Archive for the ‘Law enforcement’ category

Returning ISIS Jihadists Pose Long, Uncharted Challenge

October 16, 2017

Returning ISIS Jihadists Pose Long, Uncharted Challenge, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, October 16, 2017

For months now, Western counterterrorism experts have sounded the alarm: as ISIS loses ground, foreign fighters from America and Europe may try returning home. When they do, the experts cautioned, they will carry the terror threat with them, ready and willing to strike. Law enforcement needs to be prepared.

Now, with the fall of the Iraqi city of Harija, the Islamic State’s last major stronghold, and the impending collapse of its Syrian capital, Raqqa, the time has finally come. But is law enforcement prepared?

Not really.

An estimated 5,000 Europeans joined ISIS and other terrorist groups since fighting first broke out in Syria. While some surviving members may choose to remain in the region, or travel to other conflict areas like Afghanistan, a few thousand others are likely to try to make their way back home. In countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands, most of them are at the border, where they will be taken into custody and ultimately tried for terror-related offenses.

But that covers only those who re-enter through legal means. Most will try clandestine paths. And porous borders make such under the radar re-entry disturbingly simple, as smuggling of refugees has already made abundantly clear.

An ongoing lack of coordination of intelligence and security agencies among European countries further enables terrorists to slip in unnoticed. That’s what happened with Mehdi Nemmouche, who shot and killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014. Reda Kriket travelled twice to Syria before being arrested in March 2016 on suspicion of plotting “at least one” attack in France. And Brussels-Zaventem Airport bomber Ibraham El Bakraoui had been previously arrested by Turkish officials as he attempted to reach the Islamic State.

“Despite improvements since 9/11, foreign partners are still sharing information about terrorist suspects in a manner which is ad hoc, intermittent, and often incomplete,” a 2015 report of the Task Force in Combating Terrorist And Foreign Fighter Travel said.

In a typical example of European intelligence failures, though Dutch authorities learned of that arrest through the FBI weeks before the attacks, that information was never turned over to Belgium.

Such critical intelligence slips do not pose risks only to Europe. “The larger concern is that some European extremists might be able to make it to the United States undetected once they have left the battlefield,” state the report’s authors.

With visa-free entry into the U.S. for European citizens, such fears are not unfounded, and compound the threats posed by returning U.S. nationals.

Even so, some U.S. officials caution against over-reacting to the threat American returnees may cause. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper arguesthat most of the 40 Americans who have returned from the Islamic State did so for reasons “that don’t relate to plotting” – such as homesickness and family matters. Others, like analysts at the New America Foundation put a greater emphasis on the danger from jihadists who never actually left the U.S., but were radicalized locally or online.

But not everyone agrees.

“Whether or not returning fighters carry out attacks, they return with the prestige of warriors and credibility on the street,” a 2014 RAND report observed. “They are able to recruit other fighters to go to the Middle East and they can gather like-minded groups around them.” RAND political scientist and International Center for Counterterrorism fellow Colin Clarke agrees, writing in the Atlantic that some returnees, both in the U.S. and in Europe, may “attempt to resuscitate dormant networks, recruit new members, or conduct lone-wolf style attacks,” as some Europeans have already done.

Tackling the threat, U.S. and European officials agree, depends heavily on European authorities’ ability to improve their intelligence capabilities – a daunting task at a time when rising crime rates, concerns about existing terror threats, logistically complex bureaucratic systems, and international rivalries continue to draw on their reserves. Moreover, not all European states agree on the best way to handle returnees. While most are jailed and tried on terror charges, returnees to Denmark, for instance, are placed in rehab programs that offer schooling, job training, and housing, among other benefits – the hope being that they will rejoin society and reform.

Moreover, the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network put forth a series of recommendations in July for all member states. Countries should:

· Create “re-socialization” programs for detainees even pre-trial.

· Provide religious guidance through “trustworthy chaplains.”

· Employ mental health experts to work with those who may suffer PTSD or “disillusionment.”

· “[B]e aware that many returnees – even if not engaged in criminal behavior – may still strongly support ideologies opposing apostates, other religions, so-called infidels, women’s rights and even EU societies as such. Most have been subject to severe indoctrination. Consider dialogue, mentoring and other techniques for returnees with such strong beliefs.”

In part, this careful handling reflects the reluctance of countries like Denmark to treat returnees as criminals. But as RAND points out, it also comes as a result of difficulties in assessing “which returnees pose a terrorist threat and which do not.” These uncertainties could require monitoring all returnees for indefinite periods, raising civil rights questions as well as economic and other practical concerns.

