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State Department Nominee Must Tame The Bureaucratic Beast

The way the media is discussing the choice facing President-Elect Trump over his State Department nominee, you would think it’s a choice about stocking-stuffers. Should I give Mitt the slide whistle, the chocolate truffle, or the lump of coal?

The answer is: none of the above. And as Kellyann Conway noted on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Trump loyalists are wondering why Mitt Romney thinks he deserves to hang his stocking on our mantle to begin with.

Secretary of State is one of three key national security positions, but even more than the National Security advisor or the Secretary of Defense, this is the person who becomes America’s face and voice to seven billion people around the planet. This is the person who will personify American values, who will hold high the flag of freedom.

And most important of all, this is the person who will ensure that President Trump’s agenda actually gets carried out by an unruly, often recalcitrant bureaucracy at the Department of State, filled with partisan Democrats who have burrowed their way into career track jobs to avoid getting automatically axed come the inauguration.

Mitt Romney may be willing to recant his harsh attacks on Donald Trump’s character during the campaign, and Mr. Trump may be willing to forgive him. But the real issue – and it applies to any potential nominee – is this: can he or she ascend to the seventh floor and tame the bureaucracy?

After President Bush was elected to a second term in November 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell called a town meeting of his employees. “We live in a democracy,” he said. “As Americans, we have to respect the results of elections.” Bush had received the most votes of any president in U.S. history. Everyone in this building was constitutionally obligated to serve him, he said.

As I recounted in my 2008 book, Shadow Warriors, one of Powell’s subordinates returned to her office suite, shut the door, and held a mini town meeting of her own. After indignantly recounting Powell’s remarks to her assembled staff, she commented: “Well, Senator Kerry receive the second highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. If just one state had gone differently, Sen. Kerry would be President Kerry today.”

The employees of her regional bureau owed no allegiance to the president of the United States, especially not to policies they knew were wrong, she told them. If it was legal, and it would slow down the Bush juggernaut, they should do it.

I fully expect the next Secretary of State will face the same type of open insubordination from political hold-overs, many of whom weathered eight years of George W. Bush. They will use every ruse to undermine President Trump’s policies, especially where those policies conflict with their elitist, globalist agenda – which will be just about everywhere.

Want to slash the $1 billion funding to promote “climate change” initiatives? All of a sudden, that money will get buried in another budget line. Want to stop spending U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote an LGBT lifestyle overseas? The next secretary will get blank stares when he or she gives such an order to the bureaucrats.

And these are relatively small matters. What about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, a policy Congress has made law and Donald Trump promoted during the campaign? I guarantee you, the shadow warriors at State will find legal excuses where none exist, and magnify the objections of regional partners who never set foot in Israel anyway.

The State Department has many talented, career professionals, who understand that their job is to promote the policies of the United States of America as defined by the President and his Secretary of State. But it also has many secret and not-so-secret partisans, who believe their duty is to act as so many Edward Snowden’s inside the belly of the beast, leaking to the media and to President Trump’s political enemies.

The next Secretary of State cannot close his eyes to this fact. He must tame the bureaucracy and, like the Swedes, not fear to send those he cannot fire to the “elephant’s churchyard” in the basement.

That’s what happened to Greg Hicks, the deputy chief of mission under Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya, after Hicks had the temerity to testify before Congress that his superiors back in Washington had denied scores of requests for additional security in Tripoli and Benghazi.

The media will scream, and Senator Chuck Schumer will join them, calling the Secretary a vicious partisan, vindictive, or – heavens! – unfair. We need a Secretary of State who will not flinch at the slings and arrows of the president’s political adversaries, who can sweep them away with skill, good humor, and firm resolve.

Do you see Mitt Romney doing that?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the DailyCaller.com.

U.S. State Department: 9,500 foreigners whose visas were revoked for terrorism go missing

The solution: bring in hundreds of thousands of refugees whose ties to jihad terror will be impossible to vet.

