Tag Archive | Obama administration

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.

The Khorosan Group: Fighting a “made up” enemy?

It’s a fictitious name the Obama administration invented to deceive us.

From: National Review Online
By
Andrew C. McCarthy, September 27, 2014

We’re being had. Again.

For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.

Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.

Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group. 

The who?

Full Article: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388990/khorosan-group-does-not-exist-andrew-c-mccarthy

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  We had the same reaction … who?  Never heard of them.  Some talk show “experts” /talking heads/administration sources are even claiming that they’ve been monitoring the group for a long time.  Doubtful.  Some quick checks:

  •   A Wikipedia check showed entries and sources no older than September 2014
  •  The group is not listed by the Dept of State as a designated terrorist organization
  •  The group’s reported leader, Muhsin al-Fadhli is listed on the National Counter-terrorism website as part of  al-Qaeda but no mention of  a Khorosan/Khurasan Group.

Rita Katz of of the SITE Intelligence Group wrote recently on her blog:

In the last two days, Washington, along with various media outlets, have been reporting on the “Khurasan Group,” a shadowy terrorist cell in Syria in its later stages of an attack plot against an unspecified Western target(s). It seemed to come out of nowhere; America, in launching what has been specifically branded as a war on the Islamic State (IS), claims a victorious aerial attack against a group no one has ever heard of.

The truth, however, is that virtually everyone around the world has heard about this group, more likely by its other name: al-Qaeda (AQ).

The bottom line is that the Obama administration claimed to have decimated al-Qaeda – but it didn’t.  Instead of admitting they were wrong, they came up with a new name.  Unfortunately facts do not support the narrative – a common trend with this administration.   One can only wonder what the cost will be for this attempt to save face.

DOJ announces new counter-Violent Extremism programs – cue MPAC

It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of MPAC’s new campaign push for Safe Spaces and the American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference

Attorney General Eric Holder (AP File Photo)

In a video message posted on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ is joining with the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center to ” launch a new series of pilot programs in cities across the nation to help counter violent extremism.”   According to Holder, ” These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States Attorneys to improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and — ultimately — to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe.”

A complete text of the message can be read HERE

Susan Jones of CNSNews.com reported:

Holder said the administration “will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country.”

He noted that since 2012, U.S. attorneys have held or attended more than 1,700 “engagement-related events or meetings to enhance trust and facilitate communication in their neighborhoods and districts.” The new pilot programs will build on that work, he said.

Holder also announced that the White House plans to host a “Countering Violent Extremism” summit in October.

Holder did not mention Islam or Muslims, and he used the phrase “violent extremism” to describe the “urgent” threat that the nation faces.

Josh Gerstein wrote on Politico.com:

The U.S. Government’s current efforts to stem terrorist recruitment and so-called “lone wolf” attacks by people receptive to extremist rhetoric have been criticized for being unfocused and underfunded. In addition, many experts have questioned whether U.S. Attorneys—the top federal prosecutors in various communities—are best-suited to lead the government’s anti-extremism campaign.

Many leaders in the Muslim community are reluctant to work with prosecutors because of deep concern over Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operations used to target potential terrorists. However, efforts in the U.S. to use means other than traditional law enforcement to intervene with individuals susceptible to extremist messages have been few, due to concerns about civil liberties as well as fears about what could happen if that kind of intervention failed in a specific case.

Holder’s statement Monday seemed to acknowledge some of those concerns. While the outreach efforts are expected to focus primarily on communities with large Muslim populations, his video message made no reference to the religion aside from his use of the acronym for the terrorist group which has grabbed attention for its brutal tactics assembling territory across Syria and Iraq.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  Expect to see many of the names we mentioned in MPAC’s Safe Spaces: the Trojan Horse Continues to be involved with these new programs.  It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of  MPAC’s renewed campaign push for Safe Spaces and the ADAMS sponsored American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference.   MPAC and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) have been tied to elements of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

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.

Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?

… 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 …

Refugee Resettlement Watch recently reported on a letter written in a New Hampshire newspaper warning of a planned resettlement of Congolese refugees to Dover, ME. The letter referenced issues involving resettlement of Somali refugees to Lewiston, ME.

