Tag Archive for: Iran

Islamic Republic of Iran: State-backed Security Officials Raped 16-year-old Protester before Murdering Her

The security officials were proceeding on the basis of clear Islamic principles.

The hijab is required for women so that men don’t get tempted. If men are tempted nonetheless, it is the fault of the woman.

This is why rape victims are sometimes imprisoned in Pakistan and other Muslim countries.

And proceeding from those assumptions, the imprisoned protesters in Iran are raped, so as to humiliate them and to ensure that they will be in hell after they die, for even then they will face punishment for allowing men to be tempted.

Document Shows Iranian Protester Raped Before Murder

Iran International, February 21, 2024:

A recently unveiled document has revealed that 16-year-old Nika Shakarami was raped by state-backed security during the Women, Life, Freedom protests.

The document, circulating on social media and seemingly discovered among a trove of files accessed after a hacktivist group breached the servers of the Iranian judiciary on Tuesday, contains evidence confirming that Shakarami had been subjected to rape amid a state sanctioned campaign of sexual violence as documented by rights groups.

The trove of documents obtained by the hacktivist group Edalat-e Ali covers a wide range of sensitive topics, spanning from internal discussions within the National Security Council following Mahsa Amini’s death to efforts aimed at curbing unauthorized VPN vendors, protests against the 2020 employment examination, and cases related to economic corruption.

Abbas Masjedi Arani, head of the Forensic Medicine Organization has sent the “very confidential” letter to the Supreme National Security Council, explicitly stating, “In the genital examination, signs indicating assault or rough sexual intercourse were evident.”

Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old, was abducted and murdered by security forces during the anti-regime protests which swept Iran in 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody….

Read full article.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

U.S. indicts Japanese Yakuza Leader over Selling Nuclear Materials to Iran

The United States has indicted a Japanese leader of the Yakuza transnational organized crime syndicate over his attempts to traffic nuclear materials to Iran. 

Takeshi Ebisawa is accused of conspiring to transfer uranium and weapons-grade plutonium from Myanmar to Iran for use in Iran’s nuclear program, the US Justice Department reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, Ebisawa approached an undercover agent working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in early 2020 in Thailand, informing him that he had a large quantity of uranium and plutonium and asked him to find a customer for the materials.

The Yakuza leader then sent the DEA undercover agent “a series of photographs depicting rocky substances with Geiger counters measuring radiation, as well as pages of what Ebisawa represented to be lab analyses indicating the presence of thorium and uranium in the depicted substances,” the report added.

Following the DEA’s investigation, the undercover agent told Ebisawa that he could connect him to an associate, who was posing as an Iranian general. The Japanese side then suggested that plutonium would be more “powerful” than uranium for the production of nuclear weapons, offering to supply the material to the “Iranian general.”

The samples provided by Ebisawa were confiscated by Thai authorities and transferred to the US. According to the analysis by a US nuclear forensic laboratory, the samples were proved to include uranium and weapons-grade plutonium.

“It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of the conduct alleged in today’s indictment” against the Japanese Yakuza leader, said Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, adding that he conspired to traffic nuclear uranium and platinum fully aware “the material was going to be used in the development of a nuclear weapons program.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Newsrael News Desk column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

China Continues Funding Iran, Russia as Regime Sends Nationals through Southern Border

As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues buying Iranian oil and helping Russia fund its war with Ukraine, Xi Jinping’s regime appears to be sending nationals into the United States through the porous southern border via at least one secretive camp deep in the Panamanian jungle.

During the February 2 episode of “The Tucker Carlson Podcast,” libertarian podcaster and author Bret Weinstein described a recent trip he took to the Darién Gap, a dense, rugged, mountainous jungle without roads in southern Panama in which migrants from South America hoping to make it to the U.S. must pass through. While touring some of the “transit camps” where migrants ready themselves for the trip north, Weinstein noted that “people are coming from the Middle East. We met Afghans, we met people from the Caribbean, Haitians, people from Yemen, Iran. It’s shocking, really. This looks superficially like the migration of Central Americans … but that’s not the whole story.”

Weinstein went on to describe a transit camp at San Vicente, which was “almost entirely Chinese.” He noted that unlike at other camps that he visited, he was not allowed to enter the San Vicente camp and interact with people. However, he was able to interact with a few of the Chinese nationals outside the camp. “They are the opposite of forthcoming,” he explained. “They have no interest in talking to outsiders. … It is not a friendly migration. These Chinese folks [were] overwhelmingly male, military age. … There were few if any children in the Chinese migration. [Children] were everywhere in the other places we visited.”

“The sense of … hostility that I felt from the Chinese was particularly unsettling given that I know where they’re headed. … They’re headed to the U.S.,” Weinstein underscored. “… I believe their government has some reason to facilitate [this].”

Meanwhile, Radio Free Europe published a report in January detailing how China clandestinely buys oil from Iran. It describes how a “dark fleet” of oil tankers off the shores of Singapore exchange cargo. “The fleet has grown steadily over the past five years, delivering Iranian crude to China as the countries work in concert to circumvent international sanctions that target Tehran’s lucrative oil exports,” the report describes.

As has been firmly established, the Islamist regime of Iran is the “foremost state sponsor” of a host of international terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and more.

Recently, Senator Kevin Cramer (R-S.D.) joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to describe how China is helping to bankroll America’s adversaries, even as the Biden administration continues to make friendly overtures with the communist regime.