“Feds can’t say whereabouts of those whose visas were revoked over terror threat,” Fox News, December 19, 2015 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

The Obama administration cannot be sure of the whereabouts of thousands of foreigners in the U.S. who had their visas revoked over terror concerns and other reasons, a State Department official acknowledged Thursday.

The admission, made at a House oversight hearing examining immigrant vetting in the wake of major terror attacks, drew a sharp rebuke from the committee chairman.

“You don’t have a clue do you?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told Michele Thoren Bond, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Bond initially said the U.S. has revoked more than 122,000 visas since 2001, including 9,500 because of the threat of terrorism.

But Chaffetz quickly pried at that stat, pressing the witness about the present location of those individuals.

“I don’t know,” she said.

The startling admission came as members of the committee pressed administration officials on what safeguards are in place to reduce the risk from would-be extremists….

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U.S. State Department Denies Middle East Christians Refugee Status

iraqi christiansThe NER November edition interview with U.S. Iraqi Christian leader Joseph T. Kassab, “Iraqi Christians Face Extinction” is illustrated by the experience of Syrian Christians  Nina Shea of the Center for Religious Freedom writes about them in a National Review on-line article published, today,  “The State Department Turns Its Back on Syrian Christians and Other Non-Muslim Refugees.”  Shea’s bottom line tells why so few imperiled Iraqi and Syrian Christians and other non- Muslim minorities have been admitted by our State Department for asylum as humanitarian refugees. They are largely ‘urban refugees’ as Kassab pointed out in our Iraqi Christian interview. They don’t qualify under UN rules that our State Department slavishly adheres to. One of our first NER articles in January 2008 drew attention to that problem, “Why Is the UN Determining Who Becomes Humanitarian Refugees in the US?

Note this exchange with Kassab in our interview about the quandary facing Iraqi Christian ‘urban refugees’ in the Kurdish Regional Government:

Gordon:  What are the current conditions of Iraqi Christian refugee camps in the Kurdish Region and what kinds of assistance are they receiving?

Kassab:  The current conditions for Iraqi Christian IDPs are very chaotic and horrific. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is doing its best to provide for them. However, they are unable to absorb more than 3 million refugees from Syria and Yazidis in their region. The Iraqi government has done nothing for its citizen IDPs. Corruption is very high among the Iraqi government officials and that by itself makes distribution of relief to its IDPs very poor. The UN and humanitarian local and international NGOs are unable to function properly due to lack of coordination and efficient capacity. Therefore people are losing hope and are availing of any opportunity to escape abroad. Christians are urban refugees-IDPs meaning that they do not live in UN refugee camps. Instead they seek shelter with relatives, in unfinished buildings, parks and churches. Overall, this support can be very short lived because volunteering always has a sunset.

Shea cites the paltry admissions of Syrian Christians and other minorities by the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration:

Over the past five years of Syria’s civil war, the United States has admitted a grand total of 53 Syrian Christian refugees, a loneYazidi, and fewer than ten Druze, Bahá’ís, and Zoroastrians combined. That so few of the Syrian refugees coming here are non-Muslim minorities is due to American reliance on a United Nations refugee-resettlement program that disproportionately excludes them. Past absolute totals of Syrian refugees to the U.S. under this program were small, but as the Obama administration now ramps up refugee quotas by tens of thousands, it would be unconscionable to continue with a process that has consistently forsaken some of the most defenseless and egregiously persecuted of those fleeing Syria.

The gross underrepresentation of the non-Muslim communities in the numbers of Syrian refugees into the U.S. is reflected year after year in the State Department’s public records. They show, for example, that while Syria’s largest non-Muslim group — Christians of the various Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions — constituted 10 percent of Syria’s population before the war, they are only 2.6 percent of the 2,003 Syrian refugees that the United States has accepted since then.

Here is the explanation given by a State Department official concerned about religious minorities:

In an e-mail to me, Knox Thames, the State Department’s new special adviser for religious minorities, wrote that “many minorities have not entered the UN system because they are urban refugees.” That is, because they live far from the remote U.N. camps and aid centers, they lack the information and access to register. And, as is widely known, many non-Muslim refugees try hard to avoid these camps.

