5 Things to Learn from the Latest 3 Jihadist Attacks in Germany

Ansbach-terror-attack-germany-678x381

It is okay to wonder when the madness will end, but it is not okay to do nothing about it.

CounterJihad, by Immanuel Al-Manteeqi, July 28, 2016:

The past few days have been pretty rough for Germans, who witnessed a spate of three violent terrorist attacks over a short span of three days.

On July 22nd, David Ali Sonboly, a 18-year-old holding dual nationalities in both Germany and Iran, opened gunfire and killed nine people at a McDonald’s mall location in Munich, leaving nine dead and more than fifteen injured. Two days later, on July 23rd, a 21-year-old bearded Syrian refugee, who was known to authorities for previous acts of violence, stabbed and killed a pregnant Polish woman with a machete and injured two others in the southwestern German city of Reutlingen (and the human baby in her womb also died). That same night, a 27-year-old Syrian who was denied asylum by German authorities blew himself up outside of a music festival in Ansbach, injuring fifteen people. And these attacks only come about a week after a 17-year-old Afghani refugee, Muhammad Riyad—who we now know was incontrovertibly inspired by ISIS—went on a bloody knife rampage that left eighteen people injured on a train in Würzburg.

The following are some points to bear in mind regarding these recent events:

There is a trend of Muslims of foreign descent committing high-profile crimes in Germany. At least two of the above attacks (the Wurzburg and Ansbach attacks) were indisputably Islamist attacks that were inspired by ISIS. It is not yet clear whether the Syrian refugee responsible for the machete attack was an Islamist, nor is it is clear that the Iranian-German Munich shooter was; though it is not implausible that these two attackers also turn out to be Islamists.

1. There is a trend of false or misleading information being disseminated about recent high-profile Islamist-perpetrated attacks.

One is reminded of, for example, the Omar Mateen Orlando nightclub shootings, which left forty-nine people dead and about fifty people injured. Reports that Mateen was a closet homosexual were widely circulated; indeed, the mainstream (liberal) media flirted with the idea that he may have perpetrated the attack because he was a self-loathing closet homosexual. But the story later turned out to be false, with the FBI stating that, contrary to all the reports, there was no good evidence that he was a homosexual.[1]

Regarding the Munich shooting, it was initially reported on the authority of the German police that David Ali Sonboly did not have a connection with Islamist militants and may have been inspired by Anders Brevik (the far-right terrorist who, in 2011,  killed 77 people and injured more than 300 others in Oslo, Norway). However, recent reports specify that on Monday, Bavarian officials announced that the 18-year-old gunman had been in touch with the Afghan knife attacker over the smartphone application, “WhatsApp.” Also, the BBC apparently scrubbed “Ali” out of the name of the Munich attacker in its reporting.

Perhaps the relevant BBC authority behind this scrubbing believed that disclosing his name would precipitate unnecessary animus towards Muslim refugees.[2] Furthermore, in regards to the Ansbach bombing, the BBC published a headline that read “Syrian migrant killed in German Blast.” Although the headline is technically true, it seems to insufficiently credit the Syrian migrant with the attack. One would think a more apt title would have been something like “Syrian migrant injures fifteen (or many) people in German Blast,” with the active voice being used, not the passive.

2. European authorities may be suppressing some evidence of Islamist ties or motivations in these recent (and even future) attacks.

They have a motivation for doing so, and it is to reduce the amount of violent (and perhaps non-violent) backlash against Muslim refugees in Germany. Furthermore, we also have proof that German authorities did suppress evidence vis-a-vis the actions of Muslim refugees; leaks revealed that German police had greatly underreported the sexual harassment that took place in Cologne, Germany during the last New Year’s celebrations. So it is not implausible that they would choose to suppress the amount of evidence that they release to the public if such evidence points to Islamist motivations.

As three of the above mentioned attacks prove, some of the Muslim refugees seeking asylum are either Islamists or homicidal maniacs.

If, for example, the machete attacker with a previous history of violence turns out to have been a homicidal maniac and not an Islamist, this would be more evidence that the refugee vetting process is faulty, and cannot adequately  screen people with nefarious motives. After all, one would think that homicidal maniacs should be screened off. But in any case, we know that there are more Islamist refugees in Europe operating at the moment. Indeed, Angelika Merkel admitted that Islamist terrorists had been “smuggled” in with the massive influx of refugees. Europe has been infiltrated by Islamists.

3. These recent attacks show the crucial value of profiling.

It can no longer be denied that young and single male-Muslim refugees are at the greatest risk of committing such crimes than other members of the refugee population. Because of this, greater scrutiny should be applied to such refugees. This is a commonsensical position that one can only hope that European authorities are implementing. It is simply silly to give the same level of scrutiny to an elderly Jewish, Christian or Yazidi female refugee as to a young and single Muslim male refugee. Profiling needs to be done. Israel, e.g., profiles and its security forces are the most skilled at dealing with Islamic terrorism in the world. Profiling for high-risk groups would definitely decrease the probability of Islamist terrorist attacks on European soil.

German authorities are not very efficient at containing refugee violence. Why did German authorities not deport or keep under heavy scrutiny the Syrian Muslim migrant who perpetrated the machete attack? After all, he not only fits the profile outlined in the above point, but he has a history of known violence. This should have been a red flag for the German authorities. Commonsense legislation needs to be enacted here, if it is not already enacted—refugees who have been recently given asylum and who perform well-evidenced acts of violence should be quickly deported from Germany. This should be a rule all across Europe.

4. Guns, machetes, trucks, or knives are not the problem—it is the individuals who use them for nefarious purposes.

After all, Germany has one of the strictest gun laws in the world. But that did not stop some in the German legislature from proposing even stricter gun control legislation after the Munich shooting. Just like some American officials after the Orlando shooting, some German officials do not want to face the realities of the situation—and one of those realities—the primary reality—consists of radical Islam, a destructive ideology which disproportionately affects young Muslim males and which teaches the forceful subjugation of non-Muslims.

5. Although Merkel and her fellow multiculturalists in power are not personally responsible for these savage attacks, they do hold responsibility for opening the refugee floodgates.

Germany is clearly feeling the effects of its “open-door policy,” which has turned out to be a national security disaster. The refugee populations contain a significant amount of latent Islamist sentiment, sentiment that is fueling the anti-assimilation and violence that we are now witnessing across Germany and Europe. The multicultural enterprise has failed, and the evidence of this failure is all across Europe, in plain sight for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. But a sizable amount of Europeans have yet to acquire eyes to see and ears to hear, as they still want to continue the refugee flow, even if it is marginally stemmed. Such is the insanity of those who would welcome the very people in their homes who would, if given the power, be the first to exterminate their caretakers.  It is a frustrating and melancholic form of naïveté.

