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REPORT: Iran Paid Taliban Fighters To Attack U.S. Assets In Afghanistan, Leading To Trump Ordering Killing Of Soleimani

Iran reportedly paid bounties to a Taliban-backed Haqqani terrorist network for at least six attacks carried out against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. intelligence identified the link between Iran and Haqqani following the December 2019 suicide attack at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, which killed two civilians and injured dozens more, CNN reported Monday morning.

Two Trump administration officials said, according to CNN, that the bounties led to President Donald Trump’s decision to kill former Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani by drone strike in January. Trump cited Soleimani and Iran allegedly planning further attacks against U.S. forces in the region as a justification for killing him.

CNN’s report comes after U.S. intelligence reports leaked accusing Russia of paying bounties to Taliban-backed fighters for attacks against U.S. soldiers. The White House said Trump did not act, arguing that there was a lack of consensus within the intelligence community (IC) over the veracity of the information. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a press briefing in June that Trump would act if the IC reached a consensus on the intelligence.

WATCH:

The president stated during his hour-long interview with Axios’ Jonathan Swan that he did not raise the issue during a recent phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House, National Security Council, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Department of Defense did not return Daily Caller’s inquiries on the report by press time.

COLUMN BY

CHRISTIAN DATOC

Senior White House correspondent. Follow Christian on Twitter and Instagram

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

U.S. to Sign Peace Deal with Taliban and Move Toward Full Withdrawal of American Troops

The US/Taliban peace talks have been a grim charade. No one in the foreign policy establishment will acknowledge the fact, but the Taliban are strict, Sharia-observant Muslims, and the Sharia guidelines for treaty-making with Infidels are based on Muhammad’s Treaty of Hudaybiyya. Muslims can only enter into such a treaty when they are weak and need time to gather their strength (or, more remotely, if they think the enemy is about to convert to Islam). Then they can break it when it is no longer needed. The Taliban will not honor whatever treaty is made.

However, if it enables Trump to get US troops out of Afghanistan, then it will have at least one good result. Yes, the Taliban will gain when the troops are gone. That would be true no matter when we left. What we need is a better strategy, one that contains jihad activity within Afghanistan and doesn’t allow them to target Americans again. We don’t need American troops there until the end of time.

“U.S., Taliban to Sign Landmark Peace Deal to End War in Afghanistan,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, February 29, 2020:

The Trump administration is poised to sign a landmark peace accord Saturday morning with the Taliban terrorist organization more than 18 years after the United States first entered Afghanistan following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

In a move that U.S. officials say could end the nation’s longest war in history, the Trump administration announced it has reached a truce that will massively scale down the American military presence with the expectation of an eventual full withdrawal….

Rumors of the long-percolating deal have been circulating in Washington, D.C., for weeks, prompting a group of Republican members of Congress to petition the Trump administration against going through with the agreement. They and other critics say the Taliban cannot be trusted to implement peace and that the moment U.S. forces vacate the country, terror forces will again rise to power.

The Trump administration had declared peace talks with the Taliban dead in September after abruptly canceling a meeting at Camp David between the United States and the Taliban. However, channels between the two sides remained open, leading to Saturday’s announcement.

The Trump administration is now committed to giving the deal a shot. The United States intends to scale down its troop presence from some 14,000 troops to around 8,600 by the end of the year—a number administration officials insist is enough to do the job of keeping the fragile peace deal alive….

“There’s been broad support for what we’re trying to do,” according to the senior administration official, who briefed reporters on background. “Everybody has the same goals. No one wants to see the return of the Islamic Emirate.”

Officials further acknowledged that there is no military path to victory in Afghanistan.

“The 30,000-foot conclusion by all parties is that a military solution is not possible without endless amounts of resources,” the official said. “Everybody decided the best way forward was a political settlement, rather than a military solution. The Taliban has not been defeated. They represent a portion of Afghan society” that must be included in discussions.

U.S. officials also pushed back against criticism that the signing ceremonies represent a photo opportunity and little more.

“This is not just optics in any way,” the official said. “This is historic. We have worked out a deal with them where they make commitments to us on counterterror that matter to us.”

This includes cracking down on the remnants of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and giving up the near-constant barrage of terror attacks.

