From several years ago by the ‘Half-Hour, News Hour,’ a skit on trying to figure out what some London “terrorists” had in common. With recent headlines this may not be as much a parody as originally intended …
In the wake of the  Kentucky case, the U.S. halted the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time, officials told ABC News in the 2013 investigation.
– ABC News Report
The current debate over the admission of Syrian refugees focuses on the possibility that it will help facilitate the entry of terrorists into the U.S.
This view is based on the growing trend of Islamist immigrants in the U.S. that have been involved in terrorism in the last few years. The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Natural Interest reports that it has identified at least 26 foreign-born individuals inside the U.S. who have either been charged with or convicted of terrorism in the last year with even more examples going back to 2013. From an AL.com article by Leada Gore:
Sessions said U.S. officials have no access to Syrian government data to vet refugees and no capacity to predict whether those seeking refuge are likely to join militant groups. As proof of that, the Immigration Subcommittee, which Sessions chairs, provided a partial list of apprehended foreign-born terrorists or terror suspects since 2013:
- A Kazakhstani immigrant with lawful permanent resident status allegedly conspired to purchase a machine gun to shoot FBI and other law enforcement agents if they prevented him from traveling to Syria to join ISIS.
- An immigrant from Saudi Arabia, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, swore allegiance to ISIS and pledged to explode a propane tank bomb on U.S. soil, prosecutors said.
- A Uzbek man in Brooklyn encouraged other Uzbeki nationals to wage jihad on behalf of ISIS, and raised $1,600 for the terror organization.
- The Boston Bombers, who killed three and injured more than 250, were invited in as refugees. The younger brother applied for citizenship and was naturalized on September 11th, 2012. The older brother had a pending application for citizenship.
- A Moroccan national who came to the U.S. on a student visa was arrested for plotting to blow up a university and a federal court house
- 6 Members of Minnesota’s Somali-American refugee community have recently been charged with trying to join ISIS. The Washington Times reported that “the effort [to resettle large groups of Somali refugees in Minnesota] is having the unintended consequence of creating an enclave of immigrants with high unemployment that is both stressing the state’s safety net and creating a rich pool of potential recruiting targets for Islamist terror groups.”
- An Uzbek refugee living in Idaho was arrested and charged with providing support to a terrorist organization, in the form of teaching terror recruits how to build bombs. He was later convicted three terrorism-related charges.
- An American citizen whose family is from Syria was sentenced to up to five years in a juvenile prison for plotting to support ISIS and rob a gun store to kill members of the American military.
- An immigrant from Syria, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was accused by federal prosecutors of planning to “go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.”
- A college student and Somali immigrant, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, attempted to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon. He is serving a 30 year prison sentence.
- An immigrant from Afghanistan, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, and a legal permanent resident from the Philippines, were convicted for “join Al Qaeda and the Taliban in order to kill Americans.”
- An Iraqi immigrant, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was arrested for lying to federal agents about pledging allegiance to ISIS and his travels to Syria. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott referenced the case when announcing his state would fight against accepting Syrian refugees.
- Two immigrants from Pakistan, who later applied for and received U.S citizenship, were sentenced to decades-long prison sentences for plotting to detonate a bomb in New York City.
- An immigrant from Yemen, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was arrested for trying to join ISIS. He was also charged with attempting to illegally buy firearms to try to shoot American military personnel. He is currently awaiting trial. He faces additional charges related to assaulting deputies while in custody.
- An immigrant brought here by his family from Kuwait at a young age, and who was later approved for U.S. citizenship, carried out the Islamist attack that recently killed 5 military personnel in Chattanooga. The gunman was killed by police.
Sessions said these incidents are just a few of those identified by his committee. They should serve as a warning against any plan for relocation of immigrants, especially those from Syria, he added.
The concerns have not been limited to the GOP. Several days ago, 47 House Democrats broke rank and joined with Republicans, voting for a bill aimed at pausing admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by adding requirements to an already lengthy screening process. In the Senate, the Washington Post reported:
Longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Senate intelligence committee, warned in a statement Tuesday “we need to be very careful about Syrian refugee admissions.”