Germans are rightly getting tired of all the Islamic terrorist attacks on their soil. The spate of recent attacks has caused many to come out with the slogan “Merkel Must Go.” Regardless of whether she must go or not, as I mentioned in my article on the Islamist infiltration of Europe, there are some practical steps that Germany and other European countries can take in counteracting the jihadist threat. They bear repeating.

Europeans should severely limit the number of refugees to whom they grant asylum. They should aggressively pressure the refugee populations already residing in their territories to assimilate to their native Western cultures.

In addition, Europeans, especially European lawmakers, need to realize that not all cultures are created equal, and that the German culture is superior to an Islamic culture like that of Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, as suggested above, profiling of asylum seekers should be actively implemented. Non-Muslim refugees from places like Iraq and Syria should be given priority over Muslim refugees from these regions—this is for the simple probabilistic reason that a Muslim is more likely to pose a terrorist threat than a non-Muslim. In addition, refugees who are approved for European citizenship should first be granted probationary European citizenship for a certain period of time; if during that period of time they commit crimes, then their application for permanent citizenship should be revoked.

As I write this today images of an 86-year-old French Catholic priest in Normandy are plastered all over the news—he had just been brutally beheaded and filmed by two ISIS supporters, both of whom were known to authorities and who had previously tried to travel to Syria to join ISIS.

It is okay to wonder when the madness will end, but it is not okay to do nothing about it.

The very least one can do is to educate oneself about the threat of radical Islam and how Islamic law, the Sharia, is not compatible with Western Civilization. Remember that as the late great Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian pastor who was executed by the Nazis for refusing to bow to their ideology and actively working to bring about their fall, once said: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

So let us not remain silent, let us speak, and let us act.


[1] The narrative never made much sense from the beginning, as Mateen had been married to women twice.

[2] Note that ‘Sonboly’ still gives information about the attacker’s background, since Sonbol is a city in the Iranian province of Khurusan; but this would be lost on most of BBC’s readership.

France Sacrifices Priest on the Altar of False Tolerance

quote-unilateral-tolerance-in-a-world-of-intolerance-is-like-unilateral-disarmament-in-a-world-of-armed-anthony-daniels-psychiatrist-222576Answering Muslims, by David Wood, July 26, 2016:

On Tuesday morning, two jihadis stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, with knives and a fake bomb. They forced a Catholic priest to his knees and filmed themselves slashing his throat at the altar. They later shouted “Allahu Akbar” while police shot them to death.

Prior to the attack, French police had caught one of the jihadis repeatedly attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Nevertheless, he was free to roam the streets of France, as long as he wore an electronic bracelet.

Even worse, French authorities knew that the church was being targeted by ISIS, since an ISIS hit list found in 2015 named the church as a target.

Given the circumstances, do French authorities bear some of the blame for the outcome of the attack?

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Also see:

Al Qaeda in Iran

(Credit: Newscom)

(Credit: Newscom)

Weekly Standard, by Stephan F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, THE MAGAZINE: From the August 1 Issue:

Last week, President Barack Obama’s administration dismissed reports of Iranian support for al Qaeda as the product of fevered minds. Claims of collaboration between the Islamic regime and the terrorist organization are little more than “baseless conspiracy theories,” an Obama administration official told The Weekly Standard. “Anyone who thinks Iran was or is in bed with al Qaeda doesn’t know much about either.”

That group of ignoramuses apparently includes the Obama administration’s top official on terror financing. Adam J. Szubin, the Treasury Department’s acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, this week designated three senior al Qaeda officials operating in Iran. A statement explaining the designations says Treasury “took action to disrupt the operations, fundraising, and support networks that help al-Qaida move money and operatives from South Asia and across the Middle East by imposing sanctions on three al-Qaida senior members located in Iran.”

One of the three operatives is part of a “new generation” of al Qaeda leaders, replenishing the ranks of those who have been killed by the United States and its allies. Treasury identifies that man, Faisal Jassim Mohammed al-Amri al-Khalidi, as the chief of al Qaeda’s Military Commission and a key operative in al Qaeda’s global network, responsible for weapons acquisition and a liaison between al Qaeda leaders and associated groups.

This is not the first time the Obama administration has targeted the Iran-al Qaeda relationship. The Treasury and State Departments publicly accused the Iranian regime of allowing al Qaeda to operate inside Iran at least 10 times between July 2011 and August 2014. Testifying before Congress in February 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the relationship as a “marriage of convenience.”

There is considerably more evidence of Iran’s support for al Qaeda in the collection of documents captured during the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound on Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. Senior U.S. intelligence officials have told The Weekly Standard that the document collection includes letters describing the nature of the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda and specific ways in which Iran has aided al Qaeda’s network and operations. The Obama administration has refused to release the documents to the public and fought to keep them hidden during the negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal.

The Weekly Standard contacted the Obama administration official who last week dismissed Iran-al Qaeda cooperation to see if the new designations changed his view that claims of Iranian support for al Qaeda are “baseless conspiracy theories.” He replied: “Al Qaeda has long used Iran as a transit and facilitation point between South Asia and the Middle East, sometimes with the knowledge of some Iranian authorities. At the same time, the Iranian government has imprisoned some al Qaeda operatives, and we believe today’s action provides another opportunity for Iran to take action against al Qaeda.”

Think about that for a moment. The Obama administration accuses Iran of harboring senior al Qaeda operatives and sanctions those operatives in an effort to prevent them from hurting America and its interests. But rather than scold Iran for continuing to provide safe haven to terrorists devoted to killing Americans, the administration spins the move as an “opportunity” for Iran.

An opportunity? Why would the Iranian regime need the U.S. government to provide an “opportunity” to take action against the very terrorists it has been supporting for more than a decade? This is illogical, insulting, and dangerous. But it is consistent with the kind of irresponsible whitewashing of the radical regime that has become a trademark of the Obama administration’s approach to Iran.

The Obama administration provided Iran with billions of dollars through the nuclear deal despite having evidence in its possession that the country was providing safe haven to senior al Qaeda terrorists and despite acknowledging, publicly, that some of those funds would be used for terror. The administration kept secret crucial details of the agreement from Congress, concessions that the Iranians are now citing, convincingly, as evidence that they fleeced the United States and its partners. The administration withheld from the public and from Congress documents from the bin Laden raid that make clear the extent of the support Iran has provided al Qaeda over the years.

