Posted tagged ‘Obama and Islamic terrorism’

Former Gitmo Captive on Saudi Payroll Arrested in French ISIS Cell

June 2, 2017

Former Gitmo Captive on Saudi Payroll Arrested in French ISIS Cell, Judicial Watch, June 2, 2017

Despite his disturbing Pentagon document, the Obama administration released Lahmar from the top security compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba in 2009 after France agreed to take him. This week he was arrested in Bordeaux as part of a terrorist cell that operated a recruiting network for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

As far back as 2010 former president Barack Obama’s National Intelligence Director confirmed that one in four inmates released from Gitmo resume terrorist activities against the United States. A year earlier the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence, disclosed that the number of Gitmo prisoners who returned to the fight since their release had nearly doubled in a short time.

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Surprise, surprise, another inmate released from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has been arrested for reengaging in terrorism. His name is Sabir Mahfouz Lahmar and his Department of Defense (DOD) file says he has links to “multiple terrorist plots” and as a member of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) plotted with Al Qaeda to attack the United States Embassy in Sarajevo.

“Detainee advocated hostilities against US forces and the international community in Bosnia, and is linked to multiple terrorist plots and criminal related activity,” according to Lahmar’s DOD file. “Detainee had intentions to travel to Afghanistan and Iran, and is reported as doing so prior to his capture. Detainee has demonstrated a commitment to jihad, and would likely engage in anti-US activities if released.” Lahmar ended up at Gitmo in 2002 because the Algerian government refused to take him into custody after Bosnian authorities exhausted the legal limits for detention. The Pentagon recommended continued detention and determined that he was a high risk that posed a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies. Lahmar was also labeled a “high threat” from a detention perspective and of high intelligence value.

Also of note in the DOD file is that Lahmar was on Saudi Arabia’s payroll as an employee of the Saudi High Commission for Relief (SHCR), a non-governmental organization (NGO). He was arrested and convicted in 1997 for assaulting an American Citizen in Bosnia but was released, “after the SHCR intervened on his behalf,” the military file states. “After his release, detainee returned to work for the SHCR in Sarajevo.” Authorities in Croatia believe Lahmar was involved in the 1997 bombings in Travnik and Mostar and that he served in the el-Mujahid Brigade conducting training for acts of terrorism in the 1990s. Other reports link Lahmar to car theft and document forgery and indicate he’s wanted in Belgium and France for his involvement in violent activities, the military file says.

Despite his disturbing Pentagon document, the Obama administration released Lahmar from the top security compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba in 2009 after France agreed to take him. This week he was arrested in Bordeaux as part of a terrorist cell that operated a recruiting network for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A British newspaper report says Lahmar was one of six people—four men and two women—captured as part of an aggressive crackdown on a jihadist recruiting network in the European nation that’s been rocked by multiple terrorist attacks in recent years. Just a few years ago a former Gitmo captive, 46-year-old Moroccan Lahcen Ikassrien, was arrested in Spain for operating a sophisticated recruitment network for the Syrian and Iraqi-based terror group known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Like Lahmar and Ikassreien, many of the captives released from Gitmo have predictably returned to terrorist causes and it has long been documented in military and intelligence assessments. Just last year a report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) showed that of the 161 Gitmo detainees released by the Obama administration, nine were confirmed to be “directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities” and that 113 of the 532 Gitmo captives released during the George W. Bush administration have engaged in terrorist activities. “Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred,” according to the ODNI, which is composed of more than a dozen spy agencies, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Treasury and Coast Guard intelligence as well as the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The agency also stated in its report that “former GTMO detainees routinely communicate with each other, families of other former detainees, and previous associates who are members of terrorist organizations. The reasons for communication span from the mundane (reminiscing about shared experiences) to the nefarious (planning terrorist operations). We assess that some GTMO detainees transferred in the future also will communicate with other former GTMO detainees and persons in terrorist organizations.”

Other examples of recidivism among Gitmo captives include dozens who have rejoined Al Qaeda in Yemen, the country where the 2009 Christmas Day airline bomber proudly trained, and a number of high-ranking Al Qaeda militants in Yemen involved in a sophisticated scheme to send bombs on a U.S.-bound cargo plane. A few years ago, a Gitmo alum named Mullah Abdul Rauf, who once led a Taliban unit, established the first ISIS base in Afghanistan. In 2014, Judicial Watch uncovered an embarrassing gaffe involving an Al Qaeda operative liberated from Gitmo years earlier. Turns out the U.S. government put him on a global terrorist list and offered $5 million for information on his whereabouts!

