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G M
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« Reply #1550 on: May 05, 2015, 09:46:52 AM »

Strange that a muslim convert missed the part where islam is a religion of peace. How could he not know?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1551 on: May 05, 2015, 11:46:53 AM »

Strange that a muslim convert missed the part where islam is a religion of peace. How could he not know?

CAIR has come out against the shooting, sort of.

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2015/05/04/cair-we-condemn-the-terror-attack-in-texas-but-pamela-geller-totally-had-it-coming-n1994252
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1552 on: May 05, 2015, 12:53:19 PM »

The words are OK, their sincerity is highly dubious.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1553 on: May 06, 2015, 02:11:37 PM »

http://bearingarms.com/pushed-forward-brave-garland-police-officer-advanced-brought-garland-terrorists/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1554 on: May 10, 2015, 12:17:18 AM »

 U.S. Policies Succeed in Garland
Security Weekly
May 7, 2015 | 08:00 GMT
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By Scott Stewart

On Monday, I read an editorial in the National Review claiming that the events that transpired in Garland, Texas, on Sunday evening, when a security guard shot dead two would-be terrorists, were the result of "luck." The author went on to criticize the U.S. government for its inability to prevent a known jihadist sympathizer from launching an attack.

However, if one looks at the Garland attack thoughtfully — and in the context of the overall dynamic of the jihadist threat in the post-9/11 world — it is apparent that this was not just a matter of mere happenstance. Indeed, the poorly executed attack launched by two untrained jihadist wannabes was clearly the result of the devolution of the jihadist threat in response to U.S. counterterrorism efforts, a phenomenon we at Stratfor have been carefully tracking for a decade now.

Let's take a closer look at how Sunday's incident, and the events leading up to it, fit into our larger analytical narrative.
Background

On the evening of May 3, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi drove up to the entrance of the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. Finding the entrance blocked by a police squad car, they got out of their vehicle and opened fire with their AK-style rifles, wounding a school district security officer before being shot and killed by police.

The two gunmen had traveled to Garland from Phoenix, Ariz., to attack the provocative event, in which the organizers were offering a prize for the best cartoon depiction of the Prophet Mohammed. The keynote speaker at the event was Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker with a long history of involvement in events critical of Islam. Wilders offended most Muslims — and not just the violent jihadists — with his 2008 film Fitna. These actions landed Wilders on an al Qaeda hit list.

Simpson, a Muslim convert, was previously arrested for attempting to travel to Somalia to fight with al Shabaab, a jihadist group that has since become an al Qaeda franchise. In March 2011, Simpson was found guilty of making false statements to special agents of the FBI. Simpson reportedly first came to the attention of the FBI because of his connection to Paul Hall, aka Hassan Abu Jihaad, a former U.S. Navy sailor aboard the USS Benfold who was arrested in 2007 and later convicted for passing military intelligence to al Qaeda.

Once the FBI opened an investigation into Simpson, the agency asked a Phoenix-based informant to approach him to determine if he posed a threat. According to court documents from the case, Simpson told the informant he planned to travel to South Africa in January 2010 under the auspices of attending an Islamic seminary. Once in South Africa, Simpson planned to make his way to Somalia to train and fight with al Shabaab. FBI agents questioned Simpson in January 2010 about his pending travel, and he denied the plans. The FBI then arrested him and charged him with making false statements, preventing him from leaving the United States. Prosecutors attempted to get the penalty of Simpson's false statement charge increased by arguing that there was a nexus to terrorism, but in March 2011 the federal district judge presiding over the case ruled that the government did not sufficiently prove the terrorism nexus, so Simpson was sentenced to only three years' probation.

Soofi, who coincidentally was born in Garland to an American mother and Pakistani father, was Simpson's roommate. Soofi had no criminal history, and there was little preventing him from legally purchasing the semi-automatic AK-style rifles used in the attack.

From the manner in which the Garland attack unfolded, it is readily apparent that Simpson and Soofi were not well trained and did not make much effort to plan their attack. They were winging it.
Conversation: A Grassroots Threat Deterred in Garland, Texas
The Dynamic

As noted above, Stratfor has been discussing the devolution of the jihadist threat posed to the West for many years now. Prior to 9/11, the threat stemmed predominately from professional terrorist cadre dispatched by the al Qaeda core. But in the post-9/11 world, the threat now emanates primarily from grassroots jihadists who live in the West.

