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Refugees , immigration and terror in the U.S.

In the wake of the [2013] 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:

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.

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VIDEO: America or Somalia – you might be surprised

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.

Immigration – an Islamist social tactic?

The following opinion piece provides some interesting “food for thought” in regards to current events impacting the Middle East and Europe, particularly the flood of refugees from North Africa.    In the U.S., similar concerns have been voiced regarding refugee immigrants as we reported in  Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?.  

Some view these concerns as being far fetched conspiracy theories promoting bigotry and are simply dismissed as Islamophobia.  Others point to the social problems affecting some European nations that have experienced an influx of  Muslim immigrant populations attracted by liberal social programs.

Islam lies in wait for Europe

From: Israel Hayom
By: Dr. Ephraim Herrera, May 21, 2015

The demographic trends are clear: Europe is committing suicide. The fertility rate to maintain a country’s population, known as the replacement rate, is generally considered to be 2.1 births per woman. The average fertility rate in Europe is 1.6. In Germany and Italy, it is 1.4. To increase its population, Europe has let in immigrants, to the point that they comprise some 10 percent of the population in Spain, the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany. In Austria, their proportion is 15 percent.

A significant number of those immigrants are Muslim. They hail from the lower rungs of society in their countries of origin and decided to leave in search of a life of comfort in the West.

But the influx of millions of immigrants from Asia and Africa is more than just about their socio-economic plight. Islamic thinkers have tried to capitalize on this wave. Although these thinkers are still lying in wait, they hope they can eventually use the immigrants as a means of conquering Europe. This strategy has been propagated by Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi for the past 30 years. Qaradawi has tremendous clout in the Sunni Arab world, to the point that his rulings are considered authoritative by the Muslim Brotherhood. The strategy is terribly simple: Tap into the local Muslim community and lure its teens to the “real” Islam, then go up the rungs of power in the major parties and seize the reins of government through the democratic process.

Rest of Article: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=12655

Study: 2.5 million Muslim Immigrants in US

While the report makes no mention of refugee programs, the overall increase in Middle East/Muslim  immigrants correlates with refugee resettlement numbers and time periods.

In “Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west? ” we highlighted the fact that since 2008 there has been a marked increase of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries.   This week Matthew Boyle of Breitbart reports:

Approximately 2.5 million immigrants from “predominantly Muslim countries” reside inside the U.S. right now, a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies found.

The four-page report, which details which countries and world regions from which immigrants in the U.S.—both legal and illegal—came to this country, found that since 2000 nearly a million more immigrants from such Muslim countries came to the U.S.

In 2000, there were 1,518,755 immigrants from Muslim countries in the U.S. In 2010, That number stood at 2,184,664, and in 2013 it stands at 2,480,407.

Between 2010 and 2013, there was actually a greater increase in the number of immigrants from the Middle East than from Central America. During that timeframe, 207,758 more immigrants moved to the U.S. from the Middle East, whereas only 113,744 immigrants came from Central America.

Full article: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/09/24/Report-Nearly-2-5-Million-Immigrants-From-Predominantly-Muslim-Countries-Reside-Inside-U-S-Right-Now

The Breibart report focuses on overall  immigration.  While the report makes no mention of refugee programs, the overall increase in Middle East/Muslim  immigrants correlates with refugee resettlement numbers and time periods.  As we noted in our earlier report: 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.

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COMMENT: The cited report link provided by Breibart appears to be missing some of the original content. (i.e. page 2 starts in the middle of a bullet paragraph that does not match the ending paragraph from page 1.)  The complete report can be viewed HERE.

Germany cracks downs on Islamic State supporters

Germany criminalises all support for ISIL

As a followup to our coverage of the Sharia Police story out of Germany,  it is now reported that Berlin has just instituted measures banning all support for ISIS/IS (the Islamic State) on German soil.

According to a report by euronews.com:

The measures prohibit all fund raising and campaigning, including any online support or public use of their symbols.

The Netherlands is the only other European nation to have introduced similar legislation.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas De Maiziere outlined why such steps were necessary:

“The terrorist organisation Islamic State is a threat, also for Germany’s public safety. We must prevent radicalised Islamists from carrying jihad to our cities.”

