Former Jihadist Detained by the U.S. Linked to Brussels Video

isis videoIPT, by John Rossomando  •  Mar 25, 2016

A pro-ISIS propaganda video released Thursday that celebrates the massacre in Brussels is linked to Moez Bin Abdul Qadir Fezzani, aka “Abu Nassim,” a detainee released by the Obama administration to Italian custody in December 2009.

Al-Battar Media, responsible for producing the video, is reported to be the media arm of the Kalibat al-Battar al-Libi, an elite Libyan-based ISIS unit with ties to the Islamists responsible for the Paris and Brussels attacks. Al-Battar is headed by Fezzani, an intelligence source tells the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

Confusion reigns over where he was held because U.S. and Italian media reports suggest he was held in Guantanamo Bay. However, U.S. government records suggest he was released to Italian custody from a U.S. detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan. Fezzani used several aliases, which adds to the uncertainty.

A court in Milan tried and ultimately acquitted Fezzani in March 2012 for his alleged involvement in jihadist activities prior to his initial capture in Afghanistan 2001.

Italy then expelled Fezzani and sent him back to his native Tunisia, even though Italian authorities considered him a security threat.

Upon his return to Tunisia, Fezzani joined the Al-Qaida linked Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, which has been involved in a jihadist insurgency against the country’s government in the wake of the Arab Spring. A year later, in 2013, Fezzani traveled to Syria to fight under the banner of Al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. He then went to Libya in 2014 where he became a leader of the Kalibat al-Battar militia, which ISIS’s elite special forces unit.

Tunisia’s Department of the Interior issued an arrest warrant for Fezzani on Feb. 8. He is suspected to have been involved in the planning of last year’s ISIS attacks in Sousse and at Tunis’ Bardo museum.

“If the information on Fezzani proves to be true, it is very disturbing. Just like the head of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, this was a man we had in our detention facility and let go,” terrorism analyst Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who teaches at the Marine Corps University, told the IPT. “More and more it seems that the administration, and their counterparts in Europe, do not understand that the ideologues of global jihadism are far more important than the operational commanders of individual cells or organizations.”

U.S. Institute for Peace Hosts High Level Global Muslim Brother… Again

455725694Center for Security Policy, by Kyle Shideler, Oct. 27, 2015:

The United States Institute for Peace (USIP), a federal institution created and funded by Congress, will host Global Muslim Brotherhood big-wig, and leader of the Brotherhood-linked Ennahda (Renaissance) Party of Tunisia Rachid Ghannouchi on Wednesday, October 29th.  Ghannouchi has been reported to hold the position of deputy head of the International Muslim Brotherhood organization, a group which answers directly to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide. Ghannouchi also served as the assistant Secretary General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), run by Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Under Qaradawi the IUMS issued fatwas in support of Hamas suicide bombings, and the targeting of Americans in Iraq during the Iraq War, and on called for jihad against secular leaders in Syria, Egypt and Libya. IUMS is considered a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

During it’s time in power in Tunisia, Ghannouchi’s “moderate” Ennahda party was implicated by the Tunisian opposition for orchestrating the murder of secular leftist politicians.

Thanks in part to a public backlash against the assassinations, Ennahda is out of power, and Ghannouchi has plenty of time to visit with Washington D.C. allies. The USIP also hosted Ghannouchi on September 29th, 2014, and February 24th, 2014.

Typically, Ghannouchi’s presentations at USIP are more moderated than the 2001 statement he gave Al Jazeera praising the mothers of Palestinian suicide bombers:

“I would like to send my blessings to the mothers of those youth, those men who succeeded in creating a new balance of power…I bless the mothers who planted in the blessed land of Palestine the amazing seeds of these youths, who taught the international system and the Israel (sic) arrogance, supported by the US, an important lesson. The Palestinian woman, mother of the Shahids (martyrs), is a martyr herself, and she has created a new model of woman.”

Ghannouchi’s close association with the USIP was likely facilitated at least in part by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), a pro-Islamist think tank with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Early CSID board members included known Muslim Brotherhood members Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, who played a role in founding many early Muslim Brotherhood organizations. Both are also linked to the so-called “Safa Group” and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood think tank suspected of supporting Hamas and other terror groups. CSID members, like former CSID Board Chairman Abdulaziz Sachedina also have IIIT ties.

The USIP is well aware of CSID’s  long and troubled history, having been notified of the problems by former USIP board member Daniel Pipes as far back as 2004, when Pipes notified the group that it had invited as a speaker Kamran Bokhari. Bokhari was tied to British group Al-Muhajiroun, an organization banned in 2010, and linked to about half of all British Jihadist terror attacks in the past twenty years. Al-Muhajiroun co-founder Abu Hamza al-Masri was recently sentenced to life in prison for attempting to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon. While Bokhari claims to have left Al-Muhajiroun before Pipe’s intervention, he has other additional questionable ties, including serving as the treasurer for the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), one of the oldest MB-linked organizations in the United States.

