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Trump administration considering dropping Pakistan as an ally

Long overdue and much needed.

“US weighs dropping Pakistan as an ally,” by Katrina Manson, Financial Times, September 15, 2017:

The Trump administration is considering dropping Pakistan as an ally as it examines tough measures to quell more than 20 terrorist groups it says are based in the country.

Officials familiar with the Pakistan prong of Washington’s new “AfPak” strategy — which involves an open-ended commitment in Afghanistan and praise for India — say it has yet to be fleshed out. But they have plenty of levers.

President Donald Trump last month promised to get tough on Pakistan, accusing it of “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting”. It was the most public breach yet in an often rocky relationship.

“No US president has come out on American national television and said such things about Pakistan,” said Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan ambassador to the US.

“US policymakers are at the end of their tethers about what they see as Pakistan not helping them while promising to help them.”

The administration has already put $255m in military aid on hold after Mr Trump announced the policy shift. It is eyeing an escalating series of threats, which include cutting some civilian aid, conducting unilateral drone strikes on Pakistani soil and imposing travel bans on suspect officers of the ISI, the country’s intelligence agency. It could also revoke Pakistan’s status as a major non-Nato ally or designate it a state sponsor of terrorism.

The latter options would limit weapons sales and probably affect billions of dollars in IMF and World Bank loans, along with access to global finance….

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EDITORS NOTE: According to the Center for Global Development, “The United States began providing economic assistance along and military aid to Pakistan shortly after the country’s creation in 1947. In total, the United States obligated nearly $67 billion (in constant 2011 dollars) to Pakistan between 1951 and 2011. The levels year to year have waxed and waned for decades as US geopolitical interests in the region have shifted. Peaks in aid have followed years of neglect. In several periods, including as recently as the 1990s, US halted aid entirely and shut the doors of the USAID offices. This pattern has rendered the United States a far cry from a reliable and unwavering partner to Pakistan over the years.” Read more.

FBI seized smashed hard drives from Wasserman Schultz’s Muslim IT aide’s home

Five Pakistani-born Muslim Congressional IT aides are now under criminal investigation, and the establishment media is resolutely looking the other way.

Imran Awan (right)

Questions abound. “Collectively, the Awan group has been paid $4 million since 2009.” That’s a tremendous amount of money for IT work. And what is on these hard drives that led Imran Awan to work so resolutely to recover and destroy them? A genuine journalist would be working hard to find out what Imran Awan and his brothers, and the House Democrats, have to hide. But the establishment media is a propaganda arm for the Democrats, and so it has no interest in this affair.

“EXCLUSIVE: FBI Seized Smashed Hard Drives From Wasserman Schultz IT Aide’s Home,” by Luke Rosiak, Daily Caller News Foundation, July 23, 2017:

FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back, an individual whom FBI investigators interviewed in the case told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

An additional source in Congress with direct knowledge of the case, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, confirmed that the FBI has joined what Politico previously described as a Capitol Police criminal probe into “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network” by Imran and three of his relatives, who had access to the emails and files of the more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them on a part-time basis.

Capitol Police have also seized computer equipment tied to the Florida lawmaker.

Awan’s younger brothers, Abid and Jamal, his wife, Hina Alvi, and Rao Abbas, Imran’s best friend, are also under investigation. There have been no arrests in the case.

There is also evidence of financial schemes that extend beyond the Capitol Police’s purview and may expand to Pakistan, where Imran spends significant portions of the year….

Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, his two brothers and two of their wives — plus Abbas and another friend — began appearing as IT staffers on the payrolls of other House Democrats. Collectively, the Awan group has been paid $4 million since 2009.

Fellow IT staffers TheDCNF interviewed said the Awans were often absent from weekly meetings and email exchanges. One of the fellow staffers said some of the computers the Awans managed were being used to transfer data to an off-site server.

Shortly after the criminal probe was revealed in February, Imran abruptly moved out of his longtime home on Hawkshead Drive in Lorton, Va., and listed it for rent on a website that connects landlords with military families.

One of the new tenants — a Marine Corps veteran married to a female Navy Officer — said he found “wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destroy, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner.”

The tenants called the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and, not long after, FBI agents arrived together with the Capitol Police to interview them and confiscate the equipment. The Marine spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns for his wife’s naval career, saying she doesn’t want to be associated with a national security incident.

“It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry,” the Marine said. “It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over.”…

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PODCAST: The War against the Infidels

LISTEN to this podcast of the January 10, 2016 Lisa Benson Show on KKNT 960 The Patriot.  Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon co-hosted this show with the assistance of Board of Advisors member, Richard Cutting.

Col. Richard Kemp, (ret.) CBE, former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and noted commentator on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, discussed why Israel is the outpost of civilization in the Middle east. He urged Queen Elizabeth to visit Israel in 2017, the 100th Anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem from the Turks to honor ANZAC fallen.  He drew attention to British Prime Minister Cameron who has spoken before Israel’s Knesset and his designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.  He suggested that perhaps the Administration might follow suit.

He considers the Muslim Brotherhood as an evil organization seeking to spread Islamist hatred of Israel Europe and the West. Hamas he pointed out had links to the Muslim Brotherhood with objectives similar to that of ISIS.   An ISIS he said was spreading its barbaric Islamic doctrine across the Muslim Ummah from Syria and Iraq to North and sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia.