As far back as 2010 former president Barack Obama’s National Intelligence Director confirmed that one in four inmates released from Gitmo resume terrorist activities against the United States. A year earlier the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence, disclosed that the number of Gitmo prisoners who returned to the fight since their release had nearly doubled in a short time. The assessment was made by using data such as fingerprints, pictures and other intelligence reports to confirm the high rate of recidivism among the released prisoners.

A Dose of Reality in Riyadh

May 22, 2017

A Dose of Reality in Riyadh, Front Page MagazineBruce Bawer, May 22, 2017

Early on in his speech, Trump addressed his audience as friends and partners; within a few minutes, without pointing a finger, and without abandoning the collegial tone or the complimentary language, made it clear he was lecturing them. He was the boss, the capo di tutti capi, and he was laying down terms. This wasn’t Obama, who naively thought he could change the world with groveling apologies for the West, praise for Islam built on sheer fantasy, and yet another retelling of his own supposedly inspiring personal story – all the while oozing beta-male deference and docility. No; this was a man of power who – never once talking about himself – made expert use of that power, wielding an iron fist in a velvet glove. His message was unmistakable: either set aside this stupid religion (or at least rein it in, and now), join the modern world, and set your people free to dream, hope, create, grow, and prosper. Or else face the consequences. When, at the end, he summed up the assets of the Islamic world, he didn’t even mention Islam: he cited, among other things, its “spirit of enterprise” and ambitious young people. Where Obama had falsely attributed all kinds of past wonders to Islam, Trump imagined an implicitly Islam-free future in which the region could finally enjoy “glorious wonders of science, art, medicine, and commerce to inspire mankind.” 

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On June 4, 2009, Barack Obama went to Cairo and delivered a speech, addressed to the Muslim world, that was full of praise for Islam and apologies on behalf of the West. In the address, entitled “A New Beginning” (“I’ve come here to Cairo,” he explained, “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world”), he called the university at which he was speaking (which, if it were anywhere in the West, would probably not be able to gain accreditation) “a beacon of Islamic learning”; he blamed tensions between the West and Islam largely on Western “colonialism”; he said “Salaam aleikum” and kept referring to “the Holy Koran”; he asserted, in a ridiculous example of hyperbole, that “Islam has always been part of America’s story”; he served up a big wallop of revised history, giving Islam unmerited praise for centuries-old accomplishments in science, architecture, music, art, and medicine and even holding it up as “a model of tolerance and equality” (at one point, he seemed to imply that in some ways women’s rights are more advanced in the Muslim world than in the U.S.); and, with utter predictability, he quoted the the “Holy Koran” out of context, plucking out that favorite verse of all Western apologists that supposedly teaches “that if one kills an innocent, it is as if it he has killed all of mankind.”

And of course, as always, he talked about himself: a descendant of “generations of Muslims” in Kenya; a man who, in his Indonesian boyhood, daily heard the beautiful Islamic call to prayer; a president who had “known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed.” As someone with such intimate ties to the Religion of Peace, asserted Obama, he saw it as part of his job to “fight against negative stereotypes of Islam.” Yes, he spoke about the need to fight terror, but he was quick to maintain that “Islam is not part of the problem” but rather “an important part of promoting peace.” He defended U.S. ties to Israel and recognized the “reality of the Holocaust,” but quickly pivoted to the “suffering” of Palestinians, the “pain of dislocation” they experienced, and the “daily humiliations” of the “occupation” – preaching, in short, to Israel from a Cairo pulpit. He quoted from the Talmud, but was careful not to call it holy. He implied that the histories of the Jews and Palestinians were equally tragic. And he preached to America too, suggesting that when Americans criticize the “choice” of women – and girls (!) – to wear hijab they were disguising their “hostility” to Islam “behind the pretense of liberalism.” Similarly, instead of thundering against the evil of 9/11, Obama apologized for the supposed excesses of some Americans’ responses to that atrocity, saying with nauseating chagrin that “in some cases it led us to acts contrary to our principles and our ideals.” Oh, and he vowed to close Guantánamo “by early next year.”

This Sunday, almost exactly as far into his presidency as Obama was when he gave his Cairo speech, Donald Trump spoke in Riyadh. For some of us, the very prospect of this appearance had been, to put it mildly, dismaying. Trump won the election, after all, largely because of his tough and bracingly realistic talk about Islam. Now, on his first trip abroad as president, he was going to Saudi Arabia. It was bad enough that this was a trip to a Muslim country. But Saudi Arabia isn’t just any Muslim country. It’s the mother of all Muslim countries. It’s the single most backward of them all. It’s a state sponsor of terrorism. It, and members of its royal family, have bankrolled mosques and madrassas and university departments of Middle Eastern Studies throughout the Western world – places that are nothing more than centers of Islamic propaganda. Most of the 9/11 hijackers, as the whole world knows, were Saudis. And the whole point of Trump’s visit to Riyadh was to celebrate a gigantic sale of U.S. arms to the Saudis on the premise that they represent a major bulwark against an even more dire threat, namely Iran. Nor was Trump just addressing the Saudis: also in attendance were the leaders of most of the other Muslim countries on the planet – in other words, a whole boatload of really nasty customers. It was hard not to conclude that Trump, like Obama, was going to try to brown-nose his way into a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims.”

