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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Al Qaida’

The West’s New Syrian War

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

One day people will ask how the United States and several European countries became involved in mass killings, genocide, corruption, arms smuggling, and the creation of another anti-Western and regionally destabilizing government. Even if a single Western soldier is never sent, the West is on the verge of serious intervention in Syria. The choices are unpalatable and decisions are very tough to make but it appears to be still another in a long history of Western leaps in the dark, not based on a real consideration of the consequences.

At least people should be more aware of the dangers. As I entitled a previous book on Iran (Paved with Good Intentions), the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. People are dying and suffering in Syria. That’s true. But will this make more people or fewer people die and suffer?

So now we are seeing the trial balloons rise. As the Bashar al-Assad regime proves to be holding on—but not recapturing the country or winning the war—the West is panicked into sending aid to the rebels.  In fact, the government is merely holding the northwest area (where the ruling Alawite group lives), the region along the Lebanese border (with Hizbollah’s help), Damascus (where the best troops are based and there is a favorable strategic situation in the army holding the high ground), and part of Aleppo. It seems that U.S. decision makers are panicking over these relatively small gains. If the Syrian army plus Hizbollah tries to advance too far it will stretch its resources then and face a successful rebel counteroffensive.

Understandably, the opposition is demanding arms. If the opposition did not consist mostly of al-Qaida, the Salafists, and the Muslim Brotherhood, that would be a good idea perhaps. But since the opposition is overwhelmingly radical—even the official “moderate” opposition politicians are mostly Muslim Brotherhood—this is a tragedy in which the West does not have a great incentive to say “yes.”

President Barack Obama is said to be close to sending weapons to carefully chosen rebel units who are moderates. Now, pay close attention here. The Western options for giving assistance are:

The Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. This is Muslim Brotherhood type people including, most importantly, the Farouk Brigades from the Homs area and Aleppo’s Tawhid Brigade. Around 50-60,000 fighters in total who are autonomous.

Do you want to give arms to them? Weapons that might soon end up in the hands of (other) terrorists? Weapons to be turned against not only Israel, but Jordan, Saudi Arabia, U.S. diplomats, and who knows who else?

Or perhaps you like the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), an alliance of more hardline Islamist forces, including Ahrar al-Sham from the north.  Ahrar al-Sham is probably around 15,000 fighters. The SIF as a whole probably around 25,000.   These people are Salafists meaning that the Brotherhood is too moderate for them. They are the kind of people who attack churches in Egypt, who want to wage jihad alongside Hamas, and so on.

Do you want to arm them so they can establish another Sharia state?

How about Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda franchise with around 6,000 fighters and reportedly the fastest growing militia.

Want to give guns to those who committed the September 11, 2001, attacks and the Benghazi attack? Of course not! You want the Free Syrian Army (FSA), headed by the untested General Salim Idris, who Senator John McCain met with. Now those are moderates who, after all, are just led by former officers in the repressive, historically anti-American Syrian army. And the FSA is just not a serious factor in military terms.

The West will say it supports the FSA; the FSA will be pushed aside by an Islamist regime if it wins, its Western-supplied weapons seized even during the course of the war. Moderates–even if we define radical Arab nationalists as moderates–don’t have the troops on the ground. It’s too late to organize and train a moderate force now. That should have been done two years ago.

On the political level, U.S. pressure failed to force the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated exile leadership to add the real political moderates! Even as financial aid is being (temporarily?) withheld the “official” opposition won’t expand its base. How about withholding all money and aid until they yield or choosing a new official leadership?  If the United States can’t stop–or doesn’t want to–the Brotherhood from dominating an exile leadership how is it ever going to do after a victory in the civil war?

Terrorism? What terrorism?

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

This is just beyond belief.

Patrick S. Poole, a freelance writer, has published a long, detailed, and exhaustively documented article exposing the American government’s schizophrenia regarding radical Islamists, “Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy.”

Expect to read and hear denunciations of Poole as an extremist and Islamophobe, and the article dismissed as right-wing craziness. Neither is true. Read the article and check the references (most are official documents or mainstream journalism).

During the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations the US government has actively courted Muslims who have overt connections to terrorism, who have publicly espoused violent jihad or who have raised funds for terrorist groups. These Muslims, sometimes at the same time that they were under investigation by law enforcement agencies for illegal activities, have been invited to the White House, employed by the FBI and Defense Department as trainers, and consulted by government officials on issues relating to Islam and terrorism. An early example was the case of Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi:

Al-Amoudi’s case is perhaps the best example, because he was the conduit through much of the U.S. government outreach that was conducted following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Not only was he asked by the Clinton administration to help train and certify all Muslim military chaplains (his organization being the first to certify such),[13] he was later appointed by the State Department in 1997 as a civilian goodwill ambassador to the Middle East, making six taxpayer-funded trips.[14]

Further, with the assistance and encouragement of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, al-Amoudi arranged the first White House Iftar dinner in 1996, personally hand-picking the attendees.[15] Thus, he was regularly invited to the White House during both the Clinton and Bush (II) Administrations. In 1992 and 1996, al-Amoudi’s American Muslim Council hosted hospitality suites at both the Democratic and Republican conventions.[16] It is fair to say that during this period, Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi was the most prominent and politically connected Muslim leader in America.

As is now known, and the U.S. government has admitted, at the time that he was being courted by Democrats and Republicans alike, he was a major fundraiser for al-Qa’ida according to the Department of the Treasury.[17] However, it isn’t as if the U.S. government was not aware of al-Amoudi’s attachments. As far back as 1993, a government informant told the FBI that al-Amoudi was funneling regular payments from Usama bin Ladin to the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted for authorizing terror attacks targeting New York landmarks.[18]

In March 1996, al-Amoudi’s association with Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook was exposed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal.[19] Two years later, the State Department came under fire by the New York Post for inviting al-Amoudi to official events despite his known statements in support of terrorism and terrorist leaders.[20] Even then the Post noted the problem with the government’s policy of reaching out to the wrong Muslim leaders:

The problem is that such groups have been legitimized–both by government and the media–as civil-rights groups fighting anti-Muslim discrimination and stereotyping. Unfortunately, their definition of such discrimination consists of anyone who writes about the existence of–or tries to investigate–radical Islamic terrorist groups and their allies on these shores.[21]

A more embarrassing episode occurred in October 2000, when al-Amoudi appeared at an anti-Israeli rally where he was cheered by the crowd for his support for terrorists. “I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support Hamas here?” he asked the crowd three times to the roar of attendees. “Hear that, Bill Clinton?” he continued. “We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah. Does anybody support Hezbollah here?” Again, he was met with the cheers of the crowd.

Well, one might think, that was then. But it continued after 9/11:

The U.S. government’s success with Muslim outreach since September 11 hasn’t fared any better. One of the first Muslim leaders that the government turned to was Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qa’ida cleric who was in direct contact with at least three of the September 11 hijackers.[41] Awlaki, who had been placed on the CIA’s “kill or capture” list, was killed on September 30, 2011 in a CIA-led drone strike on the al-Qa’ida cleric’s convoy in Yemen, which President Obama hailed as a “milestone” in the fight against al-Qa’ida.[42]

As the cleanup from the terrorist attack on the Pentagon continued, Awlaki was invited by the Pentagon’s Office of Government Counsel to speak at a lunch in the building’s executive offices as part of the government’s new Muslim outreach policy.[43] Ironically, one of the September 11 terrorists who had helped hijack American Airlines Flight 77 that was flown into the Pentagon had described Awlaki as “a great man” and his “spiritual leader.”[44] Yet concerns had been raised about Awlaki long before the September 11 attacks.

A joint congressional inquiry in the September 11 attacks found that law enforcement had been investigating Awlaki’s contacts with terrorism suspects as far back as 1999.[45] Further, just two days after September 11, Awlaki had described the terror attacks as an “accident” in an interview with a local television station.[46] Also prior to his appearance at the Pentagon the New York Times had noted Awlaki’s fiery anti-American rhetoric prior to the attacks, and in November 2001, he had defended the Taliban in an online chat about Ramadan on the Washington Post website.[47] Thus, despite claims that Awlaki had been “vetted” before the Pentagon event, abundant evidence of Awlaki’s extremist views was more than readily available before he appeared at the Pentagon event.[48]

Needless to say, nobody does political correctness better than the present administration:

To emphasize the Obama administration’s new Muslim outreach policy, the White House issued a directive in August 2011 ordering law enforcement to engage “community partners” to help combat “violent extremism.”[155] This White House policy, signed by President Obama, effectively granted highly questionable official status to extremist groups, like ISNA and MPAC, who even now claim previously unknown oversight to law enforcement training and investigations. One example of the effect of this new policy are the Shari’a-compliant guidelines that federal law enforcement officials must now comply with when conducting raids related to Islamic leaders or institutions.

This was exhibited in May 2011, when the FBI raided a South Florida mosque and arrested its imam and his son for financially supporting the Taliban. The rules required law enforcement officials to remove their shoes before entering the mosque and prohibiting police canines from the property.[156] The common sense of these new rules undoubtedly would have been put to the test had the subjects tried to flee to be pursued by shoeless federal agents. There is also no indication that such sensitivity rules have been established by the FBI for any other religion but Islam, raising serious constitutional questions.

There is more, much more. You might ask, “how can we detect radical Muslims who might engage in or support terrorism against the US when the ‘experts’ we turn to share their ideology?” Good question.

From the outset, the Obama administration has followed a course to blind government agencies to the international and domestic jihadi threat and tie the hands of law enforcement investigators to identify such activity. One of the first steps in 2009 was for the Obama administration to remove any reference to “radical Islam” from the National Security Strategy, a move that was hailed by CAIR and other Muslim groups.[139] In fact, many of the U.S. government’s outreach partners had a direct hand in demanding the language purge from national security protocol and agency lexicons in recent years, going as far back as MPAC’s vehement criticism of the 9/11 Commission Report for the use of the words “Islamist,”,” “jihad,” and other such terms to describe the motivations, influence, and ideology of al-Qa’ida and the September 11 terrorists.[140] Undoubtedly, the Obama administration’s move was part of the recent justification by the Associated Press to purge the same language from their stylebook.[141]

More recently, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) challenged the removal of these terms from the FBI’s “Counterterrorism Analytical Lexicon,” including “jihad,” “Islam,” and even “Hamas,” “Hizballah,” and “al-Qa’ida,” in a floor speech in the House of Representatives.[142] The very next day, FBI representatives contacted Gohmert’s staff, claiming that the lexicon he cited didn’t even exist. Those same representatives quickly retreated when it was confirmed that hard copies had been distributed to all counterterrorism agents in the field, electronic copies resided on the FBI’s intranet, and after the current author reported the matter and posted an electronic copy of the FBI’s lexicon online.[143]

Finally, there are the foreign policy implications:

Did the fact that their top outreach partners on Islamic and Middle East issues are known fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood–identified as such by federal prosecutors in federal court–contribute to the Obama administration’s naïve and ultimately false [view] of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East? Was there any reflection by anyone in the administration when these same outreach partners, very close to the White House, began openly meeting with their Middle East counterparts following the toppling of longtime U.S. allies and even hosting them in Washington, D.C. (such as the dinner MPAC hosted for Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi, who had been banned from the United States for nearly 20 years)?[204]

More good questions.

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In an Ocean of Islamic Hatred We Discovered True Friends

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

The Jewish Press has been widely and wildly criticized for giving voice to a young Turkish, Muslim author named Sinem Tezyapar, who is, essentially, a spokesperson for author and television personality Adnan Oktar, pen named Harun Yahya, also a Turkish religious Muslim.

Oktar and his followers (feel free to use the terms “Sect” or “Cult,” it’s not anything they haven’t heard before) are no friends of the secularist establishment in Turkey. Oktar himself has done some serious time in Turkish prison, and his followers live in constant fear of persecution. They are also hated and regularly harassed by fascistic Muslims such as the Al Qaida thugs.

After a fairly jaded start, in which Oktar, or people in his employ, published several books denying the Holocaust and attacking Israel, this Muslim leader began a kind of transformation. He became better acquainted with Judaism and with Zionist history through some new Jewish friends (e.g. Jerusalem-based writer Ehud Tokatly) he was making over the Internet. He recognized his mistakes, apologized for the Holocaust denial book–which he had not authored, and started forging a brand new Muslim vision of a peaceful Middle East in which Israel is not only a Jewish Homeland ruling over its entire biblical territory, but also a place where the Jewish Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem to become the center of adoration by the entire faithful world.

In addition, Adnan Oktar has played host to major Jewish and Israeli figures, including former Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Lau, the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, and several past and present Israeli politicians, including many of the Shas leadership.

Sinem Tezyapar, essentially representing her teacher’s lessons, has been laboring over the virtual pages of The Jewish Press to debate against Islamic antisemitism, and presenting through cited verses a positive and optimistic vision of the Koran. At every turn, she has expressed nothing but love and acceptance of Jews and the Torah tradition. I’ve been responsible for bringing her work to this website and for preparing it for publication, and so I’ve been intimately familiar with it. There are no false notes here, no hidden agendas.

And so I was taken aback by the vitriolic response of so many of our readers, who attacked Sinem either as a naïve simpleton who doesn’t really understand what a hateful religion she follows, or a sinister Svengali, looking to trap innocent Jews in her web of lies.

At this stage of the game, the caustic debate has spread beyond our own website, to dedicated websites and Facebook pages, intended to smear both the author and us, the supposedly duped Jewish Press. That’s why I feel compelled to respond, so that we’re on the record, rather than to allow some outsider decide what our position might be.

For the record, then, and please feel free to copy and paste this to your hearts’ content (you got that, Israel Matzav?), here are the reasons why The Jewish Press has been publishing these articles:

First, Sinem and Oktar are not promoting terrorism, on the contrary, they openly and unequivocally denounce violence, hatred, anti-Semitism and terrorism.

That’s huge. As a Jew, member of a persecuted minority, my first inquiry regarding a gentile person must be: is he interested in killing me? It’s also recommended to anyone else when picking friends and loved ones, but to Jews it’s absolutely essential.

So, while millions of Muslims want me dead in many different hellish ways, these folks from Istanbul don’t. I find it refreshing and a very good start towards a better future. In fact, once I’m convinced—and I am—that they don’t want me dead, I don’t really care how truly devout they are, how chaste they are (or are not), and what are their preferred peccadilloes. It’s a group of monotheistic gentiles what don’t want me dead – I’m totally happy.

Second, they are preaching an alternative interpretation of Islam, promoting peace, love, tolerance and democracy.

They live in Turkey, for crying out loud, don’t you think they know that most Muslim leaders and followers the world over disagree with them? But they have the courage, even the chutzpah, to tell the world—and they publish unabashedly on Muslim and Arab websites as well—what Islam should be.

Unlike some American sitting in his Mom’s basement, typing away how naïve Sinem is, she is actually putting her money—and her life—where her keyboard is. And she’s doing it patiently, humbly, never an angry word, never a snappy retort. I couldn’t do it, honestly.

So we discovered these lovely Muslim peaceniks, who are lovey-dovey about Jews and Israel, and who completely ignore the grim realities of a billion Muslims out there who hate us. Fine. It still means these strange Muslim don’t want me dead, right? That definitely goes on the plus side in my ledger.

Third, they support Israel’s right to exist as an independent Jewish State, based on the Koran, they pray for the coming of the King Mashiach ben David, they support the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, they oppose Holocaust denial, they support the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the same Temple Mount. Is it any wonder they are being accused by radical Islamists that they are Zionist agents?

A recent Al Qaida attack in Istanbul, I’m told, was in retaliation for Oktar’s hosting of Rabbi Lau.

So, Muslim peaceniks, don’t want to kill me, and they’re saying my country belongs to me. Beats my European friends who say I must give away another two thirds of my country so that my neighbors might agree I have the right to exist.

Fourth, it is in our own interest to embrace friends of the Jews and of Israel. Plenty of Jews happily embrace messianic evangelicals who write openly that all they want is for us to convert to Christianity, and they even know that we’re all going there, like it or not, when That Man supposedly returns. We trumpet any pope who says we no longer have to pay for crucifying what’s his name. We’re a tiny nation, we can’t afford to scoff at anyone who wants to be our friend and lives up to it.

So, please, people, get with it. We’re in a war for our lives in which every friend counts. Enough with the crazy talkbacks.

Amb. Prosor: Many States Classify Hezbollah as ‘Charity’

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

On Tuesday, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor spoke during a Security Council open debate on the “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.”

Prosor referred to the finding last week, by Bulgarian authorities, that Hezbollah was the culprit behind the July bus bombing in Burgas, which killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen.

“This was the deadliest attack on European soil since 2005,” Prosor said. “Despite this, however, Hezbollah remains conspicuously absent from the European Union’s list of recognized terrorist organizations. In fact, many states—including some in this hall—continue to classify Hezbollah as a charity. Not since Napoleon invaded Russia has the European continent seen such an astonishing lack of foresight.”

Prosor cautioned that Hezbollah’s sole purpose is “to commit terrorist acts both inside and outside the Middle East,” commenting that “calling Hezbollah a charity is like calling al Qaida an urban-planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings.”

“One does not need the fortitude of Richard the Lionheart to do the right thing here,” Prosor concluded. “The EU must find the moral and political courage to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. It must send a clear message that Hezbollah can no longer target its citizens with impunity.”

Head of Benghazi Security Committee Quits

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The head of the supreme security committee in Benghazi, Libya, quit his position on Wednesday, citing tension between the ministry of interior and the security services.

In an interview with AFP, Fawzi Wanis al-Kadhafi said he decided to resign because “working conditions are not the same” since ex-rebels who overthrew Muammar Qaddafi last year re-established the committee.

On Monday, Libya’s interior minister fired the deputy interior minister for the eastern region and the head of national security for Benghazi, a week after US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed after the US embassy was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades.

Initial reports suggested the attacks resulted from outrage over an anti-Muslim film produced in the US, but experts say the riots may have been pre-planned with Al-Qaida support.

In a statement, Al-Qaida praised the killing of Stevens as “the best gift you give to his arrogant and unjust administration,” and urged Muslims to continue violent uprisings “and to kill their (American) ambassadors and representatives or to expel them to cleanse our land from their wickedness.”

Algerian Mohammed Mera of Al-Qaeda Surrounded by Police in Toulouse Hideout

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

About 300 French police officers continue to surround a house in the Croix-Daurade district of Toulouse, trying to encourage the suspect in the deadly shootings at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school to give himself up.

France 24 news identified the man as Mohammed Mura, 24, is a 24-year old Algerian Muslim with self-proclaimed ties to Al-Qaida.  Mura said he committed the murders – as well as the shootings of three French paratroopers – to commit “revenge for Palestinian children” and to punish France for its foreign military involvement.

Special police forces began their raid at 3:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.  Three French officers have been injured in the operation, including one who was shot in the knee when Mura fired at a door through which police were attempting to enter, according to French Interior Minister Claude Gueant. The man now said he plans to give himself up in the afternoon. His brother is still at large.

Working up to the 7th hour of the standoff, the suspect showed no signs of surrendering, though he reportedly tossed one firearm out of the window in exchange for a communications device.

Mura is accused of killing seven people in the last 10 days: a rabbi and three children at the Jewish school on Monday, and three soldiers of north African origin who had recently returned from Afghanistan in two earlier incidents.

Police had been searching for a man on a Yamaha TMAx530 with license plate number CA-676-RT, according to French TF1 News.  The motorcycle was stolen on March 6.

According to  Gueant, the suspect is a French national of Algerian origin who spent considerable time in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Toulouse house in which Mura has barracaded himself is a five-story block of flats and the man is on the ground or first floor.  His mother was called to the scene to attempt to persuade him out, but she refused to participate in police efforts, saying she had “little influence on him”.  One brother of Mura has been captured.

Investigators told the BBC that the suspect was identified through an email message he sent to his first victim. He had also been looking for a garage in Toulouse to remove a GPS tracking device from his Yamaha scooter after the first two attacks. Police knew a scooter was used in all the attacks.

“He claims to be a Mujahideen and to belong to al-Qaeda,” Gueant said. “He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions.”

According to Agence France-Presse, a French secret service source said the suspect had been “in the sights” of France’s intelligence agency after the first two attacks, when police were able to provide “crucial evidence”.

Police wearing helmets and flak jackets have cordoned off the area and other operations are under way to track down possible accomplices. Other emergency services are also in attendance.

A huge manhunt had been launched after Monday’s shooting at the  Ozar HaTorah Jewish school that left four people dead, and the killing of three soldiers in two incidents last week.

Air Strikes in Yemen Kill 45 Al-Qaida Terrorists

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Reuters reports that on Saturday the U S drone attacks killed at least 25 al-Qaida fighters, including one commander, while a Yemeni air force raid killed 20 more in the south, sources said on Saturday. These were the biggest air strikes since Yemen’s new president took office.

Al-Qaida forces have increased their operations in southern Yemen while the country was in political turmoil during months of turmoil, anticipating the resignation of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was replaced in a February election by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Two al-Qaida fighters were killed late Friday while attempting to set off a bomb at a security checkpoint near the town of Mudiyah in the southern province of Abyan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/air-strikes-in-yemen-kill-45-al-qaida-terrorists/2012/03/10/

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