Posted tagged ‘Osama bin Laden’

Al-Qaeda Terrorism and Shakespeare

November 4, 2017

Al-Qaeda Terrorism and Shakespeare, American ThinkerMichael Curtis, November 4, 2017

(Please see also, Can Bin Laden Heir Salvage Jihad in Syria? — DM)

Particularly important is Osama’s account of relations between al-Qaeda and Iran.

They were and are complex, fluctuating relations and loose ties between Sunni Osama and Shiite Iran.  What brought them together was the common hostility to the U.S. and to Saudi Arabia.  Iran supported al-Qaeda’s war against those countries.  Iran offered al-Qaeda “everything they needed,” funds and arms, and the opportunity to train in Hezb’allah camps in Lebanon in exchange for striking U.S. interests.  Iran sheltered al-Qaeda people.  Al-Qaeda opposed Saudi Arabia because it was hosting U.S. troops during the Gulf war.  Osama sent a group, the al-Qaeda management committee, to Iran while Iran enabled al-Qaeda to move funds and fighters to south Asia and Syria.

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Cole Porter would have been perplexed by the petition in October 2017 to the English Department at Cambridge University to “decolonize the curriculum,” but he had the foresight to call on people to brush up on your Shakespeare, start quoting him now.  Evidently Osama bin Laden, the epitome of decolonization, who had no use for Broadway anyway, had no quarter for Porter.  The terrorist leader who founded al-Qaeda in 1988, not one of those attired in wonder that know not what to say, implicitly told the world this in his personal diary of 228 pages with his private reflections that have just been made public.

This information is important at a time when the United States and the Western world have been preoccupied with the activities of ISIS, both the caliphate and its adherents, with attacks in New York City and around the world that have overshadowed the once more well known terrorist group al-Qaeda and its leader Osama.

On November 1, 2017, Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA, ordered the release of 470,000 documents captured in the Navy SEALs’ raid on May 2, 2011 on the compound of Osama in Abbottabad, Pakistan, close to the Pakistan Military Academy.  President Barack Obama had held that no more data taken from the compound should be released to the public .

However, Pompeo believes that it is important for reasons of national security to make most of the unclassified documents public, except those that might harm national security or are pornographic or copyrighted.  This is made more important because the U.S. forces in the raid were not able to take everything in the compound, and no doubt Pakistani officials have useful information not available to the U.S.  It is certain that American analysts can gain important insights into the plans and workings of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations from the revealed material.

No doubt the documents will prove a treasure trove with their astonishing array of material.  Some of them, if tantalizing, have little to do with Islamic terrorism or with U.S. security, especially those that are probably for the amusement of younger and other members of the Osama family that contained several of his wives and 23 children and his grandchildren.  In this part of the treasure trove are animated films; episodes of Tom and Jerry; film classics; a video of “Charlie Bit my Finger”; commercials from an Oregon car dealer; home videos with a barn and animals; videos such asThe Three Musketeers; National Geographic films on Peru, the Kremlin, and India; and material on conspiracy theories, the occult, the Illuminati, and even 9/11, for which adherents of al-Qaeda were responsible.

Among the 80,000 audio and image files and the 10,000 video files are statements by Osama, his 228-page personal journal, and jihadist propaganda.  Interestingly, Osama seemed to have liked watching three documentaries on himself and programs on how the West saw him.  One of them was an interview in 2005 of former CIA director James Woolsey of the Iraq war.  The collection includes videos of jihadist beheadings and a video of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Iraqi al-Qaeda leader, who was killed in a 2006 U.S. air strike.

It has long been assumed that Osama was radicalized after he joined the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in 1979 fighting the forces of the Soviet Union.  But the personal diary reveals a different picture.  Osama tells of his visit to the U.K. for unstated “treatment” for ten weeks while he was in the 6th grade, aged 13.  He reports that he went every Sunday to visit Shakespeare’s 16th-century house in Stratford-upon-Avon.  He was not impressed, and he realized that British society was very different from his own and was a “morally loose society.”  It was at Stratford, not Afghanistan, that he first concluded that the West is “decadent.”  It is unlikely that he actually saw any one of Shakespeare’s plays, but even if not influenced by Hamlet, he acted as “if from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.”

Though his exact schedule is unknown, Osama experienced further decadence in Britain.  He had the misfortune to take an English language course at Oxford – at least it saved him from the “colonialism” at Cambridge – and is believed to have attended a soccer game at the home of Arsenal, the brutal Great Gunners, at Highbury in north London.

The materials reveal that American administration perceptions of Osama’s supposed unimportance in his last decade were inaccurate.  Osama and his network remained active and conspiratorial, and he was still the central factor in al-Qaeda, remaining in operations communication with his followers around the world.  His cohesive network included al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al Shabaab in Somalia, and even the Taliban.

Some of his revelations are relevant to current affairs and U.S. policy.  He discusses the differences between al-Qaeda and ISIS and the factions with strategic, doctrinal, and religious differences within al-Qaeda.  The documents include the videos of Hamza, Osama’s favorite son and potential successor, with footage of his wedding, which apparently took place in Iran.  This son is slated to be the head of al-Qaeda and is a bitter enemy of the U.S.  Indeed, early in 2017, Hamza in a message called on al-Qaeda to attack Jews, Americans, Westerners, and Russians, using whatever weapons they have.  The U.S. has now placed Hamza on its Global Terrorist List.

For U.S. policymakers, it is useful to examine Osama’s thoughts on a variety of issues: the use of Libya after the death of Moammar Gaddafi; the path then and still for jihadists to enter Europe; the turmoil in the Middle East; Yemen, where Osama was plotting to kill the ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh; Bahrain; the protest by schoolchildren in Syria in 2011; the exploitation of the Arab Spring and other uprisings; and what al-Qaeda should do to make use of chaos.