Whether such careful handling will effectively thwart radicals remains to be seen. Meantime, U.S. officials are taking a different, more punitive approach. Sentences are longer – and can include the death penalty, which is banned in Europe. Moreover, EU laws can be vague regarding which potentially terror-related activities constitute a crime. By contrast, RAND says, American courts are better prepared for the challenges of convicting returnees, thanks in part to the fact that in the United States, “providing material support to a terrorist organization, which includes joining or attempting to join a terrorist group, is already a crime.”

But for both Europe and America, RAND suggests another alternative: encouraging returnees to cooperate with intelligence agencies in exchange for lighter sentences, thereby becoming valuable resources in the battle against jihadism in the homeland, helping to locate and convict other terrorists returning from abroad, especially those who have entered illegally. These are the hardest to find and pose the greatest danger.

But even without cooperation from within, there may be other strategies. Rand’s Colin Clarke calculates that approximately half of all Islamist terrorists involved in attacks in Europe had criminal pasts. In contrast, others put the figure closer to 22 percent. “Many foreign fighters began as criminals,” Clarke writes on Lawfare, “and many might turn to crime on their return.” Indeed, those seeking to finance attacks are likely to look to criminal activity – such as drug trafficking – to secure it.

Hence, he notes, “To root out returning foreign fighters, authorities should first look to the underworld from which the fighters originally emerged. Criminals inevitably return to what they know best.”

Clarke’s approach for Europe applies equally to America. Yet for all its practicality, the criminal element also points to an additional danger: as Canadian counterterrorism analyst Mubin Shaikh has noted, “prisons are a factory for radicalization. The jihadis themselves say prison is the university of jihad.” Should those trained in militant jihad find their way back into the criminal circuit, that situation could only worsen.

Ultimately, the problem of returning jihadists promises to be a complicated one across the West, likely for years to come. In the face of an unprecedented terror threat, we have no map to travel by. But in the words of Swiss author Ella Maillart, “the sooner we learn to be jointly responsible, the easier the sailing will be.”

Time’s up! Trump’s Justice Dept. issues final warning to ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions

October 12, 2017

Time’s up! Trump’s Justice Dept. issues final warning to ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions, Washington Times, October 12, 2017

FILE – In this April 14, 2017, file photo, protesters hold up signs outside a courthouse where a federal judge will hear arguments in the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order to withhold funding from communities that limit …

The Justice Department has issued a final warning to five of the 10 jurisdictions it accused of having “sanctuary” policies that defy federal immigration laws, saying they have until Oct. 27 to submit additional evidence proving compliance or risk losing grant money.

Letters conveying the Justice Department’s preliminary assessment of the jurisdictions’ local laws and policies were sent Wednesday. Cook County, Illinois; Chicago; New Orleans; New York City; and Philadelphia were all warned that the Justice Department believes they cities have laws or policies that run afoul of federal immigration law.

At stake is millions of dollars in federal grant money that is supposed to go only to jurisdictions that comply with section 1373 of Title 8 of the U.S. Code. That law prohibits policies that restrict communications with federal immigration authorities “regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

The letters sent to each city highlighted specific laws that the Justice Department has identified as being in violation of 1373.

In the case of Philadelphia, officials said an executive order that prevents local officials from providing immigration authorities with any notice of a person’s release from custody unless the person has been convicted of certain felony offenses is a violation. A police policy that prevents the transmission of the immigration status of any immigrant who is a victim of a crime was also highlighted as a violation.

Two other jurisdictions — Milwaukee County, Wisconsin and the state of Connecticut — were told Wednesday that a preliminary assessment found no evidence that their laws violated 1373.

“I commend the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and the State of Connecticut on their commitment to complying with Section 1373, and I urge all jurisdictions found to be out of compliance in this preliminary review to reconsider their policies that undermine the safety of their residents,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We urge jurisdictions to not only comply with Section 1373 but to establish sensible and effective partnerships to properly process criminal aliens.”

The Justice Department had earlier cleared Clark County, Nevada and Miami-Dade County of any violations of federal law.

Officials had also put the California Board of State and Community Corrections on notice, but the state was not included in the Justice Department’s follow up warning issued Wednesday. It was not immediately clear why it was not included.

The Obama administration first raised the issue of potential violations in 10 jurisdictions last year, and the Trump administration followed up by sending letters demanding proof of compliance.

“Jurisdictions that adopt so-called ‘sanctuary policies’ also adopt the view that the protection of criminal aliens is more important than the protection of law-abiding citizens and of the rule of law,” Mr. Sessions said.

The jurisdictions accused of violating federal immigration statutes had previously defended their local policies, saying they were compliant and should not lose grant funding.

Philadelphia officials struck a defiant note, writing in a letter to the Justice Department that a local policy banning city officials from inquiring about residents’ immigration status does not violate federal law because if the city doesn’t have the information, its officials can’t be required to share it.

“The federal statute does not require cities to inquire about or collect immigration status information, but only prohibits cities from restricting the sharing of that information if they have it,” wrote City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante.

In the DOJ assessment, officials wrote that an executive order may be in violation of federal immigration law and city officials would have to certify that the policy does not ban local police from sharing information with federal immigration authorities with federal immigration officers.

“The Department has determined that Philadelphia would need to certify that it interprets and applies this Executive Order to not restrict Philadelphia officers from sharing information regarding immigration status,” DOJ officials wrote.

The Intimidation Game, Cont’d

September 17, 2017

The Intimidation Game, Cont’d, Power Line,  Scott Johnson, September 17, 2017

Paul Mirengoff covered the Department of Justice’s September 8 reiteration of its decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner. Paul noted the absence of a rejoinder to the stated conclusion that the department lacked sufficient evidence to bring a case against Lerner. I hate cliches, but the more things change…

John Koskinen remains Commissioner of the IRS. Only last month Kim Strassel noted that the IRS is still toying with conservative nonprofits. Kim wrote that “Trump’s Justice Department has inexplicably continued to defend the IRS’s misdeeds under President Obama,” of which Kim herself covered many.

At the heart of Kim’s book The Intimidation Game lies a narrative account of the voluminous IRS wrongdoing during the Obama administration (chapters 7-11 and 21). It is chilling.

An unsigned editorial in the current issue of the Weekly Standard laments “The unaccountable IRS.” It does not cite evidence supporting the proposition that Lerner is guilty of criminal wrongdoing. However, it does restate the issues raised by the status quo while and take up themes that have occupied us over the years:

To understand the pragmatic realities of federal governance in the 21st century, one must recognize the existence of a fourth branch of government: the administrative state. We have some two million federal bureaucrats with extraconstitutional legislative powers. Not only do they write the reams of regulations that order our lives, they have the authority to enforce them capriciously. And thanks to absurd civil service protections, it is exceedingly difficult to hold them accountable for abuses of power, even when Congress demands it.

Of course, you can’t censure federal bureaucrats for their crimes if you don’t even try. On September 8, Donald Trump’s Justice Department announced it would not be reopening an investigation into the conduct of Lois Lerner, the IRS official responsible for targeting and harassing conservative groups in the 2010 and 2012 elections. That investigation had ended in 2015, when Barack Obama’s Justice Department stated it would not be charging Lerner or anyone else at the IRS because it “found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”

Lerner herself admitted “absolutely inappropriate” targeting had taken place but blamed it on “front-line people.” Soon after, she pleaded the Fifth in testimony to a congressional committee and was placed on administrative leave by the IRS. Emails later confirmed Lerner had a strong personal bias against conservatives (she called them “crazies” and “a—holes”), and there was an extensive and credible series of accusations that she harassed conservative groups when she worked for the Federal Election Commission in the 1990s. If all this doesn’t suggest motive and criminality, it’s still an outrage that Lerner, whose leave was never revoked, eventually retired from the IRS with a full and generous pension.

President Obama declared on national television during the height of the scandal that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the agency. That’s laughable….

The intimidation game will be resumed unless something is done. The Standard editorial raises the question what is to be done. Concerned readers will want to check out the whole thing here.

Democratic IT staffer who fled the country strikes deal to return, face charges

September 6, 2017

Democratic IT staffer who fled the country strikes deal to return, face charges, Washinton ExaminerTodd Shepherd, September  6, 2017

(Will the charges be expanded to include the Awan family’s computer-related activities, or would that be too damaging to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her Democrat allies? — DM)

Despite the computer-related interests, Awan and Alvi are facing charges in which federal officials claim that they used false information to obtain home equity lines of credit, and intended to send the money overseas. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)

A former House Democrat tech staffer who fled the country to Pakistan after facing criminal charges has struck a deal with federal officials to return to the U.S. and appear at an arraignment, according to court documents.

Hina Alvi is the wife of Imran Awan, and both face charges of conspiracy and bank fraud. Both worked for Democrats for several years, and Awan worked directly for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., when she was chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

A document filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicates that federal prosecutors have struck a deal with Alvi that would allow her to return to the U.S., but would also require her to surrender her passport and afterwards not book any international travel. The deal only surrounds how Alvi will turn herself in, and is structured so that she can avoid being arrested in front of her children when she returns to the U.S., “during the last week of September 2017.”

Alvi, and Awan in particular, are the focus of investigations by the FBI and Capitol Police regarding irregularities for purchases of some computers and other equipment which was later discovered to be missing. The pair, and their associates, could have had access to sensitive government information over the years.

In July, the Daily Caller reported that the FBI seized smashed hard drives from Awan’s home.

Despite the computer-related interests, Awan and Alvi are facing charges in which federal officials claim that they used false information to obtain home equity lines of credit, and intended to send the money overseas.

Riot in Charlottesville

August 14, 2017

Riot in Charlottesville, Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, August 14, 2017

(Please see also, What I saw yesterday in Charlottesville and Left-Wing Extremism Feeds an Extremist Reaction.– DM)

The mayor, who appears regularly in national media to denounce President Trump, had previously tried to deny the permit for the rally but the ACLU backed organizers in a lawsuit and a federal judge reinstated the permit.

No one appeared more delighted by the violence than Mayor Signer who promptly used the opportunity to smear President Trump, who obviously had nothing to do with it.

“Well look at the campaign he ran,” Signer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand of all these white supremacist, white nationalist groups, anti-Semitic groups; and then look on the other hand, the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence, put to bed all those different efforts, just like we saw yesterday.”

Signer’s statement was a lie from start to finish. Trump has not courted any white-supremacist, white-nationalist, or anti-Semitic groups. He has condemned such groups over and over again. How many times must he condemn people with whom he has nothing to do?

*********************************

Political extremists clashed Saturday before a “Unite the Right” rally planned around a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, and as usual the police sat back and did virtually nothing as left-wingers rioted.

Described as a “white nationalist” event, radical rightist and racist Richard Spencer was on the list of speakers scheduled to address the audience. Although not every right-winger attending the “Unite the Right” rally (which might have been more aptly named “Hijack the Right”) was a fascist and not every counter-protester was an authoritarian extremist, the fighting appears to have been largely between the extremists from both ends of the political spectrum.

In a rare instance of what appears to be terrorism emanating from the so-called extreme Right, police say alleged neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, 20, used his car to plow into a crowd of counter-protesters not far from the scheduled rally at Emancipation Park.

About 20 people were injured, one of them fatally. Paralegal Heather D. Heyer, 32, was killed. Fields was arrested and is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Fields was captured quickly by the police but witnesses suggested that was about the only thing the police did well. Tragically, two Virginia State Police officials were killed in a helicopter crash on the way to Charlottesville to provide assistance. Foul play is not suspected.

As things got out of hand in the streets, by late morning Saturday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) had declared a state of emergency and the crowd was ordered to disperse. The noontime “Unite the Right” rally had never officially gotten underway.

Riot eyewitness Levi Smith told online commentator Brittany Pettibone the police didn’t do much to prevent the violence. “I got there and the police were incredibly hands-off.”

Bottles of urine were thrown and some in the crowd wielded pepper spray. And people began to hit each other with clubs.

A young “antifa” thug beat up a female reporter from a mainstream media outlet who was covering the first-responders dealing with the aftermath of the car crash.

A tattooed, shirtless Jacob L. Smith, 21, of Louisa, Virginia, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for striking Taylor Lorenz, a reporter for The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper focusing on politics. An outstanding warrant was pending against Smith when he was arrested.

Lorenz waded into a crowd of counter-protesters to take video footage. About 15 minutes after the car attack, Smith asked her to stop filming without offering an explanation why. He shouted, “Stop the f–king recording!” She continued filming and he punched her in the face, knocking the recording device out of her hand and onto the ground.

Rally organizer and blogger Jason Kessler tried to hold a press conference after the various melees but was reportedly shouted down by an angry mob of leftists and punched by a man identified as Jeff Winder. It was unclear at time of writing if Winder had been arrested for the assault.

“What happened yesterday was the result of the Charlottesville police officers refusing to do their job,” he said. “They stood down and did not follow through with the agreed-upon security arrangements.” The police “exacerbated” the violence by failing to separate the two sides, he added.

As Kessler walked away from the media scrum, a Virginia State Police officer witnessed a man spitting on Kessler. Charlottesville resident Robert K. Litzenberger, 47, was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.

In a separate interview online, Kessler told “The Red Elephants” that local police “stood down” and refused to protect the rally attendees.

State troopers were out in force to provide security for the rally but for the first hour and a half, Charlottesville police were nowhere to be found, he said.

“Blood is on the hands of the Charlottesville City Council and possibly on [Governor] Terry McAuliffe,” Kessler said.

Brittany Caine-Conley, a minister in training at a local church, faulted the police.

“There was no police presence,” she said. “We were watching people punch each other; people were bleeding all the while police were inside of barricades at the park, watching. It was essentially just brawling on the street and community members trying to protect each other.”

Caine-Conley and many other witnesses interviewed by the New York Times said police waited too long to intervene. Caine-Conley called it “fascinating and appalling.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said that apart from failing to prevent the mass casualties that occurred, the state troopers did “great work.”

Observing the various melees from the safety of a sixth-floor command post, Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety and homeland security, seemed amused by the violence. “I compare it to hockey,” he told the New York Times. “Often in hockey there are sporadic fights, and then they separate.”

Moran rationalized the inaction by the police. “But from our plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and property, it went extremely well.”

It is a common complaint by right-of-center activists that the police refuse to halt leftist violence. We see it time and time again. When Milo Yiannopoulos tried to speak at UC Berkeley this year, the police stood down and allowed left-wingers to run wild, damaging property, assaulting people, and setting fires.

So who’s in charge of the local government in Charlottesville? You guessed it: a far-left Democrat ideologically similar to Barack Obama who supports the goals of antifa (short for anti-fascists) and the DNC-endorsed Black Lives Matter movement.

Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer is, of course, a leftist who has been involved in Democrat politics for years going back at least to the John Edwards presidential campaign. He received a Ph.D. in political science from — of all places — UC Berkeley and teaches a course at the University of Virginia titled “Race, Policy and the Past.”

The mayor, who appears regularly in national media to denounce President Trump, had previously tried to deny the permit for the rally but the ACLU backed organizers in a lawsuit and a federal judge reinstated the permit.

No one appeared more delighted by the violence than Mayor Signer who promptly used the opportunity to smear President Trump, who obviously had nothing to do with it.

“Well look at the campaign he ran,” Signer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand of all these white supremacist, white nationalist groups, anti-Semitic groups; and then look on the other hand, the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence, put to bed all those different efforts, just like we saw yesterday.”

Signer’s statement was a lie from start to finish. Trump has not courted any white-supremacist, white-nationalist, or anti-Semitic groups. He has condemned such groups over and over again. How many times must he condemn people with whom he has nothing to do?

On Saturday, Trump condemned the “many sides” for violence in Charlottesville. Left-wingers and a few Republicans including NeverTrumper Bill Kristol sharply criticized Trump for being insufficiently specific. The next day the White House offered a clarification, saying Trump condemns violence, bigotry, and hatred, and “of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all extremist groups.”

Trump critics reject Trump’s blanket condemnation because they say it “equates the actions of the white supremacists with those of the counterprotesters,” according to Politico.

If the president meant to say both sides were bad, he’s 100 percent correct because both sides are fascist. White-supremacists, Klansmen, and neo-Nazis are openly fascistic while left-wing antifa are covert fascists who falsely claim to oppose fascism in order to occupy the moral high ground. Both sides believe in a massive, authoritarian state and in using violence to accomplish their political goals. The extreme Right hates blacks and Jews and some other groups; the extreme Left hates whites, Jews, rich and middle-class people, cops, and Americans in general.

There is a reason why the Left tries so hard to force public figures like President Trump to denounce people they hate. If he won’t, they can condemn him and control a few news cycles’ worth of media coverage and accuse him of moral cowardice and complicity for not speaking out. If he obliges them, they still win, because the denunciation receives media coverage. The more it gets repeated, the more the idea can be cemented in the public mind that, hey, maybe this guy really does have a connection to these bad people. Getting the target to repeat the lie that he is associated with right-wing extremists, if only to smack it down right away, serves over time to make the repeated lie seem like a “Freudian slip” by the speaker, thus reinforcing the lie in the minds of the public.

Community organizing communist Saul Alinsky took it further, urging his followers to dress in Ku Klux Klan uniforms and show up at Republican rallies with signs endorsing the Republican speaker. Left-wingers tried to do this sort of thing to Ronald Reagan many times and he almost never took the bait. It is simply not the job of the president of the United States to denounce every single evil person or act that takes place in the nation.

Mayor Signer doesn’t get that. To the Left everything is political – even silence.

Trump vs. MS-13

August 2, 2017

Trump vs. MS-13, Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, August 2, 2017

President Trump’s intensifying crackdown on transnational crime gang MS-13 is being met with fierce resistance by the Left.

Understanding the leftist mind is an inexact science but the complaints seem to center around the idea that in the Trump era trying to eliminate an ethno-culturally non-diverse criminal organization is somehow racist, no matter how horrifying and brutal the group’s crimes against innocent Americans may be. The Left habitually sides with antisocial causes, putting partisanship over the interests of the American people. Left-wingers promote so-called sanctuary cities which are magnets for illegal aliens and the crime that accompanies them. They don’t care about the damage such policies do to American society.

Although it may sound like hyperbole to some, leftists hate Donald Trump and everything he stands for, so if Trump comes out against rapists and serial killers, for example, the Left will defiantly take a stand in favor of rapists and serial killers.

Racist left-wing journalist Jamelle Bouie of Slate argues that MS-13 is nothing to be afraid of. It’s all hype. He writes that the president’s speeches on MS-13 and illegal aliens employ words to “make white people afraid.”

“Trump wasn’t just connecting immigrants with violent crime,” according to the in-your-face Black Lives Matter supporter. “He was using an outright racist trope: that of the violent, sadistic black or brown criminal, preying on innocent (usually white) women.”

The massive pile of corpses generated by MS-13 suggests otherwise.

Trump’s clampdown on MS-13 is “emboldening them, because this gives them the opportunity to tell immigrants, ‘What are you gonna do? Are you going to report us? They’re deporting other innocent people … [so] they’re going to associate you with us by you coming forward,'” says Walter Barrientos, Long Island coordinator for the far-left Make the Road, which CNN describes as an immigrant advocacy group.

“‘So what are you going to do? Who’s going to protect you?’ And that’s what really strikes many of us.”

Make the Road is heavily funded by George Soros’s philanthropies, National Council of La Raza, as well as by other left-wing funders, including the Tides Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and the Robin Hood Foundation.

What on earth could generate such apoplexy among left-wingers?

President Trump told law enforcement officials on Friday at the Van Nostrand Theatre in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., that his administration will bring MS-13 to heel.

Together, we’re going to restore safety to our streets and peace to our communities, and we’re going to destroy the vile criminal cartel, MS-13, and many other gangs. But MS-13 is particularly violent. They don’t like shooting people because it’s too quick, it’s too fast … they like to knife them and cut them, and let them die slowly because that way it’s more painful, and they enjoy watching that much more. These are animals.

Since January 2016, “MS-13 gang members have brutally murdered 17 beautiful, young lives in this area on Long Island alone.” Gang members “kidnap, they extort, they rape and they rob,” the president said.

They prey on children. They shouldn’t be here. They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs. They slash them with machetes, and they stab them with knives. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They’re animals.

Trump declared that it is “the policy of this administration to dismantle, decimate and eradicate MS-13,” and praised law enforcement for “liberating our American towns.”

This is like I’d see in a movie: They’re liberating the town, like in the old Wild West, right? We’re liberating our towns. I never thought I’d be standing up here talking about liberating the towns on Long Island where I grew up, but that’s what you’re doing.

To finish the job, Trump called for more than doubling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) staff focused on enforcement and deportations.

Right now, we have less than 6,000 Enforcement and Removal Officers in ICE. This is not enough to protect a nation of more than 320 million people. It’s essential that Congress fund another 10,000 ICE officers — and we’re asking for that — so that we can eliminate MS-13 and root out the criminal cartels from our country.

And Trump laid the blame for the rise of MS-13 where much of it belongs: on former President Obama. The Obama administration “enacted an open-door policy to illegal migrants from Central America. ‘Welcome in. Come in, please, please.’”

Under Obama’s policies, “MS-13 surged into the country,” Trump said. “In the three years before I took office,” the president added, “more than 150,000 unaccompanied alien minors arrived at the border and were released all throughout our country into United States’ communities — at a tremendous monetary cost to local taxpayers and also a great cost to life and safety.”

Mara Salvatrucha, commonly called MS-13, reportedly operates in 42 states and in the District of Columbia, as well as Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Its motto is “kill, rape, control.”

Although often described as a Salvadoran criminal organization, that doesn’t tell the whole story. MS-13 was founded by Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles in the 1980s who came to the U.S. after the various Central American civil wars of the period.

According to investigative reporter Ines Rivera, MS-13 grew out of the Salvadoran Civil War (1979 – 1992) in which tens of thousands perished. During that conflict,

Many died or saw their loved ones killed in death squads, civilian massacres, beheadings, and in the crossfire. A reality often not talked about is the fact that many of the soldiers in the war were children. Using firearms, blunt objects or machetes, Ms-13 members have been known to leave their victims with their limbs severed, at times decapitating them as well; this kind of violence is a characteristic that distinguishes them from other gangs.

The origin of the name Mara Salvatrucha is disputed, but Rivera reports that it “is a conglomeration, combining the name of a violent street gang in El Salvador called, La Mara or gang, with Salvatruchas, a term referring to members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, which was a group of Salvadorian peasants trained as guerilla fighters,” Rivera writes. “The ‘13’ is believed to stand for the letter M, the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, but it [has] also been rumored to pay homage to a California prison gang, the Mexican Mafia.” Others say the “13” refers to the 13 seconds new initiates to the gang are supposedly beaten by existing members in a hazing ritual.

No matter how despicable and loathsome MS-13 may be, there are plenty of activists on the Left who side with the group over America’s 45th president.

Vox’s Dara Lind idiotically proclaimed Trump’s address to police as “the most chilling speech of his presidency,” and accused him of “explicitly encouraging police violence.”

Lind sided with MS-13, implying Trump was spewing racism by “[r]eturning to the theme of scary immigrant criminals” so he could provide “tough talk before an adoring crowd.” She gave MS-13 a pass, mocking Trump for addressing in “gory” detail “the methods by which MS-13 members supposedly torture and kill Americans.”

Then there was the disgraceful recent performance by so-called Republican pundit Margaret Hoover on CNN.

The crackdown on MS-13 was part of a racially coded law enforcement sweep, she maintains.

“Trump was there to highlight the existence of criminal gangs,” and what Trump “was actually doing is he was highlighting the existence of a criminal gang that is South American, El Salvadorian,” said Hoover, whom Breitbart News describes as “one of many Republican useful idiots CNN trots out to bash Trump and his supporters in exchange for pats on the head and cheers of affirmation from Democrats and liberal media elites.”

Ignoring the specific threat posed by MS-13, Hoover said that Trump was focusing attention on the group because there “are individuals from other countries, sometimes there are citizens of the country, sometimes they’re not, of course Americans citizens get caught up and every violent criminal who is here should be deported, and they are on borrowed time.”

Trump’s attacks on the gang are a sop to “white supremacists,” Hoover said.

In other words, Trump is a bigot so of course he is trying to hurt minorities, in this case, members of MS-13.

Sane Americans sympathize with the president’s goal of taking a strong stand against the vile butchers of MS-13, regardless of whether they approved of President Trump.

That’s what patriots do.

But on the Left there aren’t many of those remaining.

Sweden: A Failed State?

July 21, 2017

Sweden: A Failed State? Gatestone Institute, Judith Bergman, July 21, 2017

The Swedish state, in true Orwellian style, fights those Swedish citizens who point out the obvious problems that migrants are causing.

When police officer Peter Springare said in February that migrants were committing a disproportionate amount of crime in the suburbs, he was investigated for inciting “racial hatred”.

Currently, a 70-year-old Swedish pensioner is being prosecuted for “hate speech”, for writing on Facebook that migrants “set fire to cars, and urinate and defecate on the streets”.

The security situation in Sweden is now so critical that the national police chief, Dan Eliasson, has asked the public for help; the police are unable to solve the problems on their own. In June, the Swedish police released a new report, “Utsatta områden 2017“, (“Vulnerable Areas 2017”, commonly known as “no-go zones” or lawless areas). It shows that the 55 no-go zones of a year ago are now 61.

In September 2016, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Minister of Interior Anders Ygeman refused to see the warnings: in 2015, only 14% of all crimes in Sweden were solved, and in 2016, 80% of police officers were allegedly considering quitting the force. Both ministers refused to call it a crisis. According to Anders Ygeman:

“… we are in a very difficult position, but crisis is something completely different. …we are in a very strained position and this is because we have done the biggest reorganization since the 1960s, while we have these very difficult external factors with the highest refugee reception since the Second World War. We have border controls for the first time in 20 years, and an increased terrorist threat”.

A year later the Swedish national police chief is calling the situation “acute”.

In 2015, only 14% of all crimes in Sweden were solved. In 2016, 80% of police officers were allegedly considering quitting the force. Nonetheless, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (pictured above) refused to call it a crisis. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Sweden increasingly resembles a failed state: In the 61 “no-go zones”, there are 200 criminal networks with an estimated 5,000 criminals who are members. Twenty-three of those no-go zones are especially critical: children as young as 10 years old are involved in serious crimes there, including weapons and drugs, and are literally being trained to become hardened criminals.

The trouble, however, extends beyond organized crime. In June, Swedish police in the city of Trollhättan, during a riot in the Kronogården suburb, were attacked by approximately a hundred masked migrant youths, mainly Somalis. The rioting continued for two nights.

Violent riots, however, are just part of Sweden’s security problems. In 2010, according to the government, there were “only” 200 radical Islamists in Sweden. In June, the head of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo), Anders Thornberg, told the Swedish media that the country is experiencing a “historical” challenge in having to deal with thousands of “radical Islamists in Sweden”. The jihadists and jihadist supporters are mainly concentrated in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Örebro, according to Säpo. “This is the ‘new normal’ … It is an historic challenge that extremist circles are growing,” Thornberg said.

The Swedish establishment has only itself to blame for it.

Thornberg said that Säpo now receives around 6,000 intelligence tips a month concerning terrorism and extremism, compared to an average of 2,000 a month in 2012.

Some of the reasons for the increase, according to terror expert Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish Defense University, is due to segregation in Sweden’s no-go zones:

“… it has been easy for extremists to recruit undisturbed in those areas. …the prevention measures have been pretty tame… if you compare Denmark and Sweden, Denmark is at university level and Sweden at kindergarten level”.

Asked what the increase in people supporting extremist ideologies indicated about Sweden’s work to combat radicalism, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman told the Swedish news outlet TT:

“I think it says little. This is a development we have seen in a number of countries in Europe. On the other hand, it shows that it was right to take those measures we have. A permanent centre against violent extremism, that we have increased the budget to work against violent extremism, that we have increased the security police’s budget for three years.”

There may be even more jihadists than Säpo thinks. In 2015, at the height of the migrant crisis, when Sweden received over 160,000 migrants, 14,000 of them who were told that they were going to be deported disappeared inside Sweden without a trace. As late as April 2017, Sweden was still looking for 10,000 of them. Sweden, however, has only 200 border police staff at its disposal to look for them. One “disappeared migrant” was Rakhmat Akilov, from Uzbekistan. He drove a truck into a department store in Stockholm, killing four people and wounding many others. He later said he did it for the Islamic State (ISIS).

Meanwhile, Sweden continues to receive returning ISIS fighters from Syria, a courtesy that hardly improves the security situation. Sweden, so far, has received 150 returning ISIS fighters. There are still 112 who remain abroad — considered the most hardcore of all — and Sweden expects many of those to return as well. Astonishingly, the Swedish government has given several of the ISIS returnees protected identities to prevent local Swedes from finding out who they are. Two Swedish ISIS fighters who returned to Europe, Osama Krayem and Mohamed Belkaid, went on to help commit the terror attacks at Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station in the center of Brussels, on March 22, 2016. Thirty-one people were killed; 300 were wounded.

Swedish news outlets have reported that the Swedish towns that receive the returnees do not even know they are returning ISIS fighters. One coordinator of the work against violent Islamist extremism in Stockholm, Christina Kiernan, says that “…at the moment there is no control over those returning from ISIS-controlled areas in the Middle East”.

Kiernan explains that there are rules that prevent the passing of information about returning jihadists from Säpo to the local municipalities, so that the people who are in charge in the municipal authorities, including the police, have no information about who and how many returned ISIS fighters there are in their area. It is therefore impossible to monitor them — and this at a time when Säpo estimates the number of violent Islamist extremists in Sweden in the thousands.

Even after all this, the Swedish state, in true Orwellian style, fights those Swedish citizens who point out the obvious problems that migrants are causing. When police officer Peter Springare said in February that migrants were committing a disproportionate amount of crime in the suburbs, he was investigated for inciting “racial hatred”.

Currently, a 70-year-old Swedish pensioner is being prosecuted for “hate speech”, for writing on Facebook that migrants “set fire to cars, and urinate and defecate on the streets”.

With thousands of jihadists all over Sweden, what could be more important than prosecuting a Swedish pensioner for writing on Facebook?