“[T]hey’re able to sell Iranian oil to China … on the black market,” he noted. “[T]hey sell to these ‘teapot refineries,’ which are sort of off the grid, but not really off the grid, and we look the other way. This is all part of playing nice, but we’re playing nice with two enemies when we should be sanctioning that oil like Donald Trump did. We should be protecting that oil from even getting to China.”

Cramer continued, “We need to be much more assertive about our economic sanctions, oil sanctions, the trade between these enemy countries and make it darn hard on them to collaborate with one another and to fund their terror. And at the same time, places like North Dakota and Texas and Oklahoma and a whole bunch of other places [like] Alaska have plenty of clean oil that is produced by good, free people [who are] happy to sell around the world and not fund terrorism with it.”

Perkins pointed out that “many U.S. companies are investing in Chinese technology, and they’re aiding the CCP.”

“[T]he fact that we haven’t learned this lesson yet is shame on us,” Cramer concurred. “[D]ecades ago, when we let China into [the World Trade Organization] and gave them favored nation status, that happened with the hope that they’d become more like us. Well, all they’ve done is exploited us with our own weakness. But the fact that Wall Street and our own corporate citizens are still drawn to that incredible market because they love the cash more than anything, or the fact that we still import cheap stuff from China that is made with slave labor in some cases — certainly unfair labor, certainly unfair conditions, certainly much more polluting factories. … The fact that we still allow it at all is mind-numbing to me, and we’ve got to do a lot more.”

In December, Cramer joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and six other senators in introducing the Iran China Accountability Act, which “would block any taxpayer dollars from being used to advance an Iran nuclear agreement until they terminate cash ties with China and terminate ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden Delays Retaliatory Airstrikes Announcing to Enemy Our Plans — Moronic

Biden delayed retaliatory airstrikes on Iranian backed terrorists while announcing U.S. military intentions to the enemy ahead of the attacks so they can be prepared to kill more Americans — a totally moronic thing to do!

Three American service members were killed and dozens were injured in an unmanned aerial drone attack on a base in Jordan on Sunday, January 28th, 2024.

Biden blamed Iran-backed militias for the first U.S. fatalities after months of strikes by the groups against American forces across the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Former Iranian Cultural Attaché to Lebanon Mohammad Mehdi Shariatmadar stated that, “Every bullet, rocket, UAV fired against Israel anywhere are made in Iran or the product of Iranian training”

This would include the UAV used to kill our American soldiers in Jordan.

WATCH:

Michael Makovsky, PhD, a former Pentagon official, is president and CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). JINSA has tracked more than 90 attacks by Iran and proxies against American soldiers in Iraq and Syria under Biden — and the United States has retaliated only four times.

Additionally, Mike co-authored this op-ed with JINSA VP Blaise Misztal for the New York Post on 10/10 — just 3 days after 10/7: After barbaric Israel attack, Biden must stop appeasing Iran.

Their key points:

  • JINSA has tracked more than 90 attacks by Iran and proxies against American soldiers in Iraq and Syria under Biden — and the United States has retaliated only four times.
  • Since the White House is clearly averse to a military confrontation with Iran, the best would be Biden supplying Israel weapons it needs to conduct, if necessary, a military campaign to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.
  • 10/7 should prompt a reorientation of US policy in the Middle East — especially away from accommodating Iran, which heavily funds Hamas and helped plot the onslaught.
  • It’s debatable whether Biden’s recent unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian assets, in return for five Americans hostages, helped fund the Hamas attack, as some Republicans claim. The attack took time to plan and the money may not have been spent yet, but Tehran could budget based on it.Yet the administration’s extremely lax enforcement of existing sanctions has undeniably enabled Iran to reap tens of billions of dollars.
  • In 2020, under President Donald Trump’s maximum-pressure policy, Iranian oil-export revenue was an estimated $8 billion. Under Biden, it was as much as $37 billion in 2021 and $54 billion in 2022 and is expected to be $46 billion in 2023.
  • In three years, Iran arguably will have earned some $30 billion more than if the Trump enforcement had continued. Its accessible foreign-exchange reserves have soared accordingly, from around $6 billion at the end of 2020 to a projected $43 billion in 2023. This economic windfall might have enabled Tehran before 10/7 to boost its funding of Hamas as well as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, all of which have ratcheted up their attacks on Israel this year.
  • If Iran was able to funnel $100 million to Hamas in 2020, in 2023, when its oil revenue has increased many fold, that sum could be far higher.
  • Further, the Biden administration has emboldened Iranian aggression by avoiding confrontation. The administration needs to reverse course from this extreme accommodation of Iran and initiate a far more confrontational approach.
  • Most important in the near term, Biden should sternly and unequivocally convey to Iranian leaders it holds them responsible for the confirmed death of 14 Americans in Israel and 100-plus hostages, reportedly including Americans, its proxy has taken. We could further deter Iran by concluding a mutual-defense pact with Israel, as JINSA recently discussed.

©2024. Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

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The IEI and Ariane Tabatabai’s Controversy

Exploring the IEI’s Global Influence and the Enigma Surrounding Tabatabai’s Role.


In the world of international diplomacy, secrets have a way of unraveling. Leaked emails and reports have recently unveiled a clandestine Iranian operation known as the Iran Experts Initiative (IEI). This covert endeavor, designed to cultivate support for Iran’s nuclear program, has sent shockwaves through the corridors of power. But that’s just the beginning.

