure that Muslim communities become disenchanted with America’s constitutional system of government.

The introduction sets the tone for the entire policy paper. McCaul asserts that “Islamist terrorists have perverted a major religion into a hateful worldview, and while most Muslims do not share their beliefs, their influence is spreading like wildfire.” While this definitely sounds more refreshing than the Democrat refusal to mention Islam at all, it is still a factually troubled statement because it completely divorces the problem from anything inherent in the practice of the religion itself by those who strictly adhere to Sharia. That is not a small group of people perverting a religion and it’s not isolated to terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. While ISIS’s successful propaganda campaign has definitely fanned the flames and provided Sharia-adherents with a fulfillment of the caliphate, the problem existed long before 2013 and will continue after the caliphate collapses.

McCaul continues down this false narrative of divorcing “terrorists” (the scary network people abroad) from the general population of Sharia-supporting Muslims already living in America or those who seek to immigrate: “Terrorists are trying to send operatives to our shores and radicalize new ones in U.S. communities.”

Once again, McCaul believes that the threat is limited to potential infiltration of known terror networks into immigrant or native Muslim populations, completely disregarding the inherent threat of large populations of Sharia-adherents clustered together in the West. It’s as if McCaul can’t find Europe on a map.

Moreover, McCaul completely ignores the fact that civilization jihad is being waged on our shores, within the government, and within our political class by the Muslim Brotherhood to radicalize Muslim communities and marginalize reformists. They don’t need to send operatives to our shores when Hamas fundraisers are already here, obtaining security clearances and downright training our law enforcement in “counter terrorism.”

While this is not the bold Hillary/Obama form of willful blindness, it presents us with Bush 2.0, a woefully inadequate approach – especially after eight years of Obama’s malfeasance.

The willful blindness in identifying the threat and its doctrine manifests in many of the polices laid out by the report:

Immigration/Refugees

McCaul’s report speaks of the need for better “vetting” of immigrants. He even mentions researching an applicant’s social media posting to see if they have pledged support to a terror group. But foundationally, he has no inherent problem with the record-high immigration from the Middle East. While this approach is one step ahead of the Obama blindness, in which applicants have a right to “privacy” from DHS officials investigating their social media activity, it misses the point. This is not merely about vetting for known individual terrorists or those espousing support for terrorist networks. This is about those who subscribe to the ideology that cultivates the climate of homegrown terror in the family, neighborhood, and community.

Take the case of Somali immigration, for example. We have admitted well over 100,000 Somali refugees over the past two decades — in contravention to America’s national interests on any level. Dozens from the Minneapolis community have been charged with terrorism-related activities, and statements from the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota indicate that there is a culture that runs much deeper than those numbers suggest. Was this something we could have weeded out through “vetting” 15-25 years ago? Perhaps in a few cases. But for the most part, this is a cumulative problem inherent in mass migration from dangerous Islamic countries.

This is the enduring lesson from the jihadists of Boston, Ft. Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, Orlando, and the pair of Somali and Afghani immigrants who perpetrated attacks this past weekend. Typically, the parents will not engage in terrorism. Nonetheless, they cluster in communities that adhere to Sharia and are educated through Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. The attackers in each of these cases were the second generation; the children brought to America by their parents or born on American soil. McCaul’s plan to look myopically for connections or allegiance to a specific terror group might save a few more lives than under the Obama Administration, but it fails to identify the core of the problem and the enduring lessons from Europe.

Prison jihadism

To its credit, the report rightly warns that our prisons have become veritable jihadist breeding grounds, but it declines to name the biggest contributor to that reality. “As the number of convicted homegrown terrorists grows, so does the risk that our prisons will become wellsprings of fanaticism,” it reads. The report continues,

The federal government must examine non-governmental rehabilitation options for convicted terrorists to prevent more individuals from entering the prison system primed to spread their hateful ideology. The Bureau of Prisons should also take steps to combat prison radicalization, including proactively monitoring known extremists and putting measures in place to prevent them from inspiring fellow inmates to embrace terror.

One can only hope the federal government would be watching for groups with ties to organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. Or how about the Islamic Society of North America, which was found on a list of Chaplaincy Endorsers provided by the federal government earlier this year. However, without making that clear, we cannot expect the federal government to do just that.

Thirteen years ago, the FBI arrested Abdurahman Alamoudi,the man responsible for establishing the entire Muslim chaplaincy program within the Bureau of Prisons, for funding Al Qaeda. In 2003, Chuck Schumer railed against the Bush administration for doing nothing to investigate all the people Alamoudi appointed (more on this from Ben Weingarten’s article yesterday). What is McCaul doing to this very day to go after the Muslim Brotherhood in the chaplaincy?

Terrorist travel

Here, again, the report confronts us with a premise that, as a baseline, nobody can find much fault. However, in doing so, the report muddles the details. It rightly states that jihadists leaving the United States to visit high-risk countries is a massive security concern, but says very little substantively to directly confront the problem. Perhaps the worst part of the report is that it calls on the Obama administration — which did a phenomenal job of enlisting Muslim Brotherhood affiliates for its ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ program — to develop a plan to stop jihadists from re-entering the United States. It says nothing of the plans already before Congress, like the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which would strip the citizenship of anyone who leaves to train with a foreign terror organization.

