5 Troubling Takeaways From The Declassified 9/11 Pages

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Center for Security Policy, by Benjamin Weingarten, July 20, 2016:

The infamous 28 previously classified pages from Congress’ joint inquiry into intelligence activities surrounding 9/11 represent far more than a symbolic reckoning with a politically controversial history of apparent Saudi duplicity that the U.S. government felt it imperative to suppress.

As we continue to be struck by jihadists at home and abroad under an at best rudderless and at worst suicidal national security and foreign policy, the report’s substance is live, relevant and beckons critical questions that ought to be demanded by our representatives and the public at large.

Why the federal government in general, and Bush and Obama administrations in particular, sought to keep such information from the public for 15 years is a worthy question, as is the question of why law enforcement did not move to arrest and prosecute or deport many of the individuals associated with the 9/11 attack that were under investigation.

Hindsight is 20/20, it is an open secret that diplomatic officials in foreign countries frequently are involved in pernicious activities like espionage and are provided with certain privileges and immunities if not legally than politically derived. Intelligence and law enforcement officials must use their discretion as to whether to move on suspects or continue monitoring them in the hopes of uncovering bigger networks and threats.

But the suspicious activities and associations of the individuals described in these 28 pages are well beyond the pale, as are many of the report’s other findings.

Here are five of the most consequential points from the 28 declassified pages, along with the critical questions we must be demanding of our government:

  1. America subordinated National Security to politicsThe first page of the report notes that “Prior to September 11th, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative resources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American “ally.”Given the House of Saud’s longtime funding of and overall support for Islamic supremacist Wahhabism around the world, this admission is stunning.And it raises questions that we should be asking today.

    Does the intelligence community not focus investigative resources on Saudi nationals in America today? How about nationals from other Sunni nations in the Middle East that harbor jihadists? What about Iranian nationals, now that the Islamic Republic upon whom we have lavished over $100 billion and offered protection of their nuclear infrastructure has become ade facto ally against ISIS?

    Was the decision not to pursue Saudi nationals a conscious move to subordinate national security considerations to political ones? Is this still American policy?

    There are other revelations as well that merit grave concern and inquiry.

  2. Jihadi front group Proliferated on American soil (and they persist)

    Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence officer who “provided substantial assistance” to two of the 9/11 hijackers was reportedly in contact with individuals under FBI investigation. He also communicated with others at the Holy Land Foundation, which had been under investigation for and ultimately would be charged with providing material support for Hamas as a fundraising front.The federal government today considers individuals from Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups to be legitimate law enforcement partners with whom to consult and to whom to outsource Countering Violent Extremism efforts. Glaringly, law enforcement continues to collaborate with The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)—an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case—in spite of policies to the contrary.Does law enforcement work to identify and monitor the activities of such groups? What are the standards for shutting down such groups? Does law enforcement monitor the activities of those tied to such groups and pursue investigations when merited? What specific policies and practices in place today would prevent other Omar al-Bayoumis from operating on American soil?

  3. Islamic Supremacist Mosques Proliferated on American Soil (And They Persist)

    Several times the 28 pages’ authors make reference to a mosque “widely known for its anti-Western views” that was created in 1998 with funding from the late Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The Culver City, CA-based King Fahad Mosque, then led by among others jihadist-supporting imam Sheikh al-Thumairy—an accredited diplomat at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles—remains open today.This raises a number of questions.If the King Fahad Mosque has not been shut down in spite of the facts described above, on what grounds would the government shut down a mosque? What, if any policies, has the federal government considered in connection with the funding of mosques and other institutions in the U.S. from regimes with ties to jihad? Does law enforcement monitor mosques for anti-Western or other subversive views today? Given exemptions for religious experts, what immigration protections are there to stop Islamic supremacist imams from entering the U.S.?It bears noting that a survey of 100 mosques in America revealed that 84.5% of such mosques had an imam recommending studying violence-positive texts. 58% of mosques invited guest imams who had been known to promote violent jihad.
  4. Jihadists believed Islamic supremacist immigration had hit critical mass over a decade ago

    Another vital section of the report concerns Osama Bassnan, an individual with extensive ties to both two of the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi government. Page 428 reads:

    Bassnan…stated to an FBI asset that he heard that the U.S. Government had stopped approving visas for foreign students. He considered such measures to be insufficient as there are already enough Muslims in the United States to destroy the United States and make it an Islamic state within ten to fifteen years.

    Juxtapose this statement with the fact that America has admitted approximately 1.6 million immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries between 2001 and 2013, among other critical data on Islamic immigration compiled by Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz.