With regard to the resurgence of the Taliban in a 14 year war in Afghanistan with NATO forces, he said that some of it was attributable to the role of Pakistan intelligence service.  The Pakistanis and Afghans he noted are enemies.  He called attention to the internecine war between the Taliban and ISIS endeavoring to gain power as enemies of the democratic government in Afghanistan. A government plagued with corruption hobbling the country’s security forces.  He called attention to a generational long struggle against Islamist Jihadism in which the West cannot relax. It must stand up and fight.   He noted in passing that the US Administration has taken its eye off the ball with outreach to an enemy, Iran. He attributed some of the present difficulties in the Middle east and South Asia to both the pullout of US forces in Iraq and pull down of ISAF troops in Afghanistan.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka addressed the number one issue in polls taken of Americans, national security and domestic Islamic terrorism.  He suggested that the Administration had to jettison the canard of lone wolf terror acts. The Boston Marathon Bombers, the shooting in Chattanooga, the massacre in San Bernardino and the recent attempted murder of a police officer by a convicted felon and convert to Islam in Philadelphia he said was reflective of the connective tissue of Global Jihad doctrine. That doctrine viewed America and the West as antithetical to Jihadist aims.

He viewed the ability of the US and the EU to vett the millions of migrants and refugees flooding the west as well nigh impossible.  While referencing the intense scrutiny of his parents, refugees from the 1956 Hungarian rebellion against Soviet Communism, he suggested that could only be done under intense and repeated questioning by counterterrorism security echelons using a data base to check documents and bona fides.  He suggested that the US is hobbled by the lack of manpower and a data base to vett, for example, the stream of Syrian Refugees.

Having visited a Syrian refugee camp during the recent Christmas New Year’s holiday, he was struck with two takeaways. He commended the Kingdom of Jordan, without the resources of oil revenues of an incredible job of s country of 6 million handling an influx of 1.5 million Syrian refugees. He tasked the oil rich Gulf States and Saudi Arabia to offer financial and resettlement assistance.  He said there was no sense to send Syrians to the EU or the US. Rather it was incumbent on the contending powers, especially the US, to resolve the conflict, hereby enabling the Syrians in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon to return home.

Regarding the recent settlement between New York City and Muslim and civil liberties advocacy groups ending  the NYPD Muslim community profiling program, Gorka  said in a recent House Armed  Services Committee testimony  that after 9/11, the NYPD had been let down by Federal law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies. The NYPD he noted undertook to build perhaps the best counterterrorism intelligence and surveillance program to monitor and protect the Muslim community in New York against Islamist inroads. Effectively he commented to the House Committee that politics continued to get in the way of national security.

When asked about the current rising Sunni Shiite divide between Saudi Arabia and Iran, he referred to a comment from Israeli PM Netanyahu, who said it was a Game of Thrones pitting the Saudi Wahabbist Sunni Caliphate against the Mullahs of the Shia Mahdist Caliphate in Nuclear Iran.

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

Federal Agents arrest Pakistani Muslims with terrorist connections at U.S. — Mexico border

What could possibly go wrong, you racist, bigoted Islamophobe?

“Agents nab Pakistanis with terrorist connections crossing U.S. border,” by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, December 30, 2015 (thanks to Steve):

When the U.S. Border Patrol nabbed two Pakistani men with ties to terrorism at the U.S.-Mexico border in September, it marked just the latest instance of illegal immigrants from so-called “special interest countries” using the southern border as a point of entry into the country.

Muhammad Azeem and Mukhtar Ahmad, both in their 20s and from Gujrat, were caught Sept. 20 by agents south of San Diego and just over the international border from Tijuana. When agents checked their identities through databases, they got hits on both of them: Mr. Ahmad popped up as an associate of a known or suspected terrorist, while Mr. Azeem’s information had been shared by a foreign government for intelligence purposes.

Both men had been processed two months earlier by immigration officials in Panama, suggesting they took advantage of smuggling networks or other routes increasingly used by Central American illegal immigrants to sneak into the U.S.

It comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are increasingly worried about potential terrorists gaining entry to the U.S. through the border with Mexico or taking advantage of lax screening elsewhere in the immigration system.

“The southern land border remains vulnerable to intrusion and exists as a point of extreme vulnerability,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson last week demanding to know how many people in the FBI’s terrorist screening database have been caught at the border.

“Evidently there are criminal organizations and individuals with the networks and know-how to facilitate illegal entry into the United States without regard for one’s intentions or status on a terrorist watchlist,” Mr. Hunter wrote. “The detention of the two Pakistani nationals underscores the fact that any serious effort to secure our homeland must include effective border security and immigration enforcement.”…

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VIDEO: Tafsheen Malik Radicalized at Women’s Islamic Academy

From U.S. and Canadian news reports comes evidence that the murderous Jihadi couple, Tafsheen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farooq had  allegedly long been radicalized. The picture above from ABC News is a shot taken on July 27, 2014 when the couple went through customs at O’Hare International  Airport after Ms. Malik had secured a K-1 fiancée Visa to come to the U.S. with her intended husband Farooq.

The Customs photo caught them in Sharia compliant garb reflective of professing  fundamentalist  Muslims.  They were returning from an extensive trip that took Farooq to Saudi Arabia to meet Malik and hence to her parent’s home in Multan in Central Pakistan before returning together to California.  There is the suspicion that Ms. Malik had undergone formal radicalization in her native Pakistan. Information on Malik’s background is emerging from independent investigations about  her attendance at  an Al Huda women’s Islamic Academy in Multan, one of several  across Pakistan propounding a Salafist Islamic doctrine.

mlogoThe Los Angeles Times produced a report on  the Pakistani Al Huda Islamist women’s seminaries and Ms. Malik’s attendance at the one in Multan, San Bernardino assailant attended Islamic institute in Pakistan:”

Tashfeen Malik studied at Al Huda, a chain of religious institutes that teach a fundamentalist strain of Islam, while she was enrolled in a university in Pakistan’s Punjab region several years ago, according to two fellow students.

