Category Archives: Terrorism

Will We Soon Be Screening For Recent Converts To The Religion Of Peace?

Homeland Security, Islam, Jihad, Terrorism

Before it was deleted, Pamela Geller captured this screen picture of a Facebook Fan page for alleged mass murderer Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings Flight 9525.

Swirling on the internet are unverified rumors—that’s all they are—that Lubitz may have been a recent convert to Islam. RT hints at an impending revelation:

23:45 GMT: Police investigating co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’s involvement in the Germanwings plane crash have made a “significant discovery” at his residence, the Mirror reported. Officers did not specify what the discovery was, but confirmed it was not a suicide note.

If Lubitz was a convert to Islam, you do realize what that means, don’t you? Conversion to Islam is a risk factor. Screening for recent converts to the religion of peace, Islam, will become imperative before flights, or else people will—and should—stop flying. It matters not that the probability of a convert bringing down a plane is miniscule. Reassuring statistics mean nothing if you’re the odd one out.


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‘Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France’

Europe, Homeland Security, Technology, Terrorism

A day after the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, in what is proving to be a speedy and professional investigation, the New York Times has it on good authority that the Germanwings “jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies,” and that “evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.”

A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

While the audio seemed to give some insight into the circumstances leading up to the Germanwings crash on Tuesday morning, it also left many questions unanswered.

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”


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UPDATED: Contra Marie Barf, Here’s Why ISIS Acts Up, Just A Little (Ms. Barf, ‘Exhibit A’)

Foreign Policy, Islam, Jihad, Middle East, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Socialism, Terrorism

What do you get when you combine intellectual inconsequentialness, schoolmarmishess, tartishness and a generous dollop of fem affirmative action? Meet stumblebum Marie Harf, the sibilant spokeswoman at the State Department. It goes without saying that another ingredient in the making of this insufferable specimen is family ties, nepotism of the kind described in “Brian Williams: member of media circle jerk.”.

The weak-minded Barf offered up the root-causes rot as the reason members of ISIS are acting up:

We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads [sic] people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs … We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…

Barf forgot to include the unscientific, biological reductionism that would attach a medical diagnosis to any and all misbehavior. Personally, my read on Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is Attention Deficit Disorder. A cure all: anger management and medication.

UPDATE: Retired Lieutenant Ralph Peters—he’s no favorite due to his mad militarism—did, however, nail it on Hannity, offering that Marie Barf is exhibit A for the failure of the American education system. Like myself, Lieutenant Peters checked on Barf’s education. She has an MA in Foreign Affairs from University of Virginia.

Promulgated by Barf, the argument upon which “The Root-Causes Racket” rests is refuted analytically in CHAPTER 5 of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.”

A superb antidote to Barf’s widely shared boorishness is “What ISIS Really Wants,” by Graeme Wood, editor at The Atlantic:

[BEGIN EXCERPT]

“The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.” …

… We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.[I disagree with this fatuous analogy, so typical of the liberal mindset.]

… We are misled in a second way, by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. …

… In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse. …

… his exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone—unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away. …

… The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. …

… Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal. …

… Denying the holiness of the Koran or the prophecies of Muhammad is straightforward apostasy. But Zarqawi and the state he spawned take the position that many other acts can remove a Muslim from Islam. These include, in certain cases, selling alcohol or drugs, wearing Western clothes or shaving one’s beard, voting in an election—even for a Muslim candidate—and being lax about calling other people apostates. Being a Shiite, as most Iraqi Arabs are, meets the standard as well, because the Islamic State regards Shiism as innovation, and to innovate on the Koran is to deny its initial perfection. (The Islamic State claims that common Shiite practices, such as worship at the graves of imams and public self-flagellation, have no basis in the Koran or in the example of the Prophet.) That means roughly 200 million Shia are marked for death. So too are the heads of state of every Muslim country, who have elevated man-made law above Sharia by running for office or enforcing laws not made by God. …

… Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.” …

… Every academic I asked about the Islamic State’s ideology sent me to Haykel. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States, and when he talks through his Mephistophelian goatee, there is a hint of an unplaceable foreign accent. …

… The Koran specifies crucifixion as one of the only punishments permitted for enemies of Islam. The tax on Christians finds clear endorsement in the Surah Al-Tawba, the Koran’s ninth chapter, which instructs Muslims to fight Christians and Jews “until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” The Prophet, whom all Muslims consider exemplary, imposed these rules and owned slaves.