Within this revelation, another thread has emerged — the involvement of key figures from the Biden administration with the IEI. This revelation raises profound questions about foreign influence and its implications on U.S. policy.

The IEI, previously shrouded in secrecy, has now been exposed for what it is – a covert Iranian operation. Its primary objective? To garner international support for Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This revelation adds a new layer of complexity to the ongoing global discussions about Iran’s nuclear program.

The involvement of Biden administration aides with the IEI is a central theme. These individuals, working within the highest echelons of the U.S. government, had ties to the IEI. The nature of these links and their implications on U.S. policy decisions remain under scrutiny.

The IEI was not limited to a single sphere of influence. It infiltrated academia, leveraging the credibility of scholars to propagate its agenda. Meanwhile, sympathetic journalists played their part, shaping public perception subtly. Think tanks, known for their role in policymaking, were strategically targeted. Case studies vividly illustrate the IEI’s success in influencing policy decisions. And it didn’t stop there; former government officials transitioning into advocacy roles created conflicts and ethical dilemmas that continue to raise eyebrows.

The Biden administration’s approach to Iran stands in stark contrast to previous administrations. It is marked by a commitment to re-engage with the Islamic Republic of Iran, a notable departure from the aggressive stance of the past. This shift in policy has not only raised eyebrows. Still, it has caused genuine concern among policymakers and the public, who worry about potential risks and the implications of this new direction, making it a central point of debate in the broader context of U.S. foreign policy.

Amidst these revelations, the potential for undue influence on U.S. policy looms large. The need to mitigate foreign impact is paramount, echoing concerns about the integrity of policymaking. It’s a complex issue with no easy answers.

Ariane Tabatabai’s Controversy

As this international intrigue unfolds, Ariane Tabatabai, a former Georgetown University security studies professor and current senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Defense, finds herself at the center of a heated controversy. Genuine concern has arisen regarding her purported ties to Iranian regime influence networks and her security clearance.

The acquisition of her security clearance remains a shadowy enigma, with scant details emerging. Yet, one report suggests that her connections to the Islamic Republic networks managed to evade detection during the clearance process.

The security clearance saga erupted in April 2021 when a group of U.S. lawmakers demanded the revocation of Tabatabai’s clearance, citing her involvement in an “Iranian influence network” that they believed endangered national security.

Fast forward to September 2023, and Republican lawmakers intensify the call. They demand an investigation into Islamic Republic-backed influence operations on U.S. soil, advocating the suspension of clearances for officials, including Tabatabai, potentially swayed by these networks.

In response, Tabatabai can only refute these allegations. She tries to label them “baseless and unfounded,” portraying them as part of a “smear campaign” orchestrated by lawmakers seeking to undermine the Biden administration’s diplomacy with Iran’s regime, yet providing no clear explanations for the accusations.

And yet, despite the ongoing furor, Tabatabai’s security clearance endures as of September 2023, and surprisingly, she remains a senior adviser within the U.S. Department of Defense.

It’s not just her alleged ties to Iran’s regime influence networks that have been scrutinized. The accusations against her are part of a broader discourse surrounding U.S. policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some U.S. officials and lawmakers contend that the Biden administration’s stance is overly lenient, failing to adequately support the Iranian people’s battle for democracy and human rights. Conversely, others advocate for diplomatic engagement and peaceful resolution in the U.S.-Iran relationship.

This exposure of the Iran Experts Initiative raises critical questions about foreign influence on U.S. policy. Whether through academia, media, think tanks, or former officials, vigilance is imperative to maintain the integrity of U.S. policymaking in a complex and interconnected world.

As for Ariane Tabatabai’s security clearance acquisition remains opaque, while her ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran influence networks kindle a political storm. Lawmakers’ calls for revocation have yet to bear fruit, and she continues her work at the U.S. Department of Defense. This controversy also mirrors broader debates on U.S. policy towards Iran, illustrating today’s complexity of international diplomacy.

©2024. Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

While Iran Tries to Kill U.S. Soldiers, Biden Regime Provides Iran With Intel

“The U.S. government provided Iran with a private warning that there was a terrorist threat within Iranian borders”

Iran controls and finances multiple Islamic terror groups, but being a Shiite state, there are Sunni Islamist terror groups that target it. Some of these are aligned with ISIS. Others have nationalistic reasons linked to the Baloch movement. And some have both.

Recently, an ISIS bombing attack at a commemoration ceremony for IRGC terror leader Soleimani, who was responsible for the deaths of many Americans, made headlines.

The Biden administration is now announcing that it tried to help Iran head off the bombing.

The U.S. secretly warned Iran that Islamic State was preparing to carry out the terrorist attack early this month that killed more than 80 Iranians in a pair of coordinated suicide bombings, U.S. officials said.

The confidential alert came after the U.S. acquired intelligence that Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, was plotting to attack Iran, they said.

American officials said the information passed to Iran was specific enough about the location and sufficiently timely that it might have proved useful to Tehran in thwarting the attack on Jan. 3 or at least mitigating the casualty toll.

And, out of gratitude, Iran went on trying to kill American soldiers and chanting, “Death to America”..

The obvious question is why do this?

Do we generally intervene when terrorist groups fight each other? Why are we helping Iran, which is actively trying to kill American soldiers in Iraq?