The opening minutes of Trump’s speech certainly did nothing to dispel this expectation. It was gag-inducing to hear him praise the “magnificent kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, “the splendor of your country,” “the grandeur of this remarkable place,” and so on. It was absurd to hear him talk about working together with the ultra-extremist Saudis to eliminate “extremism.”

But then something happened. Even as he continued to serve up the usual glowing rhetoric about Islam being “one of the world’s great faiths,” and to refer to this and that as being “holy,” he made a couple of exceedingly elegant transitions. First, he began mixing the ethereal praise with realistic businessman-type talk about the value of international partnership. “We are not here to lecture, to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship,” he said. “Instead, we are here to offer partnership” between the West and the Muslim world – a partnership that would bring prosperity to future Muslim generations. But he underscored the fact that in order for such a partnership to work, something would have to change. And it would have to change a lot. The Islamic world, he insisted, had to turn into a place where young Muslims could grow up “innocent of hatred.” And then he spelled out the results of that hatred, presenting first a roll call of some of the “barbaric attacks” on America – 9/11, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando – and then a list of other places (“Europe, Africa, South America, India, Russia, China, and Australia”) where that hatred has manifested itself.

However delicately he worked his way around to it, it was nothing less than an accusation.

No, he didn’t explicitly charge Muslim leaders with funding terrorism – but he told them, in no uncertain terms, that they needed to cut off funds to terrorists. Nor did he explicitly blame Islam for terror or explicitly call it evil (as much as some of us would have loved to hear him do so) – but he came tantalizingly close to doing so, speaking bluntly about the “vile creed,” the “wicked ideology,” the “craven ideology”, that underlies terror. He did use the word “evil.” And, yes, he spoke of “Islamic” (not “Islamist” or “radical Islamic”) terror. And he made it clear he wasn’t just talking about terrorism – he was talking about Islam itself. He condemned “the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.” He warned: “barbarism will deliver you no glory. Piety to evil will bring you no dignity.”  Yes, “piety to evil.” Even as he continued to make flattering references to Islam, they felt increasingly pro forma, and it became increasingly manifest that he was identifying that religion as the root not just of terror but of all that is primitive and barbaric about that portion of the world in which it is most commonly practiced. In one remarkable passage, he listed a number of wonders of the Arab region of which his listeners should be proud. What was remarkable was that they were all wonders that dated to pre-Islamic times. In short, he was reminding these people that they had a proud history, a proud identity, that predated their prophet and that could, if they wished, help form the foundation of a new, free, forward-looking culture.

Of course, even to express such thoughts, in some Islamic countries, is considered heretical, illegal; but Trump did it in such a masterly way that you could imagine some of these Muslim big shots sitting there trying to figure out whether they should be offended or not.

In fact, it was all quite masterfully done. Early on in his speech, Trump addressed his audience as friends and partners; within a few minutes, without pointing a finger, and without abandoning the collegial tone or the complimentary language, made it clear he was lecturing them. He was the boss, the capo di tutti capi, and he was laying down terms. This wasn’t Obama, who naively thought he could change the world with groveling apologies for the West, praise for Islam built on sheer fantasy, and yet another retelling of his own supposedly inspiring personal story – all the while oozing beta-male deference and docility. No; this was a man of power who – never once talking about himself – made expert use of that power, wielding an iron fist in a velvet glove. His message was unmistakable: either set aside this stupid religion (or at least rein it in, and now), join the modern world, and set your people free to dream, hope, create, grow, and prosper. Or else face the consequences. When, at the end, he summed up the assets of the Islamic world, he didn’t even mention Islam: he cited, among other things, its “spirit of enterprise” and ambitious young people. Where Obama had falsely attributed all kinds of past wonders to Islam, Trump imagined an implicitly Islam-free future in which the region could finally enjoy “glorious wonders of science, art, medicine, and commerce to inspire mankind.”

Yes, it would have been terrific to hear an American president spell out the truth about Islam in a less nuanced, less diplomatic fashion. And it was frankly bizarre to hear Trump, in his closing moments, singling Iran out as uniquely malevolent after having heaped praise on other equally nefarious regimes whose leaders were right there in the room with him. But we critics of Islam have our jobs and Trump has his. Given the occasion and the purpose, this was, even at its worst, an immense improvement over Obama’s Cairo oration, and, at its best, a convincing assertion of authority, a strongly pitched demand for radical transformation, and a perfectly calibrated use of the carrot-and-stick approach.