Instead, it says, “The White House should produce a strategy to combat terrorist travel and to prevent Americans from leaving to join terrorist organizations.” This is nothing short of laughable, given Obama’s track record.

Conclusion

McCaul is absolutely correct to observe that, fifteen years after 9/11, our counterterrorism policies have failed miserably. But they have failed because we didn’t accurately identify the threat confronting us, and that willful blindness did not begin with the Obama administration. Until political correctness is put aside and the threat is accurately identified, policymakers will continue missing the target with their solutions. This isn’t to say that it’s completely errant, however. Make no mistake, while McCaul’s proposals are far closer to the mark than anything we’ve seen from the Obama Administration thus far, they’re just far enough off of it to still be dangerous. And given McCaul’s prominent role in advising Donald Trump on homeland security, that should concern everyone who wants a bold change in direction.

Deport the Rahami Family

gh-1Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 21, 2016:

The Rahami family came to America from Afghanistan as refugees. They made life miserable for their neighbors. When the police tried to bring some order, they cried Islamophobia.

Two of the Rahamis have posted in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other Islamic terror groups on social media. The third actually built and planted bombs to kill Americans. He terrorized two states, tried to kill and maim countless Americans and then shot it out with police.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the central figure in the terror case, brought his wife here from Pakistan and she departed days before his attack. His mother left for Pakistan a few weeks before his bombing spree.

The media, eager for a story of redemption, has widely broadcast the claim that Mohammed Rahami, Ahmad’s father, told the FBI that he was a terrorist. But that was years ago. And Mohammed didn’t turn in his son because there was a terror plot, but because he attacked family members.

As Mohammed put it, “Because he doing bad. He stab my son and hit my wife. I put him in the jail.”

This wasn’t Mohammed Rahami being a good citizen. It was a dysfunctional oversized family of Muslim refugees causing problems for local law enforcement over their own internal disputes.

Ahmad stabbed his brother in the leg with a knife. His father told the FBI that Ahmad was a terrorist. Then he recanted the accusation and said that he had made it out of anger.

This wasn’t patriotism. It wasn’t helpful. It was selfish abuse of the system.

We get a lot of lectures from politicians about the contributions of Muslims, especially refugees, to America.

Here are the sum total contributions of the Rahami family to America. 29 wounded people in Manhattan. 1 wounded police officer in Linden, New Jersey. A chicken place that was the subject of disputes with law enforcement. A lawsuit against Elizabeth, New Jersey stemming from that chicken place, which threw around accusations of Islamophobia. Previous legal issues and a jail sentence for Ahmad over his family dispute. 1 assaulted police officer due to issues with the chicken place.

Then there’s Ahmad’s unwed girlfriend and his baby whose case will be wending through the courts.

A conservative ballpark figure for the Rahamis and their various legal issues would be $100 million. Considering the sheer cost of scrambling manpower and resources across states, the hospital bills, the various insurance costs, the jail time, trial and security, that’s probably erring on the thrifty side.

Unless one of the Rahamis cures cancer, there is nothing they can do to even the score.

3 of the Rahami children support Islamic terrorists. For all the nonsense about “internet radicalization”, it’s obvious that support for terrorism and hatred for America ran in the family. And it might not even end with Ahmad sneering on a stretcher. There’s a history of multiple siblings engaging in terrorism. The most effective Islamic terror cells in this country in recent years have been siblings and married couples.

We can waste more time puzzling it out or we can just get the Rahamis out of the country and let them be Pakistan’s problem or Afghanistan’s annoyance. They don’t have to be our problem anymore.

And that is what we should have done back when these “refugees” first tried to set up shop here.

America does not have a desperate need for terrible fried chicken places or domestic disputes. The FBI doesn’t need to waste more time chasing terror suspects who might not have evolved into terrorists yet because they’re too busy stabbing other family members. It doesn’t need more accusations of Islamophobia. And it does not need the Rahamis.

Immigration policy is about making intelligent choices. And we are making the dumbest immigration choices possible.

The Rahamis and the Tsarnaevs, two dysfunctional terror families of asylumites, are typical of our terrible decisions. Both ate up large numbers of resources while giving us only terror and death.

Politicians tell us that Muslim refugees “contribute” to this country. But is it possible that we can get non-terrorists to make us fried chicken? And is cheap fried chicken really worth the cost of bombs going up? Would we be willing to pay a dollar more for fried chicken so we can just get on a plane without the TSA or so that the countless people who have been killed from 9/11 and onward could still be with us?

Let’s have an adult conversation about this crisis. And we can start by recognizing that granting asylum to the Rahamis was a mistake. If Ahmad’s bombs had worked properly, it might have been an even bigger mistake. As it was countless people were traumatized, countless millions have been squandered on dealing with the Rahamis and there’s no reason to believe that’s about to stop.

