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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

YouTube Preview Image

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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New York Times Fears ‘Specter’ of ‘Sabotage’ in Iranian Missile Facility Explosion

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

“Specter” is a word that means something feared as dangerous or bad. For example, the following headline would reflect proper use of the term.

“Iranian Secrecy About Nuclear Program Raises Specter of First-Strike Capability”

Which is why the headline on the homepage of today’s NYTimes.com jarred me.

“Spectacular Blast at Iranian Base Raises Specter of Sabotage”

Specter of Sabotage“Specter of Sabotage”!?

Lord forbid that someone might have sabotaged Iranian efforts to weaponize and to loft the output of their centrifuges.

Now, if this were some local rag, I’d write it off to the hackery of journalism grads from the second-tier schools — you know, guys like me.

But Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet! This is the New York Greekin’ Times.

Is it really possible that a Times editor, gulping a mug of crème de la crème, in the rush to post the story, with the need to constrain the third deck of the header to 19 characters, settled for “Specter” because “Questions” takes too many letters? (The header on the jump page does use “Questions.”)

Perhaps the word choice came in the quest for alliteration — Spectacular…Specter…Sabotage. Forget the dictionary. That just sounds good.

Certainly, the Times’ editor could not have intended the meaning of this word. A bit of searching shows that previous Times‘ “specter” headlines include…

  • Confronting the Specter of Alzheimers’
  • Two Hospital Networks Agree to Merge, Raising Specter of Costlier Care
  • Candidates Raise Specter of Cheating
  • Behind Microsoft Deal, the Specter of a Nokia Android Phone
  • Unburnable Carbon and the Specter of a Carbon Bubble

Almost all other instances referred to a certain former senator from Pennsylvania, whose name still conjures the specter of betrayal, two years after his death.

So, it seems, the Times knows how to use the term correctly — although that Nokia Android phone better have a death-ray feature to merit its “specter.”

No, I actually imagine the editor cringing in horror as she reads the lead, and ponders the possibility of betrayal within the ranks of the Iranian missile program. How could a saboteur penetrate the security cordon of the Iranian military and intelligence service?

She probably glanced around the newsroom nervously. Are THEY all loyal to us?

Of course, perhaps an editor who uses “specter” to refer to sabotaging the Iranian missile program raises the specter of an Iranian mullah-regime sympathizer on staff at the New York Times.

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ISIS’ European Poster Girls Now Regret Their Most Significant Life Choice

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

These 15-year-olds are learning the very hard way that jihadism isn’t a lot of fun.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, are believed to be married, pregnant and living in the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa in northern Syria, Central European News reports.

Dubbed by Austrian media as the poster girls for jihad, the young friends now believe their lives have been turned upside down by their new lifestyles.

The change of heart is a much different tune than the note they left behind for their parents when they fled back in April, which read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah — and we will die for him.”

They thought life with Mom and Dad was a drag…

For weeks, social media accounts believed to belong to the girls have been posting pictures and information leading many to feel they enjoyed living a life of terror.

Authorities in Austria say this was all an elaborate plan set up by ISIS in order to get people to think the two wanted to be the poster girls for jihad in Syria.

Now they’re saying, “Look for us. We don’t like these animals who are telling us what to do all the time and we don’t want to die here.”

They have contacted their loved ones and told them they are sick of living with the Islamic State jihadis, but they also said they don’t feel they can flee from their unwanted new life because too many people now associate them with ISIS.

Well, that’s because they can’t. And they probably can’t get back into Austria either, since they volunteered for the jihad and are now at least suspected terrorists. Their alleged change of heart could also be an ISIS ruse to get them back into Europe.

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‘If It Wasn’t So Tragic, This Would Almost Be Farce’: McCain on Obama Not Arming Kurds

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

“If it wasn’t so tragic,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said of President Obama’s lack of support for the Kurds fighting for Kobane, “this would almost be farce.”

Kurdish officials report ”very, very intense fighting” as ISIS shells the city in its three-week advance, VOA reported. “We will continue resisting against IS terrorists but we need heavy weapons,” Kobane’s defense chief Ismet Hasan said. “If the U.S. can provide us weapons that are capable of eliminating their heavy weapons, like tanks and artillery, and continue air strikes against [the IS], we are confident we will be able to kill them all.”

The YPG fighters in Kobane have even lacked night vision equipment, allowing the better equipped ISIS to attack them in the dark.

