Sun TV: Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the Islamic War on Free Speech

Last night on my regular weekly appearance on Michael Coren’s Sun TV show, I discussed the cowardice of Brandeis University in dropping an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali under pressure from the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations. Guest-hosting for Michael was Faith Goldy.

Video courtesy AlohaSnackbar01.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/T5pEgvsAkg8[/youtube]

 

 

honor diaries poster

To visit the Honor Diaries website and view the trailer click on the image.

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Obama’s Chickens Have Come Home

In a March 26, 2014 article for The Jerusalem Post, titled Column One: Campus Brownshirts Rising, writer Caroline Glick reports on the efforts of Vassar College Earth sciences professor Jill Schneiderman’s abortive attempt to arrange a field trip to Israel to study water supply issues in the Holy Land.

The trouble started when Professor Schneiderman conducted a pre-trip seminar for students who intended to participate in the field trip to Israel.  When the Vassar student chapter of an anti-Semitic hate group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), picketed her seminar, pressuring Earth science students to drop Schneiderman’s class and to forego any plans to travel to Israel, Schneiderman complained to Vassar college administrators, seeking redress for her students whose civil rights and academic freedom were under attack by the SJP.

Instead of taking action against the thuggish actions of the pro-Palestinian students, college administrators once again demonstrated the sort of cowardice that has become so common among college and university administrators across the country.  They referred the issue to the college’s Committee on Inclusion and Excellence.  But when those vested with the responsibility for “inclusion and excellence” at Vassar convened to discuss the anti-Semitic outrage, Professor Schneiderman was, as she noted in her blog, “knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to vilifying anyone who dared set foot in Israel.”

As Schneiderman and her Vassar students proceeded with plans for their trip to Israel, the University of Michigan student government was voting on a motion to suspend debate, indefinitely, on a resolution submitted by an anti-Jewish student group, calling upon the University to boycott and divest from all companies that do business with Israel… precipitating yet another confrontation in which Jewish interests came in second to the interests of Muslims on a traditionally liberal college campus.

According to the Jerusalem Post, a Michigan students group, calling itself Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), “responded with rage and violence,” staging sit-ins at the student government offices and cursing Jewish members of the council, hurling epithets such as “kike” and “dirty Jew.”

Then, on Thursday, March 27, 2014, fascism reared its ugly head on the Dearborn campus of the University of Michigan.  On that evening the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was successful in blocking the screening of a documentary film, titled Honor Diaries.  The film tells the story of the unspeakable horrors endured by women throughout the Muslim world, including such brutal practices as female genital mutilation, honor violence, honor killings, the forced marriage of eight and nine year old girls to thirty and forty-year-old men, the lack of educational opportunities for women, and restrictions on their freedom of movement.

However, according to a Fox News report, CAIR wasn’t doing its own dirty work, or even its own research.  The group relied on facts and arguments presented by Richard Silverstein, a liberal blogger who argued, “One has to ask why a film about the purported abuse of Muslim women was produced by Jews… ”  In other words, how could a group of Jews possibly produce a film that profiles human rights abuses against Muslim women?  It flies directly in the face of Muslim sensibilities… the truth of the matter be damned.

In the end, those who sponsored the screening of the film were fearful that the showing would be seen as “Islamophobic.”  Wishing not to offend the Islamic community… and perhaps in fear of violent retribution… university administrators canceled the screening, proving once again that intimidation works.  But, as the Fox report asks, “Who is being offended when we are talking about mutilation and women setting themselves on fire to escape marriage before puberty?”

Then, just days later, the April 9, 2014 edition of Frontpage Magazine reported that Brandeis University, a longtime bastion of liberal orthodoxy, had conferred an honorary degree on leftist anti-Semitic writer, Amos Oz, who has described religious Jews as “Hezbollah in a skullcap.”  Brandeis is the very same “progressive” institution which yielded to pressure from Muslim Brotherhood front groups, such as CAIR and the Muslim Students Association, causing the university to withdraw a similar honor intended for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a noted Somali critic of Islam and co-producer of the Honor Diaries film.

So what’s happening on our college and university campuses?  Haven’t the most liberal colleges and universities always been places where Jewish academics hold forth and children of Jewish families are prepared for lucrative careers in medicine, academia, and the law?

CarolineGlick

Caroline Glick

For answers we might refer to a February 1, 2014 Jerusalem Post article by Caroline Glick,  titled, Column one: The New York Times Destroys Obama.”  In that column, Glick quotes extensively from a Times report by David Kirkpatrick on Barack Obama’s handling of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.  Glick writes that Kirkpatrick “tore to shreds the foundations of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism strategy and his overall policy in the Middle East.”

Glick reminds us that “Obama first enunciated those foundations in his June 4, 2009 speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University.”  It was his first venture abroad as president and is best remembered for his warm embrace of Islam, for his unprecedented bow to the King of Saudi Arabia… described in the Washington Times as a “shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate”… and for the cold shoulder he delivered to Israel, America’s most steadfast ally.

The thought that a newly-inaugurated president of the United States would take a major overseas trip, passing within fifty miles of Israeli territory, and not pay a courtesy call on the Israelis… the only functioning democracy in the Middle East… was a snub of gargantuan proportions and a major diplomatic faux pas.  It was also a portent of things to come in the Obama foreign policy.

Reassuring his friends in the Muslim world of his belief that the violent extremists in the Muslim world were but a “small but potent minority of Muslims,” Obama went on to say that he had traveled to Cairo “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”  Instead, he asserted, “they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

The Israelis, listening to his words from less than 220 miles away, must have been shocked and dismayed to hear Obama refer to Islam… the most violent and intolerant force on the face of the Earth, where Christians, Jews, and others are brutally murdered and persecuted simply because they are not Muslims… as sharing American principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of human beings.

Then Obama went on to say that Islam had “carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment.  It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed… And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

It was then that he shocked Americans, describing how “Islam has always been a part of America’s story…”  He reassured Muslims that “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the (Sharia) laws, religion, or tranquility of Muslims.”  He claimed that, “since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.  They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch.  And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.”

So, if we wonder how radical Muslims have come to feel as if they are welcomed with open arms at our institutions of higher learning, and if we are wondering why Muslims feel as though they can shut down major portions of America’s busiest cities by holding prayer sessions in the middle of public thoroughfares, we may have struck on the answer.  It is Barack Obama who has set the stage and who has invited them to take full advantage of American tolerance and generosity.

Since the first day that Obama occupied the White House, he has extended the hand of friendship to the most brutal and intolerant people on the face of the Earth.  In doing so, he has denied the Judeo-Christian origins of our great nation.  He has caused the gloom of a declining culture to fall across the face of America; his chickens have come home to roost.

EDITORS NOTE: The features image is courtesy of S. Schofield and Watchdog Wire.

The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On

A new Henry Jackson Society Report – The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On – examines the ways in which the Arab Spring has affected the citizens of countries across the Middle East and North Africa, and assesses the impact on countries three years later.