This change has come about not because of luck but as a direct result of the United States and its allies placing an incredible amount of effort and resources into their counterterrorism efforts. The five levers of counterterrorism — intelligence, law enforcement, military, diplomacy and financial sanctions — have been employed in a relentless manner against al Qaeda and its franchise groups. Despite a few well-publicized instances of mismanagement, abuse and blunders, the U.S.-led counterterrorism campaign has severely damaged al Qaeda to the point that the core group has not been able to conduct its long-threatened follow-up attack to 9/11. It is also reasonable to argue that one of the significant elements that led to the Islamic State's rapid expansion in recent months was al Qaeda's weakness.

As a result of the immense and unrelenting pressure the United States and its allies applied to al Qaeda, as early as 2004, jihadist ideologues such as Abu Musab al-Suri began to publicly advocate that jihadists should abandon the hierarchical operational model and embrace a leaderless resistance model of operations. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula repeated those calls in 2009, and the al Qaeda core followed suit in 2010. Most recently, the Islamic State has called for its followers living in the West to adopt the same model.

Switching from a hierarchical operational model to a leaderless resistance model is a sign of weakness, not strength. While leaderless resistance is by design far more challenging for counterterrorism forces to track and defeat, it also means that the would-be attackers are far less capable because they do not have access to the resources and capabilities of a professional terrorist organization. Certainly these less capable attackers can and do kill people, but since they lack sophisticated terrorist tradecraft they usually conduct less-than-optimal attacks and frequently botch them, especially if they try to attack well-protected targets.

Following the Garland attack, some have commented that there has been a recent shift toward armed assaults by grassroots jihadists, but this trend is actually something we forecasted five years ago in May 2010, and we made that forecast specifically because of the shift toward the leaderless resistance model.

The Islamic State has taken credit for the failed Garland attack. That such a powerful group would feel compelled to take credit for such a tactically flawed operation clearly demonstrates the limit of their assets inside the United States. It also emphasizes the Islamic State's heavy reliance on grassroots attackers to conduct attacks outside the group's core operational areas in Iraq and Syria. While the group has proved quite proficient at carrying out attacks and assassinations within its primary areas of operation, it has long struggled to project its terrorist capabilities beyond those core areas, much less transnationally. The reliance on grassroots jihadists to conduct attacks means that the Islamic State lacks the capability to control, train and assist such operatives. As a result, many grassroots attacks are amateurish.

This is exactly what we saw from Simpson and Soofi. One of the reasons Simpson lacked the terrorist tradecraft to plan and conduct a successful attack is that he was prevented from traveling to Somalia in 2010. The sting operation that resulted in Simpson's 2011 conviction also likely left him leery of reaching out to more capable jihadists for help. As we've seen in prior cases, such as shoe bomber Richard Reid and underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, even an unskilled grassroots jihadist is capable of killing hundreds of people if he is trained and equipped by a professional terrorist organization. Keeping grassroots jihadists from making contact with trained terrorist operatives is an important goal.

The FBI will be criticized for not tracking Simpson more carefully and stopping the attack before it could be launched. But the truth is that there are simply too many potential attackers in the West for the government to keep them under constant surveillance. Furthermore, the efforts of the government are focused primarily on tracking and countering professional, trained terrorist operatives who pose a more severe threat. Moreover, until someone breaks a law, it is difficult to take them out of circulation. This means that some of these grassroots actors will inevitably slip through the cracks and launch attacks. Some of these attacks will be botched and others will kill people.