The two former classmates of Malik’s at Bahauddin Zakariya University in the city of Multan said she regularly attended Al Huda classes, whose stated objective is to bring women “back to their religious roots.”

“She used to go to attend sessions in Al Huda almost every day,” said one of the former classmates, who spoke on condition she not be identified. “She was not too close to any class fellow.”

The former classmate said that Malik, who studied pharmacology at the university, did not share her thoughts on religious issues.

Pakistani security expert points out the ‘fundamentalist’ Islamic doctrine propounded by Al Huda:

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, a Pakistani security analyst, said Al Huda teaches women “fundamentalist” ideas, though it does not necessarily promote a jihadist agenda.

“I call Al Huda the fourth generation of religious seminaries. It does not promote use of violence but takes you closer to the red line,” she said. “Now, it is a personal decision to cross the red line and take or give one’s life.”

Siddiqa said that the impact of the institutes is widespread, because a child who attends can influence other members of her family. “People would be familiar with, for instance, a daughter going to an Al Huda changing the mother and eventually the entire household. This dynamic is mirrored in more traditional seminaries as well.”

Malik, 29, was born in Pakistan to a land-owning, politically influential family in Karor Lal Esan, in southern Punjab province. Though Malik’s family moved to Saudi Arabia when she was a child, she returned to Punjab to study pharmacology at Bahauddin Zakariya University from 2007 to 2012.

One of her professors, Dr. Nisar Hussain, recalled her as “a very hardworking and submissive student,” and “an obedient girl.” He said she came to school veiled.

“She was religious, but a very normal person as well,” Hussain said in an interview. “I cannot even imagine she could murder people.”

A family member in Pakistan who asked not to be identified said that she had been a “modern girl” who changed during college.

After university, Malik returned to Saudi Arabia. In the last few years, she entered into a relationship with Syed Rizwan Farooq, a Southern Californian of Pakistani descent who she met online.

Another Pakistani academic expert  noted the credo expounded in the Al  Huda seminaries:

Sadaf Ahmad, an assistant professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, has written that Al Huda founder Farhat Hashmi’s denunciation of various cultural practices and disapproval of Westerners and Indians gives women a new conception of their identity as Muslims.

Ahmad found Al Huda graduates  “very intolerant and judgmental toward people who were different from them.”

The Toronto Star had more on Malik and Al Huda founder Farhat Hashmi who had immigrated to Canada, “Founder Pakistan religious school where San Bernardino shooter studied, lives in Mississauga:”

While in Multan, [Malik] also attended a religious school, which Pakistani intelligence officials on Monday identified as the Al Huda International Seminary. The school is a women-only madrassa with branches across Pakistan and in the U.S. and Canada, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The Canadian branch is based in Mississauga, Ont., according to the foundation’s website.

Al Huda’s founder, Farhat Hashmi, who now lives in Canada, has been criticized for promoting a conservative strain of Islam, though the school has no known links to extremists.

Hashmi was not available to comment on Monday, as she is currently in Pakistan, said a staff member at the school’s Canadian branch. The school also released a statement condemning the shooting in California and saying it was looking to increase security around its Mississauga campus.

Hashmi is on the payroll of Muslim Brotherhood affiliate in Canada:

Hashmi’s name surfaced on the payroll of one of Canada’s largest Islamic organizations, despite her not actually working there. An audit in 2011 revealed the Islamic Society of North America Canada was trying to help her immigrate to Canada.

Note the heavy concentration of extremist support in the central region of Pakistan and Malik’s course of study:

The region where the school is located, however, is home to thousands of extremist seminaries, with hundreds of them linked to al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan, which supports Islamic militants battling archrival India in the disputed region of Kashmir and is widely believed to have ties to insurgents in Afghanistan, has long turned a blind eye to institutions that teach radical interpretations of Islam.

Malik spent more than a year at Al Huda, taking classes six days a week, the school’s spokeswoman Farrukh Chaudhry told The Associated Press.

She enrolled in a two-year course to study the Qur’an, its translation and interpretation, but did not finish the course, Chaudhry added. Malik was a student there from April 17, 2013 until May 3, 2014, when she handed in her last paper in the first-year curriculum, the spokeswoman said.

“According to our records, this girl didn’t complete the course,” Chaudhry said, speaking over the phone from the southern port city of Karachi where she is based. “She told us that she was going to get married in two months, and after that she will leave for America.”

Pakistani police and intelligence are conducting further investigations into Malik and her family:

Pakistani authorities have also been looking into Malik’s time in Multan. Police and intelligence agents have searched the house where she lived on two occasions since Friday. Shabana Saif, a counterterrorism official, said intelligence agents seized documents, family photo albums and a laptop belonging to Malik’s sister, Shahida, who was studying engineering at a Pakistani college. It is not clear whether the house, which has been sealed, was owned by Tashfeen or her father.

Watch this AFP TV video report on the Pakistani University where Tashfeen Malik studied:

You may recall this comment from Asra Nomani, former Wall Street Journalist, author and colleague of the late Daniel Pearl in Pakistan from Sunday’s NBC Meet the Press segment on Islam and ISIS:

I saw it in 2002, went to Islamabad, Pakistan, and met women who were supporting this ideology. I call them the Taliban Ladies Auxiliary back then. This young woman in California would’ve been a star member of it.