“For John Kerry to dismiss the deaths of thousands of people and then our Pentagon touting 14 strikes, 14 strikes, in Kobani or the outskirts, because since we have no one on ground, there is no way of really identifying targets,” McCain told Fox. “And the brave Kurds, and I mean the Peshmerga, are very brave fighters. They don’t have the military capability, the arms and equipment that the ISIS has because ISIS has ours and we refuse to send weapons directly to the Kurds and the Peshmerga so they can fight better.”

McCain said he agrees with Turkey’s request for a no-fly zone, something the Obama administration is not on board with, “because what we are doing is immoral.”

“We are allowing Bashar Assad to destroy the Free Syrian Army. Every time we bomb ISIS, Bashar al Assad moves in and attacks with more intensity,” the senator said.

“By the way, these are the same ones — we are training 5,000 of them. We are going to send them back into Syria to be bombed by Bashar al Assad. This is really as convoluted and as immoral as I have seen the United States of America do.”

John Kerry has appeared to be open to a no-fly zone, while the Pentagon and White House have said it’s not on the table.

McCain noted “we keep hearing there’s a great debate in the White House” over the no-fly zone.

“I have heard that for so many years, it grows tiresome,” he said. “They tell me privately, hey, we are working on it, don’t worry, we’ll get it down, and it never gets done. I’m getting a little cynical.”

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ISIS Makes Journalists Agree to 11 Rules ‘Subject to Change at Any Time’

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

According to Syria Deeply, the ISIS media office in Deir Ezzor came up with rules for journalists trying to document what’s going on in the Islamic State, including local Syrian journalists:

1 – Correspondents must swear allegiance to the Caliph [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi … they are subjects of the Islamic State and, as subjects, they are obliged to swear loyalty to their imam.

2 – Their work will be under the exclusive supervision of the [ISIS] media offices.

3 – Journalists can work directly with international news agencies (such as Reuters, AFP and AP), but they are to avoid all international and local satellite TV channels. They are forbidden to provide any exclusive material or have any contact (sound or image) with them in any capacity.

4 – Journalists are forbidden to work in any way with the TV channels placed on the blacklist of channels that fight against Islamic countries (such as Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Orient). Violators will be held accountable.

5 – Journalists are allowed to cover events in the governorate with either written or still images without having to refer back to the [ISIS] media office. All published pieces and photos must carry the journalist’s and photographer’s names.

6 – Journalists are not allowed to publish any reportage (print or broadcast) without referring to the [ISIS] media office first.

7 – Journalists may have their own social media accounts and blogs to disseminate news and pictures. However, the ISIS media office must have the addresses and name handles of these accounts and pages.

8 – Journalists must abide by the regulations when taking photos within [ISIS territory] and avoid filming locations or security events where taking pictures is prohibited.

9 – ISIS media offices will follow up on the work of local journalists within [ISIS territory] and in the state media. Any violation of the rules in place will lead to suspending the journalist from his work, and he will be held accountable.

10 – The rules are not final and are subject to change at any time depending on the circumstances and the degree of cooperation between journalists and their commitment to their brothers in the ISIS media offices.

11 – Journalists are given a license to practice their work after submitting a license request at the [ISIS] media office.

Syria Deeply says a “number of journalists” signed an agreement to obey the rules — which, as noted by Rule No. 10, can be changed by ISIS at any time. Other journalists have fled; those who have exposed crucifixions and other ISIS horrors are threatened with the same fate.

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Does Obama Need ‘Time’ to Defeat or Forget ISIS?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

During U.S. President Obama’s televised speech on his strategies to defeat the Islamic State, he said, “Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL” (a reference to the Islamic State, “ISIS” or “IS”).

Now, why is that?

First, we know by “cancer” he is not referring to Islamic ideology—since he does not acknowledge that Islam has anything to do with violence and even banned knowledge of Islamic ideology from being studied by law enforcement and national security communities.

Were he referring to Islamic ideology, the need for “time” would of course be legitimate, to say the least.

No, the cancer he is referring to is the very real, tangible, and temporal Islamic State, which exists in time and space.

But this prompts the following question: Why did it take the United States military three weeks to overthrow the very real and tangible regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003 whereas “it will take time”— years, according to most military analysts — for the U.S. to defeat the Islamic State?