Simpson and Soofi conducted a half-baked attack. It now appears that they attacked a target that was beyond their capabilities because of encouragement from Islamic State figures on Twitter. But their incompetence was not a result of sheer luck. Instead, it was the result of a long history of counterterrorism efforts that have shaped the current dynamic. As long as jihadism exists as an ideology and is able to seduce people such as Simpson and Soofi and prod them into action, these types of attacks are going to continue.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1555 on: May 10, 2015, 09:09:40 AM »

http://www.newschannel10.com/story/28603897/isis-releases-kill-list-seven-texas-cities-included
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1556 on: May 12, 2015, 12:48:03 PM »

http://patriotpost.us/articles/35145
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« Reply #1557 on: May 14, 2015, 10:28:07 AM »

 Don't Take Terrorism Threats at Face Value
Security Weekly
May 14, 2015 | 08:00 GMT
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By Scott Stewart

The Islamic State has demonstrated in the past year that it is quite adept in its use of social media as a tool to raise money, recruit fighters and inspire grassroots jihadists to conduct attacks. This week, however, its social media network was heavily focused on making threats. On May 11, Twitter users associated with the Islamic State unleashed two seemingly unrelated threat campaigns. One using the hashtag #LondonAttack, displayed photos of London and weapons (including AK-47 rifles and what appeared to be suicide bombs) and urged Muslims in the United Kingdom not to visit shopping malls. The second campaign threatened to launch a cyber war against the United States and Europe.

The Islamic State took credit for the botched May 3 attack in Garland, Texas, saying it would carry out harder and "more bitter" attacks inside the United States. Coinciding with the Islamic State's threats, FBI Director James Comey warned that his agency does not have a handle on the grassroots terrorism problem in the United States. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson noted that the United States has entered "a new phase in the global terrorist threat, where the so-called lone wolf could strike at any moment." Michael Morell, the former Deputy Director of the CIA, added his voice by claiming that the Islamic State has the ability to conduct a 9/11-style attack today.

While these statements and warnings paint a bleak picture, a threat should never be taken at face value — when placed into context, these claims aren't as dire as they seem.
Analyzing Threats

When analyzing a direct threat from a person or organization it is important to understand that in most cases they come from a position of weakness rather than power. The old saying "all bark and no bite" is based on this reality. This applies to personal threats as well as terror-related threats. Terrorism is frequently used by weak actors as a way of taking asymmetrical military action against a superior opponent. Despite its battlefield successes against the Iraqi and Syrian governments and militant groups, the Islamic State is certainly far weaker militarily than the United States and Europe.

An important part of threat evaluation is assessing if the party making the threat possesses both the intention to conduct such an action and the capability to carry out that intent. Indeed, many threats are made by groups or individuals who have neither intent nor capability. They are made simply to create fear and panic or to influence the conduct or behavior of the target, as in the cases of a person who sends a "white powder" letter to a government office or a student who phones in a bomb threat to his school to get out of taking a test.

Generally, if a person or group possesses both the intent and capability to conduct an act of violence, they just do it. There is little need to waste the time and effort to threaten what they are about to do. In fact, by telegraphing their intent they might provide their target with the opportunity to avoid the attack. Professional terrorists often invest a lot of time and resources in a plot, especially a spectacular transnational attack. Because of this, they take great pains to hide their operational activity so that the target or authorities do not catch wind of it and employ countermeasures that would prevent the successful execution of the scheme. Instead of telegraphing their attack, terrorist groups prefer to conduct the attack and exploit it after the fact, something sometimes called the propaganda of the deed.

Certainly, people who possess the capability to fulfill the threat sometimes make threats. But normally in such cases the threat is made in a conditional manner. For example, the United States threatened to invade Afghanistan unless the Taliban government handed over Osama bin Laden. The Islamic State, however, is not in that type of dominating position. If it dispatched a team or teams of professional terrorist operatives to the United States and Europe to conduct terrorist attacks, the very last thing it would want to do is alert said countries to the presence of those teams and have them get rolled up. Trained terrorist operatives who have the ability to travel in the United States or Europe are far too valuable to jeopardize with a Twitter threat.

Rather than reveal a network of sophisticated Islamic State operatives poised to conduct devastating attacks on the United States and Europe, these threats are meant to instill fear and strike terror into the hearts of one of their intended audiences: the public at large. I say one of their audiences because these threats are not only aimed at the American and European public. They are also meant to send a message to radicalize and energize grassroots jihadists like those who have conducted Islamic State-related attacks in the West.
Examining the Statements

First, it is important to understand the context of the statements made by FBI Director Comey, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson and former CIA Deputy Director Morell.