During the Trump admin, we kept hearing that even mentioning that we had certain kinds of intel would potentially expose sources and endanger them. So why are those sources being exposed to help one of our worst enemies.

“Prior to ISIS’s terrorist attack on January 3, 2024, in Kerman, Iran, the U.S. government provided Iran with a private warning that there was a terrorist threat within Iranian borders,” a U.S. official said, using an acronym for Islamic State. “The U.S. government followed a longstanding ‘duty to warn’  policy that has been implemented across administrations to warn governments against potential lethal threats. We provide these warnings in part because we do not want to see innocent lives lost in terror attacks.”

The target was a memorial ceremony for Qassem Soleimani: a terrorist leader. There were as many “innocent people” there as at a memorial for Osama bin Laden, Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

Maybe the Biden admin didn’t know the target? But the previous high-profile ISIS attacks in Iran targeted the Iranian parliament and the told of Khomeini.

ISIS tends to hit sites associated with Iran’s Islamist regime. Attack warnings protect the Iranian regime, not the oppressed people protesting in the streets.

This is another unfortunate example of our government’s collaboration with our worst enemies.

There is no reason for us to intervene in a fight between two Islamic terror groups. Yet the Biden admin chose to do that in Syria and now Obama is doing it in Iran.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

REUTERS: Iranian and Hezbollah Commanders Help Direct Houthi Attacks in Yemen

NEWSRAEL: It is time that the West – and first of all the USA stops treating Iran proxies as if Iran has nothing to do with them. There are no attacks without Iranian hands funding, training and ordering them!


DUBAI, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Commanders from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group are on the ground in Yemen helping to direct and oversee Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, four regional and two Iranian sources told Reuters.

Iran – which has armed, trained and funded the Houthis – stepped up its weapons supplies to the militia in the wake of the war in Gaza, which erupted after Iranian-backed militants Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the four regional sources said.

Tehran has provided advanced drones, anti-ship cruise missiles, precision-strike ballistic missiles and medium-range missiles to the Houthis, who started targeting commercial vessels in November in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, the sources said.

IRGC commanders and advisers are also providing know-how, data and intelligence support to determine which of the dozens of vessels traveling through the Red Sea each day are destined for Israel and constitute Houthi targets, all the sources said.

Washington said last month that Iran was deeply involved in planning operations against shipping in the Red Sea and that its intelligence was critical to enable the Houthis to target ships.

In response to a request for comment for this story, the White House pointed to its previous public comments about how Iran has been supporting the Houthis.

In his weekly news conferences, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani has repeatedly denied Tehran is involved in the Red Sea attacks by the Houthis. The IRGC public relations office did not respond to request for comment.

NEWSRAEL: FACT: There is only ONE nation that does not play “Blind Man’s Bluff” with Iran — Israel!

RELATED ARTICLE: BREAKING: U.S. CENTCOM destroys Houthi terrorists’ anti-ship missile

EDITORS NOTE: This NEWSRAEL column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Hot Mic Catches Journalists Joking About Trump Assassination

Many a truth is said in jest. The media is the enemy of the people.

Journalists watched Hamas lynchings, kidnappings, rapings and urged civilians to join the slaughter. So is this surprising?

Bernard Kerik: “[N]o one should be surprised.”

Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, and many others. That’s the way it’s done.

Oppose politically, impeach, use state media to destroy, use your criminal justice system, military, and when all else fails.

By: Tommy Christopher

A hot mic caught journalists joking about former President Donald Trump being assassinated as they awaited his appearance at the federal courthouse where his criminal immunity appeal will be held.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments on Tuesday, January 9, on the issue of presidential immunity after Judge Tanya Chutkan denied two motions to dismiss based on First Amendment and presidential immunity claims.

The appeal will be heard by a three-judge panel consisting of Judge J. Michelle Childs, who was nominated by President Joe Biden in January 2022 and confirmed in July 2022; Judge Florence Pan, nominated by Biden in May 2022 and confirmed in September 2022; and Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, who was appointed by then-President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

On Tuesday morning, news cameras were set up at locations between the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia and the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in anticipation of Trump’s arrival for the proceedings.

One such live feed caught some banter between journalists grousing about the difficulty of getting a good shot of Trump from their vantage point — banter which veered into gallows humor with some references to the late President John F. Kennedy and a convertible:

JOURNO 1: You know what the worst part is? Even if he has his window open and he’s hanging out of it, he will be on the other side of the street.
JOURNO 2: I mean, if he’s driving, we’ve got a good shot!
JOURNO 1: Yeah, if he’s driving with the front window open?
JOURNO 2: Yeah, or if it’s a convertible?
JOURNO 1: Yeah. I wasn’t thinking about that.
JOURNO 2: Yeah. Like if he just pulls up–
JOURNO 1: Like JFK?
JOURNO 2: (laughs)
JOURNO 1: Maybe someone, just like they told JFK. You know what you should do? You should take a convertible! It’s so nice out!

Watch above via AP [Journalists’ comments are at the 53:00 minute mark].

AUTHOR

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U.S. Navy Shoots Down 24 Houthi Drones And Missiles In Biggest Attack So Far

U.S. destroyers shot down 24 drones and missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, constituting the largest attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea since tensions escalated in October, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed Tuesday.

The Department of Defense is operating a panoply of naval assets in the region as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a U.S.-led coalition to defend critical waterways from repeated threats by the Houthis. Three guided-missile destroyers, the USS Mason, USS Gravely and USS Laboon, and F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier engaged the mix of drones and missiles fired Tuesday, CENTCOM said in a statement.

 An initial assessment showed no damage or injuries to either the U.S. warships engaged in the firefight or any of the dozens of commercial vessels in the vicinity, according to CENTCOM.

The U.S. intercepted 18 Iranian-made one-way attack drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile in a combined effort at around 9:15 p.m. local time, the statement added.

CENTCOM reiterated a Jan. 3 warning from the U.S. and partners against the Houthis launching further attacks. “The Houthis will bear the responsibility for the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, or the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways,” the statement said.

Over the weekend, the Laboon shot down a single explosive-laden drone in “self-defense,” CENTCOM said. It was the first time the military had characterized an engagement as taking place in self- defense, although it has said that previous one-way attack drones were inbound before the warships neutralized them.

Prior to Tuesday, the largest single onslaught took place on Dec. 16, when the USS Carney shot down 14 attack drones that came at the destroyer in a wave without any sign of commercial vessels nearby.

U.S. military assets in the Red Sea now include 130 aircraft and the vessels assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, carrying about 4,000 sailors and Marines, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said at a briefing Wednesday.

“As the president has made clear, the United States does not seek conflict with any nation or actor in the Middle East, nor do we want to see the war between Israel and Hamas widen in the region,” Kirby said. “But neither will we shrink from the task of defending ourselves, our interests, our partners, or the free flow of international commerce.”

Members of Congress have raised concerns in recent days over Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s unannounced hospitalization, during which top national security leaders and the president were unaware he had been hospitalized for at least three days. While Austin’s deputy performed some routine operational duties, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worried the apparent breakdown in chain of command could hinder the U.S.’ ability to respond to global tensions.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


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No One Was Running the Pentagon as U.S. Navy Fought Iran-Backed Terrorists

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks was on vacation in Puerto Rico.

Is this an outrage or a perfect metaphor for this administration in which no one is in the driver’s seat? Sometimes literally.

Amid tensions in the Middle East, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was hospitalized, including spending four days in the intensive care unit, according to two senior administration officials.

The Pentagon did not inform senior officials in the White House’s National Security Council of Austin’s hospitalization until Thursday — three days after he arrived at Walter Reed Medical Center, a U.S. official confirms. Politico first reported the delay.

Austin is 70. There was a time when Donald Rumsfeld was considered on the old side, but his first time on the job, he had been in his 40s. Dick Cheney was actually in his late 40s during the Reagan administration, Bill Cohen was in his late 50s and Bob McNamara was in his forties.

But by the standards of the Biden administration, Austin is ‘the kid’. Still an administration with a lot of people past retirement age should probably be more prepared for medical emergencies by senior staff.

Since Austin is 11 years younger than Joe Biden, they probably figured there was nothing to worry about. But spending 4 days in the ICU is not a joke. This suggests something serious was going on.

And so no one was running the Pentagon while we were clashing with Iran’s Houthi-backed Jihadis.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, who was on leave, has picked up his duties, the senior defense official said.

Hicks was on pre-scheduled leave when Austin was hospitalized this week, according to a defense official. She has been on vacation in Puerto Rico, the official said.

She “has maintained full communication with the DOD staff throughout,” the official said. “She has monitored DOD’s day-to-day operations and conducted some routine business.”

Zoom.

Austin’s number two was on vacation (and no one told her to scrap her vacation because your boss, who is a rather vital figure, is undergoing surgery, and you should probably stay home.

And even afterward, she “maintained full communications” while on vacation.

This is the sort of nonsense we’d have expected from a fourth-rate European NATO member country twenty years ago where nothing really matters anyway and the military just exists to occasionally show up at parades.

I don’t even understand this insane level of ineptitude and disregard for basic protocol. But then again I also don’t understand how national security secrets keep being leaked by guys arguing on video game forums.

(By the way if you want to know what Kathleen’s qualifications are to head the Pentagon, don’t ask. It will only depress you further.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Here Are All The Times US Troops Have Shot Down Drones And Missiles Launched By Iran-Backed Groups Since October

  • U.S. forces in the Middle East have shot down at least 50 drones and 11 missiles since the Oct. 17 escalation in attacks by Iran-backed militias, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation tally.
  • U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have come under attack at least 106 times, a Department of Defense official told the DCNF.
  • Meanwhile, naval forces in the Red Sea have defended against 46 attack drones and saved commercial shipping vessels from ballistic missiles the Yemen-based Houthi rebel group fired.

U.S. troops in the Middle East have engaged more than 50 drones and at least 11 missiles, including ballistic missiles, fired by Iranian proxy groups, since the Oct. 17 escalation in attacks, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation tally.

The Iran-backed militias conducting drone and missile attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria and on commercial shipping in the Red Sea have framed their activities as a means of opposing Israel in its war on the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, and Washington’s alleged underwriting of the conflict that began Oct. 7. In the process of defending against those attacks, U.S. forces have downed dozens of drones and missiles targeting or nearing American personnel, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) statements, media reports and claims by the militia groups show.

The Pentagon says it aims to prevent a wider war from cascading across the Middle East and has moved to bolster air defenses at bases throughout the region.

A Department of Defense (DOD) official told the DCNF on Friday afternoon the Pentagon has counted at least 106 attacks on U.S. forces Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17. CENTCOM has confirmed only six drones successfully intercepted during those attacks, but media reports suggest the number could be much higher.

The Islamic Resistance of Iraq, a coalition of various Iran-backed militant groups, through its semi-official Iraq War Media social media channel issued another claim on Friday accompanied by footage of rocket launches.

The first attack took place on Oct. 17, when the U.S. military and coalition forces fended off three explosive-laden drones bearing down on U.S. troops stationed in Iraq in two different incidents, CENTCOM said in a press release. The next day, two sites in Syria hosting American and partner troops came under attack; one of the drones was shot down before it could cause damage, while the other one caused minor injuries to personnel at the al-Tanf coalition garrison.

Kataib Hezbollah, a powerful Iran-backed Iraqi militia, had threatened to attack U.S. military bases with missiles, special forces and drones if the U.S. intervened militarily in support of Israel, Reuters reported.

Rockets and drones pummeled the Ain al-Asad air base near Baghdad later on Oct. 19. On Oct. 23, U.S. troops shot down two more kamikaze drones in Syria with unspecified defensive systems, Pentagon officials confirmed. Rockets rained down at Iraq’s Ain al-Asad again on Oct. 24, Reuters reported, citing two Iraqi security sources.

The Pentagon warned Iran and its proxy militias in the Middle East intended to further escalate conflict by attacking U.S. troops based in the region.

Dozens of troops have sustained minor injures, and one American contractor died during a false alarm.

On Oct. 25, one attack was recorded at a location in northern Syria on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported, citing U.S. officials. Three rockets were aimed at the outpost and one landed inside, although no troops were injured.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed dozens of attacks, not all of which have been verified as successful. They continued through November and December.

Christmas day saw the most significant casualty of all the attacks when an explosive drone apparently crashed into Erbil Air Base in Iraq, wounding two American service members and leaving a third in critical condition, the Pentagon said. In retaliation, President Joe Biden ordered airstrikes on “Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups focused specifically on UAV activities,” damaging facilities used to make drones and likely killing or wounding multiple militants.

It was the fourth round of airstrikes Biden ordered on facilities associated with the militant groups and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which oversees Tehran’s proxy operations, since Oct. 27.

Additionally, U.S. and coalition forces have defended bases as militants were planning or in the process of conducting strikes, recording casualties.

Separately, U.S. Naval forces in the Red Sea have downed at least 46 attack drones and 11 missiles the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched, according to a DCNF tally. The USS Carney guided-missile destroyer intercepted three land-attack cruise missiles and eight drones that appeared intended to strike Israel on Oct. 19, USNI News reported, citing a preliminary Pentagon after-action report.

Since then, CENTCOM has documented 23 attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, according to a statement. U.S. destroyers and fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier scrambled to respond.

In the latest incident, Houthi rebels on four small boats fired small arms and crew-served guns at U.S. helicopters while attempting to board a Maersk container ship early Sunday, the first time the Pentagon has confirmed Houthi militants directly targeted American military personnel. U.S. helicopters fired back, killing militants and sinking three of the skifs, the military said.

Saturday night, the Gravely shot down two more anti-ship ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis, according to CENTCOM.

The Pentagon is documenting attacks on international shipping on a case-by-case basis, the DOD official told the DCNF.

“Often times if multiple munitions are fired in quick succession, that would count as once ‘incident.’ However, it really depends on the timing and sequence of events during a period of time,” the official said.

U.S. warships downed drones twice in November and responded to an attempted strike on commercial ship with anti-ship ballistic missiles, CENTCOM has said. Incidents increased in frequency in December; on one occasion, the USS Carney shot down 14 attack drones that came at the destroyer in a wave, without any evidence of warship nearby.

Dec. 3 proved an especially tense day as the UUS Carney guided-missile destroyer responded to three separate distress calls as the commercial ships came under attack from an onslaught of drones and ballistic missiles from areas occupied by the Iran-backed militant group, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement. In the process of rendering support to the ships, the Carney downed three Houthi drones but CENTCOM said it was too early to determine whether a U.S. Navy vessel was also a target.

“These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran,” CENTCOM said in the statement.

U.S. naval assets downed a dozen suicide drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles and two land-based cruise missiles the Houthis fired toward the Red Sea over a 10-hour period on Dec. 26, the military said in a statement.

In a statement, the Houthi military spokesperson affirmed the group’s “continued support and support of the Palestinian people as part of their religious, moral and humanitarian duty” and reiterated intentions to attack any commercial vessel tied to Israeli owners or destined for Israel.

Shipping in the Red Sea has decreased dramatically to the Houthi threat, as successful strikes have sparked fires on board merchant vessels and tankers, while U.S. forces continue to take down missiles.

The Pentagon announced Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational task force aimed at safeguarding shipping through the critical waterway, on Dec. 18. Major freight companies say they still plan to reroute around Cape of Good Hope, CNN reported.

So far, the Pentagon has not confirmed whether the Houthis aimed for any drones heading directly for U.S. warships to impact on those ships, reportedly to avoid provoking further tensions as the region is simmering over the war between Israel and Gaza. The Biden administration has also refrained from directly targeting Houthi launch sites.

“President Biden’s perceived weakness by our enemies is leading to escalating attacks against our servicemembers and lawful commercial shipping. These attacks will continue until these terrorists understand that their actions will have severe consequences.” Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Israeli envoy: Hamas doesn’t want two-state solution, ‘From the river to the sea, this means genocide’

He is right. Find out why in The Palestinian Delusion.

