Archive for February 16, 2017

Trump admin drops fight against travel ban ruling, plans to replace with new executive order

February 16, 2017

Trump admin drops fight against travel ban ruling, plans to replace with new executive order, Washington Times

immigranbanprotestsFILE – In this Feb. 2, 2017 file photo, protestors gather at Brooklyn Borough Hall to pray before a rally in protest of President Donald Trump

President Trump plans to rescind his executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and replace it with a revised order “in the near future,” according to documents filed by the Justice Department in an ongoing legal battle over the order.

Mr. Trump confirmed at a press conference Thursday that a new order is in the works and will likely be introduced early next week. Providing scant details about the new order, he said it “is being tailored to the decision that we got down from the court.”

The Justice Department on meanwhile asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals not to conduct an en banc review of a ruling that is currently barring enforcement of Mr. Trump’s order on travel and refugees, noting the new draft order in the works.

“Rather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns,” DOJ lawyers wrote in a brief filed in court Thursday.

The government lawyers instead asked the court to “hold its consideration of the case until a new Order is issued and respectfully requests that the panel opinion be vacated at that time.”

On Jan. 27, Mr. Trump signed the executive order to block most travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations — Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Libya and Yemen — until stronger vetting could be implemented, indefinitely halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. and block other refugees for 120 days. Three days later, a Seattle-based federal judge issued a ruling that temporarily halted enforcement of the order across the country.

A panel of three judges from the 9th Circuit last week upheld the lower court’s temporary restraining order, but a larger panel from the 9th Circuit could reconsider that decision through an en banc rehearing.

Neither the Justice Department nor Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who successfully challenged Mr. Trump’s executive order, want the broader 9th Circuit review. But an unidentified judge on the 9th Circuit last week requested that the court’s 25 judges vote on whether to send the case to a panel of 11 judges from the circuit for the en banc reconsideration.

“The panel created no conflict with precedent of this Court or the Supreme Court; rather, the panel’s opinion is firmly grounded in precedent,” Washington state attorneys wrote in Thursday’s filings. “There is thus no basis for en banc review, especially given the interlocutory nature of Defendants’ motion and the cautious approach of the panel’s opinion.”

Granting such a hearing “would simply delay the merits of the preliminary injunction appeal to no substantive purpose,” Washington state attorneys wrote.

The DOJ has also asked to put off any briefings before District Judge James L. Robart, who originally issued the stay upheld by the appellate court, until after the entire 9th Circuit decides whether or not to take up the case.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump defended his order despite its clunky rollout.

“We are saving American lives every single day. The court system has not made it easy for us,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ve taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country. Though parts of our necessary and constitutional actions were blocked by judges, in my opinion [in an] incorrect and unsafe ruling, our administration is working night and day to keep you safe.”

Maryland Mosque Memorializes Islamist Assassin

February 16, 2017

Maryland Mosque Memorializes Islamist Assassin, Clarion Project, February 16, 2017

pakistan-mumtaz-qadri-supporters-1-aamir-qureshi-afp-getty-640Pakistani supporters of Mumtaz Qadri (Photo: © AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty)

Baltimore-based Imam Ijaz Hussain, stated, “Mumtaz Qadri was not a terrorist and whoever says, “We are with you O Prophet” cannot be a terrorist.”

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A mosque in Maryland held a celebration in honor of an Islamist assassin who killed a governor in Pakistan for speaking about against the country’s heinous blasphemy laws.

As reported by Rabwah Times, the Gulzar E. Madina Mosque in Pikesville, Maryland, hosted an Urs celebration, a traditional commemoration reserved for saints and holy people, for Mumtaz Qadri who killed the governor of Punjab province Salman Taseer in 2011.

Qadri was Taseer’s bodyguard and was incensed that Taseer called for the reform of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws. Taseer had also expressed support for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman framed for blasphemy, arrested and sentenced to death in Pakistan.

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan, which carry the death penalty, are often used to exact revenge against Pakistan’s mistreated minority populations. Often, just the hint of a blasphemy accusation will spark mob violence resulting in death for the person charged.

After Qadri shot Taseer to death, he was lauded as a national hero.  More than 100,000 people attended his funeral and riots ensued for weeks after he was arrested, tried and hanged for his crime. He is viewed as a saint by a large sector of the population and a shrine is being built in Pakistan to memorialize him.

The Urs event at the Maryland mosque was advertised in the Urdu Times, the largest Urdu newspaper in the U.S. Rabwah Times reported a robust turnout, with participants including young children and teenagers.

The speakers included Syed Saad Ali, an Islamic scholar based in New Jersey, who chastised the crowd, saying:

“Warrior Mumtaz Qadri kissed the noose in love for Prophet Mohammed When Qadri was in jail for five years. What did we do? What effort did we make (for his release? Why did we not go where he was being held? Qadri did everything for us and for the love of Islam and we could not even stand by him? People say Islam teaches peace…..I say Islam teaches us ghairat (honor). Who will now stand up?

Ali also praised another killer, Tanveer Ahmad, a British-Pakistani man who stabbed to death Asad Shah, another British-Pakistani in Scotland. Shah, from the Ahmadi sect, made posts on social media that Ahmad deemed blasphemous.

