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DHS Whistleblower: We had information that would have prevented the Slaughter in San Bernardino!

Phillip Haney, former DHS counterterrorism intelligence expert was interviewed on Fox News, The Kelly File, Thursday night, December 10, 2015. He claimed his Intelligence Review Unit (IRU) had compiled information that identified a group of 300 potential jihadis involved with the Pakistani Deobandi Salafist movement including the Al Huda women’s Islamic Institute with schools in Pakistan, Canada and the US. We have written about Tashfeen Malik’s attendance at the Al- Huda madrassa in Multan, Pakistan. She had also allegedly been a supporter of the Imam of the extremist Red Mosque in Islamabad.  According to reports from CBC News, three girls and a woman who were students at the Al-Huda Islamic Institute in Mississauga, Ontario had left Canada endeavoring to join Isis in Syria.

Haney also tracked Deobandi Mosques here in the US including the Dar al Uloom Al Islamlyah-Amer in San Bernardino, California where Sayed Razwin Farook, Malik’s late husband and co-perpetrator of the massacre on December 2nd, had been a member. Haney alleges that his DHS IRU after receiving a commendation for its findings was asked by the State Department to cease its profiling of Islamic organizations. Haney claims that based on the information his IRU had compiled Farook would have been put on a no fly list and Ms. Malik would have been denied a K 1 fiancée Visa. We note that Haney says that because of State and civil rights group complaints the data was destroyed after funding of the surveillance program ended in 2012. Doubtless more will be forthcoming about Haney’s accusations.

philip haney

Phil Haney former DHS Intelligence Analyst.

A Fox News Insider Report on the Haney interview reported:

A former Homeland Security employee says he likely could have helped prevent the San Bernardino terror attack if the government had not pulled the plug on a surveillance program he was developing three years ago.

Philip Haney told Megyn Kelly that as part of his investigation, he was looking into a collection of global networks that were infiltrating radical Islamists into the U.S.

But a year into the investigation, Haney said they got a visit from the State Department and the Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, who said that tracking these groups, was problematic because they were Islamic.

His investigation was shut down and 67 of his records were deleted, including one into an organization with ties to the mosque in Riverside, Calif., that San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook attended.

Haney explained that if his work was allowed to continue, it could possibly have thwarted last week’s attack.

“Either Syed would have been put on the no-fly list because association with that mosque, and/or the K-1 visa that his wife was given may have been denied because of his association with a known organization,” Haney explained.

Watch this Fox News Kelly File segment with DHS Whistleblower Haney:

A Daily Mail report provided further information on the scope of Haney’s IRU surveillance:

Speaking with Fox News on Thursday night, Haney explained that in the early 2000s he had been working in a passenger analysis unit at the Department of Homeland Security in Atlanta.

As part of his job, he was expected to investigate individuals and organizations with potential links to terrorism, so security services could monitor their movements into and out of the U.S.

Haney explained that he began investigating dozens of individuals with links to a fundamentalist Pakistani group called the Deobandi Movement, and its sub-groups al-Huda and Tablighi Jamaat.

He claims the groups were using the visa waiver program to move suspected radicalized individuals in and out of the U.S. and so he began tracking them, entering their details into a DHS database.

Eventually, his efforts were picked up by the National Targeting Center, an umbrella organization within the US Customs and Border Protection, and he was asked to work for them instead – focusing specifically on Deobandi, al-Huda and Tablighi Jamaat.

Haney says that, during the course of his investigation, he was given an award for identifying more than 300 potential terrorists with links to the groups.

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Ted Cruz: Despite What President Obama Says, We Are at War Against Radical Islam

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Philip B. Haney (center), former DHS special agent, on the Kelly File. Photo: Fox News.clear

Assessment: The Islamic State’s Chemical and Biological Threat to Europe

French Premier Valls this week raised concerns about the possible threat of ISIS’ use of CBRN in Europe. The Daily Mail reported:

France’s prime minister has warned his country to be prepared for chemical and biological attacks as he told MPs that the ‘macabre imagination’ of ISIS is ‘limitless’.

Manuel Valls made the ominous prediction while calling on French MPs to extend the country’s state of emergency for another three months, amid fears another attack is imminent.

The warning comes as U.S. security officials report that they have found proof that ISIS is developing bio-weapons with the help of Syrian and Iraqi scientists in the Middle East.