And now the Obama administration pretends that another public accusation of Iran’s complicity in al Qaeda’s terror is just an “opportunity” for the terror-sponsoring regime to stop doing what it is committed to doing?

Iran’s support for al Qaeda is not a “baseless conspiracy theory.” It’s a dangerous reality.

Fourth DEADLY Jihad Attack in Germany in a Week

merkel-migrationBy Pamela Geller on July 25, 2016:

This was the fourth violent attack in Germany in the past week. Ansbach is home to a whole lot of American families whose US Army soldiers are stationed at Ansbach, Katterbach, Oberreichenbach et al.?  The jihad bomber’s backpack filled with explosives. One dead and dozens injured.

2500 were attending the music festival the Muslim terrorist had originally targeted. Fortunately, the jihadi was stopped at entrance.

Bavarian Interior Minister Herrmann said the Ansbach bomber pledged allegiance to ISIS leader al-Baghdadi in video found on his phone.

If Obama succeeds with his Muslim immigration plot, we can expect the same bloodshed and murder here.

Islamic attacks in Germany this past week:

Munich shooter SHOUTED “ALLAHU AKBAR” TARGETED, EXECUTED CHILDREN in Munich McDonald’s before rampaging through mall killing 10, police now hunting three

Knife Jihad: MACHETE WIELDING Muslim “refugee” KILLS woman, injuring two others in Reutlingen, Germany

“Slaughterhouse” Muslim AXE Attacker Shouted “ALLAHU AKBAR” During Rampage on German Train, Had ISIS Flag

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Also see:

Yes, the Saudi government helped the 9/11 terrorists

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, July 15, 2016:

Now we know why the missing 28 pages on 9/11 were kept under lock and key for 15 years: They show the hijackers got help across America from Saudi diplomats and spies in the run-up to the attacks. Because of the coverup, a Saudi terror support network may still be in place inside the United States.

A CIA memorandum dated July 2, 2002, stated unequivocally that the connections found between the hijackers, the Saudi embassy in Washington and Saudi consulate in Los Angeles are “incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi government.”

“Numerous” FBI files also fingered two Saudi government employees who assisted the 9/11 hijackers as “Saudi intelligence officers,” the newly declassified documents reveal.

Though much is still redacted, they also show the Saudi government’s ties to the hijackers and other al Qaeda suspects were so extensive that the FBI’s Washington field office created a special squad to investigate the Saudi angle.

But this special focus on Saudi Arabia occurred belatedly, only after the 9/11 attacks, “due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally.’ ” Astoundingly, investigative resources were not dedicated to Saudi involvement in financing and supporting terrorism prior to 9/11.

The explosive information was locked up in a top-secret, highly secured room in the basement of the US Capitol for the past 15 years, ostensibly to protect the Kingdom from embarrassment. (The Post helped get the declassification ball rolling with the December 2013 piece, “Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup.”)

That means for 15 years, 9/11 victims and their families have been denied by their own government critical evidence they’ve sought to sue the Saudi government for responsibility in the death of their loved ones.

It also means Washington has misled the American people about foreign sponsorship of 9/11. For 15 years, we’ve been told that al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors. We were led to believe that 15 Saudi nationals who barely spoke English received no help while in America; that they operated in isolation, like visitors from outer space.

It was all a monstrous lie.

FBI files show Saudi agent Omar al-Bayoumi provided “substantial assistance” to Saudi hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000. Hazmi was the leader of the cell that attacked the Pentagon, while Mihdhar was one of that cell’s muscle hijackers. The two even stayed at Bayoumi’s apartment, working out in his gym.

At the same time he was aiding the hijackers, Bayoumi was getting large salary increases from a Saudi defense front company tied to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, where he worked as a ghost employee. Another alleged Saudi intelligence officer who handled the hijackers, Osama Bassnan, worked closely with Bayoumi.

According to a CIA memo, cited by the now-uncensored 28-page section of the 9/11 report, “Bassnan reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi government officials.”

More alarming, “he and his wife have received financial support from the Saudi ambassador to the United States and his wife.” That would be Prince Bandar, who was promoted to Saudi intelligence minister after 9/11.

The same report says Bassnan, described as a “supporter of Osama bin Laden,” also got “a significant amount of cash” from another “member of the Saudi Royal Family.”

FBI documents and a CIA memo further indicate that the hijackers had contact with Shayk Fahad al-Thumairy, then a Saudi consular official in Los Angeles. Records show the accredited Saudi diplomat had dozens of phone conversations and at least one meeting with Bayoumi in advance of the hijackers’ arrival.

But wait, the Saudi-9/11 conspiracy gets even worse.

A Saudi interior ministry official stayed at the same hotel in Herndon, Va., with Hazmi and other Pentagon cell hijackers on the night before they hijacked the plane that departed that fateful Sept. 11, 2001, morning from nearby Dulles airport. FBI agents felt Saleh al-Hussayen lied about not meeting with or even knowing the hijackers, but when they tried to re-interview him, it was too late — he had been spirited out of the country along with dozens of other Saudi VIP suspects at Bandar’s request, and with the White House’s permission.

Speaking of Bandar, it turns out that an unlisted phone number connected to the good prince’s Aspen chalet was found in the phone book of senior al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaida when he was captured in Pakistan in 2002. Zubaida also just happened to have a contact number for Bandar’s bodyguard at the Saudi Embassy.

Mind you, these stomach-turning revelations are gleaned from merely summaries of FBI case files and CIA memos. There is much rawer intel that remains classified about the Saudi government’s role in 9/11.

The treachery may still be worse than we know. And it may be ongoing. As the 28 pages warn: “Saudi government officials in the United States may have other ties to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

Sperry is author of “INFILTRATION: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington,” which exposes the Saudi terror support network in America.

Daniel Pipes: Three possibilities for Europe’s future as Islamization rises

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The Rebel, July 15, 2016:

At least 84 people were murdered yesterday in France’s third major Islamist terrorist attack in less than a year. In our latest video collaboration with the Gatestone Institute, Daniel Pipes talks about Europe’s crossroads:

Will Europeans succumb to Islamization, or will they rise to fight radical Islam and hold onto Western values? How it looks so far?