The Hill reports that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signed a letter to President Obama calling on him to not allow any more Syrians into the country “unless federal authorities can guarantee with 100 percent assurance they are not connected” to the Islamic State.
At least one Democratic was among the governors asking for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed.
UN records show a four fold increase (850,000) so far in 2015 of refugees entering Europe through the Mediterranean area compared to 2014 (216,000) with Syrians accounting for about 52% of the numbers. From the trend, the numbers will most likely be significantly higher by the end of 2015. While the vast majority will most likely settle in Europe, U.S. allocations have been steadily increasing.
We noted last year in “Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?“, that according to U.S. Department of State refugee statistics, in 2007 Muslim countries accounted for about 20% of U.S. refugee admissions. In 2008 there was a marked increase, with well over 50% (35,000+) of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries. This repeated in 2009-2013 and the 2014 allocations authorize the increased level. For 2015, 12,000-15,000 Syrians alone, are projected for admission.
The Paris bombings raised the possibility that forged Syrian passports are being used by terrorists and this certainly brings up concerns as to the actual identify of those being processed as Syrian refugees. Earlier this week Bloomberg reported:
A Syrian passport found next to a suicide bomber in the Paris terror attacks may have been planted, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.
Reports that the identity in the passport may have been registered in several countries along the so-called Balkan route raise the suspicion that it could be a deliberate attempt to implicate refugees and “make people feel unsafe,” de Maiziere said.
“There are indications that this was a planted lead, but it still can’t be ruled out that this was indeed an IS terrorist posing as a refugee,” he told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, referring to Islamic State, which France blames for organizing the violence.
Any link between France’s worst terror attack since World War II and Europe’s refugee crisis would raise the stakes for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she defends her open-door policy for asylum seekers in Germany’s debate over immigration and security.
Syrian refugee proponents are proclaiming there has not been one terrorist act by a refugee in the United States. When presented with the case of the Boston Bombers, these proponents counter that the Tsarnaev brothers were not really refugees.
An example of this can be found in a recent article on Reason.com that attempts to label GOP politicians as “Fearmongers”. Ronald Bailey writes:
Note: Several commenters suggested Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, were refugees. Strictly speaking, they were the children of asylees. As Bloomberg News explained the two were given “derivative asylum status” and didn’t come through the refugee admissions program. Apparently the legal distinction is too fine a point for some readers. So be it, but they should nevertheless keep in mind that the brothers were two people out around 1.8 million people who were granted refugee or asylee status between 1995 and 2013.
This dismissal conflicts with a recent Dailymail.com article that notes:
Six Bosnian immigrants, three from Missouri, two from Illinois and one from New York, were charged in February with sending money and military equipment to extremist groups in Syria including ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front.
Last year we reported on the case of Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington, VT (a naturalized U.S. citizen) who was facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery.
In 2013, an ABC news report detailed the 2009 discovery of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq:
An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home — a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.
An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.
This week, ABC reported that, “Of the 31 states that have declared their opposition to taking in Syrian refugees, one state, Kentucky, has a specific reason to be wary of the background check process.” This caused the U.S. to halt the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time.
“The phone program follows the Muslim Brotherhood pattern of using deceptively described charities as a means to support terrorist causes.”
– Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch
The news of shots being fired at a Muslim family’s home in Orlando, FL in the wake of the Paris, France terror attacks has made national news with base reporting from local outlets such as www.wftv.com:
Similar reports were made by www.mynews13.com and the Orlando Sentinal. Accounts indicate that CAIR is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and calling on the Department of Justice to conduct its own investigation
What is not mentioned in any of the news reports is Amir Elmasri’s past ties to an apparent U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Phone Scam that funneled money to the Benevolence and Global Relief Foundation located in Bridgeview, Ill.
Both groups have been designated by the U.S Government as terrorist organizations in connection with the funding of Al-Qaida.