Particularly important is Osama’s account of relations between al-Qaeda and Iran.

They were and are complex, fluctuating relations and loose ties between Sunni Osama and Shiite Iran.  What brought them together was the common hostility to the U.S. and to Saudi Arabia.  Iran supported al-Qaeda’s war against those countries.  Iran offered al-Qaeda “everything they needed,” funds and arms, and the opportunity to train in Hezb’allah camps in Lebanon in exchange for striking U.S. interests.  Iran sheltered al-Qaeda people.  Al-Qaeda opposed Saudi Arabia because it was hosting U.S. troops during the Gulf war.  Osama sent a group, the al-Qaeda management committee, to Iran while Iran enabled al-Qaeda to move funds and fighters to south Asia and Syria.

Lastly, Osama’s relations with Pakistan.  It is now clear that Pakistani authorities helped to hide him from the CIA for almost a decade.  This is clear from the fact that Osama used cell phones and computer hard drives, among other implements.

There is obviously a great deal of detail to analyze in the 470,000 documents.  What is important in all this for the U.S. and the Western world and Russia is reaffirmation of the need for cooperation to overcome Islamic terrorism.

Bin Laden Heir Breathes New Destructive Energy Into Al Qaeda

September 25, 2017

Bin Laden Heir Breathes New Destructive Energy Into Al Qaeda, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, September 25, 2017

Nicknamed the “Crown Prince of Terror,” Osama bin Laden’s favorite son “grew up with a fervor for jihad and a determination to follow in the footsteps of his notorious father,” according to an investigative report by Ali Soufan and published in Newsweek. After bin Laden’s 2011 death, Hamza swore revenge on the U.S. in the name of his father and “those who defended Islam.”

“We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression,” he pronounced in a speech.

To be sure, Al Qaeda is not the only group that has quietly strengthened while the world has focused on the Islamic State. Hizballah also continues to be a threat, especially from South America: “The threat is coming from everywhere,” Shaikh wrote. “When Americans talk about the Muslim threat from the Mexican border, it’s not all hyperbole. That laptop ban, for instance, was not based on nonsense: in Somalia, a Shabaab bomber blew himself right … out of the airplane.” But Al-Qaeda, he believes, may pose the biggest danger.

“AQ is playing the Long Game,” he said. “We’re not. That’s our problem.”

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Since the start of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has sworn to destroy ISIS, threatening to be “nasty” and to “annihilate” the terrorist group and its leaders by “bombing the s*** out of them.”

But is he missing the larger threat?

“We need to start preparing for a big comeback by al-Qaeda” former FBI terrorism expert Ali Soufan told PRI earlier this month. The author of Anatomy of Terror: From The Death of Bin Laden To the Rise of the Islamic State, Soufan is one of many who warn of an Al-Qaeda resurgence, likely to take place under Osama bin Laden’s charismatic 28-year-old son, Hamza.

Canadian counterterrorism expert Mubin Shaikh agrees. “The thing that everyone keeps getting wrong about Al Qaeda is because of what AQ’s Al Suri said long ago,” he wrote in a recent e-mail. “Al Qaeda is a system, a methodology, not a group per se.”

Indeed, as ISIS loses territory in Syria and Iraq, Al Qaeda’s influence and power is growing. Some experts have speculated about a potential ISIS-Al Qaeda merger. Others point to the demise of ISIS as a motivation for Al Qaeda operatives to strengthen their recruiting efforts, and as reason for newly-inspired would-be jihadists to turn to Al Qaeda in its place.

An extensive guide to targeting trains for attacks that Al Qaeda published last month may have paved the way to the Sept. 15 London Underground bombing. Now French officials also warn of potential train-based attacks inspired by the Al Qaeda guidebook.

That guide may have marked the beginning of the terror group’s comeback, as Hamza bin Laden is seen as taking on more power in the organization. Nicknamed the “Crown Prince of Terror,” Osama bin Laden’s favorite son “grew up with a fervor for jihad and a determination to follow in the footsteps of his notorious father,” according to an investigative report by Ali Soufan and published in Newsweek. After bin Laden’s 2011 death, Hamza swore revenge on the U.S. in the name of his father and “those who defended Islam.”

“We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression,” he pronouncedin a speech.

Hamza, according to Soufan’s extensive biography of the younger bin Laden, has been “groomed to lead” from a young age. But unlike his father, who served as a kind of wise elder figure in inspiring recruits and followers of his jihad, Hamza has a different advantage: his youth, which makes him better suited to attract the kinds of younger jihadists and aspiring jihadists who have been more recently attracted to ISIS. He is, in fact, just two years older than your average jihadi recruit. He “gets” social media. If Al Qaeda has historically been credited for its planning expertise and ISIS for its recruitment, a Hamza bin Laden-led Al Qaeda has the potential to excel at both.

The Al Qaeda he is poised to lead is also different than his father’s organization, having quietly strengthened itself in the shadows while the West focused its energies and intelligence on ISIS. In addition, a Vox report points out, while ISIS has been shrinking in Syria and Iraq, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate, has expanded to become “one of the most effective fighting forces in the Syrian civil war,” in part through its alliances with other anti-Assad groups in the region.

It has proved to be a clever strategy: Al Qaeda can now call on those groups for support as it focuses its sights elsewhere. And while Vox observes that it’s “unclear how interested many of these al-Qaeda affiliates are in attacking America at this particular moment,” the threat of such an attack is undeniable. That the group is already publishing manuals encouraging train derailments in Western countries and other maneuvers – even noting that such attacks will not end in “martyrdom” – indicates that it is turning its focus back in our direction.