USIP’s other federally funded run-ins with jihad supporters included funding a study on Hamas’s moderation, co-authored by Osama Abu-Irshaid, board member of the American Muslims for Palestine, and the former editor of Al-Zaytounah, the paper of the Islamic Association for Palestine. IAP was an organization of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, whose purpose in the United States’ is to support Hamas ideologically and financially.

USIP’s unrelenting support for Ghannouchi is a reflection of the wider support that exists for Muslim Brotherhood organizations more generally among a large swathe of public, semi-public, and private sector diplomacy practitioners.

Day of terror: Islamist attacks around world follow ISIS’ Ramadan message

terror_attacksFox News, June 26, 2015:

Terrorists struck around the world Friday, beheading a man in France, gunning down dozens on a beach in Tunisia and launching a suicide attack on a mosque in Kuwait, in a series of attacks that followed an ISIS leaders’ call to make the month of Ramadan a time of “calamity for the infidels.”

There was no confirmation that any of the attacks were ordered by ISIS, although the suspects who attacked a U.S.-owned gas factory in southeastern France left the terrorist army’s flags next to the severed head of their victim. If the attacks were indeed an answer to ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani’s recent call for savagery, it would represent a hideous perversion of Islam’s most holy period, which began June 17 and ends July 17.

Jihadists should make Ramadan a time of “calamity for the infidels … Shi’ites and apostate Muslims,” Al-Adnani said in a recent audio message. “Muslims everywhere, we congratulate you over the arrival of the holy month. Be keen to conquer in this holy month and to become exposed to martyrdom.”

The attack in France occurred first, at 9:50 a.m. local time in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, northwest of the Alpine city of Grenoble. Two suspects dressed as deliverymen crashed a car into an industrial gas plant operated by Allentown, Pa.,-based Air Products & Chemicals, stormed inside and killed at least one person. The head of the victim— a local transportation company businessman–was left on a fence, with Arabic phrases scrawled on it and ISIS flags nearby,Sky News reported, citing French legal sources.

Nearly simultaneously, two gunmen attacked two hotels in a Tunisian coastal town popular with British tourists, killing at least 27. Although there was no immediate word on the victims, the fact that most were on the beach during the holy month indicated that those killed were almost certainly tourists.

A third attack killed at least 16 in a Shia mosque in Kuwait City. ISIS is comprised of Sunni Muslims, and its members have a long and bloody history with Shia Muslims, as evidenced by Al-Adnani’s call. The attack came immediately following Friday prayers. There was no claim of responsibility, but ISIS has claimed responsibility for bombings at two different Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

French officials wasted no time labeling Friday’s attack an act of terrorism.

“The attack was of a terrorist nature since a body was discovered, decapitated and with inscriptions,” French President Francois Hollande told a news conference in Brussels, where he cut short his attendance at an EU summit to return to France.

At least one man, who authorities said was a 30-year-old extremist known to authorities, was under arrest following the France attack. There were unconfirmed reports of others arrested or killed, but a manhunt is underway for any other suspects involved in the attack.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, speaking from the scene, described the attack as “barbarous” and a “terrible terrorist crime.” He said the suspect had been known to foreign intelligence services since 2006, but that police monitoring of him had ceased in 2008. The man did not have a criminal record, the minister added.

French authorities told Fox News that approximately 10 people were injured.

The factory is operated by Air Products & Chemicals, an Allentown, Pa.,-based company that makes industrial gases.

“Our priority at this stage is to take care of our employees, who have been evacuated from the site and all accounted for,” the company said in a statement. “Our crisis and emergency response teams have been activated and are working closely with all relevant authorities.”

A local official confirmed the nation is on high alert.

“The terrorism threat is at a maximum,” Alain Juppe, mayor of Bordeaux, told Fox News.

The attack came months after well-known ISIS social media accounts and propaganda video threatened attacks in the U.S., Belgium and France.

“We advise you that we will come to you with car bombs and explosive charges and we will cut off your heads,” stated one such threat that mirrored Friday morning’s attack.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident. The country went on high alert after a series of attacks in January that left 20 people dead in and around Paris region, including the Islamic terrorists.

France has been grappling with radical Islam for several years, with the Jan. 7 attack at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo putting the nation’s homegrown terrorism problem in the spotlight earlier this year.

In that attack, two radical Muslim brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, heavily armed and incensed over the publishing of caricatures of Muhammad, stormed the magazine’s offices and killed 12, including staffers and a police officer. Authorities hunted down the Kouachi brothers for three days, until finally cornering them in a printing house near Paris’ Charles de Gaulle international airport, and killing them in a shootout.