RELATED ARTICLE: Islamic State Papers: How ISIS is building its state

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured photo, obtained by ABC News, shows Tashfeen Malik, center, and Syed Rizwan Farook, right, going through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on July 27, 2014.

Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan Illegally Entering Arizona via Mexico

The Southern Arizona Border remains an attractive route for smugglers, drugs, Syrian, and other Middle Eastern illegals coming into America.  Mentioned below are the latest interdiction of highly questionable and concerning illegals.

FBI CONFIRMS: 6 Men from Pakistan, Afghanistan Busted Illegally Entering Arizona from Mexico

by Bob Price and Brandon Darby

UPDATE: After the publication of this article, a local NBC affiliate contacted the FBI for confirmation. The FBI confirmed that the six men were apprehended after illegally entering the United States in Arizona.

Original article:

A highly trusted federal agent working under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has confirmed to Breitbart Texas that a group composed of 5 Pakistani men and 1 man from Afghanistan was captured by U.S. Border Patrol agents after having illegally crossed the porous U.S.-Mexico border in the Tucson Sector of Arizona.

The six men were traveling in a group and were captured roughly 16 miles into the state of Arizona, specifically, near the small picturesque town of Patagonia, Arizona.

The apprehension of the group occurred late on Monday night, November 16, 2015.

Border Patrol agents were unable to do extensive interviews with the six Middle Eastern men because the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the matter. The aliens were immediately transferred to Tucson where the FBI took custody.

Read more.

Islamic State: Pakistan Taliban leader Adnan Rashid has pledged allegiance to the Caliphate

Breaking News: Adnan Rashid commander of #Taliban Pakistan pledge allegiance to Islamic State. #Pakistan #TTP #KPK pic.twitter.com/wO1R8cKgUa

So claims Abu Talut Khorasani, who claims himself to be an ex-Taliban commander who has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The Islamic State is making a concerted effort to win over the Taliban and gain a foothold in Pakistan and Afghanistan. If they succeed, they could present an even more formidable force against free people than they are now.

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The Real Rogue Cop Problem

Over at PJ Media, I discuss where, and why, police are actually participating in the heinous targeting of certain population[s]:

Do #InfidelLivesMatter?

It’s open season on police officers these days, because many black Americans believe that it’s open season on them. And while some police officers are no doubt hateful, corrupt, and compromised to powerful interests, in the main one must go out of the country to find the real rogue cops: police officers who aid and abet, and sometimes even participate in, the terrorizing of their own people.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took the unusual step of criticizing the police’s failure to intervene in the case of a couple, Shahzad and Shama Masih, who were murdered by a lynch mob in Kot Radha Kishan, Punjab, in November 2014. Five police officers stood by and did nothing while a frenzied mob murdered the Masihs.

Why didn’t they step in and stop the lynching? Because the Masihs were Christians, accused of blasphemy.

Blasphemy is a capital crime in Pakistan, but all too often the death sentence is carried out not by duly constituted authorities, but by slavering mobs such as killed Shahzad and Shama Masih.

Police, sharing the mob’s world view, stand by and let it happen.

Sometimes these rogue cops do worse than just stand by while infidels are brutalized.

Earlier this summer in Indonesia, police in the West Papuan city of Karubaga opened fire on worshippers at the local congregation of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI), killing a fifteen-year-old boy, Endi Wanimbo, and wounding eleven other Christians. Indonesian authorities have hastened to protect the perpetrators: they have neither arrested the police officers responsible, nor released their names.

National police chief General Badrodin Haiti explained:

The victims were shot because they were pelting stones at Muslims who were just performing Eid prayers.

However, Natalius Pigai of the National Commission for Human Rights contradicted Haiti:

It seems to have been a misunderstanding that Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) is being hostile to Islam. In fact, they were not planning to burn the mosque. People were upset because of the police shootings.

Haiti appears to be another rogue cop, willing to bend the truth to protect Muslims who harm Christians.

Most troubling, the problem of cops protecting Muslim perpetrators has been occurring in Western countries, too.

In non-Muslim countries, “infidel” police officers are so afraid of offending ever-so-easily-offended Muslim sensibilities that they turn a blind eye to crimes committed by Muslims — particularly when there is justification for such crimes in Islamic scripture and law.

The most appalling example of this came in the British city of Rotherham. There, 1,400 British non-Muslim children were gang-raped and brutalized by Muslims whose actions found Islamic justification in the Qur’an’s allowance for men to take non-Muslim “captives of the right hand” for use as sex slaves (4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50).

Police hesitated to act for fear of being considered “Islamophobic.”

A whistleblower noted the following about members of the Rotherham council:

They described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought as racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.

Last November, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced that it was going to investigate ten officers of the South Yorkshire Police Department for their role in covering up the activities of Muslim rape gangs in Rotherham.

But in this case, the cops weren’t rogue; their superiors were. These ten police officers were just being set up to take the fall….

Read the rest here.

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Muslims Fight Each Other to Get a Spot on Greek Refugee Ship

You’ve probably seen or heard it somewhere in the news recently that the Greek government has sent a huge cruise ship to house refugees arriving by the thousands on the island of Kos.

Seems the Greeks are going to help the Syrians first, so all of the other Middle Eastern young men are fighting each other.

Isn’t diversity beautiful!