The article makes mention that the Sharia Police incident caused “alarm bells” and Berlin is concerned about  radicalized German citizens returning from Syria and Iraq.  The full article can be viewed HERE.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  As we pointed out in our followup to the Sharia Police story, Germany will not tolerate the level of  activity seen in other European nations and the U.K.   The memory of World War II and the events that led up to it  are permanent reminders of the tragic results of allowing any type of radical or extremist movements to go unchecked.   The Salafist threat, while representing a small fraction of the country’s Muslim population has increased over the last few years.  As noted in a report we highlighted last year,  “… authorities are concerned that most of those attracted to Salafi ideology are impressionable young Muslims who are especially susceptible to committing suicide attacks in the name of Islam.”

The EU is about to see an increase in Muslim immigration as result of the turmoil in the Middle East and it will bring with it, increased support for Islamist ideology.  Most will likely settle in Sweden or Norway – countries that offer more liberal asylum laws and welfare programs. 

The real enemy within: Rotherham, grooming gangs and the UK

A commentary by Pat Condell in response to reports of gang rapes of female children by Pakistani Muslims in the UK.

 

1400 cases of “appalling” sexual exploitation revealed in UK report
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/28/wor…

Rotherham child abuse investigator “had data stolen”
http://www.theguardian.com/society/20…

Police would not investigate for fear of breaching victim’s human rights
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew…

Rotherham police tried to disprove victims
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew…

UK police arrested parents trying to stop their children being raped
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgre…

Rotherham victims had their babies taken away
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/…

Rotherham child abusers “brazen”, says care home worker
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-…

Child abuse campaigner: Rotherham scandal is part of a “vastly wider issue”
http://www.theguardian.com/society/20…

Rotherham is not an isolated incident, says MP
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew…

The head of children’s services in Rotherham attempts to pass the buck
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic…

Rotherham’s Joyce Thacker follows Common Purpose’s progressive agenda
http://order-order.com/2012/11/24/pro…

Rotherham Council spent thousands of pounds on Common Purpose training for staff
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reques…

Common Purpose
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_P…

A secret society?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7929210…

RECOMMENDED: Interview of Ann Corcoran – Refugee Resettlement Watch

This month the dailycaller.com features Ann Corcoran, the person behind the website Refugee Resettlement Watch.  Interviewed by Ginni Thomas, Corcoran explains how U.S. resettlement programs have grown over the years, transforming the face of communities across the nation – not always for the better.  From the dailycaller.com:

In this 22 minute video interview, Corcoran discusses what might surprise most citizens about this federal program. Specifically, she discusses how church groups are being paid lucratively — by refugee — to do charitable work, the U.N.’s dominant role in our refugee program and the lack of substantive consultation with states and cities about these immigrants.

With all the persecution of Christians going on in the world today, you would think the largest Christian contractor would ask the government to only allow Christians for a time period. Yet, Corcoran says she was “shocked to hear the representative for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops testify at the State Department for more Burmese Muslims next year.”

Last month we mentioned Refugee Resettlement Watch in our report, Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?.  One of the issues we highlighted: since the Obama administration took office (2008),  the number of refugees coming from predominately Muslim countries have increased to over 50%  of the total admissions per year.   In hard numbers that is 35,000+ out of a total target number of 70,000 . This increase is projected to be even higher in the coming years, due primarily to the unrest and fighting in the Middle East.

RELATED:  the Vermont bacon ad controversy and the Muslim refugee population in Chittenden County, VT.

U.S. Jihadis -Discounting the San Diego terror connection

Latest news reports are focusing on the Minneapolis connection between Douglas McCain and Abdiraaman Muhumed, the two Americans reported as being killed while fighting with ISIS/IS (Islamic State) in Syria.  With the large Somali presence in the Twin Cities, an active Al-Shabab terror group is almost a certainty and part of the jihadi recruitment efforts.  In February 2012, Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda announced a merger of the two groups providing a conduit to recruitment for ISIS/IS.

McCain had lived in San Diego and at this point,  few reports have picked up on his ties to one of the city’s mosques or past Islamist activity. From Breibart:

SAN DIEGO, California — American citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain, recently killed in Syria after reportedly fighting alongside ISIS militants, has been at the center of new concerns over home-grown terrorists in the United States. McCain lived for years in San Diego, a city now identified as a hotbed for Islamic terror in the U.S.