Islamic Jihadists in France Gouged Out Eyes, Castrated and Disemboweled Victims

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Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, July 15, 2016:

Warning: Graphic Content

All for the greater glory of Allah.

A French government committee has heard testimony, suppressed by the French government at the time and not released to the media, that the killers in the Bataclan tortured their victims on the second floor of the club.

Police witnesses in Parliament said they vomited when they saw the disfigured bodies.

Wahhabist killers apparently gouged out eyes, castrated victims, and shoved their testicles in their mouths. They may also have disemboweled some poor souls. Women were stabbed in the genitals – and all the torture was, victims told police, filmed for Daesh or Islamic State propaganda. For that reason, medics did not release the bodies of torture victims to the families, investigators said.

Q. For the information of the Commission of Inquiry….can you tell us how you learned that there had been acts of barbarism within the Bataclan:beheadings, evisceration, eyes gouged out …?

Investigator: After the assault, we were with colleagues at the passage Saint-Pierre Amelot when I saw weeping from one of our colleagues who came outside  to vomit. He told us what he had seen.

Q. Acts of torture happened on the second floor?

A. Bodies have not been presented to families because there were beheaded people there, the murdered people, people who have been disembowelled . There are women who had their genitals stabbed.

Q. All this would have been videotaped for Daesh !

A. I believe so. Survivors have said so.

The French authorities have little interest in seeing more information released that will make it even more clear how horrifying these attacks were.

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US Preparing for Islamic State’s ‘Terrorist Diaspora’

FILE - Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they carry the group's flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq, June 16, 2014.

FILE – Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they carry the group’s flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq, June 16, 2014.

VOA, by Jeff Seldon, July 14, 2016:

Top U.S. counterterror and law enforcement officials are offering grim warnings about what awaits once the Islamic State terror group’s self-declared caliphate ultimately collapses.

Much of the U.S. and coalition strategy against IS has been predicated on the idea that without the ability to hold territory in Iraq and Syria, the terror group will falter, unable to make good on its promise of a utopian society.

Yet as the fall of the IS caliphate looks to draw nearer, U.S. officials are increasingly cautious, saying the group will remain a dynamic and formidable threat for some time to come.

“We all know there will be a terrorist diaspora out of the caliphate,” FBI Director James Comey told the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday.

“Those thousands of fighters are going to go someplace,” he said. “Our job is to spot them and stop them before they come to the United States to harm innocent people.”

As many as 40,000 foreign fighters from more than 120 countries are believed to have flocked to the conflict in Syria, with a majority of them joining IS while the group grew and saw its fortunes rise as it advanced across Iraq.

Now, Comey and others worry the terror group is in a prime position to take advantage of the flow home.

“ISIL’s external operations has been building and entrenching during the past two years,” according to National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen. ISIL is an acronym for Islamic State.

“We don’t think that battlefield reverses alone in Iraq will be sufficient to degrade that terrorism capability,” he said. “Over time we will degrade their capability … but there may be a significant lag.”

Forged documents

Adding to the concerns is the terror group’s use of forged documents to get its operatives into Europe, where some became key players in the terror attacks that rocked Paris and Brussels.

“We know it’s a part of ISIL’s tradecraft,” Comey said.

U.S. Homeland Security officials say they have bolstered the department’s abilities to detect fraudulent travel documents, though the risk remains that an IS operative could find a way to sneak into the U.S.

Concerns also persist about the challenges facing some U.S. allies, especially in Europe where, despite ongoing crackdowns, intelligence officials fear IS has become “deeply rooted,” using perhaps hundreds of jihadists who returned from Syria and Iraq to mold thousands of would-be foreign fighters into guerilla units.

“The Europeans have made progress since the horrific attacks in Paris and Belgium, but clearly more progress has to be made,” CIA Director John Brennan said Wednesday during an appearance at the Brookings Institution.

“Some of the countries themselves, their internal and external services, will not talk with one another; they’re not knitted together,” he said.

Just getting intelligence on IS is proving to be problematic.

“ISIL is a savvy, experienced adversary that knows how we collect intelligence,” Rasmussen said Thursday. “I would describe our efforts to gain an understanding of ISIL intentions and strategy and direction as being a harder target right now than what we faced with al-Qaida.”

Social media

One area where officials say they have made good progress is in efforts to prevent U.S. citizens from traveling to join IS. But even there, concerns persist as officials worry some may be heeding the terror group’s call to stay home and find ways to carry out attacks where they live.

The threat of attacks inspired by IS messaging on social media is also increasing.

FBI officials have said they are currently investigating about 1,000 such cases, but face difficulties as many of the would-be terrorists are not actively communicating with other sympathizers or operatives.

“The prospect of homegrown violent extremism — another San Bernardino, another Orlando — is number one on my list,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told lawmakers Thursday when asked what keeps him up at night.

“We are not winning the war against Islamist terror,” House Homeland Chair Rep. Michael McCaul said Thursday.

“Each day we stick with half measures, ISIS is able to dig in further and advance a murderous agenda,” he said, using another acronym for the terror group. “Overall they are not on the run, they are on the rise.”

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

Islamic State Claims Ramadan ‘Victory’ Praising Month’s Jihadi attacks

REUTERS/STRINGER

REUTERS/STRINGER

Breitbart, by John Hayward, July 13, 2016:

The Islamic State has prepared an infographic celebrating its “victory” over the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The terror state claims to have killed and injured 5,200 people during the month.

Foreign Desk News reports the infographic touts Ramadan atrocities such as the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida; the bakery massacre in Dhaka, Bangladesh; a suicide bomb attack on the Canadian embassy in Afghanistan that killed 14 Nepalese soldiers; and the stabbing of a police officer and his wife in France.

al-Naba magazine

al-Naba magazine

“Recent attacks against Nigerian, Jordanian and Somali troops as well as the downing of six drones and demolition of 440 tanks are also among their listed successes,” adds Foreign Desk.

The UK Independent finds the infographic boasting of one of the most deadly ISIS attacks to date, the murder of 300 in Baghdad when a truck bomb was detonated in a market during shopping for the Eid al-Fitr feast that concludes Ramadan.

Curiously, the infographic does not mention the attack on Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, which was blamed on ISIS by Turkish authorities, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

ISIS gleefully divides its victims into 1,988 Shiite Muslims, 965 Kurdish soldiers, 752 Libyan militia fighters, 580 Alawite Muslims in Syria, 285 Christians (described as “Crusaders”), 100 Yemeni soldiers, 50 Egyptian troops, 74 troops from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and 50 troops from Iraq.