Speaking about Ahmad, Ali said,

“Our warrior Tanveer, who is sitting in a jail in Scotland, I don’t know if someone knows or not, when that Mirzai (Ahmadi) spoke his ‘sacrilegious rubbish,’ he went there and stabbed him 27 times, and the police arrested him and right now he is in a jail in Scotland. So if we just take a step forward, angels will automatically come for our help. But what Mumtaz Qadri has done is something amazing, he has surpassed all these warriors.”

Another speaker, Baltimore-based Imam Ijaz Hussain, stated, “Mumtaz Qadri was not a terrorist and whoever says, “We are with you O Prophet” cannot be a terrorist.”

Hussain praised the American system of free speech, saying it allowed events such as these to be held:

“We have some freedoms here (in the U.S.) which we do not even have in other Muslim countries. This is the beauty of this country. There are some countries where we can’t even praise the prophet, we can’t celebrate the Day of Imam Hussain. This country has freedom of religion, and this is the beauty of this country.”

RIGHT ANGLE: Who Watches the Watchdogs?

February 16, 2017

RIGHT ANGLE: Who Watches the Watchdogs? Bill Whittle Channel via YouTube, February 17, 2017

Democrats fear Trump’s success with Russia

February 16, 2017

Democrats fear Trump’s success with Russia, American ThinkerE. Jeffrey Ludwig, February 16, 2017

(Please see also, Pro-Kremlin Pravda.ru: ‘ Iran Is Becoming A Major Problem, First And Foremost For Russia’s Interests’. If Russia decides to ally with Trump’s American rather than with Khamenei’s Islamic Republic — the world’s most prolific sponsor of Islamist terrorism — it would be a good thing. — DM)

In one of his latest tweets, President Donald Trump stated, “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!”  He is rightly concerned that he is being portrayed as soft on Russia, and even of cooperating with the Russians in their nefarious plots.

Certainly, the characterization of Trump as “soft” on Russia is bewildering when one considers that during the Obama years, an arms agreement was signed between us and Russia; Russia and the U.S. were on the same page regarding the Iran deal; Obama relented on his Syrian red line, so called, by accepting Russian intervention to get Bashar al-Assad to eliminate his chemical weapons (whether or not he did is still the $64,000 question); and Russia was allowed to take Crimea with nary a peep from the USA.  Further, we all recall Obama saying to Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev when he thought the microphones were off that he would be able to work more closely with the Russians once he was re-elected.  Thus, it seems to any impartial observer (including Hillary) that the Obama administration was quite open to deals with Russia.

Yet, because of some positive remarks about Vladimir Putin from Trump, the public position taken by the Dems as a whole has been that Trump is soft on Russia.  Because their criticism of Trump contradicts their actions taken over eight years, it seems as if their criticism is more of a political ploy than merely a needed rebuke.  Trump is against the Iran deal and will be no pushover regarding Russian aggression, but there might be common ground between the U.S. and Russia in the fight against ISIS and other maniacal Islamic groups.  This possibility is deeply offensive to the Democrats who insist, against overwhelming evidence, that there is no threat to the U.S. or the West from adherents of Islam.

So, Trump’s positive comments should not be taken as meaning that we are all lovey-dovey with Putin or Russia as it exists today.  Rather, a reorientation of our relationship is needed.  The Democrats are afraid of such a reorientation of U.S. policy with Russia – one that will successfully lead to an abandonment of the Iran deal and the deliverance of a knockout blow to the Islamic maniacs in the Middle East and around the world.  Those successes would prove that the Democrats are weak and silly creatures.  Further, Trump has reintroduced a personal element into the insipid world of diplomacy and has a sense that Putin’s macho man persona matches more with his own than with the Obama effeminacy.

 

Nasrallah warns: We can hit Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona

February 16, 2017

Source: Nasrallah warns: We can hit Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona – Israel National News

Hezbollah leader says all of Israel now under threat: ‘We can strike any part of Israel, we can hit Dimona nuclear reactor.’

Hassan Nasrallah

Hassan Nasrallah

Reuters

The Hezbollah terrorist organization warned Israel it could strike anywhere in the country, and threatened to hit the nuclear reactor in Dimona in southern Israel.

Speaking on Thursday, Hezbollah chairman Hassan Nasrallah boasted that his group was capable of hitting any strategic target in the Jewish state, including the nuclear research facility in Dimona – one of Israel’s most sensitive sites.

“We invite the Israeli enemy to empty not just the ammonia tanks in Haifa,” mocked the Hezbollah leader, “but also to dismantle the nuclear core in Dimona,” claiming that “it is in our power to threaten any part of Israel.”

The address was made as part of an event marking the 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran which brought the Ayatollah Khomeini to power and enabled the establishment of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.

The latest saber-rattling comes after a court ordered an ammonia storage facility to be emptied within 10 days. The ammonia tanks, which hold some 12,000 tons of the chemical, have been targeted both by environmental groups who warn storage of large quantities of the material are harmful to the Haifa bay area, as well as citizens’ groups concerned over hazards to public safety.