Hamza has also called for Muslims worldwide to “join arms” against the Western crusaders. In an undated video cited by Al Arabiya, the young bin Laden declared that, “In order for the people of Syria to resist the Crusader, Shiite and international aggression, Muslims – all Muslims – must stand with them, support them and give them victory.”

It is this kind of rhetoric that Shaikh believes is working in Al Qaeda’s favor. Unlike ISIS, he says, “they did not go all barbaric Sharia Law on people, because they realized the problems they would face in brand management, and that this was the problem IS faced. They are working to win hearts and minds in Syria, and they are succeeding.”

Not everyone agrees, however. “Hamza’s messages have barely registered in jihadi and Islamist spheres,” argues Hassan Hassan, a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Public Policy, and “senior jihadis in Syria have dismissed Hamza’s leadership prospects.” Nor does Hassan see much chance of collaboration with ISIS. Nonetheless, he notes, Al Qaeda appears to be trying ” to position itself as the true heir of bin Ladenism and the unrivaled leader of global jihad.”

To be sure, Al Qaeda is not the only group that has quietly strengthened while the world has focused on the Islamic State. Hizballah also continues to be a threat, especially from South America: “The threat is coming from everywhere,” Shaikh wrote. “When Americans talk about the Muslim threat from the Mexican border, it’s not all hyperbole. That laptop ban, for instance, was not based on nonsense: in Somalia, a Shabaab bomber blew himself right … out of the airplane.” But Al-Qaeda, he believes, may pose the biggest danger.

“AQ is playing the Long Game,” he said. “We’re not. That’s our problem.”

Hamza bin Laden offers ‘advice for martyrdom seekers in the West’

May 13, 2017

Hamza bin Laden offers ‘advice for martyrdom seekers in the West’, Long War Journal, May 13, 2017

(Islamist terror has nothing to do with Islam; it’s workplace violence. Didn’t Hamza bin Laden listen to Imam Obama? — DM)

“If you are unable to go for American Crusaders, target the interests of the Crusader member states of NATO,” Hamza continues. “And since Russia has forgotten what it tasted in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and has returned once again to interfere in matters concerning Islam, do not exclude it from your targets of priority. Give Russia a pertinent reminder of the days of your predecessors.”

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Hamza bin Laden, the son of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, has released a new message offering “advice” for “martyrdom seekers in the West.” Hamza encourages followers to lash out on their own, but only after carefully preparing their attack so they “may inflict damage far beyond anything the enemy has ever imagined.”

As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released the junior bin Laden’s message less one week after a similar appeal was issued by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al Raymi. The “lone mujahid” effort was first launched by AQAP, but the group’s rivals in the Islamic State have had far more success in inspiring and guiding individual attacks since 2014. The messages from Raymi and now Hamza bin Laden are likely part of al Qaeda’s effort to regain the initiative with respect to this tactic.

Hamza calls on individual jihadists to “avenge” the “children of Syria,” the “widows of Palestine,” the “free honorable women of Iraq,” and “the orphans of Afghanistan.”

“Exercise patience and deliberation, for it is among the qualities loved by Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him,” Hamza says. “Accomplish your goals with secrecy. Attain the highest level of perfection in your actions, exercise utmost care and caution, and prepare diligently to inflict crippling losses on those who have disbelieved.”

Hamza specifically references AQAP’s Inspire Magazine, saying followers can “benefit” from it. (Interestingly, his father was reportedly less impressed by Inspire and even complained about some of the tactics advocated therein.)

“Be perfect in your choice of targets, so that you may damage your enemies more,” Hamza advises. “Be professional in your choice of weapons. It is not necessary that it should be a military tool. If you are able to pick a firearm, well and good; if not, the options are many.”

Osama’s heir encourages individual jihadists to “follow in the footsteps of martyrdom-seekers before” them, arguing they shouldn’t “underestimate” themselves. There is no reason to emigrate to the jihadists battlefields abroad, according to Hamza, because “professionally executed individual operations in the West” have “outweighed numerous operations in the East.” (Al Qaeda’s rivals in the Islamic State have made the same argument.)

“Know that inflicting punishment on Jews and Crusaders where you are present is more vexing and severe for the enemy,” Hamza continues. “It is sharper than a hundred warheads directed against their agents.”

Hamza wants followers to “prioritize” their “targets.”

First, “everyone who transgresses against our pure Religion, or against our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him)” should be struck. Hamza specifically mentions the Jan. 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, which was claimed by AQAP and carried out according to Ayman al Zawahiri’s general orders.

“Next, look out for Jewish interests everywhere.” But if the jihadist is not able to locate these, then “target American Crusaders.”

“If you are unable to go for American Crusaders, target the interests of the Crusader member states of NATO,” Hamza continues. “And since Russia has forgotten what it tasted in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and has returned once again to interfere in matters concerning Islam, do not exclude it from your targets of priority. Give Russia a pertinent reminder of the days of your predecessors.”

Hamza and other al Qaeda leaders want jihadist attacks to send a clear message to their enemies. “I strongly advise that the message you intend to convey through your blessed operation must be explained unequivocally in the media,” he advises. “It is absolutely imperative that people should know the objective of your operation.”

“We in al Qaeda emphasize the importance of conveying the following messages to Western states, and we advise you to do the same,” Hamza says. He provides a list of al Qaeda’s priorities for individual jihadists:

1. Our Religion and our Prophet (peace be upon him) are RED LINES. Let those who cross these lines take heed from Charlie Hebdo.

2. Palestine is a cause of our Islamic Ummah [worldwide community of Muslims]. And anyone who supports Jewish occupiers shall never dream of peace, with the permission of Allah.