Foolish, foolish EU!  They should have done as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott advised months ago—turn back the migrant boats to where they were launched, or die!

From the Daily Mail (hat tip: Fjordman):

Fighting broke out between a group of Asian migrants on the Greek island of Kos today.

Riot police did nothing as 50 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran threw rocks and exchanged blows near a passenger ship where hundreds of migrants were being registered.

Hundreds of Asian migrants were stood near the police station when the brawl broke out, possibly because they have little chance of being processed on the Eleftherios Venizelos.

The Greek authorities are giving priority to Syrians. They are treated as refugees because they are fleeing their country’s bitter civil war and therefore have greater rights under international law than economic migrants.

Over 250,000 ‘asylum seekers’ have arrived in Europe this year.

Go to the Daily Mail for more and to see all of the photos.

See our ‘Invasion of Europe’ archive here.

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Coming to America: Asylum Seekers from Cuba, Africa and South Asia

Our June NER article, Trojan Horse Federal Refugee Program Brings Jihadi Threat to America: An Interview with Ann Corcoran noted the increasing numbers of illegal migrants making global treks by air and water to Latin America and the trek north to the U.S. border for asylum. They sought this difficult passage for a variety of reasons; but really one, “to seek a better life”.  Although there may be some among the 3,400 who have undertaken this dangerous long distance passage who may have other reasons in mind. Coincidentally, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Weekend Edition had a front page article, focusing on the passage through the Darien jungle of Panama, “Panama’s Perilous Jungle Is a New Route for Migrants”.  There are  also costly water passages by human traffickers that avoid the Darien jungle equivalent to those we have written about in the Mediterranean.  However, ike the experience of illegal migrants fleeing Syria, Sub Sahara Africa endeavoring to reach the EU via Libya and other crossing points they may be robbed and murdered by ‘coyotes,’ human traffickers.

 Among those interviewed in the WSJ article were illegal migrants from Guinea, Somalia, Pakistan and Cuba.  Note that common thread is escape from Jihadis, Sharia arranged marriages or tyranny, as in the case of Cuban refugees in this group.  What is also not lost is that all  illegal migrants have prior knowledge, that if they survive the trek north and illegally cross the U.S. southern border, they can present themselves as asylum seekers.  Because of U.S. asylum privileges for Cuban border crossers, they will likely not be detained but released to possible relatives. In other cases, as we have seen, they will  be transported to a DHS Immigration Customs Enforcement Detention Center, to await  a hearing before a Justice Department, Executive Office for Immigration Review,  immigration judge. Before him they will invoke the important words, ‘fear of physical or political threats’ before a quick decision is gaveled down admitting them as a refugee. They will then obtain benefits under the Refugee Act of 1980, including community placement, unless they can claim relatives here in the U.S.  The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program then takes over providing a smorgasbord of welfare, Medicaid, housing assistance and a pathway to ultimate citizenship. All without any reasonable means of screening asylees as documentation may be absent or virtually unavailable from their country of origin.

Watch this WSJ video:

Note these WSJ article excerpts.

A Somali:

Ahmed Hassan staggered through dense Panamanian jungle, crazy with thirst, his rubber sandals sliding in the mud, fearing he would die thousands of miles from his homeland in Somalia.

“I told my family I would go to the U.S., that was the plan,” said the 26-year-old truck driver, who said he fled late last year when al-Shabaab militants took his village. He flew to Brazil and made a cross-continental bus trip to Colombia.

In March came his biggest test: crossing the Darien Gap that connects South America with Panama and Mr. Hassan’s ultimate goal, the U.S.

“There was no water. There were snakes,” he said in a small holding center in Metetí, north of the jungle, gashes and bites covering his legs under his traditional sarong. “I thought I might die in that jungle.”

A Guinean:

There is still the journey through Central America and Mexico, but migrants say the Darien is the hardest. “I want to get to the U.S.,” said Hawa Bah, 20, who fled Guinea in West Africa. She spoke as she lay weak on a cot in a Panamanian holding center after getting lost in the Darien for more than 10 days.

“I was being forced into marriage, and I was worried about Ebola,” she said. “I’d rather have died in the jungle than go back.”

A Cuban Couple:

Yamil Gonzales, a Cuban, staggered up an incline above the beach, wheezing. “Agua,” murmured Mr. Gonzales, 45, collapsing against a tree as companions frantically dug through black garbage bags for water.

Soon, he was plowing through underbrush littered with bottles and broken sandals left by prior processions.

“It’s been hard, really hard,” said his wife, Yalile Alfonso, 47. “But in Cuba, there’s nothing. We had to come this way.” The couple was well-prepared, with passports, detailed plans to take buses to the U.S. border and knowledge of U.S. asylum laws.

A Pakistani:

But unlike the jungle route, this approach is close to Colombia, so border authorities can easily deport migrants without passports. That was Mohammed Khan’s fate. A father of four from Swat, a Pakistani area plagued by Taliban violence, he had landed with Mr. Gonzales. Months before, people of his village had pitched in $7,000 for his trip, he said.

A small pack on his back, Mr. Khan, 38, looked elated as he scrambled down the slope toward the tiny town of La Miel. People had told him Panama police would be hospitable.

But he had dumped his passport much earlier. The border authorities shook their heads as he pleaded: “Please, please, help me.” They marched him back up the mountain to Colombia.

Early this month, Mr. Khan texted that he re-entered Panama via the jungle, where he had seen “a lot dead.” He was in Guatemala, waiting to head north.