As police searched for the brothers’, a friend and fellow home grown Islamic terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, took at least 15 people hostage at a kosher supermarket in Paris. After a long standoff– with Coulibaly threatening to kill all his hostages unless the Kouachis be allowed to go free– police stormed the market, killing him. Four hostages were also killed in the incident.

Fox News Channel’s Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Also see:

Seven Dead In Tunisian Tourist Hotel Gun Attack

Update: Death toll now at 27

This picture shows the body of a western holidaymaker lying dead on the beach in Sousse - empty sun loungers can be seen behind him after people fled the area  Daily Mail

This picture shows the body of a western holidaymaker lying dead on the beach in Sousse – empty sun loungers can be seen behind him after people fled the area
Daily Mail

Sky News, June 26, 2015:

Gunmen have attacked tourist hotels in the Tunisian town of Sousse – which is popular with British holidaymakers – killing seven.

The country’s interior ministry said two hotels were targeted.

Tourist John Yeoman has barricaded himself inside his room

Tourist John Yeoman has barricaded himself inside his room

Photographs have been seen by Sky News showing a man in his 60s or 70s lying in a pool of blood in his swimming shorts.

Tour operator Thomson is one of the UK-based travel firms which offers holidays at hotels in the town, but it is unclear which hotel has been targeted.

British tourist David Schofield told Sky News that he was by the pool when he heard “quite a large explosion” and guests started to run back towards the hotel.

“We heard people saying there were guns on the beach.  People were shooting on the beach,” he said.

“People are running around the hotel. No-one has really been told what to do.”

Another, John Yeoman, has barricaded himself inside his hotel room using a bed and chair.

At least one gunman has been killed, according to security sources cited by the Reuters news agency.

Casualties have been reported.

Another holidaymaker, Susan Ricketts, said: “It sounded like a machine gun going off.

“There are people crying and going hysterical. We just came up to our room.

“They’re saying it’s going on in the hotel next to us. It’s just a stretch of hotels along here. There’s nothing else.”

Meanwhile deadly explosions have hit a Shiite mosque in Kuwait’s capital after Friday prayers.

Also see:

Look who smuggled Soros into ‘Arab Spring’ country

arab-springWND, by Aaron Klein, June 11, 2015:

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker recently brought billionaire George Soros to a business roundtable with the president of Tunisia to discuss rebuilding that country’s economy.

Largely unreported is that Soros’ Open Society funded the main opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima, which championed the riots that led to the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Soros also funded other opposition groups during the so-called Arab Spring revolutions.

Three weeks ago, Pritzker held the roundtable at Blair House, the official state guest house for the U.S. president. In attendance were Soros, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi; Washington, D.C.-based Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher J. Nassetta and former CIA chief David Petraeus, who is now principal at the global financing firm KKR & Co.

The Capital Intelligence Group reported Pritzker used her personal contacts to arrange the business roundtable for Essebsi, which was aimed at building new business connections for Tunisia’s faltering economy.

Capital Intelligence reported: “An almost immediate game changer for the Tunisian economy will be the upcoming ‘recapitalization’ of the country’s three state-owned banks, Societe Tunisiene de Banque (STB), Banque Nationale Agricole en Tunisie (BNA), and Banque du L’ Habitat.”

Pritzker in March traveled to Tunisia to keynote an Investment & Entrepreneurship Conference held in Tunis. The event also was attended by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who now heads the emerging market private equity fund Albright Capital Management.

Soros was not a bystander to the so-called Arab Spring, which began with the Tunisia Revolution in December 2010 that spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Open Society Institute’s Middle East and North Africa Initiative has provided numerous grants to a wide range of projects that promote so-called democratic issues across the region, including in Tunisia.

Soros’ Open Society funded the main opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima, which championed the riots there that led to Ben Ali’s ouster.

The Open Society Foundations’ Arab Regional Office opened a satellite office in Tunisia.

Also after Ben Ali’s downfall, the Open Society sponsored Al-Bawsala, a public policy organization that monitored Tunisian parliament and local city halls across the country by “using new technologies to make information, such as budget analysis and the performance of officials, accessible to citizens,” according to the official description.

“Al Bawsala also advocates for a better way of governing and citizen inclusion through advocacy and technical assistance to members of parliament and government officials,” the Open Society Institute said.

Sihem Bensedrine, Radio Kalima’s editor in chief, previously discussed how the Open Society funding was critical to keeping her opposition radio station open and broadcasting in Tunisia.

“Funding support from International Media Support and Open Society Institute has also allowed us to pay our journalists and maintain a stable team. This in turn makes our radio more powerful, more efficient,” said Bensedrine.

In December 2011, Bensedrine received the “In Pursuit of Peace” award from the International Crisis Group, an international “crisis management” consortium for which Soros is a board member.

The ICG long has petitioned for the Egyptian government to normalize relations with the Muslim Brotherhood.