3. Sham is a cause of our Islamic Ummah. Our people in Sham are faced with genocide. And everyone who participates in tormenting them with bombings or by aiding Bashar [al Assad] and his allies shall not escape punishment.

4. Our lands are occupied. The Land of the Two Sanctuaries [Saudi Arabia] is occupied. We shall continue to target you until you withdraw your forces from the Arabian Peninsula and from every single land of Islam.

5. Our airspace is violated by your aircrafts which unleash their deadly payload on our children. Our wealth and resources are expropriated every single day.

Hamza’s audio message is embedded in a video that is just over ten minutes long. Various operations, including the Dec. 2016 assassination of a Russian ambassador in Turkey, are lauded throughout the video.

As Hamza’s audio begins to play, an image of the Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is shown on screen. The photo of Hasan is followed by footage from the Nov. 5, 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, video from a service for the victims, and a brief clip of AQAP ideologue Anwar al Awlaki, who inspired Hasan.

An image of Ramzi Yousef, who orchestrated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other plots, is also included at the outset, as is footage from the 1993 bombing in lower Manhattan.

As Sahab released Hamza’s message with Arabic and English-language transcripts. Al Qaeda has been releasing messages with an English translation on an increasingly frequent basis. Recent messages from Ayman al Zawahiri and Raymi were also released with English transcripts.

Screen shots from the video accompanying Hamza bin Laden’s audio message:

 

 

 

On 15th Anniversary Of 9/11, Al-Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Urges Mujahideen To Focus On Targeting U.S., Incites Black Christians Against U.S. And Calls Them To Islam

September 9, 2016

On 15th Anniversary Of 9/11, Al-Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Urges Mujahideen To Focus On Targeting U.S., Incites Black Christians Against U.S. And Calls Them To Islam, MEMRI, September 9, 2016

On September 9, 2016, Al-Qaeda’s media wing Al-Sahab released a video message by the group’s leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Al-Zawahiri reiterates the reasons behind the attacks and their impact on the U.S., and urges the mujahideen to focus on targeting the U.S. and its allies, and to bring the battle onto their own soil as well. Appealing to non-Muslim African-Americans, he blames their woes on the U.S. and calls to them to convert to Islam.

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Most of the 20-minute video consists of Al-Zawahiri’s message, and the final several minutes feature an archival address by Osama bin Laden. Additionally, archival footage of a Malcolm X address is played as Al-Zawahiri appeals to African-Americans.

Below are the main points of the message:

Al-Zawahiri praises the “blessed raids” of 9/11, noting that they managed to strike deep within the U.S. and to attack its economic symbols, i.e. the Twin Towers. He also notes that the final and fourth hijacked airplane, United Flight 93, was heading towards “the biggest criminals in the White House or the Congress.” Al-Zawahiri boasts that 9/11 was a wakeup call to the U.S., reminding it that its crimes against Muslims won’t go unnoticed. The attacks’ impact, according to Al-Zawahiri, continues to be felt today, and its memory will forever be remembered by the Americans.

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Addressing the U.S., Al-Zawahiri reminds it: “The events of 9/11 were a direct result of your crimes against us, your crimes in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Mali, Somalia, Yemen, Islamic Maghreb, and Egypt [and] the result of your occupation of Muslim lands, theft of their resources, and support for the murderous corrupt criminals, who rule over them.” He further threatens the U.S.: “As long as your crimes continue, the events of 9/11 will be repeated thousands of times, by the will of Allah. And we will follow you – if you don’t cease your aggression [against us] – until the Day of Judgment…”

Moving on to the subject of the mujahideen, Al-Zawahiri informs the U.S. that their strength is increasing by the day: “There it is, the jihadi awakening [movement] increasing – thanks to Allah – many times over what it used to be before the blessed raids,” he says.

Addressing the mujahideen, Al-Zawahiri urges them to focus on attacking the U.S. and its allies, and on trying as much as possible to shift the battle onto these countries’ own soil. In that regard, he notes that the defeat of the U.S. will lead to the defeat of its lackeys. He also urges the mujahideen to unite, pledge allegiance to the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan (the Taliban), support the revolutions across the Muslim world, and urge prominent Islamic leaders to form the nucleus of a future council that will be tasked with appointing an imam (leader) for all Muslims.

Speaking to the Muslims in general, Al-Zawahiri implores them to rise up against their rulers: “It has become clear to you that your rulers are tools in the hands of the secular Safavid Crusader alliance, the alliance of the devils, headed by American and the West,” he says. He also urges them to disavow these rulers, and to adopt the path of da’wa and jihad: “Your true soldiers are your mujahideen sons… who wish for you to live free and honored in the shade of the righteous caliphate, in which the ummah chooses, holds accountable, and ousts its imam.”

Al-Zawahiri also lashes out at the various Islamic movements that have emerged in the awake of the Arab Spring, calling them “sheep” and agents of the U.S. who have hijacked the sacrifices of the Muslims. He also calls on the Muslims to be the real lions – like the mujahideen – who refuse to live under these corrupt and apostate regimes.

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Finally, Al-Zawahiri appeals to non-Muslims, particularly African Americans, blaming their woes on the U.S. and calling them to Islam. His message is augmented with an address by Malcolm X. Al-Zawahiri says: “We inform every weakened [person] in the world: America is the source of calamity and the head of evil in this world, and it is the thief of nations’ aliment, and it is the one who humiliate the Africans [i.e. African Americans] until this day, and no matter how much they try to reform and obtain their rights according to the law and the [U.S.] constitution, they will not attain it, for the law is in the hands of the white majority, [who] control it as they wish. And they [i.e. African Americans] will not be saved but by Islam.”