 

North of Portand, Lewiston is the second largest city in Maine and has a population of roughly 36,500 people.  Since 2001,  Somali refugees have been settling in Lewiston (and the surrounding town of Auburn) with numbers estimated at over 4,000 living in the Lewiston-Auburn area.  A small percentage originated as direct placements through Federal refugee programs.  The rest are part of secondary migration from other areas in the United States, primarily from Atlanta, GA.  The main attraction appears to be Maine’s generous welfare system. 

 Welfare fraud seems to be a common occurrence where Somali refugees are concentrated. 

Some media reports would leave readers to believe that all is well.  A 2009 Newsweek article claims that Somali immigrants actually saved Lewiston.    This may not be the case.  Federal officials have had to address the concerns of Lewiston officials, as well as other cities, over the social impact and financial drains posed by the refugees.

Somalis are but a portion of Muslim refugees resettling in the United States.  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.

Europe has been facing serious cultural clashes involving Islamists and we’ve reported on a number of issues facing the U.K..  The United States is far from immune.  With the increased threats posed by the ISIS/IS Caliphate. the logic in increasing Middle East refugee allotments seems almost self-destructive.

U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Likely Influenced Senate Defense Bill

The Panama City Florida connections suggests a significant U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leadership element still operating in that area.

A recent report in the Al-Monitor advised that Syrian opposition lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill  were “paying off”. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) now, “authorizes the Secretary of Defense to provide equipment, training, supplies, and defense services to assist vetted members of the Syrian opposition.”

According to the article:

“This is a momentous occasion,” Syrian National Coalition (SNC) adviser Oubai Shahbandar told Al-Monitor. “This is the first stop in clearly defining the convergence of American national security interests with strengthening the Free Syrian Army [FSA], which is actively fighting al-Qaeda and actively fighting Iranian-backed international terrorist forces in Syria.”

The details of the aid were not clear at the time the article was written.

The lobbying efforts mentioned come from a variety of Syrian special interest groups with strong U.S. Muslim Brotherhood ties:

National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces – This group includes the Syrian National Coalition as well as representatives of the  Muslim Brotherhood controlled, Syrian National Council including Syrian-American Louay Safi.  The U.S. lead representative is Najib Ghadbian. Ghadbian has been identified as having U.S. Muslim Brotherhood ties  through his membership with the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID) in Washington, DC, and the Syrian American Council (see below).

Syrian Support Group (SSG) – The group is licensed by the U.S. Government to provide a range of aid and support to moderate opposition in Syria.  According to a report by  The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW), SSG Chairman Mazen Asbahi has numerous ties to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups – strong enough to cause him to resign from then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.  SSG Vice-Chairman Majd Abbar is reported by the Clarion Project to be associated with the Qatar Foundation, a group closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Syrian American Council (SAC) – One of the largest American based Syrian lobbying organizations. It’s president is Talal Sunbulli.  Sunbulli is listed as the Syrian coordinator in the international phone book of Muslim Brotherhood members seized by federal investigators during the Holy Land Foundation investigation.  SAC’s chairman, Hussam Ayloush, is the executive director of CAIR California.   SAC Board member Mohammed Nahas (Dr. Mohammad N. Al-Nahhas)  is a former board member of the Bay County Islamic Society (BCIS)**

Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF)composed of  Syrian American professionals from across the United States.  SETF Director Mouaz Moustafa facilitated Sen. John McCain’s May 2013 trip to Syria.  The GMBDW reported that  of seven board members named, four are known to have a history of close ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood.    SETF Board member Dr. Hashem Mubarak served as a past president of the  Bay County Islamic Society (BCIS)**

** the Bay County Islamic Society (BCIS) was part of the US Muslim Brotherhood network established in Panama City, Florida by the late and former head of the US Muslim Brotherhood Ahmed Elkadi

In addition to the two doctors mentioned above, Panama City, Florida is home to Syrian-born Dr. Yahia Rahim (Y. Abdul-Raheem), identified as the economic head of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood from documents seized during the Holy Land Foundation investigation.  As previously reported by Cultural Jihad, Dr. Rahim  is currently listed as the NAIT contact for the Bay County Islamic Society and is a director of the the Panama City Advanced School Corporation.  The school’s head, Rashid Karaman (Qurman), was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, attachment A, part III, no. 46.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:   The Panama City Florida connections suggests a significant U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leadership element still operating in that area.  As reported here, Tampa’s OakTree Institute,  another Brotherhood affiliated group, also has a BCIS  member on it’s Board of Directors – Ahmed Abobaker Mohamed.  It would be a safe assumption that the above groups will have significant input with the vetting of Syrian opposition members receiving assistance under the NDAA.


