Homeland Insecurity: Al Qaeda ‘Refugees’ on Welfare

HT_al-qaeda_weapons_split_nt_131118_16x9_992-450x321By :

Unbelievably, the Obama administration finds itself embroiled in yet another scandal. ABC News is reporting that dozens of alleged Islamic terrorists with bomb-making skills may have been mistakenly allowed to take up residence in the United States, due to a flawed screening system. Hundreds of FBI specialists have been assigned to an around-the-clock investigation of FBI archives that contain 100,000 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) retrieved from Iraq and Afghanistan. The investigation was prompted by the 2009 discovery of a pair of al Qaeda operatives living as war refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The men subsequently admitted in court that they were terrorists who had attacked U.S. troops in Iraq.

A 2010 video shows one of the men, Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, field stripping what the FBI revealed to be a Russian PKM machine gun. Subsequent surveillance videos show Alwan and accomplice Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, with a Stinger missile launcher and and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher (rendered inoperable by the FBI) provided to them during a sting operation. Alwan was also known as a braggart who told an agent involved in the sting that he had killed American soldiers in Iraq. “He said he had them ‘for lunch and dinner,’” FBI Louisville Supervisory Special Agent Tim Beam said, ”meaning that he had killed them.”

The FBI was initially led to Alwan in 2009 by an intelligence tip. His claims of being a refugee facing persecution if he remained in Iraq fell apart when a cordless phone base wired to unexploded bombs, and dug up by U.S. soldiers Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005, contained his fingerprints.

In 2010, the FBI learned that Alwan had been arrested in Kirkuk in 2006, where he confessed to being a terrorist during his interrogation. In 2007, Alwan crossed into Syria. During that crossing, his fingerprints were entered into a biometric database maintained by U.S. military intelligence in Iraq. Despite that reality, Alwan’s prints were not associated with the Iraqi insurgency, ostensibly because fingerprints of Iraqis were collected on a routine basis.

Hammadi had also been detained by Iraqi authorities. Yet at a 2012 House hearing, a senior intelligence official for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) testified that both men’s names and fingerprints were vetted by the FBI, DHS and the Defense Department and “came in clean.”

During their trial, it was revealed that the FBI had employed a confidential human source (CHS) to record meetings and conversations with the two men, beginning in August 2010. After the CHS confided that he was aiding the Iraqi insurgency, Alwan participated in deliveries of weapons and money he believed were being supplied to Iraqi terrorists. Hammadi was recruited by Alwan the following January. Both men were finally arrested in May 2011. Alwan pleaded guilty on all counts of a 23-count indictment on Dec. 16, 2011. Hammadi pleaded guilty on all counts of a 12-count superseding indictment on August 21, 2012. During sentencing, Alwan received 40 years after cooperating with authorities. Hammadi was given life in prison, and is appealing the sentence.

Unfortunately, these two men apparently represent the tip of a potentially deadly iceberg. “We are currently supporting dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations like that,” said FBI Agent Gregory Carl, director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC). House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) implied that assessment was an understatement: “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more than that,” he said. “And these are trained terrorists in the art of bomb-making that are inside the United States, and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me.”

The DHS offered up the typical bureaucratic cop-out. A statement released by spokesman Peter Boogaard contended that the federal government

continually improves and expands its procedures for vetting immigrants, refugees and visa applicants, and today [the] vetting process considers a far broader range of information than it did in past years. Our procedures continue to check applicants’ names and fingerprints against records of individuals known to be security threats, including the terrorist watchlist, or of law enforcement concern… These checks are vital to advancing the U.S. government’s twin goal of protecting the world’s most vulnerable persons while ensuring U.S. national security and public safety.

A couple of individuals “known to be security threats” managed to elude both the DHS and the CIA. Despite the fact that would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on the government’s terror watch list, he wasn’t on their no-fly list. Thus, he was able to board Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas day in 2009 with a bomb. That it failed to detonate was nothing more than sheer luck. Then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s initial reaction? She told ABC News that the “system has worked really very, very smoothly over the course of the past several days.”

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was also on a watch list, the CIA’s classified Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database (TIDE). He was added to that list eighteen months before the 2013 Boston Marathon. Unlike the people on Northwest Flight 253, the people of Boston paid a brutal price for bureaucratic ineptitude.

Ironically, or perhaps infuriatingly, the Tsarnaev family and the Kentucky terrorists enjoyed similar treatment, courtesy of America’s welfare state. As theDaily Mail reveals, when Alwan and Hammadi were arrested, “they were living in public housing and collecting government assistance checks in Bowling Green, Kentucky.” The paper further notes that several other bomb-making terrorists may be enjoying the same lifestyle.

“How do you have somebody that we now know was a known actor in terrorism overseas, how does that person get into the United States? How do they get into our community?” wondered Bowling Green Police Chief Doug Hawkins.

