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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

Ohio State University Attacker ‘Inspired’ By ISIS, Law Enforcement Says

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

The Somali-born student terrorist who attacked Ohio State University, where he had started classes just two months ago, was not a “soldier of Islamic State” as the ISIS terrorist group tried to claim this week — but he was, law enforcement sources say, “inspired” by propaganda from the terrorist organization.

Facebook posts by Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, also referenced Yemeni American radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the deceased leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. (AQAP)

“By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims,” he wrote in his post. “You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”

It is not known when, where or how Artan’s self-radicalization began. He bought knives on the day of the attack, a law enforcement official told CNN, and used a butcher’s knife during his attack. Eleven people were injured as a result; three remained hospitalized on Tuesday.

OSU Police Officer Alan Horujko stopped the rampage, firing three bullets at Artan when he failed to comply with orders to stop his assault and drop the weapon.

But his family arrived as refugees in the United States in 2014 from Pakistan after leaving Somalia in 2007, with the authority of the radical Islamist Al Shaba’ab terrorist group on the rise in the African nation. All of Artan’s family are currently legal permanent residents in the United States — as was the terrorist himself — and all hold green cards.

The ram-and-stab style of his assault on a group of people outside Watts Hall at the campus reflected a classic Middle Eastern terrorist attack, one that has been frequently carried out in Israel by Palestinian Authority terrorists over the past year.

FBI investigators are speaking with Artan’s family members, friends and other associates as they try to determine what was behind the attack. They are searching his computer and cell phone as well, CNN reported.

Hana Levi Julian

“Hate Spaces”: American Colleges and Their Jewish Students

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

There is a brand-new documentary that focuses on the relationship between American universities and their Jewish students, particularly those who support Israel. The movie is called “Hate Spaces” and that gives you an idea of how those Jewish students are treated.

Of course the name is a play on the current ridiculous yet widespread notion that American college students need “safe spaces”  – sometimes equipped with crayons or puppies or soft pillows – from any ideas that might make them even a teensy bit uncomfortable.

This film is a must-see. “Hate Spaces” is so chock-full of important facts, details and examples that it could easily provide the basis for a full semester course, yet it has been masterfully edited down to a mere 110 minutes long.

Another reason why this film is so useful is that it interweaves current examples and interviews with a historic progression of the problem on American campuses.

Writer, producer and director Avi Goldwasser discussed the film with the JewishPress.com on Monday evening. He explained that he and his colleagues at Americans for Peace and Tolerance have “been observing the increased hostility toward Jewish students on campus for the past decade.” Goldwasser and his colleague Charles Jacobs produced the 2004 film “Columbia Unbecoming,” which they thought “would be a wake up call for the Jewish community and the people of New York,” Goldwasser continued.

Although the 2004 film was shocking in terms of how blatant was the animus towards Israel, it did not bring the hoped-for change. Even sadder is that things have only gotten much worse since then.

“Most people do not realize how the hostility is being institutionalized, made fashionable by a combination of forces including radical faculty, radical student organizations, and an enabling university administration. While many anti-Jewish incidents and the BDS campaign are reported by the media, few are willing to connect the dots and report on the underlying ideology and extremist organizations that are inciting the hostility.”

And connect the dots is exactly what “Hate Spaces” does. Awareness slowly dawns on the viewer as what appeared to be merely a series of ugly campus incidents is woven together. That weave reveals the comprehensive pathology undergirding the movement which is ultimately seeking to completely delegitimize Jewish identification with American Jews and the Jewish State, and which gets a pass from most university administrators.

A quote in the film from the Facebook page of Marissa Rubin, a Temple University student, pretty much sums it up: “I am tired of anti-Semitism being a completely normal occurrence, and people standing idly by because, as long as they are only going after Jews, nobody cares.”

“Hate Spaces” very effectively breaks down the issue of gross indifference towards American Jews on campus into manageable segments, such as “Tenured Hatred,” “Intersectionality,” “Privileged Hatred,” and “Failed Leadership.” There is plenty of blame to be apportioned and Goldwasser and his colleagues make strong cases for each portion.

The film also plumbs the progressive elitist drive which is married to the more raw Jew-hatred that melds to marginalize Jews on campuses. It uncovers the funding sources, the historical backgrounds and the interconnectedness of the villains.

Perhaps most pointed is the film’s criticism of the faculty and college administrators who, to be charitable, are manipulated by the dark forces in ways similar – although a billion dollars of donations does thicken the plot – to the impressionable students. The weak-kneed prog-elites are exposed as seeking acceptance and accolades for their progressive values which are completely inverted when it comes to the Jewish minority and the tiny Jewish State.

Many of those who have been diligently slogging away against the world of campus anti-Semitism are used to great effect in “Hate Spaces.” There are informed and enlightening snippets of interviews with such luminaries as the journalists and authors Melanie Phillips and Caroline Glick, along with Cornell University professor and founding blogger at Legal Insurrection William Jacobson, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens, Alan Dershowitz, the Brandeis Center’s Kenneth Marcus, ZOA’s Sue Tuchman, Jonathan Schanzer, Richard Landes and the ubiquitous Chloé Simone Valdary. Strong, important, concise points are made by each of them.

When he spoke to the Jewish Press, Goldwasser echoed a leitmotif of the film, one pressed especially by Melanie Phillips on camera. Truth has been distorted or even abandoned on college campuses, where “ideology and narrative trump truth.”  For that reason Goldwasser is hoping that the film will “energize the public to demand that our leaders in the community and on campus live up to their stated values. What is happening on campus is contrary to American values, to values of decency.”

And every reader of this review will have the chance to be energized. You need to see the film, then you need to act. For those in the New York area, the premiere will take place this Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Symphonyspace.

hatespacesad

For other screenings, check out the APT website. Watch the trailer.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Report: US Muslim Brotherhood Arm Paid for Mecca Trip of DNC Chief Wannabe Ellison

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

The House Ethics Committee in 2008 investigated Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Min), a practicing Muslim, for failing to disclose receiving funds from a Muslim-Brotherhood affiliated group to finance his 2008 pilgrimage to Mecca, the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday. Ellison is considered among the top finalists in the race to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

In 2008, the Muslim American Society paid $13,350 for Ellison’s 16-day haj (pilgrimage), on which he was joined by Asad Zaman, who sits on the MAS board. According to the Star Tribune, Ellison described the trip as a transformational personal experience, saying “I didn’t want to turn it into a politics thing.” But eight months or so later, Ellison faced a House Ethics Committee review of his concealing who financed his spiritual journey and how much it cost, seeing as it was considered a gift to a public official.

Ellison said he was not “privy to the internal workings of the organization” that paid to connect him with Allah. But Tax records show the Muslim American Society of Minnesota received close to $900,000 in taxpayer money in 2006 and 2007.

According to a 2004 Chicago Tribune article, Muslim American Society is another name for the US chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 following “a contentious debate among Brotherhood members. Some wanted the Brotherhood to remain underground, while others thought a more public face would make the group more influential. Members from across the country drove to regional meeting sites to discuss the issue.”

According to Wikipedia, in November 2014, MAS was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

MAS co-founder Jamal Balawi was listed among the “unindicted co-conspirators” in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, which the US government designated as a terrorist organization, seized its assets, and closed it down. Following several years of trials, the founders of the organization were given sentences of between 15 and 65 years in prison for “funneling $12 million to Hamas.”

Balawi also endorsed “combative jihad” and suicide bombings, and publicly celebrated Hamas terrorists as “martyrs.”

A former MAS Communications Director, Randall Royer, was arrested in 2003 by federal agents and charged of conspiring with Lashkar-i-Taibi (Army of the Righteous), a Pakistani Wahhabi terrorist group to engage in terrorist operations in Chechnya, Kashmir and elsewhere. Royer was a member of the “Virginia Jihad Network,” a network of jihadists centered in North Virginia, and he acknowledged supporting several members of that circle to access Lashkar-i-Taibi training camps.

Also, a significant number of advertisers in the MAS publication The American Muslim, which often contain references to suicide bombings as martyr operations, were later uncovered by the US authorities a being involved in terror financing: Global Relief Foundation, which had its assets frozen in 2002 for providing funding to al-Qaeda; Kind Hearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, which the US authorities qualified has “the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the façade of charitable giving;” and Islamic African Relief Agency, now Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), which the US Treasury qualified as a specially designated global terrorist organization for its support of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, and the Taliban in 2004.

JNi.Media

New Missouri Governor: Jewish and Assembles Rifle in 30 Seconds [video]

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Eric Greitens, Missouri’s first Jewish governor, a Republican, on Tuesday defeated his state’s Attorney General Chris Koster with 51 percent of the vote. Greitens, a retired former Navy Seal, made many headlines for his aggressive gun-toting and, most notably, gun assembling, and not at all for the fact that he is Jewish.

The son of Becky and Rob Greitens, Eric Greitens was born in 1974 in St. Louis, Missouri, and in high school was member of the 1995 USA Today All-USA Academic Team. He was an Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University, where he studied ethics, philosophy, and public policy. After graduating in 1996, he was selected as a Rhodes and Truman Scholar.

Greitens attended Naval Officer Candidate School in January 2001, and in 2002 graduated Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. He is a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve, and has been deployed four times to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. He served as the commander of a joint special operations task unit, commander of a Mark V Special Operations Craft detachment, and commander of an al Qaeda targeting cell.

His personal military awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

According to the Riverfront Times, religion was never an issue in Greitens’s gubernatorial campaign. Which is uncanny, considering the fact that Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, who was running for governor, committed suicide in February 2015, believing he was the victim of a “whisper campaign” that he was Jewish. Schweich, an Episcopalian, had some Jewish roots, but who doesn’t?

Schweich blamed Missouri Republican Party chairman John Hancock for the rumors, which Hancock denied. And Hancock says he is “as proud as I can be” of Greitens’ victory, which demonstrated that anti-Semitism “is certainly not a problem that is endemic to being a Republican, it just doesn’t exist in our party.”

Rabbi Hyim Shafner, of the Bais Abraham Congregation in the Delmar Loop, on the western edge of St. Louis, told the Riverfront Times that Greitens, like former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, was seen as an American, rather than as a Jewish candidate. “Obviously, it’s a positive thing in terms of how people see Jews and how they see Israel,” Shafner said.

Greitens married Sheena Elise Chestnut in Spokane, Washington. The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Onstot, a Presbyterian minister, officiated. They live in St. Louis, Missouri, with their two sons.

JNi.Media

Exclusive Interview: Hillary Clinton On Israel, Iraq And Terror [archive]

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Originally Published:  Wednesday, October 25, 2006 [Restored from Archive]

On the eve of her expected reelection victory, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the editorial board of The Jewish Press.

The former first lady (and current front-runner in opinion polls for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination) spoke at length about Israel, the ongoing war in Iraq, and the war on terror. Following are highlights of the discussion:

The Jewish Press: Israel recently concluded its war against Hizbullah in what many consider to be a stalemated position. How do you see things right now?

Sen. Clinton: First, I don’t think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake. If we were going to push for an election, we should have made sure we did something to determine who was going to win instead of signing off on an electoral system that advantaged Hamas.

That, to me, was a first step that led Hizbullah to take the actions that it took [killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and firing missiles into Israeli population centers]. What has concerned me is that I don’t think our or Israel’s intelligence was very good at uncovering what Hizbullah had developed in the last six years.

Frankly, the American intelligence didn’t know how dug in Hizbullah was, how many rockets they had, where they were going to be launched from and what the range was.

I think, based on what I know, that a lot of damage was inflicted on Hizbullah’s capacity. But that capacity is not destroyed and has not disappeared. Thus, Hizbullah, the Syrians and the Iranians have been emboldened.

This was a problem of situational awareness and about what we were up against. This is a longer-term issue for us and for Israel as we try to figure out how we’re going to get a better grasp of what we’re up against.

Do you think the peacekeeping forces on the Israeli-Lebanese border will be effective?

I don’t have a lot of confidence in what the peacekeeping forces will do, because nobody’s willing to say that they’re willing to disarm Hizbullah. That’s the problem. UN Resolution 1701 [which ended the war] originally said that you had to go in and disarm Hizbullah — but there was no effort to do this at the time, and now we’re trying to play catch-up. They initially said the Lebanese army’s going to do it, but that’s not going to happen.

Is it worth talking to Syria, from the perspectives of the U.S. and Israel?

You know what? I’m pretty much of the mind that I don’t think it hurts to talk to people as long as you’re not stupid in giving things away. I would argue that we don’t know what’s going on inside Iran and Syria. I just want us to get better info. We don’t have good info. I asked the Israelis if [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is really in charge. They said they weren’t sure. So I suggested that we get something going to see who is pulling the levers of power in order to try and figure out how we can influence them.

Please explain your strong criticism of President Bush’s Iraq war strategy after you voted to give him authorization to topple Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

I guess I hae been more willing to criticize the administration’s conduct of the war than some [of my Democratic colleagues]. I don’t know why they wouldn’t put in more troops.

Why wouldn’t they follow the military plans that had been drawn up previously by Gen. [Anthony] Zinni and others? Why did they create this awkward entity known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was a disaster, diplomatically and strategically?

But I voted to give the president authority and I’ve said many times that I regret the way he used the authority. I haven’t said I made a mistake or I wouldn’t have given it to him again. I made the best decision I could at the time, based on my assessment.

I think my position differs with the administration largely with respect to the execution and implementation of the policy, which I think has been a terrible series of blunders.

There are many people in the Democratic Party who are pushing for the U.S. to leave Iraq. What about those folks who say “cut and run”?

Well, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that if we don’t change what we’re doing, our chances for success are pretty limited. This undermines our capacity to take action that is in our interest and in the interest of Israel and our other allies.

I’ve joined onto a very reasonable proposition put forward by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI), which says we’ve got to do three things: You’ve got to have an internal political process in Iraq. We haven’t told the Iraqi government, “You’ve got to deal with the unfinished business, and we’re going to push you to do it and we’re going to help you do it, but we’re not going to stand by and have you ignore doing it.”

Second, why haven’t we done more to put Iraq’s neighbors on the spot? This international process would say, “You have a big stake in the survival and stability of this regime — you, Saudi Arabia; you, Jordan; you, Kuwait.”

And third, we have to send a message to the Iraqis that they’ve got to do a better job of securing themselves, which is where this concept of phased redeployment comes.

But this proposal says nothing about cutting and running. It says to the Iraqi government, “You’ve got to disarm your militias. You’ve got to rein in your Interior Department, which has been a haven for death squads. You’ve got to get the Islamic clerics, both Sunni and Shi’ites, to issue fatwas (Islamic decrees) against this sectarian violence.”

There’s a lot we could be doing. And you know what? I don’t see it.

How do you view the war on terror?

In this new type of war, we have several big tasks ahead of us. First, we must do everything possible to prevent any of them — Iran, Al Qaeda and the like — from getting nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction. That’s the ballgame.

I don’t think our strategy is working. Six years ago, North Korea and Iran were not as close as they are today to having nuclear weapons. Let’s ask ourselves, “What do we need to do differently to be more effective?” Let’s get the best people we can to deal with this problem. And let’s have a robust discussion and not shut people’s ideas down because they don’t agree with yours.

That’s one of my criticisms of the administration, which has the attitude that it’s their way or no way. I’m not sure any of us have the way. That’s why we need, in a democracy, a vigorous debate. There are a lot of people who may have some good ideas that have basically been ignored up until now.

 

Eli Chomsky

Israeli Arab Teen, 15, Shot and Killed at Israeli-Egyptian Border [Updated]

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

An Israeli teen was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon near Mount Harif in the Negev Desert, along the border between Egypt and Israel, according to Israel’s Defense Ministry.

The victim, 15-year-old Namer Bassem Abu Amar, was a resident of the southern Israeli Bedouin town of Lakiya. The teenager was the son of a man working for a company that had won a Defense Ministry contracting bid to carry out civilian maintenance work on the security fence along Israel’s border with Egypt.

The fathehr was working on the security fence when the son was hit by gunfire from the Egyptian side of the border.

He was airlifted from the scene in an IDF helicopter and rushed to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, but he died of his wounds within minutes.

The source of the gunfire is not yet clear.

“The Defense Ministry shares the grief of the family,” said a ministry spokesperson. “The ministry has asked the company for more information about this employee, including details about how he was hired, given his age, and we will continue to review this incident.”

Egyptian military personnel have been battling terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula for years.

According to the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, there are eight to 14 different terrorist groups with a “marked presence in Sinai,” including the Sinai Province branch of Da’esh, or ISIS, also known as Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.

There are also a number of Al Qaeda-linked extremist groups such as Tawhid Wal Jihad, Ansar al-Jihad and Ajnaf Bait al-Maqdis — all of which are also “linked to Palestinian extremist groups that fight Israel and consider the Egyptian army an enemy.”

The Muhammad Jamal Network, linked to Al Qaeda and also based in the Sinai Peninsula, was listed by the United States as a terrorist organization in October 2013. Jamal was arrested in 2012 but his followers carried on; the group is also known as the “Al-Jihad al-Islami” group.

Numerous other terrorist groups are also operating in the area, including the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hamas, the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Iranian proxy Hezbollah, and a number of Salafi Islamist groups such as the Army of Islam.

Update: The teenager was not a worker as originally thought, but the son of one of the workers. His father brought him to work that day.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Announcing Delivery of S-300 Missiles to Syria in Wake of Collapsed Talks with US

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Monday’s suspension of nuclear disarmament talks with the US over the latter’s challenge of Russian involvement in Ukraine and Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had delivered one battery of the air defense system S-300 to Syria.

“It is true that one battery of the S-300 air defense systems has been delivered to Syria. It is to provide protection for the naval logistics facility in Tartus and the Russian Navy’s task force,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters in Moscow.

Last year, Russia moved to Syria its newest air defense system S-400, and last March Putin announced that the S-400 systems and the short-range systems Pantsir-S1, a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system, would remain on permanent combat duty in Syria.

As the website Liberty Unyielding noted Wednesday, “nothing about the fight against the rebels in Syria requires an S-300V4-enabled, full-scale land war according to Russian doctrine. Nothing about it requires the level of air defense represented by the S-400, for that matter. The rebels don’t have anything at all that requires bringing either system to the fight.” Instead, the same website contends, “the system is being put there to mark and hold Russian territory against the US, our most advanced allies, and (potentially, someday) China.”

The White House has been watching helplessly as Putin suspended the treaty with Washington on cleaning up weapons-grade plutonium. Over the past three decades, Russia and the US have signed a series of accords to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals. All that good work is being threatened now with Putin’s decree that suspended a 2000 agreement binding the two sides to dispose of surplus plutonium intended for use in nuclear weapons.

Asked by a reporter on Monday, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest admitted the Administration was “disappointed” by Putin’s move.

“The decision by the Russians to unilaterally withdraw from this commitment is disappointing, and the reason for that is that this agreement that went into force in 2011 pledged the disposal of thousands of nuclear weapons’ worth of plutonium,” Earnest stated, adding, “And this was an agreement that was reached by the United States and Russia because we’re the two countries that have the largest amount of this material and both leaders in Russia and the United States have made nonproliferation a priority. And certainly the United States is interested in limiting proliferation and trying to reduce the risk associated with potential nuclear terrorism. And again, we know that Russia’s leadership has recognized this risk. The United States has been steadfast since 2011 in implementing our side of the bargain, and we would like to see the Russians continue to do the same thing.”

Konashenkov responded to Earnest’s statement by saying the US “is to blame for the disruption of all September 9 ceasefire agreements on Syria and for letting the militants build up reserves again.” He continued: “It is the United States that has fallen through with a crash regarding the implementation of the September 9 ceasefire agreements. It failed to separate a single group of the so-called opposition from  [Al Qaeda offshoot] Jabhat al-Nusra, thus letting the terrorists regroup themselves and replenish reserves.”

“Isn’t it the right moment for our US counterparts to recognize in public that the whole opposition in Syria they have reared all along and still keep under control are part and parcel of the same ‘umbrella brands’ Al-Qaeda and Jabhat Al-Nusra?” Konashenkov asked, and invited Earnest “to come down to earth from the sky.”

The plutonium accord is not the cornerstone of post-Cold War US-Russia disarmament, according to Reuters, which suggests that the practical implications from the suspension of the deal will be limited. It comes down, instead, to “powerful symbolism.”

This also comes down to a growing realization in the West that President Obama, in his zeal to foment the “Arab Spring,” has enlarged the political vacuum created by President GW Bush in the Middle East, and with the current White House’s policy of avoiding at all cost a “boots on the ground” military intervention in Syria or Iraq, Putin’s Russia is never going to leave, regardless of who gets elected President come November. Putin is grabbing this opportunity offered by a reluctant Obama to flank the West and guarantee naval access in the Eastern Mediterranean.

So far, Putin has planted Russian troops in Syria, forged long term relations with Iran, flirted with Egypt and with Israel — which receive about $6 billion annually in US aid, and patched up his relations with Turkey, a NATO member.

And, as Sen. Pence mentioned in Tuesday night’s debate (although he was off by a couple trillions), Putin’s Russia managed these sound regional gains with a mere $1.3 trillion GDP, compared with the US’ $17.9 trillion GDP (which is 13.7 times stronger).

It could be time for extensive language courses for Washington officials, except this time it’s the optimists who will study Mandarin, while the pessimists will take up Russian.

JNi.Media

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