Like Iraqi Christians who opt for church-run camps over better-serviced U.N. ones, Syrian minorities fear hostility from majority groups inside the latter. According to British media, a terrorist defector asserted that militants enter U.N. camps to assassinate and kidnap Christians. An American Christian aid group reported that the U.N. camps are “dangerous” places where ISIS, militias, and gangs traffic in women and threaten men who refuse to swear allegiance to the caliphate. Such intimidation is also reportedly evident in migrant camps in Europe, leading the German police union to recommend separate shelters for Christian and Muslim migrant groups.

Shea noted the response by the current UN High Commissioner for Refugees at a recent Washington conference:

At a discussion of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on October 27, I directly questioned U.N. High Commissioner António Guterres, an otherwise ardent advocate of diversity, about the short shrift that his office has given all Syria’s non-Muslim minority communities. His rambling reply failed to reassure. He said that, while some individuals should be resettled, as a Catholic he felt that Christians should not leave, because they’re part of the “DNA of the Middle East”; moreover, he said, Lebanon’s former president asked him not to resettle the Christians. Was he revealing a policy of religious bias and unlawful geo-political calculations for U.N. refugee determinations? Or was his sentiment a smokescreen behind which he was trying to flick off an issue he regarded as insignificant?

Like Iraqi Christian advocate Kassab, a prominent Chaldean Bishop in the Western US, Sarho Jammo, is “imploring that Christians be included in the new allotments for humanitarian refugees from the Middle East issued by the Administration.

Shea concludes:

According to a recent UNHCR posting, 19,000 Syrians picked straight from “refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan” have received U.N. approval and are awaiting resettlement in the U.S.  In October, President Obama ordered their expedited admission. Without further action, however, only token numbers of non-Muslim minorities will be among those rescued. George Carey, former archbishop of Canterbury, called it right about the Christian refugees and his words equally apply to Syria’s other non-Muslim communities: They are being “left at the bottom of the heap.”

It is clear from both our NER interview with Kassab and Shea that without Congress amending the Refugee Act of 1980 the State Department is fostering the extinction of Middle East Christians by adhering to UNHCR allotment criteria. If they cannot be provided sanctuary and asylum in the US, under the current UNHCR definitions, then special waivers should be granted lifting those restrictions to utilize the special P2/P3 Family Reunification Visa program.

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

Rising Concerns over Muslim Refugee Resettlement in U.S. [Video]

Ann Corcoran’s brief video on Muslim Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. has gone viral since being put up on YouTube on April 20, 2015 by the Center for Security Policy. It has had over 200,735 hits to date climbing every day. Clearly, Corcoran’s message has resonated among concerned Americans. Watch it on YouTube:

Refugee Resettlement and Hijra jpgThe CSP YouTube video is a complement to her recently published book on the problems confronting America over the threat of mass Muslim migration that has transformed Europe and now troubles grass roots America, “Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America .

Corcoran and her team chronicle news and developments about this issue on the blog where she is editor, Refugee Resettlement Watch. You may have read our interview with Erick Stakelbeck, ISIS Threat to America  in the current edition of the NER where he drew attention to the Somali refugee communities in the American heartland sending jihadi terrorists in Somali and Syria.  He spoke of young Somali émigré men who have joined up with, first Al Shabaab in Somalia, and now increasingly, join the Islamic State to fight for the self-declared Caliphate in Syria and Iraq.   We have drawn attention to the problems of Somali refugee resettlement in NER articles and Iconoclast posts over the past eight years.  They have  covered  severe cultural and integration problems in the American heartland  in places like Shelbyville, TennesseeEmporia, KansasGreeley , ColoradoMinneapolis, Minnesota,  Columbus, Ohio, and Lewiston, Maine.