It is unclear who the dead counted in these numbers are or whether the number is accurate or inflated. An assessment of all jihadist attacks during Ramadan, not just those claimed by the Islamic State, finds only 421 killed and 729 injured worldwide, including the Istanbul airport attack and documented Taliban bombings.

Also see:

Top Intel Official: Al Qaeda Worked on WMD in Iran

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New evidence of the bin Laden-Iran connection.

Weekly Standard, by Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, July 12, 2016:

Al Qaeda operatives based in Iran worked on chemical and biological weapons, according to a letter written to Osama bin Laden that is described in a new book by a top former U.S. intelligence official.

The letter was captured by a U.S. military sensitive site exploitation team during the raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad headquarters in May 2011. It is described in Field of Fight, out Tuesday from Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Michael Ledeen of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“One letter to bin Laden reveals that al Qaeda was working on chemical and biological weapons in Iran,” Flynn writes.

Flynn’s claim, if true, significantly advances what we know about al Qaeda’s activity in Iran. The book was cleared by the intelligence community’s classification review process. And U.S. intelligence sources familiar with the bin Laden documents tell us the disclosure on al Qaeda’s WMD work is accurate.

Flynn notes that only a small subset of bin Laden’s files have been released to the public. The “Defense Intelligence Agency’s numerous summaries and analyses of the files remain classified,” too, Flynn writes. “But even the public peek gives us considerable insight into the capabilities of this very dangerous global organization.”

It’s not just al Qaeda.

“There’s a lot of information on Iran in the files and computer discs captured at the Pakistan hideout of Osama bin Laden,” Flynn writes in the introduction. The authors note that the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda “has always been strained” and “[s]ometimes bin Laden himself would erupt angrily at the Iranians.” Previously released documents and other evidence show that al Qaeda kidnapped an Iranian diplomat in order to force a hostage exchange and bin Laden was very concerned about the Iranians’ ability to track his family members.

And yet the book makes clear that Flynn believes there is much more to the al Qaeda-Iran relationship than the public has been told. And that’s not an accident. Obama administration “censors have been busy,” Flynn writes, blocking the release of the bin Laden documents to the public and, in some cases, to analysts inside the U.S. intelligence community. “Some of it—a tiny fraction—has been declassified and released, but the bulk of it is still under official seal. Those of us who have read bin Laden’s material know how important it is…”

Not surprisingly, Obama administration officials bristle at Flynn’s characterization of their lack of transparency and lack of urgency on jihadists and their state sponsors. “Mike Flynn, in true Kremlin form, has been peddling these baseless conspiracy theories for years. Anyone who thinks Iran was or is in bed with al Qaeda doesn’t know much about either,” an Obama administration official told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

It’s an odd line of attack, given the fact that the Obama administration has repeatedly accused Iran of directly aiding al Qaeda. The Treasury and State Departments publicly accused the Iranian regime of allowing al Qaeda to operate inside Iran in: July 2011, December 2011, February 2012,July 2012,October 2012, May 2013, January 2014, February 2014, April 2014, and August 2014. In addition, in congressional testimony in February 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the relationship as a “marriage of convenience.”

Asked about the administration’s own repeated statements pointing to the Iranian regime’s deal with al Qaeda, the administration official who dismissed Flynn’s claim as a “baseless conspiracy” theory declined to comment further.

The Flynn/Ledeen claim about al Qaeda’s WMD work in Iran comes with an interesting wrinkle. The authors preface their disclosure of al Qaeda’s work on “chemical and biological weapons in Iran” by suggesting that the revelation was included in documents already public.

But the only document released to date that seems to touch on the subject is a March 28, 2007, letter to an al Qaeda operative known as “Hafiz Sultan.” The letter, which discussed the possibility of Iran-based al Qaeda operatives using chlorine gas on Kurdish leaders and includes a likely reference to Atiyah ‘Abd-al-Rahman, was released by the administration via the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point in May 2012. President Obama’s Treasury Department has claimed that Rahman was appointed by Osama bin Laden “to serve as al Qaeda’s emissary in Iran, a position which allowed him to travel in and out of Iran with the permission of Iranian officials.” It is not, however, addressed to bin Laden and it does not include a reference to biological weapons.

And while the U.S. Treasury and State Department have repeatedly sanctioned al Qaeda’s operatives inside Iran and offered rewards for information on their activities, as noted, statements from Treasury and the State Department do not mention al Qaeda’s “chemical and biological weapons” work inside Iran.

The takeaway: It does not appear that the al Qaeda document referenced by Flynn has been released by the U.S. government.

Flynn and others who have seen the documents say there are more explosive revelations in the bin Laden files kept from the public. Those already released give us a hint. One document, released in 2015, is a letter presumably written by Osama bin Laden to the “Honorable brother Karim.” The recipient of the October 18, 2007, missive, “Karim,” was likely an al Qaeda veteran known Abu Ayyub al Masri, who led al Qaeda in the Iraq (AQI) at the time.

Bin Laden chastised the AQI leader for threatening to attack Iran. The al Qaeda master offered a number of reasons why this didn’t make sense. “You did not consult with us on that serious issue that affects the general welfare of all of us,” bin Laden wrote. “We expected you would consult with us for these important matters, for as you are aware, Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication, as well as the matter of hostages.”

That language from bin Laden sounds a lot like the language the Obama administration used in July 2011, when a statement from the U.S. Treasury noted that the network in Iran “serves as the core pipeline through which Al Qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia.”

David Cohen, who was then a top Treasury official and is now the number two official at the CIA, told us back then: “There is an agreement between the Iranian government and al Qaeda to allow this network to operate. There’s no dispute in the intelligence community on this.”

Why, then, is the Obama administration attempting to dismiss the cooperative relationship between Iran and al Qaeda as a “baseless conspiracy?” Good question.

And it’s one that releasing the rest of the documents could help answer.

Note: Flynn’s co-author Michael Ledeen is a colleague of Thomas Joscelyn at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Senate Intelligence Committee to Investigate ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism Problem

160613082242-01-orlando-shooting-0613-super-169.sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, JULY 14, 2016:

Why do Americans keep getting killed in terrorist attacks by individuals already known to and investigated by the FBI?

That’s the question that the Senate Intelligence Committee will look at over the next six months in the wake of the largest terror attack on American soil since 9/11 that killed 49 and wounded 53 more, where the Orlando killer had already been investigated twice before by the FBI.