Saudis Kept Two Terror Groups Off U.S. List

June 20, 2016

Saudis Kept Two Terror Groups Off U.S. List, Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, June 20, 2016

Hillary and friend

Clinton protégé and campaign vice-chairman Huma Abedin, her parents, and her siblings all have intimate ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim World League has reportedly taken in more than $1.3 billion since 1962 from the Saudi government to promote Wahhabism. The League, warns Andrew C. McCarthy, is the Brotherhood’s “principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.”

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The Saudi Arabian government apparently had so much clout with previous U.S. administrations that they refused to designate as terrorist organizations two terror-funding Islamofascist groups linked to Huma Abedin, now the vice-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Abedin is joined at the hip to Hillary. She is to Mrs. Clinton what Valerie Jarrett is to President Obama.

That two deadly terrorist groups avoided proper scrutiny for years is a chilling reminder of how close Mrs. Clinton’s political network is to the brutal Muslim Brotherhood, possibly the Left’s favorite Islamist operation. It also underlines the extent to which Islamist enemies of the United States have infiltrated the American political establishment. And it takes on added importance now that polls show the pathologically dishonest Alinskyite radical who wrote the communitarian manifesto It Takes A Village has a significant lead over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Sifting through archived media reports, Breitbart’s Lee Stranahan discovered it was known in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks that the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) and its parent entity the Muslim World League (MWL), both of which are directly funded by Saudi authorities, were financial backers of al-Qaeda.

“The Saudis have probably done more to penetrate Al Qaeda than any other foreign intelligence service, but Al Qaeda in turn has penetrated the Saudi regime,” Newsweek reported the month after 9/11.

Although the IIRO, whose website calls the group the International Islamic Relief Organization of Saudi Arabia (IIROSA), and MWL “have been used by bin Laden to finance his operations,” they were “left off the list of groups sanctioned by the United States last week, U.S. officials hinted … in order to avoid embarrassing the Saudi government.”

The League acknowledges on its website that it is “engaged in propagating the religion of Islam” and “elucidating its principles and tenets.” It also engages in strategic lying, known in the Islamic world as taqiyya. The League “is well known for rejecting all acts of violence and promoting dialogue with the people of other cultures,” its website claims, adding that it does “not intend to undermine, dominate or practice hegemony over anyone else.”

It claims on the site that it has “external centers,” “external offices,” and “Islamic centers” in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Congo, Denmark, Egypt, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, United Kingdom, and other countries.

IIRO describes itself as “a charity organization emanating from the Muslim World League.”

Its annual report from 2011/2012 indicates that “thousands of mosques have been built with an average of one mosque a day” and that it has “1,222 staff” worldwide. Under its “Holy Qur’an and Da’wa Program” it has “8,044 male and female students memorizing Qur’an and learning Islamic studies in 306 centres and Qur’an circles.” IIRO has “304 Qur’an teachers and supervisors” in “these centres in 29 countries around the world” and sponsors “338 Islamic preachers” in those 29 countries.

Clinton protégé and campaign vice-chairman Huma Abedin, her parents, and her siblings all have intimate ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim World League has reportedly taken in more than $1.3 billion since 1962 from the Saudi government to promote Wahhabism. The League, warns Andrew C. McCarthy, is the Brotherhood’s “principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.”

Abedin, who is married to disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), has never publicly explained her disturbing connections to the people who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 or why, despite those ties, she ought to be trusted with state secrets. And when courageous politicians like former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) have tried to sound the alarm about who Abedin really is, they have been relentlessly mocked by the media and politicians from both parties. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) famously suffered from an acute outbreak of faux chivalry on the Senate floor when congressional colleagues dared to ask legitimate questions about Abedin’s loyalty to this country.

Few recall that when Bill Clinton was president in 1996, the CIA believed the International Islamic Relief Organization helped to underwrite six terrorist training facilities in Afghanistan. Harper’s reported in 2004 that the former head of IIRO’s office in the Philippines, who happened to be Obama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, “had been linked to plots to ‘target the pope and U.S. airlines.’”

The year 1996 was also eventful for Abedin. That year the young Michigan-born woman returned to the U.S. after years of living with her jihadist parents and soaking up the militant Islamic culture of Saudi Arabia. She promptly began working for then-first lady Hillary as an intern in the White House. At the same time Abedin was a member of the executive board of the George Washington University chapter of the Muslims Students Association, which was created by the MWL in the 1960s. In 1996 Abedin also began working as assistant editor at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, an Islamist publication of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA).

The Institute was founded in 1979 by the entrepreneurial Islamist Abdullah Omar Naseef who at the time was vice president of the prestigious King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. Naseef, who became MWL secretary-general in 1983, hired the late Dr. Zyed Abedin, Huma’s father, as managing editor of the Journal, and the Abedins relocated to the repressive Saudi kingdom. Huma’s mother is the publication’s editor-in-chief and her brother and sister also work there as editors.

The Harper’s article from 12 years ago added that the U.S. intelligence community believed MWL employees took part in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998. Even though both MWL and IIRO funded al-Qaeda, Newsweek reported in October 2001, the Bush administration “left the two organizations off the list of designated terrorist groups in order to spare the Saudi government from embarrassment.” It’s not clear why the Clinton administration suppressed the truth about the two organizations.

Stranahan is optimistic that despite the frantic lies of the Left, the facts about Hillary and Huma will receive proper attention in the current election cycle.

“Defenders of Clinton and Abedin have attempted to spin concerns about Abedin’s disturbing connections as a crazed right-wing conspiracy theory, but the facts are coming out, and with America focused on the presidential race and terrorism, it is just a matter of time before the truth comes out.”

Meanwhile, even as the nation grieves for the 49 innocent Americans gunned down June 12 by Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen at a gay club in Orlando, Fla., members of the media seem blissfully unaware that for five years Hillary Clinton had a real live jihad-loving terrorist on the payroll at her family foundation.

Gehad el-Haddad, an Islamic terrorist leader who jumped straight from his job at the terrorist-friendly international cash-for-favors clearinghouse known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation to a post with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, received a life sentence back home last year for seditious Islamist activities.

The professional propagandist may have learned about forcing Sharia law on Egyptians while he was “city director,” a senior communications post, at the Clintons’ charity from August 2007 to August 2012. (Note: Gehad is the Egyptian version of the Arabic word jihad.) Haddad was the lead English-language spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood and a frequent apologist for the since-ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s violent crackdowns on civil liberties. He put his spin doctoring skills to use downplaying Brotherhood supporters’ attacks on women and children.

Hillary Clinton, of course, headed the U.S. Department of State during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 that ousted longtime U.S. ally and anti-Islamist Hosni Mubarak and cleared the way for Morsi, an Obama ally.

It beggars belief that Clinton didn’t know about Haddad’s employment with the Brotherhood. A mere month after Haddad quit his Clinton Foundation job for full-time employment with the Brotherhood in 2012, Morsi received an invitation to deliver a major address at the Clinton Global Initiative, a high-profile project of the foundation.

These things are all just incredible coincidences, Clinton’s defenders will insist.

AQAP publishes insider’s account of 9/11 plot

February 10, 2016

AQAP publishes insider’s account of 9/11 plot, Long War Journal, February 10, 2016

Sept 11

While waging war against the “apostate” rulers was not likely to engender widespread support, no “two people” would “disagree” with the necessity of fighting “the Jews and Christians.”

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Sometime before his death in a US drone strike in June 2015, Nasir al Wuhayshi recorded an insider’s account of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. As the aide-de-camp to Osama bin Laden prior to the hijackings, Wuhayshi was well-placed to know such details. And al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which Wuhayshi led until his demise, has now published a version of his “untold story.”

A transcript of Wuhayshi’s discussion of the 9/11 plot was included in two editions of AQAP’s Al Masra newsletter. The first part was posted online on Jan. 31 and the second on Feb. 9. The summary below is based on the first half of Wuhayshi’s account.

Wuhayshi began by explaining al Qaeda’s rationale for attacking America. Prior to 9/11, the jihadists’ cause was not supported by the Muslim people, because the mujahideen’s “goals” were not widely understood. The jihadists were divided into many groups and fought “tit-for-tat” conflicts “with the tyrants.” (The “tyrants” were the dictators who ruled over many Muslim-majority countries.)

While the mujahideen had some successes, according to Wuhayshi, they were “besieged” by the tyrants until they found some breathing room in Afghanistan. The “sheikhs” studied this situation in meetings held in Kabul and Kandahar, because they wanted to understand why the jihadists were not victorious. And bin Laden concluded they should fight “the more manifest infidel enemy rather than the crueler infidel enemy,” according to a translation obtained by The Long War Journal. Wuhayshi explained that the former was the “Crusader-Zionist movement” and the latter were the “apostates” ruling over Muslims.

While waging war against the “apostate” rulers was not likely to engender widespread support, no “two people” would “disagree” with the necessity of fighting “the Jews and Christians.” If you fight the “apostate governments in your land,” Wuhayshi elaborated, then everyone – the Muslim people, Islamic movements, and even jihadists – would be against you because they all have their own “priorities.” Divisions within the jihadists’ ranks only exacerbated the crisis, as even the mujahideen in their home countries could refuse to fight.

Wuhayshi then cited Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, a prominent pro-al Qaeda ideologue, who warned that the “capability” to wage “combat” in Muslim-majority countries did “not yet exist.” So, for instance, if al Qaeda launched a “jihad against the House of Saud,” then “many jihadist movements” would oppose this decision. Al Qaeda’s fellow travelers would protest that they were “incapable” of defeating the Saudi government. And these jihadists would complain they did not want to “wage the battle prematurely,” or become entangled “in a difficult situation.”

For these reasons and more, according to Wuhayshi, bin Laden decided to “battle the more manifest enemy,” because “the people” would agree that the US “is an enemy” and this approach would not sow “discord and suspicion among the people.” Bin Laden believed that the “Islamic movement” would stand with al Qaeda “against the infidels.”

Wuhayshi’s explanation of bin Laden’s reasoning confirms that attacking the US was not al Qaeda’s end goal. It was a tactic, or a step, that bin Laden believed could unite the jihadists behind a common purpose and garner more popular support from “the people.”

Not all jihadists agreed with bin Laden’s strategy. In February 1998, bin Laden launched a “Global Islamic Front for Waging Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders.” Wuhayshi claimed that a “majority of the groups agreed to” the initiative, but some, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), opposed it. (However, some senior LIFG members were folded into al Qaeda.)

Gamaa Islamiya (IG), an Egyptian group, initially agreed to join the venture, but ultimately rejected it. As did other groups in the Arab Magreb, according to Wuhayshi. (Some senior IG leaders remained close to al Qaeda and eventually joined the organization.)

Although Wuhayshi claimed that a “majority” of jihadist organizations agreed with bin Laden’s proposal, only three ideologues joined bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri in signing the front’s infamous first fatwa.

In August 1998, just months after the “Global Islamic Front” was established, al Qaeda struck the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. According to Wuhayshi, bin Laden held a series of meetings around this time, as he sought to convince as many people as possible that attacking America was the right course. Some jihadists objected, believing it would ensnare them in a trap. But bin Laden pressed forward, telling those who didn’t agree that they wanted to fight “lackeys” without confronting “the father of the lackeys.” Al Qaeda’s path “will lead to a welcome conclusion,” Wuhayshi quoted bin Laden as saying.