“Go USA,” he texted. “Plz pray.”

Note the open pathway to the U.S. once access to Panama is obtained:

Critics like Otto Reich, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, have said Ecuador’s open-door stance may result in a threat to the U.S. And Panamanian officials “know they are coming to the U.S. and then once here they will no longer be Panama’s problem,” said Mr. Reich, who heads a government-relations and trade-consulting firm.

Javier Carillo, director of Panama’s National Migration Service, says it is unfair to blame Panama for the problem, since migrants arrive illegally and pass through some nine other countries on their way to the U.S. A spokesman for Colombia’s immigration authority said it combats human smuggling and offers migrants the opportunity to apply for asylum or safe-conduct papers.

Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “is not aware of this human trafficking route.” Officials at Ecuador’s immigration authority didn’t respond to requests for comment. Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry has said the country doesn’t support criminal activity.

Cubans, who say crossing the Florida Straits has become too tough, are the biggest group flowing across and around the isthmus. Others from far-off countries are also arriving in growing numbers: Panama processed 210 Somalis crossing the Darien this year through March, up from 60 in the year-earlier period.

Where have we heard about the Darien Gap in what is now Panama?  Think of the brief Scottish colony of “Caledonia” established in the 1690 in the Gulf of Darien, that was supposed to conduct trade in both the Atlantic and Pacific. The so-called “Darien Scheme” failed for a host of reasons including poor planning, provisions and being ravaged by epidemics until the colony was overrun by Spanish military in 1700. Because it was backed by upwards of 50 percent of currency in circulation in Scotland, its failure ultimately forced the merger that created the United Kingdom in 1707.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

Obama Apologizes for Drone Strike in Pakistan that Killed U.S. and Italian Hostages

The Wall Street Journal reported the disclosure of a classified drone attack on an Al Qaeda compound in January that mistakenly killed an American hostage, Dr. Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker, Giovanni Lo Porto.  An Al Qaeda senior operative, Ahmed Farouq who held dual U.S. and Pakistan citizenship was the target of the attack in the controversial CIA covert operation. Dr. Weinstein had been held since 2011.  The WSJ noted the reactions of the President, Italian Premier Renzi and Weinstein’s widow:

The intelligence that underpinned the drone strike turned out to have been tragically incomplete, U.S. officials and lawmakers said Thursday.

The deaths prompted President Barack Obama, who has expanded and redefined the use of U.S. drones, to take full responsibility.

“I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government I offer our deepest apologies to their families,” he said at the White House.

But Mr. Weinstein’s family expressed disillusionment at the U.S. and Pakistani approach to his capture and imprisonment by al Qaeda.

“We were so hopeful that those in the U.S. and Pakistani governments with the power to take action and secure his release would have done everything possible to do so, and there are no words to do justice to the disappointment and heartbreak we are going through,” said Elaine Weinstein, the American hostage’s widow.

Mr. Obama said he spoke with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Mr. Weinstein’s family.

Mr. Obama knew about the deaths of the hostages when he met with Mr. Renzi in Washington last Friday but Mr. Obama didn’t tell him, a senior administration official said. Mr. Obama wanted to first develop a plan for sharing the news with the families and the public, the official said.

Mr. Renzi on Thursday expressed “deepest condolences” to the Lo Porto family, as well to the family of Mr. Weinstein. The Italian foreign ministry’s crisis unit immediately contacted Mr. Lo Porto’s family after Mr. Obama’s call.

However, the CIA drone strike that mistakenly killed the two hostages met the rules of engagement:

It was the first known instance in which the Central Intelligence Agency killed hostages in a drone strike. The deaths were a major blow to the spy agency, which conducts the attacks largely behind a cloak of secrecy.

The CIA used rules of engagement that allow drone strikes against suspected militants even if the agency isn’t sure who they are.

The White House has launched a review of the strike to see if changes are needed to the program to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Officials said the program hasn’t been curtailed so far in response.

But Mr. Obama said the initial U.S. assessment of the strike shows it was fully consistent with the guidelines under which his administration conducts such counterterrorism operations.

The CIA launched the strike that killed the hostages under the broad authorities given to the agency to target suspected al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, senior Obama administration officials said. Mr. Obama didn’t directly sign off on the strike beforehand, they said.

JM Berger, author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the name of Islam writes about the demise of three American Al Qaeda operatives:  Adam Gadahn, Jewish convert to Salafist Islam who headed AQ Central Media operation, Samir Kahn who fled North Carolina to join American born AQAP leader, Anwar al Awlaki in Yemen to edit Inspire Magazine  and Omar Hammami, a Daphne, Alabama native, born of a Baptist mother and Syrian Muslim engineer father,  who became an Al Shabaab media star and commander.

The title of Berger’s Politico Magazine article, “Al Qaeda’s American Dream Ends”   is both a chronicle of the trio’s exploits and circumstances about their demise.  As we learned today, Gadahn was killed in a separate drone attack by the CIA covert program. Kahn was also killed in a drone strike in Yemen, as was American-born AQAP leader, Sheik Anwar al-Awlaki.  The two hostages, American development expert Dr. Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto were killed in a US Drone strike under murky circumstances in January 2015 along with AQ leader Ahmed Farouq who had dual US and Pakistani citizenship.  Farouq was allegedly head of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

President Obama apologized and took responsibility as Commander in Chief for the failure of the mission to secure the freedom of the hostages, although the decision was delegated to others in the clandestine drone program. The error is reflective of the lack of intelligence assets, a product of reliance on drones to attack AQ leaders under approved rules of engagement.