This question becomes more pressing when one considers that the Iraq conquered by the U.S. in less than a month had an actual government and longstanding military and was better organized and consolidated — certainly in comparison to the Islamic State, often described as a “ragtag team of terrorists” that seems to have appeared out of nowhere.

The reason it will take years is because Obama refuses to strike the Islamic State decisively and effectively, specifically by sending in U.S. ground forces — the very forces that were responsible for keeping the Islamic jihadis at bay; the forces he withdrew leading to the rise of the Islamic State; and the forces that he refuses to utilize again, even though they are necessary to decisively crush the “caliphate.”

Obama’s “it will take time” assertion prompts the following prediction: U.S. airstrikes on IS targets will continue to be just enough to pacify those calling for action against the caliphate (“we’re doing what we can”).  The official narrative will be that the Islamic State is gradually being weakened, that victory is a matter of time (remember, “It will take time”).

In the meantime, IS will slowly begin to fade away from the headlines.  After all and unreported in any Western media, soon after pictures and videos of the decapitations of Americans went viral prompting much media attention followed by international shock and outrage, the “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called for an immediate stop to the videotaping and internet dissemination of such beheadings and other Sharia punishments.

He called on both official channels affiliated with IS as well as unofficial sympathizers and allies on social media to cease posting such pictures and/or video-clips, adding that the Islamic State “would follow any violation of this resolution seriously.”… Keep reading

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Have We Reached Peak ISISmania Yet?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Patrick Poole

A few thoughts on the current bout of ISISmania and the systemic problems it exposes:

1) ISISmania has created a financial/legal incentive for sources (most of them “shady” to begin with) used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to manufacture info whole-cloth.

This is nothing new. Think “prison snitches.” Various foreign actors are passing along disinformation to us as well, so mountains of BS are being fed into the system from the get-go.

Imagine, for a purely hypothetical example, a member of Congress getting an authentic report from a senior agency official, but the report is later found to have originated with a non-credible source. So the member of Congress who repeated the report was actually correct that the intel had been shared with them — but the information itself wasn’t reliable.

It never should have been shared in the first place, but it’s the member of Congress who ends up with egg on their face when the agency issues its denial. No one, whether politicians or agency officials, wants to later admit they were duped, so erroneous info never gets corrected.

2) There are considerable problems on the collection and analysis sides of intel in both the intelligence community and law enforcement. In fact, very few know how to do collection — and good analysis is basically prohibited these days.

So the BS and disinfo never gets sifted out. It then gets passed on to elected officials, which is some of what we’re seeing. Then you have agencies and the administration selectively manipulating and leaking according to their own respective agendas. This is how the sausage is being made in DC these days.

3) There is only so much media space, and politicians compete with each other for that space.

So they need to come up with more outlandish claims to get a bigger share of that media space. That creates a disincentive to vet the info they get and publicly talk about. No one gets on Greta by saying: “We need to keep a cool head about this stuff.”

4) Because of that, the game of “I got a secret” is more prevalent than ever before.

Those secrets might be complete equine feces, but the desire to be “in the know,” whether they actually are or not, and the temptation to show that you’re “in the know” are strong.

5) Congress has no mechanism to vet what the agencies and administration tells them.

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Hamas-Loving Jimmy Carter Blasts Obama in a New York Times Op-Ed

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Jennifer Hanin

Let’s face it. It’s a tad early for Halloween pranks. And clearly one hasn’t arrived to absurdity until former president turned Hamas-loving “human rights activist” Jimmy Carter blasts your anti-terror policies. Carter did just that by gouging Obama in his recent and somewhat surprising New York Times op-ed A Cruel and Unusual Record.  Not surprising, however, was Carter’s mention of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the United States adopted in 1948.

Stumping for the UN Too?

Carter champions this UN declaration in an effort to blast Obama and the current administration (and perhaps former ones) for neglecting to pursue democracy in all corners of the world. Yet there’s a huge gap that Carter conveniently or unknowingly left out. Democracy is a unique condition that few countries are ready for. We saw this when Israel, Carter’s archenemy, gave the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. Known terrorist group, Hamas, forced their rule on the area, and rigged elections in their favor to achieve their version of “democracy.”

Hamas’s tainted version of democracy has resulting in dragging Palestinians to their death via being tied behind some old jalopy. It has resulted in homosexuals being sentenced to death. It has meant arming small children as suicide bombers. Suffice to say, “democracy” under terrorist rule resembles nothing of the sort.