Leaders of the Islamic State have taken emulation of Muhammad as strict duty, and have revived traditions that have been dormant for hundreds of years. “What’s striking about them is not just the literalism, but also the seriousness with which they read these texts” …

… “ISIS, by contrast, is really reliving the early period.” Early Muslims were surrounded by non-Muslims, and the Islamic State, because of its takfiri tendencies, considers itself to be in the same situation.

If al-Qaeda wanted to revive slavery, it never said so. And why would it? Silence on slavery probably reflected strategic thinking, with public sympathies in mind: when the Islamic State began enslaving people, even some of its supporters balked. Nonetheless, the caliphate has continued to embrace slavery and crucifixion without apology. “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,” Adnani, the spokesman, promised …

… Tens of thousands of foreign Muslims are thought to have immigrated to the Islamic State. Recruits hail from France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, and many other places. Many have come to fight, and many intend to die. …

… Baghdadi spoke at length of the importance of the caliphate in his Mosul sermon. He said that to revive the institution of the caliphate—which had not functioned except in name for about 1,000 years—was a communal obligation. He and his loyalists had “hastened to declare the caliphate and place an imam” at its head, he said. “This is a duty upon the Muslims—a duty that has been lost for centuries … The Muslims sin by losing it, and they must always seek to establish it.” Like bin Laden before him, Baghdadi spoke floridly, with frequent scriptural allusion and command of classical rhetoric. Unlike bin Laden, and unlike those false caliphs of the Ottoman empire, he is Qurayshi. …

… the Muslim who acknowledges one omnipotent god and prays, but who dies without pledging himself to a valid caliph and incurring the obligations of that oath, has failed to live a fully Islamic life. I pointed out that this means the vast majority of Muslims in history, and all who passed away between 1924 and 2014, died a death of disbelief …

… they regard[ed] the caliphate as the only righteous government on Earth, though none would confess having pledged allegiance. …

That whole package [of the Sharia] … would include free housing, food, and clothing for all, though of course anyone who wished to enrich himself with work could do so. …

… The Islamic State may have medieval-style punishments for moral crimes (lashes for boozing or fornication, stoning for adultery), but its social-welfare program is, at least in some aspects, progressive to a degree that would please an MSNBC pundit. Health care … is free. (“Isn’t it free in Britain, too?,” I asked. “Not really,” he said. “Some procedures aren’t covered, such as vision.”) This provision of social welfare was not … a policy choice of the Islamic State, but a policy obligation inherent in God’s law. …

… the state has an obligation to terrorize its enemies—a holy order to scare the shit out of them with beheadings and crucifixions and enslavement of women and children, because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict. …

Islamic law permits only temporary peace treaties, lasting no longer than a decade. Similarly, accepting any border is anathema, as stated by the Prophet and echoed in the Islamic State’s propaganda videos. If the caliph consents to a longer-term peace or permanent border, he will be in error. Temporary peace treaties are renewable, but may not be applied to all enemies at once: the caliph must wage jihad at least once a year. He may not rest, or he will fall into a state of sin. …

… One comparison to the Islamic State is the Khmer Rouge, which killed about a third of the population of Cambodia. …

The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide: …

… A few “lone wolf” supporters of the Islamic State have attacked Western targets, and more attacks will come. But most of the attackers have been frustrated amateurs, unable to immigrate to the caliphate because of confiscated passports or other problems. Even if the Islamic State cheers these attacks—and it does in its propaganda—it hasn’t yet planned and financed one. (The Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January was principally an al?Qaeda operation.) …

… Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture. Many say precisely this. But they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet. “The only principled ground that the Islamic State’s opponents could take is to say that certain core texts and traditional teachings of Islam are no longer valid,” Bernard Haykel says. That really would be an act of apostasy. …

… these men spoke with an academic precision that put me in mind of a good graduate seminar. I even enjoyed their company, and that frightened me as much as anything else. …

… the Islamic State[:] when they get to questions about social upheaval, they sound like Che Guevara.” …

… Western officials would probably do best to refrain from weighing in on matters of Islamic theological debate altogether. Barack Obama himself drifted into takfiri waters when he claimed that the Islamic State was “not Islamic”—the irony being that he, as the non-Muslim son of a Muslim, may himself be classified as an apostate, and yet is now practicing takfir against Muslims. Non-Muslims’ practicing takfir elicits chuckles from jihadists (“Like a pig covered in feces giving hygiene advice to others,” one tweeted). …

… most Muslims aren’t susceptible to joining jihad. The ones who are susceptible will only have had their suspicions confirmed: the United States lies about religion to serve its purposes. …

[SNIP]

MORE of this remarkable essay.


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Meanwhile, In ‘Liberated’ Libya

Hillary Clinton, Islam, Jihad, Terrorism, War

“Whence ISIS?” and “Don’t Know Shiite From Shinola” detail the genesis of ISIS in Iraq. In Libya, ISIS was liberated to act with barbarity and impunity by the 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton and her soul sisters.

“The war in Libya was Hilary’s special project. As in Greek mythology, it all began with three Gorgon sisters. Medusa’s posse included Samantha Power (special assistant to the president and member of his National Security Council), and UN Ambassador Susan Rice. The women devised the casus belli for this war, and cultivated the ‘angels and demons’ Disney production, which starred an evil dictator who was killing his noble people, and three amazon warriors, who—high on estrogen-driven paternalism—rode to the rescue.” (See “Murder on Her Mind.”)

Libya was “a war of the womb; a product of the romantic minds of women who fantasize about an Arab awakening. It was estrogen-driven paternalism on steroids.” (MORE)

Pursuant to the release by Islamic State of “a video on Sunday that appeared to show the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya,” scholar of Islam Robert Spencer clarifies the meaning of the attendant ISIS statement, to the effect that, “Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for”:

Note that the Islamic State is here referring to Egyptian Christians — the indigenous people of Egypt — as “Crusaders.” Their ignorance of history is in service of their claim that Christians have no place in the Middle East. Their fanatical adherence to Islamic law has made them aggressive, violent, and supremacist — but no one wants to face the implications of that.


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The ISIS-Baathists Axis

Iraq, Islam, Politics, Terrorism

To listen to the neoconservative and the pseudo-conservative interventionists who mar American media, it’s all so simple with “dem terrorists,” so black and white. Let’s go in there, again, and knock their collective block off. For those of us who grasp the complexity and intransigence of the region and its players, it comes as no surprise to learn that the “tight inner group” of the Islamic State, numbering 12-15 members, consists of “former high officers from the Baath army which served Saddam Hussein up until the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Members of this group ranged in rank from lieutenant-colonel to general.”

Ex-Maj. Gen. Abu Ali al-Anbari, its outstanding figure, acts as Al Baghdadi senior lieutenant. He also appears to be the brain that has charted ISIS’s current military strategy which, our sources learn, focuses on three major thrusts: the activation of sleeper cells in Europe for coordinated terrorist operations: multiple, synchronized attacks in the Middle East along a line running from Tripoli, Libya, through Egyptian Suez Canal cities and encompassing the Sinai Peninsula; and the full-dress Iraqi-Syrian warfront, with the accent currently on the major offensive launched Thursday, March 29, to capture the big Iraq oil town of Kirkuk.
Debkafile was first to report the arrival in Sinai during the first week of December of a group of ISIS officers from Iraq to take command of their latest convert, Ansar Beit Al-Miqdas.
Another former Iraqi army officer was entrusted with coordinating ISIS operations between the East Libyan Islamist contingent and the Sinai movement. Their mission is to topple the rule of President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi.
The imported Iraqi command made its presence felt in Libya Tuesday, Jan. 27 …