The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On, launched today by The Henry Jackson Society, provides an urgently-needed examination of the impact of the Arab Spring uprisings. Surveying the economic, social, political and security arenas of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, the report finds that despite high hopes for democracy, human rights and long awaited freedoms, the overall situation on the ground is worse off than before the Arab Spring uprisings.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Economy: Libyan oil production has dramatically fallen by 80% as neighbouring Tunisia’s economy is now dependent on international aid. Egypt’s economy, suffering from a substantial decrease in tourism, has hit its lowest point in decades, at the same time Yemen’s rate of poverty is at an all-time high.
  • Democracy: Whereas Tunisia has been progressing towards reform, Libya’s movement towards democracy has failed with militias now effectively controlling the state. Egypt remains politically highly-unstable and polarized, as Yemen’s botched attempts at unifying the government has left many political schisms.
  • Social: Egypt’s human rights, especially those of women and minorities, have deteriorated to the point of regular physical attack; in Libya, arbitrary detention, torture and attacks against religious groups have become common; and Yemen’s social freedoms have been ranked as progressively worse every year since the Arab Spring. Only Tunisia represents hope with a new constitution providing freedom of press and increased rights for women.
  • Security: Extremist and fundamentalist activity is rising in all surveyed states, with a worrying growth in terror activities across the region: Tunisia has suffered from an unheard number of terror attacks from al-Qaeda; Libya‘s southern provinces have been taken over by jihadist groups; Egypt has seen a spread of insurgent activity in the Sinai as well as the state’s capital; and in Yemen, the influence of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the north is expanding, leading to confrontation with government troops.

Olivier Guitta, Research Director at the Henry Jackson Society and co-author of the report, said:

“Contrary to popular perception, there is insufficient analysis of the impact of the Arab Spring revolutions on the lives of those it most directly affected.  This report presents an accurate picture of what is actually happening, providing Western states with a deeper understanding of the security threats coming out of these countries.”

Download the full report here

Mr. Kerry’s Blame Game

In the annals of the entirely predictable, the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations must stand very high. Who could not have predicted this? That the talks would fail and that Israel would get the blame.

Earlier this week, testifying in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry finally got there. He said that both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides bore responsibility for ‘unhelpful’ actions in stalling the progress of talks. But – and the ‘but’ is the most predictable bit of all – the event which he claimed to have led to the stalling is Jewish settlement in parts of Jerusalem. Kerry said of the Israeli building, “Poof, that was sort of the moment. We find ourselves where we are.” Which makes us have to ask, where else but ‘where we are’ did Mr Kerry ever think he’d find himself?

We have commented here before that the frenetic activity by Mr Kerry – the continuous trips to Israel, the clocking-up of air miles in lieu of an actual policy was a bad sign. It signalled two things. Firstly, that Kerry thought by all this activity he might actually solve the Israeli-Palestinian border dispute. And secondly, that this problem – of all problems – was the one which demanded most of his time. Not the massacring of hundreds of thousands of people in Syria. Not Iran, whose Supreme Leader said again this month that the Holocaust didn’t happen while other members of the regime boasted about how close they have come to nuclear capability. No, the issue which he claims to be the most important is the long defunct paradigm of the Israeli-Palestinian border dispute being the ‘key’ to unlocking every problem of the Middle East, and that the bar to solving that ‘key’ issue is Israeli building policy.

What is so disturbing in all this is what any fair observer must surely see is going. In the same period as that which Mr Kerry is talking about, the Palestinian Authority chose to unilaterally apply for membership in more than a dozen international institutions and treaties. Mahmoud Abbas chose to reach out to the Hamas leadership in the Gaza. He – the Palestinian ‘leader’ – continued to refuse to recognise the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. And the Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub declared on the official PA TV channel that Hitler “could have learned” from Israel “about the concentration camps, the extermination camps.” This is just to note a few of the more salient facts.

This, we would submit, is where the problem lies. Blame for the break-down of talks does not rely on a 2014 building decision on the Israeli side. It lies on a 1948 decision which has still not been reversed on the Palestinian side.

But the problem really starts from now. For now that the Secretary of State has blamed Israel for the breakdown of talks, it will be time for the next wholly predictable stage in this game. America has blamed Israel. Now it must punish Israel. And in the form of the EU and other allies, it finds entities willing and eager to begin that process.

Read the Henry Jackson Society Report: The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On

Intimidation: CAIR opposes Omaha’s Tri-Faith Initiative

In August 2011, we wrote about the benighted Tri-faith Initiative, a complex serving a small Episcopal parish, a Reform Jewish Temple and a Mosque. The complex was to be developed on the grounds of what was a Jewish country club where the oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet was a member.  The title of our post, “Omaha’s Tri-Faith Project is Not Kosher” was a send up on a quip by Connecticut Jewish Ledger publisher Rick Greenfield who commented:  “when I see the word Tri Faith…I think of traif (not Kosher)”.  Rabbi Jonathan Hausman opined:

Let’s see if I understand this situation. Reform synagogue teams up with mainline Protestant church with dwindling attendance to provide cover for the inevitable zoning issues and protests that will ensue regarding construction of a mosque. Just perfect.

Research by a local ACT! chapter leader revealed funding of the Islamic Center of Omaha mosque by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) a Muslim Brotherhood front.  Rabbi Hausman commented on what the non-Muslim Tri-Faith partners should address:

Who will sit on the mosque’s board, who will serve as officers, what links do/did/will these individuals have? What organizations have such people supported in the past (e.g. American Task Force for Palestine, ISNA, CAIR and other proven MB front groups)?

Today’s Daily Caller had confirmation of those suspected links. Dr. Mark Christian, a former Egyptian Muslim and Executive Director of the Global Faith Initiative in Omaha disclosed them in an updated article, “Omaha ‘Tri-Faith’ project has links to Muslim Brotherhood.”   See our NER Vimeo interviews with Dr. Christian, here. The DC article reported:

The first of these, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is a well-documented purveyor of Islamism, preaching the supremacy of Islam over not only all other religions, but all nations as well.

Their fellow-traveling co-conspirator, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has similarly well documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic supremacist organizations.

The Tri-Faith Initiative features links to both groups on their website, under the “Resources” and “Recommended Reading” tabs. Considering the security concerns presented by a post 9/11 world, these links are disturbing and warrant a discussion.

Dr. Mark Christian has called for the Tri-Faith Initiative to sever ties and disavow connections with all terror-linked Muslim groups.

Dr. Christian is an Egyptian-born convert to Christianity from Islam. His family’s ties to the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood go back to its founding, and his conversion to Christianity has earned him a fatwa of death, should he return to his home country.

Dr. Christian is hosting a pair of conferences in Omaha and Lincoln on the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the heartland, at which the lead presenter will be Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch and favored target of radical Muslims everywhere.

In one recent instance, a large radio station has canceled a previously scheduled interview with Dr. Christian and Mr. Spencer, claiming to have done so “on advice of legal counsel.”

This is the station that features Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin as the mainstays of their weekday programming. The largest radio station in the state has expressed interest in speaking with Mr. Spencer, but only if the Tri-Faith Initiative remains undiscussed.

CAIR has been tweeting and speaking against the planned conferences, labeling them “Islamophobic” despite having made no effort to determine their content.