The “initiative against the Crusaders continued” after the US Embassy bombings, Wuhayshi said, and the number of people who supported it increased “dramatically.” During this period, the “Global Islamic Front” launched operations against the “Crusaders” on the ground and at sea, but the idea to strike “from the air with planes” had not yet been conceived.

The origins of the 9/11 plot

Wuhayshi traced the genesis of the 9/11 plot to both Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who would come to be known as the “mastermind” of the operation.

But he also credited Abdullah Azzam for popularizing the concept of martyrdom in the first place. Azzam was killed in 1989, but is still revered as the godfather of modern jihadism. After the mujahideen had defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan, they considered “hitting the Americans,” Wuhayshi claimed. Azzam “spoke harshly about the Western military camp.” Azzam also “introduced” the jihadists to a “new tactic.” Wuhayshi recommended that people listen to Azzam’s “final speech,” in which he reportedly said: “God gave me life in order to transform you into bombs.”

Years later, on Oct. 31, 1999, bin Laden watched as the co-pilot of EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed the jet into the Atlantic Ocean, killing more than 200 people on board. Bin Laden, according to Wuhayshi, wondered why the co-pilot didn’t fly the plane into buildings. After this, Wuhayshi claimed, the basic idea for 9/11 had been planted in bin Laden’s mind.

In reality, the EgyptAir crash came after the outline of the 9/11 plot had been already sketched. For instance, the 9/11 Commission found that KSM “presented a proposal for an operation that would involve training pilots who would crash planes into buildings in the United States” as early as 1996. “This proposal eventually would become the 9/11 operation.” In March or April 1999, according to the Commission’s final report, bin Laden “summoned KSM to Kandahar…to tell him that al Qaeda would support his proposal,” which was referred to as the “planes operation.”

Indeed, Wuhayshi recounted how KSM and his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, plotted to attack multiple airliners in the mid-1990s. In the so-called Bojinka plot, KSM and Yousef even conceived a plan to blow up as many as one dozen airliners. Wuhayshi recalled how Yousef placed a bomb on board one jet as part of a test run. Their plot failed and Yousef was later captured in Pakistan. Yousef has been incarcerated for two decades after being convicted by an American court for his role in Bojinka and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wuhayshi prayed for his release.

Wuhayshi told a story that, if true, means KSM had dreamed of attacking the US since his youth. When he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, KSM wrote a play in which a character “ponders how to down an American aircraft.” Wuhayshi claimed to have searched for this play online, but he and another “brother” failed to find it.

Still, Wuhayshi insisted that KSM wrote the play, showing he was already thinking of ways to strike America as a young man.

The President’s Looking-Glass Islamic World

July 10, 2015

The President’s Looking-Glass Islamic World

Obama may have forgotten about “war with Islam,” but war with Islam has not forgotten about him.

July 10, 2015

Bruce Thornton

via The President’s Looking-Glass Islamic World | Frontpage Mag.

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

President Obama recently gave a speech at the Pentagon about our efforts against ISIS that confirmed he has little awareness of the real world our enemies inhabit. The talk reprised the usual received wisdom and unchallenged orthodoxy that comprise most of the foreign policy establishment’s ideas about Islamic jihadism and how we should fight it. Consider the following particularly egregious examples:

Ideologies are not defeated with guns; they’re defeated by better ideas–– a more attractive and more compelling vision.

This statement is a classic either-or fallacy. Anyone familiar with history would have added the adverb “just” before “with guns.” Obama is indulging stealth pacifism, a variation on the “violence doesn’t solve anything” and “use your words” mantras of the junior high playground monitor. Such a stance is politically convenient when the voters are against the use of force, and a leader doesn’t have the will or ability to convince them why force is necessary.

In general, the superior quality of what men fight for is indeed a force-multiplier, as the Greeks proved at Marathon, Salamis, and Plataea. But significant force still has to be applied to kill a critical mass of the enemy. And even with the best ideas, more often it is the “guns” that in the end make the difference. Those victorious Greek hoplites and rowers had weaponry and tactics superior to the Persians’, as well as the better ideals of freedom and autonomy. World War II was another battle of freedom against tyranny. But Nazism was ultimately defeated by the U.S.’s ability to produce armaments at a rate Germany could not match––just in one month of 1944, America produced more Sherman tanks than all the tanks the Germany produced in a year. If the U.S. hadn’t entered the war, the “better ideas” of English civilization, despite their expression in the soaring oratory of Winston Churchill, would not alone have led to Hitler’s defeat.

So yes, “better ideas” are critical for winning a war. As Napoleon said, morale to the material is as three to one. But the importance of “ideas” like political freedom, confessional tolerance, and individual rights lies not, as Obama suggests, in their power to make our enemies change sides or reject the ideas they are fighting for. Rather, their power lies in the way they motivate and inspire those who fight for their own superior ideals because they are confident that they are superior. Obama in contrast is alluding to the power of mere example when he mentions “a more attractive and more compelling vision,” a phrase vague to the point of emptiness. I think he means that if the jihadists or potential jihadists could understand and experience the freedom, peace, and prosperity we enjoy, they would reject their own motivating beliefs, particularly the doctrines of traditional Islam, which they so passionately believe are superior that in their service they will murder innocents and blow themselves up.

This naïve belief in the attractive power of our ideals has been the big mistake of our war against jihad, one made by both parties. To traditionalist Muslims, the ideals we cherish are not self-evidently superior to those of Islam. What we call freedom, for example, pious Muslims like Ayatollah Khomeini understood to be license: it is the “freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way to the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom.” Similarly, al Qaeda theorist Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote, “The freedom we want is not the freedom to use women as commodities . . . it is not the freedom of AIDS and an industry of obscenities and homosexual marriages.” Of course, our idea of political freedom is much different from these social practices, but the biggest example of Western freedom that most Muslims see is the degrading spectacles available on satellite television, Hollywood movies, and the Internet.