Speaking in the French Parliament today, Mr Valls said: ‘Terrorism hit France, not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria… but for what it is.’

He added: ‘We must not rule anything out. I say it with all the precautions needed.

But we know and bear in mind that there is also a risk of chemical or bacteriological weapons.

DrJillBellamy

Dr. Jill Bellamy

In late July, 2015, noted  Syrian bio-warfare expert, Dr. Jill Bellamy,  wrote about that possibility in a post on Black Six: The BioWarfare Blog Europe at Risk: Assessing ISIS’ Current Chemical and Biological Weapon Capabilities “.  Our New English Review interviews with noted biological warfare expert Dr. Jill Bellamy revealed the Assad regime’s extensive dual use pharmaceutical research and production facilities for development of  Class A Pathogens, “The Dangers of Syria’s Bio-Warfare Complex Should Assad Fall (Jan. 2013.”   Listen to Dr. Bellamy discuss ISIS’ CBW capabilities on the Sunday, November 22, Lisa Benson Show that airs at 3PM EST.
Here are some excerpts from Dr. Bellamy’s post:

“On June 20th, 2015, The Independent ran an article entitled: “ISIS Dirty Bomb: Jihadists have seized Enough Radioactive Material to build their First WMD.” Adam Withnall reports: “The ISIS militant group has seized enough radioactive material from government facilities to suggest it has the capability to build a large and devastating “dirty” bomb, according to Australian intelligence reports. ISIS declared its ambition to develop weapons of mass destruction in the most recent edition of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, and Indian defense officials have previously warned of the possibility the militants could acquire a nuclear weapon from Pakistan. According to the Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop, NATO has expressed deep concerns about the material seized by ISIS from research centers and hospitals that would normally only be available to governments.” Withnall goes on to report in his article that:

“The threat of ISIS’s radioactive and biological weapon stockpile was so severe that the Australia Group, a 40 nation bloc dedicated to ending the use of chemical weapons, held a session on the subject at its summit in Perth last week.”

According to a post on Nuclear Security Matters, a Harvard University site, Nate Sans posits in his article entitled: How much of a Nuclear, Chemical or Biological Threat Might ISIS Pose (Part II)? “ISIS may have the monetary means and the necessary equipment to organize and carry out a sophisticated attack in another count; therefore there is a real danger that they might be able to seize CBRN materials or tech, or inflict catastrophic damage to a facility such as a nuclear power plant. It is worth noting that ISIS includes hundreds of fighters from Europe and North America, who can travel in Europe and the United States without needing a visa.”

National Defense published an article recently which, if true, provides a bit of insight on IS biological weapon aspirations and capabilities. In “ISIL Determined to Acquire Biological Weapons,” Sara Sicard writes: “Intelligence has recently discovered that ISIS intends to pursue biological agents and also is trying to figure out how to weaponize bubonic plague through the use of infected animals,” quoting Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, Gervais is head of the Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School.”

It would appear given ISIS, like Al Qaeda’s quest for BW is underway. The difference with ISIS is they have the financial means to attract and acquire higher level scientists and control areas where they could test it possibly on human subjects, thereby forgoing the need to waste money on developing animal models and could effectively deploy it in a mass casualty scenario.

The capability issue is a concern should they overtake the SSRC in Damascus and install a scientific team with knowledge of synthetic biology. Much of the research undertaken at the SSRC is research into novel pathogens and deployment techniques. This would give ISIS a state warfare capability. I believe they are currently interested but not capable.  With chemical warfare agents they are already using it and should they acquire VX or sarin both in Assad’s former declared stockpiles they could easily transport this over land to Europe and deploy it around a city center.  Governments generally downplay the ease of use but in fact CW in smaller quantities transported by several couriers with EU passports would be doable.

BW is even easier as the quantity doesn’t matter as much as the quality of pathogenic agent and some agents don’t need to be weaponized.  The first deployment of a biological warfare agent in Europe will be a wakeup call to all states who continue to believe they are for some reason exempt from such attacks.

The real risk any ISIS WMD program posses to Europe is the dismissal by European governments that such an attack would ever occur. It is the denial and disbelief that ISIS could possess such a capability and their intent to use it which is the biggest threat to European populations.” 