The primary weapon employed by CAIR and ISNA is pre-emption by intimidation. The “co-conspirators” level charges of Islamophobia at the first sign of opposition. They threaten lawsuits and boycotts, doing a 21st-century version of shouting down their opposition.

Attempts to address the concerns raised over the clear links between CAIR, ISNA and the proposed Mosque, have been met with stony silence from the Jewish and Christian legs of this Tri-Faith stool.

[…]

All Dr. Christian has asked, is that the Mosque organizers eschew the support of, and affiliation with, CAIR and ISNA, as well as any other groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or terrorism.

Intimidation by CAIR in the American heartland amidst the myopia of mainstream Christians and Reform Jews with a MB Mosque partner in their Tri-Faith Initiative is a travesty of interfaith dialogue. We need look no further than CAIR’s media Jihad against the documentary Honor Diaries.  Now we have Brandeis University subjected to another CAIR MB attack that resulted in the university President cowardly rescinding a commencement honorary degree for former Muslim Somali American women’s rights advocate and noted author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

These represent a clear and present danger of Interfaith dialogue to free speech and the right to criticize a religion that intolerantly denigrates personal liberties and freedoms that are protected under our Constitution.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Russia told FBI in 2011 that Tsarnaev was “follower of radical Islam and a strong believer”

News about this new report is circulating as an exoneration of the FBI, as it is referred to explicitly in the last paragraph of this New York Times report. However, it is not really an exoneration at all. It is an attempt to displace blame for the FBI’s dropping the ball on watching Tamerlan Tsarnaev before the Boston Marathon jihad bombing from the FBI to the Russians. The problem with this attempt, however, is that while the report says that the Russians refused to give the FBI further information, it acknowledges that they told the feds that Tamerlan Tsarnaev “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer” and that he “had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”

Those “underground groups” could in this context only have been a reference to jihad groups. And so the Russians essentially told the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a jihadi, and that wasn’t enough for the FBI to keep him under close surveillance? They didn’t pursue watching him and his brother because they hadn’t “found anything substantive that ties them to a terrorist group.” The possibility that they could have pulled off a lone wolf jihad attack apparently didn’t occur to these intel experts.

The FBI clearly failed in this case and bears some responsibility for the Boston bombing, but ultimately the responsibility lies with Barack Obama and John Brennan, who made sure that agents would be abysmally ignorant of Islam and jihad when they scrubbed all mention of both from counterterror training — so how could the FBI properly evaluate what the Russians told them?

“Russia Didn’t Share All Details on Boston Bombing Suspect, Report Says,” by Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt for the New York Times, April 9:

WASHINGTON — The Russian government declined to provide the F.B.I. with information about one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that would most likely have led to more extensive scrutiny of him at least two years before the attack, according to an inspector general’s report.

Russian officials had told the F.B.I. in 2011 that the suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer” and that Mr. Tsarnaev “had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”

But after an initial investigation by the F.B.I., the Russians declined several requests for additional information about Mr. Tsarnaev, according to the report, a review of how intelligence and law enforcement agencies could have thwarted the bombing.

At the time, American law enforcement officials believed that Mr. Tsarnaev posed a far greater threat to Russia.

The new inspector general’s report found that it was only after the bombing occurred last April that the Russians shared with the F.B.I. the additional intelligence, including information from a telephone conversation the Russian authorities had intercepted between Mr. Tsarnaev and his mother in which they discussed Islamic jihad.

“They found that the Russians did not provide all the information that they had on him back then, and based on everything that was available the F.B.I. did all that it could,” said a senior American official briefed on the review.

Mr. Tsarnaev, who was killed attempting to elude the police, and his brother, Dzhokhar, are believed to be the sole suspects in the attack, which killed three people and injured more than 200 near the marathon’s finish line. The Justice Department said in January that it would seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Federal authorities have uncovered little evidence tying the brothers to an international terrorist organization. F.B.I. agents who traveled to Dagestan, a region in Russia’s North Caucasus where Tamerlan Tsarnaev went in 2012 during a particularly violent period there, found nothing that showed he received training or encouragement from terrorists.

“At this point it looks like they were homegrown violent extremists,” the senior official said. “We certainly aren’t in a position to rule anything out, but at this point we haven’t found anything substantive that ties them to a terrorist group.”

The report was produced by the inspector general of the Intelligence Community, which has responsibility for 17 separate agencies, and the inspectors general from the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. It has not been made public, but members of Congress are scheduled to be briefed on it Thursday, and some of its findings are expected to be released before Tuesday, the first anniversary of the bombings.

Its contents were described by several senior American officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report has not been publicly released.

The review is similar to an internal review the F.B.I. conducted after the bombing. In that review, the bureau found that its agents had been restrained from conducting a more extensive investigation because of federal laws and Justice Department guidelines that prevent them from using surveillance tools like wiretapping in investigations like those conducted on Mr. Tsarnaev before the bombings.

“Had they known what the Russians knew they probably would have been able to do more under our investigative guidelines, but would they have uncovered the plot? That’s very hard to say,” one senior official said.

While the review largely exonerates the F.B.I., it does say that agents in the Boston area who investigated the Russian intelligence in 2011 could have conducted a few more interviews when they first examined the information.

The report also recommends several steps it says the F.B.I. should take to more effectively share information with state and local authorities, the officials said. The F.B.I., which has worked with police chiefs from around the country over the past year on how it can better share information, has already adopted several of the recommendations, according to the officials.

When the F.B.I. disclosed shortly after the bombing that it had received information from the Russians, congressional Republicans and a few Democrats, including Representative William Keating of Massachusetts, criticized the bureau for not continuing to track him when he left to visit Dagestan and for not questioning him on his return in 2012.

“It’s people like this that you don’t want to let out of your sight, and this was a mistake,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “I don’t know if our laws were inefficient or if the F.B.I. failed, but we’re at war with radical Islamists, and we need to up our game.”

As part of its investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, F.B.I. agents examined his criminal and educational records and his Internet search history. They also interviewed him, his parents and people at his school. It was after those investigative efforts uncovered little that F.B.I. agents stationed in Moscow went back to the Russian authorities and requested any additional information they had on Mr. Tsarnaev, who immigrated to the United States from Dagestan a little more than a decade ago.

The exoneration of the F.B.I. stands in contrast to the findings of a similar investigation conducted after the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Tex., in which 13 people were killed. After the shooting, a former bureau director, William H. Webster, conducted a formal review of the investigation into the gunman, Nidal Malik Hasan, before and after the attack. That review said the F.B.I. had mishandled information garnered from intelligence, and it led to changes in the way the agency shares information.

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Brandeis University Capitulates to CAIR

Brandeis University has become the latest entity to capitulate to the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) campaign to silence critics of Islam.

In an open letter to Brandeis University, CAIR, using their typical ploy to silence critics, personally attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was to receive an honorary degree from Brandeis for her “work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls.”  In their letter, CAIR refers to Hirsi Ali as a “notorious Islamophobe” and compares honoring her with “promoting the work of a white supremacist.”

Somali-born Hirsi Ali was raised in a strict Muslim family and after surviving a civil war, genital mutilation, and beatings, fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape a forced marriage. As a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003-2006, she fought to raise awareness to the plight of Muslim women especially within Muslim immigrant populations. Hirsi Ali’s criticism of Islam and efforts to raise awareness to Islam sanctioned violence has resulted in death threats both abroad and in the United States.

For over a decade, Hirsi Ali has spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, “honor killings,” and applications of Sharia Law that justify beatings and rape. Her outspoken criticism of Islam was dubbed by CAIR as “anti-Muslim hate” and led Brandeis University President, Frederick Lawrence, to comment in an online statement that her criticisms were “inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) commented, “Last week the University of Michigan capitulated to CAIR, and this week it’s Brandeis.  Sadly, too many groups lack the moral courage to say “No” to CAIR.  And as long as CAIR’s bullying tactics work on some weak-kneed Americans, they will continue their efforts to silence the truth about Islam.”

Earlier this month, CAIR sent a similar letter laced with accusations of Islamophobia to the Greater Oakland County Republican Club in an effort to silence a speech by Thompson regarding the internal threat posed to America by Radical Islam. The Club, however, refused to cave-in to the ploy and the speech went on as planned.

CAIR’s targeting of Thompson stems from the fact that as a public interest law firm, TMLC, has led the fight against the internal threat posed by Radical Islam and Stealth Jihad in America.

In addition to their campaign to stifle free speech, CAIR was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial where the supposed charity and five of its organizers were found guilty by a federal jury of illegally funneling more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.  The FBI’s former chief of counterterrorism was quoted as saying, “CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.”

In support of Hirsi Ali Thompson said, “Brandeis may have caved-in to CAIR, but they will never be able to silence Ayaan’s message.”

Hirsi Ali released a statement regarding the decision to withdraw the honor saying, “What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The ‘spirit of free expression’ referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my critics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced. I regret that very much.”

RELATED VIDEO: Brandeis Univ Pulling Honor For Women’s Advocate – ‘The Kelly File’

[youtube]http://youtu.be/684u2WyNIQg[/youtube]

Brandeis Cancels Honorary Degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali at 2014 Commencement

AayanHirsiAli.jpg

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Tuesday evening Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence rescinded an honorary doctorate that was to be conferred on Somali American women human rights advocate and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the June 2014 Commencement.  He succumbed to outcries of Islamophobe and Fatwas from the Waltham, Massachusetts campus Muslim Students Association chapter supported by a letter signed by 86 members of the university’s Near Eastern and Judaic studies faculty.

Ali is currently embroiled in the lambasting by CAIR of the Clarion project film, Honor Diaries.   Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch political figure was  colleague of the late Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam by a Dutch Moroccan. She wrote the script for the short film, Submission about the oppression of women under Islamic Sharia doctrine.  Ali is the author of the acclaimed biographies, Infidel and Nomad.  She has been a vigorous opponent of political Islam’s totalitarian oppression of women’s human rights, and culture espousing female genital mutilation and honor shame killings.

Honor Diaries trailer:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9WijI2U7dKY[/youtube]

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, US correspondent for The Jewish Press, herself an honored graduate of Brandeis, Class of 1980, declared in an email:  “there is no justice for Hirsi Ali” at her alma mater. In her Jewish Press article, on this latest example of dhimmitude at Brandeis, she noted the campus furor that forced the decision of President Lawrence:

The Brandeis students issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Marcus noted:

The Facebook Page denouncing Ali and the decision to honor her at Brandeis’s 2014 Commencement decried her for her “hate speech.” The Muslim Students Association claimed that honoring her “is a direct violation of Brandeis University’s own moral code as well as the rights of all Brandeis students.”

Most chillingly, while the students acknowledged Ali had experienced “terrible things in her life,” their bottom line was “we will not tolerate an attack at our faith.”

And so they issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Brandeis University president Fred Lawrence echoed the students (and a large number of faculty members, including the Women’s Studies professors) in his statement:

Following a discussion today between President Frederick Lawrence and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s name has been withdrawn as an honorary degree recipient at this year’s commencement. She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.

Commencement is about celebrating and honoring our extraordinary students and their accomplishments, and we are committed to providing an atmosphere that allows our community’s focus to be squarely on our students. In the spirit of free expression that has defined Brandeis University throughout its history, Ms. Hirsi Ali is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.

In other words, Ali’s decades of devotion to helping women enslaved by misogynistic practitioners of the Muslim faith – who dominate the governments of Muslim countries – was neutered by the pronunciamento by students that they “would not tolerate an attack on [their] faith.” And in still other words, on American campuses criticism of religion – which has been a fixture of campus life – is no longer permitted. What words, what thoughts will be deemed unacceptable next?

This on a campus in leafy Waltham, Massachusetts established by secular Jewish interests in furtherance of one of America’s leading Supreme Court justices, Louis Brandeis. Brandeis was  a vigorous defender of free speech under the US Constitution,   He commented  in a 1913 Harper’s Weekly article saying , ”sunlight is  said  to be the best  of disinfectants”.

Marcus also noted the hypocrisy of a member of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department, posted on the Facebook page by Prof.  Bernadette Brooten, requesting withdrawal of the honorary doctorate for Ali, “a group of 86 faculty members has signed a letter to President Lawrence, asking him to rescind the invitation.”

Marcus noted that Brandeis had conferred honorary doctorates on anti-Israel Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tony Kushner (2006) and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2000). Tutu is an alleged anti-Semite who supporting the notorious Durban I and II UN Human Rights Conference accusing Israel of a Nazi –like occupation of the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, denying Palestinian statehood.

The withdrawal by force majeur of Muslim Students and supporting Brandeis faculty is the latest in a series demonstrating dhimmitude at the suburban Boston campus.  In a June 2006 Israpundit post, “Dhimmitude at Brandeis”, we wrote about the controversial honorary degrees conferred on Kushner and Jordan’s Crown Prince Hassan:

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Honors graduate of the Brandeis Class of 1980,  finally got her message out in an American Thinker article about the mindless and dangerous Brandeis partnership with al Quds University: “The Strange Partner of Brandeis.“ On top of this was the cancellation of a controversial Palestinian children’s art exhibit at Brandeis.

President Reinharz on the other hand was feeling the brunt of all this accumulated criticism when he cataloged his and the Brandeis University woes reflected in a letter exchange with Brandeis faculty captured in a Ha’aretz weblog commentary:

“As you may know, the university (i.e. the president’s office) has been under a steady barrage of complaints these last months… because of my defense of (1) Dr.Khalil Shikaki, a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, against uninformed allegations that he is a supporter of terrorists, (2) Al Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh… (3) Al Quds University itself in the face of the uninformed allegation… and (4) Mr. Tony Kushner, one of this year’s honorary degree recipients, who has been accused by some as being an enemy of Israel…”

As regards the taqiyyah in Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan’s acceptance speech at the 2006 Commencement, we wrote:

That was a backdrop to the sinuous sophistry spread by Prince Hassan of Jordan about religious universalism capsuled in his remarks about the “dear Moishe dear Ibn” correspondence of Maimonides and ibn Rushd in his Brandeis commencement address.