Israeli envoy says Palestinians don’t want two states, they want genocide

by Elise Ann Allen, Crux, December 23, 2023 (thanks to Tom):

ROME – Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See has said the Vatican’s repeated push for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict fails to consider the real agenda of the Palestinian side, especially the desire to commit “genocide” against the Israeli people….

Speaking to Crux, Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See Raphael Schutz said talk about a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine “is part of what I call the ‘shallow discourse’ surrounding this conflict.”

“I believe this conflict has nothing to do with the two-state solution. Not at all, because Hamas is not speaking about the two-state solution…In the manifestations, in the protests, ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ this means genocide for Israel, as simple as that,” he said, saying this is true of allegedly moderate Palestinians, and not just Hamas….

Regarding the pope’s repeated calls for peace, Schutz said that “moral considerations during war are necessary; not only important, but necessary…but this moral standing does not mean pacifism. There is a time for war and there is a time for peace, and now unfortunately is a time for war.”…

Read more.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

America Must Stand With the People of Iran

The United States, Israel, and other democracies have a huge stake in the success of the Iranian people to rid themselves of Islamic tyranny. This is not just a matter of geopolitical concern but a moral imperative rooted in the principles of democracy, human rights, and global stability. As I have continuously stated, the Mullahs are highly vulnerable.  And it is the Iranian people who continuously find themselves at the forefront of this enduring quest for freedom and justice.

A comprehensive political, moral, and economic measure by the United States and others offers the best chance of ending Mullah’s reign of terror and diffusing the existential threat it poses to the world.

We must fully engage in this great battle of hearts, minds, and ideas. Let us stop talking about unimportant issues and peripheral concerns. Let us concentrate our efforts on bringing down this foreign enemy in Iran, the Islamofascists.

The survival of the Iranian nation and its identity depends upon it. Human beings cannot create an ideal world of peace and tranquility under totalitarian, despotic, and tyrannical regimes, such as the Islamist regime in Iran. Individual freedoms would be brutally repressed. The individual would be at the mercy of the merciless despots. Based upon the general reaction among Iranian opposition groups, it is clear that the time has come to form a new brand of political opposition, a united force whose sole purpose will be a regime change in Iran and establishing the rule of law.

The moral dimension of this endeavor is underscored by the timeless wisdom embedded in the Biblical adage, “From those who are much given, much is demanded.” Perhaps it is for this reason that the people of the United States of America are again called upon to make huge sacrifices to defeat another tyranny. The United States, as a nation endowed with immense power and influence, carries the responsibility to stand against this tyranny and champion the cause of liberty.

This echoes a historical pattern where the United States has, at critical junctures, risen to the occasion to confront oppressive regimes and champion the aspirations of those yearning for freedom. It is important that this great nation stays the course and enlists its power in support of the freedom-loving Iranian people and help them topple these ruling, bloodthirsty Mullahs who are bent on wreaking death and destruction in the world.

As the spotlight shines on the vulnerabilities of the Mullahs, a crucial moment presents itself for the international community, particularly the United States, to undertake comprehensive political, moral, and economic measures. The strategic alliance of democracies, spearheaded by the United States and Israel, can only serve as a beacon of hope for the people of Iran who seek to break free from the chains of oppression.

By doing so, the world can bestow upon the Iranian people the support they need to overcome the oppressive regime and pave the way for a new era of freedom, dignity, and self-determination. Through diplomatic efforts, economic sanctions, and moral solidarity, these nations can create a formidable front against the tyrannical rule of the Mullahs.

Furthermore, empowering the Iranian people to shape their destiny is not just a geopolitical maneuver but an enduring commitment to human rights and the dignity of every individual on this planet.

In conclusion, the challenge posed by the Mullahs in Iran is not just a regional issue; it is a global concern that demands the collective efforts of democracies worldwide. The United States, with its historical commitment to liberty, is once again called upon to lead the charge against tyranny.

By standing firmly with the Iranian people, the world has the potential to witness the triumph of freedom over oppression, signaling a new chapter in the ongoing struggle for justice and human dignity. By offering support to those on the front lines of the struggle for freedom, the international community can reaffirm its dedication to fostering a world where justice, liberty, and democracy prevail.

The United States has, in secular and free Iranians, its best friends in the entire world. It is imperative for the U.S. to help these Iranians to dislodge the vicious doomsday Mullahs, not as an act of altruism, but as a prudent measure of enlightened self-interest.

©2023. Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

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Double-Agent Reveals IRGC Plot To Kill Iran International TV Anchors

Iran International, December 20, 2023 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

The IRGC was plotting to assassinate two Iran International television anchors in London in 2022 amid Iranian anti-government protests, UK’s ITV has revealed.

The plan was foiled because the man hired to do the job turned out to be a ‘double-agent’ working for a western intelligence agency. He would relay all information to his handler and has now shared some details with ITV.

Based on irrefutable evidence –seen and verified by ITV and multiple officials– the plot was commissioned and signed off by Mohammad Reza Ansari, the IRGC commander in charge of assassinations outside Iran.

Ansari is the ‘mastermind’ behind failed plots to assassinate former US officials Mike Pompeo and John Bolton –for which he’s been sanctioned by the US treasury. He is based in Syria and is reported to have links with the family of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

According to ITV, Ansari hired and directed the hitman (Ismail) through another Assad associate, Mohammad Abd al-Razek Kanafani, requiring him first to use a car bomb and then a ‘quiet’ way to kill his targets: “simply stab [them] with a kitchen knife.”

The plot was cynically codenamed the “wedding”. The targets, Sima Sabet and Fardad Farahzad, were “bride” and “groom”. They did not know about the details of the plot until told by ITV during the making of the report.

Ismail, a people-smuggler turned IRGC operative and then double-agent, was promised $200,000, a new identity and safe passage to Iran via Syria.

This seems to have become the IRGC’s preferred method recently, using criminals rather than sympathizers or members of affiliated, non-Iranian militant groups, as was the case years back….

Read more.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘It’s “Me Too” Unless You Are a Jew’: Why Won’t Women’s Groups Condemn Hamas’s Rapes?

Why won’t so-called “women’s groups” condemn Hamas terrorists for raping Israeli women on October 7? This is what a growing number of people are asking, including Former Miss World and Miss Israel 1998, Linor Abargil, who gave a very moving and emotional speech before the United Nations on December 4.

Abargil appeared on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday. She said, “It’s ‘Me Too’ unless you are a Jew.” She observed, “It’s not about political, it’s not about ‘Free Palestine, it’s not about which side you’re on on the map: to use rape as an act of war is unbearable. I mean, what happened to humanity?” She then became very emotional and had to take a moment to compose herself before she shared:

“One of my friends… told me a story about this young woman — that he saw a video of her — she was raped by three Hamas people, one after another raped her. . .Screaming they beat her, spit at her, they then butchered her, and one of them took her cell phone and just send everything to her mother. Her scream just haunts my friend every night he’s tried to sleep. And her screaming should be out there for all the world to shout out for this girl that is not here to shout herself. But instead, all of the organizations are just silent. …I mean, I’m telling you, I’m just speechless.”

In the second hour of Thursday’s program, Dana Perino interviewed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) who also called out the women’s groups that are usually her political allies. They include Emily’s List, Democratic Women’s Caucus, Women’s March, I Stand With Her, and American Association of University Women.

Gillibrand said, “When I saw the list at the U.N., I couldn’t believe it. I was so aghast, I was so furious. I don’t understand how we cannot have solidarity amongst all women in the United States and globally — that using rape as a weapon of war is unacceptable. It has to be condemned. The fact that the U.N. has not called Hamas a terrorist organization and condemn[ed] the horrific violence on October 7 is unacceptable. And they’re not even enforcing international law.”

She went on to say, “I think women’s rights groups in the United States should care deeply about women around the globe and should not turn a blind eye. They should not keep their head in the sand. They have a moral responsibility to have moral clarity…”

Perino asked Gillibrand if she watched the video of the October 7 massacre that the Israeli government provided for Congress to watch. She responded, “I did. It’s unspeakable. The horrific acts that were committed in the most heinous and evil ways you can imagine: beheadings, dismemberments, mass rapes, shooting of babies and children. It’s something that should never, ever happen. And it has to be called out not only by the U.N. but by the world community. … They did not show us the victims of rape, and they did not show us the videos of rapes happening because they thought it was too horrific for Congress to see, but we should see it. And these films and these photographs should be made public because the world has to condemn this…”

Abargil’s and Gillibrand’s emotional pleas stand in stark contrast to the cold words of Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, December 3. When CNN host, Dana Bash, asked her why women’s groups are “downright silent” about Hamas raping and mutilating Jewish women on October 7, Jayapal shockingly downplayed Hamas’s evil acts, continually trying to compare those acts to Israel’s justifiable right to defend itself.

Bash said, “With respect, I was just trying to talk about the women, and you turned it back to Israel. I’m asking you about Hamas…”

Jayapal interrupted, “I already answered your question, Dana, I said it’s horrific. I think that rape is horrific — sexual assault is horrific. I think it’s horrific. I think that it happens in war situations. Terrorist organizations like Hamas obviously are using these as tools. However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians…”

Bash pointed out, “And it’s horrible, but you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.” To which Jayapal responded, “Well, Dana, I don’t want this to be the hierarchy of oppressions…”

Although U.N. Women finally condemned Hamas on December 1 (almost two months after the October 7 attack), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still pleading with groups such as the United Nation’s own World Health Organization and women’s groups around the world to be vocal advocates for the many Israeli women and girls that were raped on October 7 (and for the hostages that likely continue to be abused). He said, “I heard heartbreaking stories of abuse. I heard, as you have heard, about sexual abuse and unprecedented cases of cruel rape.”

He then asked, “Did you remain silent because it was Jewish women? … I say to the women’s rights organizations, to the human rights organizations, you’ve heard of the rape of Israeli women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation? Where the hell are you? I expect all civilized leaders, governments, nations to speak up against this atrocity.”

Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies, Meg Kilgannon, is not surprised by women’s groups’ lack of attention to this horrific issue. She told The Washington Stand, “National women’s groups have been part and parcel of the Democratic Party for years. For women who pay attention, we know that these groups will never represent our values or the real interests of women. The example of excusing depraved behaviors of terrorists is just another of many ways the leaders of women’s groups serve the interest of progressive and authoritarian men.”

FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, Mary Szoch, agreed and added, “The terroristic actions of Hamas are pure evil and should be denounced by everyone — especially those claiming to speak for women. Failure to speak out against members of Hamas raping Jewish women is inexcusable.”

AUTHOR

Kathy Athearn

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.