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PODCAST: On Defeating Global Jihad

Listen to the below podcast of the April 10, 2016 The Lisa Benson Show with our guest, Dr. Sebastian  Gorka, noted counterterrorism expert and author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War.  See our review, “Freedom is Precious and Fragile”, in the April edition of the New English Review currently serves as the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University. He is a much sought after guest on Fox News, BBC, CNN, Sky News.

Dr. Gorka was interviewed in by host Lisa Benson, co-host Jerry Gordon and Member of the Advisory Council Richard Cutting.  Gorka’s incisive responses to questions from the panel and callers presented key elements of his thesis that the war against Global Jihad is winnable.  His template for achieving this was the US doctrine and road map adopted at the start of the Cold War that led to the defeat of Soviet Communism with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 without firing a bullet.

Gorka was motivated to write this book in part by his heroic parents experience as refugees from the 1956 Hungarian Revolt who found freedom in the West. The other motivation was to portray the hybrid religious based tyranny of Global Jihadism.  In the course of the discussion he identified the grand masters who implemented the Islamic doctrine of Global Jihadism that spawned the competition between Al Qaeda and the monster it spawned, the Islamic State. He dismisses the false and opaque arguments of the Bush and Obama Administration that Islamic terror is perpetrated by so-called “lone  wolves”  and the priority should be given to  “countering violent extremism.” The latter ironically  has involved the Administration reaching out to  Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamic clerics perpetrating the same Global Jihad doctrinal messaging we should be defeating.   One of the Cold War templates he referred to in the discussion was the “long telegram” drafted by US Diplomat George Kennan in Moscow in 1946. That led  President Truman to announce the ‘containment’ policy before a joint Session of Congress in 1947. The companion document  he mentioned is  NSC-68, authored by Paul Nitze of the State Department Planning Staff in 1950 that providing a road map to victory in the Cold War

Gorka identified in the discussion four grand masters of Global Jihad.  They were  Osama bin Laden’s  real boss who created Al Qaeda, Jordanian Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Sayyid  Qutb, author of Milestones, Pakistani  Gen. S.K. Malik, author of  The Qur’anic War that espoused terror tactics implemented by Al Qaeda’s bin Laden successor Ayman  Al -Zawahiri and American Yemeni, Anwar al-Awlaki, the so-called “bin Laden of the Internet”. When queried about what was it that the caused ISIS to attract more that 76,000 supporters from100 countries, 6,000 from the west including returning fighters who perpetrated the November 2015 Paris Massacres and March 2016 Brussels, he pointed out the end times significance of the eschatology of the self-declared Caliphate, the Islamic State.  The term Al-Shaam in  ISIS refers the mythic venue of the final war against the infidel Christian Jews and others, Syria and Iraq. The genius of Islamic State Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was he declared the Caliphate after conquering swaths of Syria and Iraq , the Shaam site of  the final war vanquishing  the armies of world’s infidels..   When asked about the significance of ISIS’ use of chemical, biological and so-called dirty bomb and drones for delivery, Dr. Gorka said we didn’t have to get too sophisticated about  creating  panic from Jihadi terrorist threats. He pointed  out the Washington sniper case with his son as a spotter had wreaked havoc in the metro area shooting victims on the beltway and in service stations. People were fearful of filling up their cars at gasoline stations unless there were under a tarpaulin. The message  Gorka conveyed was it doesn’t cost much for members of Global Jihad networks here in the US  to unleash terror in a major urban areas.

Besides  appendices  containing the Cold War template documents, Kennan’s “Long Telegram” and Nitze’s NSC-68 “roadmap”, Gorka also mentioned  he included in a separate appendix  a list of readings and a valued guide to better inform citizens so they might challenge Presidential nominees, US Senators  and Members of Congress on the issue of winning the 15 year long war against Global Jihadism.

To emphasize the importance of that goal he cited a question from a Department of Homeland Security employee  at a recent  briefing he gave who contested that  the real threat were the KKK,  some Militia group in Montana, noting  the bombing of a federal office building  by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City in 1995.  As tragic as the example cited by the DHS employee was, Gorka asked the person wasn’t there something more contemporary than  unfortunately one that  occurred 21 years ago? The inference was that more Americans were killed  in 9/11, Little Rock, Fort Hood, Chattanooga and at a Christmas Party in San Bernardino by members of Al Qaeda and US members of the ISIS Global Jihad network.  The Pentagon, FBI and  DHS  at the behest of the Administration have redacting words like Islam and Jihad from training material preventing national counterterrorism and counterintelligence echelons from naming the religious hybrid tyranny of Global Jihad as the real threat.

Dr. Gorka’s  message to win the war against Global Jihad is laid out in a compact  44,000 words in Defeating Jihad. There is the option of listening to a  week’s worth  of audio tapes of the book during commute to work time. However, you can start by listening to this highly informative podcast from The Lisa Benson Show sharing it with friends and groups.

Our usually astute Europeam listener commented:

An excellent show and Dr. Gorka knows his subject profoundly. The way he explains the massive danger facing the free world needs to be distributed everywhere.The main problem that I find is that the free peoples of the world are still sleeping. They prefer to push the danger they are facing into their sub-conscious instead of demanding massively from their elected politicians to fight Global Jihad. Are these populations waiting for the day that Global Jihad will decide to use dirty bombs to assassinate very large numbers of civilians? Regretfully I think that the awakening will come only after a huge shock which is a dreadful feeling for me.

RELATED ARTICLE: Kuwaiti Urges Arab & Muslim States to Recognize Israel Immediately

EDITORS NOTE: This podcast and column originally appeared in the New English Review.

“This is a war and there will be thousands of deaths all across Europe.”

Over the past 24 hours Lisa Benson and Dr. Jill Bellamy, Dr. Jill Bellamy, noted bio defense  expert, member of the UN Counterterrorism Advisory Council  and Founding Director of Warfare Technology Analytics , held conversations and emails exchanges regarding the ISIS suicide bombings in Brussels at the Zaventem Airport and Maelbeek Metro near the EU Complex and European Parliament. The toll has now risen to 31 dead, two of whom are Americans, 330 injured, half of whom remain in hospital with extensive shrapnel wounds and burns. What follows are exchanges between Benson and Bellamy. Bellamy will be a guest on the Sunday, March 27, 2016 The Lisa Benson Show that airs at 4:00 PM EDT in the U.S.

Benson: Jill I started to write an article tonight on the brothers of the 9/11 attacks – and the brothers of Charlie Hebdo, Paris, Boston, and Brussels. The New York Times published a profile of the criminal brothers and suicide bombers, Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui. These are same EU countries contending with terror from émigré Muslim communities  who have Lars Hedegaard charged with mentioning his Danish Palestinian émigré ISIS assailant’s name or  trying  Geert Wilders in a political trial at the Hague  charged over  his 2014 campaign statement “fewer Moroccans.”  I have so little hope — more bloodshed is coming — many more will die and political correctness will live on.

 Bellamy: I have colleagues stateside recommending that my children and I come back to the States. Although I don’t carry an active US passport, nor do my children, I have decided to apply for new passports. This is a war and there will be thousands of deaths all across Europe. This is just the very beginning. We will look back on the attacks in Paris and Brussels five years from now and understand that it was just the beginning.

Benson: This is an interesting time line from The Guardian, given that the Dutch apparently didn’t keep track of suicide bomber Ibrahim Bakraoiu deported by Turkey. They are the same folks who lost track of other terrorists. Meanwhile the Dutch are trying Geert Wilders for raising concerns about Islamic terrorists in the Netherlands.

Bellamy: As a Belgian of course I want to stay and raise my children in Belgium.  However, the Dutch policies and approaches are putting us all in great danger. I have far more faith in the Belgians and French. I know how they operate and what their views are. The Dutch are off in outer space when it comes to understanding and countering Islamic Jihad. They bend over backwards to help their Muslim population target us for death. The Belgians and French would do no such thing. I am quite sure they are giving Salah Abdeslam  some interesting experiences. The Dutch would never do this as it conflicts with their ingrained Calvinistic approach to fairness. Unfortunately, ‘fairness’ and laws which protect terrorists have left the Netherlands totally vulnerable. They are sitting ducks. Yes, they had to leave one of the larger bombs behind as it didn’t fit in the taxi. Another larger one did not detonate. They got that one to the airport. The fact that the one they did detonate brought down a part of the second floor, I just hesitate to think what may have happened had this other one gone off. Indeed I think the real target was Schuman or Luxembourg (these are metro stops running right under the Parliament). I would get off at Schuman and literally take fifty steps into the Parliament buildings.

Now that they suspect that there was a second terrorist with the one who bombed Maelbeek, it seems likely that they may have aborted putting a second bomb on perhaps the first metro. I think their real target was Schuman. I wonder if the bomb detonated early or if there was supposed to be a second bomb. This would make more sense to me. They wouldn’t just use one and they wouldn’t want it detonated at Maelbeek. It wasn’t the prime target, almost but not quite. I am very hopeful Belgian forces will capture the second and third terrorists who appear to have escaped. I also think with Abdeslam chirping away, that other networks across Europe will now be activated very quickly. I suspect we will see within the next few weeks, more major attacks. I can’t wait for Abdeslam to be extradited. Wait until the French get a hold of him.