A year ago, marking the 37th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Nasrallah threatened to strike the ammonia storage facility – what he called “Hezbollah’s nuclear bomb”.

“Hezbollah has a ‘nuclear bomb’ – Haifa has 15 tons of ammonia, and any Hezbollah missile attack will turn them into a nuclear bomb that would cause the deaths of tens of thousands,” he declared.

New Hamas Leader, a Vicious Killer, Portends New Rounds of Violence

February 16, 2017

New Hamas Leader, a Vicious Killer, Portends New Rounds of Violence, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Yaakov Lappin, February 16, 2017

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The election of Yehya Sinwar to lead Hamas in Gaza represents the completion of a lengthy takeover by the terror movement’s military wing at the expense of the political wing, and it could signal a more imminent confrontational path with Israel than previously thought.

The Izzadin Al-Kassam Brigades gradually have been pushing aside Hamas’s political wing, seeing it as an impediment to its jihadist war efforts against Israel.

Sinwar and his military wing comrades want to reestablish their alliance with Iran and boost a tactical partnership with ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.

His rise likely means that Hamas and Iran will grow close once again, after years of turmoil over their opposing stances on the Syrian war.

In fact, Sinwar’s rise to power is being described by veteran analyst Pinhas Inbari as Iran’s taking back the reigns to Gaza, which stemmed from Iranian concerns over a more hardline policy from the United States after President Donald Trump’s election.

Inbari does not believe Sinwar’s appointment was even based on elections, saying the results came from pressure by Hamas’s military wing on the political wing, and that the development is “Iran’s way of conveying a message before the Trump-Netanyahu talks” that took place Wednesday.

Sinwar, who served 22 years in an Israeli prison for murdering Palestinians he accused of being Israeli collaborators, is a trigger-happy senior Hamas member who does not hesitate to shoot dead Gazans he perceives as being disloyal.

He was released from prison during the 2011 Schalit prisoner swap with Israel, and quickly rejoined his comrades in the military wing, under the command of Muhammad Def, who were feverishly preparing rocket attacks, and tunneling into Israel.

Sinwar ordered the execution a year ago of a Gaza City Hamas battalion commander, Mahmoud Eshtwi, who was seen as being too open and critical towards his superiors.

According to a recent report by Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Sinwar and his brutal track record are associated with an end to the “ijma” (consensus) manner in which Hamas once made strategic decisions, and the beginning of an internal Hamas dictatorship.

That could spell trouble for the Palestinian Authority, which Sinwar views as a foe, and which Hamas continuously seeks to topple in the West Bank. It could spell problems for Hamas’s other neighbors as well, like Egypt and Jordan, both of which have their own domestic Islamist and jihadist problems.

Brutal murders of any who fail to toe the party line under Sinwar could turn into a violent routine throughout the Gaza Strip, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories report said.

Traditionally, Hamas’s Shura Council included the military and political wings as well as the Hamas overseas politburo. Ismael Haniyeh – Sinwar’s predecessor – moves into this position formerly held by Khaled Mashaal.

But Sinwar, a charismatic and dominant figure, has been working to undermine this system. Backed by Hamas’s “chief of staff,” Muhammed Def, and high ranking leader Marwan Issa, who acted as a ‘bridge’ between the two wings, Sinwar and his wing took over tasks such as Hamas police appointments, according to Israeli assessments. Sinwar headed a kind of Hamas defense ministry before being ‘elected.’

One of his key goals is to apply the idea that the military wing spent too much time listening to the political wing, leading to a failure in achievements against Israel.

Sinwar did not consult with the political wing before having the Gaza City battalion commander murdered and he will likely not consult with it when he moves to establish closer bonds with Tehran.

And yet, even an extreme a figure as Sinwar will have to take reality into account when it comes to his options against Israel.

Since the end of the 2014 conflict with Israel, it seems reasonable to assume that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) may be working on a new combat doctrine together with the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency against the terrorist regime in Gaza.

If such a change has occurred in the Israeli defense establishment, in the event of a new conflict, Israel could seek to destroy the military wing. That would be a dramatic shift from the older goals of containment and deterrence.

This potential change in doctrine may have been hinted at in comments made on occasion by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said, for example, last year, that Israel would destroy Hamas “completely” in the next war, though Jerusalem would not be the one to initiate hostilities.

The old rules, by which Hamas could initiate controlled escalations, and was free to deescalate when it accomplished its goals, appear to be gone, and it’s reasonable to assume Sinwar is aware of the risks to his regime.

Israel’s recent breakthroughs in tunnel detection capabilities, precision air power, and revamping of the Armored Corps, together with enhanced ground forces combat training, all mean that a mistake by Sinwar could prove to be the most costly to date for Hamas in Gaza.

Israel Hayom | unchanged since nuclear deal

February 16, 2017

Source: Israel Hayom | Report: Iran’s approach to Israel unchanged since nuclear deal

“An extreme Islamist ideology that repetitively preaches the destruction of Israel, boasts of its advanced missile program, and seeks to return to the bosom of the Western world makes Iran all the more dangerous,” says Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Erez Linn and News Agencies
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs President Dore Gold

 Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel