Posted tagged ‘Islamic caliphate’

9/11 Through My Muslim Eyes

September 11, 2017

9/11 Through My Muslim Eyes, Clarion Project, September 11, 2017

(A five part collection of short Clarion Project videos follows, narrated in part by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. They deal with the very real and dangerous efforts of Muslims to take over western civilization. The first video appears immediately below. The next four follow automatically.

We need to be aware of more than “radical Islamic terrorism.” The problems go beyond the “radicals” and terrorism. They include Islamists who seek to undermine western civilization through legalistic rather than violent attacks.– DM)



The future of counterterrorism: Addressing the evolving threat to domestic security

March 1, 2017

The future of counterterrorism: Addressing the evolving threat to domestic security, Long War Journal, February 28, 2017

Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee Counterterrorism and Intelligence, on the future of counterterrorism and addressing the evolving threat to domestic security.

Chairman King, Ranking Member Rice, and other members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. The terrorist threat has evolved greatly since the September 11, 2001 hijackings. The U.S. arguably faces a more diverse set of threats today than ever. In my written and oral testimony, I intend to highlight both the scope of these threats, as well as some of what I think are the underappreciated risks.

My key points are as follows:

– The U.S. military and intelligence services have waged a prolific counterterrorism campaign to suppress threats to America. It is often argued that because no large-scale plot has been successful in the U.S. since 9/11 that the risk of such an attack is overblown. This argument ignores the fact that numerous plots, in various stages of development, have been thwarted since 2001. Meanwhile, Europe has been hit with larger-scale operations. In addition, the U.S. and its allies frequently target jihadists who are suspected of plotting against the West. America’s counterterrorism strategy is mainly intended to disrupt potentially significant operations that are in the pipeline.

-Over the past several years, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies claim to have struck numerous Islamic State (or ISIS) and al Qaeda “external operatives” in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. These so-called “external operatives” are involved in anti-Western plotting. Had they not been targeted, it is likely that at least some of their plans would have come to fruition. Importantly, it is likely that many “external operatives” remain in the game, and are still laying the groundwork for attacks in the U.S. and the West.

-In addition, the Islamic State and al Qaeda continue to adapt new messages in an attempt to inspire attacks abroad. U.S. law enforcement has been forced to spend significant resources to stop “inspired” plots. As we all know, some of them have not been thwarted. The Islamic State’s caliphate declaration in 2014 heightened the threat of inspired attacks, as would-be jihadists were lured to the false promises of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s cause.

-The Islamic State also developed a system for “remote-controlling” attacks in the West and elsewhere. This system relies on digital operatives who connect with aspiring jihadis via social media applications. The Islamic State has had more success with these types of small-scale operations in Europe. But as I explain in my written testimony, the FBI has uncovered a string of plots inside the U.S. involving these same virtual planners.

-The refugee crisis is predominately a humanitarian concern. The Islamic State has used migrant and refugee flows to infiltrate terrorists into Europe. Both the Islamic State and al Qaeda could seek to do the same with respect to the U.S., however, they have other means for sneaking jihadists into the country as well. While some terrorists have slipped into the West alongside refugees, the U.S. should remain focused on identifying specific threats.

-More than 15 years after 9/11, al Qaeda remains poorly understood. Most of al Qaeda’s resources are devoted to waging insurgencies in several countries. But as al Qaeda’s insurgency footprint has spread, so has the organization’s capacity for plotting against the West. On 9/11, al Qaeda’s anti-Western plotting was primarily confined to Afghanistan, with logistical support networks in Pakistan, Iran, and other countries. Testifying before the Senate in February 2016, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper warned that the al Qaeda threat to the West now emanates from multiple countries. Clapper testified that al Qaeda “nodes in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey” are “dedicating resources to planning attacks.” To this list we can add Yemen. And jihadists from Africa have been involved in anti-Western plotting as well. Incredibly, al Qaeda is still plotting against the U.S. from Afghanistan.

Both the Islamic State and al Qaeda continue to seek ways to inspire terrorism inside the U.S. and they are using both new and old messages in pursuit of this goal.

The jihadists have long sought to inspire individuals or small groups of people to commit acts of terrorism for their cause. Individual terrorists are often described as “lone wolves,” but that term is misleading. If a person is acting in the name of a global, ideological cause, then he or she cannot be considered a “lone wolf,” even if the individual in question has zero contact with others. In fact, single attackers often express their support for the jihadists’ cause in ways that show the clear influence of propaganda.

Indeed, al Qaeda and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) first began to aggressively market the idea of “individual” or “lone” operations years ago. AQAP’s Inspire magazine is intended to provide would-be jihadists with everything they could need to commit an attack without professional training or contact. Anwar al Awlaki, an AQAP ideologue who was fluent in English, was an especially effective advocate for these types of plots. Despite the fact that Awlaki was killed in a U.S. airstrike in September 2011, his teachings remain widely available on the internet.

The Islamic State capitalized on the groundwork laid by Awlaki and AQAP. In fact, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s operation took these ideas and aggressively marketed them with an added incentive. Al Qaeda has told its followers that it wants to eventually resurrect an Islamic caliphate. Beginning in mid-2014, the Islamic State began to tell its followers that it had already done so in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Baghdadi’s so-called caliphate has also instructed followers that it would be better for them to strike inside their home countries in the West, rather than migrate abroad for jihad. The Islamic State has consistently marketed this message.

In May 2016, for instance, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani told followers that if foreign governments “have shut the door of hijrah [migration] in your faces,” then they should “open the door of jihad in theirs,” meaning in the West. “Make your deed a source of their regret,” Adnani continued. “Truly, the smallest act you do in their lands is more beloved to us than the biggest act done here; it is more effective for us and more harmful to them.”

“If one of you wishes and strives to reach the lands of the Islamic State,” Adnani told his audience, “then each of us wishes to be in your place to make examples of the crusaders, day and night, scaring them and terrorizing them, until every neighbor fears his neighbor.” Adnani told jihadists that they should “not make light of throwing a stone at a crusader in his land,” nor should they “underestimate any deed, as its consequences are great for the mujahidin and its effect is noxious to the disbelievers.”

The Islamic State continued to push this message after Adnani’s death in August 2016.

In at least several cases, we have seen individual jihadists who were first influenced by Awlaki and AQAP gravitate to the Islamic State’s cause. Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife were responsible for the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino massacre. They pledged allegiance to Baghdadi on social media, but Farook had drawn inspiration from Awlaki and AQAP’s Inspire years earlier.

Omar Mateen swore allegiance to Baghdadi repeatedly on the night of his assault on a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. However, a Muslim who knew Mateen previously reported to the FBI that Mateen was going down the extremist path. He told the FBI in 2014 that Mateen was watching Awlaki’s videos. It was not until approximately two years later, in early June 2016, that Mateen killed 49 people and wounded dozens more in the name of the supposed caliphate.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man who allegedly planted bombs throughout New York and New Jersey in September 2016, left behind a notebook. In it, Rahami mentioned Osama bin Laden, “guidance” from Awlaki, an also referenced Islamic State spokesman Adnani. Federal prosecutors wrote in the complaint that Rahami specifically wrote about “the instructions of terrorist leaders that, if travel is infeasible, to attack nonbelievers where they live.” This was Adnani’s key message, and remains a theme in Islamic State propaganda.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has alleged that other individuals who sought to support the Islamic State were first exposed to Awlaki’s teachings as well.

These cases demonstrate that the jihadis have developed a well of ideas from which individual adherents can draw, but it may take years for them to act on these beliefs, if they ever act on them at all. There is no question that the Islamic State has had greater success of late in influencing people to act in its name. But al Qaeda continues to produce recruiting materials and to experiment with new concepts for individual attacks as well.

Al Qaeda and its branches have recently called for revenge for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who died in a U.S. prison earlier this month. Rahman was convicted by a U.S. court for his involvement in plots against New York City landmarks in the mid-1990s. Since then, al Qaeda has used Rahman’s “will” to prophesize his death and to proactively blame the U.S. for it. Approximately 20 years after al Qaeda first started pushing this theme, Rahman finally died. Al Qaeda’s continued use of Rahman’s prediction, which is really just jihadist propaganda, demonstrates how these groups can use the same concepts for years, whether or not the facts are consistent with their messaging. Al Qaeda also recently published a kidnapping guide based on old lectures by Saif al Adel, a senior figure in the group. Al Adel may or may not be currently in Syria. Al Qaeda is using his lectures on kidnappings and hostage operations as a way to potentially teach others how to carry them out. The guide was published in both Arabic and English, meaning that al Qaeda seeks an audience in the West for al Adel’s designs.

Both the Islamic State and AQAP also continue to produce English-language magazines for online audiences. The 15th issue of Inspire, which was released last year, provided instructions for carrying out “professional assassinations.” AQAP has been creating lists of high-profile targets in the U.S. and elsewhere that they hope supporters will use in selecting potential victims. AQAP’s idea is to maximize the impact of “lone” attacks by focusing on wealthy businessmen or other well-known individuals. AQAP has advocated for, and praised, indiscriminate attacks as well. But the group has critiqued some attacks (such as the Orlando massacre at a LGBT nightclub) for supposedly muddying the jihadists’ message. AQAP is trying to lay the groundwork for more targeted operations. For example, the January 2015 assault on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris was set in motion by al Qaeda and AQAP. Inspire even specifically identified the intended victims beforehand. Al Qaeda would like individual actors, with no foreign ties, to emulate such precise hits.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State has lowered the bar for what is considered a successful attack, pushing people to use cars, knives, or whatever weapons they can get in their hands. The Islamic State claimed that both the September 2016 mall stabbings in Minnesota and the vehicular assault at Ohio State University in November 2016 were the work of its “soldiers.” It may be the case that there were no digital ties between these attackers and the Islamic State. However, there is often more to the story of how the Islamic State guides such small-scale operations.

The Islamic State has sought to carry out attacks inside the U.S. via “remote-controlled” terrorists.

A series of attacks in Europe and elsewhere around the globe have been carried out by jihadists who were in contact, via social media applications, with Islamic State handlers in Syria and Iraq. The so-called caliphate’s members have been able to remotely guide willing recruits through small-scale plots that did not require much sophistication. These plots targeted victims in France, Germany, Russia, and other countries. In some cases, terrorists have received virtual support right up until the moment of their attack. The Islamic State has had more success orchestrating “remote-controlled” plots in Europe, but the jihadist group has also tried to carry out similar plots inside the U.S.

Since 2015, if not earlier, the U.S.-led coalition has launched airstrikes against the Islamic State operatives responsible for these operations. Jihadists such Rachid Kassim, Junaid Hussain, and Abu Issa al Amriki have all been targeted. Both Hussain and al Amriki sought to “remotely-control” attacks inside the U.S. They have reached into other countries as well. For example, British Prime Minister David Cameron connected Hussain to plots in the UK. And Hussain’s wife, Sally Jones, has also reportedly used the web to connect with female recruits.

Kassim was tracked to a location near Mosul, Iraq earlier this month. Hussain was killed in an American airstrike in Raqqa, Syria on August 24, 2015. Along with his wife, al Amriki perished in an airstrike near Al Bab, Syria on April 22, 2016. But law enforcement officials are still dealing with their legacy and it is possible that others will continue with their methods.

In this section, I will briefly outline several cases in which Hussain and al Amriki were in contact with convicted or suspected terror recruits inside the U.S. In a number of cases, the FBI has used confidential informants or other methods in sting operations to stop these recruits. It should be noted that it is not always clear how much of a threat a suspect really posed and the press has questioned the FBI’s methods in some of these cases. I have included the examples below to demonstrate how the Islamic State’s digital operatives have contacted potential jihadists across the U.S.

For example, Hussain was likely in contact with the two gunmen who opened fire at an event dedicated to drawing pictures of the Prophet Mohammed in Garland, Texas on May 3, 2015. As first reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, Hussain (tweeting under one of his aliases) quickly claimed the gunmen were acting on behalf of the caliphate. Then, in June 2015, Hussain claimed on Twitter that he had encouraged Usaamah Rahim, an Islamic State supporter, to carry a knife in case anyone attempted to arrest him. Rahim was shot and killed by police in Boston after allegedly wielding the blade. The DOJ subsequently confirmed that Rahim was “was communicating with [Islamic State] members overseas, including Junaid Hussain.”

On July 7, 2016, Munir Abdulkader, of West Chester, Ohio, pleaded guilty to various terrorism-related charges. According to the DOJ, Abdulkader communicated with Hussain, who “directed and encouraged Abdulkader to plan and execute a violent attack within the United States.” In conversations with both Hussain and a “confidential human source,” Abdulkader discussed a plot “to kill an identified military employee on account of his position with the U.S. government.” Abdulkader planned to abduct “the employee at the employee’s home” and then film this person’s execution. After murdering the military employee, Abdulkader “planned to perpetrate a violent attack on a police station in the Southern District of Ohio using firearms and Molotov cocktails.” Hussain repeatedly encouraged Islamic State followers to attack U.S. military personnel, just as Abdulkader planned.

On August 11, 2016, Emanuel Lutchman of Rochester, New York pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State as part of a planned New Year’s Eve attack. Lutchman admittedly conspired with Abu Issa al Amriki after he “initiated online contact” with the Islamic State planner on Christmas Day 2015. “In a series of subsequent communications,” DOJ noted, al Amriki “told Lutchman to plan an attack on New Year’s Eve and kill a number of kuffar [nonbelievers].” Al Amriki wanted Lutchman “to write something before the attack and give it to” an Islamic State member, “so that after the attack the [Islamic State] member could post it online to announce Lutchman’s allegiance” to the so-called caliphate. Lutchman wanted to join the Islamic State overseas, but al Amriki encouraged him to strike inside the U.S., as it would better serve the jihadists’ cause. “New years [sic] is here soon,” al Amriki typed to Lutchman. “Do operations and kill some kuffar.” Al Amriki also promised Lutchman some assistance in traveling to Syria or Libya, if the conditions were right. Lutchman divulged his contacts with al Amriki to individuals who, “unbeknownst to Lutchman,” were “cooperating with the FBI.”

On November 7, 2016, Aaron Travis Daniels, also known as Harun Muhammad and Abu Yusef, was arrested at an airport in Columbus, Ohio. He was reportedly en route to Trinidad, but he allegedly intended to travel to Libya for jihad. According to DOJ, Daniels was in contact with Abu Issa al Amriki, who acted as a “recruiter and external attack planner.” Daniels said at one point that it was al Amriki who “suggested” he go to Libya “to support jihad” and he allegedly “wired money to an intermediary” for al Amriki. The DOJ did not allege that Daniels planned to commit an attack in Ohio or elsewhere inside the U.S. Still, the allegations are significant because Daniels was allegedly in contact with al Amriki.

On November 29, 2016, Justin Nojan Sullivan, of Morganton, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges. “Sullivan was in contact and plotted with now-deceased Syria-based terrorist Junaid Hussain to execute acts of mass violence in the United States in the name of the” Islamic State, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord said in a statement. Sullivan and Hussain “conspired” to “plan mass shooting attacks in North Carolina and Virginia,” with Sullivan intending “to kill hundreds of innocent people.”

On February 10, 2017, the DOJ announced that two New York City residents, Munther Omar Saleh and Fareed Mumuni, pleaded guilty to terror-related charges. “Working with [Islamic State] fighters located overseas, Saleh and Mumuni also coordinated their plot to conduct a terrorist attack in New York City,” the DOJ explained. Saleh, from Queens, sought and received instructions from an [Islamic State] attack facilitator to create a pressure-cooker bomb and discussed with the same [Islamic State] attack facilitator potential targets for a terrorist attack in New York City.” Saleh “also sought and received religious authorization from an [Islamic State] fighter permitting Mumuni to conduct a suicide ‘martyrdom’ attack by using a pressure-cooker bomb against law enforcement officers who were following the co-conspirators and thus preventing them from traveling to join” the Islamic State. Federal prosecutors revealed that the “attack facilitator” Saleh was talking to was, in fact, Junaid Hussain.

Also on February 10, 2017, Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, a Virginia man and former member of the Army National Guard, was sentenced to 11 years in prison and five years supervised release for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State. According to the DOJ, Jalloh was in contact with Islamic State members both in person and online. He met Islamic State members in Nigeria during a “six-month trip to Africa” and also “began communicating online with” an Islamic State member located overseas during this time. The Islamic State member “brokered” Jalloh’s “introduction” to the FBI’s confidential human source. This means the U.S. government’s intelligence was so good in this case that the digital handler was actually fooled into leading Jalloh into a dead-end. Still, Jalloh considered “conducting an attack similar to the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood, Texas,” which left 13 people dead and dozens more wounded.

More than 15 years after the 9/11 hijackings, al Qaeda is still plotting against the U.S.

Al Qaeda has not been able to replicate its most devastating attack in history, the September 11, 2001 hijackings. But this does not mean the al Qaeda threat has disappeared. Instead, al Qaeda has evolved. There are multiple explanations for why the U.S. has not been struck with another 9/11-style, mass casualty operation. These reasons include: the inherent difficulty in planning large-scale attacks, America’s improved defenses, and a prolific counterterrorism campaign overseas.

In addition, contrary to a widely-held assumption in counterterrorism circles, al Qaeda has not made striking the U.S. its sole priority. In fact, al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri has even ordered his men in Syria to stand down at times, as they prioritized the war against Bashar al Assad’s regime over bombings, hijackings, or other assaults in the West. However, Zawahiri could change his calculation at any time, and it would then be up to America’s intelligence and law enforcement officials to detect and thwart specific plots launched from Syria. One additional caveat here is warranted. Despite the fact that Zawahiri has not given the final green light for an anti-Western operation launched from Syrian soil, al Qaeda has been laying the groundwork for such attacks in Syria and elsewhere. There is a risk that al Qaeda could seek to launch Mumbai-style attacks in American or European cities, bomb trains or other mass transit locations, plant sophisticated explosives on Western airliners, or dream up some other horrible attack.

In September 2014, the Obama administration announced that it launched airstrikes against al Qaeda’s so-called “Khorasan Group” in Syria. There was some confusion surrounding this group. The Khorasan Shura is an elite body within al Qaeda and part of this group is dedicated to launching “external operations,” that is, attacks in the West. Several significant leaders in the Khorasan Group were previously based in Iran, where al Qaeda maintains a core facilitation hub. In fact, at least two Khorasan figures previously headed al Qaeda’s Iran-based network, which shuttles operatives throughout the Middle East and sometimes into the West. As I have previously testified before this committee, some foiled al Qaeda plots against the West were facilitated by operatives based in Iran.

Al Qaeda began relocating senior operatives to Syria in 2011. And the U.S. has targeted known or obscure al Qaeda veterans in Syria in the years since, often citing their presumed threat to the U.S. and the West. I will not list all of these operatives here, but we regularly track the al Qaeda figures targeted in drone strikes at FDD’s Long War Journal.

During the final months of the Obama administration, American military and intelligence officials highlighted al Qaeda’s continued plotting against the U.S. on multiple occasions. And there was also a shift in America’s air campaign, from targeted strikes on individual al Qaeda operatives in Syria to bombings intended to destroy whole training camps or other facilities. In addition, the U.S. Treasury and State Departments began to designate terrorist leaders within al Qaeda’s branch in Syria who may not play any direct role in international operations. This change in tactics reflects the realization that al Qaeda has built its largest paramilitary force in history in Syria. And while only part of this force may have an eye on the West, there is often no easy way to delineate between jihadists involved in al Qaeda’s insurgency operations and those who are participating in plots against America or European nations.

In October 2016, the Defense Department announced that the U.S. had carried out “transregional” airstrikes against al Qaeda’s “external” operatives in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda “doesn’t recognize borders when they conspire to commit terrorist attacks against the West, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies to find and destroy their leaders, their fighters and their cells that are planning attacks externally,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said shortly after the bombings. Davis added that some of al Qaeda’s “external” plotters enjoyed a “friendly, hospitable environment” within Al Nusrah Front, which was the name used by al Qaeda’s guerrilla army in Syria until mid-2016. Davis added that the jihadists targeted “are people who are from outside Syria in many cases and who are focused on external operations.”

The Pentagon provided short descriptions for each of the al Qaeda operatives targeted in October 2016. On October 17, Haydar Kirkan was killed in Idlib, Syria. He was “a long-serving and experienced facilitator and courier for al Qaeda in Syria,” who “had ties to al Qaeda senior leaders, including Osama bin Laden.” Davis added that Kirkan “was al Qaeda’s senior external terror attack planner in Syria, Turkey and Europe.” Kirkan oversaw a significant network inside Turkey. The U.S. has killed a number of individuals with backgrounds similar to Kirkan since 2014.

On October 21, an AQAP leader known as Abu Hadi al-Bayhani and four others were killed in a U.S. airstrike in Yemen’s Marib governorate. The Pentagon tied al-Bayhani to AQAP’s “external” plotting, noting that the al Qaeda arm relies on “leaders like Bayhani to build and maintain safe havens” from which it “plans external operations.”

Then, on October 23, two senior al Qaeda leaders, Farouq al-Qahtani and Bilal al-Utabi, were killed in airstrikes in Afghanistan. Qahtani was one of al Qaeda’s most prominent figures in the Afghan insurgency, as he was the group’s emir for eastern Afghanistan and coordinated operations with the Taliban. Osama bin Laden’s files indicate that Qahtani was responsible for re-establishing al Qaeda’s safe havens in Afghanistan in 2010, if not earlier. But Qahtani was also tasked with plotting attacks in the West.

General John W. Nicholson, the Commander of NATO’s Resolute Support and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, described the threat posed by Qahtani in a recent interview with the CTC Sentinel, a publication produced by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Gen. Nicholson described Qahtani as al Qaeda’s “external operations director,” saying that he was “actively involved in the last year in plotting attacks against the United States.” Nicholson added this warning: “There’s active plotting against our homeland going on in Afghanistan. If we relieve pressure on this system, then they’re going to be able to advance their work more quickly than they would otherwise.”

Kirkan, Bayhani, and Qahtani are just some of the men involved in anti-Western plotting who have been killed in recent bombings. And these targeted airstrikes are just part of the picture.

In October 2015, the U.S. and its Afghan allies destroyed what was probably the largest al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan’s history in the Shorabak district of Kandahar. The facility was an estimated 30 square miles in size, making it bigger than any of al Qaeda’s pre-9/11 camps.

The U.S. military says that approximately 250 al Qaeda operatives were killed or captured in Afghanistan in 2016. This is far more than the U.S. government’s longstanding estimate for al Qaeda’s entire force structure in all of Afghanistan. For years, U.S. officials claimed there was just 50 to 100 al Qaeda jihadists throughout the entire country.

On January 20, the Defense Department announced that “more than 150 al Qaeda terrorists” had been killed in Syria since the beginning of 2017. In addition to individual terrorists involved in plotting against the West, the U.S. struck the Shaykh Sulayman training camp, which had been “operational since at least 2013.”

The reality is that al Qaeda now operates large training camps in more countries today than on 9/11. The next 9/11-style plotters could be in those camps, or fighting in jihadist insurgencies, right now. If so, it will be up to America’s offensive counterterrorism campaign and its defenses to stop them.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD’s Long War Journal.

Dr. Jasser reacts to news of a Muslim teen’s hate crime hoax and calls for a caliphate in the UK

December 17, 2016

Dr. Jasser reacts to news of a Muslim teen’s hate crime hoax and calls for a caliphate in the UK, American Islamic Forum for Democracy via YouTube, December 16, 2016

Newly-Declassified U.S. Government Documents: The West Supported the Creation of ISIS Washington’s Blog

August 8, 2015

Newly-Declassified U.S. Government Documents: The West Supported the Creation of ISIS

Posted on May 24, 2015 by WashingtonsBlog

via Newly-Declassified U.S. Government Documents: The West Supported the Creation of ISIS Washington’s Blog.

Judicial Watch has – for many years – obtained sensitive U.S. government documents through freedom of information requests and lawsuits.

The government just produced documents to Judicial Watch in response to a freedom of information suit which show that the West has long supported ISIS.   The documents were written by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency on August 12, 2012 … years before ISIS burst onto the world stage.

Here are screenshots from the documents. We have highlighted the relevant parts in yellow:

ISIS1Why is this important? It shows that extreme Muslim terrorists – salafists, Muslims Brotherhood, and AQI (i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq) – have always been the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

This verifies what the alternative media has been saying for years: there aren’t any moderate rebels in Syria (and see this, this and this).

The newly-declassified document continues:

ISIS 2Yes, you read that correctly:

there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime ….

In other words, the powers supporting the Syrian opposition – the West, our Gulf allies, and Turkey wanted an Islamic caliphate in order to challenge Syrian president Assad.

Sure, top U.S. generals – and vice president Vice President Joe Biden – have said that America’s closest allies support ISIS.  And mainstream American media have called for direct support of ISIS.

But the declassified DIA documents show that the U.S. and the West supported ISIS at its inception … as a way to isolate the Syrian government.  And see this.

This is a big deal.  A former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer and a former MI5 officer confirm that the newly-released documents are a smoking gun.

This is a train wreck long in the making.

Who is the Real Chickenshit?

November 4, 2014

Who is the Real Chickenshit? Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, November 4, 2014

(Are attempts to spawn a new Islamic Caliphate more grounded in fantasy than Obama-Kerry perceptions of the Islamic State, grounded in their ill-formed perceptions of fact and ideology? Or less? — DM)

Judging by their actions, most Arab leaders do not want to create yet another terrorist Islamist state, dedicated to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and to toppling their regimes. We do want a Palestinian state, but please, only one that will provide responsible governance.

According to the “Arab street,” it is the Americans and Europeans who are cowards, afraid to take significant steps against Iran, and terrified of the Islamic ghettoes in their cities, which have been exporting terrorists to fight for the Islamic State, and providing housing to the seasoned fighters who return.

To Arabs, the ultimate irony is that America is paying Qatar to have its airbase there, while Qatar is paying terrorists to kill Americans.

When John Kerry claimed it was the unresolved Palestinian issue that caused a ripple effect that crated ISIS, he simply inspired the Palestinians to use Al-Aqsa mosque as a religious trigger for future bloodshed.

There is a civil war currently under way between radical Islam — motivated by imperialist fantasies of restoring the Islamic Caliphate — and the more moderate secular Muslim regimes that are seeking the path to modernization and progress.

At the same time, Sunni Islam is in the midst of an increasingly violent crisis in its dealings with Shi’ite Iran, which looks as if it is about to be granted nuclear weapons capability, and which for decades quietly has been eyeing neighboring Arab oil fields.

Into the middle of this explosive disarray, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his supporters have thrown the accusation that it was actually Israel’s so-called refusal to reach a peace agreement that was responsible for the ripple effect that led to the creation of ISIS. This incorrect diagnosis of the situation merely postpones the West’s efforts to find a real, workable solution for the Palestinian issue.

774Does Kerry really blame Israel for ISIS? Above, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 23, 2014. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

It is easy for the leaders of the Arab world to latch onto Kerry’s accusation and use it justify their weakness and unwillingness to enter into a direct battle against terrorism; to let America do the dirty work, and conveniently to relieve the Arab world of having to recognize Israel and establish a Palestinian state.

They would also be able to avoid dealing with Israel’s demand for the Palestinian territories to be disarmed and the Palestinians’ demands for concessions from Israel.

Judging by their actions, most Arab leaders have no desire to see the Palestinian issue resolved. They seem to prefer preserving the status quo. They blame Israel for refusing to make concessions to the Palestinians and hope that this refusal will weaken Israel, even though Israel is their strategic defense against Iran.

Most Arab leaders do not want to create what is bound soon to become yet another terrorist Islamist state, dedicated to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and to toppling their regimes. The Arab leaders already have to contend with ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, which are enough for them, to say nothing of Africa from Nigeria to Somalia and everything in between.

But if Israel can be blamed for another of world’s ills, with Kerry’s blessing, why waste the opportunity?

When Jordan’s King Abdullah called the current Islamic civil war a cry of distress, he was not speaking randomly. There is a genuine problem.

No examples are better than Turkey, Qatar and Iran. Turkey, led by its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hosts Hamas’s overseas command center; is supported by Qatar and would apparently like to take control of more Sunni territory by subverting the Sunni Arab monarchies. Such a move would enable Erdogan to realize his outspoken dream of recreating an Ottoman Empire and Caliphate.

Turkey and Qatar, its partner in plotting the return of the Caliphate, have left their fingerprints on most of the terrorist attacks and catastrophes currently visited upon the Middle East, especially in the fields of subversion, incitement to terrorism, and the arming and training of terrorists.

The Middle Eastern Sunni Islamist terrorist organizations, meanwhile, are being incited and indoctrinated by Al-Jazeera TV, a Muslim Brotherhood megaphone that belongs to Qatar’s ruling al-Thani family. It was Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel that created the “Arab Spring” by taking the story of a fruit-seller who merely wanted a permit, and whipping it up, non-stop, until it grew into a revolution that brought down Tunisia’s government.

The Middle East’s terrorist gangs are now armed and trained with funding from Qatar. Recently, in yet another savored irony, Turkey agreed to help train Syrian rebels and allow the U.S. to use its military bases — but for Turkey, the plan is probably to bring down Syria’s non-Sunni President, Bashar Al-Assad, and not, as the U.S. might imagine, to bring down ISIS.

In the past, Persian Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia joined in training Islamic terrorist cadres, but currently, as the Arab proverb goes, “The magic spell boomeranged,” and Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have to defend themselves from the very groups they helped create.

Terrorist organizations are now generously funded by Qatar and NATO-member Turkey, which inspire them to attack the regimes of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and various regimes in the Persian Gulf and Africa. Of course, they are all also inspired to attack Israel, as Hamas has done.

Turkey and Qatar are also exploiting the naiveté of the Western world, encouraging ISIS operatives to make preparations to attack Europe and the United States. Preachers of “political Islam” incite susceptible Islamic youths in the West and prepare them for a terrorist campaign. They use the West’s political correctness, free speech and support for “pluralism,” all the while insisting they are not preaching terrorism.

Turkey and Qatar, along with Iran — which does its utmost to export the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution throughout both North and South America, as well as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen — are aided by a mechanism known as the da’wah, or “outreach,” Da’wah, technically the preaching of Islam, is used by political Islam for indoctrinating, enlisting and handling Islamist terrorists worldwide. Perfected for terrorist purposes by the Muslim Brotherhood, its mouthpiece is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who, like Hamas’s leader, Khaled Mashaal, is based in Qatar.

While Iran’s rivals, the Sunni states, conduct their civil wars, Iran only becomes stronger. Not only is it turning itself into a nuclear power, it is also strengthening all its outposts in the Middle East and around the world. It supports the Shi’ite regime in Iraq against ISIS; it arms and funds the Houthis in Yemen and the Hezbollah in Lebanon; and it supports the Syrian Alawite regime against its Sunni opponents.

When it comes to terrorism, Iran does not draw partisan lines. It also supports the Sunni groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both of which seek to destroy Israel and attack the Egyptians in the Sinai Peninsula.

In response to the colossal threat of radical Islam, the whimpering voice of the West can barely be heard. The U.S. administration targeted Israel for condemnation. A “senior official,” most likely the current White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, called Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit,” for being afraid to make peace with the Palestinians.

According to the “Arab street,” including the Palestinian street, it is the Americans and Europeans who are cowards, afraid to take significant steps against Iran, and terrified of the Islamic ghettoes in their cities, which have been exporting terrorists to fight for the Islamic State, and providing housing to the seasoned fighters who return.

The Sunni states under Shi’ite threat cannot even reach an agreement among themselves about what is to be done; and the Palestinians, in their folly, have chosen the worst possible moment to ignite violence in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque. The Palestinians seem not to understand that the Arab regimes that might support them are currently busy fighting for their own survival, and have no desire to fall prey to Palestinian provocations about what they realize all too well are fictional threats to Jerusalem.

Given the current situation, Turkey’s regional political actions are dangerous, underhanded and hypocritical. To achieve their ends, Turkey’s leaders seem to have no qualms about sacrificing their minorities, such as Christians and the Kurds (most of whom are Sunni). Turkey’s leaders were the first to cry “humanitarian crisis” when Israel imposed a closure on the Gaza Strip to prevent Iran from sending Hamas arms. Turkey sent the Mavi Marmara flotilla to protect the Gazans, who were never in any danger in the first place. Turkey’s leaders then weakened Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who, at least at that time, showed himself willing to reach a peace agreement with the Israelis. But when Syria’s Kurds are being killed in Kobani on a daily basis, the Turks are silent, perhaps secretly comfortable seeing a group that wants a state of its own apart from Turkey, being attacked.

Thus, when John Kerry claimed that it was the unresolved Palestinian issue that caused a ripple effect that created ISIS, he simply inspired the Palestinians to use Al-Aqsa mosque as a religious trigger for future bloodshed. The idea is not new; it was used in 1929 by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and led to anti-Jewish riots and the massacre of the Jews in Hebron. It was used again by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in 2000, to incite the Palestinians to the second intifada, which killed untold numbers of Jews and Arabs. Today, Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal are doing the same thing to incite a jihad that this time will truly be religious and not based on real estate.

The more Kerry accuses Israel of having had a hand in creating ISIS, the more the Palestinians will use Al-Aqsa mosque to stir the fire burning under the bubbling cauldron of the Middle East.

The Palestinians’ religious incitement campaign is currently being waged primarily by Mahmoud Abbas, the man who stood in front of the UN and accused Israel of fomenting a religious war. This is the same Mahmoud Abbas who calls on Palestinians to use every means available to fight Israel, while at the same time denying that he is doing so.

Meanwhile, Qatar lurks in the background, instructing Al-Jazeera TV to incite the Palestinians against Israel, Egypt and Jordan, and encouraging terrorist attacks that lead only to justified Israeli reprisals.

Qatar’s royal family hides behind the security of having a major U.S. airbase on its soil, while supporting Hamas, the Islamic Movement in Israel and the terrorist organizations in the Sinai Peninsula. To Arabs, the ultimate irony is that Americans are paying Qatar to have an airbase there, while Qatar is paying terrorists to kill Americans.

Qatar also still finds time nonsensically to accuse the wakf in Jordan, responsible for Al-Aqsa mosque, of collaborating with Israel to eradicate all signs of Muslim presence on the Temple Mount. Qatar’s only plan with that at the moment, however, is to cause riots in Jordan to oust Jordan’s king.

Inspired by Western accusations against Israel and the West’s enthusiastic recognition of a Palestinian state — without requiring the direct negotiations with Israel, as obligated by international treaties — the Palestinian leadership has become more radicalized.

Mahmoud Abbas has gone so far as to abandon his pretense of moderation: if the Israelis can be accused of creating the ISIS with no mention made of the culpability of Hamas, whose ideology is the same as ISIS’s, Mahmoud Abbas has been freed of any commitment to peace and can actively pursue the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

In addition, witnessing Russia’s abrogation of its 1994 Budapest Memorandum with the Ukraine, with virtually no adverse consequences, must have seemed a precedent too tempting to ignore. Thus, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas do truly speak with one voice, but it is the voice of Hamas.

Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, called on all the Palestinians to take up arms to defend Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The mosque, he said, justifies jihad and the sacrificing of shaheeds [martyrs] to liberate it, and, as in the Hamas charter, that “resistance” is the only solution for the problems of the Palestinian people.

Mashaal was echoed by Mahmoud Abbas at the 14th Fatah conference. Abbas said that under no condition were Jews to be allowed into Al-Aqsa mosque or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, because any Jewish presence would defile them. On whose authority did he take possession of the Christian holy sites? A short time earlier, Abbas had even claimed that he had no intention of inciting a third intifada against Israel.

Somehow, John Kerry has managed to link to Israel the Shi’ite-Sunni civil wars, radical Islam’s Muslim Brotherhood-inspired global plot and the creation of ISIS. Then he linked the failure of the Palestinian issue to have been resolved to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The unpopular and inconvenient truth is: if there is to be peace, Hamas has to be disarmed, the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip have to be demilitarized, Mahmoud Abbas has to recognize the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jews, and Netanyahu has to recognize the Palestinians state. Israel will then compensate the Palestinians with land in return for the land on which the three large blocks of settlements stand, as has already been agreed.

It is not Israel but the Palestinians who are trying to avoid negotiating a final agreement. They see themselves, with the backing of the UN and Secretary Kerry — and in a final breakdown of any trust in future international agreements — as able to achieve their desired result without having to make any concessions.

People who repeat infamies, as Kerry has done, not only encourage radicalism, they are just delaying the establishment of a Palestinian state. We do want a Palestinian state, but please only one that will provide responsible governance.

Bush 2006: World War III Coming If ‘Caliphate Capitol’ Established In Iraq

September 16, 2014

Bush 2006: World War III Coming If ‘Caliphate Capitol’ Established In Iraq

via Bush 2006: World War III Coming If ‘Caliphate Capitol’ Established In Iraq.

Read this: long war brief or this

On September 5, 2006, then-President George W. Bush gave a speech headlined “U.S. Foreign Policy and Terrorist Threats” to military officers about the “stages” of the third world war which would be begun by the establishment of a “caliphate” if America was to abandon the fight in Iraq.

He warned radical Islamic jihadist, at the time lead by Osama bin Laden, were planing to “expel Americans” and create a “caliphate capital’ in Iraq.

He added that the terrorists have “made clear that the most important front in their struggle against America is Iraq.”

Bush said the jihadist are engaged in the beginnings of the “third world war that is raging in Iraq.’’

Then he laid out the goals of the Islamic Caliphate saying, “The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of caliphate. The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. And the fourth stage: The clash with Israel.’’

War Coming: Nothing The Peace-At-Any-Costers Can Do About It

September 12, 2014

War Coming: Nothing The Peace-At-Any-Costers Can Do About It, IsraellicoolRyan Bellerose, September 11, 2014


ISIS is a Muslim group. Their foundation is pretty much a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam. To claim that it is not Islamic is to ignore several important things, but the key fact is it doesn’t matter what WE think or what western Muslims think, it only matters what the asshats in ISIS think.

And what they think is they are on a holy mission to create an Islamic Caliphate. I am getting tired of reading all these western orientalists who post that “these people do not follow Islam” as though they have all studied Islam and as though Islam is a monolith.

I also grow tired of the apologists who try to marginalise the problem or claim that anyone who speaks up about this issue is a racist, bigot or Islamophobe. ISIS is NOT the same as Westboro. Westboro are asshats no doubt but they do not behead people and aren’t large enough in numbers to cause any real issue. The mainstream of Christianity doesn’t support them. ISIS, on the other hand, has the support of a LOT of Muslims, and even the ones who do not support it, are rarely vocal about that unless they are in the west.

Hamas is only fighting the expansion of ISIS because the Hamas leadership does not want to lose the cash cow they have. In fact the Hamas charter demands pretty much the same as ISIS: an islamic caliphate where everyone else is a dhimmi (not even a citizen let alone a second class citizen).

Let me be clear, if you belong to any of the following groups, you shouldn’t be supporting ISIS:

Women, Homosexuals, Christians, Jews, Natives, Muslims who are not fanatical, Atheists, Europeans, Asians, North Americans, people who believe in Humans rights……. perhaps now you get the picture. If you are not Muslim, and more specifically a specific sort of muslim, then you should not remain silent. Pretty much the only people who should support ISIS, out of self interest, are Sunni Muslims, mostly of the more legalist end of the spectrum because moderate Sunnis probably don’t want to party like its 999.

There is a war coming, and there is not a damn thing the peace-at-any-costers can do about it. This war will not always be fought openly, even now, its being fought on campuses, in the media and in other arenas of public perception. It really is going to be all the people who believe in human rights and freedom against a totalitarian ideology that believes in its supremacy and refuses to acknowledge equality.

WE do not have a choice over whether to fight, if we do not fight we will be allowing our freedoms to be taken from us. If you think I am being an “Islamophobe” I urge you to spend some time and research Islam and its core beliefs. Look at what ISIS is doing because, my friends, actions speak louder than words. Sex slavery, torture, beheadings, crucifixion: these aren’t just things from the dark ages, these are happening right now to Christians, Yazidis and Kurds.

Now that’s the bad news, the good news is we’re not alone in this fight, there are Muslims who speak up against ISIS and extremism, and they are fighting to change Islam into a more moderate religion. It is imperative that we support those people, we do not allow ourselves to become jaded and prejudiced against all Muslims, because I will be honest with you, our best chance to defeat the radicals is to work with those who want change. So take some time, educate yourself about these things because whether you like it or not we are in this fight: its just that some of us don’t know it yet.

Still a long way to go

September 10, 2014

Still a long way to go, Israel Hayom, Clifford D. May, September 10, 2014

Those who understand such matters know that 9/11 was not about America’s chickens “coming home to roost,” as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright unforgettably characterized the murder of 3,000 Americans. Nor was it a protest against imperialism, colonialism and occupation — an attempt to address “legitimate grievances.” It was about a vision of the past and the future. It was about power and, uncomfortably, about faith.


Do not call what happened 13 years ago this week a tragedy. It was a terrorist atrocity, an act of war and a war crime. Very different.

The self-proclaimed jihadis responsible for hijacking commercial jets and using them as missiles targeted the World Trade Center because it was a Western financial capital, a place where men and women of many ethnicities and religions worked in peace to create prosperity. Another plane was flown into the Pentagon, the brain of the greatest liberation army the world has ever known. One more jet was meant to hit the political heart of the Free World — the Capitol or the White House — but Americans on that flight refused to surrender and won a battle.

September 11 was not a date chosen at random. I’m inclined to credit the explanation offered by the late Christopher Hitchens, a man of the Left who dissented from the Left’s tendency to condone savagery directed at Americans. “It was on September 11, 1683, that the conquering armies of Islam were met, held, and thrown back at the gates of Vienna,” he wrote in The Guardian on Oct. 2, 2001.

That defeat of the Ottoman Empire and Islamic caliphate was “a hinge event in human history,” he wrote. From then on, “it was more likely that Christian or Western powers would dominate the Muslim world than the other way around.”

Most Muslims do not seethe over a 17th century war any more than most Americans nurse a grudge against the descendants of King George III. But those whom we have come to call Islamists regard the failure of Muslim forces to conquer Europe as “a humiliation in itself and a prelude to later ones.” Hitchens added one more observation, particularly relevant this summer: “The forces of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza once published a statement saying that they could not be satisfied until all of Spanish Andalusia had been restored to the faithful as well.”

Those who understand such matters know that 9/11 was not about America’s chickens “coming home to roost,” as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright unforgettably characterized the murder of 3,000 Americans. Nor was it a protest against imperialism, colonialism and occupation — an attempt to address “legitimate grievances.” It was about a vision of the past and the future. It was about power and, uncomfortably, about faith.

The actions Western leaders have taken to counter this threat have been insufficient. Al-Qaida and its affiliates now operate in more countries than ever. An al-Qaida splinter, the Islamic State, has seized much of Syria and Iraq, declaring a caliphate, a successor to the one defeated at Vienna.

The Muslim Brotherhood — an organization whose motto includes the phrase “jihad is our way” — is regarded favorably by those who lead Turkey, a NATO ally, and rule Qatar, where the U.S. maintains a military base and American universities and think tanks have established campuses.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is keeping its eye on the ball, that ball being nuclear weapons, the great equalizer, although equality is not at all what Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have in mind. They are not cooperating with an International Atomic Energy Agency investigation into “the possible military dimensions” of their nuclear program. If they do obtain nuclear capability, the odds increase that a nuclear exchange will occur, and/or that nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of terrorists. Iran and al-Qaida are rivals but they have cooperated in the past and are likely to do so against common enemies again. By now we get that, right?

In New Hampshire last week, Vice President Joseph Biden called those fighting for the Islamic State “barbarians,” melodramatically adding that the Obama administration will “follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice, because hell is where they will reside.”

But the very same day, Secretary of State John Kerry chose to change the subject, making the bizarre suggestion that it is America’s religious “duty” to confront climate change — which he has previously called “the biggest challenge of all that we face right now — not least because “Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable.”

Coincidently, this also was the week that Matt Ridley, a science journalist and member of the British House of Lords, pointed out that “the climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began.”

That does not imply climate change is not a concern; it does imply it is not our “biggest challenge.” How inconvenient for the many politicians who would rather fight carbon emissions than jihadis, who are more concerned about you and me driving SUVs than Iranian mullahs spinning centrifuges.

For such politicians, required reading ought to include Brookings senior fellow Robert Kagan’s most recent essay on the West’s disconcerting return to “the realism of the 1930s.” The fundamental grievance of the illiberal and atavistic forces on the march back then, he observes, was no different from that of illiberal and atavistic forces on the march now: “Being forced to live in a world shaped by others.”

Thirteen years after 9/11, the world shaped by Judeo-Christian values and the Enlightenment is undeniably imperfect. But are we willing to let al-Qaida, the Islamic State, the Islamic Republic and the Muslim Brotherhood restructure it for our children?

The jihadis want the job. And they are more passionate about their beliefs than most of us, more willing — even eager — to kill and be killed to spread them. Thirteen years after 9/11, it’s probably time to decide whether we’re capable of a serious response.