No, international Islam is almost certainly beyond meaningful reform. But history has shown that it can at least be contained and controlled in ways that give citizens of Muslim-majority countries a certain degree of freedom and that keep to a minimum the scale of violence in the West originating in those countries. (The rampant Islamization of the West, and the concomitant increase in home-grown Islamic terror, are separate questions.) And no, a single speech can’t accomplish much of anything. But Trump’s tough presentation in Riyadh, if followed up by equally tough interactions with our “friends” in that audience, may well get a few things, here and there, moving in welcome directions.

Full Measure: Sunday, March 5, 2017: War on ISIS

March 6, 2017

Full Measure: Sunday, March 5, 2017: War on ISIS via YouTube, March 6, 2017

 

What to Remember in Fighting Radical Islam

February 28, 2017

What to Remember in Fighting Radical Islam, Gatestone InstituteSaied Shoaaib, February 28, 2017

Religious reform in Islam did not find support, as it did in the West. What does Trump need to do? There needs to be a stop to any form of cooperation with the varieties of political Islam and certainly the terrorist organizations.

Add to that: Dismantle the ideology that produces Islamic terrorism by supporting the disintegration of the ideology of terrorism through Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic schools, mosques, books, radio stations and television stations. Dry up the external financing and private Saudi and Gulf Islamic institutions in the West. And thus give to the Muslims what is normal in the West. We need to promote other Islamic religious choices, completely out of the ideology of the Islamic terrorist prison, and to encourage being part of the building and development of human civilization rather than the cause of its destruction.

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In every Muslim-majority country, especially in the Middle East, the Islamic terrorist genie came out from under the ashes, built the Islamic state and threatened the West — both with terrorist operations and from inside, in a more surreptitious, seemingly peaceful manner, as the Muslim Brotherhood does.

It is important to understand that Islam is a religion that includes, in its structure, political power that governs and controls and spreads the force of arms.

US President Donald J. Trump has succeeded in naming a jihadi problem, political Islam, but it is hard to single out defective products from the factory without closing the factory — if one does not want them to appear again.

This does not mean that what Trump intends to do is not important; on the contrary, we need him after most Western politicians faced Islamic terrorism awkwardly, if they faced it at all. Sometimes they even cooperated with these terrorist organizations, invited their members to the White House; to Iftar dinners during Ramadan, and hugging what they falsely call “moderate Islam” — especially the Muslim Brotherhood, the incubator that most terrorist organizations come out of — instead of the true “moderate Muslims” who have been struggling to be heard above the crush of “influence,” infiltration and petro-dollars.

We can say that so far “Trumps’s recipe” for facing radical Islam had been tried before and failed. Dictatorships and military regimes in the Middle East, such as the presidents of Egypt Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, and now el-Sisi, faced political and radical Islam. Russia did, and Saddam did in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, Bourguiba in Tunisia and others.

Perhaps the saddest failure is the Turkish model. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk built a dictatorship-state on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. He decisively confronted all forms of political Islam, and destroyed the military wing of the army that dreamed of restoring that Empire. Atatürk founded a dictatorship guarded by the army’s broad powers, but within a constitutional and legal framework, to deter Islamists who might want to change his modernist structure. It was also meant to stop any move to Islamic rule that might want to change the relatively open and pro-Western ideas of the Kemalist Republic.

Atatürk dominated the religious institutions, and made them work for him; they gave him a legitimate Islamic platform. He wanted Islamic culture to prevail, but under his control.

Unfortunately, this model also failed. Turkey’s current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prosecuted the leaders of the army with trumped-up testimony; lowered the retirement age of the judiciary to force them out; fired educators, jailed journalists is building his Islamic state step by step.

1920-1Many Western politicians have cooperated with Islamists and Islamist organizations. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

In every Muslim-majority country, especially in the Middle East, the Islamic terrorist genie came out from under the ashes, built an Islamic state and threatened the West — both with terrorist operations and from inside, in a more surreptitious, seemingly peaceful manner, as the Muslim Brotherhood does.

Most of those who fought Islamic terrorism focused their efforts on the hunt for dangerous products from the factory of Islamic ideology, such as Anwar al-Awlaki or Osama bin Laden. This is important, but no one tried to shut down and destroy the factory itself.

Perhaps we remember that the West, in the fight against the ideology of communism, used weapons only rarely. The major part of the fight was against the ideology itself: encouraging and supporting its opponents, and disseminating ideas to counter those the Communists were exporting. There was a focus on the disadvantages of Communist ideology, such as oppression, tyranny and human rights violations. And suddenly the world woke up one day to find the Soviet Empire collapsed from inside.

We need from the West a positive energy to rebuild the civilization after the destructive energy that hollowed it out. And we need to dismantle the prevailing Islamic ideology that produces terrorism.