    While Bassnan is just one man, whether our federal government recognizes it or not, immigration is a tenet of jihad known as “Al-Hijra.” While we fret over the potential for jihadist infiltration among refugees from the Middle East today, over a decade ago Islamic supremacists were already claiming that there was a critical mass of Islamic supremacists ready, willing and able to ultimately take down America.

    Should not all future immigration policies be formulated based upon an understanding of the jihadis’ goals, strategies and tactics? Should not current homeland security policies be focused upon isolating and removing the jihadist cancer already metastasizing within?

  5. Saudi self-interest trumped all, and America was (and is) willfully blind

    One of the most significant statements in the declassified pages comes courtesy of a veteran New York FBI agent. In light of Saudi recalcitrance when it came to Islamic terrorism investigations before and after 9/11, this agent “stated that, from his point of view, the Saudis have been useless and obstructionist for years. In this agent’s opinion, the Saudis will only act when it is in their self-interest.”The report goes on to cite several examples of Saudi non-cooperation.

    What is so critical here is that the FBI agent in question identified openly and honestly the nature of the House of Saud. His description could work for practically all other regimes not only in the Middle East but throughout the world.

    One wonders, does U.S. foreign policy start from the first principle of identifying the nature of such regimes, as well as non-state actors with whom they may or may not be allied?

I would submit that self-evidently our national security and foreign policies do not recognize the comprehensive nature of the jihadist threat, Sunni and Shia, state and non-state, violent and civilizational, as has been reflected in numerous examples from the revelations of the recent Senate Judiciary Committee “willful blindness” hearing, to the redaction of the Orlando jihadist transcript, to the purging of documents that identify the very nature of the jihadist threat on American soil from law enforcement offices.

Given the perilous state of America’s national security and foreign policy today with respect to a global jihadist enemy that we fail to even call by its name, it is readily apparent that while we may have identified failures in connection with 9/11, we have not adequately answered the question as to what we must do to prevent such failures in the future.

The declassified 28 pages provide another opportunity for us to ask the necessary questions and seek out answers that may mean the difference between life and death for our nation.

Also see:

Discussion with Sam Sorbo of the Paris Jihad Carnage, Trump, US Mosque Data, & US Policy etc..

By Andrew Bostom, Nov. 19, 2015:

Thanks to Sam Sorbo for a wide-ranging discussion of the ISIS-orchestrated Paris jihad carnage, the merits of Trump’s populist commentary in the aftermath of that jihadist barbarity, and related policy questions on our “Muslim allies,” i.e., perfidious, ISIS-abetting Neo-Ottoman Turkey; US-hating masses of Jordanians celebrating a jihad murderer of US workers as a “martyr,” while chanting “Death to America” in the streets, or “despicable America” at the “martyr’s” burial; and Sisi’s Egypt prosecuting Copts for mocking ISIS.

.We also discussed US mosque, and Muslim-attitude data, vis-à-vis Sharia and jihadism (see here; here; here), and Obama’s morally cretinous abandonment of the bona fide Yazidi and Christians refugees, the former whom his own Administration admits are being subjected to a “designated” genocide, the latter, the Obama Administration grudgingly acknowledges, is suffering from mass killings.

Most importantly, I quoted (just the bold) from this recent interview (blogged and transcribed by Diana West; who added an additional query) of a real 1991 Iraq war fighting hero, then tank commander Col. Douglas MacGregor.

If we commit large ground forces to the Middle East with the goal of defeating or destroying ISIL (the Islamic State)” the results will include all of the following:

“First, it would provide a temporary, rather than a permanent setback to Sunni Islamism. Sunni Islamist fighters will retreat into Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa. We forget that without the tacit and active support of Turkish President Erdogan and his supporters in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, ISIL could not exist.

 “Second, we will yet again ensure the expansion and consolidation of Iranian-Shiite strategic power and influence from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. Our intervention in Iraq created an Iranian Satellite in Baghdad. This time we would end up working with the Russians to ensure Iran controls all of Mesopotamia.

 “Third, like the French, our first action should involve the closing of our borders, not the invasion of the Middle East. Given that our borders are open, immigration (legal and illegal) is uncontrolled and (if) unchecked no change will occur in the conditions inside the United States that foster criminality and terrorism.”

Macgregor continued: “As long as Sunni Islamist leaders in Turkey, KSA and Qatar provide the support and pathways for recruits that brought ISIL to life in the first place, nothing will fundamentally change. Moreover, if we do intervene on the ground, assuming we find anything before it flees into neighboring Arab states and Anatolia, we stand an excellent chance of securing Mesopotamia for Iran and its strategic partner Russia. Since we did accomplish that already in Baghdad, I am unconvinced we should repeat the mistake in the rest of the region.”