Hammami was killed in an ambush by Al Shabaab in 2013 because he became increasingly critical of the leadership. Both Gadahn and Khan, as Berger points out, provided a template for the slick graphic/ video production and social media campaigns run by ISIS. The title of Berger’s piece is somewhat misleading. While Gadahn, Kahn and Hammami were prominent American Jihadis, others, especially in the Muslim émigré communities in the US are taking their place as recruits for ISIS.  For AQ the American Dream may have ended. For ISIS it is only just beginning with few prospects for counterterrorism echelons in our government to create effective de-radicalization programs aimed at preventing these Americans from joining the thongs of tens of thousands from around the Muslim ummah to fight and die for the pure Islamic State. That is because the President refuses to recognize the attraction of Salafist Jihadist Islam at the core of Muslim terrorism.

Today’s revelations illustrate why the U.S. has lost credibility in relying only on drone strikes to degrade AQ leadership rather than coordinating it with verifiable intelligence from assets in the field.

We understand completely the grief and frustration of the Weinstein and Lo Porto families who criticized both the US and Pakistani governments for not securing the freedom of their late loved ones languishing for years as AQ hostages.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Dr. Warren Weinstein U.S. Development expert and Giovanni Lo Porto Italian aid worker killed in January 2015 by a U.S. drone attack. Source: AP and Facebook Page.

Open letter to the President of Pakistan: Please free Asia Bib

To: Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Pakistan

Mrs. Asia Bib is in your country Pakistan and under Sharia law, she was convicted of the crime of blasphemy and sentenced to be hanged in 2010. She is a wife and also a mother to five children who desperately want their mother to come home. She wrote the following and gave it to her husband:

“My prison cell has no windows and day and night are the same to me, but if I am still holding on today it is thanks to everyone who is trying to help me. When my husbnd showed me the photographs of people I have never met drinking a glass of water for me, my heart overflowed. Ashiq told me that the city of Paris is offering to welcome our family. I send my deepest thanks to you Madam Mayor, and to all the kind people of Paris and across the world. You are my only hope of staying alive in this dungeon, so please don’t abandon me. I did not commit blasphemy.”

Ashiq Masih
Pakistan, 17th of November 2014

Mr. President, Asia is a Christian, and because of that, when she offered water to Muslim workers, who were working in a berry field in Itan Wali, they called her unclean. She allegedly responded, “Your Muhammad had worms in his mouth before he died.” She responded from emotion after being insulted after offering a kind hand of love and gesture to a Muslim.

So your country will hang a mother of 5 children for expressing herself from emotion after offering help to Muslims with a simple glass of water where her help was rejected because she is a Christian. Has your nation been taken over by the grip of Satan and you will kill a woman for her expressing opinion? Shame on you.

You need to man up and release her from prison with a full pardon and let her return to her family. Islam is peaceful right? Then prove it. Let her go home. This is a disgrace to the nation of Pakistan and it brings discredit to you Mr. President. Where is the freedom in your country? Are you a nation of intolerant cowards? Let this woman go home. In fact, let her leave your country and come to the United States or to Paris, France where she can live free to speak her mind. I will pay her way, one way tickets for her and all her family.

What sort of a country chooses to hang a defenseless woman for helping a Muslim with a drink of water only to be rejected for her Christian belief. Islam is not a religion of peace it is a religion of intolerance and pure evil……stop being a coward and start showing tolerance and mercy as your religion so expresses.

Mr. President, if you are a man of peace under Islam, release her from jail, send her home to her family and then send her to my country the United States or to France. DO IT. Me merciful like your Allah.

ISIS Beheads American Photo Journalist — Threatens second U.S. Captive

The Islamic State, formerly ISIS, in retribution for US air strikes in Northern Iraq, released a video of the purported beheading of intrepid American Photo Journalist James Wright Foley attired in an orange jump suit.  Foley was captured in Northern Syria in November 2012. Foley was previously held captive by Gaddafi forces in Libya in 2011 for 44 days. Foley, a native of Rochester, New Hampshire was working for the on-line Boston publication, Global Post that had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to find and release him.  The video of his beheading was promptly taken down from YouTube under rules that Google has established as being too violent.    At the conclusion of the video there is a shot of another captive American Journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff.   Sotloff according to a report in the International Business Times (IBT) was captured near Aleppo on August 4, 2013. Sotloff, the IBT noted was,” a freelance journalist who had reported on Egypt, Syria, and Libya for TIME, the Christian Science Monitor, the National Interest and Foreign Policy magazine. There is also rumored to be another American aid worker captured by ISIS in the Syrian civil conflict.

Steven Joel Sotloff with ISIS Executioner

Steven Joel Sotloff with ISIS Executioner. Source: #ISIS.

This barbaric act by ISIS is reminiscent of the beheading on February 1, 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan  of Wall Street Journalist, Daniel Pearl, by Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in Karachi, Pakistan and American Contractor Nick Berg executed on May 7, 2004 in  Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of the predecessor of ISIS, Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The Reuters account noted the contents of the graphic ISIS video entitled, “A Message to America”:

The video opened with a clip of U.S. President Barack Obama saying he had authorized strikes in Iraq.

“Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims,” words appear in English and Arabic on the screen.

It showed black and white aerial footage of air strikes with text saying “American aggression against the Islamic State”

A person identified as James Foley and wearing an orange outfit is seen kneeling in the desert as a man in black dress with a black mask stands beside him, holding a knife.

