For the Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough writes: The al Qaeda-linked army now conquering territory in Syria and Iraqultimately wants its emerging Islamic state to be a launching pad for attacking the U.S. homeland, says a new congressional report.
“Several leading representatives of the U.S. intelligence community have stated that [ISIL] maintains training camps in Iraq and Syria, has the intent to attack the United States and is reportedly recruiting and training individuals to do so.”
Four analysts at the Congressional Research Service made that assessment, citing intelligence reports and the words of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“It already has many hundreds of jihadists with Western nation passports. Those battle-proven jihadists will eventually return to their Western homelands to carry on the jihad using the violent ways learned in Syria and Iraq.”
The CRS report, delivered to members of Congress, makes the point that ISIL is a well-organized, well-funded terrorist group with definite goals to take territory and kill people it considers nonbelievers.
“Several leading representatives of the U.S. intelligence community have stated that [ISIL] maintains training camps in Iraq and Syria, has the intent to attack the United States and is reportedly recruiting and training individuals to do so,” says the June 20 report. Read the rest of this entry »
Rowan Scarborough reports: Questions haunt the families of Extortion 17, the 2011 helicopter mission in Afghanistan that suffered the most U.S. military deaths in a single day in the war on terrorism.
The investigative file made available to The Washington Times show that the helicopter’s landing zone was not properly vetted for threats nor protected by gunships, while commanders criticized the mission as too rushed and the conventional Chinook chopper as ill-suited for a dangerous troop infiltration.
Every day, Charlie Strange, the father of one of the 30 Americans who died Aug. 6, 2011, in the flash of a rocket-propelled grenade, asks himself whether his son, Michael, was set up by someone inside the Afghan government wanting revenge on Osama bin Laden’s killers — SEAL Team 6.
“Somebody was leaking to the Taliban,” said Mr. Strange, whose son intercepted communications as a Navy cryptologist. “They knew. Somebody tipped them off. There were guys in a tower. Guys on the bush line. They were sitting there, waiting. And they sent our guys right into the middle.”
Doug Hamburger’s son, Patrick, an Army staff sergeant, also perished when the CH-47D Chinook descended to a spot less than 150 yards from where armed Taliban fighters watched from a turret. Read the rest of this entry »