We can and should undo that mistake.

Denaturalizing those Rahami family members who have made statements supportive of Islamic terror and then deporting them would be an excellent start. It would send a message to other terror families that playing dumb after their son goes on his terror spree won’t work anymore.

But, for that matter, there’s no reason not to deport the entire Rahami family except technicalities.

We let them in under false pretenses. We let them stay under false pretenses. They have been nothing but trouble. We can’t undo the damage they have done in the past, but we can prevent them from doing any more of it in the future.

It’s either that or we can rerun the same tired narrative from every previous attack. The family will offer contradictory statements. Neighbors and school friends will be shocked at how normal Ahmad was. Rahami’s lawyer will blame everything from discrimination to mental illness. The whole soap opera will play out for the next few days until we all get tired of it. Just the way that it did with the Tsarnaevs.

We’ve seen this movie too many times. Maybe we should change the channel.

Denaturalization and deportation will send a message that we’re serious. It will encourage families of terrorists to come forward when they actually suspect something, instead of abusing the system.

When a Muslim terrorist kills Israelis, Israel demolishes his house. This sends a message that the terrorists are destroying exactly the thing that they are trying to gain. They want to conquer Israel and take over its land. But instead their racist atrocities are depriving them of the land.

Ahmad Rahami sought to kill non-Muslims in order to impose the rule of Islam on America. His writings contained a call to kill non-Muslims. They expressed admiration for Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Al Qaeda leader, who had declared, “We will implement the rule of Allah on earth by the tip of the sword.”

We don’t need to demolish the Rahami family home or their fried chicken place. But we do need to make it clear that Rahami’s actions have not only failed to bring this goal closer, but represent a setback toward that goal by removing the rest of his family from the country.

The Rahamis have been our problem for far too long. It’s time to make them someone else’s problem. We can go back to living in denial until the next attack or we can send the Muslim terrorists of tomorrow a message.

You must be vigilant: How to protect yourself in the face of terror

Sept. 18, 2016: Crime scene investigators work at the scene of Saturday's explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, in New York.  (The Associated Press)

Sept. 18, 2016: Crime scene investigators work at the scene of Saturday’s explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, in New York. (The Associated Press)

Fox News, by Kyle Shideler, Sept. 20, 2016:

In the aftermath of the bombings carried out in New York and New Jersey, Americans are on edge. They know that federal law enforcement is stretched to the breaking point, working literally a thousand cases of Islamic State supporters.

In New York City proper, the epicenter of the latest attack an intelligence program that was once the envy of law enforcement and intelligence officials worldwide has been hamstrung by activists and grievance-mongers who seek to undermine effective counterterror provisions.

In this environment, hearing politicians like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio issue statements downplaying what common sense dictates were acts of terror leads regular Americans to believe that their government officials are unprepared.

In major cities law enforcement have repeatedly been targeted in ambushes, as occurred in Philadelphia and elsewhere. This leads U.S. police to prioritize their own “force protection” posture; so law enforcement can protect their ability to protect us. But it also means we need to do a better job providing our own security, a security which comes from better awareness.

Even the government itself says you have a responsibility for your safety. “If you see Something, say Something,” they urge, with calls to report, “suspicious packages.” But the guidance usually ends there. What are you supposed to see? What qualifies as suspicious?

Americans must develop better “situational awareness.” Too many Americans have their faces buried in Smartphone apps and games.

When you are out in public take a moment to see what’s around you.

To begin with, develop a baseline of your environment. Without an understanding of what “normal” is for your location (whether it’s an airport, a train station, or on your drive to work) you won’t be able to tell what “suspicious” looks like.

We stop and look both ways before we cross the road because we realize we are entering a potentially dangerous environment. This is second nature and no one considers it a burden.

We should similarly stop and look whenever our environment changes. When we walk into a new building, or exit onto the street. Whenever our train stops at a new stop. Your environment has changed as new people get on, and some get off. That means it requires a new look.

We’re told to look for “suspicious” people and items but not what that means, in part because law enforcement doesn’t want to create a mental picture in your head of what “suspicious” looks like. — That way you won’t limit yourself to seeing only what you were told to look for.

Instead ask the question, “Why”?

“Why is that man wearing a winter coat when everyone else is in short sleeves?” “Why did that woman have a bag when she entered and now she doesn’t?” There might be an obvious answer that puts you at ease, but remember it’s not your job to answer the question, only ask it.

Don’t explain away or rationalize behaviors. Call attention to the behavior if appropriate (“is that your bag?”), move away from the area, or find law enforcement. By asking the question “why?” you’ll able to explain what raised your suspicions and not feel hampered by political correctness or accusations about your character.

From the passengers on Flight 93 to the off-duty officer who ended the knife attack in St. Cloud, to the numerous occasions in between, it has been every day Americans, and not the government, who have successfully averted jihadist terror.

You owe it to those heroes, yourself, your family and your fellow Americans to be vigilant, maintain situational awareness and be uncowed in attempts to silence you from speaking up.

Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Threat Information Office for the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank located in Washington, D.C.

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