[…]

Prince Hassan persisted in misinforming his Brandeis commencement listeners that somehow, Maimonides, Averroes and St. Thomas Aquinas were intellectual “buddies.” A fiction. This all smacks of dhimmitude, the field of study pioneered by Bat Ye’or author of “Eurabia” concerning the subjugation of all infidels under the Islamic Shariah laws. All Brandeis trustees had to do to complete this transformation was to pay the jizya or “poll tax.”

So, if Muslim taqiyyah isn’t bad enough there is the EUrabian anti-Zionist mindset of students at the Brandeis Middle East Studies Crown Center program.

When the atrocities and barbarities of Islamofascist Ba’athist leader and monster, Saddam Hussein was discussed students said in rebuttal, “how can you chastise Saddam Hussein, when we have the monster Sharon.” This is moral equivalency of the most abysmal sort and patent pro-Palestinian propaganda.

In a controversial Brandeis student newspaper column by Matt Brown in April [2006] he complained about the university being “too Jewish.” This gave rise to accusations of “self loathing” by the Jewish community in a recent Boston Globe article entitled “A Question of Culture” by staff writer Sarah Schweitzer. I guess Brown would complain if Brandeis was a Jesuit university, right?

Our conclusion in the Israpundit 2006 post on the prior Brandeis Commencement episode seems prescient given what occurred last night with the withdrawal of the honorary doctorate for Hirsi Ali:

Perhaps the Brandeis trustees should change its name to something nondescript like Dhimmi U to complete the transformation. Then wouldn’t the late Supreme Court Justice, the iconic Louis Brandeis, whom President Reinharz referred to in his commencement exercise comments as “a Zionist and a proud Jew,” spin in his grave.

RELATED STORY: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “They Simply Wanted Me to be Silenced”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

The Antichrist Revealed

Since the early days of our world’s short history there have been debates on who the Antichrist is as mentioned in the Bible. I have given this some deep thought and although I am far from being a scholar on the Bible, I do believe I am a decent investigator.

Based on my experiences the vast majority of people believe the Antichrist is a person. There have been conspiracy theories that the Antichrist will be a person with such a character as to draw in billions of people to their fold. I suggest the true Antichrist has been around for approximately 1400 years and is not a person but rather an ideology.

This is the Islamic ideology. For centuries this evil ideology has brought billions to their knees in worshiping a belief that is based solely on deceit, hate, and violence. Could the Antichrist then be an ideology and not a person of flesh?

Allegedly the Antichrist will be so powerful that world leaders will bow to it. Are there not world leaders who bow to the Islamic ideology even though many are not Muslim? This ideology has had a magical hold on very intelligent (and some not so intelligent) people for centuries.

There is an abundance of evidence clearly showing the Islamic ideology is pure evil. We must remember Islam uses as their prime example of character and pureness a false prophet (Mohammed). The Islamic ideology does not hide the fact that Mohammed was a child rapist. Mohammed hated the Jews and Christians. This same hatred was taught 1400 years ago and in 2014 it is still being taught across the world.

Islamic leaders will tell you they respect Jesus Christ, but it doesn’t take any amount of digging to know Islam does not recognize Jesus as a Christian. The belief of Muslims is that Jesus was actually a Muslim even before the formal ideology of Islam was conceived.

James Neuman wrote:

” It is supposed that God created man in His own image. Prophet Muhammad did God one better. Muhammad created God in his own image and bestowed upon his god – Allah (the AntiGod) – his own characteristics, personality, desires and ambitions. Muhammad made up the Allah of the Quran (the AntiGod) and all the Quranic teachings to create a perfect totalitarian system. How could the word of God be challenged? Muhammad was Allah and Allah was Muhammad”

“Islam is a cesspool of literally thousands of teachings contained in the Quran and Sunna of ‘prophet Muhammad’ that amount to hate crimes.Just as Hitler laid the moral and intellectual foundation for the extermination of Jews in Mein Kampf,so Islam creates the moral, intellectual and religious justification for the various hate crimes of extermination, murder, torture, terrorization, looting, pillaging, rape and enslavement directed at “kaffirs” (non-Muslims), apostates from Islam, gays and kafir women and children”.

SUNNA OF EVIL PERFECTION

The following are a short-list of the evil Sunnah of Muhammad, recorded in the Hadiths of Bukhari:

  • Child sexual molestation and Pedophilia is Sunna in Islam.
  • Murder, even Mass Murder, is Sunna in Islam.
  • Extermination and ethnic cleansing of communities is Sunna in Islam.
  • Rape is Sunna in Islam.
  • Sex Slavery is Sunna in IslamBeheading is Sunna in Islam.
  • Stoning to death for sexual deviation is Sunna in Islam.Beating one’s wife is Sunna in Islam
  • Murdering Kafir children is Sunna in Islam.
  • Murdering Muslims’ own children is Sunna in Islam.
  • Murdering Jews is Sunna in Islam
  • Murdering Christians is Sunna in Islam
  • Slavery is Sunna in Islam
  • Booty is Sunna in Islam
  • Whipping is Sunna in Islam
  • Torture is Sunna in Islam
  • Terror is Sunna in Islam
  • Maiming is Sunna in Islam
  • Jihad is Sunna in Islam
  • Extortion is Sunna in Islam

The list goes on and on and there is little doubt that the Islamic ideology is the most evil of all evils.

“But in Islam, they represent the Sunnah, the sacred “path”. And quite desirably this is the Sunna that Muslim men were emulating at the Kenyan, Boston, World Trade Center and all the other Jihad massacres across the globe. Since the Muslim perpetrators of those Jihadi terror attacks were simply modeling their behavior on Muhammad, they are good, moral Muslims – not deviant fanatics. Far from the naïve thinking that their violence and intolerance are alien to inherently peaceful Islam, they are directly rooted in Muhammad’s example.The above catalogue of Muhammad’s evil Sunnah would obviate that he was among the rare instances of evil persons ever walked the earth, not the person of moral perfection as claimed by Allah. And when Allah picked such an “evil incarnate” as his best representative to mankind, then Allah could not be a loving and merciful creator of the Universe but a “Monster of Evil”.

I encourage readers to review some of the articles and books written by James Neuman.

Do we need more proof that the Islamic ideology is evil? If the Antichrist is not Islam itself, then God help us because I could never imagine anything more evil.

Can we defeat the Antichrist?

The Bible is the best reference to use to answer this question. Most people are waiting for an Antichrist to appear and then begin the fight to defeat it. It is my firm belief the Antichrist reared its ugly head 1400 years ago and we are far from defeating this evil, but at least the innocent people around the world should consider Islam as the true Antichrist.

In order to defeat any enemy one must first know who the enemy is.