U.S. board members of the ICG include Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser to Jimmy Carter; Samuel Berger, Bill Clinton’s national security adviser; and retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who made headlines in 2009 after meeting with Hamas leaders and calling for the U.S. to open relations with the Islamic group.

Gareth Evans, president emeritus of the ICG, is the founder and co-author of the international “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.

The doctrine is the very military protocol used to justify the NATO bombing campaign that brought down Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya.

Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by President Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”

With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.

Benghazi suspect designated by UN, State Department

Screen-Shot-2015-04-15-at-7

LWJ, BY THOMAS JOSCELYN | April 15, 2015:

The State Department added Ali Ouni Harzi to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists yesterday. Harzi, who is based in Syria, “joined Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T) in 2011 and was a high-profile member known for recruiting volunteers, facilitating the travel of AAS-T fighters to Syria, and for smuggling weapons and explosives into Tunisia,” according to State.

Curiously, the State Department’s designation page does not mention Harzi’s role in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.

Days earlier, the United Nations (UN) added Harzi to the Security Council’s al Qaeda sanctions list. The UN’s designation page for Harzi reads: “Planned and perpetrated the attack against the Consulate of the United States in Benghazi, Libya on 11 Sep. 2012.”

Indeed, Harzi was one of the first suspects in the Benghazi attack to be publicly identified. The Daily Beast first reported that Harzi’s involvement in the assault on the US Mission and Annex were discovered after US officials learned that he had “posted an update on social media about the fighting shortly after it had begun.” This was “[o]ne of the first clues the intelligence community had about the perpetrators” in Benghazi.

Harzi was apprehended in Turkey in October 2012 at the behest of US officials. He was making his way to Syria at the time.

After being deported to Tunisia, Harzi was held for weeks. In December 2012, FBI agents questioned him about the Benghazi attack. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist organization, stalked the agents. The group posted their pictures online while condemning the Tunisian government for allowing the FBI to interview Harzi. That same month Ansar al Sharia Tunisia released a video discussing Harzi’s case and confirming the FBI’s role in his questioning.

In early January 2013, despite his suspected role in the death of four Americans, Harzi was released. Ansar al Sharia posted a video celebrating Harzi’s release. Harzi made some brief comments in the video, which showed him being congratulated by his fellow jihadists.

US officials, including then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Brennan, who became the CIA director, were asked about Harzi’s release during congressional hearings.

In late January 2013, Clinton told senators that the Tunisians had “assured” the United States that Harzi was “under the monitoring of the court.” In February, during his confirmation process to become CIA director, Brennan claimed that the US government “didn’t have anything on” Harzi and, therefore, his release was not worrisome.

As the UN’s designation shows, however, there has long been evidence that Harzi was directly involved in the Benghazi attack. And Tunisian authorities clearly failed to keep tabs on Harzi.

On February 6, 2013, a left-wing Tunisian politician named Chokri Belaid was assassinated. Then, on July 25, another popular politician, Mohamed Brahmi, was killed. The following day Tunisian authorities claimed that Harzi was involved in both assassinations. However, neither the UN nor the State Department designations mention this allegation. Another Ansar al Sharia Tunisia member who went on to join the Islamic State has boasted of his role in planning the murders.

In March of this year, the Tunisian National Guard issued an arrest warrant for Harzi.

In addition to Ali Ouni Harzi (whose name is often spelled Ali Ani al Harzi in the press), the UN designated Tarak Ouni Harzi, Ali’s brother. Tarak was a known facilitator for al Qaeda in Iraq. Tarak was a “dangerous and active member of Al Qaida in Iraq” as of 2004, according to the UN and “also active in facilitating and hosting members of Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia…in Syria.” Tarak was sentenced, “in absentia, on 30 October 2007, to 24 years imprisonment for terrorist activities by the Appeals Court of Tunis.”

Despite being wanted by international authorities, both of the Harzi brothers remain at large. It is not clear if they are working for the Islamic State, the Al Nusrah Front, or some other jihadist groups in Syria.

The leader of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, Abu Iyad al Tunisi, remains free as well. Al Tunisi is a longtime al Qaeda operative who helped orchestrate the assault on the US Embassy in Tunis on Sept. 14, 2012, just three days after the Benghazi attack. The State Department has also designated Abu Iyad as an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist and noted his role in the Sept. 14 assault.

Both Ansar al Sharia Libya, which was one of the al Qaeda groups responsible for the Benghazi attack, and Ansar al Sharia Tunisia have operated as part of al Qaeda’s network in North Africa.

Jonathan T. Gilliam: Politicians aren’t doing anything to stop terrorist attacks on U.S.

Published on Mar 19, 2015 by NewsmaxTV

Fmr. Navy Seal and FBI Agent Jonathan T. Gilliam joins Steve on the latest mass gunman terror attack in Tunisia and it’s implication for our homeland security.