While in San Diego, McCain reportedly attended San Diego City College; worked at the Somali restaurant, African Spice; and was connected with Masjid Nur, a mosque located in a highly Somali area of east San Diego, according to NBC news, citing a source familiar with McCain. San Diego’s 10 News has also reported McCain as connected to this mosque.

Breitbart News visited Masjid Nur the day details surrounding McCain’s death broke in the news. Men dressed in traditional attire were observed congregating and vigorously conversing in the street, just outside the building’s front gate. After taking note of this reporter, the men outside the mosque quickly dispersed.

Masjid Nur is also known as the Islamic Association & Foundation Of San Diego,  located at 3872 50th Street, San Diego, CA  

A local San Diego Fox affliate reporting on Masjid Nur, made mention of another American Al-Shabaab recruit from San Diego – Jehad Serwan Mostafa :

“Overtime they’re radicalized and that can happen at schools, it can happen in prisons, it can happen at mosques,” said FBI special agent Darrell Foxworth.

A multi-agency task force is constantly looking for leads and tips to prevent terrorist activity in San Diego, but Foxworth won’t confirm nor deny if they are in fact investigating this mosque.

The FBI is currently looking for another man fighting alongside terrorists who also lived in San Diego.

Jehad Mostafa is on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list and is accused of aiding Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab.

Mostafa joined Al-Shabaab when he moved from San Diego to Somalia in 2005.  His reported terrorist activities include performing, “various functions for al-Shabaab, including acting as a training camp instructor and a leader of foreign fighters. He is also skilled in the group’s media activities.”  Mostafa attended the  Islamic Center of San Diego in Kearny Mesa.

Anwar Al-Awlaki, a planner for Al-Qaeda terror operations, served as imam at the Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami –  a Sunni mosque in San Diego, California,  from 1996 to 2000.  He was behind two failed terror plots against the United States before he was killed in 2011.  Two of the 9/11/2001 hijackers were reported to have attended this mosque in 2000.

Related Stories:

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS: While Minneapolis weighs in heavily with the number of incidents involving Americans being recruited as Islamic jihadists, the San Diego ties should be a reminder that other U.S. locales are involved.  In 2013, we reported on terror recruits out of Alabama.  As American intelligence and law enforcement efforts start to focus on Americans being recruited for jihad, expect more news reports from cities that have become destinations for the increasing number of Muslim refugees.   American Islamic special interest groups (i.e. CAIR, MPAC, etc.) are most likely getting primed to claim increased Muslim persecution as well as play the race card as it pertains to Somali blacks.

FOLLOWUP II: Vermont Bacon Ad – behind the pork

  The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.

We indicated in our original report  that a quick search did not disclose a mosque/masjid or Islamic center in the town of Winooski.   A 2010 census indicated the city population was 7,267.  Several days later, Peter Wilson wrote in the American Thinker:

Unfortunately, Winooski is home to a number of Muslims whose religion teaches them that pigs are filthy animals. Like Jules in “Pulp Fiction,” they do not dig on swine.

Winooski’s Muslim population is mainly Somali Bantus, originally black Africans from southeast Africa, brought north by Arab slave traders (but that’s another story). Many Bantus fled to Kenya during the Black Hawk Down period of anarchy in the early 1990s, and in 1999, the United States admitted 12,000 as refugees.

According to the Burlington Free Press, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program resettled the majority of Somali refugees in Winooski, which has “a large number of relatively inexpensive rental units near jobs and public transit.”  In 2009, “About a third of the students in the Winooski public-school system [were] English language learners… up from about 20 percent of the student population four years ago.” Note that ten years after their arrival, the refugees’ children remain “English language learners.”

 A more detailed search on our end disclosed the following:

Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont, Inc.
325 Main Street, Suite 8
Winooski, VT 05404
www.somalibantuvermont.org

Islamic Society of Vermont
Suite 1, 182 Hegeman Ave
Colchester, VT 05446
www.isvt.org

Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
462 Hegeman Ave, Suite 101
Colchester, VT 05446
www.refugees.org

While Wilson’s article focuses on Somali refugees, the area’s Muslim population is more diverse.  The town of Colchester is about 5 miles north of Winooski, VT and is the location of the Islamic Society of Vermont and the  Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.   According to a 2014 news report, there are about 3,200 Muslims living in Vermont, many being refugees from  Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and Syria.    Most arrived under U.S. resettlement programs and reside in Chittenden County, VT.  This county  includes the cities of  Colchester, Winooski, as well as Burlington – the state’s largest city.

Vermont media coverage of the state’s growing Muslim population tends to have a positive spin, usually focusing on cultural diversity.  There have been a few exceptions: 

• Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington (a naturalized U.S. citizen) is currently facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery. The Burlington Free Press reported:

A Bosnian war crimes suspect living in Burlington has been accused of trying to bribe people in his homeland who witnessed what he allegedly did, federal prosecutors in Vermont say in a new court filing.

“The government has been informed by some of its Bosnian witnesses that defendant attempted to bribe witnesses through intermediaries for testimony favorable to the defendant,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles and Matthew Singer, a senior federal trial attorney in Washington D.C. claim in a motion filed with U.S. District Court in Vermont last week.

Edin Sakoc, 54, is facing charges he lied to immigration officials by denying, when he entered the United States in 2001 as a refugee, that he committed any crimes while in Bosnia.

He also allegedly repeated the lie in 2007 when he applied to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. If found guilty, he could be deported. Sakoc has pleaded not to the charges.

According to court filings, Sakoc raped a Bosnian Serb woman in July 1992, aided in the murders of two elderly men who were under her care and set fire to their family home.

• In 2010 Ali Abdi, a Somali refugee residing in Burlington, was convicted of sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl. Of note is that part of his defense was based on having a “different cultural background”.  According to www.wcax.com:

Ali Abdi was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years to life in prison for sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl, despite pleas to the judge from two of his children.

Abdi had taken off during his trial, and was captured out of state. The jury was not told he ran away. He was convicted.

Abdi’s lawyer argued that the case has to be viewed as different from others, because Abdi comes from a different cultural background– he is a Somali Bantu. His lawyer, Erik Smart, told the judge that Abdi fled Somalia and spent 13 years in a refugee camp before arriving in Burlington. Smart says the Somali Bantu community has forgiven Abdi.

“I would venture to say this community views this crime differently than our own community would,” Smart told the court.

Following an appeal, in 2012 a new trial was ordered for Adbi because the Vermont Supreme Court opined that, “a juror might have been influenced by information about Somali culture he found on the Internet.”

•  A 2012 article in Seven Days Vermont reported that despite  being listed as one of the “safest cities in America”, crime is increasing in the city of Burlington, VT.  One of the instances cited:

In one case, a 24-year-old Somali immigrant was robbed and stabbed by his alleged accomplices over their share of the loot from a series of thefts. On August 19, Ahmed Hirmoge stumbled into the Champlain Farms at South Winooski Avenue and Main Street at 4:20 a.m., bloodied from stab wounds. He told the clerk someone had “jumped” him behind the convenience store and took his cellphone, bicycle, leather jacket and $130 in cash.

According to police, Hirmoge said he knew the guys who robbed him: They were all breaking into cars the weekend before and scattered when a Burlington police cruiser rolled by. Hirmoge told police he went to the gas station to “get a drink” and ran into his cohorts there, who collected their share of the “proceeds” by force.

Within hours, police had arrested two teenagers for assault and robbery: Connor Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old high school senior from South Burlington with a tattoo on his neck that reads “wild boy”; and Tam Mai, a 16-year-old with a criminal record that began when he was just 10.

 

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:   As we previously reported,  since 2008, refugees from predominately Muslim countries have accounted  for over 50 percent of refugee admissions to the U.S. each year.  Emergency allocation increases are being requested based on the current situation in Syria and Iraq.  It would be a safe assumption that  Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program will be handling a share of the future influx of refugees, placing them in the Chittenden County, VT area.  The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.

Austria’s jihadis – another day late and euro short

… embracing political correctness and liberal delusions of multiculturalism have overshadowed any inkling of common sense in safeguarding domestic interests.  The wake-up call may be too late.