Comey's statement about not having a complete handle on the grassroots terrorist threat is true. The very nature of such operatives makes them difficult for governments to combat. However, the FBI has been very successful in interdicting grassroots plots in recent months. In fact, I cannot recall so many grassroots operatives being arrested so closely together. However, one of the factors driving Comey's recent remarks is his steadfast belief that technological developments, such as encryption, are creating "dark spaces" that the FBI does not have the ability to investigate. Comey contends that there is no place in the physical world that the FBI cannot get a warrant to search, but technology has permitted criminals and terrorists to create virtual places where the FBI simply cannot penetrate even if they procure the proper search warrants. Comey's recent statement is part of his campaign to convince the public and congress that the FBI needs the ability to investigate those places.

Secretary Johnson's statement about the new jihadist threat is also nothing new. Indeed, I heard him make the same statement last November and took issue with it then. Leaderless resistance, the terrorist operational model that stresses the importance of lone wolf operatives, is simply not a new problem in the United States. It has existed for decades and been actively promoted in the jihadist world since at least 2004.

Michael Morell is on a book tour and attempting to sell as many books as possible. One way to accomplish that is to make eye-popping claims. If the Islamic State had the capability to launch a 9/11-style attack inside the United States, or a similar spectacular terrorist attack, it would have already done so. Instead, the Islamic State has been forced to rely on grassroots operatives to conduct less than spectacular attacks on its behalf. Furthermore, the pre-9/11 paradigm has changed and there is simply no way an airline captain is going to relinquish control of his aircraft to be used as a guided cruise missile — nor would the passengers permit it. Because of this, it is very hard to imagine the Islamic State conducting a 9/11-style attack.

Certainly, the Islamic State is making threats and government officials are concerned, but in practical terms today's jihadist threat is no more severe than it has been in the past several years. Frankly, there has not been a time since 1992 when some jihadist somewhere was not plotting an attack against the United States, and occasionally some of them succeed.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1558 on: May 17, 2015, 07:05:35 PM »



http://allenwestrepublic.com/2015/05/16/breaking-isis-promises-to-behead-barack-obama-posted-this-photo/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1559 on: May 19, 2015, 08:31:17 AM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/05/18/glenn-beck-says-this-is-why-americans-should-prepare-for-all-out-war/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire_Morning_Test&utm_campaign=Firewire%20Morning%20Edition%20Recurring%20v2%202015-05-19
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1560 on: May 22, 2015, 07:03:30 AM »

The Problem with Jade Helm

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On May 22, 2015 @ frontpagemag.com

Jade Helm 15, a large-scale military operation conducted [2] by U.S. Army Special Operations Command and service members from the military’s four branches, scheduled to take place in several states [3] between July 15 and September 15, 2015, has elicited a firestorm of criticism. Many have gone so far as to claim the exercises are a prelude to the imposition [4] of martial law, especially in Texas, one of the states designated [5] as “hostile” territory. However, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) puts [6] the issue in the proper perspective, noting why it’s reasonable that Americans would be concerned about the operation.

Gohmert first reveals his office “has been inundated with calls” regarding the mission, and acknowledges that this “military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law.” “Certainly, I can understand these concerns,” he writes. “When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.”

Gohmert is spot on. In February, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intelligence assessment focused [7] on the threat posed by right-wing, sovereign citizen extremist groups. As reported by the Washington Times, some law enforcement officials believe the threat posed by these groups “is equal to, and occasionally greater than, the threat from Islamic extremist groups.”

It’s not the first time DHS has made such a delusional assessment. In 2009 the agency was worried about the possible recruitment of military veterans into such groups, eliciting blowback from rightly offended veterans. Adding to the absurdity (and hypocrisy as well) the February report was released while Obama was conducting [8] his Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, during which the president took great pains to separate [9] such extremism from all things Islamic.

That would be the same president who demonstrated no similar reticence whatsoever with regard to Christianity. At the National Prayer Breakfast that same month, Obama was more than willing to remind [10] Americans “that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” In over six years in office there hasn’t been a single occasion when Obama referred to any of the innumerable depredations committed by Muslim extremists as being perpetrated “in the name of Mohammed.”

Thus, when Gohmert addresses “the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs,” demonstrated by this administration, he correctly asserts “it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.”