The Somali émigré jihadis aren’t the only terrorists among admitted refugees. Think of the brothers Tsarneav who perpetrated the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013. See our NER article, “Refugee Jihad Terror in Boston.”  An ABC investigation reported that dozens of terrorists have been admitted fraudulently under the U.S. Refugee Admission Program.

 One example was two Iraqi refugees, al Qaeda operatives, arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2011 convicted in 2013. They were charged with sending weapons and cash to Al Qaeda. They lied on their Federal Refugee Admission forms about their prior terrorist involvements in Iraq. One had constructed IEDs, involved in killing four members of a Pennsylvania National guard unit in 2006 in Iraq. A check of fingerprints on the shards of the IED caught the perpetrator. Watch this 2013 ABC Report. Recently, one of those convicted, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, filed a motion seeking to overturn his conviction because his counsel said he wouldn’t get life.  That episode briefly raised the criticism of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

In excess of 250,000 Somali and Iraqis have been admitted to the U.S. as refugees.  An estimated one million have immigrated to the U.S. from Muslim lands. Through births and admittance of relatives under the problematic P-3 Family Reunification Visa program the impact could mean millions of additional Muslim émigrés in the U.S.  Virtually all of the Somali and Iraqi refugees were Muslim.  Endangered Christians and other minority religion accounted for less than 8 percent of Syrian Refugees admitted under the State Department administered U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Eleven Christian, Jewish and special interest NGOs or voluntary agencies (VOLAGS) are paid by the billion dollar State Department refugee program to process and place refugees in American communities. VOLAGS like Catholic Charities, Lutheran World Services, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and the International Rescue Committee. The total annual federal and state program costs of refugee resettlement are estimated to range in excess of $12 to $20 billion annually.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees  establishes priorities for U.S. Admissions under the Refugee Act of 1980. An Act co-sponsored by the late Edward Kennedy and then Senator, now Vice President in the Obama Administration, Joe Biden. The U.S. may be poised to accept another wave of over 75,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years.   Doubtless they and growing number of  Muslim refugees from  elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia will be “seeded”  in American cities under the Fostering Community Engagement  and Welcoming Communities Project of  the Office of Refugee  Resettlement with the Soros-backed  NGO, “Welcoming America“.

 But now there is pushback by American cities, as witnessed by concerns expressed in letters to Secretary of State Kerry by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Judiciary Sub Committee on Immigration and Border Security. Both The House Subcommittee and the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, chaired by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) hold annual hearings over refugee allotments. Gowdy’s letter of April 13, 2015 was prompted by constituent complaints in Spartanburg, South Carolina of the establishment of a VOLAG office to processing Muslim refugees. He wrote Secretary Kerry seeking answers as to why the office was being established and had not been reviewed with state and local agencies. He ended his letter:

I request that any plans to resettle refugees in the Spartanburg, South Carolina, area be placed on hold until my constituents and I receive your substantive responses to the questions and information requested in this letter. Additionally, before moving forward, both the Spartanburg community and I should have time to substantively review the information and be comfortable with the information provided.

As previously stated, I am troubled by the lack of notice and coordination with my office and the Spartanburg community, particularly local officials, regarding the plans to resettle refugees in the area. In that vein, I request at least one month’s notice prior to the arrival of the first refugee[s] in the Spartanburg area.

To find out more about what could become an important issue for evaluation of 2016 Presidential candidates, be sure to listen to an interview with Ann Corcoran of RRW by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates on 1330am WEBY “Your Turn.” The program will air at 5:30 PM CDT (6:30 PM EDT), Tuesday, May 12th.  You may Listen Live here. The recorded program will be archived and posted following the broadcast.  A transcript of the interview may appear in the June edition of the NER.