A 2001 AP article published in the Florida Times-Union, reported:
Muslim charities suspected of helping finance international terrorism received at least $1.9 million in the past five years from Florida donors, records show.
The article further indicates:
One of the biggest single contributors was International Charity Network, a Winter Park company that gave $300,000 to Benevolence in 1996 and 1997 alone. Two other related local firms have given Benevolence a total of $171,210 since 1996.
A 2001 The Orlando Sentinel article also reported on theses links to terrorist groups and indicated that funding was achieved through changing subscribed Muslims’ long distance phone service over to MCI.
According to corporate filings, International Charity Network is now called Net One International, Inc. and Amir Elmasri has been listed as the vice-President of the company since 1998.
A 2007 analysis of the reported phone scam and how it links to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leadership can be found at the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, which notes:
The phone program follows the Muslim Brotherhood pattern of using deceptively described charities as a means to support terrorist causes.
RELATED: In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a penalty of $1,600,000 against Net One International, Inc. (Net One or Company), for apparently billing consumers for unauthorized charges and fees purportedly in connection with long distance telephone service—a practice commonly known as “cramming.” Amir Elmasri is listed as the vice-president of Net One International in the FCC filing.
COMMENT: A search of the CAIR national site failed to disclose any mention of this incident. A check of the CAIR-FL website showed simply a repost of news report that a family “claims it was targetted by gunfire” and “The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida said that it is investigating the case with their attorneys to determine whether the family was targeted.” Any mention of a request for Department of Justice action could not be found.
For all you bozos out there driving around with those co-exist stickers, you can’t coexist with someone who wants you dead, has the capacity to ensure that, and remains convicted that you lack any rights whatsoever.
– Sam Sorbo
The following is a monologue from the opening of The Sam Sorbo Show on Nov. 16, 2015.
To listen to the segment, click HERE.
Not 10 hours before the attacks in Paris that killed 129 people and left 352 injured, President Obama claimed he had “contained” ISIS.
Now his apologists are rushing in to defend his misinformed assertion with explanations that he was referring to ISIS’ geographical containment, that they aren’t gaining more ground in Syria. But I’m fed up with this word play. Geographically, they are bigger than ever before, having now advanced as far as FRANCE! Let me ask you this, you forked-tongued, logic-lacking sycophants. Would he repeat his assertion – that ISIS is contained – today, after the attacks in Paris? NO!
We currently face two threats on our way of life in a country that has offered mankind the most technological advances and created the most prosperity the world has ever seen: Political correctness, or secularism, and Medieval Islamists.
Medieval Islam seeks to challenge us, violently. They don’t just disagree with self-governance and this country’s dedication to the God of Abraham and our Judeo-Christian morals. If they did, those insipid, moronic bumper stickers would be true, and we would all co-exist. For all you bozos out there driving around with those co-exist stickers, you can’t coexist with someone who wants you dead, has the capacity to ensure that, and remains convicted that you lack any rights whatsoever. You can only shoot back in self-preservation. Co-existence is not an option because the other sides reject it outright. And by the way, those victims in the theater and restaurants in France complied with the restrictive gun laws, and were unable to shoot back. Their right to co-exist was summarily terminated by those lunatic jihadis who instead chose co-non-existence.
Full text at Breibart can be read at:
COMMENT: We’ve repeatedly said that political correctness is used as a weapon against us and the rest of the west. Sam Sorbo’s commentary is excellent food for thought. Her website can be reached at www.samsorbo.com
After an extended hiatus due to family health issues, we are now back
If it wasn’t for the surveillance video that showed Usaama Rahim charging JTTF members, Imam Ibrahim Rahim’s claim that his brother was shot in the back would have probably set off a repeat of what was seen in Ferguson and Baltimore.
As the trial and sentencing of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fades from the headlines, the shooting of suspected terrorist Usaama Rahim by Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) members, brings the city of Boston and Islamic terrorism back into the spotlight.
The old adage of “where there’s smoke there’s fire” seems to certainly apply with Islamic related terror activities and Boston.
The good . . .
