Posts Tagged ‘terrorist’
September 12th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

If you’re confused about what to call the newest terrorist threat – ISIS or ISIL – Daniel Pipes, the renowned conservative Middle East expert, has an answer.

Whichever one you want.

The Obama administration prefers “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL), while almost everyone else uses “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS). At first blush, some commentators think they detect a subtle framing effect to blur any possible links between the rise of this group with Obama’s blundering Syria policy.

Pipes isn’t one of them. According to him, “both translations are accurate, both are correct, and both have deficiencies – one refers to a state, the other has an archaic ring.” Pipes should know since he wrote a book about the underlying history that gives rise to the translation difficulty.

Whatever one calls ISIS/ISIL, Pipes rightly focuses on the most important issue: “…ridding the world of this barbaric menace.”

April 26th, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Feds “Mollycoddle” Jihadists But Profile Christians, Pro-Lifers and Veterans

As a follow-on to Quin’s column this week, it’s interesting to learn which people agencies of the federal government think deserve to be profiled, monitored, etc.

On the one hand, as the Washington Examiner (echoing Quin) points out, FBI training manuals were systematically purged in 2011 of all references to Islam that were judged offensive by a specially created five-member panel.” “Nearly 900 pages were removed from the manuals as a result of that review.”

Without a training manual to fall back on for cover, it’s no wonder that FBI agents took a hands-off approach when investigating Tamerlan Tsarnev, one of the two Boston Marathon bombers who posted a pro-jihad video on his Facebook page. Without specific, bureau-approved criteria for monitoring Tsarnev even though he expressed radical views, frontline investigators let a future terrorist roam free.

But not to worry; the Obama administration knows whom to target.

David Limbaugh over at NewsBusters has a sobering round-up of many of the instances of government profiling of Christians, pro-lifers, and Second Amendment supporters.

Examples include military bases blocking access to the Southern Baptist Convention’s website for “hostile content,” a West Point study linking pro-life advocates to terrorism and a Department of Homeland Security briefing alleging that returning military veterans with Tea Party views could pose a security threat.

Branches of the federal government as diverse as the U.S. Army, DHS and the Houston National Cemetery, among others, are part of a seemingly coordinated effort to monitor and marginalize people that not so long ago would have been considered as the patriotic backbone of America. In today’s upside-down world, however, not so much.

Clearly, when it wants to, the Obama administration knows how to keep tabs on individuals and groups it deems dangerous to public safety. Unfortunately, they aren’t the people who are acting like terrorists.

September 21st, 2012 at 4:36 pm
More Facts Indicate Libya Consulate Attacks Were Planned

In his column this week Troy noted the “suspicious sign of premeditation” when the American consulate in Libya was invaded by rioters on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Troy also pointed out other facts undercutting the Obama Administration’s claim that the attacks were a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic YouTube video, such as the use of rocket-propelled grenades, knowledge of a safe house, and the release of an al Qaeda video demanding revenge for an assassinated deputy.

Now, even more evidence is forcing the Obama Administration to backtrack its version of the story.

Eli Lake of The Daily Beast is reporting that U.S. intelligence officials have confirmed that some of the participants had staked out the location prior to attacking.  What’s more, an intercepted communiqué “between a Libyan politician whose sympathies are with al Qaeda and the Libyan militia known at the February 17 Brigade – which had been charged with providing local security to the consulate,” reveals that the politician asked a brigade commander to “stand down for a pending attack.”

The growing body of facts make hash out of the Obama Administration’s initial characterization that the assault was simply and only caused by watching a stupid and little known video.  Instead, it seems far more plausible that the weak foreign policy stances of the Obama Administration emboldened the attackers to strike.  The White House’s reflexive crouch only adds to the problem.

January 10th, 2012 at 12:51 pm
Obama’s Taliban Prisoner Release is a Bad Deal for America

Last week I wrote that President Barack Obama is entertaining the idea of releasing several high-value Taliban prisoners currently held at Guantanamo Bay as a way to negotiate peace with the terrorist group.  The idea is foolish for a variety of reasons, the most important being that these men will almost certainly return to the purpose of their lives: waging war against America.