“We made commitments to them. If they fulfill their commitments, we’re prepared to proceed with pulling out our troops. We never wanted a permanent” presence in Afghanistan, the official said. “It’s just the beginning. It’s a whole new stage of challenges we’re launching here.”

However, Afghanistan “is not going to become Switzerland overnight,” the official conceded.

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

Why We Are Bogged Down in Afghanistan

“Why We Are Bogged Down in Afghanistan,” by Pamela Geller, American Thinker, September 17, 2019:

Last Friday, I spoke at the Eagle Council in St. Louis, where both the speaker roster and the audience were full of stalwart, indomitable patriots. One of the patriots there was Mark Schneider, President of Gen IV Nuclear Inc. in Chesapeake, Virginia, who served for twenty years iand [sic] was on the ground in Iraq and Kuwait.  He offered a disquieting insight into an important but overlooked reason why our lengthy military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have borne so little fruit.

Schneider was in the United States military from 1998 to 2018, years during which the primary threat that our nation faced was the global jihad, which was, after all, the reason why we had our forces in Iraq and Kuwait, as well as Afghanistan, in the first place. We had a long and fascinating conversation, but the most important takeaway was this: I asked him, “In all that time, from 1998 to 2018, were you given one class, or even one lesson, or were recommended one book, anything at all, that discussed Islam’s doctrine of warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers?

No. Not one.

Instead, all his training revolved around not offending Afghans’ cultural sensitivities. Schneider went for detention operations; his cultural training included subjects such as “What is Ramadan?” He and other American personnel were told not to eat or drink during the day, even though none of them were Muslim. They were allowed to eat and drink during the day when they were on military bases, but not off; American personnel were discouraged from consuming food while off military installations.

The other thing that Schneider and other American troops were taught was that if they were anything other than Muslim or Christian, they had to say they were Muslim or Christian, because, they were told, the Afghans “didn’t like other religions.” They were only allowed to say they were adherents of the religions of the God of Abraham, although of course they were not to mention Judaism.

They were also told not to wave at people with their left hand or ever touch anyone with that hand, as it was considered unclean. Also, men were warned not to speak directly to women.

That was about it. Nothing, nothing whatsoever, on why the enemy was fighting against us. Nothing about how the enemy viewed the world and what he was trying to achieve. The first rule of warfare is “Know your enemy,” and our troops have been and are woefully ill-equipped in that regard. They know how not to wave at the enemy, but they know nothing about his motives and goals….

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

Afghan security forces tipped off Taliban in failed attempt to kill Secretary of Defense Mattis

“NBC spoke with two unidentified Taliban commanders, who claimed sources in Afghanistan’s security apparatus tipped them off to Mattis’s visit. Mattis…told reporters that Afghan forces would strongly oppose the action.”…”They will find Afghan security forces against them.”

Maybe they will. But will they find Afghan security forces for them? Why not? Afghan forces supposedly on our side have been responsible for numerous attacks on their U.S. “allies.” There remains no reliable way to distinguish Afghan jihadis from “moderates.” What is Mattis doing to address that? Nothing? Why not? Would it be too “Islamophobic” to explore that problem realistically?

“Taliban Tries To Kill Mattis During Surprise Afghanistan Visit,” by Thomas Phippen, Daily Caller, September 27, 2017:

The Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on Kabul International Airport Wednesday morning targeting Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who was making an unscheduled visit to Afghanistan.

Mattis had left the airport by the time the attack started, NBC News reports, and no casualties have been reported….

“At 11.36 am two missiles were fired on Kabul International Airport from Deh Sabz district, damaging the air force hangers and destroying one helicopter and damaging three other helicopters, but there were no casualties,” airport chief Yaqub Rassouli said according to USA Today….

“We fired six rockets and planned to hit the plane of U.S. secretary of defense and other U.S. and NATO military officials,” one Taliban commander told NBC News. “We were told by our insiders that some losses were caused to their installations but we are not sure about James Mattis.”

NBC spoke with two unidentified Taliban commanders, who claimed sources in Afghanistan’s security apparatus tipped them off to Mattis’s visit.

Mattis was holding a press conference away from the airport at the time of the attack, and told reporters that Afghan forces would strongly oppose the action.

“If in fact there was an attack … his is a classic statement to what Taliban are up to,” Mattis said. “If in fact this is what they have done, they will find Afghan security forces against them.”

