RELIGION OF PEACE? ON TACKLING ISLAMISM — CAMERON IS CLEAR, ERDOGAN IS DECEPTIVE, AND OBAMA IS FECKLESS

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Cameron’s Clarity on Violent Islam: Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2015— David Cameron delivered an important speech in Birmingham this week promising new measures to counter violent Islam. Note the Prime Minister’s use of the “I” word.

Exploding Muslim Immigration Overwhelms FBI: Leo Hohmann, WND, July 17, 2015 — The FBI failed to stop another terror attack, this time in Chattanooga, and the pressure building on the bureau from President Obama’s reckless immigration policies may be reaching a boiling point, say security experts.

Turkey Turns on Its Jihadists Next Door: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, July 28, 2015  — When the Islamist radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS, or Islamic State) decided to send a suicide bomber across the border into a small Turkish town, they probably did not think the bomb attack would poison their relations with Turkey.

America’s Friends in the Middle East Are its Enemies: George Jonas, National Post, June 27, 2015 — Fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is no picnic.

               

On Topic Links

 

British PM's Speech Specific About Radical Islamist Threat: IPT News, July 20, 2015

Obama’s Disturbing Pattern of Playing Down Islamic Terror: Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post, July 20, 2015

Tackling Islamism, Post-Chattanooga: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, July 21, 2015

Anti-Terror Tactics Targeting Muslim Leaders Provoking Tensions in Kenya: Geoffrey York, Globe & Mail, July 2, 2015

 

                            

                            

CAMERON’S CLARITY ON VIOLENT ISLAM                                                                        

Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2015

 

David Cameron delivered an important speech in Birmingham this week promising new measures to counter violent Islam. Note the Prime Minister’s use of the “I” word. Speaking in a city where 20% of residents are Muslim, Mr. Cameron was blunt. The root cause of Islamist radicalization, he argued, is neither economic deprivation nor the West’s alleged misdeeds in the Middle East. It’s a worldview that begins with “hearing about the so-called Jewish conspiracy and then develops into hostility to the West and fundamental liberal values, before finally becoming a cultish attachment to death.”

 

As for responses, he insisted that it wasn’t enough for Muslim communal leaders in the West to denounce suicide bombings in London if they didn’t also denounce “suicide bombs in Israel.” He also took aim at the excuse-making and moral self-flagellation that seems to go with every terrorist attack. “How can it be,” he asked, “that after the tragic events at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, weeks were spent discussing the limits of free speech and satire, rather than whether terrorists should be executing people full stop?”

 

Mr. Cameron promised to roll out specific policy proposals in the coming months, and we’ll have to see how serious they are. Among the ideas: deploying ex-Islamists to help “de-radicalize” Islamic State recruits, empowering liberal and reformist Muslims, and dealing with the ghettoization of immigrant Muslim communities in public housing.

 

Mr. Cameron isn’t infallible when it comes to speaking about Islamism. He recently called on the BBC to stop using the term “Islamic State” to refer to the group violently constructing a new caliphate across the Middle East, on the theory that using the group’s own name for itself creates the impression it’s a legitimate Islamic entity. But playing these name games evades the very problem Mr. Cameron is trying to address.

 

Still, the Prime Minister has delivered an honest assessment of the threat facing Britain and the West. “This was one of the boldest speeches by any politician anywhere on this topic,” Shiraz Maher, a British ex-Islamist who now works against jihadist groups, told us. Mr. Cameron’s “real triumph,” Mr. Maher added, was his vow to “support liberals and reformers from within British Muslim communities so they can better challenge extremist theology.” Let’s hope the Prime Minister persists in the effort.     

 

                                                                       

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EXPLODING MUSLIM IMMIGRATION OVERWHELMS FBI

Leo Hohmann      

WND, July 17, 2015

 

The FBI failed to stop another terror attack, this time in Chattanooga, and the pressure building on the bureau from President Obama’s reckless immigration policies may be reaching a boiling point, say security experts. And the problem goes far beyond a loose border, where some 400,000 illegal aliens enter each year. It’s also the ease with which someone from a hostile Middle Eastern country can get a visa.