The Congressman acknowledges the need for training and that part of it requires Special Forces to move unobserved among civilian populations absent their discovery, as well as the need to handle various threat scenarios. However, like many of his constituents, he is appalled by the idea that portions of the country have been deemed “hostile,” adding that designation has never been employed before. Citing his own experience in military science classes and active duty, Gohmert explained the military would “use fictitious names before we would do such a thing.” Moreover, he can’t help noticing “the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution,” he states sarcastically.

He also believes such labeling raises suspicions among people regarding “whether their big brother government anticipates certain states may start another civil war or be overtaken by foreign radical Islamist elements which have been reported to be just across our border,” and that it “is an affront to the residents of that particular state considered as hostile, as if the government is trying to provoke a fight with them.”

Indeed, the Obama administration has demonstrated an undue level of antipathy towards the Lone Star State on a number of occasions. In 2011, the Department of Justice threatened [11] a complete suspension of air travel in and out of Texas if the state Senate approved HB 1937 [12]. That bill would have banned “intrusive touching of persons seeking access to public buildings and transportation,” aimed at derailing the TSA’s intimate pat-downs absent the probable cause guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment [13]. The bill was ultimately shelved. In August of 2013, the administration sued [14] the state because it passed a voter ID law. The suit was in complete defiance of a Supreme Court decision the previous June striking down portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Acts that had required states to “preclear” any changes to their voting laws. And when the border surge of illegals crossing into Texas occurred last year, and then-Gov. Rick Perry sent Texas National Guard troops there to deal with the onslaught, Obama made it clear [15] he would not take unilateral action to stem the tide.

On April 27, the military sent Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, a spokesman for Army Special Operations Command, to Bastrop, TX on April 27 in an effort to address [16] local concerns. He explained that Jade Helm 15 is a routine, but necessary endeavor, because modern warfare requires soldiers to maneuver through civilian populations rather than fight on a battlefield. He further insisted Texas provided the ideal terrain for such an exercise, and noted that soldiers will wear either uniforms or orange arm bands to show that they are part of it, and there will be no attempt to move through the population undetected.

Newly-elected Texas Governor Greg Abbott nonetheless expressed concerns. He has sent a letter [17] to Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard, directing the Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15. “During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott wrote. “By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communication between my office and commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans.”

Gohmert has another idea that might assuage a number of concerns. “The map of the exercise needs to change, the names on the map need to change, and the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states,” he declared.

While some of the concern over Jade Helm might be misguided, none of it has occurred in a vacuum. It arises from more than six years of an administration that has demonstrated an overt willingness to squander the trust of millions of Americans in pursuit of its agenda—by any means necessary. Americans would much prefer to see the military training to defend the homeland against ISIS rather than engage in insulting exercises against the “hostile” heartland of liberty.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1561 on: June 18, 2015, 12:08:23 AM »

The Other Terror Threat
By CHARLES KURZMAN and DAVID SCHANZERJUNE 16, 2015
NY Times

THIS month, the headlines were about a Muslim man in Boston who was accused of threatening police officers with a knife. Last month, two Muslims attacked an anti-Islamic conference in Garland, Tex. The month before, a Muslim man was charged with plotting to drive a truck bomb onto a military installation in Kansas. If you keep up with the news, you know that a small but steady stream of American Muslims, radicalized by overseas extremists, are engaging in violence here in the United States.

But headlines can mislead. The main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists. Just ask the police.

In a survey we conducted with the Police Executive Research Forum last year of 382 law enforcement agencies, 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction; 39 percent listed extremism connected with Al Qaeda or like-minded terrorist organizations. And only 3 percent identified the threat from Muslim extremists as severe, compared with 7 percent for anti-government and other forms of extremism.

The self-proclaimed Islamic State’s efforts to radicalize American Muslims, which began just after the survey ended, may have increased threat perceptions somewhat, but not by much, as we found in follow-up interviews over the past year with counterterrorism specialists at 19 law enforcement agencies. These officers, selected from urban and rural areas around the country, said that radicalization from the Middle East was a concern, but not as dangerous as radicalization among right-wing extremists.

An officer from a large metropolitan area said that “militias, neo-Nazis and sovereign citizens” are the biggest threat we face in regard to extremism. One officer explained that he ranked the right-wing threat higher because “it is an emerging threat that we don’t have as good of a grip on, even with our intelligence unit, as we do with the Al Shabab/Al Qaeda issue, which we have been dealing with for some time.” An officer on the West Coast explained that the “sovereign citizen” anti-government threat has “really taken off,” whereas terrorism by American Muslim is something “we just haven’t experienced yet.”

Last year, for example, a man who identified with the sovereign citizen movement — which claims not to recognize the authority of federal or local government — attacked a courthouse in Forsyth County, Ga., firing an assault rifle at police officers and trying to cover his approach with tear gas and smoke grenades. The suspect was killed by the police, who returned fire. In Nevada, anti-government militants reportedly walked up to and shot two police officers at a restaurant, then placed a “Don’t tread on me” flag on their bodies. An anti-government extremist in Pennsylvania was arrested on suspicion of shooting two state troopers, killing one of them, before leading authorities on a 48-day manhunt. A right-wing militant in Texas declared a “revolution” and was arrested on suspicion of attempting to rob an armored car in order to buy weapons and explosives and attack law enforcement. These individuals on the fringes of right-wing politics increasingly worry law enforcement officials.

Law enforcement agencies around the country are training their officers to recognize signs of anti-government extremism and to exercise caution during routine traffic stops, criminal investigations and other interactions with potential extremists. “The threat is real,” says the handout from one training program sponsored by the Department of Justice. Since 2000, the handout notes, 25 law enforcement officers have been killed by right-wing extremists, who share a “fear that government will confiscate firearms” and a “belief in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.”

Despite public anxiety about extremists inspired by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, the number of violent plots by such individuals has remained very low. Since 9/11, an average of nine American Muslims per year have been involved in an average of six terrorism-related plots against targets in the United States. Most were disrupted, but the 20 plots that were carried out accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.


In contrast, right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by Arie Perliger, a professor at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012.

Other data sets, using different definitions of political violence, tell comparable stories. The Global Terrorism Database maintained by the Start Center at the University of Maryland includes 65 attacks in the United States associated with right-wing ideologies and 24 by Muslim extremists since 9/11. The International Security Program at the New America Foundation identifies 39 fatalities from “non-jihadist” homegrown extremists and 26 fatalities from “jihadist” extremists.

Meanwhile, terrorism of all forms has accounted for a tiny proportion of violence in America. There have been more than 215,000 murders in the United States since 9/11. For every person killed by Muslim extremists, there have been 4,300 homicides from other threats.

Public debates on terrorism focus intensely on Muslims. But this focus does not square with the low number of plots in the United States by Muslims, and it does a disservice to a minority group that suffers from increasingly hostile public opinion. As state and local police agencies remind us, right-wing, anti-government extremism is the leading source of ideological violence in America.
Correction: June 17, 2015

An earlier version of this article omitted the given name of a professor at West Point who studies counterterrorism. He is Arie Perliger.
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« Reply #1562 on: June 27, 2015, 08:40:12 AM »

Rep. Nunes: America Faces Highest Terror Threat Level Ever

Posted By Michael Cutler On June 25, 2015

Usually the first challenge I face in writing my commentaries is to come up with a concise title that captures the most salient part of the issue I am writing about. Today I found this task easy, I simply borrowed the headline from CBS News’ Face the Nation article that quoted none other than Congressional Representative Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

That headline is concise and echoes the very same concerns I have had in reviewing all of the publicly available information on the issue of threats posed by international terrorists.

What is impossible to understand is how the administration, members of Congress, local and state politicians and journalists have been absolutely unwilling to “connect the impossible to ignore dots” that are flashing, not unlike the strobe lights on a police car or other emergency vehicle.

Here is the segment of the article that accompanied the headline and addressed the topic of the threat of terrorism in the United States today:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, said the nation faces “the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country” due to the flow of foreign fighters to and from Iraq and Syria and the radicalization of young people on the Internet.

U.S. officials have been warning for months about the threat posed by people from America or Western Europe who travel to the Middle East to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS [2]) and then return to their home countries, where they may carry out attacks. Nunes said the U.S. is not aware of all the people who have made the trek or who have now come back, although FBI Director James Comey has said there are cases open in all 50 states.

Officials are increasingly looking for ways to combat radical jihadists’ effectiveness [3] in recruiting supporters through social media.

“They’re very good at communicating through separate avenues where it’s very difficult to track,” he said. “That’s why when you get a young person who is willing to get into these chat rooms, go on the Internet and get radicalized, it’s something we are not only unprepared [for], we are also not used to it in this country.”

He said that investigations often “do no good” in encrypted chat rooms where those communications take place, so Americans should be diligent about reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities because “we are having a tough time tracking terrorist cells within the United States.”

The warnings are particularly pertinent with the July 4 holiday approaching. Nunes noted that there will be large gatherings in every city across America.

“It’s just tough to secure those types of areas if you have someone who wants to blow themselves up or open fire or other threats of that nature and we just don’t know or can track all of the bad guys that are out there today,” he said.

The famed playwright, George Bernard Shaw’s statement says it all:

“We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”

If our leaders were to seek to learn history’s lessons they should read the appropriate history books.

The 9/11 Commission Report [4] and the “9/11 and Terrorist Travel [5] – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” are the most complete and authoritative “history books” concerning the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 and even included evaluations of vulnerabilities that led to previous terror attacks — both those that succeeded and those that failed. These books were prepared by the government of the United States in response to the horrific terror attacks that left more than 3,000 innocent victims dead.

My May 22, 2015 commentary for the Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) website, “Bin Laden, The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration [6],” addressed the fact that when the U.S. Navy SEALS raided the bin Laden compound, among the documents found in his library were a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report and a copy of an application for United States citizenship. It must be presumed that he had no intentions of filing for U.S. citizenship himself, but was contemplating embedding his terrorist operatives in the United States through the naturalization process.

Presumably bin Laden read that report — the obvious question that has no obvious answer, is “how many member of the administration, Congress, political leaders in states and cities around the United States and journalists who are quick to chime in with their proclamations about how to ‘fix’ the ‘broken’ immigration system have actually read those reports?”

The damage inflicted on the United States and indeed the world by those attacks, has been inestimable and it continues to reverberate in so many ways. These reports both addressed the issue of the ways in which the 9/11 terrorists were able to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States. The latter of those two reports (the Staff Report) obviously focused the ways that the terrorists were able to travel around the world as they went about their deadly preparation and on flaws and vulnerabilities in the immigration system that failed to prevent the entry and subsequent embedding of not only the 19 hijackers, but other terrorists who were identified as operating in the United States in the decade leading up to the attacks of 9/11.

In point of fact, the investigation upon which these reports were based determined that the ability of the terrorists to travel around the world and cross international borders, especially the borders of the United States, were essential to the ability of the terrorists to carry out those deadly attacks.

The preface of the report begins with the following three paragraphs and makes it clear that this report sought information from as many credible sources as possible:

It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.

Congress gave the Commission the mandate to study, evaluate, and report on “immigration, nonimmigrant visas and border security” as these areas relate to the events of 9/11. This staff report represents 14 months of such research. It is based on thousands of pages of documents we reviewed from the State Department, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, approximately 25 briefings on various border security topics, and more than 200 interviews. We are grateful to all who assisted and supported us along the way.

The story begins with “A Factual Overview of the September 11 Border Story.” This introduction summarizes many of the key facts of the hijackers’ entry into the United States. In it, we endeavor to dispel the myth that their entry into the United States was “clean and legal.” It was not. Three hijackers carried passports with indicators of Islamic extremism linked to al Qaeda; two others carried passports manipulated in a fraudulent manner. It is likely that several more hijackers carried passports with similar fraudulent manipulation. Two hijackers lied on their visa applications. Once in the United States, two hijackers violated the terms of their visas. One overstayed his visa. And all but one obtained some form of state identification. We know that six of the hijackers used these state issued identifications to check in for their flights on September 11. Three of them were fraudulently obtained.

Page 46 and 47 of this report noted:

By analyzing information available at the time, we identified numerous entry and embedding tactics associated with these earlier attacks in the United States.

The World Trade Center Bombing, February 1993. Three terrorists who were involved with the first World Trade Center bombing reportedly traveled on Saudi passports containing an indicator of possible terrorist affiliation. Three of the 9/11 hijackers also had passports containing this same possible indicator of terrorist affiliation.5

In addition, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the attack, and Ahmad Ajaj, who was able to direct aspects of the attack despite being in prison for using an altered passport, traveled under aliases using fraudulent documents. The two of them were found to possess five passports as well as numerous documents supporting their aliases: a Saudi passport showing signs of alteration, an Iraqi passport bought from a Pakistani official, a photo-substituted Swedish passport, a photo-substituted British passport, a Jordanian passport, identification cards, bank records, education records, and medical records.6

“Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.

Page 61 contained this passage:

Exploring the Link between Human Smugglers and Terrorists

In July 2001, the CIA warned of a possible link between human smugglers and terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.149 Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that since 1999 human smugglers have facilitated the travel of terrorists associated with more than a dozen extremist groups.150 With their global reach and connections to fraudulent document vendors and corrupt government officials, human smugglers clearly have the “credentials” necessary to aid terrorist travel.

This paragraph is found on page 98 under the title “Immigration Benefits:”

“Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.”

Both reports made it abundantly clear that had our immigration system worked, the attacks could not have been carried out.

Engineers use the term “root cause” to describe a fundamental failure from which all else that went wrong happened. For example, if a car’s brakes fail and the car hits a tree, the fact that the airbags failed to deploy is important, but the point is that the crash would not have happened in the first place if the brakes had worked.

Similarly, the terror attacks that have been carried out in the United States all resulted by the “root cause” of failures of the immigration system to prevent the terrorists from entering the United States in the first place.

The next failure of the immigration system occurred when terrorists were able to embed themselves in the United States. In this regard two factors came into play.

1. Terrorists who violated their immigration status were not apprehended even when they interacted with local police, leaving them free to remain at large.

2. Terrorists were able to acquire many identity documents — some actually issued by state governments — in false names, concealing their identities and movements.

Today most politicians have accepted the deceptive language first implemented by Carter administration when the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) mandated that its employees refer to aliens illegally present in the United States as being “undocumented immigrants,” an obfuscating and purposefully innocuous sounding term.

This was obviously done to create the misimpression that these individuals were simply immigrants who needed a piece of paper. Therefore the only thing we needed to do was give them the bureaucratic equivalent of a “hall pass” to make things okay.

The truth could not be more different from this lie that was and continues to be foisted on Americans by our own government. Aliens who evade the inspections process conducted at ports of entry should be referred to by the term that immigration enforcement personnel use, “EWI (Entry Without Inspection). This is the equivalent of trespassing or “breaking and entering.”

Such aliens are unscreened. We have no record of their entry and they may well be fugitives from justice in other countries, may have links to criminal or terrorist organizations.

The 9/11 Commission Report [4] addressed the importance of the immigration inspections process conducted at ports of entry noting:

Inspectors at the ports of entry were not asked to focus on terrorists. Inspectors told us they were not even aware that when they checked the names of incoming passengers against the automated watchlist, they were checking in part for terrorists. In general, border inspectors also did not have the information they needed to make fact-based determinations of admissibility.The INS initiated but failed to bring to completion two efforts that would have provided inspectors with information relevant to counterterrorism—a proposed system to track foreign student visa compliance and a program to establish a way of tracking travelers’ entry to and exit from the United States.

The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel [5] detailed numerous examples of instances where terrorists made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud, including political asylum fraud, to enter and embed themselves in the United States.

Page 54 contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot.”

Here is an excerpt from that report that makes the above issues crystal clear:

Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.

In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.

Meanwhile there are mayors of some cities and even governors of some states that have created “sanctuaries” for aliens who evaded the inspections process at ports of entry that represent both our first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists, transnational criminals and others whose presence in the United States poses a threat to national security and the safety and well-being of Americans — and even members of the ethnic immigrant communities of which they are a part, irrespective of what their native countries might be. These politicians are even providing driver’s licenses and municipal identification documents, ignoring the fact that criminals and terrorists use changes in identity the way that chameleons use changes in coloration to hide in plain sight, often among their intended victims.

How can our nation’s leaders be so blind or corrupt as to ignore what should be commonsense issues that were clearly identified in the 9/11 Commission Report and the companion report I have noted above?

On July 27, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic: Whether the Attempted Implementation of the Reid-Kennedy Immigration Bill Will Result in an Administrative and National Security Nightmare. [7]

At that hearing I noted [8] that advocates for amnesty for millions of illegal aliens should get the “MVP Award” from al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations. That statement applies today more than ever before.



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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
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