RELATED STORIES:

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Accomplice? Boston jihad murderer’s widow refused to cooperate with FBI

Is Islam a race? Birmingham trial will tell

California politician who tried to broker arms deal for jihad group escapes terrorism charges

CAIR condemns Brandeis University for awarding a brave woman’s fight against Islamist honor violence

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on their members to condemn the faculty at Brandeis University for choosing to recognize Ayaan Hirsi Ali with an award for defending Muslim women against Islamist honor violence.   Their call to action email on this issue is posted at the bottom.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the Executive Producer of Honor Diaries and founder of the AHA Foundation. Honor Diaries is the first film to break the silence on honor violence.  In response to ongoing abuses of women’s rights, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her supporters established the AHA Foundation in 2007 to help protect and defend the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Brandeis University wrote regarding their decision to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

“Somali-born scholar and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali escaped an arranged marriage, receiving asylum in the Netherlands where she worked in factories and as a maid before earning her undergraduate and MA degrees in political science at Leiden University. Having received citizenship, she served as an elected member of the Dutch parliament from 2003-2006, where she focused on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and on defending the rights of Muslim women. She campaigned to raise awareness of violence against women, including honor killings and female genital mutilation. In 2004 she gained international attention following the murder of director Theo van Gogh, who worked with Ms. Hirsi Ali on her short film “Submission,” about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin left a death threat for her pinned to van Gogh’s chest. In 2006 she resigned from Parliament when the then Dutch minister for Immigration revoked her Dutch citizenship, a decision that was overturned by the courts and ultimately led to the fall of the government. Ms. Hirsi Ali is currently a Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Harvard Kennedy School and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.”

CAIR issued the following statement that Megyn Kelly of Fox News aired on March 31, 2014:  “American Muslims join people of conscience of all faiths in condemning female genital mutilation, forced marriages, ‘honor killings,’ and any other form of domestic violence or gender inequality as violations of Islamic beliefs. If anyone mistreats women, they should not seek refuge in Islam. The real concern in this case is that the producers of the film, who have a track record of promoting anti-Muslim bigotry, are hijacking a legitimate issue to push their hate-filled agenda.”  Click here for more on this from The National Review.

How can CAIR honestly be concerned about the victims of honor abuse perpetrated by Islamism when they are vigilantly trying to muzzle those who dare speak out against it?  Ironically, CAIR’s email (below) instructs their members to “Send polite comments” to the Brandeis University faculty while in the same breath CAIR intends to degrade Ayaan Hirsi Ali by calling her an Islamophobe.

CAIR has vigorously opposed laws in America that would forbid courts from considering Islamic Sharia law.  CAIR leaders have repeatedly defended well documented terrorist supporters.  Now CAIR is opposing brave women who speak out for other women that are abused and killed during Islamic honor rituals.

Let’s not allow CAIR’s Islamist position to be the only one heard by the faculty at Brandeis University.  Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to counter CAIR’s censure message that is going to Brandeis University faculty.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.

Click here to send your email to Brandeis University faculty to counter CAIR’s condemnation of awarding Ayaan Hirsi Ali. 

For contact information please click here.

Erdogan’s Radical Islamist Future for Turkey

Yesterday, Erick Stakelbeck , host of CBN’s On Terrorism  published  online an interview with  our colleague from the Middle East Roundtable series, Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President for Research at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies  (FDD).  Stakelbeck is the author of Muslim Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy; Schanzer,  The State of Failure:  Yasser Arafat,  Mahmoud Abbas and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State. The topic was Turkish Premier Erdogan’s Radical Agenda for an Islamist Turkey with Muslim Brotherhood allies Qatar and Hamas in Gaza.

We have written extensively on the roiling scandals that plagued Erdogan during his recent campaigning for municipal elections.   AKP victories in a number of municipal races on March 30th  have  fueled  his ambitions to seek the Presidency in June. That assumes  a basic constitutional law  change is passed  by the Ankara parliament where his AK party holds a super majority.  That change would transform the Turkish Presidency into a US or French Executive with broad powers.  If elected  that  would extend  Erdogan’s  tenure as Turkey’s government leader  by possibly  a decade  beyond his  11 years as  Premier. That might allow him, if the opposition continues fragmented, to perfect  a  Sunni neo-Ottoman Caliphate.  It could further embroil Turkey in a rancorous dispute with a former ally, ex-pat  Sufi Sheik Mohamed Fethulleh Gulen  in Pennsylvania.  This might result in the AK Party vanquishing the Gulen  Hizmat movement becoming the dominant Sunni Islamist government in the Middle East. That might present  significant  geo-political problems for the US  as  Turkey, a NATO member since 1952,  maintains  the alliance’s  largest armed force.

What Stakelbeck’s conversation with Schanzer focuses on it’s the record of Erdogan’s radical makeover of Turkey. Especially its involvement in financing  terrorism  in Gaza and, adjacent  Syria. That has been facilitated  through personal family relations with shadowy Saudi  Al Qaeda  terror financier Yassin  al-Qadi. Erdogan has provided a safe haven for Hamas operatives and transit points along the Syrian frontier for Islamist opponents of the Assad Regime.  It also assisted Iran’s evasion of  US and EU sanctions through a multi-billion dollar  illicit gold for gas scheme that some believe assisted in financing Iran’s nuclear development and ballistic missile programs. Erdogan has actively threatened Israel, most notably in  the Mavi Marmara incident with Israeli Naval commandos during the Free Gaza Flotilla in May 2010.

Here are excerpts from the CBN interview, “Downward Spiral: Erdogan’s Radical Makeover of Turkey”:

“You have to remember that the AKP — the Justice and Development Party in Turkey — is a spinoff of the Muslim Brotherhood,” explained Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). “This is an organization that is founded on Islamist principles.”

“Mr. Erdogan sees himself as an Islamist and a Turk first and foremost,” he told CBN News. “And so he’s synthesizing Turkish nationalism with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Erdogan and Hamas

Schanzer recently wrote an extensive report for FDD outlining Turkey’s role in financing terrorism.

Although designated a terror organization by the United States, Hamas leaders regularly meet with Erdogan.

Schanzer says that includes top Hamas operative Saleh al-Aruri, who enjoys safe haven in Turkey.

“He’s a military operative and he’s based in Ankara,” said Schanzer. “And he’s met with Erdogan. He’s met with [Hamas leader Khaled] Meshaal. And he continues apparently to be involved in fundraising and logistics on the part of Hamas.”

And Hamas isn’t the only questionable friend of Erdogan’s Turkey.

According to Schanzer, al Qaeda financier Yasin al-Qadi, a designated global terrorist, has visited often.

“We’re seeing reports that [al-Qadi] has been meeting with senior Turkish businessmen, Turkish officials,” he said. “That  he has been traveling in and out of Turkey without a visa and without a passport.”

A Hub for Jihad

Turkey has also become a key support hub and transit point for global jihadists traveling to neighboring Syria to battle the Assad regime.

“There are now multiple cities along the southeastern border of Turkey that appear to be safe havens for various jihadi groups,” Schanzer told CBN News.

“We understand that there are Gulf financiers who are operating there out of hotels, dispersing cash to some of these jihadis as they travel through.”

“We have seen multiple visits by Undersecretary of the Treasury [David S.] Cohen to Turkey,” said Schanzer. “You don’t visit Turkey if you’re the undersecretary of treasury for terrorism finance unless there’s a problem.”

Strained US Ties

President Barack Obama has enjoyed a close relationship with Erdogan.

Yet the Turkish prime minister’s radical turn has led bipartisan members of Congress and foreign policy experts to demand the White House hold Erdogan accountable for his anti-democratic actions.

“We’ve got early warning radar systems in Turkey, we’ve got Patriot missile batteries, we’ve got massive air bases, we’ve got investments,” said Schanzer. “And look, more broadly, the Turks have served as an important ally for us. If we lose that, I think it would be very detrimental to American foreign policy.”

Watch the CBN video of Stakelbeck interview with Schanzer:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Arrest of 25 Ukrainian Nationalists by Russian Security Forces is Evidence of an “Asymmetric Operation”

LONDON, April 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The tensions between Russia and Ukraine have dramatically increased as Russian security forces intercepted and detained 25 Ukrainian nationalists suspected of plotting sabotage acts and a major bombing campaign on the Russian mainland.

Professor Chris Bellamy

Professor Chris Bellamy

Professor Chris Bellamy, the leading military expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union monitoring these events, said: “Ultra-nationalists including the radical movement “Right Sector” within Ukraine may have seized on an opportunity to attempt to de-stabilise the region in the wake of the Crimea referendum. Such actions could increase tensions that already exist between NATO and its Allies with Russia if support for these factions continues and there are more sabotage and terrorist attempts made against Russia in the Rostov, Volgograd, Tver, Oryol and Belgorod regions.”

According to Russian news media reports, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has already charged the leader of “Right Sector” Dmitry Yarosh in absentia of criminal offences including plans to carry out terrorist and extremist activities on the Russian mainland. There are also reports that Yarosh had contacted the Chechen-based terrorist group leader Doku Umarov to help equip anti-Russian factions in the Ukraine with arms and ammunition.

“I would be surprised if such provocation would force the Russian Government to escalate the already tense situation that exists in the region. Russia has long faced terrorist threats, until now primarily connected with the Chechen issue, but these latest developments are worrying.

“Given the asymmetry of conventional military power between Ukraine and Russia it’s not at all surprising that factions in Ukraine might seek to undertake some sort of asymmetric – terrorist – operation.

“These events indicate there needs to be an urgent international peace conference in order for all sides to feel that their territorial integrity and security are recognised under international law. And steps to reduce the tension between Russia and Ukraine need to be taken in the short term to the satisfaction of all parties, rather than the escalation of tensions that fall directly into the hands of extremists,” observes Prof Bellamy.

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) immediately distanced itself from the terrorist incursion into Russia, but according to Prof Bellamy the move had classic hallmarks of a covert operation.

“It serves Ukraine’s interests to claim it faces imminent attack from Russia and that it may have to fight a guerrilla war. This latest episode is worrying as it demonstrates how extremist elements could influence military decisions taken by the Ukrainian Armed Forces with dubious chances of achieving their aims and objectives,” says Prof Bellamy.

SOURCE: The office of Ardafrevesh Kolah FCIPR

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo was taken by Spetsnaz Alpha and is of Alpha Group – an elite, stand-alone sub-unit of Russia’s special forces and is a dedicated counter-terrorism task-force of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Florida: Judge blasts FBI for failing to produce records on Saudi family in touch with 9/11 hijackers that fled U.S. just before 9/11

Why is the FBI dragging its feet and not producing the requested records about this wealthy Saudi family? (Pictured is the home they abandoned suddenly just before 9/11 — a sumptuous mansion in a Florida gated community.) Could someone high up be implicated in some illegal activity? Clearly something is happening here, and we don’t know what it is. I expect that if a comprehensive history of the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks is ever written, or ever could be written, it would contain more than a few surprises, if it revealed exactly why the U.S. government and the mainstream media has been so unanimously against facing the problem realistically and doing anything genuinely effective to defend basic principles of human rights, particularly the freedom of speech and the equality of rights of all people before the law. I expect it has more to do with stupidity than complicity, although in this particular case, there does seem to be more than a hint of a cover-up. In any case, I doubt that such a history will ever be written.

“Judge blasts FBI over Saudi family investigation,” by Michael Pollick for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, April 4 (thanks to Kenneth):

A federal judge on Friday chided the FBI for failing to produce records tied to a prominent Saudi Arabian family who seemed to abandon their Sarasota home suddenly just prior to the 9/11 terror attacks.

U.S. District Court Judge William Zloch ordered the FBI to conduct a much more thorough search than it had previously done and deliver all pertinent documents — uncensored — to him by April 18 for review.

The judge said the FBI must comply using its most advanced document search system, called Sentinel, to search for records pertaining to a year-and-a-half old Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the Fort Lauderdale news site Broward Bulldog. The Herald-Tribune Media Group joined the suit earlier this year as a “friend of the court.”

Under the judge’s order, the FBI also must search for documents related to the Saudi family, a home in Sarasota’s gated Prestancia subdivision and the investigation following the 2001 attacks using Sentinel and multiple other search systems.

The agency initially refused to search for the family’s names, claiming that would result in an invasion of privacy.

Judge Zloch ordered the FBI to also inform the court of any documented communications between it and other government agencies concerning the investigation.

That information, and an explanation of how the FBI is complying with the judge’s order, is due by June 6.The 23-page order Friday was Judge Zloch’s second in favor of the Bulldog and its editor, Dan Christensen.

In the latest order, Zloch takes the FBI to task for failing to exhaustively produce documents pertaining to the case.

He describes the agency’s initial search as “preemptively narrowed in scope based on agency decisions that categories of documents are exempt and thus, will not even be sought.”

He called one of the government’s characterizations of the Bulldog’s requests “literal to the point of being nonsensical.”

Tom Julin, the attorney for the Bulldog, praised the judge’s action.

“That is just exactly the kind of order a federal judge should render when the FBI refuses to acknowledge the existence of important documents like this,” Julin said. “I hope the FBI will follow his order to a ‘T’ and we will finally get to the bottom of this controversy.”

In joining the case in mid-March, the Herald-Tribune and the Miami Herald cited articles written about the Prestancia case and described ways in which a further search would be in the public’s interest.To date, the FBI has turned over 35 pages of heavily redacted documents — out of the 15,000 files it has acknowledged were part of its Florida inquiry into the 9/11 attacks.

Last summer, Zloch asked Julin to explain in writing how an FBI search could be done better. The FBI, the lawyer noted, did not even search for documents using the names of the family members residing in, or owning, the Prestancia home.

The home was owned by Saudi businessman Esam Ghazzawi and his wife, Deborah. Ghazzawi is known to have connections to the Saudi royal family.

For the six years before the terror attacks, the home was occupied by their son-in-law, Abdulaziz Al-Hijji, and their daughter, Anoud.

The Al-Hijjis came to the FBI’s attention after the couple apparently returned abruptly to Saudi Arabia two weeks before the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., leaving behind clothes, food, children’s toys and cars.

Federal agents also linked phone calls from the Prestancia home — some dating to a year before the attacks — to known 9/11 suspects, the Bulldog has reported.

The calls were made to, or received from Mohamed Atta, fellow pilots and 11 other terrorist suspects, the Bulldog reported.

Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi had learned to fly at Huffman Aviation at the Venice Municipal Airport. Ziad Jarrah also took flying lessons nearby, at the Florida Flight Training school.

RELATED STORY:  5 Things You Should Know About the Latest Military Jihadist

Exposed: Benghazi Security Fiasco by Judicial Watch

Among the nagging questions left in the wake of the terrorist attack against our special mission compound in Benghazi, Libya, is whether or not more could have been done to save the lives of the four Americans who were murdered, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Judicial Watch already exposed the Obama administration’s lie that no military help was within striking distance by releasing an unclassified Navy map showing that the military had a multitude of forces in the region surrounding Libya at the time of the attack.

And now we learn through a JW investigation that there were serious concerns about the security detail hired to protect the Benghazi diplomatic facility. Serious enough that the firm was flagged as a “do not hire” by a key State Department security official.

On February 28, 2014 we obtained documents from the U.S. Department of State revealing that Blue Mountain Group (BMG), the security firm hired to protect the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, had lost at least two previous private security contracts in Tripoli and was hired despite a warning from the Embassy Acting Regional Security Officer.

According to the documents, which we received in response to our February 25, 2013 FOIA lawsuit, on June 7, 2012, Tripoli Acting Security Regional Officer (ARSO) Jairo Saravia sent the following email to RSO David Oliveira (Temporary Duty Office to Benghazi at the time) and others:

“Just a quick note in regards to Blue Mountain. The company has lost several security contracts here in Tripoli, including the Corinthian Hotel and Palm City Complex. The latest information is Blue Mountain is not licensed by the GOL to provide security services in Libya. I would advise not to use their services to provide security for any of our annexes and/or offices due to the sensitivity this issue has with the current GOL ….”

second email that same day, from RSO Greg Levin, apparently responding to the Saravia email, said that BMG did not have a licensing problem, but did not refute that it had lost several security contracts in Tripoli. In fact, additional emails between State Department personnel in Libya sent that day suggest that licensing for security firms had become an acknowledged problem, with one email stating, “We have got to get legal to change how licensing is done for contractors.”

The documents also reveal that in Benghazi in April 2012, there was almost a physical altercation between a BMG supervisor and a member of the Libyan 17th of February Martyrs Brigade, a Libyan militia that was supposed to provide security at the Benghazi compound the day of the September 11, 2012, attacks. According to an April 18, 2012, email from ARSO Teresa Crowningshield to DS Program Manager Norm Floyd:

“At 1130 hours, a verbal altercation occurred between the Libyan February 17th Martyrs Brigade team member and Mr.[REDACTED]. The team member then notified the brigade team leader of the incident, who then went to the gate to speak with [REDACTED]. At that time, a second verbal altercation occurred between the three and [REDACTED] left the compound. The team leader then came to the RSO office and reported the incident.

“The team leader stated that [REDACTED] made an inappropriate comment with reference to Gaddafi. Then when the team leader came to speak with [REDACTED] he made derogatory comments regarding the team leader’s mother. As the situation escalated to the point of a likely physical confrontation, [REDACTED] left the compound.”

So here we have a security detail with a checkered past, to say the least, openly fighting with the Libyan security detail they were supposed to train!

The role BMG played in protecting the security of the Benghazi facility first came to light shortly after the September 2012 terrorist attack when State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland emphatically denied that State had hired any private firm to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi:

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the claim was made yesterday that a company that is a spinoff of Blackwater, in fact, proposed or contracted the United States Government for this particular kind of eventuality, and it was caught up in some sort of bureaucratic –

MS. NULAND: Completely untrue with regard to Libya. I checked that this morning. At no time did we plan to hire a private security company for Libya.

QUESTION: Toria, I just want to make sure I understood that, because I didn’t understand your first question. You said – your first answer. You said that at no time did you have contracts with private security companies in Libya?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

This exchange was one reason we decided to take a look at the Blue Mountain Group. On December 19, 2012, we filed a FOIA request with the State Department seeking, “Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the $387,413.68 contract awarded by the Department of State to an unidentified foreign awardee for ‘Security Guards and Patrol Services.'”  When State refused to comply with the FOIA request, JW filed its February 25, 2013, lawsuit, which resulted in the documents revealing the BMG had lost previous security contracts in Libya. (JW earlier obtained the BMG contract itself – the one Nuland said did not exist.)

While JW was exposing the red flags raised by the Blue Mountain Group, acting CIA Director Mike Morell’s testimony before Congress inspired outrage from people who were on the ground in Libya during the attack. Per Fox News:

Sources on the ground in Benghazi during the 2012 terror attack are pushing back hard on former CIA acting director Mike Morell’s testimony on Capitol Hill, where he defended his role in shaping the administration’s narrative and claimed politics were not involved.

As part of Morell’s testimony on Wednesday, the former acting and deputy CIA director acknowledged that he overruled the guidance of the top CIA officer in Libya at the time. That official told Morell the attack was not an “escalation of protests,” but Morell said he had to weigh that against analysts who concluded the opposite. He ultimately went with the analysts — whose assessment later turned out to be flawed — saying the chief of station’s report was not “compelling” and was based on loose evidence.

Folks, something is rotten here.

Why on earth would Morell choose to trust the word of “analysts” over intelligence operatives in the field who had their finger on the pulse of what was happening moment by moment at the Benghazi mission?

And “loose evidence”? Was it any looser than the evidence tying the attacks to an obscure Internet video a ridiculous claim peddled by the country’s Secretary of State during a series of television interviews? That’s the narrative the Obama administration fed us. And based on what?

The fact is, any intelligence officer worth his salt wouldn’t have such a horrible error in judgment. So what conclusion are we supposed to draw about this testimony?

It certainly seems to me that Morell is covering for some political operative inside the Obama administration who made the decision to downplay the terrorist connection to these attacks because it might have disrupted the president’s re-election campaign.  Or maybe he is the political operative?  Morell did little this week to excuse his false information and obstruction on Benghazi.  If it were any other administration, there’d be an independent criminal investigation already underway.

What a mess. A year-and-a half after the attacks and we are all still in the dark about what really happened at Benghazi.  Administration officials lied about the terrorist connection to the attack. They lied about the availability of military support that could have potentially saved lives. They lied about the security firm hired to protect our personnel, which we now know had a track record of failure.

And then we have this bizarre testimony from the nation’s former top intelligence officer suggesting he simply didn’t know that it was better to trust intelligence on the ground than “analysts” sequestered in a cubicle.

No wonder we have to battle in court for the most basic information. And it certainly doesn’t help matters that Republicans in Congress have been asleep at the switch, failing to use the full investigative powers available to them to uncover the truth for the American people.

JW, meanwhile, has been all over the Benghazi attack and cover-up, filing multiple FOIA lawsuits, uncovering records no one else could recover, pushing Speaker Boehner for a serious investigation, and issuing a comprehensive report on what our investigators have found. Click here to read all about it.

Eight-year Old “Gold Star” Son Pays it Forward

miles eckert cbs photo

Myles Eckert, Gold Star son. Photo courtesy of CBS News.

“On the Road,” Steve Hartman meets Myles Eckert an 8-year-old boy who found $20 in a parking lot and was thinking of spending it on a new video game. That changed when he saw a man in uniform.

This video is a tribute to Myles Eckert, a “Gold Star” son, who lost his father but respects what our soldiers do. I am glad that Steve Hartman found this young man and gave him a platform to say what needs to be said.

The note, written on a green Post-It, read:

“Dear soldier — my dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9FCxuVSkT7k[/youtube]

EDITORS NOTE: The photo of the note is courtesy of CBS News.