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

The President’s Conference and its message: “Think Again, Turn Away”

Today starts a three day conference in Foggy Bottom at which President Obama will appear before an audience of representatives from 60 countries dealing with the threat of “violent extremism”.  The White House and State Department have made it abundantly clear that they refuse to identify the perpetrators and the victims of the Paris Charlie Hebdo and Kosher Supermarket attacks, this weekend’s attacks in Copenhagen, among them Jews, and the grisly beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by ISIS.  The critics of this no name policy suggest that if you cannot define the threat of radical Islam and its basis, Qur’anic doctrine and Sharia Islamic law,  that you can’t develop a strategy for “degrading “and” defeating” the Islamic State.

Given what happened in Egypt’s Sinai and this past weekend in Libya, the area of conflict with IS might be expanded to include North Africa and, obviously, the West, given the attacks in France, Belgium and Denmark, as well as America and Canada. Thus the “violent extremism” conference will focus on warning potential IS recruits of foreign fighters from across the globe to “Think Again, Turn Away.” That message is  being  refined by the State Department  Center  for Strategic Counter-terrorism Communications (CSCC) set up under an executive order issued by President  Obama in 2011. Otherwise, the recruits might end up dead either as suicide bombers or at the hands of IS masterminds. The CSCC has a daunting task. According to its website:

CSCC is comprised of three interactive components. The integrated analysis component leverages the Intelligence Community and other substantive experts to ensure CSCC communicators benefit from the best information and analysis available. The plans and operations component draws on this input to devise effective ways to counter the terrorist narrative. The Digital Outreach Team actively and openly engages in Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, and Somali to counter terrorist propaganda and misinformation about the United States across a wide variety of interactive digital environments that had previously been ceded to extremists.

As a New York Times (NYTarticle on the conference pointed out the State Department CSCC coordinator, Ambassador Alberto Fernandez is leaving shortly after trying to lead the messaging effort across a broad spectrum of competing internal State, Homeland Security and intelligence echelons. This comment by former State Department counterterrorism coordinator Daniel Benjamin sums up why Fernandez will retire in April, 2015. “After its first year or two, it was never taken seriously and got little support from higher-ups.”

The CSCC has endeavored to communicate that the IS Salafist jihadist slick presentations in videos, tweets and Face book pages corrupts the central message of Islam of “peace and justice” – that is only to adherents of the faith. In point of fact, the IS following in the way of Allah, Jihad.

How slick is the IS agit-propaganda spewed out on-line to the unwary recruit? One recent example is reflected in a new release translated by MEMRI, entreating recruits to come to Libya and join the gateway to the Conquest of Rome – a thought that should be unnerving to Pope Francis. The NYT CSCC article cited as examples of effective “messaging”:

One online image two years ago, for instance, showed photographs of three American men who traveled to Somalia and died there, including Omar Hammami, a young man from Alabama who became an infamous Islamist militant. The accompanying message reads, “They came for jihad but were murdered by Al Shabaab.”

Another image showed a young man weeping over a coffin. The message read, “How can slaughtering the innocent be the right path?”

Each of the online posts carried a warning: “Think again. Turn away.”

Last June, Islamic State supporters warned fighters to beware of the center’s Twitter account and not to interact with it.

The reality of the CSCC mission, is that it has been corrupted- to quote Egyptian President Al-Sisi- by the origin of  IS and Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  As late as January 2015, the State Department was caught in a conference with alleged Egyptian MB leaders.  There were graphic messages on twitter set against the backdrop of the Seal of the State Department by one of the participants flashing the ‘rabbia’ hand sign-a signal to support ousted President Morsi and hundreds of others currently being tried for sedition in Egypt.  Last May, the State Department was embarrassed by a tweet it sent about the presence at a White House meeting on messaging with Sheik Bin Bayyah, a deputy to notorious MB preacher, Yusuf Al Qaradawi.  Bin Bayyah had been there before along with another Egyptian legislator and member of a terrorist group in 2013.

