Last weekend I was quoted in Deutsche Welle, Germany’s equivalent to BBC, for an article on how al Qaeda remains a threat following the death of Osama bin Laden. Also quoted were fellow U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team members Walid Phares and W. Thomas Smith, Jr.
Chris Carter, a regional director with the US Counterterrorism Advisory Team, agrees that the fight is far from over. “The threat from al Qaeda will never be truly eradicated as you can’t kill an ideology,” he told Deutsche Welle. “But a more effective military campaign, accompanied by a political resolve to defeat the Islamist threat, would further weaken al Qaeda and discourage other groups and individuals from joining the fight.”
Even al Qaeda is fed up with the lies coming from the White House:
“[The Obama] administration, tried to portray the operation of brother Nidal Hassan, as an individual act of violence from an estranged individual. The administration practiced a control on the leak of information concerning the operation in order to cushion the reaction of the American public. Until this moment the administration is refusing to release the emails exchanged between myself and Nidal. And after the operation of our brother Umar al-Faruq the initial comments coming from the administration were looking the same: another attempt at covering up the truth.”
– Anwar al-Awlaki, U.S.-born al Qaeda leader
Get out your flags! Today is National Medal of Honor Day. On this day in 1863, the first Medals were awarded. And as a reminder, the 2010 Medal of Honor convention will be held in Charleston, S.C. from Sept. 29 – Oct. 30.
Osama bin Laden threatened to kill more Americans if al Qaeda detainees are executed (as if he wouldn’t have done so otherwise).
Photo of the day: the Navy’s futuristic ride that belongs on a Bond film
Private security contractors have killed a Somali pirate for the first time.
An al Qaeda group in Indonesia has been kind enough to clear up the confusion about whether Jihad is peaceful or violent (the Qur’an also covers this matter – see for yourself).
In an opinion piece for a major newspaper, a White House official lashed out at critics of the Obama administration’s ability to defend against terrorism. John Brennan, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, wrote in a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday, “Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda.”
Does Brennan truly think criticizing government’s self-admitted “shortcomings” and “systemic failures” constitutes serving the goals of al Qaeda? And with the spate of al Qaeda attacks on our homeland, our concerns are anything but “unfounded fear-mongering.”
What Brennan sees as attempts to score “cheap political points” might be more accurately viewed as Americans expressing unease with poor handling of the War on Terror.
His sub-heading reads “Administration disrupts terrorists’ plots, takes fight to them abroad.” But the administration certainly didn’t disrupt the Fort Hood jihadist massacre. To be fair, the shooter served under both Obama and Bush – despite being a card-carrying member of Soldiers of Allah (literally). While the government can’t disrupt every attack, officials should at least correctly identify the reason the attack happened in the first place. In this respect, the government failed miserably.
The 86-page report on Ft. Hood released by the Pentagon following the attack avoided any mention of the jihadist ideology that appears to be the motivation behind the attack. But the report did mention “animal rights,” “disgruntled employees,” and “white supremacy” as factors in terrorist attacks.
I ask Mr. Brennan: Does the administration’s whitewashing of the jihadist attack on Fort Hood help or hurt al Qaeda?
An American-born, pro-jihad cleric has reportedly praised the failed Christmas airliner attack and claimed the alleged perpetrator was his student.
Anwar al-Awlaki is a U.S. citizen born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents. Before leaving the U.S. in 2002, he served as an imam in Denver, San Diego, and the Washington, D.C. area. While in San Diego, he became the “spiritual advisor” for two of the 9/11 hijackers (and had contact with a third). He also admits to having advised the man who gunned down 14 unarmed Americans at Fort Hood, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Al-Awlaki now lives in Yemen, and counter terrorism experts believe that he works for al Qaeda.
In a recent Al Jazeera interview al-Awlaki stated that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23 year-old Nigerian student who attempted to detonate a bomb on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, was in fact a student of his.
Al-Awlaki’s pro-jihad internet lectures and materials are very popular, and he is even said to be active on social networking sites like Facebook.
Abdulmtallab allegedly attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in December while en route from Amsterdam to Detroit by hiding a bomb in his underwear. He has stated that more attacks are planned, that his is the first of many forthcoming plots. He is currently in federal prison in Milan, Mich.
“Brother mujahed Umar Farouk — may Allah relieve him — is one of my students, yes,” said al-Awlaki in the interview published on Tuesday. “We had kept in contact, but I didn’t issue a fatwa (religious ruling/declaration of war) to Umar Farouk for this operation.”
Al-Awlaki expressed his support of the failed Christmas attack, but said that he would have preferred a military target.
“I support what Umar Farouk did after seeing my brothers in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan being killed,” al-Awlaki said. “If it was a military plane or a U.S. military target it would have been better…(but) the American people have participated in all the crimes of their government.”
The other two known terrorism cases that he had ties to were indeed military targets. The victims in Maj. Hasan’s Fort Hood massacre were mostly soldiers. And Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar – the 9/11 hijackers that al-Awlaki mentored – were two of the five operatives who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, killing 64 passengers and 125 people in the Pentagon. Hani Hanjour – another Flight 77 hijacker – attended services at the Dar al Hiraj mosque in Falls Church, Va. while al-Awlaki was an imam there.
“Some 300 Americans are nothing compared to thousands of Muslims they have killed,” he said of the innocent civilians on the flight to Detroit.
But according to a recent study, the same could be said of al Qaeda.
A West Point study found that 85% of al Qaeda’s victims are in fact Muslims.
Make no mistake: this administration’s egregious decision to try al Qaeda operatives and their associates as common criminals allows our enemies to extend the battlefield from Afghanistan to U.S. courtrooms. Jim Hanson appears on Fox News discussing the impact of this decision on our intelligence community and ultimately our ability to protect ourselves.
Gadi Adelman illustrates how absurd and dangerous the Obama administration’s approach to fighting our jihadist enemies is in an excellent piece at Family Security Matters. Adelman would know, having survived a terrorist attack in Jerusalem which killed seven children.
A very serious administration would know – and admit to – the fact that we are not just at war with al Qaeda, but with Jihad itself. Saying that we are at war only with al Qaeda would have been tantamount to saying, during World War II, that we were at war with only the 25th Panzer Division of the German Army, and not with the entire German Army itself.
Yes, we are at war with al Qaeda… and also with Hamas and Hezbollah and Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Ansar al Islam and Harakat ul-Mujahadin …well, you get the idea. What animates, connects and indeed unites these various groups – and many more? Jihad. Holy War against the infidels.
Unfortunately, our president actually believes that Hamas and Hezbollah have “legitimate claims!” Read the New York Times’ interview for yourself, then read the terrorist groups’ charters to see what their claims are.
But while we are drawing comparisons to WWII, what would this country have done had FDR announced that Hitler had legitimate claims? I doubt that would have gone over well.
In all fairness, all administrations have done a piss-poor job of handling the threat of Islamic jihad, some worse than others, but the past is the past. It is time for the government to move forward and announce that these jihadist groups threaten our liberty and security and are therefore our enemy. That avoids the whole politically incorrect distraction that the Islamist apologists will throw up, because while not all Muslims are jihadist, all jihadists are Muslim.