It is important to understand that Islam is a religion that includes, in its structure, political power that governs and controls and spreads the force of arms. First the Islamic prophet Muhammad published his call peacefully for nearly 13 years in Mecca, when the Quran verses called for tolerance, freedom of belief and other human values. But then Muhammad and some of his companions moved to the city of al-Madina and turned religion into a political authority aiming to expand and defend itself. It entered into a political and military struggle against its opponents within al-Madina and outside, especially with his tribe of Quraish.

At that time, Muhammad established what we might call political Islam. It was based on a new call: that Islam was no longer interested in the relationship between the individual and his God, as well as a good relationship with those around him, whether they agreed with his religious faith or not.

He turned the religion into a ruling political organization, undertaking to control — religiously, politically, socially and economically — Muslims and others. It builds on the culture of the tribe, spreads the force of arms and increases its numbers and the territories governed by them.

It became the religion of loyalty — meaning loyalty to the governor and vice-versa.

This structure continued after the death of Muhammad. Many ruled out of Quraish, the most prominent Turks, Al-Othmanin and the Ottoman Empire that expanded through force of arms to Persia; swept away the Christian Byzantine Empire; conquered by force North Africa, the Middle East, Greece, Spain and Eastern Europe

During this long history was established the Islamic culture that now prevails among the millions of Muslims in all corners of the world. It was founded on the sacred religious texts: the verses of the Quran and hadiths (the Prophet’s biography). Add to this a religious jurisprudence established during this imperial tide that swept the world. All of this, ordinary Muslims imprison inside them, unhappy. Some of them become potential soldiers for terrorist organizations and all varieties of political Islam.

This culture, prevalent in the West, is backed by money from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, especially Qatar, and often backed by money from the West itself — along with many politicians, often opportunistic.

What is the solution? From within. Islamic political power controls the Islamic world, whether military or in an everyday dictatorial form.

Religious reform in Islam did not find support, as it did in the West. What does Trump need to do? There needs to be a stop to any form of cooperation with the varieties of political Islam and certainly the terrorist organizations.

Add to that: Dismantle the ideology that produces Islamic terrorism by supporting the disintegration of the ideology of terrorism through Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic schools, mosques, books, radio stations and television stations. Dry up the external financing and private Saudi and Gulf Islamic institutions in the West. And thus give to the Muslims what is normal in the West. We need to promote other Islamic religious choices, completely out of the ideology of the Islamic terrorist prison, and to encourage being part of the building and development of human civilization rather than the cause of its destruction.

To Fix Counterterrorism, End Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Strategy

February 6, 2017

To Fix Counterterrorism, End Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Strategy, PJ MediaAndrew C. McCarthy, February 5, 2017

(Please see also, Trump Seeks to End Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Scam. — DM)

grief

Last June, the jihadist terrorist Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 and wounding several other revelers. It quickly became clear that Mateen was yet another “known wolf” – the term popularized by my friend and colleague Patrick Poole to describe the frequent phenomenon of terrorists who manage to plot and strike against the West notwithstanding that their patent radicalism has put them on the radar screen of law-enforcement and intelligence agents.

I have long argued that the cause of this phenomenon is the restrictions on common sense placed on our agents by political correctness, which essentially blind them to the well-known but rarely acknowledged progression from Islamic scripture to sharia-supremacist ideology (what we call “radical Islam”), to enclaves populated by adherents and sympathizers of this ideology, and inevitably to jihadist terror. This iteration of political correctness has been the backbone of Obama administration counterterrorism strategy, known as “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE). Shortly after the Orlando attack, I delivered a speech at the Westminster Institute – entitled, “Defenseless in the Face of Our Enemies” – in which I addressed CVE. The new Trump administration is in the process of formulating its own counterterrorism strategy. Below, for what it may be worth, is the portion of my speech that addressed CVE:

Of the nearly 36,000 people who work for the FBI, fewer than 14,000 are investigative agents. National security is a crucial part of the Bureau’s portfolio, but the FBI is statutorily the lead investigative agency in virtually every category of criminal offense in federal law. At most, there are a couple thousand agents assigned full-time to counterterrorism. Those numbers are multiplied somewhat by joint federal-state efforts — the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in several metropolitan areas across the nation. Even so, because the Bureau is an intelligence agency as well as a law-enforcement agency, there are over a thousand terrorism investigations ongoing at any one time. The FBI director indicates that there is activity that must be monitored in all 50 states. Unless there are flashing neon signs of imminent attack, the small number of investigators can only spend so much time on any one suspect.

Of course, that time can be maximized, or wasted, depending on whether investigators know what they’re looking for . . . and whether they are permitted to look for it.