(thanks to counterjihadreport.com  for highlighting the below referenced Gatestone article)

It was reported last week that Austrian authorities arrested  a group of Chechen immigrants on suspicion of planning to join Islamist militant groups in Syria.  A Gatestone Institute article, Austria: Springboard for Global Jihad by Soeren Kern indicates:

The Austrian government has announced plans to improve its intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities in an urgent effort to crack down on would-be jihadists in the country.

The decision by Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner to recruit 20 new intelligence officers to focus exclusively on the threat posed by radical Islam comes after police in Austria arrested nine Chechen immigrants who were on their way to wage jihad in Syria.

The move also comes amid growing concerns that Austria’s shiftless Muslim youth are becoming increasingly radicalized and vocal in their support of the jihadist group Islamic State.

The Chechens—eight men and one woman, ranging in age from 17 to 32—were purportedly planning to travel to Syria over a land route that would take them from Austria through the neighboring Balkans and on into Turkey. Four of the individuals were arrested in the southeastern Austrian province of Styria, and five others were detained in the province of Carinthia. Both provinces border Slovenia.

According to an analysis published by the newspaper Der Standard, Austria has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria because Austria’s geographic location provides easy access to land routes through the Balkans.

Austrian intelligence officials say that most of the 130 Austrians who are thought to have travelled to Syria are Chechens. The rest are immigrants from Bosnia, Kosovo and Turkey. Approximately 60 Austrian jihadists are currently on the front lines, 50 have already returned to Austria and 20 have been killed in action.

Austria’s concerns are also focused on returning jihadists.  In a June 2014 report (translation from Gatestone), the Austrian intelligence agency BVT states:

When fighters return from the warzone, their newly acquired combat skills, traumatic experiences and changes in behavior, plus the possibility that they have become highly radicalized, represent a considerable security risk for Austria. Those who return could become involved in proselytizing activities as well as in establishing new radical centers in which they could serve as instructors. Potential terrorist attacks could be perpetrated by so-called lone wolves but also by organized terrorist groups.

The Gatestone article  further cites from the BVT report:

The number of young radicalized followers of violent Salafism in Austria continues to rise. In this context, the conflict in Syria is of urgent relevance for Austria, because systematic efforts are being made within Austria to radicalize and recruit people for the war in Syria.

The conflict in Syria has become very popular among violent extremist Salafists in Austria. The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist.

So-called hate preachers can have a decisive influence on the radicalization and recruiting processes by means of ideological and personal indoctrination. Jihad is offered as the only adequate means to solving disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims. In Austria, this targeted manipulation is achieved through conspiratorial performances by charismatic leaders. Young Muslims, who are seeking alternative perspectives due to life crises, are often submissive victims to these ‘radicalizers’ and ‘recruiters’ and are often fascinated by the prospect of armed jihad.

Austrian concern over Salafism with young Muslims is apparently compounded by the increasing Muslim enrollment in public schools – a pattern that is being reflected in many European countries.  According to Kern:

Muslim students already outnumber Roman Catholic students at middle and secondary schools in Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria, according to statistics compiled by the Vienna Board of Education (Stadtschulrat für Wien) and published by Radio Vatican website in March 2014.

The data—which show that Muslim students are also on the verge of overtaking Catholics in Viennese elementary schools—reflect an established trend and provide empirical evidence of a massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country.

In the current school year, 10,734 Muslim students are enrolled in Viennese middle and secondary schools, compared to 8,632 Roman Catholic students, 4,259 Serbian Orthodox students and 3,219 students with “no religious persuasion,” the data shows.

As far as elementary schools are concerned, there are 23,807 Roman Catholic students, followed by 17,913 Muslim students, 11,119 “non-religious” students, 6,083 Serbian Orthodox students and 2,322 Protestants.

Additional indications of the growing threat facing Austria include reports of ISIS/IS  “Fan Clubs”  and jihadi promotional attire  seen  worn around Vienna.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS: As with the U.K., Austrian officials have been well aware of the domestic threats Islamists pose for some time with very little proactive actions to date.  Unfortunately, embracing political correctness and liberal delusions of multiculturalism have overshadowed any inkling of common sense in safeguarding domestic interests.  The wake-up call may be too late.    Another example: France

 

 

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