Benson: If I am reading this correctly:

The train line running under the European Parliament could have been a secondary target….and they could not get all the explosives in the cab. My Israeli friend said that much of Europe believe they can be targeted. In the United States the supporters of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz believe that our government is appeasing ISIS terrorists.

 Bellamy:  Certainly, with the train line running under the European Parliament, this was intended to put the entire EU on notice that their countries are next. As I’ve written before our transportation networks are incredibly vulnerable.

Madrid was just the opener. I really believe that Schipol, with trains running conveniently under it, is next on the list. The Dutch refuse to believe they are in any way a target. They believe they are exempt from terrorism because they have tulips and windmills or some such nonsense. They also refuse to call a spade a spade. They refuse to acknowledge that they are next due to their large population of Muslims. While Muslim communities may be better integrated here compared to Belgium or France, they are still planning jihad. One is not necessarily related to the other and this is what the Dutch totally miss. They pin all their hopes on integration. The Dutch think they can appease Muslim communities by doing things like putting Geert Wilders on trial. This is a very naive and dangerous approach.  France and Belgium top the list mainly due to their colonial past. The Dutch are there because they are bombing Syria and they are a very soft and vulnerable target.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English ReviewThe featured image is from an Islamic State propaganda video claiming responsibility for the attacks in Brussels. The video calls for more attacks.

Trump and the realities of WMD in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq

GOP Presidential front runner Donald Trump, following his South Carolina victory, was on Fox News Sunday, February 21, 2016 with Chris Wallace when the subject of the War in Iraq came up.  Trump contended it was a disaster.  He asserted that Jeb Bush finally admitted he never supported it and pointed towards the result, Iran taking over there.  Something he alleges he would stop if elected President.  Trump was on record in an interview with Howard Stern in September 2002 supporting the Iraq war, later questioning its cost. Wallace’s question was triggered by an exchange with Anderson Cooper of CNN during the South Carolina town hall on February 19th. His comment about WMD in Iraq caught a wave of attention. In the exchange with Cooper he said:

“There are a lot of people that think that – look, bottom line, there were no weapons of mass destruction, and there were none, and they knew there were none,” he added. “There were no weapons of mass destruction.”

Watch Trump’s interview with FoxNews’ Chris Wallace on this YouTube Video:

The Lisa Benson Show contested Trump’s assertion in posts on social media.  Host Benson pointed out the views of noted BioWarfare expert, Dr. Jill Bellamy in our first NER interview with her in December 2007 when we raised this issue. Here was our exchange with Bellamy:

GordonWe heard that some of the late Saddam Hussein’s Bio-warfare research and pathogens may have been transferred to Syria during Operation Enduring Freedom.  Is that accurate to your knowledge, and who facilitated the transfer? What types of bio-warfare agents and materials might have been transferred?

Bellamy: Yes. It is important to remember that the Iraqi programs were far more advanced at the time than what the Syrians had, and were developing.  The delivery of certain pathogens in a ‘weaponized’ form taught the Syrians new techniques they previously had not mastered. This is very problematic. I am less concerned about the types of pathogens or specific pathogens as these were available to Syria from other sources.  What Hussein’s transfer taught the Syrians was more sophisticated ways of weaponization and dispersal. I believe Russian special ops- their Spetsnaz teams – transported sections of the programs. Remember these are not MIRVed ICBM’s we are talking about – you don’t need to stockpile biological weapons. It is the quality of the pathogen and ‘weaponization’ or aerosolization, milling processes that count, not the quantity.  I don’t believe they moved some biological arsenals into the Baqaa Valley in Lebanon, perhaps sections of their chemical and nuclear weapons, but not the biological programs.  Those are much too sensitive to dump in the desert. They must be carefully maintained in a defense laboratory. If you take something like Botulism – one gram of crystalline Botulinium is estimated to kill about a million people if it were evenly dispersed – you don’t want to bury it out in the desert.

This writer and host Lisa Benson of the eponymous Radio Show on National Security later on Sunday, February 21, 2016 interviewed Ken Timmerman,  investigative journalist, President of  the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, author of New York Times best seller, Countdown to Crisis , Shadow Warriors and Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened at Benghazi.  We brought up Trump’s assertions about Saddam Hussein’s WMD.

Timmerman said that Trump had erred by repeating “a massive media lie.” As evidence to support this he pointed out that evidence of WMD, especially chemical weapons had been uncovered in the opening stages of Operations Enduring Freedom.  Moreover, months before the March 2003 conflict with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq began; convoys of trucks were seen on satellite imagery crossing the frontier into Syria.  “We knew,” Timmerman said,” because none other than current Director of National Intelligence James Clapper,  formerly the director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, said in 2003 that he believed materials had been moved out of Iraq in the months before the war and cited satellite imagery.” Further in 2008, NBC reported secret U.S. operation transferred to Canada more than  550 metric tons of “yellow cake” uranium discovered in Iraq that was to be used for higher grade  enrichment .  Good thing, because  if not transferred it might have ended up in the hands of ISIS courtesy of those former Ba’athist officers.  There was further corroboration of Timmerman’s rebuttal in a 2012 Daily Beast article on this question:

Former Iraqi General Sada asserted that Saddam’s chemical stockpile was lifted, in his book “Saddam’s Secrets” and summarized by Investor’s Business Daily:

As Sada told the New York Sun, two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, and special Republican Guard units loaded the planes with chemical weapons materials.

There were 56 flights disguised as a relief effort after a 2002 Syrian dam collapse.

The IBD article also mentions then Israeli General, now Defense Minister Yaalon’s assertions, and those of John Shaw regarding Russian assistance in the form of former KGB General Primakov:

There were also truck convoys into Syria. Sada’s comments came more than a month after Israel’s top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Ya’alon, told the Sun that Saddam “transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria.”

According to Shaw, ex-Russian intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov, a KGB general with long-standing ties to Saddam, went to Iraq in December 2002 and stayed until just before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Anticipating the invasion, his job was to supervise the removal of such weapons and erase as much evidence of Russian involvement as possible.

Timmerman also drew attention to Saddam Hussein era connections to ISIS’ use of chemical weapons in both Iraq and Syria against Kurdish Peshmerga and Syrian Kurdish YPG forces. Our colleague Ilana Freedman asserted that ISIS may have perpetrated the 2013 Sarin gas attack in a Damascus suburb killing over a thousand Syrian civilians.   Timmerman said that ISIS is a “blend of former Iraqi Ba’athist officers and Al Qaeda in Iraq Jihadists.” ‘Those former Ba’athist officers knew where those WMD caches were located in both Iraq and Syria”.

As to who may have perpetrated the media lie about there was no WMD in Iraq, Timmerman’s 2007 book, Shadow Warriors  (see pp. 285-286) suggests that it was the late Tyler Drumheller, former European division chief of the CIA’s Director of Operations, who went on 60 Minutes with the late Ed Bradley and lied about information obtained from a Saddam Hussein era, Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri.  Timmerman reported this exchange between Bradley and Drumheller:

Tyler Drumheller, a twenty-six year veteran of the Agency, has decided to do something CIA officials at his level almost never do: speak out,” intoned, Ed Bradley

And what did this high-level source tell them? Bradley wanted to know. “He told us that they had no active weapons of mass destruction program, “Drumheller said. Bush Lied, people died  [noted Timmerman].

Bradley wondered. “It directly contradicts what the president and his staff were telling us.”

No one cared about the facts, Drumheller said. “The policy was set. The War in Iraq was coming. And they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy, to justify the policy.”

What might Trump say in response to GOP debate moderators on this assertion? Timmerman suggested that Trump might simply brush the controversy off by saying “I relied on what the media was saying at the time”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Donald Trump with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, South Carolina Town hall, February 18, 2016.

The Counter-Terrorism Impasse in Afghanistan, Israel and the United States

by Jerry Gordon, Lisa Benson and Richard Cutting…

The New Year marks the 14th year in the conflict in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan with the Taliban. Following 9/11, a victory against the Salafist Taliban was achieved in less than six months with special operators of the US and cadres of Afghan war lords. Fast forward to the fall of 2015, the Taliban has undertaken stunning attacks against NATO-ISAF forces. There was the brief Taliban takeover of the northern regional capital of Kunduz in September 2015 culminating with the mistaken USAF bombing of a Medicins sans Frontiere hospital with 26 dead. There was the instability of local regional police and Afghan security failing to prevent the Taliban from regaining control over Helmand province. An explosives laden motorcycle attack on December 22, 2015 on a joint NATO-ISAF Afghan patrol took the lives of six Americans, including a 15–year veteran of the NYPD, John Lamm. Stratfor in an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan commented:

Without local support and adequate resources, the Afghan government will not be able to keep crucial areas from falling to the Taliban. Winning public support domestically and securing international aid, important in any counterinsurgency, will remain vital components of Kabul’s fight for survival in the Afghanistan conflict.

A serious emerging threat was the rise of ISIS in Afghanistan and the eruption of a barbaric internecine war between the two extremist Islamic groups. That was graphically portrayed in a PBS Frontline report in November 2015, ”ISIS in Afghanistan.” In neighboring Pakistan, the Taliban have spread havoc beyond their bastion in Northwest Waziristan conducting terror attacks in Islamabad and Lahore. Emblematic of that was an attack that killed 22 on January 20, 2016 by the Pakistani Taliban at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan.

The Obama Administration was poised at the start of its final year in office with less than 9,800 US forces in Afghanistan winding down to less than 5,500 engaged in primarily advisory and training roles. That was supplemented by a few thousand NATO forces under the ISAF Command.  During hearings in the fall of 2015 before the US Senate and House Armed Services, in testimony by US Amy General John Campbell, he called for the equivalent of a surge in Afghanistan. In a USA Today interview he said: “My intent would be to keep as much as I could for as long as I could. If that means more people, it’s more people.” In response to his and other military experts’ testimony, Senate Armed Services Chairman, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain commented:

We have made significant and steady progress in Afghanistan. But as U.S. military officials and diplomats have warned for years – I repeat, for years – these gains are still reversible, and a robust and adaptive U.S. troop presence based on conditions on the ground is essential to ensuring that these gains endure.

Failure to adopt such a conditions-based plan, these experts have warned, would invite the same tragedy that has unfolded in Iraq since 2011. If we have learned anything from that nightmare, it is that wars do not end just because politicians say so.

An additional burden has been placed on Gen. Campbell. On January 20, 2016, the White House announced that the U.S.-led ISAF could now undertake operations against the growing ISIS threat in eastern Afghanistan.

The Pakistani counterterrorism effort has been brought into question given the announced retirement on January 25, 2016 of Armed Forces strategic thinker, Gen. Raheel Sharif, who will leave in November 2016. The popular General Sharif had led the tough counterterrorism campaign against the Pakistani Taliban and other Islamist terror groups.

Embattled Israel was confronting a low-intensity wave of violence that the media has labeled, a “knife intifada.” It has been waged daily since September 2015 by Palestinians and some Israeli Arabs allegedly incited by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian and Israeli Arab violence has claimed 29 Israeli, US and foreign migrants dead. Dozens were injured from knifings, car rammings and shootings. 149 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security. In one troubling case, in January 2016, an Israeli Arab using a semi-automatic weapon at a Tel Aviv café killed three persons. He fled the scene and was eventually tracked by Israeli security forces to his home area in Northern Israel and killed.

In June 2015, the Palestinian Authority in an apparent “diplomatic Intifada” brought charges before the International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Netherlands. The PA alleged that the IDF had committed “war crimes” during the 50 day summer rocket and tunnel war in 2014  waged cross border by the terrorist group Hamas. The ICC released preliminary findings which brought this reaction from Israel’s Justice and Foreign Ministries according to a Jerusalem Post report, “Israel has an engagement with the ICC over competence issues.”

 “Competence” is a code word for trying to convince the ICC that there is no state of “Palestine” and that the ICC cannot investigate IDF personnel, because the IDF’s own investigations of its personnel meet international law standards.

An International Military Tribunal presented testimony at the UN Human Rights Council probe chaired by former New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis in mid-June 2015. The Tribunal, composed of former generals and diplomats, concluded that ”the IDF acted within the bounds of international law during its war with Hamas in Gaza.” Further, the group’s report concluded:

During Operation Protective Edge last summer, in the air, on the ground and at sea, Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard.

We saw clear evidence of this from the upper to the lower levels of command. A measure of the seriousness with which Israel took its moral duties and its responsibilities under the laws of armed conflict is that, in some cases, Israel’s scrupulous adherence to the laws of war cost Israeli soldiers’ and civilians’ lives.

One of those who presented testimony was former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard E. Kemp (ret.), CBE.  In a New York Times op-ed, Kemp disputed the ruling by UNHRC Special Rapporteur Judge Davis, saying:

It pains me greatly to see words and actions from the United Nations that can only provoke further violence and loss of life. The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer’s conflict in Gaza … will do just that.

[…]

The former British commander wondered why the commission refused to incorporate a 242-page report commissioned by Israel after it declined to cooperate with the U.N. Commission, which included findings by 11 senior military officials from seven nations, including Kemp and Chairman of the Unites States Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. That report said Israel’s actions were “lawful” and “legitimate” and rejected claims the IDF intentionally targeted civilians.

Kemp also noted several internal contradictions in the U.N. report, such as acknowledging that Israel Defense Forces tactics saved lives while indicting “decision makers at the highest levels of the government of Israel of a policy of deliberately killing civilians.”

He accused the U.N. commission of endorsing “Hamas’s anti-Israel narrative.”

Kemp said he was in Israel for much of the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza last summer.

When the Paris and San Bernardino massacres occurred in November and December 2015, with large mass casualties, the worst since 9/11 in the California jihad attack, questions were raised about both fraudulent passport and questionable Visa screening procedures. This was especially the case as the US DHS was responsible for vetting Iraqi and Syrian refugees being admitted  under the authorized US Refugee Admissions Program.

Given the infiltration by ISIS operatives in the stream of Syrian asylees flooding into Europe, including jihadis killed in the Paris attack, Congress created legislation – the Security Against Foreign Enemies or SAFE Act, H.R. 4038. The SAFE Act required additional clearances by the FBI and unanimous consent by the DHS, FBI and Director of National Intelligence before Iraqi and Syrian refugees could be admitted. It was passed by the House on November 19, 2015 by a vote of 239 to 137, including 47 Minority Democrats. The SAFE legislation was rejected from consideration by the US Senate on January 20, 2016. The bill was “provisionally dead due to a failed vote for cloture required to move past a Senate filibuster or the threat of a filibuster that required a 3/5th vote.” The measure couldn’t be considered as Senate Republicans could only muster 55 votes. That still left the dual questions of how we could stem the flood of Iraqi and Syrian conflict refugees into the US.

Against this background, The Lisa Benson Show convened a discussion about these issues in a January 10, 2015 broadcast with guests Counterterrorism experts Col. Richard E. Kemp (ret.) CBE, and Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

Listen to the podcast of the Lisa Benson Show broadcast with Kemp and Gorka.

Lisa Benson

Lisa Benson: Welcome, America. Welcome, everyone. And good evening to our friends listening from around the world tonight. Shalom to our friends joining us from Israel, and we thank them for staying up. It’s 10:00 PM in Israel. This is your host, Lisa Benson. Our broadcast today has two distinguished guests, very highly qualified counterterrorism experts. They are Dr. Sebastian Gorka, often seen on FOX News, andColonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan.

There are several breaking stories we are watching today. As you heard this week, the insurgency of ISIS sympathizers in the United States is on the rise. This is evidenced by the attacks in San Bernardino and Philadelphia. ISIS sympathizers were arrested in Sacramento, Rochester, New York, and Houston, Texas. At the same time, we are learning that the New York Police Department is being curtailed on profiling Muslimsunder suspicion, and an award of $11 million has been made to Muslim advocates. That story was in the Wall Street Journal weekend edition. We are going to discuss that with Dr. Gorka today. Adding to the nexus of international geopolitics, the Saudi Arabians are cutting their ties with Iran. North Koreans are claiming detonation of an H-bomb. ISIS and Hezbollah are on the northern Israeli border. Sanctions are to be lifted on Iran this week or next. Transfer of $100 billion to Iran, and still we do not have a signed agreement on the Iran deal that our lawmakers handed them on a silver platter. All the while, Iran continues to violate the agreement, but we will lift our sanctions. You know full well what will happen to those released funds. The Taliban, ISIS and Al-Qaeda are on the rise in Afghanistan. Those are just a few of the stories we have been following this week.  Jerry Gordon, are you with me?

Jerry Gordon

Jerry Gordon:  I am with you.

Benson:  Thank you so much. Jerry Gordon, senior editor, New English Review, our honorary, board member, and co-producer of this show.

Gordon:  Thank you.

Benson:  It is quite an honor to have once again back with us, Col. Richard Kemp. Col. Kemp, are you there?

Colonel Richard Kemp

Col. Richard Kemp:  I’m here, and it’s a real pleasure to be with you.

Benson:  Richard Kemp is the best-selling author of Attack State Red and a regular columnist for the Times of London. He frequently writes for other national and international newspapers, and is a prolific contributor to television and radio news and current affairs programs. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. Col. Kemp was a front-line observer in three IDF operations against Hamas in Gaza in 2009,2012, and 2014. He has presented expert testimony on IDF counterterrorism operations in Gaza before the tribunals of the United Nations. Richard, I was reading your Facebook page, and one thing that strikes me is you think the Royals should pay a visit to Israel.

Kemp:  Yes, I go there as often as I possibly can. It’s an absolutely brillian country. The only democracy in the Middle East. They have been at war constantly since, the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948. They have been attacked many times, both by conventional armies and by terrorists using rocket attacks from Gaza. Yet they manage to not only to maintain their country, to develop their country, which has produced major benefits, inventions and technical advancements for the world. I think it’s a fantastic country. I do think the British royal family should go there. They haven’t.

The Queen hasn’t visited Israel. She is the head of the Church of England. The Church of England, of course, owes its origins to Jerusalem. I think it is time that the royal family should visit in 2017 which is the anniversary of the re-conquest of Jerusalem by General Allenby, who headed British Empire forces, liberating Jerusalem from the Turks. Many British and Empire soldiers, particularly Australians and New Zealanders, died in that, in Palestine. I think that it is the time for the Queen to commemorate the deaths of those brave soldiers.

Benson:  I hope you can make that happen. Your Prime Minister Cameron should be whispering into our president’s ear on why exactly he deemed the MuslimBrotherhood a terrorist organization. We just can’t seem to make that kind of headway here. The president of the United States believes that the Muslim Brotherhood in America is a moderate entity. Would you like to tell the listeners why that was important for you in Great Britain to deem them a terrorist organization that follows suit with the United Arab Emirates?

Kemp:  Our prime minister has many failings and faults, as do every prime minister, every other human being. However, one thing that you can say for him is that he is a strong supporter and friend of Israel. He made a speech two years ago in the Knesset in which he spelled out very clearly the, the United Kingdom’s support for Israel. Not perfect by any means, but it is there. We enjoy very, very close relations, particularly on the intelligence front with the upper levels of Israeli military. Israeli battlefield and medical technology have saved the lives of British soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, as it has American soldiers. The Muslim Brotherhood is an evil organization. It is an organization that wishes to spread the Islamic caliphate into Europe. That wishes to effectively take over all governments in the Middle East and in Europe as well. It would run them along Islamic lines. And, that also includes Israel. The terrorist organization Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. They are very closely linked.  They wish to destroy the state of Israel. They wish to drive Israel into the sea. They want to see all Jews out of not only Israel, but the world as well. That is in their charter. The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas have very similar objectives. In some respects, similar also to the Islamic State, which of course, is involved in the worst depravity we are seeing in the world today.  Witness the torture, murder, massacre, abuse that takes place throughout the Middle East under their dispensation. So I think our prime minister, our government, is quite right to outlaw and brand the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. And I think that President Obama should take the same steps.

Benson:  We hope so.

Gordon:  Col. Kemp, it is a pleasure to have you back on the program. And I want to return to your days in Afghanistan as Commander of British Forces in HelmandProvince. Why was the Taliban, vanquished in the first months following 9/11, able to return as a significant threat in Afghanistan in what is now a 14-year war?

Kemp:  I think one of the problems that we experienced in Afghanistan was that we, we were fighting two campaigns at the same time. We were fighting Iraq and we were fighting in Afghanistan. I think we took our eye off the ball a little bit in Afghanistan after initially vanquishing the Taliban. We then ended up with a resurgentTaliban. That does not need to continue.  It has been curbed to an extent. However, we must actually maintain our military presence, and support for the government of Afghanistan, to try and stop the spread of the Taliban and the Islamic State which is gaining increasing traction there as well.

Benson:  I am now going to bring on Richard Cutting, actor, film and, TV writer, producer and counterterrorism commentator. Welcome back, Richard.

Richard Cutting

Richard Cutting:  Thanks for having me back. ISIS and the Taliban are now at each other’s throats in Afghanistan. ISIS is having a presence of some note along the Pakistani border. What is the relative probability of ISIS gaining significant traction in Afghanistan long-term? What is the Afghan government doing to fight any ISIS advance? How are they getting, involved with Pakistan? How, are they gaining access to the theater in Afghanistan?

Kemp:  I think one of the issues here is the support that Pakistan has given to the Taliban over many years. If it had it not been for the support of the Pakistani government, in particularly their intelligence services and their army for the Taliban, then their insurgency would not have been as powerful and successful as it has been. That is one area that remains a concern as the Taliban continues its encroachment. The Islamic State is, um, gaining strength in Afghanistan.  They are gaining recruits from the Taliban. There are some whole units of the Taliban moving across to the Islamic State. In some cases, individual recruits are crossing over. They are gaining power; they’re gaining strength.

They are still not as strong as the Taliban; they’re fighting the Taliban. That is a good thing, of course, because the Islamic State members are killing Taliban people and Taliban are killing Islamic State forces, which we should encourage. We should hope that will continue because they’re both evil groups. They’re both enemies ofthe West. They’re both enemies of the Democratic Republic in Afghanistan. We need to see that continue. One of the problems is, that Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state. The Islamic State wishes to gain control in Pakistan. There is a risk of them gaining more traction in Pakistan. And the Pakistani Taliban is trying to seize control in Pakistan. We have Al-Qaeda, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The two theaters in some ways, I think, need to be seen as one. The difficulty is that they are enemies of each other. Pakistan hates Afghanistan, and vice versa. So this rivalry and animosity feeds and enables the growth of the Taliban and the Islamic State in both of these countries. It is an area that we need to be very concerned about. We certainly need to keep military engagement in Afghanistan. And we certainly need strong political engagement and pressure put on the Pakistani government.

Benson:  Col. Kemp: Do you see Al Qaeda and ISIS threatening the United States and its European allies?

Kemp:  As we all know 9/11 was spawned in Afghanistan. There is a very strong risk that if significant areas of Afghanistan or even the whole country, is again taken over by Islamic jihadists, we could see a scenario where they’re able to plan, organize and launch attacks against the U.S. and the West. However, it is not simplyAfghanistan today. We have very strong issues in Syria and Iraq, where the Islamic State has gained power. Admittedly, some of the areas are being taken back. We also have problems in Libya, in many parts of the Middle East, and in North Africa. There is territory that is being gained by the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and the jihadists. All of these areas are areas that we need to monitor closely. I know the CIA is doing that. The U.S. military is doing that as well. Wherever ISIS raises its head, it has to be hit. It has to be knocked off. The problem is not going away. It is a generation’s long problem that we are facing and fighting for a very long time. We need to be constantly vigilant. We need to be aggressive in the way that we deal with it. We cannot afford simply relax our guard and hope that it is going to die down; it is not. The US has to be very politically active in the Middle East. The U.S. actually is backing the wrong horse. They are supporting one of the world’s most dangerous powers – Iran. They are abandoning their allies in the region. Their allies include Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the US is not providing backing for those powers which have been effective stalwarts and bulwarks against Islamic jihad throughout the region and the world.

Benson:  I hope we can last another year with less than 10,000 combat forces in Afghanistan and soon to be reduced. We cannot imagine what will happen.

Gordon:  By the end of the Obama presidency, which is now a year away, are the Afghan security forces under the status of forces agreement, capable of defendingthe country against both the Taliban and ISIS?

Kemp:  They are not, unfortunately no. That is not without strong U.S. and Allied assistance. Britain is providing some assistance, but not as much as it should be. The problem with the Afghan security force is that they are working for a corrupt government. Corruption is endemic in Afghanistan. It started, under President Karzai and is continuing. What armed forces can be expected to fight for a corrupt regime that doesn’t support them, that does not pay them properly, that does not put a priority on giving them the resources they need? That is why U.S. forces need to retain a presence there. If they don’t, then we risk the same situation occurring in Afghanistan, perhaps on an even worse scale as we saw when President Obama pulled virtually all U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2012 as part of his domestic political agenda, which helped him to be reelected for a second term.

Benson:  As we wrap up this segment with Col. Richard Kemp, I would like to have. Richard Cutting summarize.

Cutting:  What occurs to me in listening to the Colonel is, simply this: we are in a new world. We really have to integrate that in our daily thinking. Just as you go out to hear your candidates and in your local political arenas, talking about taxes and your local issues, we must now begin to listen to our friends in the military. Col. Kemp’s message couldn’t have been clearer today. As a citizen of this country, we are in a generational battle, and we need to start acting that way. We need to think about these theaters of war as part of our everyday lives, and support the people who are intelligently analyzing this, and leading this fight. We are not in episodic wars like World War II anymore. This is going to be, unfortunately, something we pass on to our children. There must be a continuum of intelligent political discussion, that is precise, and based on the good efforts and fine work of people like Col. Kemp. Thank you, Colonel, for putting in that generational aspect. It has to start becoming normalized.

Gordon:  Col. Kemp is a man who has also put his finger on what the problem is here in the West. He calls it the “amoral revolution.” He, however, has been an exemplar of defending those common Judeo-Christian values, coming to the assistance of the Israel Defense Force.  The IDF has been unfairly castigated in international forums. It has been unjustly accused of war crimes. Kemp also put his finger on whom in the Muslim world, are backing the Taliban and ISIS, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, and even South Asia.

Kemp:  I think it’s very important that Americans realize the war that we’re in. The two commentators there made it absolutely clear, and rightly, that this is agenerational struggle. It’s a struggle between the West and radical Islam. This is not a war sought by the West. This is a war that has been sought by radical Islamists. They want to dominate the Middle East. They want to deny any access to the Middle East by the West. They also want to dominate areas of the West, perhaps the whole of the West. We have to fight them. We have to stand up and fight them. We are not going to fight them by pretending that the struggle doesn’t exist, by pretending that they are not our enemies, because they are our enemies.

I am not suggesting that all Muslims are our enemies. Those who wish to see us destroyed, those who wish to change the way of life in countries like Britain and the United States of America that have been responsible for the vast majority of good that’s been done in this world. We just cannot allow them to destroy us. We have to stand up against them and fight them. We should not deny that this problem exists. We need to find ways of dealing with it.  Our politicians are too enthusiastic about understanding and wanting to embrace cultures that simply don’t work in our countries. They cannot work in our countries unless we wish to see our countriesdescending into the kind of violence and amorality that exists in so many parts of the Middle East. Let us support Israel. Let us do everything we can to support the outpost of civilization, the outpost of Western values that exists in the Middle East. It is a very valuable country. It is a magnificent country from which we all benefit. We must support Israel as we support our own civilizations.

Benson:  I’d like to bring on my next guest, Dr. Sebastian Gorka. Welcome, Dr. Gorka.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka

Dr. Sebastian Gorka:  Thank you so much, Lisa.

Benson:  Dr. Gorka, You are advisor to the Department, the Department of Defense in its irregular warfare joint operation concept. You currently serve as the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University. Previously you were Associate Dean of Congressional Affairs and Relations to the special operations community at the National Defense University.

Gordon:  Dr. Gorka, in early December we had the San Bernardino, California terrorist massacre. This weekend we had a shooting of a police officer in Philadelphia by a former convicted felon. Were these crimes by Muslims inspired by loyalty to the pure Islam of ISIS?

Gorka:  The most important thing we have to do is jettison a phrase that is used so regularly in the media, of “lone-wolf terrorism.” This is a phrase that was invented to make the listener disconnect the dots. There is this idea that there has to be some kind of operational link between the perpetrators and Al-Qaeda central, or ISIS headquarters in Iraq or Syria. The fact is that, whether it’s the Boston Bombers whether it’s the Chattanooga shooter, whether it is the two in San Bernardino or this new, attempted murder of this police officer in Philadelphia, it’s very clear that the connective tissue for all of them is the ideology of global jihad. We have to understand that all of these actors from 9/11 down are connected, share the same concept that we are the infidel; America is antithetical to Islam, and as a result we must be destroyed. This is the big picture. This is the strategic understanding that the current administration doesn’t want your listeners to have.

Cutting:  Dr. Gorka, two Iraqi refugees, one in Sacramento and the other in Houston, were arrested this past week. One had joined ISIS in Syria and returned toCalifornia as a trained jihadi, influencing the other to join ISIS. How deficient is our system for vetting refugees, in light of the Administration’s resettlement of thousands of Syrian refugees in the United States?

Gorka:  It is not just deficient; it’s actually, impossible to do the vetting that would be required. So, if you want to vett somebody, from the national securityperspective, who’s coming into the country as a refugee, there are really only two ways to do it. This is very personal to me; my parents were refugees. They escaped the Communist country during the Cold War, and they were vetted. They escaped Hungary in the revolution of 1956. They arrived in a refugee camp in Austria. For the next few weeks, they were persistently and repeatedly interviewed by counterintelligence professional who would make the determination after dozens of interviews, whether or not the individual was truly a refugee and should be supported and given succor? Or whether they were an agent of a hostile power – in that case, a Communist regime? So that’s the first way you do it. Right now America does not have the manpower to do that. Remember, the president has just declared that his priority is to provide more agents to the FBI to do background checks for firearms purchases. I doubt this would be a priority.

The second way to vet is to compare that individual’s story and the data they are providing you, against an objective, confirmed database – a source that you know is true. You check that against their presentations to the individual who’s interviewing them. As Director Comey of the FBI, has testified on the Hill, we do not have that database to check refugee data against. It doesn’t even exist. Even if it existed in Syria, the Assad regime would not give us access to that information. So when it comes to the very basic 101 of national security, we don’t have the manpower, nor do we have the objective data – the verifiable data – available to do a proper refugee screening as the U.S. national security would require.

Gordon:  Dr. Gorka, you were in both Israel and Jordan during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday. You visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. What did you take away from that experience about Administration policies regarding the conflict in Syria and the strategy combating ISIS?

Gorka:  There were two big takeaways after we visited the biggest refugee camp in Jordan. The first one is the fact that Jordan is doing an incredible job with minimal assistance from either the United States or the, very wealthy Gulf states. So think about this; Jordan has a population of 6 million Jordanians, and they’ve absorbed atleast one and a half million refugees from Syria. This is a nation that doesn’t have oil; that is not wealthy. They are doing an incredible job absorbing the aftermath of the murderous war that is occurring in Syria. So they need support, and fundamentally they need support from the Gulf States that are in a position to assist them. Secondly, I think the biggest take-home is what the Jordanian authorities shared with us after we had seen everything, and after we asked them, so what’s the long-term scenario here? And they were very candid with us. Remember, Jordan is a Muslim country. It is a Sunni Muslim country; it headed by King Abdullah II, who is descended from Mohammed. That is why it’s called the Hashemite Kingdom. They were very explicit; they said, look, these are Syrians from Syria. We don’t want them to stay in refugee camps. Nor does it make sense for them to move further north into Europe, nor does it make sense for them to travel across the Atlantic to be accepted into countries like the United States. The long-term answer is for the crisis in Syria to be resolved, and for these Syrians to go back to Syria. So when a, a Muslim nation right next to the Syrian conflict tells you that, I think we should listen.

Benson:  Dr. Gorka, New York City concluded a settlement ending the NYPD Muslim community profiling program imposing a civilian monitor on the policedepartment. Do you think this puts New York City at greater risk for Islamic terror?

Gorka:  Absolutely. I was actually briefing a House Committee about this Friday. One of the Congressmen asked me, “So what’s the good news?” Because I gave them a very depressing presentation on how we are losing the war with the jihadists. At the end of the briefing, one of them said, “So, Dr. Gorka, give us some good news about what works. What have we done right in the last 15 years?”  I said, “You know what? Our federal government really hasn’t done very much right in the last 15 years. But if you want a model of how to make America secure or part of America secure, it’s the NYPD.”

The NYPD after 9/11 made a very simple decision. They said, “The feds have let us down. The Big Apple was the key target. and, they didn’t do their jobs. So we’re not going to ask, we’re not going to expect Uncle Sam to protect the citizens of New York again, but we’re going to do it ourselves.” New York went from having six counterterrorism intelligence analysts, to building probably one of the world’s best counter-jihadi intelligence capabilities, with amazing human intelligence networks. People who were trained to go into the communities to monitor the radical Imam, the radical mosques. This is way to do it to protect Americans. But that only lasted until Mayor de Blasio. So now you have in New York, a, another version of what’s happening here in Washington with the White House. You have politics getting in the way of national security. And you’ve got ideology undermining American lives.

Cutting:  Dr. Gorka, you cover such a range. The one thing that didn’t get factored into this is the Persian Gulf, situation with Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Gorka:  I’m going to steal somebody else’s words here. There is no better summary than Netanyahu’s, description before Congress recently, when he said, “If you want to understand what’s going on in the Middle East now, you have to understand that it is a game of thrones for the crown of the caliphate.” We’re obsessed with Al-Qaeda, with ISIS; but we have to understand that it is actually a war between the Shiite version of the Caliphate, as, designed by the Mullahs in Tehran, and the Sunni version of the Caliphate, as exemplified by Al-Qaeda and, ISIS. So this, this is the war that we are caught up in. Two versions of the Caliphate and Iran is potentially even more dangerous than ISIS, because of their nuclear capabilities.

Gordon:  Dr. Gorka has basically told us that we can forget about the administration’s famous program combating violent extremism. If you don’t focus on theunderlying Islamic Koranic doctrine, you will not succeed in combating either domestic terrorism or ISIS and settling the problems in the Middle East. Furthermore, you’ve got a sectarian divide rising between Iran – which is potentially going to be nuclear-powered – and Saudi Arabia.

 Benson:  Thank you, Jerry Gordon. Thank you, Richard Cutting. Thank you Dr. Gorka.

Gorka:  You’re very welcome.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Is it Safe to Fly?

Saturday morning, October 31st, 2015 Flight 9268 a Metrojet Airbus A321 with 224 largely Russian tourists, and crew aboard was on a course for St. Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh on Egypt’s Sinai Red Sea. The aircraft reached an altitude of 31,000 feet at 430 knots, when something catastrophic occurred at 23 minutes into the flight. Communications with the pilot abruptly ended, the plane struggled to gain altitude and just as suddenly plummeted earthward with the tail section broken off and the rest of fuselage sent crashing into the desert and mountains. A flash was seen via satellite. All 224 passengers and crew aboard were killed. The crash occurred less than 300 miles from the resort area at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula at the mouth of the Red Sea. The passenger remains and aircraft debris were scattered over a wide area. All of this was recorded in real time on satellite flight status internet reports and satellite imagery. Forensic teams from Egyptian, Russian and Airbus air safety organizations were dispatched to retrieve the flight data recorders. Egyptian military and Red Crescent teams were engaged in recovery of the remains, personal effects and luggage of those killed in the crash. Grief was overwhelming at funerals held in St. Petersburg, Russia following the arrival of the remains of the victims.

Alleged ISIS soda can bomb with detonator and switch. Source: Dabig Magazine.

The immediate questions were what caused the aviation catastrophe and who may have been behind it. The forensic evidence after review of black box recordings pointed to a bomb planted in the rear baggage hold by a possible ISIS operative. A picture of a popular Schweppes soda can consumed in Egypt with a detonator and timer appeared in the ISIS monthly magazine, DabigCNN reported comments from former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms expert, Anthony May indicating the improvised explosive device was capable of bringing down Metrojet Flight 9268:

The photograph showed a soft drink can and two components that appear to be a detonator and a switch, explosives expert Anthony May said.

There is a hole in the bottom of the can, which reveals a white substance inside that could be explosives, he said. The detonator would be placed through the hole.

The three components appeared to constitute a “suicide-type bomb” because the bomber would have to flip the single-throw rocker switch to detonate the bomb, May said.

May acknowledged the apparent simplicity and lethality of the bomb.

“It doesn’t take much to bring down a plane in flight if it’s placed in the most critical area of the aircraft, breaking the fuselage,” said May, a retired explosives enforcement officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Because the can is made of metal, “any typical security protocol should detect this via the metal detectors or via the x-rays” in an airport, May said.

“However, it’s not unlikely or impossible to separate these components, and an individual could carry separate components through security and then assemble the device on the other side,” May said.

May also cited another, “most likely” scenario for moving such a bomb through an airport: “An insider threat getting this item, circumventing security, getting it to the aircraft — if it was used on the aircraft,” May said.

The downing of the Russian airliner was done in retaliation for Russia’s airstrikes in Syria, ISIS claimed in the magazine.

Radicalization of French Muslim Airport Workers and Lack of Screening

The likelihood that poor security screenings of airport ground and tarmac personnel harboring ISIS sympathies was revealed following terrorist attacks in Paris. On November 13th ISIS trained Belgian and French born operatives in Paris equipped with Kalashnikov assault rifles and grenades killed 130 innocent civilians, injuring more than 352, 99 seriously. They perpetrated suicide bombings at a French soccer stadium, random shootings of patrons at outdoor cafes, and hostages held at a concert hall. France and the world were devastated by this ISIS attack. French President Hollande called it “an act of war” by the self-declared Islamic State. The alleged mastermind of the ISIS massacres was subsequently killed along with a female cousin and a third unidentified suspect in a massive shootout by French police who assaulted a safe house on November 18th in the predominately Muslim suburb of St. Denis, north of Paris. French President Hollande and President Obama at a White House Press Conference on November 23rd declared their solidarity endeavoring to destroy ISIS. However, French and Belgian counterterrorism authorities have raised the issue of whether Muslim airport ground and tarmac personnel are radicalized. CNN reported on November 27, 2015 that French intelligence were concerned about radicalization of airport workers as early at 2004, noting:

French intelligence services were concerned as early as 2004 about the radicalization of many airport workers at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, according to a confidential document from the French Interior Ministry.

This document, seen by CNN, targets three shipping companies operating at the airport, which is in Roissy, about 20 kilometers (13 miles) northeast of central Paris.

In 2004, the Paris Airport Authority — the authority in charge of all Paris airports — provided two prayer rooms for Muslims. But they were not being used by Islamic radicals, the document says.

Instead, the document says, there were “illegal prayer sites at the airport used by several Muslim airport workers” who at the time “belonged to mosques preaching radical Islam” in their neighborhoods on the Paris outskirts, including Argenteuil, Sevran and Bobigny.

The radical airport workers, the document says, were “easily swayed young people who are mostly Muslim,” coming from “the same neighborhood, the same cities.”

The document says that sometimes several members of the same family, who appeared to be radicalized, worked at the airport together. These families, the document said, seemed to be “the leaders of this movement.”

According to the document, some of these people “openly showed anti-American views and showed their support and enthusiasm regarding the 9/11 attacks.”

Some people working for airport cargo companies had “access to airside” — the other side of the security cordon from the street — and were “known by intelligence services as radicalized individuals and who are in a known security file ” and who traveled to “sensitive areas of the world in order to learn more about Islam.”

The French intelligence document indicated that airport workers thus radicalized had received training by Al Qaeda:

The document lists the names of several airport workers who appeared to have been radicalized after trips to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Mali.

Some of the airport workers also appeared to be close friends with “people traveling to paramilitary training camps,” according to the document.

It mentions trips to the University of Dimaj in the city of Sa’dah, Yemen, in 1997 and 1998, where there was a paramilitary training camp financed by Osama bin Laden.

The document says the threat could be more significant because “some individuals are temporary workers” and some of them “are still unknown to the intelligence services.”

The document says these three companies worked with “10 temporary employment agencies and it is particularly difficult to monitor every single temporary airport worker.”

Dr. Jill Bellamy, Bio-warfare expert. UN Counter Terrorism Task Force.

Fresh concerns over possible CBW threats to airport security.

Dr. S. Jill Bellamy is a recognized international expert on biological warfare and a member of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Task Force. She has previously developed and run NATO sponsored policy programs on biological terrorism and has published extensively in related fields. Bellamy suggested that French Premier Valls’ expressions of concerns over possible use of CBW (chemical and biological weapons) by ISIS in terror attacks in the West were reflective of recent uses of chemical weapons by the Islamic State in Syria. She pointed out that ISIS and other Islamic terror groups like al Nusrah and Hezbollah, wouldn’t refrain from using CBW, as they simply consider them another weapon in their inventory. The October 2001 anthrax exposures at the US Senate Office Building, and US Postal Service processing facilities resulted in the deaths of five of more than 22 diagnosed cases and treatment of 27,000 USPS  employees and cleanup cost of $300 million. The Bush Administration launched an aggressive Bio-defense program increasing funding from $305 million to more than $5 billion annually over the period from 2001 to 2005. A NATO Parliamentary study of CBW detection revealed there was no fool proof method of detection. The NATO study further noted that biological agents lent themselves to terrorist use:

Biological agents attract terrorists because of their virulence, toxicity, transmissibility and lethality. They are relatively cheap to produce, sometimes readily available, and are also relatively easy to store and to transport. Moreover, besides naturally existing pathogens, terrorists could try to use engineered organisms. Experts believe that up to 1,000 toxins could be made of natural or genetic sources, although not all of them would be suitable for use as biological weapons. Pathogens are difficult to detect: they are colorless and odorless and have incubation periods, ranging from 48 hours for respiratory anthrax, to 21 days for Q-fever.

Dr. Bellamy was particularly concerned about major European and U.S. airports whose physical  configurations and proximity to transportation nodes lend themselves to possible terrorist use. Thus, given the French intelligence assessment of radicalized Muslim airport workers, trained by ISIS, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah in releases of both chemical and biological agents are an abiding concern.

What US Investigations Reveal about Airport Workers Security Screening and Contracting Practices

For the international airline industry it may have profound implications for assuring security for passengers and operations both at home and in destinations adjacent to jihadist conflict zones.  If airport or airline servicing contractors were involved, then a major security gap would be opened by this latest aviation terrorism episode and evidence of airport worker radicalization from French Intelligence.

The downing of the Metrojet with its innocent Russian victims has more than just Russian, Egyptian and Israeli concerns. From investigations by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and others,  security clearances for refugee baggage handlers, catering, and cleaning personnel with access to the tarmac and aircraft here in the US is lax. That was the subject of a Fox Newsinterview with ex-CIA Director, R. James Woolsey. Woolsey referred to the investigation conducted by Lisa Benson and her team at the National Security Task Force of America who completed a yearlong investigation into airport outsourcing contracting practices and employment of low wage refugees at more than 13 US airports. Those refugees were brought into the US under the federal Refugee Act of 1980 with annual allotments controlled by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and administered by the $2 billion Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in our State Department. Woolsey cited the death of an American Somali ISIS Jihadi, Abdirahmaan Muhumed, in Syria in September 2014. It revealed his employment as a cleaner for Delta Global Services, Inc. which gave him security access to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Muhumed had access to the entire tarmac area where 90,000 passengers transited each day. He had been employed for a decade as first a fueler and later aircraft cleaner from 2001 to 2011 by Delta Global Services, Inc. and other airport maintenance contractors. In 2011, he was either fired or left on his own accord to fight and die for the Islamic State in Syria leaving behind 9 children born by four different women. Yet, he could pass FBI background investigation checks and with his Secure ID Area (SIDA) tag was simply waved through by security guards on to the airport tarmac without any daily screening.

This is not the only instance. A TSA Inspector General investigation found 73 screeners and technicians who were listed on US terrorist watch lists. Moreover, the TSA was found to employee refugees as translator/screeners at major airports. AnNBC Channel 5 TV News investigation at Atlanta’s airport found that hundreds of SIDA badges missing. Ambassador Woolsey’s disclosures on the Fox News report went viral with reports on CNN, MSNBC, News.Max and the Blaze.

Watch this You Tube video of the FoxNews interview with Ambassador Woolsey:

On the November 8th, 2015 Lisa Benson Show, Woolsey suggested that the U.S. transportation system was vulnerable to breaches of airline and airport security leaving little to thwart aircraft cleaners, baggage handlers or caterers from secreting possible explosives on-board flights. He referred to the 1988 Pan Am 103 Lockerbie, Scotland bombing that used a portable radio with Semtex, a general purpose plastic explosive containing RDX and PETN, in the luggage of a passenger as one example. Then there were the Shoe and Underwear Bombers who passed airline screening only to be caught on board flights when the bombs malfunctioned. There was the devilish work of the Saudi engineer for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who filled printer cartridges with PTEN explosives which were intercepted on a UPS cargo flight in Chicago before being delivered to a local Jewish Federation office. Woolsey told Benson’s listeners that we are at war with global jihadist groups like ISIS, AQ, Hezbollah and others. Yet we don’t screen airport maintenance and TSA personnel at our peril. Richard Cutting, a member of the Benson Advisory Board who called into the program agreed with Ambassador Woolsey that in the wake of the Metrojet Flight 9268  bombing, a major Congressional investigation should be mounted into these revelations. Woolsey drew attention to what he considered as the weak responses of TSA officials who appeared at the House Government Operations and Oversight Committee hearings on November 3rd to questions about lax screening of employed personnel at ground operations at many US airports. Woolsey concluded, “If a plane goes down, or if more than one U.S. plane goes down, there goes our airline/travel industry.”

ISS Facility Services, Inc. receiving 2009 State of Utah Refugee Employer of the Year.

How International Airport Custodial and Maintenance Firms are Awarded Contracts Employing Low Wage Workers

The Lisa Benson Radio Show was spurred to conduct an investigation into problems at 13 airports in the US through a chance encounter with a Southwest Airlines pilot who attended a Republican conference in March 2014 in Sun City, Arizona. He was waiting patiently until Benson, a keynote speaker at the conference, had completed her talk. He had news about an encounter with two Somali Muslim refugees who were cleaning an aircraft at Sky Harbor airport when he noticed Arabic writing in one of the lavatories. That exchange with Benson spawned an eight month investigation into the award of a $10 million annual janitorial and maintenance contract by the Phoenix City council to a Danish company, ISS Worldwide Services A/S and its US subsidiary, ISS Facility Services, Inc. The contrast is with security conscious Israel where the airport workers are professionals in all aspects of airport service and security. The lower wage earners, the less educated, are the airport workers who present the threat to our safety in the air. That was underlined in the US with a one day work stoppage November 18-19, 2015 just before the Thanksgiving holiday by 2,000 low wage employees seeking a $15 per hour rate at seven major airport hubs in an action sponsored by the Service Employees International Union. CNN Money reported:

The workers, mostly cabin and airport cleaners, were picketing at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York City, as well as airports in Newark, N.J., Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale, Fl., according to the SEIU.

ISS Worldwide employs over a half million through their outsourced network of airport and commercial facilities maintenance contracts. ISS specializes in a broad range of facility management services especially for airport authorities, municipalities and major manufacturing companies. Preliminary research revealed ISS as a major international group specializing in airport and municipal facilities maintenance outsourcing. Subsequent research by the Benson National Security Task Force team of volunteers uncovered that ISS won contracts in 13 cities often with high bids. In the case of Sky Harbor in Phoenix at least $1 million over the next lowest bidder, in Orlando more than $2.4 million and in Detroit the award at excessive cost levels above competitors resulted in a law suit against the airport authority. Those contracts were awarded not on cost, but rather on other subjective criteria. Benson then turned over the completion of investigations into the awards made to ISS to her National Security Task Force team.

During the past several years the US subsidiary of ISS has won a number of US airport facility management contracts. Among those was the one for Sky Harbor in Phoenix that prompted the comment from the Southwest Airlines flight captain, who spotted some Somalis during ground cleaning of his aircraft. ISS has tie-ins with US and foreign refugee resettlement groups hence the employment of low-wage Somalis and others. ISS may draw from this refugee pool throughout its global network, as those positions are at the bottom rung of both pay and training requirements. Further, ISS, like Delta Global Services in the Twin Cities Airport example, may have referral arrangements with major refugee resettlement voluntary agencies and major private job placement agencies in the US.

Conclusion

The late ISIS fighter Muhumed had no criminal record in the United States that would have prevented him from getting a job at the airport. This revelation following his death should raise the concerns of both the TSA and Homeland Security regarding screening of airport and aircraft maintenance personnel. Moreover, as Ambassador Woolsey noted without active community policing programs of the type implemented by former New York City Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, recruitment by ISIS of airport employees with the help of radical imams could not have been detected. His comment was buttressed by the release of the 2004 French intelligence report that surfaced after the November 13th, Paris ISIS attacks. Amazingly, one of the first actions of current New York Mayor Di Blasio was to request that NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton cease such intelligence programs. Thus, the downing of the Metrojet in Egypt by alleged ISIS perpetrators reverberates here in the US.

FBI Director James Comey warned that ISIS jihadis lurk among us in all 50 states. Comey has said that the FBI currently has 900 on-going investigations into ISIS persons of interest in the US. During the Thanksgiving 2015 peak travel period when 47 million Americans were on the move, the FBI launched high priority surveillance of 48 high-risk ISIS suspects. How many of those cases involve airport maintenance and TSA screening personnel, illustrates the merits of a major Congressional investigative hearing into out-sourcing contract awards, hiring and security screening practices at major US airports. All we need is just one incident to occur in the US equivalent to the downing of Metrojet Flight 9268 with a major loss of life to virtually shut down the air transportation network. It took a chance encounter at a Sun City, Arizona conference to trigger a citizens’ investigation by Lisa Benson and her National Security Task Force of America to show how vulnerable we really are to terrorist actions against the 35 million air travelers who fly our nation’s skies unguarded.

RELATED ARTICLE: Arabic graffiti found on passenger jets at French airports

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. See Jerry Gordon’s collection of interviews, The West Speaks.

PODCAST: Spreading the Muslim Holy War in the name of ‘Humanity’

Listen to an extraordinarily informative Lisa Benson Show for National Security that aired Sunday November 22, 2015 on KKNT960The Patriot in the aftermath of the ISIS jihad in ParisLisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon and special guest Richard Cutting co-hosted  this show.

Our guests were:

Morten Storm – Storm is a former Muslim convert and apostate who became a double agent for Danish Security and Intelligence Service and CIA who penetrated Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula  targeting the late Anwar al Awlaki. He is the author of Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA  and been frequently, interviewed on Fox News and CNN.  Storm picked up on a private discussion this past week with more than 100 callers including members of the National Security Task Force of America launching a “know your Imam” campaign. He did that  this past weekend. In the private NSTFA call he stressed not to be complacent about additional ISIS attacks in Belgian, France and major EU countries now inundated with hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants, especially young men in detention camps.

Dr. S. Jill Bellamy –  was  interviewed by both  Cutting and Gordon in a segment on possible ISIS Chemical and Biological agent threats to  Europe and the US.  Bellamy is a recognized international expert on biological warfare and is a member of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Task Force. She has previously developed and run NATO sponsored policy programs on biological terrorism and has published extensively in related fields. Her papers have appeared in the National Review, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Le Monde, Le Temps, New English Review and the Jerusalem Post. Over the past twenty five years she has worked in non-proliferation and counter terrorism.  She has developed and run nuclear and biological war games and scenarios supported by European Ministries of Defense.  Currently she advises governments on national strategic stockpiling and force protection. She is the founding Director of Warfare Technology Analytics.  Bellamy suggested that French Premier Valls expressions of concerns over possible use of  CBW by ISIS in terror attacks  in  the West were reflective of recent uses of chemical weapons by the Islamic State in Syria .  She suggested that was reflected in  confirmed reports on mustard gas against both Syrian Kurdish YPG and Iraqi Peshmerga forces, as well as Sarin gas that may have been used to kill hundreds of civilians in a suburb near Damascus in 2013. Those reports led to the Hague based Organization for the Prohibition   of Chemical Weapons that removed only a fraction of the Assad Regimes stockpile. She pointed out that ISIS ,and other Islamic terror groups like al Nusrah and Hezbollah, wouldn’t refrain from using CBW, as they simply consider  them another weapon in their inventory. She said they would have no compunction against the use of such silent killers given the burning alive of a downed Jordanian pilot.  That would extend to using the hoards of teeming refugees in UN  camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon as the equivalent of human weaponized vectors to spread disease and pathogens causing a pandemic.  She also responded to queries about major silent killers Anthrax, Smallpox and botulinum toxin developed by the Syria Scientific Research Center that might fall into the hands of ISIS and other terror groups like Hezbollah.  It  has been reported that ISIS may  have established laboratories and acquired research scientific personnel which  could pose a threat to the EU and  the US.  Bellamy covered the extent of protection against these silent killers  under US and international vaccine stockpile programs.