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

IDF Raids Seek an American and Two Israelis Allegedly Abducted by Hamas

Saturday night, the IDF and Shin Bet arrested more than 80 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad activists in Hebron in the disputed territories. This is in connection with the abduction of three youths, one American and two Israelis. The IDF has committed a paratroop brigade to the operation sealing off the area of the abduction. The IDF and Israel’s General Security Service (Shin Bet) launched a massive manhunt last Thursday for the alleged Hamas abductors of 16 year old American Naftali Frenkel and two Israelis, Gilad Shaar, 16 and Eyal Yifrach, 19. They were allegedly abducted while hitchhiking home from religious school in the Gush Etzion bloc between Bethlehem and Hebron.  According to a Washington Post report, one of the abductees got off a cell call saying, “we’ve been kidnapped”.

Hamas is believed to be behind their abduction.  At a Sunday Cabinet meeting, Israeli PM Netanyahu said:

Those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas; the same Hamas that Abu Mazen (Abbas) made a unity government with. This has severe repercussions.

The WaPo report cited Israeli American Naftali Bennett, economics minister in the Netanyahu ruling coalition, saying: “We will respond with an iron fist to terror.”  Thousands of Israeli prayed for the safe return of the three youths at the Kotel, Western Wall, of the Temple in Jerusalem. The National Council of Young Israel in New York issued a call for a Prayer Service for the safe return outside the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan on Monday, June 16th. The announcement used the Twitter hashtag, #BringBackOurBoys.

Hamas issued a statement praising the abduction.   According to an updated report by The Daily Mail, Senior Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri in Gaza called the accusation by PM Netanyahu “silly”. Really?   While cooperating with the Palestinian security service, Israel also relies on their own resources in the West Bank to identify the abductors and the possible location of the three teens. This despite PA senior official Hanan Ashrawi cited  by The Daily Mail saying , “this is something we have no information on”.  However, what can you expect from the Palestinian unity government with Hamas.  Its Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah acknowledges that it has no control over Gaza.

Secretary of State Kerry issued a statement today saying:

The United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. We hope for their quick and safe return home. We continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens, and we have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services. We understand that cooperation is ongoing.

We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement. As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.

Three Israelis? Frankel is a US citizen. The Daily Mail noted Frankel’s mother’s   public message to her son that reflected the concerns of many Israelis and Americans:

Mommy and Daddy and your brothers love you until the end of the world and you should know that the people of Israel are doing all they can to bring you back home.

Israelis and Americans are more than concerned about the fate of three abductees given prior occurrences, including former IDF Sgt. Gilad Shalit snatched during a cross border raid in 2006 and released in an exchange for more than 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in 2011.

Then there is the case of 13 year old Israeli American Koby Mandell and Israeli Yosef Ishran abducted and murdered while on a hike in the disputed territories near the Israeli settlement of Tekoa in May 2001. Mandell’s family had made Aliyah to Israel in the mid-1990’s. The US Congress passed the Koby Mandell Act in 2004 that authorized the Justice Department to arrest foreigners, including Palestinians, who had murdered Americans overseas.  The Koby Mandell Foundation was established in his memory to provide bereavement counseling to the parents and widows of terrorist victims.

In 2012, 52 members of Congress signed a letter sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) urging the Department of Justice’s Office for Justice of Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OJVOT), which was formed in 2005, to implement The Koby Mandell Act.  Sarah Stern of EMET said that the letter was to “ensure that the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against American citizens overseas remain a high priority within the Department of Justice.”  Z Street, of which this writer is a board member, was one of several sponsors of the EMET letter to prod Attorney General Holder to recognize the responsibilities of OJVOT.

Sherri Mandell in a Jerusalem Post oped during the EMET 2012 campaign cited the dismal OJVOT track record since the law’s enactment in 2004:

The OJVOT is supposed to investigate, apprehend, indict, extradite and punish terrorists. At least 54 American citizens have been killed, and 83 wounded here in Israel. Neither the OJVOT nor the Department of Justice has done anything to enforce American law in these cases. The only terrorist prosecuted under the law was the killer of a Christian missionary in Indonesia. I’m happy that the killers were prosecuted, but still one wonders. Why is there no communication, investigation, prosecution, or indictment here in Israel? The OJVOT is supposed to protect us. Instead it neglects us.

We sincerely hope the massive IDF-Shin Bet dragnet can free American Naftali Frenkel, Israelis Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and capture their abductors. In view of the abject failure of the US government to pursue justice for the families of the US victims in Israel and the disputed territories, we trust the Israeli government can bring these perpetrators to justice.

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