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NY’s Top Cop: ‘It Was Terrorism’

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Finally, someone in a position of authority in this country says what is obviously true.

NEW YORK –  New York City police Commissioner William Bratton says the hatchet attack on four rookie officers was a terrorist act by a homegrown radical.

Bratton said Friday the suspect, Zale Thompson, was a Muslim convert who ranted online against America, but had no clear ties to international terrorism. He believes Thompson was self-radicalized.

Which is remarkably similar to Nidal Hasan, whose massacre is still called “workplace violence” by the Obama administration. Hasan was actually more directly connected to terrorism, though Anwar Al-Awlaki. It’s also similar to the beheading perpetrated by Alton Alexander Nolen in Oklahoma. The government and media labeled that clear jihadist act a case of “workplace violence.”

Canada has handled the lone wolf jihadi attack in its capital much more honestly than the US under Obama tends to. Obama and his ilk make us all dance around and argue over words and definitions. Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the Ottawa attack “terrorism” straight away, no games. Ministers even sharpened up flagpoles to fight off the attacker, but fortunately a “gun nut” — the sergeant-at-arms — had a firearm in his desk, which he used to take the jihadist down.

By the way, if you follow that last link, you can see the Daily Mail appear to mock Harper for hiding in a “cupboard” during the attack. It was actually a closet, and it was obviously right and prudent to protect him.

The image of a bunch of angry Canucks sharpening up sticks to protect him is just…Viking. On behalf of Texas I’ll lend Canada our “Don’t mess with…” phrase for a while.

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VIDEO: ISIS Jihadi Plants Flag Atop a Hill, US Bomber Removes It

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This AFP video is Bambi vs. Godzilla, ISIS style.

An ISIS jihadi plants his little flag on top of a hill outside Kobane, Syria, to claim it for the jihadi cause.

Flags on top of hills in barren landscapes make good targets. And so do the terrorists who are anywhere near them.

It’s impossible to tell from the video if the bombing won any strategic victory, but it definitely scored for propaganda.

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Report: ISIS Has a Pilot to Fly Its Stolen Jet Aircraft

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Reporter Jenan Moussa works for Dubai’s Al Aan TV. She is currently reporting from Syria, near Kobane, where Kurdish fighters continue to battle ISIS.

Today she filed a report about the three working aircraft that ISIS stole when it took control of a Syrian air base.

Big question remains: do they have pilots to fly them?

The answer is Yes. They indeed do. According to my sources IS has at least one pilot. He is a colonel who earlier served in the Syrian army inside Tabaqa airport. He defected, joined Free Syrian Army first and later switched to ISIS. He has more than 20 years of experience as a pilot. My sources know his name and that he lives in Tabaka. Recently the ISIS-pilot flew the L39 plane for a test flight. Sources tell me how they saw the jet landing at Al Jarrah airport. Inside the airport, there is also an ISIS military camp headed by 2 Emirs, a Syrian and a Saudi.

Other sources also say the fear is that the ISIS planes will not be used for normal bombing operations, but for a huge, one time suicide operation which will shock the region.

The L39 is not usually an armed aircraft. It’s mainly a training aircraft, built by the former Czechoslovakia. It can be used for light air attack roles. This story gives more detail on that.

The Albatross is normally equipped with guns, bombs, rockets and air-to-air missiles. It is suspected that the three Albatrosses now in control of ISIS are equipped with all these lethal weapons.

Thus far, ISIS only has three of these aircraft, and one pilot to fly them. But that one pilot is probably training others, and ISIS may well be planning to use them in one or more spectacular terror attacks. The jets are likely to have a short shelf life unless ISIS also has qualified maintenance crews to keep them flyable. So, if ISIS is to use them in an attack, that’s likely to happen sooner rather than later.

 

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Rising Threat of Attacks Resurrects Debate Over Government Surveillance Powers

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) argued in a USA Today op-ed this week that now is the wrong time to dial back surveillance powers of the federal government, arguing that the USA FREEDOM Act in Congress “would render our counterterrorism tools less agile and reliable.”

But the sponsor of the Senate version, Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), argued for “a common sense way of saying collect information, but do it in a way where you protect the interests of innocent people.”

The House version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), passed in May. The Senate version — the full name of the bill is the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act – has 18 co-sponsors but hasn’t advanced.

The GOP co-sponsors are Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Coats noted that the Senate Intelligence Committee arrived at a compromise FISA Improvements Act “to enshrine safeguards in law for the first time.”

“Our bill does not end the call-records program, thus preserving an important counterterrorism tool,” Coats wrote. “However, it prohibits access to phone data except under specific procedures and restrictions, and it bars the collection of content.”

“Currently, Americans and Europeans are joining the Islamic State, the wealthiest and most brutal terrorist group in history. By exploiting the passports of Western members, ISIL-trained operatives can come to our shores far more easily than the 9/11 hijackers,” he added. “The government’s interest is the most compelling imaginable: To the best of our ability, never again allow an attack on our homeland that costs innocent lives.”

Responding on CNN, Leahy said ”if you collect everything, in some ways you have nothing.”

The chairman added that if the NSA had kept tabs on its own house, “you never would have had an Edward Snowden.”

“I mean this was pure carelessness on the part of the NSA. They talked about how well they protect everything. They couldn’t even protect their greatest secrets from a subcontractor,” Leahy said.

He said drafting a bill that makes “sure you go after the real targets” is why it has support from the right and left.

“Those of us who lived back in the time of J. Edgar Hoover realize how tyrannical our government could be if it was allowed to spy on everybody with no checks and balances. We — you’re always going to find something that people say, oh my God, look at this. We’ve got a terrorist attack in Canada,” Leahy said.

“We forget one of the biggest terrorist attacks in this country was Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City, a retired military person, church-going American, and nothing that they talked about in all of these possible pieces of legislation would have stopped Timothy McVeigh from carrying out a horrific murderous attack on Americans.”

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Former Homeland Security Chairman: ‘No One Should Feel Safe’

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee warned “no one should feel safe” after a week that saw Canada weather separate attacks from ISIS sympathizers.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) stressed “we’re at war with Islamic terrorism and a particularly evil group in ISIS, and they want to attack as many people as they can.”

“They focus on the military and the police and monuments because it gives them attention. But they will kill anyone they can. If they can attack a shopping center, a subway train, an airport, they will do it. Right now, for the sake of symbolism, they are talking about the military. But, no, we should be protecting everything we can,” King warned.

“And we should be aggressive. We should be on offense. We should not be politically correct. And the only way to really stop this is to go into the Muslim communities and find out who is good, who is bad, get any kind of tips, informants, whatever we have to do.”

The congressman noted that the NYPD was doing that for years “until those people at The New York Times, those liberal ideologues, and the Associated Press, the Civil Liberties Union tried to stop that.”

“There is chatter among the terrorist groups about attacking the United States, attacking the infidels. That’s there. And we know that ISIS has a commitment to attack the United States, especially since we, rightly, began the war against them back in September. And they want to strike back and they want to show that they still have a lot of firepower in them and that we’re not going to be safe anywhere. Part of it is to break our will and our morale so we will back off from them. But in event, they want to attack us no matter what.”

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Man Attacks Group of NYPD Officers with Hatchet, Wounding Five

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A group of New York police officers were attacked by a hatchet-wielding assailant today, and CNN is reporting that the man’s Facebook page has “links to extremism.” The details:

Four police officers and a woman were injured, and a hatchet-wielding man was fatally shot during a bloody altercation Thursday in Queens.

Four rookie police officers were working near 162nd Street and Jamaica Avenue when a freelance photographer asked them to pose for a photo in front of a Conway store.  While they were posing, another man, described as a 32-year-old male, attacked without saying a word, Commissioner Bratton said at a press conference Thursday.

“The suspect was described as having charged at the officers,” Bratton said.

Swinging an 18-inch metal hatchet, the man first hit a 24-year-old officer in the right arm — he was later taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition.

The suspect kept swinging, striking a second officer in the back of the head, critically injuring the 25-year-old.

The other officers fired multiple shots, killed the suspect at the scene.

A 29-year-old woman passing by was struck by gunfire in the lower back.  She underwent surgery at Jamaica Hospital and is in stable condition.

Bratton said he didn’t believe the photographer was working with the attacker, but they are now reviewing his pictures.

The attack comes the day after a terrorist killed a soldier and attacked the parliament building in Ottawa.

 

 

 

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Chairman: Obama Should Follow Canada’s Example and Call Fort Hood ‘Terrorist Attack’

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee lauded the Canadian government for quickly labeling this week’s attacks as terrorism, with a dig at the Obama administration’s use of “workplace violence.”