(DEBKAFile)

The ISIS-Ba’athist Axis is truly a fascinating thing. It explains why “Islamic State functions at present with machinelike efficiency in pursuit of its goals.” (DEBKAFile)

Adds a Commentary magazine commentator: “The simple fact of the matter is that former Baathists are today Islamists”:

Long before Saddam’s ouster, Baathism had stopped being an ideology and had instead become a vessel for power. It’s not too much of a leap for yesterday’s Baathists to become today’s Islamists. Indeed, Saddam Hussein himself found religion after his 1991 military defeat. That’s when “God is Great” appeared in Arabic on the Iraqi flag, and in the years before Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Fedayeen Saddam roamed Baghdad acting as morality police as stringent as those of ISIS today. Dozens of women, for example, were beheaded for alleged morality crimes.
In an interview with the Japanese news service NHK, former vice president Tariq al-Hashemi, a staunch Sunni Islamist convicted of terrorism charges under Prime Minister Maliki (but in a court with many Sunni justices), reported that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a former Baathist.
When I met with a former Baathist general as well as a member of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service this past summer after Mosul’s fall, they were quite open that they cooperated with ISIS, even if they did not fully subordinate themselves to them.
Were Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and is his successor Haider al-Abbadi paranoid about Baathists and many in the Sunni Arab community? You betcha. Is that paranoia without justification? Absolutely not. …

(Commentary)


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Why ISIS Exists Today

Bush, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Terrorism

“Why Isis Exists Today” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

For the neoconservatives, ground zero in the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS) is the departure of the American occupying forces without a Status of Force Agreement (SOFA). At the behest of President Barack Obama, or so the allegation goes, the American military decamped, in December of 2011, without securing an SOFA. A residual American military force in Iraq was to be the thing that would have safeguarded the peace in Iraq. Broadcaster Mark Levin regularly rails about the SOFA amulet. Most Republicans lambaste Obama for failing to secure the elusive SOFA.

So high is Barack Obama’s cringe-factor that conservatives have been emboldened to dust-off an equally awful man and present him, his policies and his dynastic clan to the public for another round.

The man, President George W. Bush, did indeed sign a security pact with his satrap, Nuri al-Maliki, much to the dismay of very many Iraqis. Although the agreement was ratified behind the barricades of the Green Zone, journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi “spoke” on behalf of his battered Iraqi brothers and sister: He lobbed a loafer at Bush shouting, “This is a farewell… you dog! This is for the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

Saddam Hussein—both dictator and peace maker—had no Status of Force Agreement with the U.S. He did, however, use plenty of force to successfully control his fractious country. Highly attuned to the slightest Islamist rumbling, Saddam squashed these ruthlessly. When the shah of Iran was overthrown by the Khomeini Islamist revolutionaries, the secular Saddam feared the fever of fanaticism would infect Iraq. He thus extinguished any sympathetic Shiite “political activism” and “guerrilla activity” by imprisoning, executing and driving rebels across the border, into Iran. It wasn’t due process, but it wasn’t ISIS. This “principle” was articulated charmingly and ever-so politely to emissaries of another empire, in 1878: “My people will not listen unless they are killed,” explained Zulu King Cetshwayo to the British imperial meddlers, who disapproved of Zulu justice. They nevertheless went ahead and destroyed the mighty Zulu kingdom in the Anglo-Zulu War (1879), exiling its proud king. …

Read the rest. “Why Isis Exists Today” is the current column, now on WND.


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