 

Nat Intel Misled Congress? Maybe not …

The irony in all this?  The established relationship
with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities
on February 2011 was actually with Congress …

In a recent Clarion article, Ryan Mauro presented  details how National Intelligence Director James Clapper misled Congress about Muslim Brotherhood contacts.   The piece begins with …

Newly declassified documents obtained by the Clarion Project show that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) misled members of Congress in 2012 about its involvement with Muslim Brotherhood-linked entities.

Further, the documents show that there were even a number of internal communications within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence expressing concerns about the Brotherhood links of these entities.

The story of the deception began when the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified to Congress on February 10, 2011 saying that the Muslim Brotherhood is “a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has described Al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”

In the same hearing, Clapper was asked by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) about the administration’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. He answered, “There have been outreaches to the Muslim community in general, but I guess we’re not aware of any direct outreach to these particular organizations. That is, if you’re speaking domestically.”

While deception is definitely a concern, it should be noted that the keepers of our nation’s secrets tend to not be very forthcoming when testifying in open session.  In the above referenced testimony, those testifying clarified that they would provide additional details in closed session. 

Moving to a closed session is usually based on protecting  intel source collection or even  “black” program details.   It’s simply the nature of most agency directors handling classified programs to be cautious in open committee.  Some come off well polished … others not so much.  James Clapper’s various public appearances do not instill a very high level of confidence and he definitely falls into the latter category.

For example:

  • In December 2010, during an ABC interview Mr. Clapper was asked a question about a recent,  very high-profile terror arrest in London. He had no idea it occurred.
  • on March 12, 2013, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing  Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked  Mr. Clapper if the NSA gathers “any type of data at all on millions of Americans.”  His reply was, “No, sir … Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”   This statement glaringly conflicts with  the leaks made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
  • In Jun 2013,  Mr. Clapper attempted to clarify his response to Sen. Wyden during a NBC interview  advising that he was trying to answer in the “least untruthful” manner possible.  To add to the story, Sen. Wyden stated that he had sent his questions to Mr. Clapper a day in advance so that a proper answer could be provided.

There is little debate that Mr. Clapper’s track record in front of the camera leaves much to be desired. 

To Clapper’s credit, the Clarion article by Mr. Mauro focuses on the director’s testimony of February 2011, yet the featured declassified documents reference  meetings with Muslim Brotherhood (MB) groups in 2012.   Additionally, the heavily redacted emails from prior to 2011, appear to be internal memos related to collections activity and the possibility of “engagement”  with individuals that are MB members.  Since the documents refer to meetings a year after the testimony, there’s little, if any, evidence being presented in the Clarion article that supports an established relationship  with Muslim Brotherhood-linked entities for the February 2011 time frame.  

Keep in mind that at the time of Clapper’s testimony,  it had been several years since the FBI “officially” cut ties with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

In all fairness, the Clarion article did mention ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid but this was in regards to an ODNI  meeting in 2012 – a year after Clapper’s 2011 Congressional testimony.   A more relevant item would have been  Magid’s 2010 appointment to the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group,  however this affiliation simply lists Magid as Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society.

It should be mentioned why Director Clapper may have been somewhat evasive with his answers – events in Libya …

The Libyan civil war had kicked off during the same week of the Congressional testimony and plans called for the U.S. backed National Transitional Council of Libya to take control.   The two University of Alabama college professors, Abdurrahim El-Keib and Mustafa A.G. Abushagur, that headed the interim government in late 2011 were most likely vetted through MB leaders in the U.S.  An arrangement that was firmed up around the the time of the creation of the Libyan Council of North America in April 2011.

So did Director Clapper mislead Congress?  The Clarion documentation misses the timeline and it is not known what information was discussed in the closed session(s).   It’s tough to give a firm yes or no.

The irony in all this?  The established relationship with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities on February 2011 was actually with Congress and MB’s “point man” Mouaz Moustafa.  Moustafa had been a congressional staffer since 2008 and a member of  the now defunct, Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA).  He  became director of the Libyan Council of North America in may 2011.

Moustafa was recently involved in Senator McCain’s support efforts with Syria.  He is now the Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF).  A Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch report details SETF ties to U.S. MB groups.

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