As I’ve reported here at PJ Media for nearly two years, the “Known Wolf” terrorism problem has extended to virtually every Islamic terrorist attack inside the U.S. occurring during the Obama administration.

The New York Post reports:

A US Senate committee has launched a multi-pronged probe delving into the failures of U.S. Intelligence agencies under the Obama Administration to prevent ISIS-linked domestic and international acts of terror, The Post has learned.Oklahoma Republican Senator James Lankford, who works on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is spearheading the six-month probe primarily focused on terror attacks committed by individuals who have been investigated or interviewed in the past, officials said.

Lankford noted that the FBI was unable to prevent the terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., Orlando, Fla. and Boston – and the American public is now keeping tabs on the country’s top law enforcement agency […]

Domestically, the official said, the Senate Intelligence Committee is looking into why “these bad guys” are interviewed and placed on watch lists, and then wind up committing terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Sadly, there’s a considerable backlog of cases for the committee to investigate:

Orlando: Omar Mateen had been interviewed by the FBI on three separate occasions, including an open preliminary investigation in 2013 lasting 10 months, after telling others about mutual acquaintances shared with the Boston bombers and making extremist statements. He was investigated again in 2014 for his contacts with a suicide bomber who attended the same mosque. At one point Mateen was placed on two separate terrorism databases but was later removed.Columbus: When Mohamed Barry attacked patrons with a machete at an Israeli-owned deli and later charged police shouting “Allah Akhbar,” at which time he was shot and killed, he had already been investigated by the FBI for making extremist statements. Barry had been entered on a federal watch list and it appears remained on it until the time of the attack as his car had been flagged by authorities, but no further investigation was made.

Garland, TX: Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were killed in a shootout with law enforcement outside a convention center where they had planned to attack a Muhammad cartoon drawing contest. But Simpson had been known to the FBI for years before going back to his involvement in a terror cell in Phoenix. He was even prosecuted for his involvement, and while a judge found that the had lied to the FBI about his plans overseas, he ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to prove Simpson intended to commit terrorism. He was subsequentlyplaced on the no-fly list, and the FBI opened up another investigation after he had made statements online in support of the Islamic State.

Seattle, Newark: in 2014, Ali Muhammad Brown went on a cross-country killing spree murdering 3 victims in Washington and another in New Jersey claiming that they were “vengeance” for U.S. actions in the Middle East. As a teenager Brown had reportedly trained at one of the first known U.S. terror training camps, and was later arrested in 2004 aspart of a Seattle terror cell. At the time of his killing spree, prosecutors said he was on the terror watch list.

Boston: Prior to the bombing of the Boston Marathon by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013 killed three people and injured 264 others. the FBI had been tipped off, twice, by Russian intelligence warning that Tamerlan was “a follower of radical Islam.” Initially, the FBI denied ever meeting with Tamerlan, but they later claimed that they followed up on the lead, couldn’t find anything in their databases linking him to terrorism, and quickly closed the case. After the second Russian warning, Tamerlan’s file was flagged by federal authorities demanding “mandatory” detention if he attempted to leave or re-enter the U.S. — but his name was misspelled when it was entered. An internal report of the handling of the Tsarnaev’s case unsurprisingly exonerated the FBI.

Underwear Bomber: When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Detroit-bound Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009 with 289 other passengers wearing a bomb intended to bring down the plane, he was already well-known to U.S. intelligence officials. The month before the attempted bombing, Abdulmutallab’s father had gone to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and met with two CIA officers telling them he wasconcerned about his son’s extremism. His name was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database, but not the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database or the no-fly list. when asked about the near-takedown of the flight and the missteps, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano remarkably told CNN that “the system worked.”

Fort Hood: Within days of Major Hasan’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing 13, news reports indicated that the FBI was aware of his email correspondence with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki nearly a year before he launched his terror attack. The FBI was quick to issue a press release absolving themselves of responsibility, claiming that the email exchange was innocuous and consistent with Major Hasan’s religious research. But after the emails intercepted by the FBI were made publicin 2012, there were clear indications of Major Hasan’s terrorist intent. Hasan had also repeatedly given powerpoint briefings that proved to be highly controversial to his fellow Army colleagues that threatened insider attacks by Muslims if they weren’t released as “conscientious objectors.”

Little Rock: When Bledsoe gunned down two U.S. Army soldiers in front of a Little Rock recruiting center in June 2009, killing Pvt. William Long, it was not his first contact with the FBI. Bureau agents had interviewed Bledsoe in Yemen and after his return to the U.S. in 2008, but had failed to follow up. After the Little Rock shooting, FBI officials said that he wasmotivated by “political and religious motives,” but refused to identify the incident as a terrorist attack.

Going back to October 2014 when I first identified the problem of “Known Wolf” terrorism and coined the phrase, I’ve documented the “Known Wolf” phenomenon both here in the U.S. and in other Western countries:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism FailureDec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015: Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015: France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015: Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

Aug. 22, 2015: European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Oct 14, 2015: Yet Again: Turkey, Israel Terror Attacks Committed by “Known Wolves”

Nov 14, 2015: One Paris Attacker Was Previously Known to Authorities, Marks Fifth ‘Known Wolf” Attack in France This Year

Feb 16, 2016: Machete Attack in Ohio Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

May 16, 2016: NBC News Reports Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ U.S. Terrorists

June 12, 2016: Orlando Night Club Attack by “Known Wolf” Terrorist Previously Investigated by FBI

From all available evidence it seems clear that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the ‘Known Wolf’ terror problem comes none too soon.

Also see:

It’s Time to Designate Black Lives Matter a Terrorist Organization

ghFront Page Magazine, by Frontpage Editors, July 11, 2016:

At a Black Lives Matter (BLM) rally in Dallas yesterday, demonstrators protested the recent shootings of two African American men by white police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana. “Enough is enough!” the marchers shouted while they held signs bearing slogans like: “If all lives matter, why are black ones taken so easily?” Then, as we now know, an assassin opened fire on the law-enforcement officers who were on duty at the rally. Four policemen and one transit officer were killed, and six additional police were wounded.

No analysis of this atrocity would be complete without noting the now-indisputable fact that every word uttered by BLM and its mouthpieces is an unadulterated lie. The entire self-identified purpose of this movement—which is to demand “an immediate end to police brutality and [to] the murder of Black people and all oppressed people”—is rendered utterly fictitious by a single statement of fact: Of all suspects who are killed by police in the US each year, 41.7% are white, 20.3% are Hispanic, and 31.7% are black—even as blacks account for 38.5% of all arrests for violent crimes, which are the types of crimes most likely to trigger a confrontation with police that could result in a fatality.