Clearly, the FBI spent a lot of time on Mateen. It sent confidential informants to interact with him, conducted physical surveillance, covertly monitored some of his phone calls, and interviewed him face-to-face three separate times. It concluded that his bark was bad, but his bite was non-existent. Honoring guidelines imposed on terrorism investigations, the FBI closed its case. That is, in addition to concluding that no charges should be filed, the Bureau further decided that additional monitoring of Mateen was not warranted.

In retrospect, this seems reckless. But the FBI is not incompetent, far from it. The agency knew Mateen was worth a heavy investigative investment. The problem is that the FBI answers to the Washington political class. The bipartisan Beltway has long ruled that advocacy of radical Islam is protected by the Constitution. It has long instructed its investigators, preposterously, that seditious beliefs and agitation are immune, not just from prosecution, but even from mere inquiry.

What passes for Obama’s national-security strategy, known as “Countering Violent Extremism,” exacerbates this problem. CVE delusionally forbids the conclusion that radical Islamic ideology has any causative effect on terrorist plotting. The FBI is in the impossible position of trying to conduct investigations that follow the facts wherever they lead, while fearing that such investigations — by illuminating the logical progression from Islamic scripture to sharia supremacism to jihadist terror — will enrage its political masters.

Understand: Nothing in the Constitution mandates this suicidal betrayal of national security. It flows from Washington’s lunatic concoction of an imaginary Islam — a belief system the sole tenets of which are peace and anti-terrorism. President Obama and the counsel he keeps (many of whom are connected to insidious Islamist organizations tied to the Muslim Brotherhood) insist this “anti-terrorist” “Religion of Peace” is the only viable interpretation of Islam. We are not just to believe, we are pressured to endorse, the fantasy that sharia supremacism is a “false Islam.” Its palpable mainstream status in the Middle East and elsewhere is not to be spoken of.

The FBI is bound by guidelines promulgated by the Justice Department, most of which have been in place since the administration of President George W. Bush. They impose a caveat on every investigation:

These Guidelines do not authorize investigating or collecting or maintaining information on United States persons solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

On its face, this admonition should not be problematic. It instructs that agents may not investigate for the sole purpose of monitoring activities protected by federal law. Consequently, if agents have other legitimate purposes for investigating — such as preventing terrorist attacks or probing terrorism conspiracies — the Justice Department guidance is no bar to conducting an investigation in which a mosque or a protest rally may foreseeably come under scrutiny.

Political dissent and the exercise of religion are protected by the First Amendment. But this is a protection against being prosecuted merely for one’s words or religious observance. It is not a shield against investigation for criminal activities that are motivated by religious or political belief.

Not only may one be investigated and prosecuted for criminal offenses that are motivated by one’s beliefs or speech; it has long been the law that evidence of one’s beliefs and speech, which is often highly relevant to proving criminal intent, may be admitted in a prosecution for such offenses.

Simply stated, if you are a Muslim who believes sharia law must be imposed on society, and you tell people that Allah commands the commission of violent jihad to impose sharia, that belief and statement are admissible evidence if you are charged with bombing or terrorism conspiracy crimes. You are not being prosecuted for what you believe or what you said; you are being prosecuted for the crimes. The beliefs and statements are evidence of your state of mind — just as they are in all kinds of criminal cases beyond terrorism.

That being the case, there is nothing inherently wrong with, much less constitutionally offensive about, the concept that radical religious or political beliefs should trigger investigations. That is especially the case if those beliefs are conveyed by aggressive language, or by association with other radicals or mosques known to endorse jihadism.

Here’s an important principle we must get right: It cannot be that evidence an investigator may use to prove guilt of terrorism offenses is somehow insulated from an investigator’s suspicions about potential terrorism offenses. The goal of counterterrorism is supposed to be the prevention of jihadist attacks, not the hope that there may be a living terrorist or two still around to be indicted and tried only after Americans have been murdered.

In law enforcement, however, what matters most is not what the law allows investigators to do. It is what the investigators’ superiors allow them to do.

That brings us to “Countering Violent Extremism.” In essence, CVE holds that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, or even with Islamist ideology that reviles the United States. President Obama has conclusively proclaimed: “Muslim American communities have categorically condemned terrorism” — end of discussion . . . as if that were an incontestable proposition or one that told the whole story.

Thus, the administration narrative continues, the real threat to our security is not Muslim terrorist plots against us but our provocation of Muslims. By the Obama administration’s lights, our national-defense measures following the 9/11 attacks have conveyed the misimpression that America is at war with Islam.

Remember, we’re in Fantasy Land, so we’re not supposed to pause at this point to ask: What, then, prompted the 9/11 attacks in the first place? What prompted the increasingly audacious series of attacks from the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole — all during those sensitive, Islamophilic Clinton years when, we’re to believe, jihadists didn’t think America was “at war with Islam”?