The answer to that question is fairly simple. We have a president who has directed various government agencies to engage in selective law enforcement, and/or impose a filter of political correctness on every decision they make.

This governing philosophy has degenerated DHS into a lawless agency that capriciously enforces law and security policy on an entire range of issues, for instance, the federal immigration law mandating that those seeking entrance into the country not be welfare-reliant. (emphasis added)

Read more at Front Page

Gitmo Parting Gifts: Job Training & Islam Classes

en_0501_martin_640x480-450x336By :

In another triumph of idiocy, the Obama administration is negotiating with the Yemeni government to release Guantanamo Bay and Afghan terrorists to a “rehabilitation” facility to be constructed outside Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a. According to the Los Angeles Times, the detainees “would undergo counseling, instruction in a peaceful form of Islam, and job training in Yemen before any decision on freeing them,” would be made.

The deal is part of the president’s ongoing effort to close Guantanamo Bay. He reiterated that intention on November 4, asking Congress to once again consider lifting restrictions on detainee transfers. Speaking on behalf of the president, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney contended that Congress has “significantly limited our ability to responsibly reduce the detainee population and ultimately close the facility.”

Rightfully so. Unlike the Obama administration, Congress recognizes that many nations refuse to repatriate potential terrorists, as well as the reality that some released prisoners rejoin the ranks of those seeking to destroy the West. A report released early last month by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) revealed that out of the 603 terrorists released from Gitmo, 100 have been “confirmed of reengaging” in terrorist activities, and another 74 are “suspected of reengaging.”

In other words, as many as 174 thugs we had already risked Americans lives to capture are now free to pursue jihad against our soldiers all over again. Not only is such a reality apparently a reasonable tradeoff for an Obama administration determined to elevate politics over the safety of Americans, it is a willful determination to ignore the threat that Yemen itself presents and has presented for quite some time.

In 2009, Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) joined Republicans calling for a halt of Gitmo prisoner transfers to Yemen because it was “too unstable.” Nine days earlier, the Obama administration had released 12 detainees from Guantanamo Bay, six of whom ended up in Yemen. Four days after that, Yemen-trained “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up Northwest flight 253, and a Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate claimed credit for the attempt. Furthermore, ABC News revealed that the Christmas Day plot was abetted by two Gitmo detainees released to Saudi Arabia in 2007.

At the time Obama blamed it all on a “systemic failure” of Yemen’s security apparatus. He imposed a moratorium on releasing detainees to Yemen in January 2010, and promised not to release any detainee who posed a threat to the American people. Yet in spite of the ongoing terror threat emanating from that nation, Obama lifted his moratorium on May 23, 2013. He did so despite the belief of intelligence officials that the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen represents the greatest threat to the U.S. homeland and that the affiliate’s creation was abetted by several former Gitmo detainees released in 2006.

But it gets worse. According to al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) expert Gregory Johnsen, the formation of AQAP was the result of a merger between a “handful of former Gitmo detainees, primarily Saudi citizens” who slipped into Yemen, and al Qaeda members who staged a 2006 break from a maximum security prison in Sana’a. Regardless, the president remained defiant. “I think the lifting of the moratorium reflects a changing U.S. policy that reflects a changing Yemen,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in August.

Thus, the president is continuing the effort to create a de facto “half way house” for the Yemeni prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. Yemenis comprise more than half the facility’s remaining 164 inmates.

Read more at Front Page

Drone Strike Reportedly Wounds Al Qaeda Master Bomb Maker

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri

By Bill Gertz:

A Saudi national known to be a key al Qaeda bomb maker was wounded during a U.S.-led drone strike in Yemen, according to a Yemeni news report.

Ibrahim al Asiri, the bomb maker, was targeted during a missile strike launched from a U.S.-operated armed drone in southern Yemen that killed two other al Qaeda terrorists, the online Yemeni news outlet Al Watan reported Sunday.

A U.S. official had no public comment but urged caution regarding claims that al Asiri was dead.

The drone attack took place in Yemen’s southernmost Lahij Governorate that borders the Gulf of Aden. Covert, U.S. military-operated drones carried out the strike. The United States operates a drone base located in southern Saudi Arabia.

According to the Al Watan report, photos of the drone strike victims showed one man whose facial features matched al Asiri, who was said to have been severely wounded.

Al Asiri is one of the most wanted terrorists and was behind at least two unsuccessful plots to blow up airliners.

Al Watan quoted eyewitnesses as saying the drone strike Saturday was carried out against a passenger car that heard the drone and sought refuge under a bridge. However, before the passengers could get out of the car, a missile struck the vehicle and destroyed it.

After seeing that the missile had not hit the passengers, the drone fired three more missiles against four people who had fled from the car.