The President’s Conference on Violent Extremism is being stage managed by a skilled media expert, Richard Stengel, former Time Magazine managing editor, who was appointed in 2013 as Undersecretary Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.  Stengel will be assisted at the Conference by Ambassador Rashad Hussein, current Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and former Deputy White House Counsel with MB connections.  Stengel admits that countering the ISIS supremacy in messaging its appeal to young impressionable Muslim recruits is daunting. He was cited by the New York Times saying, “We’re getting beaten on volume, so the only way to compete is by aggregating, curating and amplifying existing content…. These guys [meaning IS] aren’t BuzzFeed; they’re not invincible in social media.”

Last fall, Stengel was interviewed by the Voice of America while in the midst of the propaganda war with IS:

VOA: What are some challenges in terms of dealing or confronting the ISIS propaganda machine?

Stengel: There are a lot of challenges. They are very sophisticated. They will stop at nothing, so to speak. They are not bound by the truth in any way. There are structural problems in the Middle East and the Arab world that can sometimes make Daesh’s ideology attractive, attractive to young men who don’t have jobs, who don’t see a great future for themselves, who have only heard a kind of misbegotten idea of Islam. So that is part of the challenge. What we’re trying to say, along with the coalition partners, is that Daesh is not the true face of Islam, it doesn’t represent what the prophet or the Koran stands for, and that the vision they’re creating of a caliphate is a false vision where none of the things they say are true are true.

Clearly, Stengel is toeing the White House line that IS is ‘misinterpreting’ Islam, even as  some scholars believe it is reflecting the core doctrine of Salafist/Jihad.

Last October, Stengel appeared at a forum on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California’s Center for Public Diplomacy (CPD).  Watch the video of his talk and Q&A here:

USC Professor of Journalism and International Relations Phillip Seib in a CPD article suggested that countering ISIS messaging capability is in the wrong place at State’s CSCC. Rather it should be transferred to the CIA. He wrote:

A much more effective approach to combat their message would be a bare-knuckles operation: no disclaimers and a product that matches up better against the videos coming from Al Hayat, ISIL’s video production arm (the name stolen from the pan-Arab newspaper, Al-Hayat).

These videos should feature imams denouncing ISIL’s tactics and women urging their sisters not to be enticed by ISIL’s recruiting messages. They should include video testimony from disillusioned ISIL fighters who have returned home. And they should show the ravaged Muslim communities that have been attacked by ISIL. But few anti-ISIL speakers want to participate in a State Department-branded video. And even fewer jihadist recruits believe it. American credibility in the region remains low, and many Muslims are wary of a new round of U.S. involvement in their homelands.

Our comment on the President’s “violent extremism” Conference this week in Washington is soft power is trumped by raw Islamic Jihad every time. That is embodied in failure to recognize the Qur’anic doctrine behind the rise of IS. To paraphrase the CSCC motto, “Think Again, Turn Away” from Taqiyya – lying for Allah.

RELATED ARTICLE: Islamic supremacist groups including Hamas-linked CAIR say Obama terror summit wrongly singles out Muslims

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

Egypt’s Al-Sisi Takes Revenge for Slaughter of Coptic Christians by Isis in Libya

Many were appalled by the video depicting the slaughter of Coptic Christians by masked ISIS supporters in war torn Libya.  Unlike some in the West Wing and the State Department who wring their hands, condemn  and deplore such savagery, after destabilizing Libya, President al-Sisi  has shown  he has the mettle to  take revenge for the murders of  Egyptian Coptic Christians. He launched immediate air attacks against the bases in Eastern Libya of the ISIS affiliated Jihadists. This despite the savage on-going war that Egypt is fighting against the ISIS affiliate in the Sinai, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.

While the National Security Council and State Department invite in Muslim Brotherhood leaders to discuss messaging to combat the rise of ISIS in the Middle East and North Africa, Al-Sisi is trying ousted President Morsi and hundreds of other MB leaders in Egypt for endeavoring to create an Islamic State. Like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Egypt has designated the MB and affiliate in the US, the Council of American Islamic Relations, as terrorist organizations.  Meanwhile,  the White House issued a statement not identifying the religion of the murdered Coptic Christians. Even the UN  did that.