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) noted in a statement that Canada “has always stood with us in troubled times, and we stand with them.”

“I was impressed with the Canadian government’s swift condemnation of what was obviously an act of terror,” McKeon said. “I wish the Obama administration used similar language during the Ft. Hood shooting, rather than pretending that ‘workplace violence’ was an accurate description of a tragic terrorist attack.”

Since the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, lawmakers in both chambers have been trying to get the administration to recognize the massacre as a terrorist attack and make those injured eligible for the Purple Heart.

“I hope the president will follow Prime Minister Harper’s example and recognize terrorist attacks for what they are,” McKeon added.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said today that “based on the fact that the Canadian officials have determined that this is a terrorist incident, you can expect — you should expect that U.S. officials who are responsible for our counterterrorism efforts have also been in touch with their counterparts in Canada to offer assistance and to coordinate both in the investigation and in any needed response.”

“…And there is a very important role for the mainstream Muslim community in this country and around the world to play in this effort, as well, that there are respected religious figures who can effectively counter the extremist messages that are being widely distributed in an effort to appeal to the youth in some communities, both in this country, but in countries around the world,” Earnest added.

“And the Obama administration has made it a priority to engage these local leaders and mobilize them in this effort. We’re pleased with the kind of strong partnership that’s been established in a number of communities across the country. But it’s important for us to continue to be vigilant, both about the threat, but also about our ongoing efforts to counter it.”

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Canadian Police Offer New Details About Ottawa Shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Canadian police just held a press conference to detail Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa. The police also showed several surveillance videos taken from various cameras that allow them to trace the shooter’s path around the city.

The details reveal that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the son of Canadian immigration bureau worker and a man who fought in Libya in 2011 (on which side he fought is unclear). Bibeau had converted to Islam about three years ago. He was also known to be in contact with a person who is currently on Canada’s terrorism watch list. Bibeau was not on a terrorism watch list himself, but was known to publicly espouse radical views.

He also reportedly had a couple of friends at the Ottawa mission he stayed at.

Another man, who said his initials were P.M., said Zehaf-Bibeau was close with two younger anglophone Caucasian men, roughly 20 years of age, who would speak with him often about Islam.

“There was three of them all the time going around with each other,” P.M said. “He was teaching them about Islam and stuff. He had them doing the Islamic prayer. They were in the hallways here doing it.”

All three men disappeared from the Mission on Wednesday morning shortly after a fire alarm was pulled just after 8 a.m., said P.M.

Police say that Bibeau had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship. He traveled to Ottawa earlier in October to obtain a passport. He intended to use that passport to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. He bought the first car that he used in the attack on Tuesday. He abandoned that car and stole a second one, which he used to drive to the Centre Block, where he opened fire and was killed.

Bibeau had a long rap sheet and may have been mentally ill.

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VIDEO: Emotional Standing Ovation for Canadian Hero Kevin Vickers

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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The sergeant-at-arms in Canada’s House of Commons, Kevin Vickers, is one tough guy. The 58-year-old New Brunswick native spent nearly three decades in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and was appointed to his current post in 2006. The mountie got his man yesterday when he shot and killed terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as the gunman stormed through the parliament building.

Today was the emotional opening of parliament with an extended standing ovation for Vickers, who will assuredly never have to buy a drink again.

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Loyalty and Enmity: Parallels between Islam and the Mafia

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Editor’s note: The following is Part Two of a three-part series examining the many parallels between Islam and the mafia following Bill Maher’s recent exclamation that Islam is “the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”  Click here for Part One.

Death to Traitors (AKA “Apostates”)

Once a Mafioso takes the oath of loyalty to the mafia—including the Omertà code of silence and secrecy—trying to leave the “family” is instantaneously seen as a betrayal and therefore punishable by death.   Any family member, great or small, is given authority to kill the traitor, the “turncoat.”

Compare this to Islam.  To be born to a Muslim father immediately makes the newborn a Muslim—there are no oaths to be taken, much less an option in the matter.   And, according to Islamic law, if born Muslims at any point in their lives choose to leave Islam, they are deemed “apostates”—traitors—and punished including by death.   Any zealous Muslim, not just the authorities, is justified in killing the apostate (hence why Muslim families that kill apostate children are rarely if ever prosecuted).

In the words of Muhammad—the messenger (underboss) of Allah (godfather):  “Whoever leaves his Islamic faith, kill him.”

The charge of “traitor” is especially applicable when the Muslim converts to another religion—most frequently Islam’s historic competitor, Christianity—as opposed to simply losing faith in their hearts.  Put differently, the very recent plight of Meriam Ibrahim—a Sudanese Christian wife and mother who, while pregnant, was imprisoned and sentenced to death for “apostasy”—is the tip of the iceberg of the plight of apostates under Islam.

Loyalty and Enmity

Loyalty is an absolute prerequisite of the mafia.  Following elaborate rituals of blood oaths, mafia members are expected to maintain absolute loyalty to the family, on pain of death.

Compare this with Islam’s “Loyalty and Enmity” doctrine, which calls on Muslims to be loyal to each other and their appointed emirs, even if they dislike them.

For example, Koran 9:71 declares that “The believing [Muslim] men and believing [Muslim] women are allies of one another” (see also 8:72-75).  And according to Muhammad, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him…. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth, and his honor”—precisely those three things of a Mafioso that are inviolable for his mafia “brother.”  (This is why Muslims like U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan, whose “worst nightmare” was to be deployed to fight fellow Muslims, often lash out.)

Aside from loyalty to the family, mafia members are also expected not to befriend or associate with too many “outsiders”—who by nature are not to be trusted, as they are not of the “family”—unless such a “friendship” helps advance the family’s position.

Similarly, the second half of the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity—the enmity—calls on Muslims to maintain distance from and have hate for all non-Muslim “infidels.”

Thus Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them.” According to the mainstream Islamic exegesis of al-Tabari, Koran 5:51 means that the Muslim who “allies with them [non-Muslims] and enables them against the believers, that same one is a member of their faith and community,” that is, an outsider and enemy.

Similar scriptures include Koran 4:89, 4:144, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22; the latter simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—“even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.” Koran 60:1 declares, “O you who believe! Do not take my enemy and your enemy [non-believers] for friends: would you offer them love while they deny what has come to you of the truth [i.e., while they deny Islam]?”… Keep reading

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Canada Gets It Right

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Leslie Loftis

It is not just that Canada is willing to call an act of terrorism by its name: terrorism. That is certainly refreshing clarity in these troubled times, clarity which will help Canada decide how to prevent future attacks. But Canada isn’t just calling terrorism by its name. Based upon Andrew Cohen’s letter posted to CNN, Canada is engaging in some self-reflection. In what I bet will be the Canadian equivalent of Leonard Pitts Jr.’s “We’ll Go Forward from This Moment” letter on September 12, 2001, Cohen wrote a very self-aware post “This is not supposed to happen in Canada“. Just a snippet:

It is too much a cliché to say — as many surely will — that Canada has lost its innocence today. Canada is surely not innocent; a nation that marched into the maw of two world wars and left 100,000 of its sons in Europe understands a few things. That’s particularly true at this time of year, when Canadians wear red poppies in their lapels until November 11, Remembrance Day.

What we might say, though, is that Canada has lost its ignorance today — and, perhaps, a good part of its complacency, too.

It is difficult to engage in that kind of self analysis, much less to have the courage to admit what you find. Compliments to Cohen, though he does seem to be struggling with “we were asking for it” and “we may not be interested in war, but war is interested in us” arguments. Perhaps that is why he failed to mention one other thing that Canada got right over the US.

There is a reason that the terrorist only managed to kill one victim. It won’t surprise readers here to learn that the limiting force was an honorable man with a gun. I doubt that truth will get much play in the US, but it should. On a whim, I did a news search this morning for “Canada Kevin Vickers Sargent at Arms” and all but three hits on the first few Google results pages were non-US news. Canada might be coming to terms with its security illusions. Would that the US did as well.

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John Kerry’s Peace Partners: Fatah Facebook Page Honors Yesterday’s Murder of Israeli Infant

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by David Steinberg

As reported here yesterday, the State Department’s Jen Psaki was unable to use the word “murdered” in the administration’s official response to yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem that ended the life of three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun. Then, outrageously, she urged “all sides to maintain calm” in the wake of the infanticide.

Imagine being a member of the baby’s family and receiving that message.