The top brass overseeing the FBI/JTTF in Boston apparently learned a very expensive lesson in the wake of the 2013 Boston bombing. Surveillance and collection activities in regards to suspected Islamic terrorists in the Boston area must be a priority. It takes just one major terror incident to slip by to attract all the critics and have operations placed under a microscope for review.
Critics said the FBI’s failure to properly investigate Tsarnaev was a repeat of the bureau’s lapse in missing advance signs of the Islamist radicalization of accused Fort Hood massacre shooter, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan.
Details about the shooting of Usaama Rahim and the Boston terror probe are still coming in, but it is obvious that the JTTF had obtained information about a potential threat and was actively conducting surveillance of the subject.
The bad . . .
Some policy makers at the federal and local levels of government still want to embrace Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) progams such as the one promoted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) – Safe Spaces. Such programs hamper proven counter-terror techniques, relying instead on Muslim community/mosque leaders to identify “misguided individuals” and contact the authorities when these leaders feel the threat warrants it.
The recent Boston incident provides an excellent example of why such CVE initiatives, like MPACs Safe Spaces, generally do not work:
- Usaama Rahim’s brother, Imam Ibrahim Rahim, is a leading Islamic leader in Boston and claims he was not aware of his brother’s radicalization. The Rahim family’s attorney told reporters that the family was completely unaware of any radicalization or ties to ISIS.
- Imam Ibrahim Rahim claimed on twitter that his brother was shot three times in the back by authorities. This has been shown to be a fabrication based on official reports and statements by community leaders that viewed surveillance footage of the incident.
- Another Boston Islamic community leader, Imam Abdullah Faaruuq was quoted in the Boston Herald saying:
If they thought he was a very dangerous person, they should have taken precautions in approaching him. I would. I wouldn’t approach a wild animal or anything I thought was dangerous without being fully prepared if I wanted to capture him and keep him alive. I don’t think they wanted to keep him alive.
As was shown with Boston Bombing case, Islamic community leaders are probably not the best source of to be relied on to identify radical elements and notify authorities. If it wasn’t for the surveillance video that showed Usaama Rahim charging JTTF members, Imam Rahim’s claim that his brother was shot in the back would have probably set off a repeat of what was seen in Ferguson and Baltimore.
The ugly . . .
As we have noted in the past, expect an apologist and misinformation campaign by Islamists that spins the shooting into a victim-hood portrayal of Muslims. Since Usaama Rahim was black, race will be highlighted to gain sympathy from minority communities.
In short – the facts be damned.
“The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.”
– The Levant Report
Earlier this month, Judical Watch announced that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State pertaining to the September 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The media has focused on data showing the attack had been planned up to 10 days prior to its execution and was committed by al Qaeda and a Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR).
The Levant Report picked up on something much more significant in the released documents. A heavily redacted Aug 12, 2012 DOD Information Intelligence Report (IIR) indicating that Western actions/policies in the area would facilitate the formation of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”. Specifically, the IIR reads:
THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME….
IIRs are considered raw field intelligence and meant to be compared and analyzed against other collection sources before a final distributed intelligence product. That being said, they are still distributed as needed and this one was addressed to DOD agencies as well as the CIA, FBI, State Department and Homeland Security. The Levant Report points out, “The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.“
The IIR also includes:
THE GENERAL SITUATION:
A. INTERNALLY, EVENTS ARE TAKING A CLEAR SECTARIAN DIRECTION.
B. THE SALAFIST [sic], THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.
C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.
In the above, AQI refers to Al Qadea in Iraq.
From the Levant Report:
The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.
While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria. The document matter-of-factly states just that scenario.
For a report on the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) response to the above mentioned Levant Report, CLICK HERE.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Most references indicate that the recent Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) was formed in 2013. The combined territories covering Syria and Iraq were declared the Islamic State in June 2014.
This wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. saw a terror group as a possible asset in meeting U.S. foreign policy goals – al Qaeda’s roll in the Soviet–Afghan War is such an example. The released documents paint a much more complicated picture than the theory ISIS is simply a result of a power vacuum created by the invasion of Iraq.
The mention of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood involvement ties into our 2014 report on how a Senate defense bill was most likely influenced through lobbying efforts. It would be naive to dismiss the likelihood that U.S based Syrian groups we highlighted are not coordinating with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
- Meet the 28-year-old pushing the US toward greater intervention in Syria – dailycaller.com, July 14, 2013
- How the Muslim Brotherhood Hijacked Syria’s Revolution – yalibnan.com, March 13, 2013
- I Learned to Fight Like an American at the FSA Training Camp in Jordan – vice.com, April 3, 2014
- Once a top booster, ex-U.S. envoy no longer backs arming Syrian rebels – mcclatchydc.com, February 18, 2015
Documentary producer Ami Horowitz interviews members of the Somali community in Minneapolis and finds support for Islamic law (Sharia) over American law and restrictions on freedom of speech.
COMMENT: The Somalis constitute a sizable ethnic group in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Some estimates are that 1 out of every 3 people with Somali ancestry in the U.S. live in Minnesota – a 2010 survey estimated the Somali community to be at 85,700 in the United States. The largest growth influx occurred as a result of refugee program efforts in response to the Somali civil war escalation in the 1990s.
The Minneapolis area has been experiencing a number of incidents involving ISIS recruitment. A February 2015 NPR article notes:
In the discussions at the White House this week, one city has focused minds: Minneapolis-St Paul. It had been ground zero for terrorist recruiters in the past, and is fast becoming the center of ISIS’ recruitment effort in the United States.
See this post from the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog regarding April 2015 terror arrests in the area along with information on the US government contractors involved in the refugee resettlement program.
Earlier this month we mentioned the Canadian website Point de Bascule in our report, Islamist Propaganda: The Montgomery County Model, WORDE and the Muslim Brotherhood . It was regarding Hussein Hamdani, an advisor to a Canadian security agency, who has been suspended pending an investigation into his alleged ties to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas related organizations.
The Canadian National Post (NP) just published an article by Catherine Solyom that focuses on possible motivations behind Hamdani’s suspension titled, “Hero or extremist“. It devotes a good amount of time on attempting to discredit the credibility of Point de Bascule’s author, Marc Lebuis. It fails to fully explore the validity of reports that Hamdani has ties to Islamist groups, relying instead on statements made by Hamdani that he is simply a victim.
Another version of the article appears in the Montreal Gazette titled, “Hussein Hamdani: Vetted by the feds, felled by a blog“ with additional references to Pamela Geller and Steven Emerson along with an expanded history of Hamdani’s community involvement. This version also includes a statement by researcher Seigfried Mathelet calling Lebuis a “militant”.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) has labeled the NP article a “hit piece” and we agree. GMBDW defends Lebuis, responding in depth to the four issues Solyom raises. Recommended reading.
A key point to all this: Hamdani was not suspended until after a televised report by French language TVA network journalist Michel Jean was made about Hamdani’s questionable ties. Solyom acknowledges this in her article yet makes no attempt to question any motives that TVA or Michel Jean might have pertaining to the broadcast.
The article includes:
Seigfried Mathelet, a post-doctoral researcher at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said he knows of Lebuis as a “pseudo-expert” who has worked for years to gain influence with political decision-makers and the mainstream media, even though he has no links to academic research.
His modus operandi, like that of numerous anti-Islam bloggers and organizations based in the U.S., Mathelet explained, is to take anything problematic associated with Islam – like the Boko Haram or ISIS attacks – and link them to people in Canada.
Matthew Duss, the lead author of Fear, Inc. 2.0. — a report published by the Centre for American Progress on anti-Islam organizations and their sources of funding – says Muslim-bashing is a very lucrative business in the U.S., and it may be in Canada, too.
Duss believes Point de Bascule may be part of an international “Islamophobia network.”