Fox News/AP reported Al-Sisi’s response to Jihad slaughter of Coptic Christians in Libya:

Egypt’s military said Monday that it had launched airstrikes against ISIS-affiliated militants in Libya after a video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages surfaced Sunday.

A spokesman for the Armed Forces General Command announced the strikes on state radio Monday, marking the first time Cairo has publicly acknowledged taking military action in neighboring Libya, where extremist groups seen as a threat to both countries have taken root in recent years.

The statement said the warplanes targeted weapons caches and training camps before returning safely. It said the strikes were “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers.”

“Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them,” it said.

[…]

The Egyptian government had previously declared a seven-day period of mourning and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi addressed the nation late Sunday night, saying that his government reserved the right to seek retaliation for the killings.

“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said Al-Sisi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”

Libya’s air force commander, Saqr al-Joroushi, told Egyptian state TV that the airstrikes were coordinated with the Libyan side and that they killed about 50 militants. Libya’s air force also announced it had launched strikes in the eastern city of Darna, which was taken over by an ISIS affiliate last year.

[…]

In Washington, the White House released a statement calling the beheadings “despicable” and “cowardly”, but made no mention of the victims’ religion, referring to them only as “Egyptian citizens” or “innocents”. White House press secretary Josh Earnest added in the statement that the terror group’s “barbarity knows no bounds.”

Also Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He offered his condolences on behalf of the American people and strongly condemned the killings. Kerry and the foreign minister agreed to keep in close touch as Egyptians deliberated on a response, according to a release from the State Department.

On Monday, Al-Sisi visited the main Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo to offer his condolences on the Egyptians killed in Libya, according to state TV.

The U.N. Security Council meanwhile strongly condemned what it called “the heinous and cowardly apparent murder in Libya of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” using another name for the terror group.

The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also condemned the mass killing, calling it an “ugly crime.”

“The United Arab Emirates is devoting all its resources to support the efforts of Egypt to eradicate terrorism and the violence directed against its citizens,” he said.

Sheikh Abdullah added that the killing highlights the need to help the Libyan government “extend its sovereign authority over all of Libya’s territory.”

The savage murder of the 21 Coptic Christina hostages in Libya underscores the failure of the Administration’s policy of leading from behind. Confounding adoption of a strategy is the Administration’s refusal to  identify the threat of Salafist Jihadist Islamic doctrine, virtually one and the same with that promoted by the MB and its supporters in the Muslim Ummah and here in the West.

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

Obama Administration supports Radical Islam: State Department Hosts Pro-Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian Contingent

Waleed Sharaby, is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council   State Department  1-1-27-15

Waleed Sharaby, Secretary  General of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council, who flashes the Rabia Muslim Brotherhood resistance sign. U.S. State Department 1-27-15, Source: screenshot.

Tuesday evening in Washington, D.C., we had more evidence of the Administration’s policy of appeasing Muslim Brotherhood opponents of the Al-Sisi government in Cairo, the latter seeking to reform radical Islamic doctrine espousing Salafist Jihad.  Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon reported this latest example of outreach to Radical Islamist groups in the Ummah, “Muslim Brotherhood-Aligned Leaders Hosted at State Department:”

One member of the delegation, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.

That delegation member, Waleed Sharaby, is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood.

The delegation also includes Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor.

Sharaby, the Brotherhood-aligned judge, flashed the Islamist group’s popular symbol in his picture at the State Department and wrote in a caption: “Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone,” according to an independent translation of the Arabic.

Another member of the delegation, Maha Azzam, confirmed during an event hosted Tuesday by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID)—another group accused of having close ties to the Brotherhood—that the delegation had “fruitful” talks with the State Department.

Note this comment of Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

Maha Azzam confirms that ‘anti-coup’ delegation, which includes 2 top [Muslim Brothers], had ‘fruitful’ conversations at State Dept,” Egypt expert Eric Trager tweeted.

“The State Department continues to speak with Muslim Brothers on the assumption that Egyptian politics are unpredictable, and the Brotherhood still has some support in Egypt,” he said. “But when pro-Brotherhood delegations then post photos of themselves making pro-Brotherhood gestures in front of the State Department logo, it creates an embarrassment for the State Department.”

Sam Tadros, Egypt expert at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, DC commented:

“I think the Muslim Brotherhood visit serves two goals,” Tadros said. “First, organizing the pro Muslim Brotherhood movement in the U.S. among the Egyptian and other Arab and Muslim communities.”

“Secondly, reaching out to administration and the policy community in D.C.,” Tadros said. “The delegation’s composition includes several non-official Muslim Brotherhood members to portray an image of a united Islamist and non-Islamist revolutionary camp against the regime.”

Counter terrorism expert, Patrick Poole said:

What this shows is that the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, particularly the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt on June 30, 2013, that led to Morsi’s ouster, is not recognized by the State Department and the Obama administration,” Poole said.

“This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East,” Poole said.

It is beyond time for the GOP-controlled Congress to investigate why the Administration deigns to provide auspices to invite Egyptian and other foreign Muslim Brotherhood leaders to meet publicly with White House National Security and State Department officials in Washington. This latest example continues the impression that the Obama Administration supports Radical Islamic doctrine.  It is a further example of how far the Administration has gone in fostering infiltration of Muslim Brotherhood domestic and foreign groups in the U.S. enabling their  “messaging”.  All while this Administration persists in deracinating the vestiges of Jihad threat doctrine training for our military, homeland security and national law enforcement agencies.

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

A Breakthrough in the Benghazi Investigation

Across America people have asked, petitioned, begged for answers to what really occurred the night our U.S. Compound in Benghazi was attacked a little over three years ago. With equal energy Obama and his crew have worked diligently to cover-up the facts of that horrendous evening.

A United States Ambassador was killed, three brave Department of State employees were, also. Two of the killed were Special Operators assigned to Diplomatic Protection and exchanged their lives so others could live. Investigations followed but were always stymied so no conclusion could be reached, even the convening of a Congressional Committee to look into all matters related to the Benghazi attack has been stalled.

One individual who has extensive first-hand knowledge has been hushed by the Obama Department of Justice led by Attorney General Holder. This individual is former four star general and CIA Director Petraeus. Obama knows that Petraeus retains damaging information that could virtually destroy any resemblance of credibility Obama and his group has remaining, and actually could go further to destroy all remaining functioning credibility of the White House and State Department which could further adversely affect international relations. General David Petreaus was CIA Director the night of September 11, 2012, when our U.S. Compound in Benghazi was attacked. Obama and associates have promised former Director Petraeus that aggressive legal actions would be initiated against him if he talks, and he would be facing federal prison. The pressure against General Petreaus is significant enough to create a problem for even the Congressional Committee wanting him to testify.

Yet I believe we are in a season by God’s Hand that is causing a whirlwind, a tornado if you will, to blow and cause remarkable separation leading to exposing all that man attempts to bury and remain hidden.

Today it was announced that Judicial Watch has prevailed with their federal court petition requiring documents and information pertaining to the Benghazi attack to be opened for public review. With full appreciation to Judicial Watch, we can now read how the Diplomatic Security Command Center, a department within the U.S. Department of State, was operating the night of the Benghazi attack, and very aware the attack on our compound was being carried out by highly trained and organized Islamic Militia. The Diplomatic Security Command Center was monitoring the attack in “real time” through video feed coming from a drone flying overhead of the compound. Furthermore, Judicial Watch has directed intense light on otherwise very dark areas pertaining to the attack, and a cursive review of the now disclosed documents reflect that a massive cover-up has, indeed, been taking place over the past nearly four years.

It appears officials at the highest levels of our government are quite aware of what occurred the evening of the attack, and equally, what response America took or didn’t take to save our Ambassador and brave personnel.

RELATED ARTICLE: Judicial Watch Obtains State Department DSCC Records on Terrorist Attack on Benghazi