It took the U.S.A. over 200 years to get democracy right. We can’t expect third-world countries to turn on a dime and gain freedom and democracy in decade or less. Egypt is perfect example of a country whose people flooded the streets to oppose their dictatorship under former President Hosni Mubarak, only to wind up under an even more suffocating Islamic dictator, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammad Morsi. Once Morsi enacted an overarching set of laws that allowed him to have ultimate rule over the Egyptian congress, over 30,000 Egyptians (even more than Mubarak’s protesters) took to the streets to voice their opposition. Thus proving, democracy cannot be had overnight nor is it right for every country or ruler.

While Carter has every right to criticize any sitting (or past) POTUS in writing or on camera (and has), it’s time for our 39th President to stop stumping for terrorists and penning egregious rants and lies. Even winning a Nobel Peace Prize (2002) doesn’t change the facts. Not that I’m letting Obama off the hook for Benghazi and so many other disastrously absent plans to deal with national security threats like ISIS or Ebola (and god knows a laundry list of other beefs), but review your own sorry record.

Carter’s Sorry Record

Carter was one of the worse presidents our country has ever had. His record of presidential hemorrhages parallels with Obama’s oxygen-deprived record. Under Carter, US families were forced to endure double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, airline deregulation, a nonsensical boycott of the 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow, a depleted military with low morale, an energy crisis resulting in time-consuming gas lines, the Iran hostage and a tragic military rescue operation to boot.

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ISIS Crisis: 10-Year-Old ‘Martyr,’ Turkey Won’t Help, Obama Speaks from the Faculty Lounge

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Islamic State is bragging that a young boy has died fighting for its cause.

Islamic State militants and sympathisers are triumphantly circulating images of a 10-year-old boy they claim has been ‘martyred’ while fighting alongside his father in Syria.

Describing the child as ISIS’ youngest jihadist, chilling photographs taken before his alleged death show him smiling at the camera, wearing military fatigues and brandishing a huge assault rifle.

ISIS sympathisers took to social media to identify the ‘cub fighter’ by his alleged nom de guerre Abu Ubaidah, adding that both he and his father were killed during clashes in Syria in recent weeks, but not specifying exactly where they died or who they had been fighting against.

Several images, which have not been independently verified, emerged on social media this week after a video reporting the deaths of the boy and his father was uploaded to YouTube in September.

The original video – distributed by the pro-Isis media group Al-A’amaq – is understood to have since been removed, but a number of photographs of the boy have since been widely shared by ISIS militants and their sympathisers on social media.

Kobane, Syria has yet to fall. A handful of allied airstrikes over the past couple of days have helped keep the city out of ISIS hands, according to reporter Jenan Moussa, who is tweeting from about 4 kilometers inside Turkey, near Kobane.

She spends nearly as much of her time debunking her fellow reporters as she spend reporting on the battle.

Turkey has placed tanks in its territory near Kobane, but so far it has not engaged in the battle. That is frustrating US leaders.

Islamic State fighters were battling outgunned Kurdish fighters in the heart of Kobane on Thursday as the Pentagon warned that U.S. airstrikes alone will not save the Syrian border town from being overrun by the militants.

The fresh push came amid rising tensions between the Obama administration and Turkey, a NATO ally, over who should take responsibility for helping to save the town.

The Islamic State made gains overnight despite stepped-up American airstrikes over the past three days, and senior senior administration officials expressed growing exasperation with Turkey’s refusal to intervene, either with its own military or with direct assistance to Syrian Kurdish fighters battling the militants.

“Of course they could do more,” a senior official said. “They want the U.S. to come in and take care of the problem.” The administration would also like Turkey to be more zealous in preventing foreigners from transiting its territory to join the Syrian militants.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu countered on Thursday that a unilateral ground operation by Turkish troops also would not be enough to halt the militants’ advance.

It also may not be welcomed by Kurds on the ground around Kobane.

As the battle rages on, President Obama is showing that brand of leadership that fails to reassure anyone.

“Our strikes continue alongside our partners. It remains a difficult mission,” Obama said. “As I’ve indicated from the start, this is not something that is going to be solved overnight.”

Obama said the good news was “that there is a broad-based consensus not just in the region but among nations of the world that ISIL (another acronym for ISIS) is a threat to world peace, security and order, that their barbaric behavior has to be dealt with.”

He just refuses to be the one to deal with it decisively.

President Obama has held up Yemen as a successful cast of counterterrorism, when describing what he believes ought to be done about ISIS.

About that…

SAN’A, Yemen—Two suicide bombers struck in Yemen on Thursday—one targeting a gathering of Shiite rebels in the country’s capital and the other hitting a military outpost in the south—in attacks that killed nearly 70 people, officials said.

The bombings underscored Yemen’s highly volatile situation following last month’s takeover of the capital, San’a, by the Shiite Houthi rebels, whose blitz surprised the impoverished Arab nation on the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The Houthis’ push into San’a also prompted threats of retaliation from their Sunni militant foes in al Qaeda’s Yemen branch.

If Yemen is the model for successful counterterrorism, then the Islamic State is here to stay.

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‘Nobody is Following Obama Because They’re Not Sure If He is Committed to Winning’

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he “can’t believe” that President Obama is “not reacting more forcefully to a threat to our homeland.”

“I don’t know when you hit bottom in foreign policy, but when you are being criticized by Jimmy Carter, you are pretty damn close,” Graham said of the former president’s criticism of Obama’s ISIS strategy.

The U.S. launched new airstrikes around the besieged border city of Kobane after essentially wanting reporters to change the subject of the impending massacre by ISIS forces.

“It shows that the airstrikes are not containing or degrading ISIS in any significant way. If that town falls, thousands will be slaughtered. That breaks one’s heart. Humanitarian disaster,” Graham told Fox last night.

“But the stronger they get over there, the more endangered we are here. President Obama’s strategy of half-measures is making it much more likely that America will be hit by another terror attack. If they take Kobane, they will be able to recruit more and more jihadists from Europe and other places. They can come back here and strike us at home. His strategy of air attacks is not working. His insistence not to have boots on the ground is a death blow to our efforts to destroy ISIL and, quite frankly, puts our country very much at risk.”

Graham said it’s certain that ISIS’ safe havens in Syria and Iraq “are going to eventually be used to attack us here at home.”

The senator called Turkey’s reticence at getting involved in saving Kobane and its allowance of jihadists to flow into Syria “a symptom of a greater problem.”

“Nobody in the region is following Barack Obama because they are not sure if he is committed to success and to winning… Turkey is a NATO nation. They have tanks within just a couple miles of this town. It is stunning that they won’t go in to help the people on the other side of the border,” Graham said. “But I think the root cause of this problem is that our allies are not sure about America and our enemies are no longer afraid of America. And that is a formula for disaster. “

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Using Social Media Activism as a Mask for Apathy

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Leslie Loftis

meriamI loved Nancy Kaffer’s recent offering in the Daily Beast, When Activism is Worse than Apathy. Before noting that those things we were so fussed about for a few days here and there over the past six months are still happening, she writes:

Apathy isn’t our problem. We care—we care a lot. Show us an injustice, and we’ll slap a hashtag on it in a hot minute. We may even have a national conversation about it. And then? Ooh, shiny! We’re on to the next outrage. Call it hashtag activism, call it slacktivism—worse than indifference, it’s a transitory, bustling attentiveness that passes so quickly it barely registers, yet leaves in its wake a sense that we’ve done something.

Social media can decry a problem. It can spread news like wildfire scorching a dry field. But it doesn’t Do. Results require action. And we’ve seen that in the past 6 months.

While the Nigerian girls have not been brought back, Meriam Ibriam is free.

People spread #BackOurGirls all over the web, and then forgot it. But Meriam, the Christian woman sentenced to lashings and death for apostasy and adultery in South Sudan for not adhering to the Muslim faith of her father, hardly had a hashtag. Christian persecution isn’t something the hashtag warriors get fussed about. Still, Meriam had something better than social media activism. She had old media, Italian diplomats, and the Vatican.

In the comments on to the Times of London article on her freedom and surprise audience with the Pope, one highlighted the truth about PR campaigns.

David Cameron said that her oppression was “barbaric.” The former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the way she had been treated abhorrent. Western feminists didn’t even bother to create on of those ‘we care but aren’t willing to actually do anything about it’ hashtags. But the Italian Foreign Minister acted.

And that made all the difference. Apparently, the Italians offered diplomatic help to the US State Department to secure her release as The Telegraph and The Times of London publicized the story. The Italian Foreign Ministry flew representatives to Sudan and negotiated her release with the help of Vatican funding and advice. It wasn’t easy. There were setbacks and scares, but Meriam arrived in the US months ago. She is free. The Nigerian girls who we all heard about are not.

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Judicial Watch: Four ISIS Terrorists Arrested in Texas in the Last 36 Hours

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Fort Bliss, near El Paso, may be their target.

Islamic terrorists have entered the United States through the Mexican border and Homeland Security sources tell Judicial Watch that four have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr.

JW confirmed this after California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a former Marine Corp Major and member of the House Armed Services Committee, disclosed on national television that at least ten Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) fighters have been caught crossing the Mexican border in Texas. The veteran lawmaker got the astounding intel straight from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Homeland Security agency responsible for guarding the 1,933-mile southern border.

“If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border,” Hunter proclaimed on a national cable news show this week. “It’s that simple. ISIS doesn’t have a navy, they don’t have an air force, they don’t have nuclear weapons. The only way that ISIS is going to harm Americans is by coming in through the southern border – which they already have.” The three-term congressmen went on: “They aren’t flying B-1 bombers, bombing American cities, but they are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.”

Judicial Watch first reported that the Islamic State was operating in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — which is just across the border from El Paso — back in August. That report indicated that ISIS terrorists were looking to launch attacks inside the United States “imminently.”

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Kurdish Women Fighters Vow to ‘Make a Hell for the ISIS on Earth’

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Citing the death of a fighter who ran out of bullets and blew up herself and a group of ISIS terrorists with a grenade, the Kurdish Women Defense Units (YPJ) today called on women to unite to “make a hell” for Islamic State.

Arin Mirkan, a 20-year-old mother of two, was trying to defend Kobane from the ISIS advance Sunday when she ran out of ammunition during a gun battle outside town.

On the same day, 19-year-old Ceylan Ozalp shot herself with her last bullet rather than fall into the hands of ISIS fighters.

Ozlap told BBC last month that the women would “rather blow ourselves up than be captured by IS.”

“When they see a woman with a gun, they’re so afraid they begin to shake. They portray themselves as tough guys to the world. But when they see us with our guns they run away,” she said. “They see a woman as just a small thing. But one of our women is worth a hundred of their men.”

The YPJ said in a statement today that “the bullet fired by our women adds to their fears that they may find themselves in hell instead of heaven.”

Mirkan’s death, they said, is “the spirit of sacrifice for the freedom.”

“We will take revenge from this organization anywhere by developing our defensive systems and educating our women, for the ISIS organization cannot be defined by any terms and it is far from humanity,” the YPJ continued.

“We will avenge for those women who were sold as slaves in the markets of the ISIS organization, our vengeance will not only be bullets but by smiling faces of our women, we swear that we will make a hell for the ISIS on earth.”

The statement called on “all women” to “consciously join this struggle in the ranks of our units.”

According a Marie Claire feature profiling some of the women fighting ISIS, the YPJ numbers about 7,500 and formed in 2012. They perform the same duties as their male counterparts.

 

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Kurdish Youth ‘Occupy’ Busy London Tube Station to Protest Against ISIS

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This is nice to see, but…

…”occupying” a London tube station will do precisely nothing to stop ISIS from taking Kobane, Syria.

Only military action on the ground will do that. It takes people who are willing and able to fight.

Among those “occupiers” are several able-bodied young men and women who could be doing quite a bit more than annoying Londoners and posing for pictures in a tube station. They could be taking up arms to defend their homelands against ISIS. Instead of asking able-bodied Americans to do it for them.

While I favor putting US troops on the ground to wipe out ISIS — because it’s inevitable that it will take Americans to do the job, and it’s naive to think that anyone else can or will do it — this protest makes me favor that a little bit less. The people in that photo are enjoying life in London while at least some of them expect Americans and others, including other Kurds, to fight on their behalf. After the protest, they will head off to dinner or back to class or whatever.

Job done? Hardly — the fighting rages on, and will for a long time.

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Obama Spokesman Responds to Leon Panetta’s Accusations by Calling Him Names

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lobbed a series of damning accusations against his old boss, President Barack Obama.

In his new book, Panetta says that Benghazi was always an obvious terrorist attack. He says that Obama approaches the world like a law professor, meaning that he does not usually see reality if it does not comport with his preconceived notions. Panetta writes that Obama’s decisions on Syria and Iraq have paved the way for the rise of of the Islamic State. Panetta writes that Obama has given up on the job, rather than continue to try working with Republicans in Congress.

The merits of some of these charges, as well as Panetta’s timing in launching them, can be debated. Obama never showed any interest in working with Republicans in Congress, for instance. In his first meeting with the opposition party, then in the minority in both houses of Congress, Obama declared “I won” and shut off debate. He lurched farther left after his overreaches, including Obamacare, led to the Republicans taking over the House in 2010. It is also probable that some of Panetta’s charges, whether correct or not, are being lodged now in order to pave the way for his friend Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House. He has revised Clinton’s role in Syria and ISIS, for instance, in a way that makes her look better and Obama look worse.

All of that said, the seriousness of Panetta’s charges isn’t debatable. He writes, essentially, that Obama is unfit for the job of president for multiple reasons. That means nothing will change for the rest of Obama’s term. He might be dragged into fighting ISIS more vigorously, which Panetta supports, but only after the world’s richest terrorist group has accumulated more territory and troops, and only after it has killed even more innocent people and become even more dangerous than it already is. By the time Obama gets around to launching more than four airstrikes per day against ISIS, the group may have further destabilized the Middle East and could even have obtained weapons of mass destruction.

So Panetta’s charges are serious, and they come from a serious man who served in Congress and who led both the CIA and the Defense Department. A man who perhaps could have done more, sooner, to make the case that he is making now — but he is serious.

President Obama is not, and he sent spokesman Bill Burton out to CNN to deflect Panetta’s accusations. Not refute, just deflect.

With childish name-calling. Watch the video on the next page.

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‘Why Don’t You Care About People Assad Killed?’: U.S. Anti-Terror PR Office Holds Q&A

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson
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The State Department’s program that attempts to turn would-be terrorists away from a life of jihad opened the floor up for questions this week.

Think Again Turn Away is trying to counter ISIS’ slick social-media recruitment and PR campaign with its own videos showing how destructive jihad can be, as well as photoshopping its own anti-terror memes. Last month the program stoked ire in some corners for tweeting then deleting photos of dead jihadis.

This week Think Again Turn Away hopped on ask.fm, a Latvia-based global social networking site that terrorists have used to conduct Q&A with would-be followers.

“Why don’t you care about the people Assad killed?” asks one poster of the State Department unit.

“The United States cares immensely about those who have been killed under the Assad administration and the terrible atrocities that have been committed. We are working hard to degrade the terrorists, including ISIS and the Khorasan group, as well as to support the Syrian Opposition Coalition. The U.S. Government has no plans to work with Assad in accomplishing these missions. We recognize that there is no solution for a stable Syria as long as Assad is in power,” the U.S. government responds.

“You are the greatest terrorist on the planet!” another posts in the question box.

“This isn’t actually a question, but we’ll take this opportunity to correct your statement. Some of the greatest terrorist organizations currently operating in the world include: ISIS, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, the Taliban, AQAP, and Jabhat al-Nusra amongst others. The monsters that comprise these groups kill innocent individuals indiscriminately, rape and sell women and children as sex slaves, and destroy culture and heritage. Is it any wonder that Muslims everywhere condemn the terrorists and their actions?” Think Again Turn Away responds.

Asked whether pie or cake is better, the State Department posted a photo of an American-flag pie.

“Your freedom is fake! Your bravery is faker then fake. Send some boots and clean the mess!” asks another.

“What is fake is the idyllic and peaceful existence that ISIS purports to give those who support it,” the government responds. “ISIS rules with barbarity and ultra-violence, killing and raping innocent individuals of all religions, including Muslims.”

“Mr.Obama used this sentence a few times ‘…american interests…’, what exactly are your interests in middle east/north africa? Does it mean that someone like assad can still kill if the american interests are safe/untouched?”

“The United States cares about the Middle East because of the economic, political, and security interests we have, the many friendships we have forged, and the rich spiritual and ethnic traditions we have inherited. The region is home to many of our allies and important partners in the Gulf,” Think Again Turn Away replies. “American interests are also reliant upon global security and a future without terrorists organizations like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and its affiliates, who persecute, torture, rape, and murder innocent individuals. The United States is dedicated to helping all of those persecuted by ISIS, including the people of Syria, and safeguarding their future – a future we know is not possible with the Assad regime in power.”

 

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