Nidra Poller  provided an eye witness report of what was unfolding in France. Poller is a Lisa Benson Show  Advisory Board Member, American  writer and translator, resident of Paris, France, since 1972,  contributor to The Wall Street Journal, National Review, FrontPage Magazine, The New York Sun and New English Review, author of the forthcoming, The Black Flag of Jihad stalks la RepubliquePoller spoke of her experiences in Paris following the November  13th massacres and the  November 18th St. Denis banlieuse  battle that resulted in the deaths of the alleged Belgian born ‘mastermind’ Abdelhamid Abaaoud, his French born cousin Hasna Ait Boulahcen and third, as yet to be identified suicide bomber. In a New English Review/ Iconoclast post, “Bonjour Tristesse”, she considered them as “punk’ jihadis akin to those who burned vehicles banlieuse nightly in Paris and other French cities for weeks in 2005. She spoke of the muted aftermath following the recent terror events in Paris and the myopia of the international media following these stories forgetting about rallies in July 2014 at which the ISIS banners were prominent in rallies condemning Israel during Operation Defensive Edge fighting Hamas at the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France, at la place de la Republique. She also returned to the theme of, Humanitarian Jihad,  a chapter in her latest book,  to describe how the conflict in Syria  with ISIS and other terror groups had sent hundreds of thousands refugees and illegal migrants bursting the open borders of Europe’s Schengen system . She said that was an unwarranted intrusion of national sovereignty and western values with reports of destructive behavior by migrant Muslim young men in reception centers in EU countries. She said that was triggered by the EU and international response to the imagery a drowning victim, Aylan Kurdi, a three year old  Syrian Kurdish child  from an overloaded a life raft  provided by Turkey headed for the Greek Island of Leros.

RELATED ARTICLE: In Texas, Leftist community organizers target governor over Syrian refugee stance

EDITORS NOTE: This podcast originally appeared in the New English Review.

Arizona AG Horne refuses to recognize Stealth Jihad of the Gulen Movement

arizona ag horne

Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne

Yesterday, the usual restrained, moderate informative format of the Lisa Benson show ended in an uproar.  The kerfuffle was over the refusal of incumbent Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne to recognize the stealth jihad agenda of the Gulen Movement here in the US.  Horne, a former Democrat is in the final days of a fractious Republican primary that ends Tuesday amidst accusations of alleged abuse of office encompassing campaign funding and resignation of former aides objecting to questionable practices. This has resulted in investigations by the FBI and his own department’s Solicitor General.

The New York Times  article, “Legal Woes Pose Hurdles for Attorney General Tom Horne of Arizona in Campaign” chronicled Horne’s problems in a mid- July 2014 article indicating that he had been abandoned by luminaries in the State Republican Party  over accusations of questionable practices.   His opponent in the primary battle, Mark Brnovich is making much of these accusations.  Horne’s presence came as a result of a call from his campaign office requesting time to defend his support of the Gulen science and math academies.  We had Nidra Poller back on the program to address the blood libel of the Al Dura affair. That concerned the 55 second video on France 2 TV news of the faked death of a 12 year Palestinian youth, Mohammed al Dura, on September 30, 2000 in Gaza.  That fostered a slogan used by  Osama bin Laden to justify the Al Qaeda  9/11 attack  that still appears in pro-Hamas protests across Europe and here in the US during the current Gaza war: ‘ Israel murders Palestinian children’.  Poller is the author of Al-Dura: the long range ballistic myth.

When the matter of Turkey came up in the discussion with Attorney General Horne, this writer discussed the background of how Sufi Sheikh Mohammed Fethulleh Gulen came to be a resident alien in a fortified compound in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. This followed his flight from prosecution by the then secular Turkish government in 1998. We also noted his 2008 US Department of Homeland Security immigration hearing and support from a number of leading figures in the Islamic and US political firmament.  Those endorsements came from the likes of former President Clinton and Professor John Esposito of Georgetown University Center for Muslim Christian Understanding endowed by Saudi billionaire Prince Talal. We also discussed the contretemps between Turkey’s newly elected President, former Premier Recep Erdogan and Sheikh Gulen over massive charges of corruption by the former. These two had been allies ousting the long term secular rule of Turkey’s military and political parties in the tradition of Kemal Ataturk, first President of the Turkish Republic.  Sheikh Gulen is said to control a fortune estimated at over $25 billion, including media outlets, such as Turkey’s leading news daily, Today’s Zaman.  Erdogan has been a supporter of Hamas, ISIS and al Qaeda Affiliates and engaged in gold for gas schemes with Iran stifling US and EU attempts  at sanctioning the Islamic republic ‘s nuclear development program.  He is often referred to as the rising Sultan of the new Turkish Caliphate. Not to be upstaged, Gulen has been characterized as the most dangerous Islamist in the world because of the GM’s Hizmat (service)  control  of nearly 80 percent of  enrollment in Turkey’s preparatory schools, as well as the global network of GM controlled academies.

Both Erdogan and Gulen are united in opposition to Israel, once an ally to Turkish secularists and now accused of “enslaving Palestinians in Gaza”.  Both were particularly incensed over the May 2010 assault on the Turkish vessel the Mavi Marmara during which Israeli naval commandos killed 8 Turks and one Turkish American that tried to pierce the Gaza blockade.  The Mavi Mamara is owned by a global radical Muslim charity based in Turkey, IHH that has supplied funds and weapons to both al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria.

Nidra and I drew attention to Turkey as a questionable member of NATO, whose request for entry to the EU had been rebuffed for years over charges of human rights abuses and denial of due process under the 11 year term of Erdogan and his party’s super majority in the Turkish Parliament.

But the main issue was the world wide network of 1,100 GM Schools in over 100 countries. In the US there are more than 135 GM charter schools with an enrollment exceeding 50,000 in more than 26 states; 12 of which are in Arizona. All funded by taxpayers in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. We noted the private investigations that had been conducted in 12 states and the FBI raids on GM schools in Louisiana and Illinois over abuses of students and other allegations.   We discussed legislation passed in Tennessee and under consideration in Louisiana and Mississippi. See our June 2011 presentation, Unveiling Gulen Schools in Tennessee.  Those legislative proposals contain restrictions on the proportion of foreign workers brought in under the HB 1 visa program as administrators and faculty at charter schools specifically targeting the abuses by the GM operated science and mathematics academies.  We told how state legislators were often entreated by free trips to Turkey to sample the cuisine, culture and vibrant economy of the country.  GM US academy sponsoring groups have also made contributions to the political campaigns of state legislators in those jurisdictions that have granted charter licenses.

A caller drew attention to a report on a GM Sonoran academy in Tucson that Attorney General Horne had visited in his capacity as the former Superintendent of Public Instruction for Arizona, an elected post.  Lisa Benson cited pamphlets that she found extolling the virtues of the GM movement, Turkish nationalism and the Sheikh’s version of Islam. However, she also evidence of rejection of genocide. At that Attorney General Horne interjected saying that was concerning Armenian genocide and not the holocaust. Horne who is Jewish said that he came from a family of Shoah survivors and had relatives in Israel.   Horne is a graduate of both Harvard University and its Law School. Doubtless, he should have known that Hitler who fomented the murder of six million European Jewish men, women and children,  predicated the final solution of the Holocaust based on the West’s indifferent reactions to the plight of millions of Armenians lost in the Ottoman jihad death marches  during WWI.

 He justified his defense of the GM academies in Arizona by the academic performance of Gulen charter school students. Moreover, given the history of Jews during the holocaust, he indicated that it was unseemly to criticize another religion, in this case, Islam.  Notwithstanding, the presentation of information we provided on the GM academies in the US and the stealth jihad agenda of the GM doctrine propounded by Sheikh Gulen,  he saw nothing that would cause him to investigate their operations in Arizona.  This is notwithstanding the evidence of both state and FBI investigations in other jurisdictions.  Lisa Benson noted that he endorsed the Gulen even after she presented him with open source information that they supporter him when he was Superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona.  Horne suggested to Benson that he wanted to focus on the charter schools run by La Raza rather than on Gulen. La Raza is an extremist Latino group were fostering rejectionist views of America replete with posters of Argentine Cuban icon, Che Guevara were the problem du jour for Horne.

Horne told Benson that, “I am not soft on Islam issues, but I don’t see anything wrong with Gulen.” Yet he would not admit that Islam could be so overt and obvious. My co-host Lisa Benson reacted angrily to Horne’s comments.  Horne came with an agenda to yesterday’s program. It was to put both he and his GM supporters in Arizona in the best possible light.  As I said in an after program dialogue with both Benson and Attorney General Horne, he came with a closed mind not to engage in meaningful dialogue. Problem is that he evinced no curiosity about the evidence presented. That was not his purpose; it was trolling for votes in a hotly contested Republican primary for the top law officer position in Arizona.

Listen to the podcast of the Lisa Benson Show of August 24, 2014 with Nidra Poller and Arizona Attorney General Thomas Horne.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Sufi Sheikh Mohammed Fethulleh Gulen and is courtesy of HizmetNew.com.