Al Asiri is believed by U.S. officials to have been the mastermind behind the bomb concealed in the underwear of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on the way to Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009.

Abdulmutallab was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2012.

Al Asiri also is suspected in the plot to blow up cargo planes using printer cartridges filled with plastic explosive in 2010.

Al Asiri, a chemist by training, is also believed to have trained other members of the group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Saturday’s drone strike followed an unprecedented public warning by the U.S. government that terrorists were planning an attack on the United States.

Read more at Free Beacon

 

Indictment: Jacksonville Man Tried to Join AQAP

 

 Shelton Thomas Bell

Shelton Thomas Bell

IPT, by Abha Shankar:

#StandDown – Obama Surrenders the War on Terror

president-obama-at-the-national-defense-university-in-washington-dc-446x350

By :

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see,” President Reagan counseled in his farewell address. We would do well to heed his advice as President Obama attempts to lead America backwards, to September 10. Make no mistake: That was the not-so-subtle message he sent last week during his speech at the National Defense University—a speech that was so full of inaccuracies that one is left to conclude the president is either living in an alternate universe or willfully disregarding the facts. Just consider some of the statements he made.

1. “There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure.”

In fact, Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and injured 32 others during his shooting rampage at Ft. Hood in November 2009—an attack authorized by al Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen (AQAP). Since the U.S. Army—no doubt following orders far up the chain of command—refuses to classify the Ft. Hood shooting as a terrorist attack, the survivors’ injuries and acts of bravery cannot be categorized as “combat related.”

In addition, the Boston Marathon bombing was a large-scale attack carried out by individuals who were radicalized to jihad and trained by jihadist elements in Russia.

Moreover, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, inspired and trained by AQAP, almost took down a passenger plane in December 2009; and Faisal Shahzad, trained by jihadists in Pakistan, deployed an IED in Times Square in 2010. Just as catching a thief in the act doesn’t mean he hasn’t committed a crime, the fact that these attacks failed does not mean they were not attacks.

2. “The core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the path to defeat…They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston.”

Like a five-year-old, the president seems to believe that if he says something often enough and loud enough, it will become true. In fact, al Qaeda affiliates did carry out the attacks on Benghazi. No matter what the final draft of those infamous talking points said, several of the attackers were al Qaeda operatives.

3. “Unrest in the Arab world has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria.”

In fact, American acquiescence and aloofness have allowed extremists to gain a foothold in these places.

Read more at Front Page

 

Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad

By MICHAEL B. MUKASEY

If your concern about the threat posed by the Tsarnaev brothers is limited to assuring that they will never be in a position to repeat their grisly acts, rest easy.

The elder, Tamerlan—apparently named for the 14th-century Muslim conqueror famous for building pyramids of his victims’ skulls to commemorate his triumphs over infidels—is dead. The younger, Dzhokhar, will stand trial when his wounds heal, in a proceeding where the most likely uncertainty will be the penalty. No doubt there will be some legal swordplay over his interrogation by the FBI’s High-Value Interrogation Group without receiving Miranda warnings. But the only downside for the government in that duel is that his statements may not be used against him at trial. This is not much of a risk when you consider the other available evidence, including photo images of him at the scene of the bombings and his own reported confession to the victim whose car he helped hijack during last week’s terror in Boston.

But if your concern is over the larger threat that inheres in who the Tsarnaev brothers were and are, what they did, and what they represent, then worry—a lot.

For starters, you can worry about how the High-Value Interrogation Group, or HIG, will do its work. That unit was finally put in place by the FBI after so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up the airplane in which he was traveling as it flew over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 and was advised of his Miranda rights. The CIA interrogation program that might have handled the interview had by then been dismantled by President Obama.

image

(Zuma Press) In the White House Situation Room on April 19, President Obama meets with his national-security team, including FBI Director Robert Mueller to his immediate left.

At the behest of such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, and other self-proclaimed spokesmen for American Muslims, the FBI has bowdlerized its training materials to exclude references to militant Islamism. Does this delicacy infect the FBI’s interrogation group as well?

Will we see another performance like the Army’s after-action report following Maj. Nidal Hasan‘s rampage at Fort Hood in November 2009, preceded by his shout “allahu akhbar”—a report that spoke nothing of militant Islam but referred to the incident as “workplace violence”? If tone is set at the top, recall that the Army chief of staff at the time said the most tragic result of Fort Hood would be if it interfered with the Army’s diversity program.

Read more at WSJ

Mr. Mukasey served as attorney general of the United States from 2007 to 2009 and as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York from 1988 to 2006.

 

Interview with Michael Mukasey starts at 3:26

 

 

 

Islamic Terror Plots and More Smoke and Mirrors

Hussam Ayloush

by IPT News