These two above sections are mentioned to highlight the fact that even so called “experts” miss the mark when dealing with these terms …
- Islamist –
- Muslim: a follower of the religion of Islam
“In Quebec, 11 of the 17 would-be fighters since January all went to Collège de Maisonneuve …”
– Montreal Gazzette
New report sheds light on growing number of foreign terrorist fighters
From: Montreal Gazzette
By: Catherine Solyom, May 27, 2015
A new United Nations report provides a stark assessment of the growing ranks of foreign terrorist fighters heading to the Middle East, how they are getting there and who is helping them — with obvious applications for those struggling to understand Quebec’s own vulnerability to recruitment after seven youths were believed to have travelled to ISIS territory since January, and another 10 were stopped at the airport.
There are now an estimated 25,000 foreign fighters from 100 countries — an increase of 71 per cent between mid-2014 and March 2015.
Released May 19, the report shares lessons learned in some 42 member states who provided written input, and draws on visits to 21 countries and bilateral meetings with 27 security agencies. Foreign fighters are also travelling to Afghanistan and Africa, but the surge over the last year has been to Syria and Iraq.
“What has changed over the past three years is the scale of the problem,” the UN writes.
Out of the 25,000, the UN says six states have generated more than 1,000 foreign terrorist fighters each, 42 have generated more than 100 fighters each and a further set of countries have generated between one and 100 known cases each.
In early 2014, the Canadian government estimated that 130 people had left Canada in support of terrorism-related activities.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The initial UN report came out in March 2015 mentioning there were, “some 22,000 foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, there were also 6,500 in Afghanistan and hundreds more in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia. ” Troubling confirmation of news and other accounts from various western countries of their citizens joining Islamic terror and militant groups. The full, finalized UN report can be read HERE.
In 2013 we highlighted western recruited fighters in “Taking a Jihadi Vacation“.
The Montreal Gazzette article highlights a particular concern for those in Canada regarding a junior college in downtown Montreal:
In Quebec, 11 of the 17 would-be fighters since January all went to Collège de Maisonneuve — and several attended the Centre Assahaba run by Adil Charkaoui, including at least one of the 10 youths stopped at the airport, whose father now blames Charkoaui. Most fighters are males, 15 to 35. What is new is the significant number of minors and girls heading to Syria and Iraq.
Prior to the UN report, in April 2015 the Toronto Star reported on two Collège de Maisonneuve students arrested on terror charges. In February 2015, The Globe and Mail reported on six Montreal students, four believed to have studied at Collège de Maisonneuve, suspected of traveling to the Middle East to join ISIS. Iman Adil Charkaoui is mentioned in both articles.
A National Post article notes:
Beginning in the late 1990s, Canadian intelligence officers opened a file on Adil Charkaoui that eventually persuaded them he was a dangerous al-Qaida sleeper agent.
But after federal prosecutors chose to withdraw their security certificate case against him in 2009 rather than disclose intelligence sources, the Moroccan immigrant slipped from public view.
Today, Charkaoui, 41, has resurfaced as an imam, and he finds himself under a different cloud.
Instead of targeting jetliners or the Montreal subway system, as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service once alleged, he is accused of poisoning the minds of young Quebecers.
Charkaoui has denied any role in radicalization and complained he is the victim of a witch-hunt.
The National Post further reports:
Charkaoui first came to the attention of CSIS when he was spotted in the company of suspected Islamic extremists in Montreal, reports filed as evidence say. Ahmed Ressam, convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport, told CSIS agents that Charkaoui was present at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in 1998, the documents say. Charkaoui said he was attending Islamic schools in Pakistan at the time.
Ahmed Ressam was convicted in 2001 for a 1999 plot to blow up the Los Angeles International Airport. He was caught attempting to the enter the U.S. through a port in Washington state with explosives in the trunk of his rental car.
Ressam also identified al Qaeda linked Zacarias Moussaoui as an individual he trained with in Afghanistan. Moussaoui pled guilty to a charge of conspiring to kill citizens of the United States as part of the September 11 2001 al Qaeda terrorist attacks.
Based on past information obtained, Charkaoui should certainly be looked at, but additional activities/personnel at the junior college need to be heavily scrutinized as well.