Channel 6 wrote: “Instead, Col Macgregor thinks America should secure its borders, enforce Federal immigration law, and halt immigration (legal and illegal) until US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) can find out who is in the United States.”

“Right now, we just don’t know,” Macgregor said. “We have at least 30 million illegals including large numbers of Muslims and Chinese. How many are agents that wish to steal intellectual property or pursue cyber terrorism? How many Chinese and Latino girls are in brothels managed by organized crime? What we do know is that we now have Muslim communities inside the US where the population wants to substitute Muslim holidays for Federal Holidays and Sharia law for the Constitution. I strongly suggest we deal with these internal problems first.”’

I asked Col. Macgregor if he had anything to add. He replied:   “For some reason, we forget that Tsarnaev and his brother, the Sunni Muslims who attacked and killed Americans in Boston, were Turks from the Caucasus, not the Middle East.  Before we march into vast wastelands of the Middle East we had better secure Americans at home first. Marching into the Middle East the last time made matters worse, not better.” 

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ” (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

The War That Hasn’t Ended

Paris attackNational Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy,Nov. 13, 2015:

There is always the chance that the next attack will knock the scales from our eyes. Always the chance that we will realize the enemy is at war with us, even as we foolishly believe we can end the war by not fighting it, by surrendering.

As this is written, the death count in Paris is 158. That number will grow higher, and very many more will be counted among the wounded and terrorized.

“Allahu Akbar!” cried the jihadists as they killed innocent after French innocent. The commentators told us it means “God is great.” But it doesn’t. It means “Allah is greater!” It is a comparative, a cry of combative aggression: “Our God is mightier than yours.” It is central to a construction of Islam, mainstream in the Middle East, that sees itself at war with the West.

It is what animates our enemies.

Barack Obama tells us — harangues us — that he is the president who came to end wars. Is that noble? Reflective of an America that honors “our values”? No, it is juvenile.

In the real world, the world of aggression — not “micro-aggression” — you don’t get to end wars by pronouncing them over, or mistaken, or contrary to “our values.”

You end them by winning them . . . or losing them.

If you demonstrate that you are willing to lose, then you lose. If you sympathize with the enemy’s critique of the West on the lunatic theory that this will appease the enemy, you invite more attacks, more mass murder.

France is hoping the night’s bloodshed is done as it counts its dead. And perhaps it is for now. But the atrocities are not over, not even close.

In Paris, it has been but the blink of an eye since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, after which Western nations joined together in supposed solidarity, supporting the fundamental right to free expression.

That lasted about five minutes.

Intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic rationalized that, while we of course (ahem) champion free expression — “Je suis Charlie!” and all that — columnists and cartoonists who dare lampoon a totalitarian ideology are bringing the jihad on themselves.

It was a familiar story. In 2012, jihadists attacked an American compound in Benghazi, killing our ambassador and three other officials. The president responded by . . . condemning an anti-Muslim video that had nothing to do with the attack, and by proclaiming that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Islamic supremacism killed Americans, and America’s president validated Islamic supremacism.

How did the French and the rest of the West react when jihadists attacked Charlie Hebdo in Paris?

After a fleeting pro-Western pose, they condemned . . . themselves.

What happened when American commentators who had spent years studying Islamic-supremacist ideology warned that mainstream Muslim doctrine was fueling jihad against the West?

The Obama administration — the president and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton — reacted by targeting the messengers, not the aggressors.

Jihadist terror would be obfuscated by euphemisms like “violent extremism” and “workplace violence.” The critics of jihadist terror would be smeared as racist “Islamophobes.” Mrs. Clinton led the administration’s effort to portray examination of Islamic doctrine as hate speech, to brand commentary about radical Islam as illegal incitement.

Wouldn’t that be a betrayal of First Amendment free expression? If so, Mrs. Clinton declared, the government had other ways to suppress it. The administration, she said, would resort to extra-legal extortion: “old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming.”

American government intimidation, not against the jihad but against opponents of the jihad. Could we tell the enemy any more clearly that we don’t think we are worth defending? Could we tell the enemy any more clearly that we are ripe for the taking?

Hard experience has taught us that when jihadists have safe haven, they attack the United States and our Western allies. But as ISIS and al Qaeda expand their safe haven in Syria and Iraq, we tell the world it is everyone else’s problem — the Kurds have to do the fighting, or the Yazidis, the Iraqis, the “rebels,” anyone but us.

As hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the region — many of them young, fighting-fit men whose potential terrorist ties cannot possibly be vetted — we encourage Europe to open its arms and borders to them, promising to open our own as well.

After all, to do otherwise would be to concede that the war is against us — and Obama is the president who “ends” war.

The enemy is not impressed. What Obama calls “ending” war the enemy sees as surrender, as the lack of a will to fight, much less to prevail.

So, as night follows day, the enemy attacked Paris tonight, yet again. Jihadists brazenly proclaimed that they were from Syria, spreading their jihad to France.

Obama responded by soft-peddling the atrocity as a “tragedy,” the acts of war as a “crime.”

A “crime” that tonight killed 158 people (and counting). A “crime” by “criminals” who vow more jihadist acts of war against Paris, Rome, London, Tel Aviv, and New York.

We did not ask for a war with jihadists. Years ago, they commenced a war of aggression against us. Pace Obama, you can’t end such a war by withdrawing, or by pretending it is just a crime. You end it by winning it or losing it.

The enemy senses that we are willing to lose it. Tonight, they pressed their advantage. It won’t be the last time.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

The Center for Security Policy’s Middle East and North Africa Briefing

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Center for Security Policy, Nov.13, 2015:

The Middle East and North Africa: National Security and a Secure Freedom Strategy to respond to the threats posed by the Islamic State and the Global Jihad Movement.

  • Pete Hoekstra, Shillman Senior Fellow, Investigative Project on Terrorism; Former Chairman, U.S. House Intelligence Committee; Author, Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya (2015)
  • Elliot Chodoff, Major in the IDF Reserves; Counter terrorism expertPartner, Lecturer, and Political and Military Analyst at Hamartzim Educational Services
  • Jim Hanson, Executive Vice President, Center for Security Policy, Author, Cut Down The Black Flag: A Plan To Defeat The Islamic State (2015)

Moderator: Frank Gaffney, President & CEO, Center for Security Policy.

WaPo Editor: Obama’s Outreach to Repressive Regimes Backfires, Marring Foreign Policy Legacy

Photo: U.S. Department of State / Flickr

Photo: U.S. Department of State / Flickr

by TheTower.org Staff | 11.09.15

The Obama administration’s outreach to repressive regimes in Myanmar, Cuba, and Iran, rather than having a moderating influence, has instead allowed them to “entrench their authoritarian systems for the long term, while screening out any liberalizing influence,” Jackson Diehl, the deputy editorial page editor of The Washington Post, wrote in an op-ed published Monday.

It nevertheless is becoming clear that the regimes on which Obama has lavished attention have greeted his overtures with a counter-strategy. It’s possible, they calculate, to use the economic benefits of better relations to entrench their authoritarian systems for the long term, while screening out any liberalizing influence. Rather than being subverted by U.S. dollars, they would be saved by them.

Diehl observed that in Myanmar, also known as Burma, the nation’s military rulers have allowed some electoral reforms, but ensured that their party will ultimately keep at least a quarter of the seats in parliament and that Aung San Suu Kyi, the leading opposition figure and Nobel Peace Prize winner, will not become president. Worse yet, in Cuba, the lifting of a travel ban that has led to “billions in fresh hard currency … flowing into the regime’s nearly empty treasury,” has been answered by “[stepped] up repression of the opposition.”

Diehl also highlighted how the nuclear deal with Iran similarly failed to moderate the Islamic Republic.

That Iran’s supreme leader is pursuing a similar course became clear in recent days as the arrests of two businessmen with U.S. citizenship or residency came to light. Having allowed reformist president Hassan Rouhani to negotiate the nuclear deal with Obama, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guard intend to pocket the $100 billion or so in proceeds while forcibly preventing what they call the “penetration” of Western influence that Obama hopes for.

Hence the taking of more U.S. hostages. To the imprisonment of The Post’s Jason Rezaian and two other Iranian Americans, add Nizar Zakka, a U.S.-based Internet specialist, and Siamak Namazi, an Iranian American who has publicly advocated for better relations between the countries. The lack of any U.S. response means that the open season on Americans will continue in Tehran.

Diehl’s column concluded by observing, “So the message is: It’s okay to capture U.S. dollars while excluding U.S. business and cracking down on anyone favoring liberalization. No wonder the dictators are winning.” It followed an unsigned editorial in the Post on Friday calling for Iran to release American hostages or face renewed sanctions.

President Obama has frequently suggested that the nuclear deal would prompt a relaxation of barriers between Iran and the West. So far, the opposite appears to be happening. While anticipating the collection of up to $100 billion in frozen assets, Iran’s military and security services are acting to ensure that there is no further detente. In that they have the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Tuesday celebrated the anniversary of the seizing of hostages at the U.S. Embassy by proclaiming that the slogan “death to America” will live forever.