Today, one of those “sides,” the evil one, posted this outrageous image sanctifying as courageous the act of infanticide. It reads:

The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

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Fatah. Not Hamas, the supposedly more extremist member of the joint Palestinian Authority ruling coalition, but Fatah, the “moderates” who have had the honor of frequent audiences with our secretary of State, and who have batted out around the U.S. like a cat toy for some 25 years now with this “moderate” charade.

I expect the State Department to do nothing, or to request Fatah remove the image as a “gesture of goodwill,” and dismiss it as some sort of necessary, realpolitik pandering to their extremist base.

Don’t stand for it this time. Make Kerry answer for his useful idiocy. Force him to represent the U.S. as a country which actually upholds humanity in some regard.

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Dem Congressman: ‘Everybody’s Hair on Fire’ That ‘Somehow the Muslim Hordes are Going to Come Get Us’

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Democratic congressman decried reactions to this week’s terrorist attacks in Canada, arguing people shouldn’t get worked up about “Muslim hordes” coming to get the U.S.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) told MSNBC yesterday that President Obama was “very measured in his response.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the killing of a soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa followed by shots fired at the parliament building the work of a “terrorist” in his address to the nation. Obama stressed “we don’t yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting,” adding “it emphasizes the degree to which we have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or terrorism.”

“Usually people — the information we get immediately after one of this incident turns out to be partial or incorrect or wrong direction all together. I mean you have to look back to Timothy McVeigh when he blew up the building in Oklahoma City, or we had two guards killed in the Congress since I’ve been there by a young man who was trying to bring a gun in who was mentally not balanced,” McDermott said.

“You have to wait and get the information, and I think the president, by not getting his hair on fire is doing exactly the right thing. We don’t know who did this, we don’t know if there’s a conspiracy or anything else. All the speculation you’re seeing in the press is done by irresponsible people in my view.”

The shooter, killed by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vicker, has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Reuters cited U.S. officials saying Zehaf-Bibeau was a recent convert to Islam, and the Globe and Mail said his passport had been taken away by the Canadian government after he was designated a “high-risk traveler” who was planning to go fight overseas.

NORAD was put on high-alert posture after the Canadian attack. McDermott said that wasn’t necessary.

“You know, we’ve just gone through the Ebola virus. That was the crisis of last week. Everybody’s hair was on fire about Ebola and suddenly a shooting occurs in Canada and suddenly our hair is on fire that somehow the Muslim hordes are going to come and get us; there’s no evidence for that,” he said.

“And to me it sends the wrong message to the people, especially to those people who are inclined to do these kinds of things, it gives them ammunition to say, well I’d better do something now before — that kind of stuff encourages this kind of stuff.”

The congressman said he feels “very comfortable” with security on Capitol Hill.

“Walking around the campus as I have for the last few years, you occasionally suddenly see another layer of police, and you see people being directed away from certain areas. And you see things happening and you know that they’ve changed something because they’re concerned about something. I think that’s prudent, that’s what we create the police for, to do the things to protect us,” McDermott said.

“They don’t necessarily have to tell us everything that they’ve heard or worried about. They simply have to do their job. And I think that, sometimes the government official like President Obama doesn’t need to tell everybody everything he knows. He needs to deal with it in an appropriate way using the instruments of government. And so far I’ve seen him do a good job. I really think he’s handled this very well.”

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U.S. Offering ‘Blind Support’ to UN Agency Despite Attacks from Gaza, Argue Senators

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Republican senators have let Secretary of State John Kerry know that they won’t support further aid to Gaza residents until the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency can assure that it isn’t complicit in attacks on Israel.

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked Kerry in August to launch a State Department investigation into ”the role played by UNRWA in the recent conflict in Gaza.”

“As you know, during the conflict, rockets were found on UNRWA property on three separate occasions, and rockets were fired into Israel from the vicinity of UNRWA facilities on multiple occasions. Information has also emerged regarding the potential exploitation of UNRWA’s distribution network inside Gaza to by Hamas and other terrorist groups.”

The State Department replied in September, telling the senators that the U.S. is “awaiting the findings of UNRWA’s ongoing internal investigation before considering further action.”

“It is unclear when that investigation will be completed or how truly independent it will be,” Kirk and Rubio wrote Kerry on Wednesday.

“Given UNRWA’s record and the absence of an independent investigation into its actions during the conflict, we were dumbfounded when, on October 12th, you reiterated, without any qualification, that the United States would provide more than $150 million to UNRWA programs in Gaza,” they wrote.

“This blind support sends the wrong message to an institution that has already become far too dependent on the largesse of the American taxpayer and repeatedly failed to ensure that its facilities and resources are not used by terrorists who wish to sow chaos and instability rather than aid the Palestinian people.”

The GOP senators said the United States “should assist the people of Gaza as they rebuild after yet another Hamas-caused conflict.”

“But this support cannot come at the expense of Israel’s security. We will not support the provision of future U.S. assistance to entities or projects in Gaza unless the State Department assures Congress that UNRWA or the relevant recipient entity has imposed independently audited accountability measures to verifiably prevent any U.S. assistance from aiding, directly or indirectly, extremists’ efforts to rearm or lay the groundwork for future attacks against Israel,” Rubio and Kirk added.

“Without greater scrutiny of all U.S. funds being provided to entities in Gaza, it will be difficult to truly diminish Hamas’ and other terrorist groups’ influence in Gaza and will only make a resumption of violence more likely.”

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State Dept. Urges ‘All Sides’ to ‘Avoid Escalating Tensions’ After Terrorist Kills American Baby

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The State Department condemned yesterday’s terrorist attack in which the assailant rammed his car into a group of people waiting at a light-rail station, killing a 3-month-old.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in a brief statement. “We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured.”

“We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident,” Psaki added.

The Times of Israel reported that the attacker, Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, 21, is the nephew of late Hamas chief bomb-maker Mohiyedine Sharif. Shaludi was shot while trying to flee the scene.

The victim, Chaya Zissel Braun, had just been taken on her first trip to see the Western Wall, the Jerusalem Post reported.

In statements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad welcomed the baby girl’s murder, as reported by the Post:

“The attack in Jerusalem is an act of heroism and a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against our people and our holy places,” said Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas spokesperson.

“The attack in Jerusalem is a natural response to what is taking place in the city, given the harassment and overall attacks of Judaization affecting our holy places and Muslims,” said another Hamas official, Salah Baradwil.

Hamas warned that the latest developments may augur the next “Palestinian intifada in Jerusalem.”

Islamic Jihad released an official statement on Thursday through its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigade, saying: “There is Zionist aggression against all of our people, and today the resistance responded to this attack. This is a natural right.”

“This attack is a strong response to the Israeli occupation, whose crimes are unable to break the resistance,” the organization said.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad called on the Palestinian Authority to “halt its security coordination with Israel and to act in resistance in the West Bank.”

The two groups also praised the residents of east Jerusalem “for their fierce stance against the crimes of the occupation.”

“This is how Abu Mazen’s partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited toward a terrorist attack in Jerusalem,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Seven were wounded in the attack.

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Canadian PM Calls Attacker ‘Terrorist,’ Vows ‘We Will Not be Intimidated’

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Speaking for the first time since a gunman attacked parliament earlier today, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the week’s multiple assaults “a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist serving in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was shot and killed while guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Minutes later, a gunman opened fire inside the halls of parliament before he was shot to death by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vicker.

The CBC reported that police confirmed a photo tweeted by an ISIS-associated account does depict gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. The Twitter account was suspended soon after the photo was posted.

His mother, Susan Bibeau, is deputy chairperson of the immigration division at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. His father is reportedly Libyan.

The Canada-born shooter was raised near Montreal and had brushes with the law on drug charges, robbery and making threats. Reuters cited U.S. officials saying Zehaf-Bibeau was a recent convert to Islam, and the Globe and Mail said his passport had been taken away by the Canadian government after he was designated a “high-risk traveler.”

Addressing the nation, Harper noted that “for the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.”

On Monday, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run over and killed “by an ISIL-inspired terrorist”: Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau.

“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had,” Harper said of Zehaf-Bibeau. “…We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.”

“But let there be no misunderstanding: We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated,” the prime minister continued. “In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.”

“While today has been without question a difficult day, I have no doubt Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.”

President Obama called Harper earlier in the day, and the White House said it wouldn’t jump to conclusions on the motive behind the attack.

At a media availability when he sat down with new Ebola czar Ron Klain in the Oval Office today, Obama said, “Obviously, the situation there is tragic.”

“We don’t yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting. We don’t yet have all the information about whether this was part of a broader network or plan or whether this was an individual or series of individuals who decided to take these actions,” he said. “But it emphasizes the degree to which we have to remain vigilant when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or terrorism.”

Obama added that the U.S. and Canada are “entirely in sync” when it comes to “dealing with terrorist activity.”

“You know, every single day, we have a whole lot of really smart, really dedicated, really hardworking people, including a couple in this room, who are monitoring risks and making sure that we’re doing everything we need to do to protect the American people,” he said.

“And they don’t get a lot of fanfare. They don’t get a lot of attention. There are a lot of possible threats that are foiled or disrupted that don’t always get reported on.”

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on the attacks: “The United States has faced this kind of violence firsthand on our own soil, and we grieve with Canada, seared by the memory of our own painful experiences.”

“I spoke tonight with Canadian Foreign Minister Baird to express our deepest condolences on this tragic day, and to pledge the full support of the United States to Canada as it works to determine the facts and to hold those accountable responsible,” Kerry said, adding the two countries would continue to work “together to counter violent extremism in North America and elsewhere around the world.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said he was “deeply troubled” by the attack.

“Even though many facts surrounding today’s attack remain unknown, it’s clear that those who cherish free and open societies must be constantly vigilant,” Royce said. “The U.S. and Canada must increase our already substantial counterterrorism cooperation.”

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White House Trying to Determine If Canada Attack was Terrorism

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The White House said it’s “in close touch” with Canadian counterparts after today’s deadly shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and at parliament.

Most of the member of the House of Commons and the Senate were on Parliament Hill for caucus day. The buildings went into lockdown and were slowly being cleared as authorities tried to determine if there were any more shooters.

The attack came two days after two Canadian Armed Forces members from Canadian Forces Base Saint-Jean Garrison were run down in a car driven by, in the words of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “a man who, according to our national security services, had become radicalized.”

Harper was scheduled to host a Q&A session today at a school in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who lives under constant threat from the Taliban. He was also going to grant honorary Canadian citizenship to the Pakistani teen.

President Obama called Harper today to “express the American people’s solidarity with Canada” in both Monday’s attack and today’s attack.

“President Obama condemned these outrageous attacks, and reaffirmed the close friendship and alliance between our people,” said a White House readout of the phone call. “The president offered any assistance Canada needed in responding to these attacks. Prime Minister Harper thanked the president and the two leaders discussed the assault and agreed to continue coordination between our governments moving forward.”

In the latest issue of its magazine Dabiq, ISIS faulted “crusader” media for making lone wolf attacks “appear to be random killings” and encouraged attacks on citizens from “crusader” countries.

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” stated the magazine article. “Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.”

The attacks also came as al-Qaeda released a new 117-page slick English-language magazine, Resurgence, which is largely geared toward its new southeast Asia chapter.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama was briefed earlier today in the Oval Office by his top homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco.

“The details about the nature of this event are still sketchy, which is not unusual in a chaotic situation like this one,” Earnest said.

“Canada is one of the closest friends and allies of the United States. And from issues ranging from the strength of our NATO alliance to the Ebola response to dealing with ISIL, there’s a strong partnership and friendship and alliance between the United States and Canada. The United States strongly values that relationship, and that relationship makes the citizens of this country safer.”

Earnest said he was “not in a position to render a judgment… at this point” on whether Canada was the victim of a terrorist attack.

“There’s no conclusion like that that I’m able to share with you at this point, but we’re obviously in the very early stages of determining what exactly happened here. And as I mentioned, a number of U.S. officials in this government have been in touch with their Canadian counterparts to offer some assistance as they respond to and deal with this tragic situation,” he said, adding he was “not aware” of any change to the threat status in the U.S.

“The United States has been in touch with Canadian counterparts over the last several months to talk about this issue of countering violent extremism and trying to deter foreign fighters who could be radicalized by ISIL. ISIL has demonstrated a capacity to use social media and other aspects of modern technology to try to radicalize citizens in other countries,” Earnest continued.

“…The circumstances around today’s tragic events in Canada are still unknown, but that is a concern that the United States has been focused on for quite some time. We’ve been talking to other countries about steps that we can take in coordination to mitigate that threat, and Canada is one of the countries that has been robustly engaged in those efforts.”

Though Capitol Police are said to be monitoring the developments in Canada, U.S. lawmakers are out of town until after midterm elections.

The State Department said the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa was under lockdown and “restricting the movement of embassy personnel as a precautionary measure.”

Secretary of State John Kerry was briefed on the attack while flying, spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.

When asked if there was a tie to the Islamic State, Harf interjected, “I don’t even want to speculate. It’s way too early.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN “there’s been chatter for some time.”

“ISIS encouraging people to undertake self-radicalized attacks, low-tech or high-tech, they don’t care as long as western targets are gone after. We don’t know yet… whether this was a terrorist-inspired attack. But if it was, it’s certainly consistent with what ISIS has been urging,” Schiff said. “So I think FBI taking some prudent steps today to raise alert among the FBI offices and make sure either from a copycat attack perspective or because of this chatter it’s a very prudent step.”

“…Intelligence is really our best defense against something like this, but even intel, obviously, isn’t perfect.”

UPDATE 5:30 p.m. EST: An ISIS-associated account tweeted a purported photo of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, reportedly the shooter killed by parliament Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers. It’s not a new account and tweets an extensive amount of jihadi news, yet didn’t elaborate when pressed for more information about the photo — particularly who took it. The account was suspended minutes after PJM took this screenshot.

The photo is not verified, yet does not conflict with witness accounts:

An Ottawa Citizen reporter inside the Parliament building, Jordan Press, wrote on Twitter that a suspect was ’5’9-5’10, overweight & wearing a dark jacket’. 

Witnesses also told the Citizen that they saw a man wearing an ‘Arabic scarf’ and carrying a long rifle, while others said the suspect looked South American. 

Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, told CBC that he saw a man running with a shotgun, wearing a scarf and blue jeans.

…Those who saw the shooter at the War Memorial say that he had dark hair, a dark complexion and a scarf on his head and was armed with a rifle.

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US Accidentally Airdrops Weapons to ISIS

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This will go down as a moment in the war with ISIS that has little strategic meaning, but may have significant psychological meaning.

The US airdropped a cache of weapons, intended for our Kurish allies in Syria, on territory that the Islamic State controls.

The terrorists have published video showing the weapons while they brag about having them.

The weapons, in the grand scheme of a war that already has ISIS driving around in American tanks and using Howitzers made by the American defense industry, don’t amount to all that much. A grenade kit for making lots of those, and a few boxes of rocket launcher rounds. That cache by itself won’t turn the tide of the war.

But the Obama government is already reeling from its pitiful response to the Ebola outbreak on one hand, and has earned distrust for its handling of the US border and for quietly planning to issue tens of millions of guest worker cards after the elections on the other.

At home Obama’s government is either ridiculed, disliked, distrusted or dismissed. Now it’s dropping weapons into a war zone and hurting our allies there twice — by misplacing the weapons themselves, and by showing America’s unreliability as an ally.

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Pentagon Confirms One Bundle of Arms to Kurds ‘Didn’t Make It’ as ISIS Claims Airdrop Seizure

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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ISIS released video of what it says is a seized airdrop of arms and supplies that the U.S. intended for Kurdish forces trying to keep the Syrian border town of Kobane.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that out of 28 bundles dropped ”we know of at least one that didn’t make it.”

The video includes an ISIS fighter rifling through a chest of grenades.

Kirby just told reporters that ”one bundle did not make it into the right hands,” but as the video was just released “we just don’t know” if U.S. arms were dropped into the hands of ISIS.

“We don’t know whether it’s authentic; you’ve got to give us a bit of time to figure it out,” he said.

The bundles included small arms and medical supplies.

When asked if they should be dropping aid rather than pressuring Turkey to simply let supplies come across the border crossing, Kirby replied, “Was there a better way?”

Kirby stressed that even if ISIS got one bundle they got 27 through to the Kurds. “I think that’s a pretty good record of success from the air.”

“I think we’re going to keep our options open to use that delivery mechanism in the future,” he added.

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BREAKING: Possible Terror Attack in Canada by Reported ISIS Sympathizer, Dead Suspect Is Martin ‘Ahmad’ Rouleau

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

NOTE: Updates below this post

According to multiple reports, Canadian authorities are investigating a hit-and-run and subsequent high-speed car chase this morning in St. Jean sur Richelieu in Quebec province as a possible terror attack. (HT: Stewart Bell)

CBC reports:

A man in his 30s was shot by police in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., earlier this afternoon after he hit two members of the Canadian Forces with his car and led police on a dramatic high-speed chase.

The soldiers were hit in a parking lot of a commercial plaza at around 11:30 a.m. ET. Both were injured, one critically.

The incident was raised in the House of Commons this afternoon by Conservative MP Randy Hoback, who questioned Prime Minister Stephen Harper about “unconfirmed reports of a possible terror attack” targeting members of the Canadian Forces.

Harper, reading from a piece of paper, would only say he was ”aware of these reports” and that they are troubling.

Police have not named the soldiers but confirmed at an afternoon news conference that they were members of the armed forces.

Another report indicates that the suspect was inside the military office beforehand talking about ISIS and may be an ISIS sympathizer.

This incident comes weeks after ISIS called for Western supporters to attack and “slaughter soldiers” in their homes. The message made suggestions for such an attack:

“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

“If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face.”

If this is a confirmed attack, it may be a copycat attack based off of the May 2013 killing of British Army drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich.

UPDATE: Stewart Bell directs to this report that the suspect (who has died from his wounds) is Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau, who was known to Canadian counterterrorism authorities.

UPDATE2: Rouleau’s Facebook page is filled with caliphate imagery.

UPDATE3: Here’s a picture of Rouleau from his Ummaland (Muslim social networking site) page, where is user name was “Ahmad the Convert”:

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UPDATE4: Canadian Prime Minister’s Office says that Rouleau “had become radicalized”:

“The individual who struck the two CAF members with his car is known to federal authorities, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team,” said the statement from Jason MacDonald, the prime minister’s spokesman.

“Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized. As Canada’s national security agencies have said, Canadians should remain vigilant.”

UPDATE5: Stewart Bell of the National Post reports on Rouleau’s online activity:

A Twitter account under the name Ahmad Rouleau featured the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham, the terrorist group that last month called on its followers to kill Canadians because of Ottawa’s role in the anti-ISIS military coalition.

“Islam is the only true religion. Anyone who want scientific proof of God that your terrorist Zionism Rothschild media hide, contact me or add me if you re open minded,” he commented beneath an online Time magazine article last May.

On a Facebook page under the same name, French and English posts — the last one on Friday — denounced Christianity and Judaism. “Allah has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the disbelievers the fire of Hell, wherein they will abide eternally. It is sufficient for them. And Allah has cursed them, and for them is an enduring punishment,” he wrote.

UPDATE6: The Toronto Sun adds this interesting tidbit:

A source says the suspect called 911 during the chase to say that he carried out his acts in the name of Allah.

And also reports:

Couture-Rouleau became known to the RCMP after a relative alerted police to the man’s terrorist leanings, a police source told QMI Agency.

A neighbor told QMI that Couture-Rouleau had grown out his beard and started wearing a turban after converting to Islam a year ago.

UPDATE7: National Post reports that one of the soldiers run down by Rouleau has died.

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U.S. Attorney General Blocked Aid to Israel, Cost Soldier’s Life

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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When Israeli Sergeant Oron Shaul was captured by Hamas terrorists in the thick of this past summer’s Operation Protective Sheild, the Palestinian terror organization used the sergeant’s Facebook page to broadcast their sick achievement to his family and friends. It should have been easy for the IDF to electronically trace the gloating terrorists, but it wasn’t. Why not? Apparently the U.S. attorney general got in the way.

Israel issued a request for Facebook to turn over IP address information, and the Justice Department got to work. In the meantime, the FBI got the bureaucratic wheels rolling with the U.S. Attorney’s office in what should have been a cut and dry procedure that, in a few short hours, was inexplicably shut down. The Jewish Press reports:

Suddenly, and to the shock of the prosecutors working feverishly to obtain the information that possibly could reveal where Shaul (or his body) was being held, a shocking email arrived from the FBI. An email that spelled a death sentence for what many believed to be the best chance of finding Shaul and his kidnappers.

Thank you for your effort, input and assistance. I regret to inform you we have been denied approval to move forward with legal process.We were told by our management we need a MLAT [Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty] in order to continue to assist our partner with the request in question.

The MLAT requires a standardized process to wind its way through legal and diplomatic protocols and usually take weeks to process. They are used, [Steve] Emerson explained, for non-pressing legal matters in which the United States or another country is carrying out some legal process, such as a prosecution of a citizen in another country. They are not used in urgent, life-or-death or counter-terrorism scenarios, “especially with a close ally such as Israel,” Emerson was told.

…Three days after the stand down email was sent, the IDF concluded that Oron Shaul was dead. His body has never been recovered. Hamas is interested in using whatever parts of Shaul’s body they claim to have to swap for terrorist prisoners held by Israel.

According to Emerson’s investigation, those involved in the legal procedures in the U.S. believe the stop order was given by the attorney general’s office.

Add this to the list of reasons why Eric Holder stepped down just in time. It may also be on the list of reasons why Israel is choosing to wean itself from its strong dependency on American military aid.

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Muhammad and Islam’s Sex Slaves

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Once again, Islamic State Muslims are pointing to Islam in order to justify what the civilized world counts as atrocities.

According to an October 13 report in the Telegraph,

Islamic State jihadists have given detailed theological reasons justifying why they have taken thousands of women from the Iraqi Yazidi minority and sold them into sex slavery.

A new article in the Islamic State English-language online magazine Dabiq not only admits the practice but justifies it according to the theological rulings of early Islam.

“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated,” the article says.

As for “theological reasons” for sex slavery “according to the Sharia,” these are legion—from male Muslim clerics, to female Muslim activists.   Generally they need do no more than cite the clear words of Koran 4:3, which permit Muslims to copulate with female captives of war, or ma malakat aymanukum, “what”—not whom—“your right hands possess.”

The article continues:

But most of it [Islamic State “article” or fatwa] is devoted to theological justifications for Islamic State behaviour, citing early clerics and the practices of the Prophet Mohammed and his Companions during the early years of Islamic expansion.

Indeed, while many are now aware of the Koran’s and by extension Sharia’s justification for slaves, sexual or otherwise, fewer are willing to embrace the fact that the prophet of Islam himself kept and copulated with concubines conquered during the jihad.

One little-known story is especially eye-opening:

During Muhammad’s jihad on the Jews of Khaybar, he took for himself from among the spoils of war one young woman, a teenager, Safiya bint Huyay, after hearing of her beauty.  (Earlier the prophet had bestowed her on another Muslim jihadi, but when rumor of her beauty reached him, the prophet reneged and took her for himself.)

Muhammad “married” Safiya hours after he had her husband, Kinana, tortured to death in order to reveal hidden treasure.  And before this, the prophet’s jihadis slaughtered Safiya’s father and brothers.

While Islamic apologists have long tried to justify this account—often by saying that Muhammad gave her the honor of “marriage” as opposed to being a concubine and that she opted to convert to Islam—they habitually fail to cite what Islamic sources record, namely Baladhuri’s ninth century Kitab Futuh al-Buldan (“Book of Conquests”).

According to this narrative, after the death of Muhammad, Safiya confessed that “Of all men, I hated the prophet the most—for he killed my husband, my brother, and my father,” before “marrying” (or, less euphemistically, raping) her… Keep reading

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TSA Director Announces Retirement

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Department of Homeland Security this morning announced the retirement of the director of the Transportation Security Administration.

The news comes just as airports will be shouldering a greater responsibility to detect possible Ebola victims.

FBI veteran John Pistole, 58, was sworn in as TSA administrator in July 2010. He plans to leave at the end of the year and move into academia.

In a statement, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson thanked Pistole “for his four and a half years’ service as Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and 31 years of service to the nation.”

“Under John’s leadership, TSA launched its ‘Trusted Traveler’ program, TSA Pre ✓™, which over five million passengers per week now use at 120 U.S. airports. John brought to TSA extensive experience in national security, counterterrorism and fighting organized crime,” Johnson said.

“John Pistole has been integral in leading TSA’s transformation to a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting our transportation systems,” he continued. “Because of his efforts over the past four and a half years, our country’s transportation systems are more safe and secure. I am grateful for John’s contributions to DHS, TSA and our country.”

“I congratulate John on his career as a selfless public servant and wish him and his family the very best as he leaves TSA. I also thank John for his friendship, counsel, and devotion to duty.”

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Obama Throws the Free Syrian Army Under the Bus

Thursday, October 16th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

For the past three years, the Obama administration has hailed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as the saviors of Syria — the “vetted moderate” force that was going to topple the butcher Assad. Because of that, the administration provided training, money and weapons to prop up the FSA (the word is they sent lawyers too).

But according to a report last night by Hannah Allam at McClatchy, Obama is now throwing the FSA under bus:

John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State, confirmed Wednesday what Syrian rebel commanders have complained about for months – that the United States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground force to use primarily in the fight against the Islamist extremists.

“At this point, there is not formal coordination with the FSA,” Allen told reporters at the State Department.

That was perhaps the bluntest answer yet to the question of how existing Syrian rebel forces might fit into the U.S. strategy to fight the Islamic State. Allen said the United States’ intent is to start from scratch in creating a home-grown, moderate counterweight to the Islamic State.

For most of the three years of the Syrian conflict, the U.S. ground game hinged on rebel militias that are loosely affiliated under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, or FSA. Their problems were no secret: a lack of cohesion, uneven fighting skills and frequent battlefield coordination with the al Qaida loyalists of the Nusra Front.

Last month I reported here at PJ Media about the coordination of the “vetted moderate” FSA with Jabhat al-Nusra and even ISIS. That coordination was later confirmed by a senior FSA commander.

Those reports came just as Congress was considering a vote to spend another $500 million to train their administration’s “vetted moderate” partners. That funding was approved by both the House and the Senate before Congress left town for the election break. With Obama cutting the FSA loose less than a month later, those who voted against the funding are going to look like geniuses.

Now that the FSA is safely under the bus it remains to be seen exactly who Obama is going to enlist to train and fight. Most of those who can fight are already in the fight. What are they going to do now, put out an ad on Craig’s List?

As one observer noted last night, Syria watchers should keep an eye out for the following ad showing up in the help wanted section of Middle East newspapers:

Wanted, Multicultural, non-sectarian, Jeffersonian democrats interested in military careers. English a plus. Drug test required.

Under Obama’s bus must be getting crowded…

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In Other Bad News: It’s Been 6 Months Since Boko Haram Kidnapped Those Girls

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Annus Horribilis

Chanting “Bring back our girls now, and alive,” Nigerian protesters gathered outside the presidential residence in Abuja, the capital, on Tuesday.

They were demanding the Nigerian government do more to free the 200 or so schoolgirls still held captive by Boko Haram six months after the mass kidnapping from a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria.

Hosiah Lawan, a leader of the Chibok parents organization, told the crowd that, “hope is now fading fast,” Reuters reported.

Protests also took place in London, U.K. and New York.

It is truly a sad statement on the state of affairs in the world that something this awful was relegated to back page status so quickly. Just think of some of the the things that the world hasn’t been able to focus on for long in the past six months: Russia’s Ukrainian antics, Hamas bombing Israel, and the acceleration of the ISIS rampage. This week, it’s all Ebola all the time. The government’s handling of that has been so inept that people aren’t even noticing that Enterovirus D68 has actually killed more people in the U.S. so far.

All of this and not an adult in charge to be seen for miles.

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New Caption Contest: Is This Obama’s ‘JV Team?’

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
Credit: Drudge Report

Credit: Drudge Report

Back in January, David Remick had an extensive interview with President Obama in the New Yorker Magazine. This is where Obama famously said the following about the Islamic terror group we now know as ISIS:

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.

That is how the phrase “JV team” made its way into today’s foreign policy discussions. (In case you needed a reference.) Now, it has become painfully obvious that ISIS is the varsity and Obama’s team is the JV.

These unfortunate circumstances were revealed, once again, in the following headlines:

Turkey denies U.S. base deal in place to battle ISIS (Drudge)

The Obama Administration has a kiss and tell problem  (Foreign Policy.com and below)

In its excitement to trumpet the coalition against the Islamic State, the U.S. is outing partners before they’re ready to go steady.

Drudge linked to the above Foreign Policy piece accompanied by the photo that is the subject of our contest.

Your mission is to write an appropriate overall caption.

Additionally, here are some questions that you are encouraged to answer:

What is President Obama saying?

What is John Kerry daydreaming about?

What is Susan Rice thinking?

Bonus Question: Since we can assume the flowers are bugged, what did the buggers learn from this meeting?

Now, moving ahead, here are the winners from our last photo caption contest entitled, Capitol Dome Restoration Project to ‘Stop Deterioration.’

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The grand prize goes to Allan Crowson for this zinger:

Guy on scaffolding: “Pelosi says we’ve got to cover this thing to find out what’s in it.”

The runners-up were:

Kuce for: The perfect political metaphor. If something is broken, cover it up and claim you’re fixing it.

And Zip Code won twice for:

Man on ledge talking,—- That’s one small step from the scaffolding, One giant makeover for America.

They don’t mind working till dawn’s early light, knowing the flag will still be there.

Yes, the flag is still there and we will stand by our flag — comforted and secure in the knowledge that the team pictured in our new caption contest photo is in charge of America’s foreign policy.  (Yikes, it’s time for my meds!)

 

 

 

 

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U.S. Embassy Warns of ‘Imminent’ Al-Shabaab Threat on Western Targets in Ethiopia

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Just over a month after the White House said its assassination of Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane delivered “a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest al-Qaida affiliate in Africa,” the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia has put citizens on alert for an Al-Shabaab attack.

Al-Shabaab quickly named Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, aka Ahmed Diriye, a longtime senior adviser to Godane and former primary school Quran teacher, as its new leader and renewed its “pledge of allegiance” to al-Qaeda after the Labor Day attack.

Al-Shabaab vowed to ”not delay in punishing those who have perpetrated such heinous massacres,” and promised that the terror group would “only grow in strength and ferocity” after Godane’s death.

Yesterday, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa advised citizens “to avoid large crowds and places where both Ethiopians and westerners frequent.”

“The Embassy has received threat reports of al-Shabaab’s intent to target the Bole area. Restaurants, hotels, bars, places of worship, supermarkets, and shopping malls in the Bole Area should be avoided until further notice because they are possible targets for a potential imminent terrorist attack,” said the message to citizens. “While the exact location of this planned terrorist attack is not known, U.S. citizens should continue to maintain heightened personal security awareness.”

The Bole International Airport is about 5 miles southeast of Addis Ababa.

There is currently no State Department travel warning in effect for Ethiopia. Embassy personnel are restricted from traveling to regions at the Somali and Eritrean borders.

President Obama met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month.

“They focused on counterterrorism cooperation, where Ethiopia has been a strong partner, particularly in efforts against al-Shabaab in Somalia,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters.

The Somali government says its amnesty program for Al-Shabaab fighters to turn themselves in has resulted in “hundreds” of fighters leaving the group, but the government is now being linked to the “unauthorized diversion of government weapons to Islamist militants with ties to al-Qaeda.”

The president of Somalia told PJM in August that the threat of Al-Shabaab and other al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa is not Somalia’s problem alone.

“Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, all of them, these are terrorist organizations — they are linked, they live for each other, they support each other and they are connected globally,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said. “It’s not just an issue of one country or one region — it’s a global phenomenon that needs to be addressed globally.”

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Kerry: ISIS ‘Dead Wrong’ in Its Religious Justification for Slavery

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Secretary of State John Kerry said ISIS is “dead wrong” in its justification of slavery that appeared in the latest issue of its English-language magazine.

The Dabiq issue describes how Yazidi women and children were “divided according to the Sharī’ah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations” and analyzes how “one of the signs of the Hour is the increased conquests and bringing in of slaves from the lands of kufr.”

“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffār and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharī’ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’ān and the narrations of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and thereby apostatizing from Islam,” the article states.

“Finally, a number of contemporary scholars have mentioned that the desertion of slavery had led to an increase in fāhishah (adultery, fornication, etc.), because the shar’ī alternative to marriage is not available, so a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation towards sin. In addition, many Muslim families who have hired maids to work at their homes, face the fitnah of prohibited khalwah (seclusion) and resultant zinā occurring between the man and the maid, whereas if she were his concubine, this relationship would be legal.”

Kerry’s statement late this evening said “no one needed a reminder of ISIL’s depravity and evil, but now we have the latest example.”

“ISIL now proudly takes credit for the abduction, enslavement, rape, forced marriage, and sale of several thousand Yezidi and other minority women and girls—some as young as 12 years old. Just as despicably, ISIL rationalizes its abhorrent treatment of these women and girls by claiming it is somehow sanctioned by religion. Wrong. Dead wrong,” he said.

“ISIL does not represent Islam and Islam does not condone or honor such depravity. In fact, these actions are a reminder that ISIL is an enemy of Islam. The international community and religious leaders of all faiths have strongly and repeatedly condemned ISIL’s horrific acts; we urge them to reiterate their commitment by condemning in the strongest possible terms the commodification of women and children as spoils of war, including through their subjection to horrific physical and sexual violence, intimidation, and deprivation of liberty.”

Kerry added that “these acts transgress all definitions of human dignity and those individuals responsible must be identified and held fully accountable.”

“The United States will keep tracking ISIL’s abduction, enslavement, sale, rape, forced marriage, and abuse of women and girls,” he said. “We will keep working with the new Government of Iraq to respond to ISIL’s brutality against women and girls from all communities in Iraq, including vulnerable minority populations.”

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Obama’s Top Security Aide Meets New York Officials at White House

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

President Obama’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism met at the White House today with New York City leaders two days before the commander in chief flies into JFK for a DNC fundraiser.

Lisa Monaco sat down this afternoon with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, the White House said, to “discuss strengthening federal, state, and local coordination on counterterrorism issues as well as the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.”

At the end of last month, Iraq’s prime minister warned that his country uncovered intelligence indicating ISIS planned to attack subway systems in New York and Paris.

On the Ebola front, JFK became the first airport to launch the administration’s enhanced screening procedures for passengers coming from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone.

“On counterterrorism, they reviewed threat streams overseas associated with al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and the Khorasan Group, and discussed measures to take to better protect the U.S. homeland from potential threats posed by these groups as well as homegrown violent extremists,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting. ”They specifically noted the threat from foreign fighters, including Western passport-holders, and the comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to counter it.”

“On Ebola, they reviewed the status of additional airport screening measures that were implemented at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Saturday and that will be rolled out later this week at Newark and other domestic airports. They also reviewed ongoing efforts to prepare hospitals and healthcare workers nationwide, including in New York City, to identify and treat Ebola patients safely and effectively.”

New York will be Obama’s last stop on a fundraising tour that begins Wednesday in New Jersey and swings through Connecticut and Rhode Island before Thursday’s DNC event on Long Island.

Last week at an interagency Ebola preparedness meeting, De Blasio said the city “is vigilant by our nature.”

“We know the kinds of challenges we face. Everyday there are a number of us who focus on the question of terrorism. That has created a vigilance in this city over years. It is a 24/7 reality,” the mayor said. “So the idea of having to be ready for something very challenging is not new to us. It’s what we do as New Yorkers. It’s particularly what this city government does and what all our partner agencies do.”

“We’ve faced terrorism. We’ve faced natural disasters. We now face the possibility of being affected by a pandemic. But the fact is, all of those other moments prepared us to handle whatever is thrown at us.”

In the White House press briefing, spokesman Josh Earnest didn’t elaborate on Monaco’s meeting with the New York officials.

Obama was attending a meeting on ISIS at Andrews Air Force Base this afternoon, followed by a DCCC fundraiser in Virginia this evening.

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5 Key Implications if Baghdad Falls to ISIS

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

Reports that ISIS has surrounded Baghdad and is quickly closing in on the Baghdad International Airport (armed with MANPADS, no less) are troubling. Baghdad itself has been rocked by a series of VBIED attacks in the past 24 hours by ISIS, indicating that the battle for Baghdad has begun.

The possible fall of Baghdad could be the most significant development in the War on Terror since 9/11. And yet many among the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” were not long ago mocking such a scenario.

So what happens if such a situation comes to pass? Here are five key implications (by no means limited to these) if Baghdad falls to ISIS:

1) ISIS will not be claiming to the be the Islamic State, they will BE the Islamic State

Symbolism doesn’t matter much to your average post-modern Westerner, but it still does in the Islamic world, and the capture of Baghdad will hold enormous value. For 500 years Baghdad was the seat of the Abbasid caliphate, and its fall to ISIS would allow the terrorist group to reclaim that mantle. Such an event will electrify the Middle East and beyond, with many Muslims holding firmly to the belief that the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 by Ataturk was one of the key contributing factors in the decline of the Muslim world over the past century. No amount of State Department hashtags or tweets, or pronouncements by Sheikh Barack Obama and Imam John Kerry that there is nothing Islamic about the Islamic State, will be able to negate any claims by ISIS to be the revived caliphate.

2) The Great Reconciliation between jihadist groups will begin

Much of the Obama administration’s anti-ISIS efforts have been trying to leverage other “vetted moderate” groups in Syria against ISIS, with some “smart set” thinkers even advocating engaging “moderate Al-Qaeda” to that end. We are already seeing jihadist groups gravitating towards ISIS, such as the announcement this week by Pakistani Taliban leaders pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State. Other groups of younger jihadis are breaking away from Al-Qaeda franchises in North Africa and defecting to ISIS. Despite bitter rivalries between ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria, namely Al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, these other groups will be hard-pressed to deny ISIS’ caliphate claims if they do take Baghdad. In that part of the world, nothing succeeds like success. If Baghdad falls, jihadist groups, some of whom have been openly hostile or remained neutral, will quickly align behind ISIS. And the horrid sound coming out of Washington, D.C., will be of foreign policy paradigms imploding.

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Turkey Joins the War! Wait…Against Its Own People?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Turkey chose a side in the ISIS-Kurd-Syria-Iraq war today.

It bombed its own people — Kurds who live inside Turkey’s borders but are independence-minded.

(Reuters) – War against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraqthreatened on Tuesday to unravel the delicate peace in neighbouring Turkey after the Turkish air force bombed Kurdish fighters furious over Ankara’s refusal to help protect their kin in Syria.

Turkey’s banned PKK Kurdish militant group accused Ankara of violating a two-year-old cease-fire with the air strikes, on the eve of a deadline set by the group’s jailed leader to salvage a peace process aimed at halting a three-decades-long insurgency.

The Kurds represent the only credible and legitimately non-Islamist anti-ISIS fighting force on the ground in Syria and Iraq. They have not folded in the face of fights, as the Iraqi military has repeatedly. They also have not aligned or made any peace with ISIS, as various flavors of the Syrian rebellion have.

Kurds also live in Turkey, where they are largely oppressed and their political groups are considered terrorists. Building up the Kurds to fight against ISIS right up to the Syria-Turkey border therefore creates another challenge to fighting ISIS coalition-style. Turkey wants no part of any moves that strengthen the Kurds anywhere. America wants a strong Kurdish force to fight ISIS. Turkey disagrees. That’s a fundamental problem for the United States.

Turkey is there in the region, while America so far just drops bomb while flying over it.

kurdistan-regions

Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran may not agree on much, but they all agree that they don’t want Kurdistan to become a country.

Kurdistan as seen in the map above very roughly overlays the territory now occupied by the Islamic State.

isis-map-iraq

As you can see in the second map, Kurdistan or ISIS could become a key energy power if either were to become a bonafide state. Both would have to accomplish that by dismembering Iraq and Syria, along with some of Turkey’s present territory, at least. Neither would have much of a problem with that. Iraqi Kurds at least pay lip service to Baghdad, but Syria’s and especially Turkey’s Kurds want their independence. Iraq’s Kurds would likely join them if either were able to carve out Kurdistan as a country.

While ISIS does not yet threaten the increasingly Islamist Turkey, dreams of Kurdistan as a nation-state for the Kurdish people definitely do, at least in Ankara’s point of view. And in Tehran’s.

So, with ISIS threatening to take control of Kobane on the Syria-Turkey border, but with Kurds fighting heroically to keep that city out of ISIS hands, Turkey elects to bomb the Kurds living within Turkey, not ISIS over on the Syrian side of the border.

At the same time, Turkey is destroying what’s left of the tattered credibility of one Susan Rice, national security adviser to the President of the United States.

Ankara might, at some point, allow US use of our bases within Turkey to battle ISIS. But that’s only likely once Turkey is assured that Kurdistan will not grow into a country by battling ISIS on its own. Who is in a position to give Turkey such assurances — President Nine Iron, the champion of hot air who heroically battles climate change between Hollywood fundraisers?

Bottom line: The Islamic State is here to stay.

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They Refuse to Wake Up

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave a speech Monday.

The secretary was in Peru, where in a few weeks there will be a United Nations conclave on “climate change.” The data says that global temperatures actually have not risen in the past 15 years or so. The arctic ice that Al Gore predicted would have melted by now is growing. The climate doomsayers’ predictions have not come to pass, so much so that they have had to change their language. Out with “global warming,” in with the more generic, and harder to track scientifically, “climate change.”

The climate always changes. Always has, always will. No matter what humans do or don’t do.

But you’re dreaming if you think that the Obama administration or anyone who works for it will ever acknowledge any of that.

The region is, we are told by Hagel’s boss, in sufficient turmoil that thousands of migrants have made the choice to leave their homes in Central America and make the hazardous journey north to enter the United States illegally.

The world is certainly in sufficient turmoil that it ought to have Hagel’s full attention. Russian troops continue their proxy war in Ukraine. Ukraine is a non-NATO country, but it is an American ally. Our military conducts war exercises with theirs.

The Middle East and Africa might also have Hagel’s attention. At this moment, the United States has deployed roughly equal numbers of troops to fight against the Islamic State in what were Syria and Iraq, and to fight Ebola in western Africa.

The Islamic State threat rose for many reasons. Among them is the rapidity with which President Obama withdrew forces from Iraq, and the stupidity with which he consistently sides with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Throw in the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues while we’re at it. The world is a dangerous place, with many security threats requiring the Defense secretary’s full focus.

But Hagel revealed in that Peru speech that he is focused on “climate change.”

The Defense secretary addressed the issue during a speech in Peru, as the Pentagon released a comprehensive report on the “national security” challenges posed by rising global temperatures and “extreme weather events.”

Hagel described climate change as a “threat multiplier,” saying it “has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today — from infectious disease to armed insurgencies — and to produce new challenges in the future.”

The Pentagon’s new report maps out four areas of climate change deemed the most threatening to the U.S. military — rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more extreme weather and rising sea levels. And it warns about the impact they could have on food and water supplies, the environment and American security itself.

“Our militaries’ readiness could be tested, and our capabilities could be stressed,” Hagel said, addressing a conference of military leaders.

“Could be”? Our military’s readiness is being tested right now, by the threats noted above. Hagel himself has presided not over an increase in readiness, but in a dramatic decrease in the number of troops who wear the American uniform.

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British MPs Vote to Recognize Palestine

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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BBC News reports:

The House of Commons backed the move “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution” – although less than half of MPs took part in the vote.

The result, 274 to 12, is symbolic but could have international implications.

Ministers abstained on the vote, on a motion put forward by Labour MP Grahame Morris and amended by former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

…The full motion stated: “That this House believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

Explaining Labour’s support, shadow foreign minister Ian Lucas said it would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence”.

“This is not an alternative to negotiations. It is a bridge for beginning them,” he said.

Conservative Nicholas Soames said: “I’m convinced that to recognise Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest.”

Another former foreign secretary, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said he too wanted to see a two-state solution but added: “Symbolism sometimes has a purpose. It sometimes has a role. But I have to say you do not recognise a state which has not yet got the fundamental ingredients that a state requires if it’s going to carry out its international functions and therefore, at the very least, I would respectfully suggest this motion is premature.”

Britain is now one of over 100 countries who have cast a symbolic vote to recognize the State of Palestine. While the vote carries no real power over foreign policy, it is an undeniable push for a two-state solution in the face of what many see to be a failed peace process on the part of America and Israel.

“That awkward moment when Palestinians praise the old colonialist empire for giving it recognition,” noted Zionist Chloe Valdary commented via social media.

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New ISIS Magazine Issue Faults ‘Crusader Media’ for Making Lone Wolf Attacks ‘Appear to be Random Killings’

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The latest issue of an English-language magazine released by the Islamic State encourages “lone wolf” attackers in the United States while chiding “crusader media” for not linking attacks with Islamist terrorism.

“At this point of the crusade against the Islamic State, it is very important that attacks take place in every country that has entered into the alliance against the Islamic State, especially the US, UK, France, Australia, and Germany. Rather, the citizens of crusader nations should be targeted wherever they can be found,” an article in Dabiq states.

“Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader, and kill him. It is important that the killing becomes attributed to patrons of the Islamic State who have obeyed its leadership. This can easily be done with anonymity. Otherwise, crusader media makes such attacks appear to be random killings.”

The magazine didn’t reference specific attacks, but provided a few tips for keeping attacks simple and to the point.

“Secrecy should be followed when planning and executing any attack. The smaller the numbers of those involved and the less the discussion beforehand, the more likely it will be carried out without problems. One should not complicate the attacks by involving other parties, purchasing complex materials, or communicating with weak-hearted individuals. ‘Rely upon Allah and stab the crusader’ should be the battle cry for all Islamic State patrons,” an article states.

The magazine’s fourth issue, which features the ISIS flag photoshopped in the Vatican courtyard on the cover, features pictures of electricity maintenance and road cleanup in the Islamic State, along with an ISIS-run retirement home in Mosul. It contains a story of Ansar al-Islam in Iraq pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. It also contains lengthy essays that the IS claims were written by late American journalist Steven Sotloff and British hostage John Cantlie.

“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” a statement from the ISIS spokesman says. “You claimed to have withdrawn from Iraq – O Obama – four years ago. We said to you then that you were liars, that you had not withdrawn, and that if you had withdrawn that you would return, even if after some time, you would return. Here you are; you have not withdrawn. Rather you hid some of your forces behind your proxies and withdrew the rest. Your forces will return greater in number than they were before. You will return and your proxies will not avail you. And if you are not able to return, then we will come to your homeland by Allah’s permission.”

The magazine says that would-be jihadists shouldn’t think twice before killing citizens from “crusader” countries.

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.”

The Dabiq issue includes another article praising slavery and its “revival,” using the capture of Yazidis as an example.

It describes how Yazidi women and children were “divided according to the Sharī’ah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations” and analyzes how “one of the signs of the Hour is the increased conquests and bringing in of slaves from the lands of kufr.”

“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffār and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharī’ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’ān and the narrations of the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and thereby apostatizing from Islam,” the article states.

“Finally, a number of contemporary scholars have mentioned that the desertion of slavery had led to an increase in fāhishah (adultery, fornication, etc.), because the shar’ī alternative to marriage is not available, so a man who cannot afford marriage to a free woman finds himself surrounded by temptation towards sin. In addition, many Muslim families who have hired maids to work at their homes, face the fitnah of prohibited khalwah (seclusion) and resultant zinā occurring between the man and the maid, whereas if she were his concubine, this relationship would be legal.”

The Dabiq issue also featured testimony “in support of the crusade headed by Barack Obama” of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a section called “In the Words of the Enemy.”

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White House Doesn’t Deny Report of Executive Action to Close Gitmo; GOP Lawmakers Pounce

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

GOP lawmakers decried as “outrageous” a report that President Obama is planning to override a ban passed by Congress on relocating Guantanamo Bay detainees to the U.S. in order to shut down the prison facility.

Some of those prisoners could come to the Naval brig at Hanahan, South Carolina.

“I have yet to see any plans or studies that show that transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to South Carolina or any other domestic location will make America safer,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said. “We are talking about some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, including planners of September 11th and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. They should stay right where they are – in cells at the prison on Guantanamo Bay, far away from our schools and families.”

“It is also outrageous that this administration is reportedly preparing to once again circumvent Congress for its own political goals. The president may be searching for a way to keep a campaign promise, but perhaps he should take a look at the reality of the situation.”

Scott pointed out a summer Gallup poll that shows Americans consistently opposing the closure of Gitmo and relocation of detainees to the U.S. Just 29 percent think that should happen, while 66 percent oppose the detainees coming to American soil.

“Congress passed a bipartisan law barring the transfer of detainees to the United States,” Scott said. “If the administration attempts to push this idea forward it will meet serious opposition, period.”

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) noted that “as terrorists behead innocent Americans and civilians abroad, the only message we need to be sending our enemies right now is that we’re coming after them, not bringing them into our backyards.”

“The president’s number one responsibility should be ensuring the safety of the American people and supporting our men and women in uniform, not trying to make good on an ill-conceived campaign promise simply to mollify far left donors and energize his base before an election,” Cornyn said.

Obama is on the West Coast fundraising today, and White House spokesman Eric Schultz brushed off a direct response to the Wall Street Journal story in speaking with reporters outside the first event at the home of restaurateur Michael Chow.

“I can say that this is something important to the president, important to the administration, and something we are constantly working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress over,” Schultz said.

“For many years now we have always looked at options to do this,” he added. “Our position right now, our policy right now, is seeking support from Congress to lift the restrictions which we feel are misguided.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said “closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is a fanciful idea but importing vicious terrorists onto the United States mainland and giving them legal protections reserved for American citizens has been consistently rejected by bipartisan majorities in Congress who have worked together legally to prohibit the president from doing so.”

“The president’s stubborn naïveté distracts from ongoing threats to American national security and highlights the failures of his foreign policy agenda,” Foxx said. “As House Republicans continue our tireless pursuit of accountability, the president should immediately abandon any ill-conceived plans to bring dangerous terrorists to the American homeland.”

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