“I call on my friends family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality,” the kneeling man says.

The man in the mask speaks in a British accent and says: “This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen, of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State.”

“Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide.”

Following his statement he beheads the kneeling man.

At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say “Steven Joel Sotloff” as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen.

Global Post published this early account this evening of the loss of their colleague, Foley, “Reported beheading of James Foley not yet verified”:

The video asserts that the alleged killing of Foley is in retaliation for recent airstrikes by the United States against IS militants in northern Iraq. In it, Foley, kneeling next to an apparent IS militant, makes comments against the US for its actions. The militant also claims to be holding journalist Steven Joel Sotloff, who went missing in Syria a year ago.

Philip Balboni, GlobalPost CEO and co-founder, made the following statement: “On behalf of John and Diane Foley, and also GlobalPost, we deeply appreciate all of the messages of sympathy and support that have poured in since the news of Jim’s possible execution first broke. We have been informed that the FBI is in the process of evaluating the video posted by the Islamic State to determine if it is authentic. … We ask for your prayers for Jim and his family.”

GlobalPost, for whom Foley had reported in Syria, has mounted an extensive international investigation since November 2012 to determine who kidnapped Foley and where he was being held. Significant research has been undertaken throughout the Middle East, including along the Syria-Turkish border, in Lebanon, in Jordan and in other locations.

“Although Global Post’s investigation at one point led us to believe that James was being held by the Syrian government, we later were given strong reason to believe he was being held by Islamic militants in Syria,” Balboni said. “We withheld this information at the request of the family and on the advice of authorities cooperating in the effort to protect Jim. GlobalPost, working with a private security company, has amassed an enormous amount of information that has not been made public.”

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden affirmed in a statement that US officials are working to authenticate the video.

“We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen James Foley by ISIL. The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available,” the statement said.

Foley was on a freelance assignment for GlobalPost when he was abducted in northern Syria on Nov. 22, 2012. He was on his way to the Turkish border when he was stopped by a group of armed men. Foley reported for GlobalPost from Libya and Afghanistan before traveling to Syria in the early days of the now long-running civil war that has taken the lives of more than 170,000.

Foley’s last article for GlobalPost detailed the growing frustration with the war among civilians in Aleppo.

The fact of Foley’s kidnapping was revealed publicly for the first time by his parents, John and Diane Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire, on Jan. 1, 2012, two months after his abduction. The only other American whose identity has been publicly revealed is Austin Tice, a freelance reporter for the McClatchy News Service and the Washington Post, who was kidnapped in August 2012.

The Foley family’s last public statement on the kidnapping came in October 2013.

While covering the Libyan civil war in 2011, Foley and two other journalists, American Claire Gillis and Spaniard Manu Brabo, endured a 44-day captivity in April and May of that year at the hands of then Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Gaddafi. A fourth journalist, South African Anton Hammerl, was killed when the journalists were captured by Gaddafi fighters near Benghazi in eastern Libya. Foley later returned to Libya to cover Gaddafi’s fall and eventual death. Foley and GlobalPost correspondent Tracey Shelton were at the scene of Gaddafi’s capture in October 2011.

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

Obama Did Not Order Bin Laden Raid

Major General Paul Valley, U.S. Army (Ret.)

According to Family Security Matters (FSM), “Stand Up America research team has learned from a senior and sensitive intelligence community source and official that President Obama did not know of the raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden on May 1st, 2011 until after the helicopters with SEAL TEAM 6 had crossed into Pakistani airspace.

FSM notes, “The US’s most sophisticated deception techniques were used to make this very dangerous penetration into Pakistan without Pakistan knowledge. The President was notified at the golf course and called off the golf course which is why he was sitting in the strange sitting position in the picture that documented the White House operation room event.”

“Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Leon Panetta was the key player who organized and supported this daring raid. He signed the “Execute Orders” with only a few people aware: Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense William Gates, Admiral Bill Mullen and General David Petraeus,” reports FSM.

The FSM source states, “The White House was closed out of the decision because the President through Valarie Jarrett had turned down two or three other earlier proposals. The Deputy of Central Intelligence (DCI) and his covert planning team were extremely frustrated at all the denials, so saw the opportunity slipping away as implausible as it seems.” This scenario has been previously reported by others here, here and here.

The specter of bin Laden hangs over the White House even today as Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21 year old Muslim with ties to Al Qaeda, tried to blow up the New York Federal Reserve building in the name of Islam.

Is the White House narrative unraveling given the revelations in the book No Easy Day by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen and now this story?

Read the full Family Security Matters story by going here.

Tom Trento interviews MG Valley on WNN AM 1490 and discusses the story on the President not knowing about the raid until after the SEAL helicopters were already in Pakistan (at 11:40 minutes) and the Benghazi embassy attack (at 38:40 minutes) and the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey (at 50:00 minutes):

Major General Paul Valley, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Tom Trento analyse this new information about exactly when President Obama was informed about the raid to the bin Laden compound. President Obama according to White House documents, a highly placed confidential source and Mark Owen’s book was not notified until the SEAL helicopters were already in Pakistani airspace, the point of no return.

This new revelation may have a major impact on the narrative of a strong President making a “gutsy decision”.

The third and final Presidential debate is on Monday, October 22nd. The debate topic is foreign policy. Will this come up?

Watchdog Wire will be live streaming pre and post debate commentary from “boots on the ground” implementers of our foreign policy globally.

Click here to watch starting at 7:00 p.m. EST on Monday, October 22, 2012.