The Obama administration has reacted to these provocations, including the new arrests, with the equivalent of a shrug. When asked about them, a State Department spokeswoman said, “This is something that we continue to have dialogue on.” Republicans, including House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce (Calif.), have proposed imposing new sanctions on the IRGC. If the Americans are not soon released, that would be a logical course.

The strengthening of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a result of the nuclear deal was an outcome that was predicted by experts. The Post, in editorials published before and after the agreement was reached, argued that given the arbitrary nature of the arrest and prosecution of its reporter, Jason Rezaian, any westerners seeking to do business in Iran would be at significant risk.

The US Vacuum in the Middle East

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The Gorka Briefing, by Sebastian Gorka, Oct 12, 2015:

The Obama administration created a vacuum in the Middle East and then ISIS moved in and now Russia is establishing a beachhead. I discuss this and more on the Sam Sorbo radio show. (17 min)

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Also see:

Expeditionary Warfare  Is the Russian venture in Syria a “Force Protection” or  Expeditionary War at quite a significant scale? NATO countries seem to be missing a common threat assessment over what Moscow is undertaking. I discuss these issues and more on the John Batchelor radio show. (9 min)

Why the US government is on track to ‘normalizing’ ISIS

 (AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

New York Post, by Alex VanNess, August 23, 2015:How long will it take the United States to recognize the Islamic State as a legitimate actor?

That may sound ridiculous. After all, ISIS is a barbaric and sociopathic band of terrorists who proudly highlight their brutality over the Internet. Unfortunately, recent history suggests this doesn’t disqualify them, as horrific as it sounds, from eventual recognition.

Since before 9/11, the Taliban laid claim to numerous terror attacks on civilian populations throughout Afghanistan. They harbored Osama bin Laden, and since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, they’ve been directly responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 American troops.

Yet in January, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest cryptically explained that the Taliban was not a terrorist group but instead falls under a “different classification.”

Earnest’s verbal gymnastics were deployed in the service of explaining away the president’s decision to trade five members of the Taliban for the release of American soldier-captive Bowe Bergdahl.

Hamas is an openly anti-Semitic terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, including several Americans. Since its creation, the Gaza-based Hamas has been dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Hamas is brutally repressive toward women and gays; they have a tendency to savagely drag dead bodies through the streets.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new unity government that incorporated Hamas-appointed ministers. Instead of cutting off financial support to the new government, as required by US law, the Obama administration jumped through hoops to legitimize the new government. Officials said they would continue supporting the Palestinian government because the new ministers were “technocrats” that “don’t represent . . . hard-core Hamas leadership.”

The legitimacy granted to Hamas by this administration is a reflection of the trend held by many pro-Palestinian protestors who now brazenly chant, “we are Hamas!” through the streets of US cities such as Miami.

Cuba has a long history of human-rights abuse. The Cuban government regularly harasses and imprisons dissidents and has been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades. Cuba continues to serve as a safe haven for terrorists and maintains close ties to both North Korea and Iran.

In 2013, Cuba was caught sending weapons to North Korea. It aids terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Iranian proxy Hezbollah and the Basque Fatherland of Liberty (ETA).

Despite this behavior, the administration still decided to take Cuba off the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and has begun the process of normalizing the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

The State Department justified this removal by stating that “Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months” and citing vague promises that they “will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.”

So to recap, within this past year we have stopped referring to the Taliban as terrorists, provided de facto recognition and funding to Hamas and have opened up to the repressive terror-sponsoring Cuban government.

Why should we assume that ISIS will be treated any differently than these groups?

As each day passes, ISIS solidifies its presence in the region. Sure, ISIS commits terrible atrocities. The group regularly — and indiscriminately — beheads innocent people; rapes women and sells them as sex slaves and employs children as executioners.

But its leaders have undeniably been working to establish the Islamic State as, well, as a functioning state. They issue identification cards, pave roads, pick up trash, operate power stations and offer social-welfare programs.

ISIS has carved out its territory by filling the Middle East’s power vacuums, and are thus, in some places, the only game in town. How long before the international community recognizes the ISIS government?

The past precedent of legitimizing various terrorist groups and repressive dictatorships make this all too real of an issue. It’s imperative that the United States stops this trajectory of providing legitimacy to these regimes and turns back the ISIS tide, or we may one day soon be debating the opening of an embassy to the Islamic State in what used to be Iraq.

Alex VanNess is the manager of public information for the Center for Security Policy.