 

Under current U.S. immigration policy, an ISIS terrorist doesn’t need to hop a fence or swim a river to reach America. He can enter the U.S. legally as a student, as a skilled guest-worker, as a refugee, as an entrepreneur, or as a tourist – and fly here in the comfort of a jumbo jet. According to U.S. Census data, the U.S. welcomes about 100,000 Muslim immigrants legally each year. This represents the fastest growing segment of immigrants coming to America. While some may enter with questionable backgrounds, the chances are greater that they will get radicalized after they arrive.

 

Take the case of Chattanooga terrorist Youssef Mohammad Abdulazeez. He arrived with his parents from Kuwait in 1996 at the age of 6. He attended U.S. schools, and by all accounts was a fully assimilated U.S. naturalized citizen. Abdulazeez was a success story just waiting to be told by Obama’s newly created White House Taskforce on New Americans, which collaborates with community-organizing groups like Welcoming America to convince Americans that expansive immigration brings only good things to their cities and towns.

 

But something happened over the last two years of Abdulazeez’s life that changed him. Last year, at the age of 23, he traveled to Jordan and Yemen for seven months, and U.S. intelligence agencies aren’t sure who he visited or what he may have been taught while visiting the Middle East. When he returned home, he grew his beard out and started writing a Muslim blog in which he made philosophical statements that could easily be interpreted as anti-Western. His father was also investigated for a questionable donation to an Islamic charity a few years ago and placed on a watch list. Abdulazeez Sr. ended up being cleared of any wrongdoing.

 

FBI Director James Comey’s dire warning to Congress several weeks before the Chattanooga attack now seems prophetic because it applies perfectly to young Muslims like Abdulazeez. The message of ISIS to Western recruits is this: “Come to the so-called caliphate, and if you can’t, kill somebody. Kill somebody where you are,” Comey said. “He told them, with obviously deep concern, that his agency is simply incapable of managing the threats now proliferating across the entire country,” said Clare Lopez, vice president of research and analysis for the Center for Security Policy and a former CIA analyst.

 

“Even there, Comey was holding back on what he must know is the reality of this situation: We have living among us some percentage of a sub-set of Muslims, who may be legal or illegal immigrants, refugees or, like Abdulazeez, a naturalized American citizen, who feel zero allegiance to this country – and instead identify above all with the global Islamic ummah,” Lopez told WND. And with the U.S. so liberally allowing more Muslims into the country – about 800 new refugees a month come from one country, Somalia, arguably the most jihadist-rich country in the world – there is no telling how many have become radicalized or are in the process of being radicalized. “We have no idea if there are hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands across America today who decide to pledge their allegiance instead to the Shariah doctrine of jihad,” Lopez said.

 

And where do they go to feed on the poison of Islamic jihadism? “Family influence, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated mosques, Islamic centers and online indoctrination all play some role,” Lopez said. “But neither Comey nor the FBI nor local law enforcement currently has the legal or investigative tools to identify and stop such individuals before they take the next step on the pathway to violent jihad.”

 

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. is one of the local law enforcement officials that Lopez says will have to take up the slack from a White House administration that shows no interest in seriously addressing either the immigration issues or the national security problems related to Islamic terrorism. “I can’t go through an airport without getting pulled aside for pre-check scans and searches. And while they’re doing that to a guy in law enforcement they can let a guy like Mohammad Abdulazeez spend seven months traveling the Middle East … are you kidding me?” Clarke told WND. “That’s a red flag. Just like the Boston bombing, the older guy was traveling through Chechnya before the attack. That’s a hotbed of terrorism, Chechnya, so you see why I say we suck at intelligence? We don’t have a strategy.”

 

Clarke said immigration must be cleaned up and specifically Muslim immigration. “We have got to force this issue. That’s why I’m glad Donald Trump is in the race. He’s probably not going to win, but he’s going to make this Republican field talk about some issues they would rather not discuss,” Clarke said. “Our immigration policy is a disaster. Multiculturalism is a disaster, and it failed miserably when European countries all opened their borders and now they’re all tightening up. France demands assimilation now. So now, yes, we do have to look at immigration as a national-security threat.”

 

Clarke said he fully expects that Obama will continue to do everything in his power to muddy the waters and disassociate the Chattanooga killings from Islamism. “You see where this is going to go with this administration for the next 72 hours,” he said. “We’ll hear from him that it has nothing to do with Islam when it has everything to do with Islam.” Clarke, who recently earned his master’s degree in security studies from the Center of Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School, said the Obama administration has no strategy for protecting the homeland against Islamic terror.

 

The FBI notoriously scrubbed its training manuals of all reference to Islam and terrorism in 2011. That concession was made in response to complaints by the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, to then-National Security Adviser John Brennan, who is now in charge of the CIA.  “And that’s why it’s just going to get worse,” Clarke said. “You’re going to see more attacks, where they target two different sites and expand across the nation in different states. I think we have to find a role for U.S. citizens in this as well but until we get a strategy, that’s not going to happen.”

 

Sen. Jeff Sessions issued a statement Friday that connects the growing threat of terrorism to record levels of legal immigration. “More details will need to be collected in coming days, but from what we know so far the (Chattanooga) terrorist in question appears to be an Islamist radical who immigrated to the United States from Kuwait, and who reportedly later applied for and received U.S. citizenship,” said Sessions, chair of the subcommittee on immigration and the national interest.

 

Sessions cited a recent warning by the Citizenship and Immigration Council that declared, “Our government cannot effectively track these foreign visitors and immigrants … Applications for entry are rubber-stamped. We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.” Sessions provided a list of 21 terrorist attacks and foiled attacks involving immigrants allowed into the United States from hostile Islamic countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Yemen. The list includes the two Boston Bombers from Chechnya in 2012, the six Somali-Americans from Minnesota charged in April this year with trying repeatedly to leave the country to join ISIS, an Uzbek refugee in Idaho arrested for planning an attack on military installations and recruiting others to make bombs, an immigrant from Syria who applied for and received U.S. citizenship and was accused of planning to “go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.”

 

And the list goes on. WND has reported on many other cases of Muslim immigrants and the children of immigrants who went on to commit terrorist acts or provide material support to terrorist groups, including a Somali cab driver in Washington, D.C., who recruited members for al-Shabab in Somalia and now sits atop the FBI’s “most wanted terrorist” list. There is also the case of Hoda Muthana, the 20-year-old Yemeni-American, daughter of immigrants from Yemen, who left her comfortable life in her parents’ suburban Birmingham, Alabama, home in November 2014 to become an ISIS bride in Syria.

 

Lopez said that with so many Islamic immigrants in the U.S. and the Obama administration not taking the threat of Islamic terrorism seriously, more of the burden will fall to state and local law enforcement. “To meet this threat, our security and law enforcement officers need better and more honest leadership from the top,” she said. “We are engaged in a great civilizational jihad with the forces of the global jihad movement.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

                                                         

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TURKEY TURNS ON ITS JIHADISTS NEXT DOOR                                                                                   

Burak Bekdil                                            

Gatestone Institute, July 28, 2015

 

When the Islamist radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS, or Islamic State) decided to send a suicide bomber across the border into a small Turkish town, they probably did not think the bomb attack would poison their relations with Turkey. After all, the bomber's target was a pro-Kurdish group, also viewed with hostility by Turkey. The attack killed 32 people and injured over 100. The attack also prompted tighter border controls in an area patrolled by the Turkish security forces. In an exchange of fire over the Turkey-Syria border, one Turkish non-commissioned officer was killed (the first Turkish casualty by IS fire) along with one IS fighter.

 

That was the end of Turkey's silent, peaceful cohabitation with the jihadists next door. The Turkish military said it sent fighter jets to bomb IS positions in northern Syria. Turkey also, for the first time, joined the allied forces fighting IS, by agreeing to allow, after several months of negotiations, the US military to use the critical Incirlik air base in southern Turkey for air strikes against IS targets.

 

Then came police raids against IS targets inside Turkey. Suddenly Turkey, a NATO member, was in an all-out war against IS, inside and outside Turkey. But in an embarrassing reality, the crackdown on IS targets in Turkey revealed how jihadists have enjoyed official protection over the past several years. In one raid, for instance, the Turkish police targeted an Istanbul apartment where it (unsurprisingly) found 30 foreign fighters waiting to be dispatched into Syria to fight their jihad alongside their IS comrades. The police also detained hundreds of "IS members or sympathizers" in raids across Turkey. The IS men must have been shocked at the unexpected hostility they faced from Turkish security forces, something they probably had not seen before.

 

But of all the detainees, two names were more revealing than the other, less-known ones. One was Abdullah Abdullaev, an Azeri jihadist, believed to be one of the IS leaders in Turkey. Abdullaev is the man who ran a network that received, provided safe houses for, and dispatched a large number of jihadists into Syria to augment the jihad there. Ironically, Abdullaev had successfully avoided coming onto the Turkish security's radar — a real miracle — until one IS cell with no real vision decided to bomb a pro-Kurdish meeting in a small Turkish town. Then it attacked Turkish troops. Then Turkey attacked both IS in Syria and pro-independence Kurds in Iraq. Similarly, three pro-IS websites operating in Turkey were abruptly blocked, on court orders. Just like the detained IS operatives, the websites had been free to operate inside Turkey, until the first direct combat between Turkey and IS.

 

And then there is the curious case of "Ebu Hanzala." Ebu Hanzala is in fact the nom de guerre of the Turkish national, Halis Bayancuk. In 2008, the Turkish Hanzala, Bayancuk the believer, was caught by the police as he was sketching plans to bomb a synagogue in Turkey. Mysteriously, he was released one year later. In 2014, he was briefly arrested again at a pro-Al-Qaeda meeting in Van, an eastern Turkish province bordering Iran. Also in 2014, he publicly declared that he wanted Islamic shariah law in Turkey. Bayancuk also declared his commitment to IS in a series of video tapes he released. He even had a Twitter account under the name "Ebu Hanzala." Without the bomb attack against the pro-Kurdish party, Bayancuk would most probably still be a free man, fighting for jihad and organizing some of the traffic on Turkey's jihadist highway, under the discreet surveillance of the same police officers who detained him when they wanted to.

 

It is good news that Turkey is cracking down on jihadists across the country. But questions remain: How, so spontaneously, were the Turkish police able to find the safe house where jihadists were waiting to be shipped to Syria? How did they immediately find and detain Messrs Abdullaev and "Ebu Hanzala?" Why did they let them go free before? It is nice of Turkey to ban the three pro-jihad and pro-IS websites, but why did the Turkish court not shut them down before? Why, specifically, did the Turks let Ebu Hanzala go free, despite his proven links with terrorism and specifically with organizations such as al-Qaeda and IS? Why was he released shortly after he was detained in each case? Finally, Turkey is fighting what the entire civilized world views as a brutal jihadist organization. But the way Turkey fights the Islamic State reveals how friendly it may have viewed the group until now.                                                          

                                                                       

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AMERICA’S FRIENDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE ITS ENEMIES                                                                           

George Jonas                                             

National Post, June 27, 2015

 

Fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is no picnic. America’s allies in the Middle East are often nothing but couriers delivering American arms to America’s enemies. The drill is for the U.S. to equip an Arab “ally” with up-to-date weaponry, only to have its warriors promptly retreat, abandoning their latest military hardware in the field, sometimes before uncrating it. Shipping arms directly to ISIL could achieve the same result at less cost, not to mention less humiliation.

 

Iraq’s army made sure by a series of hasty withdrawals that ISIL could acquire the most advanced equipment of the 21st century for its quest to recreate the 11th century, featuring the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordóba, or something similar. If it had been America’s aim to assist ISIL in this endeavor, it could have done no better. The Obama-administration’s policy, insofar as it had one, was to arm those afraid to stand up to the barbaric revivalists of the Middle Ages, while refusing to have anything to do with forces that might actually have resisted ISIL, such as the Shia militias of the region.

 

In defence of the Obama-presidency, it only shares the error of previous presidencies in this respect. America’s reluctance to ship arms to where they may do some good is understandable – in part. The Iran-sponsored Shia groups may fight Sunni ISIL to the death, but they’re no friends of America or Western-style democracy. The Islamist theocracy they would like to see triumph in the region is every bit as medieval as the Caliphate of ISIL, except it may, in addition, become nuclear-powered if the ayatollahs of Tehran have their way.

 

There has never been any good reason not to assist the Kurds, however. Yet the West hadn’t done so until it became a matter of too little, too late. Fear of secession? A functional and friendly Kurdistan would benefit the region much more than a dysfunctional and hostile Iraq. The great poet of the British raj, Rudyard Kipling, warned about fools who try to hustle the East, and there’s little doubt that in the 20th century the Western powers have been such fools. The most foolish thing was their belief that in modern times they can have the benefits of empire without paying its costs. They didn’t so much hustle the East as they hustled themselves.

 

In fairness, they were not such fools as to take sides in the ancient Sunni-Shia schism that divides the house of Islam, only fools enough to think that in our times it no longer mattered. We are now discovering that in a large, densely populated and resource-rich part of the world, just about nothing else matters as much. As a recent BBC program described it, “Members of the [Sunni and Shia] sects have co-existed for centuries and share many fundamental beliefs and practices. The differences lie in the fields of doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organization. Their leaders also often seem to be in competition.”

 

This is an understatement, even by British standards. Shia and Sunni leaders could gag each other with a spoon (as Valley girls used to say in the 1970s) and their explosively pious disciples have been blowing up their heretic co-religionists’ markets and mosques with monotonous regularity. Under the tyranny of the late Saddam Hussain, the minority Sunnis in Iraq oppressed and sometimes massacred the majority Shia, and since Saddam’s departure at the end of a noose, the Shia have been trying to repay the Sunnis in kind, as much as an American-imposed system of mock-democratic multiculturalism let them.

 

Though not such fools as to take sides in the schism, the Americans tended to walk on the Sunni side of the street. Although a minority in Iraq, Sunnis constitute the overwhelming majority in the Islamic world, amounting to over 85% of all Muslims. In Persia, though, better known as Iran since the 1930s — and as the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979 — the Shia and their Islamic revolutionary clerics predominate. Iran is also well on its way to add to its arsenal the Islamic Bomb, and with it a chance to contest the hegemony of the region. Persian descendants of Xerxes the Great are no friends of the self-proclaimed successors of the Arab Caliphate. Needless to say, neither are friends of the West.

 

The conservative and wealthy Sunni rulers of the five Gulf states could be America’s natural allies — and, indeed, that’s what they are on paper — except they’re under the sway of Wahhabism, another fanatical strand in the fabric of Sunni Islam. Osama bin Laden had been a Saudi and so were the terrorists of 9/11. Clifford D. May, president of the American think tank FDD (Foundation for Defense of Democracies) quotes a recent article in the National Interest that highlights “how leaders from all five Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchies — the Saudi king in particular — have promoted a [Wahhabi] preacher who propagates intolerance toward other religions, for instance proclaiming that Osama bin Laden died “with more sanctity and honour in the eyes of Allah than any Christian, atheist, or Jew.” Just one tiny example, but it’s telling. With friends like this in the Middle East, America needs no enemies.

 

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On Topic

                                                                                                        

British PM's Speech Specific About Radical Islamist Threat: IPT News, July 20, 2015—British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a remarkable and powerful speech Monday on combatting radical Islamist extremism, a topic many other Western leaders including President Obama avoid tackling head on.

Obama’s Disturbing Pattern of Playing Down Islamic Terror: Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post, July 20, 2015 —Give the president this much: At least he didn’t call the Chattanooga, Tenn., shooting workplace violence. Speaking from the Oval Office just hours after the attack, President Obama did not once use the word “terrorism” in relation to the assault by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez on military sites in Chattanooga.

Tackling Islamism, Post-Chattanooga: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, July 21, 2015—It has been almost a week since the Chattanooga terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez issued the equivalent of an Islamic declaration of war on America in a text message before killing four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer.

Anti-Terror Tactics Targeting Muslim Leaders Provoking Tensions in Kenya: Geoffrey York, Globe & Mail, July 2, 2015—When the Kenyan government shut down the Musa mosque for “radicalizing” its followers, local officials searched in vain for someone to take over the mosque. Finally they appointed a nearby real-estate agent, who recruited an 18-year-old high-school student as the imam.