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of U.S. General John Nicholson, the commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, saluting U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis upon arrival at NATO’s headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 27, 2017.

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.

Extortion 17, Obama’s Sacrificial Lamb

“We lost more Americans on Extortion 17 than at Benghazi, Fort Hood, and Chattanooga combined. No loss is acceptable because of a rules-of-engagement failure, but Extortion 17 is the Mother of all Failures, yet most Americans don’t know about it. 30 of our finest servicemen, including 17 US Navy SEALs.” -Don Brown, author Extortion 17

After the killing of bin Laden, before Benghazi, was the shoot down of Extortion 17 by Islamic jihadists. The call sign had been given to the CH-47D helicopter and the mission dubbed, “Lefty Grove”. It occurred in the early morning hours of August 6, 2011 in the Taliban stronghold along the Tangi River Valley, Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

Some say the incident was a sacrificial offering by the Obama administration to Islamic terrorists for the U.S. killing bin Laden. On board this flight were most of the members of  Seal Team 6 who were responsible for taking out the founder of al-Qaeda.

The crash that day signified the largest loss in Naval Special Warfare, as well as single day loss since the war on Islamic terrorism was declared. No matter the motive, it is clear that the mission was compromised from the start, and too many red flags have been raised concerning the details of their mission as to dismiss foul play.

Several of the concerns are the following:

  1. The elite group was placed on a sub-standard helicopter versus traveling in a MH-47, which was typical.
  2. No return fire was allowed even after the circling CH47 sees Taliban moving into the landing zone. At that time they were flanked by to Apaches, all were denied permission to take out the enemy. A stand down order was given.
  3. No suppressive fire was offered to protect Extortion 17 while flying into a region where a 3 1/2 hour operation had been underway already, even though an AC 130 gunship was  available.
  4. The flight manifest was not changed, but a last minute swap of  7 Afghan security forces and 1 Afghan translator was made, an unusual happening in itself. So, there was no way of knowing who may have compromised the flight or tipped off the Taliban as far as location of the chopper. The identities of the Afghans are still not known.

If our rules of engagement were constructed in order to protect our soldiers instead of handcuff them, our brave men would all be alive today. The “stand down” order is proving lethal to our military.

Even after the incident, a disturbing and outrageous thing happened at the memorial service of these men at the Bagram Airbase before their bodies were flown back to the U.S.  During the ramp ceremony, a Muslim Imam prayed over the bodies of the Americans, once translated it seemed to have damned their souls to hell. At a 2013 Washington D.C. press conference, Lt. General Jerry Boykin stated,

“What I’m concerned about is that we had an Imam, praying over the bodies of our soldiers, is an indicator that we don’t know who the enemy is, we don’t know the enemies’ doctrine, his theology, or what motivates him.”

See below video:

General Boykin however, is well aware of those facts of Islamic doctrine and has been a leader in educating others about the dangers of it.  Now the Islamic ideology is in our face day in and day out, but what should alarm many is that the more clear the motives of this enemy, the more the administration and leftists showcase their affinity for those practicing and adhering to it within our country.

Representative Louis Ghomert, Tx states,

“When the families were briefed, one of the father’s of one of the Seal team said, ‘Why didn’t you just send a drone if it was such a hot area.’ And the Admiral stated, ‘Because we are trying to win the hearts and minds.’ ”

Billy Vaughn, father of Aaron Vaughn, one of the fallen Navy Seals, emotionally stated in the same press conference,

“Aaron Vaughn did not become a Navy Seal, Team 6 Gold Squad, to win the hearts and minds of the Islamic Jihadists. He became a Navy Seal to fight for this republic and defeat the enemy. And I’ll tell you right now any American flag officer that does not want to defeat the enemy, needs to find another job.”

The families of the fallen deserve to hear answers to their questions from the government. In addition, the Rules of Engagement must be changed to free our soldiers from debilitating regulations that continue to give a conquerable enemy an unfair advantage instead of providing our warriors with support to gain a crushing victory.

A documentary is being made about Extortion 17, called Fallen Angel. The intention is to raise awareness of the faulty ROEs, and in turn put pressure on our legislators and top military leaders to change them for the better. Please watch Fallen Angel: The Shoot Down of SEAL Team 6:

RELATED VIDEO: Barack Obama Accessory to Extortion 17 Murders!

Taliban asked me if Obama is gay

If Bergdahl is telling the truth, it is unlikely in the land of bacha bazi that these Taliban members were objecting to sleeping with men. They were asking if Obama was gay, i.e., did he sleep onlywith men — which exclusivity they would equate with weakness.

Beyond lurid curiosity, they were most likely asking Bergdahl if the President was truly as weak as he appeared to be.

“Bergdahl: Taliban asked me if Obama is gay,” by Beckie Strum, New York Post, December 24, 2015 (thanks to all who sent this in):

Bowe Bergdahl compared his first year in Taliban captivity — starved, stinking and chained to a bed — to being tossed in a closet and forgotten.

“Picture someone taking a bag, throwing it into the closet, shutting the door and just forgetting about it. That was basically how they treated me,” he said.

In the third episode of the popular podcast “Serial,” which is focused on Bergdahl’s alleged desertion from the Army in 2009 and subsequent five-year captivity by the Taliban, he details the misery of his first year held hostage — ending in a dramatic escape attempt that lasted 8½ days.

The interview was conducted by filmmaker Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) as part of a project on Bergdahl’s life. He lent the recordings to “Serial,” which is hosted by Sarah Koenig.

Bergdahl said he saw his first chance at escape soon after his abduction in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province, when a water delivery temporarily distracted his captors. He managed to slip off the chains binding his hands and feet and unlatched the flimsy wire holding the door to his cell closed.

He was free for only 15 minutes, running barefoot over rocks and climbing onto a roof and covering himself in mud to hide, he said in audio used by the podcast. He was caught in moments and hauled back into his cell, where men beat him with a rubber hose. They then blindfolded him and moved him to a new home, in what he now believes was North Waziristan in Pakistan, he said.

His new living arrangements were filthy and painful.

“In the new place, they put me on an Afghan bed and they chained my feet to the ends of the bed and chained my hands to the tops of the bed so that basically I was spread-eagle on the bed and blindfolded. And that’s how I spent the majority of the next three months,” he said.

He was allowed to use the bathroom twice a day and could shower around once a month. He developed bedsores and chronic diarrhea as a result.

“The time deprivation, too much light or too much darkness and too much randomness, it just wears away at you and drives your nerves into the ground. The constant worry ‘Am I going to die today?’ or is something worse going to happen,” he said.

Although watching over Bergdahl was a high honor, the guards were often bored and would pass the time by making videos of him, interrogating him with ridiculous questions or shaving his beard into shapes they found amusing, he said.

“They ask you, is Obama gay and sleeps with men?” he recalled. His young guards were also curious about where US military bases got their prostitutes, alcohol and drugs, and were obsessed with American soft drinks, he added.

“They love Mountain Dew. If you want to piss people off in that country, all you do is cut off their sugar supply,” he said….

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The Tragedy of Sangin

At the year’s end there could hardly be a more resonant or tragic story than the loss of the Afghan town of Sangin to the Taliban.  Contrary to the media’s many critics, the news cycle, like human nature, favours good news stories.  It favours things getting steadily better, whether that is medical advances or political or social liberation.

Despite the gruesome reality on the ground the story of Afghanistan over fourteen long years has been one of wishful optimism and hopeful improvement.  Western troops may not have made the country entirely safe and Afghanistan’s politicians may hardly have made the country an un-corrupt liberal democracy, but at least girls can go to school.  The loss of Sangin reminds us that all this can go the other way too and raises deep questions about our whole involvement in Afghanistan.

In the years since 2006 more than 100 British soldiers died in fighting in Sangin.  Indeed the deaths of British troops in Sangin comprise almost a quarter of the UK military deaths in Afghanistan.  Last year the nearby base of Camp Bastion was handed over from British to Afghan troops with enormous fanfare.  Today, as a meagre international coalition attempts to send too few people too late to stem the Taliban’s hold over the whole Helmand province it is clear that we might as well not have been there in the first place if this was to be the outcome.

The critics of the post-9/11 wars claim that these wars have exacerbated extremism and insecurity.  In fact it is the failure to sustain these missions which has led to this situation.  It was the pre-emptive withdrawal from Iraq ordered by President Obama that has led to the fracturing of both Iraq and Syria.  The demonstration that we want out as soon as possible rather than whenever the job is done is the best possible incentive for any enemy.  Internationally the same problem has been posed in Afghanistan.  What is the point of scrambling for a dignified exit if the result within a year is the unravelling of everything that has been achieved over all the years before?