These numbers do not in any way suggest a lack of restraint by police in their dealings with black suspects. They suggest precisely the opposite. And that’s the dirty little secret. Evidence of systemic racism in police shootings simply doesn’t exist. Anywhere.

The premise underlying BLM’s whole mission is a lie.

And, of course, justice for brutal and unnecessary loss of black life was never the real agenda of BLM anyway. This fact is painfully evidenced by the vast and ever-accumulating body count of black murders committed predominately by other blacks — every incident of which is met with silence by BLM’s race agitators. Rather, BLM was always a hate group animated not by a desire to save lives, but to take them. Its message is one of hate; for white people, for black people who did not follow its radical agenda, and for the entire nation.

Last night the BLM joined the ranks of major terrorist organizations.

A suspect in the attack last night had made it clear to a negotiator that, inspired to anger to anger by the BLM movement, he wanted to kill “white people” and especially “white officers.”

That’s what racism looks like. That’s what terrorism looks like.

What happened in Dallas was inevitable. It was not an isolated incident. Just ask the families of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, murdered by BLM supporter Ismaaiyl Brinsley over a BLM cause.

The assassination of the two NYPD officers bore a striking resemblance to the Dallas attack. Had the media and their Democratic allies backed away from their unthinking support of BLM, Dallas need not have happened. Instead the media continued pushing its drumbeat of lies.

Yet BLM case after BLM case collapsed. The Freddie Gray hoax, which wrecked a city, proved hollow, just as the Michael Brown case had. And yet every Democrat, from Obama on down, did not waver.

Dallas is the defining line. The targeted murder of five police officers is a clear terror attack.

And the cause was the incitement by BLM and its media and political allies against police officers. BLM and its media propagandists have spent years portraying cops as killers out to exterminate the black community. What happened in Dallas was a direct result of that exterminationist rhetoric.

BLM’s message is that the country and its police officers are out to commit “genocide” against “brown bodies,” that the nation is illegitimate and that police officers are racist killers. Instead of being shunned, this rhetoric was rewarded, as when literary darling Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote that police officers “were not human to me.” For his hate speech, Coates received a MacArthur Genius Grant.

Some agreed with Coates. They saw police officers as less than human and killed them.

We cannot forget the origins of the Dallas attack in such rhetoric or BLM protesters chanting, “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.” If we forget, then the next BLM terrorist attack will be our responsibility.

And while we can respect the rights of even hate groups to operate, we cannot tolerate terrorist organizations. It’s time to shut down BLM before the next shooting happens.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund has recorded a very significant spike in police officer deaths. Last June, Chief Brown responded to the shooting attack at DPD headquarters by saying, “Go to a restaurant with us one time. Go eat lunch with us. We’re never going to sit with our back to the door.”

But it’s impossible to stop everyone who wants to kill a police officer. And it’s time we turned our attention to those who are behind the attacks.

The media is still repeating the same lies that we heard in Ferguson or Baltimore about “peaceful protests” suddenly turning violent. But those lies won’t fly anymore. The protests were never peaceful. When they become openly violent, it’s not a radical shift but an implementation of their core message.

BLM is a terrorist movement, and it should be designated as such by the U.S. government. It started out as the KKK. Now it’s evolving into Al Qaeda with an ideological core that promotes the idea of a total war while “lone wolves” do its dirty work. It’s time to hold it — and its supporters — accountable. It’s up to us to see that Dallas never happens again.

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Also see:

Released Gitmo Detainee Goes Missing in Latin America

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Front Page Magazine, by Michael Cutler, July 7, 2016:

The Obama administration has played politics with virtually every issue, including issues that endanger national security and the safety and well-being of Americans.

Through the issuance of executive orders on immigration that make a mockery of our nation’s borders and immigration laws and that contradict commonsense and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission millions of illegal aliens whose true identities cannot be determined now live in towns and cities across the United States.

Nearly every terror attack carried out in the United States has a connection to a failure of the immigration system.  Most of the terrorists who have been identified were admitted into the United States, proving that our immigration system lacks integrity.  But failures of the immigration system also include failures to physically secure our nation’s northern and southern borders.

Our borders have become little more than “speed bumps” to smugglers with record quantities of narcotics, including heroin, flowing freely into the United States, along with transnational criminals and gang members.

The immigration policy of “Catch and Release” that has turned hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have been convicted of committing serious crimes loose on towns and cities across the United States has been the focus of a series of Congressional hearings, yet nothing has convinced the administration to stop this lunacy.

Catch and Release is not, however, limited to the way that illegal aliens are apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents are released, with the vast majority failing to appear for immigration hearings.  In order to keep his promise to close the U.S. facility at Guantanamo, Mr. Obama has ordered ordered terror suspects to be released from custody at Guantanamo.  Some have returned to the battlefield where they threaten innocent civilians as well as members of the armed forces of a number of nations including the United States.

It has been reported that 80 radical Islamist terrorists remain in custody in Guantanamo.  They must not be released from that important U.S. facility.

Undoubtedly many of these former detainees would love nothing better than make their way to the United States to launch deadly terror attacks inside our borders.  ISIS has made it clear that the United States is their prime target.

On July 5, 2016, Fox News reported, “Mystery surrounds whereabouts of former Gitmo detainee in South America.”

The detainee that the report refers to is Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian native.  In 2014 he was freed from custody and sent to Uruguay, a destination country for five other released detainees.  Now it has been disclosed that he has gone missing.  There are contradictory reports as to whether or not he may have entered Brazil legally, or illegally.

The latest reports indicate that he may have used a false passport — a threat noted by the 9/11 Commission that stated that in the hands of a terrorist a passport is a weapon.

What the news reports failed to discuss is the fact that the Tri-Border Region of Brazil, where Brazil borders on Argentina and Paraguay, is a hot-bed for radical Islamist terror groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and likely for al-Qaeda and ISIS.

This is not a new development.  The Federal Research Division of the United States Library of Congress prepared a report in July 2003 about this deadly part of the world that was updated in December 2010.  The title of that report is, “Terrorist And Organized Crime Groups In The Tri-Border Area (TBA) Of Sourh America.”

The report was critical about corruption of the government of Brazil and noted that transnational criminal organizations from across the world have set up shop in that section of Brazil.