For proof, consider this recent article from Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter and now a columnist for the Washington Post.  In it, Thiessen explains that two of the detainees are wanted by the UN for war crimes, another has experience facilitating terrorist networking events like joint trainings with al-Qaida, and a fourth is believed to have played a part in the deaths of two Americans.  The last member of Thiessen’s terrorist round-up worked directly for Usama bin Ladin, and attended meetings with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

As Thiessen points out, this isn’t the first time a president has considered releasing a Taliban fighter with disastrous consequences:

In 2007, the Bush administration released a Taliban leader named Mullah Zakir to Afghan custody. Unlike these five, he was assessed by our military as only “medium risk” of returning to the fight. They were wrong. Today, Zakir is leading Taliban forces fighting U.S. Marines in Helmand province, and according to former intelligence officials I spoke with, he has provided the Taliban with an exponential increase in combat prowess.

We’ve been down this road before.  If Obama does in fact release any of these terrorists from Gitmo, Americans will rightly place the blame for any deaths caused by them on his doorstep.

August 8th, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Rudyard Kipling’s Ode to SEAL Team Six

The Wall Street Journal summarizes the costly human waste that even worthy wars can bring:

As their Chinook was about to land, Afghan and U.S. officials said, a lone insurgent shot it out of the sky with a rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG, in the deadliest attack endured by the American military in a decade of war in Afghanistan. Thirty American troops, including 22 SEALs, died in the crash, as did a civilian interpreter and seven Afghan commandos.

Each of the dead was the son or daughter of a family who raised a child willing and able to defend freedom at the most demanding level possible.  And while we say a prayer for each of these brave souls, it’s hard not to feel an extra tinge of anger that none of the 39 highly trained professionals killed had a fighting chance against a lone shooter with perhaps no more skill than is sufficient to operate a video game controller.

Whether it’s an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killing and maiming members of a military convoy or an RPG ambush on SEAL Team Six (the outfit who killed Osama bin Laden), these kinds of deaths defy one’s sense of proportionality.  Rudyard Kipling saw his own share of disproportionate death as a writer in India during Britain’s Imperial rule, with similar misgivings (from the poem “Arithmetic on the Frontier”):

A scrimmage in a Border Station-
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail.
The Crammer’s boast, the Squadron’s pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!

October 16th, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Author of ‘Where Good Ideas Come From’ Explains How Networks & Hunches Lead to Big Discoveries

For anyone wondering how large organizations can put pieces of time-sensitive information into a coherent, real-time picture, author Steven Johnson provides an answer.  In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, Johnson explains ‘the adjacent possible;’ i.e. alternative paths.  In the short video below, Johnson discusses the missed opportunity pre-9/11 to match up the FBI’s ‘Phoenix Memo‘ with the arrest of a would-be terrorist who said during flight school that he didn’t need to know how to land.

If our nation’s intelligence community is ever going to function efficiently, it’s going to need a way to match information in a fast, coherent way.  Maybe Johnson’s book could help.

August 2nd, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Terrorists to Iraqis: “We’ll Keep the Lights on for You”

“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.  For want of a shoe the horse was lost.  For want of a horse the rider was lost.  For want of a rider the battle was lost.  For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.  And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

Today’s lesson in unintended consequences comes from an article that covers several flash points threatening to engulf a relatively peaceful Iraq into renewed chaos.  One item shines brightest.

The Iraqi government can’t provide more than 4 to 6 hours of electricity a day to most of its citizens.  With local temperatures many degrees over 100, people are rioting because of it.

Consider what they’re not rioting about: the escape of four convicted terrorists from prison; a five month delay in forming a coalition government to lead the nation; suicide bombings that killed 50 people; a stalemate in deciding how to divide the country’s oil revenues.

And yet what’s the issue that caused people to “smash government offices” and demand change?  Keeping the electricity running.

Ideas like liberty, commerce and opportunity don’t get a lot of attention when basic services like relief from oppressive heat aren’t being delivered.

The sooner the terrorists inside Iraq figure out that merely being a competent public administrator will probably be enough to get democratic control of the national government, the sooner the Arab world’s only experiment in democracy will cease.

All for want of a steady supply of energy.

July 16th, 2010 at 1:06 am
More Reasons to Fire Eric Holder

National Reivew’s Victor Davis Hanson joins the call to get Eric Holder out of the Attorney General’s office with a parade of horribles similar to CFIF’s position.  With all the evils confronting American law enforcement – a drug-fueled Mexican civil war, human trafficking, and terrorist threats from naturalized citizens like Faisal Shahzad – it is stunning to think that the nation’s top prosecutor can’t seem to see his job as anything other than the highest profile assignment desk of the ACLU.

Hopefully, it won’t take an avoidable tragedy to convince President Barack Obama that Holder is a national liability as long as stays at his post.