Likewise with democracy, tolerance, separation of church and state, sex equality, and all the other goods that define the Western civilizational paradigm but are contrary to shari’a law and Islamic doctrine. For a Muslim who takes those doctrines seriously––and poll after poll shows that hundreds of millions do–– none of these goods is worth risking his eternal soul. Indeed, they are seductive temptations for the pious, the subtle weapons the infidels use to weaken the faithful and bring about their spiritual destruction. That’s why the mullahs call us the “Great Satan”: not just because in Muslim eyes we are evil, but because we are tempters who addle the minds of the faithful with what the Iranian political activist Al-e Ahmad in 1962 called “Westoxification.”

Our strategy recognizes that no amount of military force will end the terror that is ISIL unless it’s matched by a broader effort — political and economic — that addresses the underlying conditions that have allowed ISIL to gain traction.

The assumption that ISIS exists because of a lack of political and economic opportunity is founded on a similar misunderstanding of jihadists’ motivations. This simplistic explanation of terror has been with us since 9/11, when Bill Clinton said, “These forces of reaction feed on disillusionment, poverty and despair,” and leftist “activist” Barbara Ehrenreich blamed the attacks on “the vast global inequalities in which terrorism is rooted.”

But if poverty or a lack of democracy is the cause of terror, then why aren’t the billions of poor, disenfranchised young men across the globe committing acts of terror at the rate of young Muslim men? Why do so many jihadist leaders and theorists come from affluent backgrounds, like Osama bin Laden, or lucrative professions, like the surgeon Ayman al-Zawahiri? Why do Muslim immigrants in the affluent West, with a level of material existence and citizen rights far beyond those of their cohorts in the Third World, murder their fellow citizens or flock to join ISIS?

This economic or political determinism ignores the powerful and passionate reality of religious belief among Muslims, whose faith commands them, “O believers! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness” (Koran 9:123). But having reduced religion to a life-style choice, Western materialist determinism cannot imagine that violent acts can be motivated by sincere faith and obedience to Allah’s commands. So like Obama, we search for causes that suit our own materialist, secular world-view, such as poverty or lack of political freedom. But as Ayatollah Khomeini said in refutation of this received idea, “We did not have a revolution to lower the price of melons.”

We’ll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam.  We’re fighting terrorists who distort Islam and whose victims are mostly Muslims.

This hoary cliché has done the most damage to our war against jihadism.  And its patent falsity can be easily documented in 14 centuries of Islamic scripture, jurisprudence, history, and practice.  As the Egyptian critic of Islam Ahmed Harqan said recently, “What has ISIS done that Mohammed didn’t do?” Behead captives? In 627, Mohammed beheaded 600-900 males of the Jewish Banu Qurayzah tribe, in line with Koran 8:12: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

Enslave the defeated? Mohammed enslaved the women and children of the Banu Qurayzah, and following his model Islam has been one of history’s great slaving civilizations.  Just between 1500 and 1800, the Muslim kingdoms of North Africa took 1.5 million European slaves. These depredations were in line with Islamic doctrine, as the representative of the pasha of Tripoli explained to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1785. It was “written in the Koran,” he explained, “that all nations who should not have acknowledged their [Muslim] authority were sinners, that it was their [Muslim] right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find.” And as Mohammed showed, taking slaves is the just reward for those who, like ISIS, prevail in battle.

Nor is ISIS’s goal of restoring the caliphate some fringe distortion of Islamic doctrine. Since its final dissolution in 1922––the “catastrophe” bin Laden mentioned after 9/11–– the caliphate has remained a potent dream for many Muslims, for whom secular nationalism is an alien Western idea contrary to the unified political-religious polity of Islamic doctrine. Thus as pan-Arab theorist Nuri al-Said wrote in 1943, Arab Muslim nationalism “springs from the Muslim feeling of brotherhood enjoined on them by the Prophet Mohammed . . . Although Arabs are naturally attached to their native land their nationalism is not confined by boundaries. It is an aspiration to restore the great tolerant civilization of the early Caliphate.”

We can hear the larger import of this same “aspiration” in Islamist theorist Sayyid Qutb’s claim that  “Islam came into this earth to establish God’s rule on God’s earth” and to form “a Muslim community in which individuals . . . have gathered together under servitude to God and follow only the Shari’a of God.” So too Ayatollah Khomeini’s boast: “We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry ‘There is no God but Allah’ resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle.”

Contrary to Obama and others willfully blind to the reality of Islamic doctrine and history, neither the aims of ISIS nor their methods “distort” Islam. Rather, the soldiers of ISIS are the latest in a long tradition of Muslim warriors inspired by Islamic precept and practice. They are a manifestation of Muslim Brothers theorist Hassan al-Banna’s traditional belief that “It is the nature of Islam to dominate not to be dominated, to impose its laws on all nations, and extend its power to the entire planet.” Obama may have forgotten about “war with Islam,” but war with Islam has not forgotten about him.

Just repeating the mantra “nothing to do with Islam” or “religion of peace” or “moderate Muslims” will not change reality. Neither can the other great illusions of modernity like pacifism, disarmament, or the diplomatic settling of disputes that are created by irreconcilable ideologies and conflicting beliefs. The reality of history teaches us that only mind-concentrating, overwhelming force can convince the passionate aggressor to change his ways. The alternative is this administration’s slow-motion appeasement that has left the region a shambles and is escorting Iran to possession of nuclear weapons.