Instead of asking such impertinent questions, we are simply to accept the president’s say-so that the key to our security is to “partner” with the leadership in Muslim communities — much of which just happens to be tied to or heavily influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood.

In a major 2007–08 prosecution (the Holy Land Foundation case), the Justice Department proved that the Brotherhood financed the Hamas terrorist organization to the tune of millions of dollars. That same Muslim Brotherhood is the main subject of my 2010 book, The Grand Jihad. The title is lifted from an internal Brotherhood memo seized by the FBI and presented at the Holy Land trial — a memo in which Brotherhood honchos stationed in the United States explained that their mission here is a “grand jihad” to “eliminate and destroy Western Civilization from within” — by “sabotage.”

Under CVE, we are to let our Islamist “partners” train the police, and let them be our eyes and ears in Muslim communities. Because we all share the same interests, you see, we should rest assured that these Islamist leaders will alert us if there is any cause for concern.

Makes perfect sense, right?

If it is possible, the practice of CVE is even more of a national-security disaster than the theory. This is probably best documented by my friend Stephen Coughlin in a recent and essential book: Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.

Apart from being an exceptional lawyer, Steve is a trained military intelligence officer who has studied our enemies’ threat doctrine, Islamic supremacism. Again, to be precise, it may be best to call it “sharia supremacism” because it reflects the classic sharia-based Islam that is mainstream in the Middle East. Catastrophic Failure is about how the United States government has systematically stifled the study of this doctrine since before 9/11. CVE is the paragon illustration of how the Obama administration has exacerbated this catastrophic failure — a failure that I have branded “willful blindness” since first encountering it as a prosecutor two decades ago.

As Coughlin demonstrates, CVE is no secret. For example, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties — which is every bit as radical as the infamous Civil Rights Division in the Obama Justice Department — has worked with the National Counterterrorism Center to develop government-agency training programs that “bring together best [CVE] practices.”

One product of this effort is a handy two-page instruction document of CVE “Do’s and Don’ts.” The “Don’ts” tell agents to avoid, among other things, “ventur[ing] too deep into the weeds of religious doctrine and history” or examining the “role of Islam in majority Muslim nations.” The guidance further admonishes:

Don’t use training that equates radical thought, religious expression, freedom to protest, or other constitutionally protected activity, with criminal activity. One can have radical thoughts/ideas, including disliking the U.S. government, without being violent; for example, trainers who equate the desire for Sharia law with criminal activity violate basic tenets of the First Amendment.

As we’ve already observed, this interpretation of the First Amendment is patent rubbish. Again, there is no free-speech protection against having one’s words examined for intelligence or investigative purposes. Free-expression principles protect Americans against laws that subject speech to penalty or prosecution — a protection, by the way, that the Obama administration seeks to deny to speech unflattering to Islam, under a UN resolution it jointly sponsored with several Islamic nations.

In sum, Obama’s CVE strategy expressly instructs our investigators to consider only violent or criminal conduct. They are told to ignore radical ideology, particularly if it has the patina of “religious expression.” They are directed to turn a deaf ear to anti-Americanism and the desire to impose sharia, which just happens to be the principal objective of all violent jihadists, and of the Obama administration’s oft-time consultants, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Our agents, furthermore, are cautioned to avoid doing anything that smacks of subjecting particular groups to heightened scrutiny. After all, that might imply that terrorism committed by Muslims has some connection to Islam — specifically, to the undeniable, unambiguous commands to violent jihad found in Muslim scripture.

Obviously, this CVE guidance is exactly what our investigators follow when they consciously avoid scrutinizing jihadist social-media postings by visa applicants from Muslim-majority countries — such as Tashfeen Malik. She was the Pakistani immigrant who joined her jihadist husband, Syed Farook, in carrying out last December’s mass-murder attack in San Bernardino (in which 14 people were killed and dozens wounded).

There is nothing secret about CVE. Willful blindness is right there in black and white.

Al Qaeda back in the crosshairs–and with good reason

February 6, 2017

Al Qaeda back in the crosshairs–and with good reason, Terror Trends Bulletin, Christopher W. Holton, February 5, 2017

map-al-qaeda-2015

There is growing evidence that, not only did Barack Obama allow the Islamic State caliphate to become established and metastasize on his watch, but he also looked the other way while Al Qaeda became resurgent.

Sean Durns over at the Washington Examiner has an article that summarizes how Al Qaeda has spread in recent years…

Al Qaeda, the group responsible for the worst terrorist attack in United States history, never really left. Instead, while news media coverage inordinately focused on the Islamic State, al Qaeda re-tooled and re-established itself for a new age.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of al Qaida’s death were greatly exaggerated. Anticipatory obituaries appeared after the death of al Qaida founder Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. Then-President Barack Obama, for instance, said on Sept. 10, 2011 that al Qaeda was “on a path to defeat.” Similarly, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in July 2011 that the U.S. was “within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda.”

