Posted: December 15, 2015 Filed under: Religion, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Raqqah, Barack Obama, Caliphate, Islam, Islamic state, Joe Biden, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, Syria, United States
Within minutes of the news of the bomb scare in LA, ISIS supporters created a web forum titled ‘Panic in the American Los Angeles.’
“Allah Akbar, closure of all the school in Los Angeles because of threats. 640,000 returned to their homes, Oh God, increase their panic!!”
Within minutes of news of the closure, ISIS loyalists created a thread on an online forum with the title “Panic in the American Los Angeles,” Vocativ’s deep web analysis found. Islamic State adherents are using the thread to gloat about the panicked response—though none so far have taken credit for the attack.
“Thanks God, they are panicked of everything. The soldiers of the Caliphate will look after you until the world will be under the rule of Allah,” wrote one supporter. Another responded with, “Oh God, never make them safe. Put panic in their hearts.”
Another ISIS supporter took to Twitter to comment on the school closings in Los Angeles. “The city of Los Angeles is closing schools and vital areas because of the security threat. Oh God, destroy the worshipers of the cross,” the tweet, written by someone who identifies himself as Ali al-Baghdadi, reads. On another ISIS-friendly Twitter feed that is regarded as an unofficial arm of the ISIS propaganda machine, an ISIS supporter celebrated the fact that nearly 650,000 kids were sent home from school. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 26, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Global, Terrorism, Think Tank, War Room, White House | Tags: al Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Hillary Clinton, Islamic state, Lloyd Austin, Syria, Syrian opposition, The Weekly Standard, United States Central Command
This is a scandal. And those involved believe that it reaches into the White House.
Stephen F. Hayes writes: Barack Obama says he wants the truth. On November 21, the New York Times reported allegations that military intelligence officials provided the president with skewed assessments that minimized the threat from ISIS and overstated the success of U.S. efforts against the group. The Times story was an update of reporting from the Daily Beast earlier this fall. “More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials,” the Beast reported in September. These analysts say their superiors regularly massaged pessimistic assessments to make them more upbeat before sending them up the chain of command. The analysts registered their grievances with the inspector general at the Pentagon, who is investigating their claims.
[Read the full story here, at The Weekly Standard]
Obama was asked about this investigation at a press conference on November 22. The president said he doesn’t know the details of the allegations. But he added: “What I do know is my expectation, which is the highest fidelity to facts, data—the truth.”
“We were certainly blocked from seeing all the documents, and we were given limited time and resources to exploit the ones we had.”
— Michael Pregent, a DIA analyst on the CENTCOM team
The allegations are serious. We’re told by sources with knowledge of the investigation that the analysts who made them knew well in advance they’d be filing an official complaint. So they were ready when they did, providing the IG with extensive documentation—going back more than a year—to support their claims.
In this May 19, 2007, file photo, a portion of the new U.S. embassy under construction is seen from across the Tigris river in Baghdad. In 2014, by contrast, CIA officers have been largely hunkered down in their heavily fortified Baghdad compound since U.S. troops left the country in 2011, current and former officials say, allowing a once-rich network of intelligence sources to wither. (AP Photo)
Why were they so well prepared?
Among other reasons: They’d seen such pressures before, up close. And they understood that by formalizing their complaints they would be challenging not their immediate superiors alone but in some important respects an entire system that had encouraged analysts and other national security officials to downplay the jihadist threat.
“The obvious question: Why would the president’s National Security Council intervene to block access to the bin Laden documents for analysts from the DIA and CENTCOM—analysts who are providing intelligence to those on the frontlines of America’s battle with jihadists?”
The current storm over ISIS intelligence is not a new controversy, though most of the media are treating it as such. It’s better understood as an installment in a long-running scandal that extends beyond CENTCOM in Tampa, into the upper reaches of the U.S. intelligence community and perhaps into the White House.
James Clapper, director of national intelligence
“After a bitter interagency dispute, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, allowed analysts from CENTCOM and the Defense Intelligence Agency to have time-limited, read-only access to the documents. What they found was fascinating and alarming.”
Readers of this magazine are familiar with the story of the documents obtained in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Sensitive Site Exploitation team on the raid collected more than a million documents—papers, computer hard drives, audio and video recordings. Top Obama administration officials at first touted the cache as the greatest collection of terrorist materials ever captured in a single raid and boasted that the contents would fill a “small college library.”
[Read the full text here, at The Weekly Standard]
An interagency intelligence team, led by the CIA, conducted the initial triage—including keyword searches of the collection for actionable intelligence. And then, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials with firsthand knowledge of the controversy, the documents sat largely untouched for as long as a year. The CIA retained “executive authority” over the documents, and when analysts from other agencies requested access to them, the CIA denied it—repeatedly.
The house where Osama bin Laden was finally hunted down. SAEED SHAH — MCT
“What they found was fascinating and alarming. Much of what these analysts were seeing—directly from Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders—contradicted what the president and top administration officials were saying publicly.”
After a bitter interagency dispute, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, allowed analysts from CENTCOM and the Defense Intelligence Agency to have time-limited, read-only access to the documents. What they found was fascinating and alarming. Much of what these analysts were seeing—directly from Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders—contradicted what the president and top administration officials were saying publicly. While drone strikes had killed some senior al Qaeda leaders, the organization had anticipated the U.S. decapitation strategy and was flourishing in spite of it; bin Laden remained intimately involved in al Qaeda decision-making and operational planning; the relationship between al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban remained strong despite the Obama administration’s attempts to weaken it by negotiating with Taliban leaders; al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran, while uneven and fraught with mutual distrust, was far deeper and more significant than U.S. intelligence assessments had suggested.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 27, 2015 Filed under: Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Assassination of George Tiller, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Bill (law), Campaign finance, Capital punishment, Libertarian Party (United States), Ron Paul, United States
…To see which states have the most libertarians, I use six measures: Libertarian Party presidential vote share in 2008 and 2012, Ron Paul contributions as a share of personal income in 2007-8, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson contributions as a share of income in 2011-12, and “adjusted” Ron Paul primary vote share in 2008 and 2012. Ron Paul vote shares are adjusted for primary vs. caucus, calendar, number of other candidates, and the like.
This is no guarantee that laws and policies in your new digs will be to your liking (for that, look here). But you might find some new friends who will gripe about them with you…(read more)
Posted: February 4, 2015 Filed under: Think Tank, War Room | Tags: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Raqqah, Capital punishment, Chris Kyle, Clint Eastwood, Iraq, Iraq War, Jordan, Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, United States
Vindicating Chris Kyle
Islamic State proves Kyle was right about the ‘savage’ enemy
“Savage, despicable evil. That’s what we were fighting in Iraq.” Those were among the words the late Chris Kyle, of “American Sniper” fame, used to describe the enemy he and fellow veterans of the Iraq war faced. After seeing images this week of Islamic State jihadists murdering a caged Jordanian pilot by burning him alive, can there be any real doubt that Kyle was right?
“The kidnappers then tied the Egyptian’s hands behind his back and asked him to state his name. . . . After complying, he was about to apologize for his acts, but a man gave a sign to the ‘executioner’ standing behind the hostage, who grabbed the man’s tongue and cut it off, stating that the time for excuses was past.”
We say this as a corner of liberal America has fallen over itself denouncing Clint Eastwood ’s blockbuster biopic of Kyle, who was killed in 2013 by a deranged Marine veteran. HBO’s Bill Maher called him a “psychopath patriot,” and other Hollywood action heroes like Michael Moore have weighed in similarly. Their view is that Kyle must have been inhumane since he killed scores of enemy fighters without being burdened by a guilty conscience.
“After seeing images this week of Islamic State jihadists murdering a caged Jordanian pilot by burning him alive, can there be any real doubt that Kyle was right?”
Yet the kind of butchery that Islamic State likes to advertise via YouTube was the reality Iraqis routinely faced when the Islamic State’s forbear, al Qaeda in Iraq, terrorized entire cities and towns during the height of the Iraq war. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 9, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Andrew C. McCarthy, Barack Obama, Charlie Hebdo, France, Islamic state, Islamism, Middle East, Muhammad, Muslim, Syria, Western world
“What is so important about this is the origin of the four killers, the brothers and the couple. They were born in France. I think we’re now in sort of the third stage of the jihadist war against us.”
He laid out the sequence: “The first [stage], of course, is 9/11 — all of the attackers were from the middle east. And then, for the last year or two, we have seen the ‘lone wolf’ attacks — usually homegrown, but fairly unstable and one-on-one, and it looks as if fairly disorganized or acting out of inspiration, but not on instruction or with training. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 9, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Religion, War Room | Tags: al Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Bernard Cazeneuve, Charlie Hebdo, Freedom of speech, French language, Islamic terrorism, Islamism, Minister of the Interior (France), Paris, Yemen
Chris Morris reports on from Dammartin-en-Goele where police have surrounded the warehouse
French police have surrounded a building in a northern town where two Islamists suspected of the Charlie Hebdo massacre have taken a hostage.
Holed up in a small printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) from Paris, the gunmen reportedly said they were prepared to die.
Shots were fired during a high-speed car chase earlier on Friday, the third day of the manhunt for the attackers.
Twelve people were shot dead and 11 injured in Wednesday’s attack.
The suspects, two brothers linked by intelligence officials to militant groups, shouted Islamist slogans during the shooting and then fled Paris in a hijacked car, heading north.
It appears that on Friday they hijacked another car in the town of Montagny-Sainte-Felicite before travelling on to Dammartin.
The car’s owner recognised them as brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, the key suspects.
In a televised statement Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed the men being sought on Friday were those wanted for the Charlie Hebdo attack and said they would be “neutralised”.
In another development, a police source said there was a connection between the Charlie Hebdo attack and the shooting of a policewoman in Paris on Thursday.
The suspects have been surrounded in a small printing business named CTD, a source close to the investigation told AFP news agency.
This Google Streetview image shows the printing business where the hostage has been taken
Officials from the town council say pupils from three schools are being evacuated to a nearby gymnasium, where they will be reunited with their parents.
An interior ministry official said there had been no deaths or injuries on Friday, as reported by some media.
Christelle Alleume, who works near CTD in Dammartin, said a round of gunfire had interrupted her morning coffee break.
“We heard shots and we returned very fast because everyone was afraid,” she told French broadcaster iTele. “We had orders to turn off the lights and not approach the windows.”
People in the area say police helicopters began arriving around 08:45 (07:45 GMT) followed by convoys of armed officers. Sharpshooters could be seen taking up position on rooftops.
Read the rest of this entry »