This has, it must be said, always been a problem for democracies.  The exigencies of the democratic process do not favour sustained decision-making.  The advantage of the terrorists and the autocrats is a grim-faced consistency.  When President Obama came to office he promised an end to the wars.  In reality all that happened was that he ended America’s leadership in these wars, making the conflicts infinitely worse in the meantime.  But the President satisfied his base, as others will satisfy theirs.

Likewise the UK government realised that the British public was wearying of Afghanistan and that the mission had been justified on too many and too varied grounds.  It was not an easy call to make.  Retain a presence and tolerate a constant drip-stream of casualties?  Or get out and accept that the problem is for the Afghans?

These are not easy questions and nor are there any easy answers.  But the story of Sangin and Helmand as a whole should be kept at the forefront of our minds.  To forget this sorry tale would be the surest way of repeating it.


FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK  

We may be approaching the end of the year, but it appears to be business as usual for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Orthodox Christmas may be a little later than the Western variant, but Mr Putin this week served up an early present for democracy activist, philanthropist and former political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky – who served ten years in jail on trumped up tax charges while his company Yukos was dismembered – with the news that he was wanted on murder charges for a contract killing in 1998.

As is well known, the Russian criminal justice system is absolutely under the control of the Kremlin. It has repeatedly served up obscure charges to discredit and lock up Mr Putin’s opponents, such as the jailing of opposition activist Alexei Navalny in 2013 for embezzling large amounts of timber. Mr Khodorkovsky himself has had previous experience of new charges coming to light, such as those that saw his original sentence extended when it looked likely he might be released too early for the Kremlin’s liking. The new allegations against him seem particularly farcical when considering that they did not come to light at a time when his personal and business activities were being combed through in great detail by those seeking to find excuses to lock him up.

So what has changed? Khodorkovsky himself believes the Kremlin has simply “gone mad”. In truth, as he knows, the madness started some years ago, when Mr Putin decided there was room for only one politician in Russia’s political system – himself. Since then, not only have all forms of political and media opposition been driven underground, out of business or even expunged – as in the recent mysterious murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov – but Russia has also embarked on an aggressive neighbourhood and foreign policy.

It seems Mr Khodorkovsky’s real crime is simply to have believed that even while out of Russia, his support for a restoration of Russian democracy would be tolerated by the increasingly paranoid Kremlin. Russia today is reeling from the economic effects of the global commodity price collapse, and with international sanctions beginning to bite, Mr Putin is well aware that the compact between the Russian people and him – where he delivered economic growth at the expense of political freedom – is breaking down.

Russians may not yet be demanding Mr Putin’s immediate ousting. But he is right to be worried, for revolutions come quickly in this part of the world. The next time Mr Khodorkovsky sees Moscow, it is more likely to be in the context of a newly democratised Russia than in a show trial staged by the ancien régime.

Dr Alan Mendoza is Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society
Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of British soldiers in Sangin, Afghanistan is courtesy of Ministry of Defense/Crown Copyright/PA.

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.

Texas Muslim linked to Afghan Military Base Car Bombing

How long before people like Muhanad Al-Farekh decide to set off their jihad car bombs right at home in Texas?

“Ex-Manitoba student linked to Afghan car bombing: U.S. officials,” by Colin Freeze, The Globe and Mail, November 11, 2015:

U.S. prosecutors say they can tie an alleged al-Qaeda extremist who became radicalized in Winnipeg – and who the CIA had once considered killing overseas with a drone strike – to a deadly car-bomb attack against a military base in Afghanistan.

Muhanad Al-Farekh, an American born in Texas, allegedly joined al-Qaeda eight years ago with two students he met during his university studies in Canada. He was captured in Pakistan and recently brought back to the United States to face a charge of supporting terrorism. He will also likely be charged with murder or murder-conspiracy by the end of this year.

Authorities suggest they can produce fingerprint evidence that links Mr. Farekh to a January, 2009, car bombing in Afghanistan. Officials will not confirm which attack it is, but the most prominent such bombing that month killed four Afghans and two U.S. soldiers in Kabul.

New charges against Mr. Farekh would raise the profile of a once-obscure case that started as a missing-persons investigation in Canada and evolved into a U.S.-led international manhunt in which authorities accused the three men of joining al-Qaeda.

The probe started in 2007, when three University of Manitoba students disappeared from Winnipeg. Friends of the men said that they grew more outwardly religious and, at times, intolerant. A criminal complaint filed in New York says they listened online to lectures by the firebrand preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen suspected of terrorism.

Over the years, as evidence mounted that the men had joined al-Qaeda terrorists operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the investigation reached into the inner sanctum of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency….

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Mr. Farekh was at the centre of a 2012 “kill or capture” debate. Washington officials reportedly deliberated whether they would allow him to live or die, until then-attorney general Eric Holder pushed for arrest, charges and a criminal trial.

The two Canadians who travelled with Mr. Farekh – Ferid Imam and Maiwand Yar – have been unaccounted for since disappearing into the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands. The U.S. suspect was flown from Pakistan to the United States almost a year ago. He made an appearance in a Brooklyn court last spring to face a single charge of “conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.”

But during a September hearing, a prosecutor revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice will raise the stakes. “We believe we will be adding additional charges, certainly, including ‘conspiracy to murder’ and perhaps a substantive ‘murder’ count,” prosecutor Zainab Ahmad said.

According to a transcript obtained by The Globe, Ms. Ahmad said prosecutors can now produce “recently declassified evidence of the defendant’s involvement in planting the vehicle-born, improvised-explosive device [VBIED] outside the U.S. base in Afghanistan.”

The transcript does not go into specifics. But court documents available through an electronic database say fingerprints from VBIED wreckage recovered after a January, 2009, attack have been compared with those of Mr. Farekh….

According to the documents, one of the Canadians that same month sent a letter to his family in Winnipeg in which he said: “I tell you please not to follow what the media says about Talibans, Al-Qaida [sic] and other groups fighting for the sake of Allah.“…

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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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U.S. Taxpayers Spent $1 Billion to Fund Sharia in Afghanistan

Islamic-State-Statue-of-LibertyWould the situation really be worse than it is now if, instead of all this money spent on Sharia, the U.S. had stood up for its own values, and made it clear that money would only flow to those who stood for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and equality of rights of all people before the law?

“Watchdog: U.S. Taxpayers Funded Development of Sharia Law System in Afghanistan,” by Edwin Mora, Breitbart, July 8, 2015:

The U.S. government has spent more than $1 billion in American taxpayer funds on programs to develop the rule of law in Afghanistan, including efforts to improve a judicial system that incorporates Islamic Sharia law, reports a watchdog agency appointed by Congress.

According to the watchdog agency known as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the Departments of Defense (DOD), Justice (DOJ), State (State), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have spent more than $1 billion since 2003 on at least 66 completed and ongoing programs aimed at developing the rule of law in Afghanistan.

“This effort has focused on areas such as the judicial system, corrections system (detention centers and prisons), informal justice system, legislative reform, legal education, public outreach, and anticorruption efforts,” explains SIGAR.

Citing the U.S. Army’s Center for Law and Military Operations’ Rule of Law Handbook, John Sopko, SIGAR’s inspector general, reports that the legal system in Afghanistan consists of two separate judicial systems that coexist — a formal and an informal system, both of which incorporate Sharia law.

The formal system of law is “practiced by state authorities relying on a mixture between the civil law and elements of Islamic Sharia law,” notes Sopko in the report, while the informal legal system is “based on customary tribal law and local interpretations of Islamic Sharia law.”

“Experts we consulted describe a complex legal system in Afghanistan that incorporates hundreds of years of informal traditions, Islamic Sharia law, former Soviet judicial practices during the 1980s, and modern Western influence since the fall of the Taliban in 2001,” he adds.

A portion of the more than $1 billion spent on rule of law development efforts has been devoted to improving the formal and informal systems in Afghanistan that incorporate Sharia law.

SIGAR does note that “because DOD, DOJ, State, and USAID did not systematically measure and report on their programs’ achievements, it remains unclear what overall outcomes and impact have resulted from the expenditure of more than $1 billion to develop the rule of law in Afghanistan.”…

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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.

UPDATE: Victory for Iran — Hegemony Over the Arabian Peninsula

Iran has thrown  a lasso around Arabian peninsula with Houthi Shia takeover in Yemen.  Friends of ours here in Pensacola have two serving U.S. Marine Captains. One of them was in charge of  Marine Security for our embassies in the Middle East.  He called home to say that he was in the last group of 10 persons that  vacated the U.S. Embassy in Saana, Yemen, He told his parents in a phone call of the circuitous trip to the airport in Yemen’s capital evading Houthi checkpoints. The flight took the group to safety in Dubai. Yemen is now a failed state that will likely devolve into sectarian war between the minority Houthi and the divided majority Sunni.  It also marks another failure of this  exemplar  of the Obama ‘no name’ counterterrorism strategy.

Saudi Arabia’s fences on its northern and southern borders may become the equivalent of France’s Maginot Line that failed to stop the Nazi blitzkrieg in 1940 that saw the demise of Third Republic. The Kingdom has the largest number of Islamic State foreign fighters who will constitute a fifth column upon return to the Wahhabist realm.  That gives Iran virtual control of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, plus Lebanon with Proxy Hezbollah.  Then  there are restive majority Shia in Bahrain and oppressed Shia sitting atop Saudi Arabia’s oil fields in the eastern province on the Persian Gulf. Some argue that Iran may have even been complicit  fostering the rise of ISIS despite the alleged hatred between radical Islamist Salafist and Apocalyptic Twevlers in Tehran.

If President Obama’s quest for a nuclear pact with the Islamic Regime in Tehran occurs on March 24th with the P5+1 final agreement, Iran becomes a nuclear hegemon threatened the region, America’s ally Israel  and the West. Remember that agreement excludes ICBMs that may be capable of covering Europe and beyond.  Yesterday Uruguay arrested a senior Iranian diplomat  alleged to be involved in a possible repeat in Montevideo  of the Iranian sponsored 1992 Buenos Aires blast at the Israeli Embassy.

Obama’s ‘Strategic Patience”  document released Thursday amounts to capitulation and appeasement of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, IS, Taliban and Al Qaeda. To say nothing of his failed Russian reset with Imperialist Putin in the Ukraine and  failed pivot to contain China’s saber rattling in East Asia  He even changed the wording of his original war declaration against IS  from “degrade and destroy” to “degrade and destroy”.  He is worse than British PM Neville Chamberlain at Munich in 1938 that sold out pre-war Czechoslovakia. At least Chamberlain brought Sir Winston Churchill into his cabinet after the declaration of war against Nazi Germany on September 3, 1939  as First Lord of the Admiralty, a prelude to Churchill being asked by King George VI to form a government on May 10,1940 following Chamberlain’s resignation.

Obama and  many Democratic Senators and Representatives deplore the proposed speech by Israel’s PM Netanyahu on the dangers of  Iran and radical Islam before a Joint Session of Congress on March 3rd at the invitation of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. If that does occur then the leader of America’s only democratic ally in the Middle East, who is said to speak in Churchillian cadence, will like the fabled UK wartime premier, have a third opportunity to present his prescient views.

NOTE: This Twitchy headline and  tweeted  comments  posted on ‘Victory for Iran’: Shia rebels in ‘success story’ Yemen dissolve parliament, take charge

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Houthi Shia rebels in Yemen.

Delusional: U.S. military will no longer target Taliban – even though they just murdered 3 American contractors

Last week we shared the story about the Taliban claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack that killed three American contractors. The Americans, working as contractors for the North Carolina-based Praetorian Standards Inc., were shot and killed, and another was wounded by a member of the Afghan security forces — actually a Taliban infiltrator. And we thought combat operations were ended.

Now, what do you think the Obama administration had to say about the “aggression conducted by armed insurgents?”

Naturally, as reported by CNS News, “State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki declined on Friday to directly say whether the murder of three U.S. civilians at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday—which the Taliban claimed responsibility for–was an act of terrorism.”

“Obviously any attack that kills contractors, that kills individuals who are working there in harm’s way, is horrific and a tragedy but I’m not going to put new labels on it today. She also said: “We see a difference between Taliban and ISIL.”

Hey, I know the difference: one group is regional to Afghanistan and Pakistan and mostly speaks Pashtun; the other is global and speaks a variety of languages. However, they are both Islamic terrorists, savage and barbaric in their actions, something seemingly lost on Jen Psaki.

And for the Islamapologists who refute the idea that this current conflagration has anything to do with religion — well, some beg to differ, namely, the enemy.

“As reported by the Washington Post, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the killer was Ihsanullah bin Mullah Rahmatulla, who had infiltrated Afghan security forces. “He managed yesterday evening to attain his goal and opened fire with his rifle on a group of American occupiers,” Mujahid said, as quoted in the Post. The attacker was then killed. “The martyr was able to successfully defend his religion … and the glory of his country, and by giving himself away as a sacrifice, he cast a number of the occupying disbelievers into the abyss of hell,” said the Taliban spokesman, according to the Post.”

“At last Friday’s State Department press briefing, CNS News asked: “The Taliban has taken credit for murdering three American civilian contractors at the Kabul airport yesterday. Were those murders an act of terrorism?”

“Well, one, I think the Department of Defense has spoken to this a bit so I’d point you to their comments,” said Psaki. “There was a shooting at the North Kabul International Airport Complex yesterday. We’ve seen reports that the Taliban have claimed responsibility. There’s an investigation going on into this incident. Obviously, any attack that kills contractors, that kills individuals who are working there in harm’s way, is horrific and a tragedy but I’m not going to put new labels on it today.”

“AP Reporter Matt Lee later returned to the question asking Psaki: “I’m just not sure why you wouldn’t just say of course it’s a terrorist attack.” “It’s an act of terror when American citizens are, individuals, are killed, like contractors, absolutely,” Psaki said. Later, Lee asked her: “Is there anything that has been uncovered in this investigation into what happened at the Kabul Airport to suggest that it was not in fact a terrorist attack?” “I was not suggesting that,” said Psaki, “but I think we have a responsibility as the U.S. government to let processes see themselves out and that’s what we’re doing.”

Ok, what processes? This is why we have an administration that is simply incapable of defending the American people against the Islamic terrorist threat. They’ve sought to reduce this enemy into some complex wire diagram when the entire time you have a simplistic linear equation.

Here are two examples:

“A reported asked Psaki, “It was an Afghan policeman who did this, obviously working for the Taliban. Are you concerned that this may happen time and time again?” Psaki responded, “I am not going to address your question.”

“Psaki continued, explaining that President Obama had made a determination not to target “belligerents” in Afghanistan because they were members of the Taliban. She said: “Also, back when we made our decision about our combat role in Afghanistan the president talked about how U.S. forces would continue to target the remnants of al-Qaida in Afghanistan, but the U.S. military forces will no longer target belligerents solely because they are members of the Taliban.”

So I want you all to understand what this means. Our troops remaining in Afghanistan will not be “targeting” any member of the Taliban. In other words, our men and women will be sitting duck targets who will allow the proliferation of the “armed insurgents.”

What mentality possesses the Obama administration that it can stand and issue such clearly delusional statements? I cannot understand any possible logic in a policy that says we’re not going to fight the enemy who is fighting us?

And recognize this is why President Obama and his ilk see no problem with the release of five senior Taliban leaders – it’s just no big deal. So why are we leaving a residual force in Afghanistan? Why are we exposing our troops to a policy of abject failure, one that refuses to recognize the enemy’s existence, or its intent?

This inane game of redefining the enemy in order to fit your politically-driven ideology does not lend itself to success or victory — and certainly will lead to more deaths of our American troops, and in this case, security contractors.

If I’m al-Qaida — well, just say you’re Taliban and that’s your “get out of jail free card.” Who in the Congress, House or Senate Armed Services Committees has held a hearing to ascertain the viability of such a strategy as Obama is offering in Afghanistan? The Congress has oversight and if anything there should be a hearing requiring the Department of Defense and CENTCOM to explain this strategy.

Jen Psaki’s revelation should be disturbing for every American — unless you’re just a cheerleader for this current administration. This disclosure will not bode well for our residual force left in Afghanistan. Not only has Obama released and reconstituted the enemy and its leadership — he is providing them safe passage and the ability to once again reestablish sanctuary. After all, it was the Taliban who invited al-Qaida into Afghanistan and provided them comfort and aid in the first place.

And we have a president who is also providing the enemy aid and comfort, as well as material support by way of returning their leadership — a violation of U.S. code.

But oh well. The Patriots won.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com. The featured image is of a Taliban fighter.