But as terror analysts Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Bridget Moreng pointed out in an April 2015 op-ed, “The Islamic State’s offensive through Iraq and Syria last year has dominated the headlines, but the jihadist group that has won the most territory in the Arab world over the past six months is Al Qaeda.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/al-qaeda-is-back/article/2613929

As a result, not only has Donald Trump inherited the Islamic State caliphate, he has also inherited an Al Qaeda that is rebounding.

As Trump promised in his campaign, he is taking the war to the enemy. U.S. Special Operations Forces carried out a raid on an Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a raid that has been the subject of much partisan bickering.

The Leftist news media is predictably celebrating the raid as “botched,” which is typical of their ignorance of military operations. They have evidently grown used to drone strikes which kept national command authority’s image squeaky clean, but also failed to achieve much of anything, given the growth of both Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. To put it mildly, the media is overeager to see the new administration fail and will report everything as a failure.

Nevertheless, the raid reportedly killed two senior AQAP Jihadists, Sultan al-Dhahab and Abd-al-Ra’uf al-Dhahab. It was sufficiently successful to prompt the leader of AQAP, Qasim Al-Raymi, to issue a call for revenge against the U.S.

The media is also all-too eager to buy into the enemy propaganda that the U.S. raid killed civilian women and children. There is no evidence either way and there is sufficient precedent for women and even children to act as combatants for Jihadist organizations, so if they were killed, they are simply casualties of war.

Bill Roggio at Long War Journal has a good report on the renewed campaign against Al Qaeda…

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2017/02/us-military-says-aqap-leaders-killed-in-raid.php

President Trump is Right to be Angry at Australian PM

February 2, 2017

President Trump is Right to be Angry at Australian PM, Front Page Magazine (The Point), Daniel Greenfield, February 2, 2017

(Please see also, WTF! Obama to import 1,800 Muslim illegals from Australia. President Trump is angry with Obama and Turnbull because both consider America a garbage dump. — DM)

dealwithit

Obama arranged to take in large numbers of illegal, mostly Muslim migrants, that Australia did not want. The deal was made after an election in which voters had very explicitly rejected that position.

The move, like so many others, including those aimed at Jews and Cuban-Americans, was part of a malicious pattern of political vandalism by a defeated movement. Knowing the situation, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull should never have agreed to it. Just as the United States would not angry [sic?] to say, accept the handover of Sydney to us by an angry outgoing Australian government determined to do as much damage as possible on the way.

It’s common sense and common decency.

Turnbull just saw a way to get rid of an irritating problem and didn’t care that the arrangement would poison relations with the next administration. And he should have.

It wasn’t Trump who torched relations with Australia. It was Turnbull who torched relations with America. He knew that the next United States government would hate the deal and that he was making an arrangement with a lame duck who didn’t really have the authority to make it anymore.

With the phone call, Turnbull had the opportunity to drop the deal once he saw President Trump was opposed to it. Considering the dubiousness of the whole thing, it would have been the sensible thing to do. Instead Turnbull prioritized dumping Muslim illegal migrants on America over his relationship with the United States.

Instead of viewing America as an ally, Turnbull saw it as a dumping ground for people even he didn’t want.

Is anyone really surprised that this infuriated Trump? Forget all the pious lectures about how close allies are treated. Turnbull was the one abusing the alliance. It wasn’t Trump making unreasonable demands of Australia. It was Turnbull insisting that Trump ignore the wishes of his own voters while creating a national security problem for America.

According to the Washington Post, during his call with Turnbull, Trump said the Obama administration’s agreement to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center was “the worst deal ever,” and accused the country of seeking to send the “next Boston bombers” to the United States. Trump abruptly ended the call with the leader of one of the United States’ closest allies before its scheduled conclusion, the Post reported.

After reports about the phone call started to circulate, Trump took to Twitter to call the Obama administration’s deal “dumb.”

Andrew Bolt at Australia’s Herald Sun has some common sense commentary.

Turnbull thought he could outsmart Donald Trump and trap him into taking 1250 of our boat people.

Huge mistake, and now he’s been humiliated.

There is no surprise that an angry Trump attacked Turnbull in their call at the weekend and hung up halfway through, after just 25 minutes.

What did Turnbull expect?

This political disaster was always on the cards from the moment Turnbull announced, on November 13 last year, that he’d signed a deal with then US president Barack Obama to take our boat people detained on Nauru and Manus Island.

That was very dumb because just five days earlier Trump had been unexpectedly elected the next president, having campaigned hard against exactly this kind of thing.

Trump is angry. And he’s right to be angry.