July 14th, 2010 at 10:20 pm
Not Even CFIF Would Run This Headline

Would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad is many things – traitor to America, attempted mass murderer – but ABC News might be spinning news of his reluctance to kill himself a bit too far.

“Times Square Bomber Wimped Out on Suicide” screams that outlet’s headline.  Of course, I clicked on it.  Apparently, Shahzad’s handlers with the Taliban released a prerecorded tape of Shahzad in full terrorist mode proclaiming jihad to be an obligation on all Muslims.  That he used a series of timers to ensure he’d be clear of the death toll his bomb-laden van would bring is then juxtaposed to highlight his hypocrisy.

I for one am glad Shahzad “wimped out” instead of making sure his plans were carried out to the letter.  Put another way, would ABC News be trumpeting his follow through if he’d stayed to detonate the bomb personally?

Ridicule can be effective, but not when it motivates the next Faisal Shahzad to finish a job everyone should be too afraid to complete.

May 20th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
If Gangsters Get the Death Penalty for Drive-By Shootings, Why Can’t Rogue Governments Who Target Warships?

If a carload of Crip gang members shot up a Los Angeles Police Department bus killing 46 officers, every gang member involved would be convicted of murder and given the death penalty.  They wouldn’t be fined and given a stern warning.

So, why can’t that law enforcement approach be applied to rogue governments like North Korea who was identified as sinking a South Korean warship, an act that killed 46 South Korean sailors?  After all, “cop killers” are singled out for particularly harsh penalties precisely because they target the guardians of law, order, peace, and safety.  How can the mass murder of 46 military personnel aboard a sovereign nation’s vessel be any less of an attack on a nation’s security?

Sadly, that isn’t the tenor coming from South Korean officials and their allies.  They sound like they’re more interested in meaningless United Nations resolutions and economic sanctions.

The South’s president is vowing to “take strong resolute countermeasures against North Korea and make it admit its wrongdoing through strong international cooperation.”  Such cooperation includes calling the North’s attack “inexcusable” (Japan) and an “act of aggression” (USA), which are only slightly bolder than China’s declaration that the event is “unfortunate.”

The truly unfortunate reality is that we live in a world where terrorist groups and governments slaughter innocents under the guise of fictitious provocations, while so-called civilized societies let those who volunteer to defend their safety suffer the consequences of enlightened restraint.

December 29th, 2009 at 2:51 pm
Spare the Waterboard, Use the Bomb

Many anti-war Leftists like to taunt military planners with the Vietnam-era missive that it is sometimes “necessary to destroy the town to save it.” Coupling his distaste for enhanced interrogation techniques with the necessity to neutralize terrorists when possible, President Barack Obama seems to be applying that logic to the lives of individual terrorist leaders. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Yemen, Obama is giving the lie to the notion that his approach to terrorists is more humane than his predecessor’s. As Marc Thiessen explains in today’s Washington Post:

President Obama has shut down the CIA interrogation program that helped stop a series of planned attacks — and in the year since he took office, not one high-value terrorist has been interrogated by the CIA.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has escalated the targeted killing of high-value terrorists. There may be times when killing a terrorist leader is the best option (for example, his location might be too remote to reach with anything but an unmanned drone). But President Obama has decided capturing senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogating them — with enhanced techniques if necessary — is not worth the trouble.”

In fact, Obama has been ordering drone assassinations of terrorist leaders since his first week in office. Unlike the Bush Administration’s model of capture, detain, and interrogate, Obama and his team are opting for the ultimate end-run around Attorney General Eric Holder’s epiphany to treat Guantanamo Bay detainees like American citizens: kill them before they’re contacted. If enemy combatants are really more like common criminals worthy of civilian trials, are common criminals now able to be killed by law enforcement prior to being contacted? Why hassle about the vagaries of Miranda rights when a cop can just shoot the bad guy on the street?

As Thiessen rightly notes, there may be situations where such attacks are warranted.  But killing people so you don’t have to feel queasy about dealing with their continued existence is not an elegant solution to a vexing moral problem. Then again, this isn’t the first time President Obama has applied such reasoning.

Besides these troubling inconsistencies, there is usually collateral damage in the form of neighbors and passers-by that get killed in the fallout. These are the fruits of an enlightened presidency? How provocative it is to think that terrorist leaders had it better under George W. Bush than Barack Obama. At least under the former they weren’t guaranteed a death sentence.