Read more

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Video: Robert Spencer on the Muslim Brotherhood’s persecution of Christians

RS060916bJihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, July 6, 2016:

In this new video, I explain why a prominent Coptic Christian organization supports the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

What Should We Make Of The Islamic State’s Ramadan Wave Of Violence?

smoke-1024x683FPRI, Author:  Clint Watts

The Islamic State has taken the final week of Ramadan to make a big statement: “We will not go quietly.” In the last seven days the terror group has shown that a “wounded Islamic State is a dangerous Islamic State” lashing out in an unprecedented wave of suicide bombings and other attacks around the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.

The Islamic State’s gradual decline in Syria and Iraq has finally brought a long expected shift in the group’s tactics from conventional military operations back towards insurgencies paired with regional and international terror attacks. The Islamic State overtook al Qaeda by declaring a caliphate and has since surpassed their forefathers as a terror group by executing a daily string of directed and networked attacks in six countries while narrowly missing in a seventh.

Here’s a quick recap of the Islamic State’s Ramadan Campaign. (For an explanation of the directed versus networked taxonomy see “Directed, Networked and Inspired: The Muddled Jihad of ISIS and al Qaeda Post Hebdo.” I’m estimating whether these attacks are directed or networked based upon available open source information. These classifications may change as further information arises.)

June 27 to July 5: The Islamic State’s Cascading Terrorism

Success breeds success for the Islamic State and their directed suicide assaults seek to amplify their image, rally their base during a down time, and inspire their supporters to undertake further violence in their name. Here’s what the Islamic State has perpetrated in short order.

Interestingly, only two of the above attacks do not involve a suicide operation – Bangladesh and Malaysia. Jama’at ul Mujahideen Bangladesh, a group connected with the Islamic State, but not a formal wilayat, had until recently only perpetrated targeted sectarian assassinations and this attack appears to not only be a major, violent step forward for the group but also seems more reminiscent of the Paris attacks and other international hostage seizures. Association of the Malaysian grenade attack with the Islamic State would also be a new trend regionally. In both cases, these peripheral attacks in South and Southeast Asia show the lesser capability of these distant Islamic State associates. It’s difficult to tell at this point whether they don’t have the capability to perpetrate suicide bombings or the personnel willing to execute such attacks.

Ultimately, the Islamic State has cascaded its terror attacks striking one target in a different country each day. Will it inspire attacks globally? Only time will tell, but possibly not. Western media has paid short attention to these attacks with the exception of the Istanbul airport. As al Murabitoon and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb learned with its Western African terror campaign post Paris, Western media coverage endures when Westerners are killed in the West, all other attacks have less value.

Here are some other items of note from this past week’s terror campaign.

The Islamic State against all enemies – Muslim, Christian, Shi’a, Sunni, Arab, Western

Some have incorrectly suggested that the Islamic State nimbly focuses its attacks predominately against Westerners or certain audiences. This week’s Islamic State attacks and resulting deaths point to the opposite conclusion: all enemies of the Islamic State are targets and Muslims have suffered the worst. In Saudi Arabia alone, the Islamic State hit near a Western consulate, a Shi’a mosque and a Sunni holy site. Lebanon saw targeting of Christians. Bangladesh brought a focus on Westerners. The Istanbul attack killed mostly Muslims. Yemen and Saudi Arabia saw the Islamic State concentrating on security forces. Each Islamic State affiliate may pick and choose certain targets for local reasons but as an aggregate, no one faith or ethnicity is spared from the Islamic State’s wanton violence.

Islamic State’s Remaining Fighters: Die In Place Or Go Out With A Bang?

The Islamic State lost Fallujah last week and some of its members that tried to escape were pulverized in massive airstrikes. Many Islamic State foreign fighters can’t return home or have no Islamic State affiliate to drift back to. For those homeless foreign fighters, the choice is simple: they can either die in place fighting for a crumbling caliphate or they can go out as martyrs striking their homelands or a regional or international targets. The Islamic State owns the largest number of homeless foreign fighters in history. As the group loses turf, they’ll likely become part of the largest human missile arsenal in history and be directed against any and all soft targets they can reach. This campaign is likely not the end of the Islamic State’s suicide campaign, but only the beginning.

Foreign Fighters Go As Far As Their Passports Will Take Them

Last winter, the West suffered from the Islamic State’s decision to allegedly dispatch hundreds of European foreign fighters back to their homelands. Paris and Brussels burned and operatives across a host of European countries were arrested. Western passport holders and those hidden in refugee flows pushed as far as they could to hit high profile soft targets. Turkey struggled for years with foreign fighters passing easily through their borders into Syria and fighters from the Caucasus and Central Asia found the country quite permissible, likely facilitating this past week’s Russian-speaking suicide bombers. Richard Engel reported that as many as 35 operatives were recently dispatched into Turkey alone. The Yemeni and Saudi attacks focused more heavily on security forces and were likely perpetrated by Islamic State pledges from their respective countries and possibly a Pakistani. The bottom line: the Islamic State is sending its bombers to the locations where they can achieve the biggest results. They are not in short supply of Western, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, or Russian operatives – expect more suicide attacks in places that al Qaeda only dreamed of reaching.

Strong Counterterrorism Matters: The Islamic State Preys On The Weak

Those countries with stronger counterterrorism and security apparatuses have fared the best this past week. The Saudis, long known for squelching terrorists in their midst, sustained far fewer deaths than other countries hit this week. Iraq, despite years of investment, seems unable to protect itself from suicide attacks with yet another massive suicide bombing. Lebanon and Bangladesh, two locations of rising promise for the Islamic State (see Figure 1), have weaker security environments and local conditions ripe for extremism. The Islamic State will likely learn from this past week and exploit those places where they got the greatest return on their investment.

Is The Islamic State Looking For An Exit Strategy?

In conclusion, the Islamic State’s rapid pace of violence may come at a time when they need to find a new home for the brand. Their caliphate revenues and oil production continue to dry up. They will need to shift to illicit schemes and donations to survive. Successful attacks attract investors: will this latest string of violence bring money? Probably not, but what this rampant violence can do is signal to Islamic State’s central leadership which affiliates are still committed to the Islamic State brand. Affiliates, existing or emerging, may want to carry on the Islamic State’s vision outside of Syria and Iraq. Much like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was for the al Qaeda Central during their downturn, Islamic State Central will need an affiliate to carry the black banner forward or their caliphate experiment will crumble as fast as it was created.

ISIS-affiliates-Figure-1

Also see: