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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaeda’

Taliban Ready for Peace Process with Obama

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

A senior Pakistani official said Thursday that Taliban is prepared to open peace talks with the United States with the first rounds of talks today and Friday in Qatar.

Back in 2002, peace talks between the Bush administration and Taliban ended without any results, one year after the United States invaded Afghanistan as part of its war on terror.

Pakistan’s military chief of staff told Afghan leaders that Taliban is prepared for a sudden shift in policy, which also would signal a change for the Pakistani military that is considered to be behind  Taliban.

The peace overture is not official and needs a wider agreement among Pakistani officials and the  approval of Taliban’s spiritual leaders Mullah Mohammed Omar.

One factor working help compel the military to change course and go with a peace overture is last December’s savage Taliban attack against children in a school, which evoked shock among citizens and more suspicion of the military’s involvement with Taliban.

Using Qatar as the host to talk peace is interesting since it backs Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and perhaps can convince Obama that they represent Islam and not those “who have perverted Islam.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said last month that Taliban is an “”armed insurgency” and not a terrorist group.

Earnest said, as heard and seen in the video below:

It is important to draw a distinction between the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Taliban has resorted to terror tactics, but those terror tactics have principally been focused on Afghanistan.

They do carry out tactics that are akin to terrorism, they do pursue terror attacks in an effort to try to advance their agenda.

The State Department does not include Taliban on its list of foreign terrorist organizations, while the Treasury Department defines it as a group of  “specially designated global terrorists.”

Earnest explained that the Treasury Dept.’s designation means the United States can impose financial sanctions against Taliban’s leaders.

Syrian Rebels Ask Israel to Bomb Hezbollah

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Unnamed Israeli officials have confirmed that Syrian rebels have asked the Netanyahu government to bomb Hezbollah and Iranian positions, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Israel seems to be doing a job of doing so all by itself, but the rebels want the IDF to take a more active role. Israel never has admitted or denied several pre-emptive aerial bombings of weapons and Hezbollah positions.

The Observatory said that Assad, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards have launched an offense to counter rebel attacks near Damascus.

“Regime troops and their Hezbollah-led allies are advancing in the area linking Deraa, Quneitra and Damascus provinces,” the Syrian Observatory said.

Rebels have lost most of northern and eastern Syria to the Islamic State and the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. Hezbollah has taken over most of western Syria, bordering Lebanon.

That leaves the south as the rebels’ last stronghold.

“The rebels in the south comprise a diverse array of fighters,” analyst Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi of the Middle East Forum told Voice of America.

Obama Asks Congress to Declare War on Islamic State

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for authorization to declare war on Islamic State with a limit of three years but no limit on geographical boundaries.

It took him more than four months since the Islamic State executed American hostage James Foley to ask for an official declaration of war.

If Congress approves the request, it will be the first time the United States goes to war against an organization and not a country.

The proposed authorization for military force against the Islamic State would:

Target the Islamic State and associated persons or forces, defined as those fighting with the Islamic State “in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners;”

Provide no geographic limits on the battle;

Limit ground troops by banning “enduring offensive ground combat operations;” and

Expire after three years unless renewed by Congress.

The authorization also would do away with the Congressional approval from 2002 for military force in Iraq. The president said in his letter to Congress that he hopes to be able to repeal the same authorization on which he has been relying for military operations force against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

President Obama composed his letter with explanations, each one beginning with “whereas,” to define the ISIS as an enemy threat to the United States.

He declared that the Islamic State, which he referred to as ISIL for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant , “poses a grave threat to the people and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, regional stability, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners.”

He pointed out that the Islamic State, more commonly known as ISIS, “holds significant territory in Iraq and Syria and has stated its intention to seize more territory and demonstrated the capability to do so” and that its leaders have stated intentions to attack the United States.

His fourth “whereas” appeared to be designed to further his premise that ISIS is not a part of Islam. He stated:

Whereas ISIL has committed despicable acts of violence and mass executions against Muslims, regardless of sect, who do not subscribe to ISIL’s depraved, violent, and oppressive ideology;

Whereas ISIL has threatened genocide and committed vicious acts of violence against religious and ethnic minority groups, including Iraqi Christian, Yezidi, and Turkmen populations;

President Obama seems to be afraid that Muslim countries will think that he wants to wage war against radical Islam, which would get him in a lot of trouble in certain Middle East countries that do not behead people willy-nilly but also do not tolerate anyone who does not obey Islamic law.

His carefully crafted letter, having stated that the ISIS is supposedly anti-Muslim, focused on the Islamic State’s “horrific acts of violence” that included “the deaths of [four] innocent United States citizens.”

Obama then brought the international community under the umbrella of a global alliance and noted the announcement last September at a NATO Summit “that ISIL poses a serious threat and should be countered by a broad international coalition.”

Congress is not totally happy with the idea, and Obama tried to make it easier to obtain authorization by writing:

The authority granted in subsection (a) does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations.

The obvious problem with the language is the word “enduring,” something Congressmen will have to thrash out in discussions on the request for war on ISIS.

President Obama put the ball in Congress’ court and implied it is will bear the price if it does not declare war on ISIS.

He wrote.

If left unchecked, ISIL will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland.

Al Qaeda Terrorist Accuses Saudi Prince of Funding 9/11

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Zacarias Moussaoui, serving a life sentence in the United States for involvement in the 9/11, now claims that members of the Saudi royal family helped fund the aerial terrorism that killed nearly 3,000 Americans 14 years ago.

He  made the spectacular claim against Saudi princes this week in a court that is considering a bid by Saudi Arabia to reject a lawsuit against it by 9/11 victims.

Moussaoui was branded as a “deranged criminal” by Saudi Arabia.

Moussaoui previously has testified in court that he was not involved in 9/11 but was planning other terrorist attacks, such as downing Air Force One.

The connection between Saudi Arabia and 9/11 never has died down since the day of the attacks. It

was reported at the time that a private Saudi plane was allowed to leave the United States at the time that federal officials grounded all flights before being able to ascertain that there were no more terrorists preparing to overtake airplanes and crash them into government and private buildings.

Moussaoui’s unstable behavior in court proceedings before his sentencing in 9/11 places serious questions around the validity of his claims against the Royal Family.

However, there is no question that Saudi Arabia officials, including newly-crowned King Salman Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, pumped millions of dollars into the pockets of jihadists, some of whom established Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda targeted the oil-rich kingdom in the years before 9/11, but Saudi Arabia did not understand the depth of the threat until 2003, when the terrorist organization launched attacks within the country.

Moussaoui claimed that Saudi princes who funded Al Qaeda in the 1990s, when the terrorist organization already was trying to destroy the kingdom, were the head of intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Riyadh’s ambassador to Washington.

Even more spectacular in Moussaoui’s claim is his fingering the gadfly Saudi prince and billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

“I doubt he would be a natural supporter of Al Qaeda,” F. Gregory Gause III, a professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A & M University, told The New York Times Thursday.

Moussaoui  claimed in letters he wrote to the judge in the suit against Saudi Arabia that Prince Turki told Saudi officials to help the terrorists who eventually hijacked the planes in the 9/11 attacks.

He also charged that Prince Bandar’s wife sent money to the hijackers.

Moussaoui was charged in 2002 with conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, aircraft piracy, destroy aircraft, use weapons of mass destruction, murder United States employees and destroy property.

He admitted his guilt to a certain extent but said he was not involved in the 9/11 attacks although he was a member of Al Qaeda.

In 2001, he said in court, “In the name of Allah, I do not have anything to plea, and I enter no plea.”

On July 18, 2002, he pleaded guilty to four of six counts of conspiracy and stated, “I have knowledge and I participated in Al-Qaeda. I am a member of Al-Qaeda.” He denied charges of conspiracy to murder United States employees and destroy property.

In his plea, Moussaoui stated, “I made it clear to the Court that I did not have knowledge of and was not a member of the plot to hijack and crash planes into buildings in September 11, 2001 but that I was part of another Al-Qaeda plot which was to occur after September 11, 2001…..

“Because I now see that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial even with Americans as jurors and that I can have the opportunity to prove that I did not have any knowledge of and was not a member of the plot to hijack planes and crash them into buildings on September 11, 2001, I wish to withdraw my guilty plea and ask the Court for a new trial to prove my innocence of the September 11 plot.”

Jordan Hangs 2 Terrorists at Dawn in Response to ISIS Killing of Pilot

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

As promised by Jordanian officials Tuesday night, initial punishment for the barbaric murder of its pilot was swift.

Two Al Qaeda prisoners on death row were executed by hanging at dawn on Wednesday, their bodies driven away in ambulances shortly after.

The speed of the response and its efficient directness is a message the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cannot ignore. It is a universal language understood in both Islam and the Arab world – and one that Israel and the Western world would do well to learn and emulate. Immediately.

Releasing terrorists from Gitmo back to their home countries – or neighboring countries – where they can simply repeat the same slaughter or worse, is ridiculous. Releasing convicted terrorists in prisoner exchanges, allowing them to return to their evil ways and worse, to teach those skills to others and organize political movements is stupid.

This writer salutes Israel’s decision to empower the Israel Defense Forces to teach officers to launch the Hannibal Protocol whenever necessary to prevent that from ever happening again. Israel should look closely at how Jordan is dealing with terrorists when attacks are aimed at its own country and study that response.

There should be no negotiations with any terrorists ever by anyone because terrorists do not negotiate in good faith. If there is no takeaway this week from any other news piece, let this bit of education at least be learned by the world’s population. Terrorists lie. They can never be trusted.

Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi female whose freedom was sought in negotiations with Jordan by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was awaiting execution on death row in the kingdom for her role in a triple 2005 suicide bombing at a hotel that killed 60 people.

Ziyad al-Karbouly, a senior Iraqi Al Qaeda operative convicted in 2008 for killing a Jordanian, also was sentenced to death for plotting to attack the Hashemite Kingdom, said government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani.

Jordan, to its eternal credit, executed both Wednesday at dawn at the Swaqa prison, some 50 miles south of Amman.

Family members of the pilot and their supporters gathered in the darkness at the Karak district tribal gathering chamber, in Muath al-Kasaesbeh’s hometown of Ai, following the news of their hero’s death in flames.

“We will avenge, we will avenge the blood of our son!” dozens of protesters chanted as they marched towards the palace waving a Jordanian flag following the announcement of the pilot’s killing.

The especially barbaric manner in which the pilot was murdered outraged not only Jordanians but also people around the world, drawing condemnation from international leaders as well.

The Jordanian government had negotiated with ISIS in good faith over the past week in response to an officer to exchange 26-year-old captive pilot for al-Rishawi, but had insisted first on proof that the pilot was still alive. ISIS had not provided the evidence and Jordan was unwilling to release the terrorist without it.

ISIS subsequently admitted in the announcement with its execution video of the pilot on Tuesday that he had been killed as long ago as January 3. That was only 10 days from the time of his capture when he had been forced to eject from his F-16 fighter jet, which crashed in a lake in northeastern Syria. Al-Kasaesbeh was the first Jordanian pilot to be captured while flying in the U.S.-led bombing raids against ISIS.

“Our punishment and revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians,” vowed Jordanian army spokesman Mamdouh al-Ameri upon hearing the news. King Abdullah told his nation to unite in the face of the ISIS threat in a brief address Tuesday night on national television. “It’s the duty of all of us to stand united and show the real values of Jordanians in the face of these hardships,” he said. The monarch took the time for a quick meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House and then cut short his visit to the United States and flew directly back to Amman.

Obama Wins War on Terror By Saying It Doesn’t Exist [video]

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The White House said that Taliban is an “armed insurgency” and not a terrorist group, a handy semantic tactic to allow President Barack Obama to declare he was won the war on terror.

It is strange why no one thought of this solution before. You get rid of terror simply by re-defining it. Perhaps he has learned from the Palestinian Authority how to re-write the dictionary. Mahmoud Abbas has convinced the world that “ultimatum,” as in “Israel must agree to my terms or else,” actually mean “negotiations.”

So is Taliban a terrorist organization?

ABC News’ Jon Karl asked White House Press Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz Wednesday how the government can explain if there is any difference between a Jordanian and Americans agreement to free terrorists in return for the release of hostages.

Jordan has agreed to trade a convicted terrorists for the release by the ISIS of one of their air force pilots. Karl asked if Jordan simply is not doing exactly what the United States did when it agreed to release five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay in return for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Karl pointed out that Taliban ”is clearly a terrorist organization,” like ISIS.

No, no, no, said Schultz.

“We don’t make concessions to terrorist groups,” he said, assuring reporters that the Islamic State “is a terrorist group.”

But what about Taliban?

Wasn’t Taliban once the ruling government of Afghanistan that refused to hand over members of Al Qaeda who were allegedly involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington?

Doesn’t Taliban maintain a powerful force in Afghanistan and Pakistan from where it attacks U.S. soldiers as well as children in a Pakistani school?

Isn’t Taliban included in the State Dept.’s Specially Designated Global Terrorist list?

Doesn’t the  National Counterterrorism Center list the “Taliban Presence in Afghanistan” on a map of global terrorism presences?

The answer to all of these questions is, “yes.”

So Taliban is a terrorist group,. right?

Schultz said:

     I don’t think that the Taliban, um — uh – the Taliban is an armed insurgency.

White House Press Secretary tried a bit of damage control on Thursday.

 “They [Taliban] do carry out tactics that are akin to terrorism. They do pursue terror attacks in an effort to try to advance their agenda,” he told reporters.

Nu?

Well, says Earnest, “it’s important to draw a distinction between the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The Taliban has resorted to terror tactics, but those terror tactics have principally been focused on Afghanistan” although many American personnel and soldiers in Afghanistan “are in harm’s way.

Got it? Taliban only uses “terror tactics.” If it quacks, it doesn’t mean it’s a duck. Maybe it’s a ventriloquist.

“The Taliban is a very dangerous organization,” Earnest admitted but it still is different from ISIS.

His twisted narrative goes like this:

         What the President has pursued is a clear strategy for building up the central government of Afghanistan and the Afghan security forces, so that they could be responsible for security in their own country and take the fight to the Taliban

That, however, is different than the strategy that we have pursued against Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization that has aspirations that extend beyond just the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan..

Al-Qaeda and their affiliates around the globe have sought to carry out terror attacks against Americans and American interests all around the globe….

There’s no doubt that the threat from the Taliban is different than the threat that is posed by al-Qaeda.

By that reasoning, Hamas is not a terrorist group because it is not a worldwide threat.

Shin Bet Sting Nabs Israeli Arabs Joining Al Qaeda, ISIS

Friday, January 30th, 2015

A growing number of Arab Israelis are disappearing from their homes and jobs to run off to Syria to “fight in the jihad,” joining up with Al Qaeda and ISIS-linked terror groups.

Then they are sent back to start cells of their own under the direction of Al Qaeda’s local Syrian branch, Jabhat al Nusra, or pledge their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — ISIS — itself.

Most get caught — like those who were indicted this month in district courts in the north and south of Israel.

One Israeli Arab who decided to go to Syria and join the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra terror organization didn’t really manage to get very far.

According to court papers filed in an indictment Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 Amin Ahmed Salah Snobar, age 24, was arrested this month as soon as he arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport (Jan. 2) on a flight from Turkey.

Most wannabe terror recruits have been entering Syria via the border with Turkey. Israeli Arabs are no exception. It is impossible to penetrate Israel’s border with Lebanon or Syria without permission from either side and since both are still technically at war with the Jewish State, that isn’t happening unless there is an outstanding diplomatic purpose. Joining a global jihad organization doesn’t fall under that category.

Snobar, a resident of the northern village of Kfar Yassif, told interrogators from the Israel Security Agency (ISA/Shin Bet) that he left Israel on July 7, 2014 to join up with the radical Islamist rebels fighting Syrian government forces. Upon his arrival in Syria, he first spent time at a base run by the Ansar al-Sham rebel group, then he moved over to the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra, according to court documents. Snobar allegedly went through military training with both groups, learning about weapons and how to make bombs. He was put through a rigorous physical fitness program and then sent out on special missions.

“During his time in Syria … he was in touch with a number of elements who suggested to him, on a number of occasions, that it would be preferable for him to return to Israel and carry out attacks in Israel, or fight against it from within,” Thursday’s court papers stated.

According to the charge sheet submitted by northern district prosecutors at the Haifa District Court, Snobar received training in combat and underground warfare. He also was instructed on how to work in cells, how to arrive at destinations and how to operate firearms. He allegedly carried out armed patrols of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist bases and underwent a training course in the use of heavy machine guns. He also allegedly learned how to load, aim and fire an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) and handled a sniper rifle on multiple occasions.

The Shin Bet said that six months after arriving in Syria Snobar “decided to return to his family, retracing his path to Turkey and from there boarding a flight to Israel. Upon his return to Israel he was arrested at Ben Gurion International Airport and taken for Shin Bet questioning.”

Jabhat al Nusra was outlawed by the State of Israel, the ISA reminded in its communique to media. From June 2013 the group became the official Al Qaeda branch in Syria. Part of its charter calls for attacks on Israel.

“The phenomenon of Arab Israelis traveling to Syria is extremely grave and dangerous, as the Syrian arena is rife with active elements hostile to the State of Israel, with a focus on the global jihad operatives,” said the statement by the Shin Bet. “Arab Israelis who travel to this arena undergo military training and are exposed to extreme jihadist ideology. There is a concern that they will be exploited by terrorist elements to carry out military activity against Israel and gather information on targets in Israel.”

The phenomenon is certainly “grave and dangerous” but it is also becoming more and more common, creating a rising risk for those who employ Israeli Arabs as well as those who employ Palestinian Authority Arabs with legitimate working permits.

Less than two weeks ago, seven Israeli Arabs were indicted in the Haifa District Court – including an attorney from Nazareth who worked as a public defender – for allegedly attempting to set up a cell for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Israel. An eighth suspect with the group was indicted separately due to geographic considerations.

The seven suspects were identified as: Attorney Adnan Aladin, 40; Hasam Marisat, 30, a former security prisoner from Deir Hana; Karim Abu Tzala, 22; Ala’a Abu Tzala, 27; Halad Abu Tzahalh, 30; Sarif Khaled Abu Tzala, 29; and Muhammad Abu Tzala, 27, the latter training to become a pharmacist at the time of his arrest, according to the Shin Bet.

The eighth suspect, Omer Koush, was indicted separately on December 18 and arraigned December 29, 2014 in the Be’er Sheva District Court by the Southern District Attorney’s Office. Koush, a resident of a Bedouin village in the south, had recently finished medical studies in Jordan and was recruiting fighters for ISIS, the Shin Bet said.

The other seven were picked up in a joint Shin Bet-Israel Police operation in November and December of last year, although information on the case was held under a gag order until the indictment was filed this month. All seven confessed to having worked together since June 2014 to form a “Salafi Jihadist” group and had pledged allegiance to ISIS. They were part of a terror attack plot that targeted the Druze community in Israel as well as security personnel and others, the Shin Bet said.

A well-known radical Islamist Salafi cleric in northern Israel with whom they met on multiple occasions had called on the group to recruit more men to the cause, according to the Shin Bet. They learned how to make firebombs and also purchased sheep in order to practice slaughtering and to build up their tolerance for “slaughtering infidels in Syria,” according to the indictment.

Aladin referred to himself as the “commander of ISIS in Palestine,” the Shin Bet said, inciting the other members of the group to participate in terror attacks against Jews and to prepare them for their jihad. He was fired from his job with the Public Defender’s Office in July 2014 after uploading a Facebook post praising an alleged Islamic hadith on killing Jews.

The other six suspects, who are residents of Sakhnin, face charges of attempted contact with a foreign agent, membership and activity in a banned organization (ISIS was outlawed in September 2014 by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon) and aiding a terrorist organization. All had planned eventually to fight in Syria.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shin-bet-sting-nabs-israeli-arabs-joining-al-qaeda-isis/2015/01/30/

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