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Al-Shabab Aims to Turn Jihad in Somalia into Nationalist War Against Kenya

by Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin

Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based terrorist group, appears to have adopted a new strategy to turn its Islamist war into a nationalist conflict targeting Kenya. Following al-Shabab’s military setbacks at the hands of African Union Mission Somalia (AMSOM) troops deployed to Somalia, the group’s operations may have shifted from tactical battles to spectacular acts of terror against Kenyan civilians.

Al-Shabab has been responsible for several recent operations inside Kenya that have commanded the attention of the world’s media. These terrorist spectaculars have included among others, the Westgate Mall slaughter of September, 2013; the killing of bus passengers in the Mandera District of the Northern Province in November, 2014; the assassination of quarry workers near Koromey township on 2 December 2014; and the mass murder of students in the area’s Garissa District in early April of this year. [Read more...]

The Georgraphy of Jihad: The Role of Missile Terrorism

by Peter Huessy

isis-militants-iraq terroristIn 2012, Robert Kaplan wrote in the “The Revenge of Geography” that countries of the “Heartland” and “Rimland”, stretching from North Korea southward through South Asia and into the Middle East were locked into a “deathly geographical embrace of overlapping missile ranges” as they seek to bolster their military capability by building long range rockets capable of coercing, terrorizing or blackmailing their neighbors. [ (1) “Kaplan Elevates the Place” by Alan Cate, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, on September 18, 2012.]

Missiles Everywhere

In the past year, we have seen Hamas, an agent of Iran, try a new kind of diplomacy, if you will, while launching over 4500 rockets at Israel. [ (2) “The hidden intelligence agendas behind Hamas’ 1,000-rocket barrage”, July 14, 2014 DEBKAfile, Exclusive Report.] [Read more...]

To Call This Threat by Its Name

By Marine Le Pen     •     The New York Times

Syria Muslim Brotherhood Al-Qaeda“To misname things is to add to the world’s unhappiness.” Whether or not Albert Camus really did utter these words, they are an astonishingly apt description of the situation in which the French government now finds itself. Indeed, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius no longer even dares pronounce the real name of things.

Mr. Fabius will not describe as “Islamists” the terrorists who on Wednesday, Jan. 7, walked into the offices of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, right in the heart of Paris. Nor will he use “Islamic State” to describe the radical Sunni group that now controls territory in Syria and Iraq. No reference can be made to “Islamic fundamentalism,” for fear that Islam and Islamism might get conflated. The terms “Daesh” and “Daesh cutthroats” are to be favored instead, even though in Arabic “Daesh” means the very thing to be hidden: “Islamic State.”By Marine Le Pen     •     The New York Times

Syria Muslim Brotherhood Al-Qaeda“To misname things is to add to the world’s unhappiness.” Whether or not Albert Camus really did utter these words, they are an astonishingly apt description of the situation in which the French government now finds itself. Indeed, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius no longer even dares pronounce the real name of things.

Mr. Fabius will not describe as “Islamists” the terrorists who on Wednesday, Jan. 7, walked into the offices of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, right in the heart of Paris. Nor will he use “Islamic State” to describe the radical Sunni group that now controls territory in Syria and Iraq. No reference can be made to “Islamic fundamentalism,” for fear that Islam and Islamism might get conflated. The terms “Daesh” and “Daesh cutthroats” are to be favored instead, even though in Arabic “Daesh” means the very thing to be hidden: “Islamic State.” [Read more...]

Obama: Charlie Who?

by Charles Krauthammer     •     The Washington Post

Obama 102On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.”

Again? Already? Had not 4 million marchers and 44 foreign leaders just turned out on the streets of France to declare “No” to intimidation, and pledging solidarity, indeed identification (“Je suis Charlie”) with a satirical weekly specializing in the most outrageous and often tasteless portrayals of Muhammad? [Read more...]

Cyber Terrorism is Terrorism

by George Landrith  US Flag Korea  

The White House has called the North Korean cyber-attack on Sony an act of vandalism. This entirely misses the point. Vandalism is typically limited to relatively minor property damage. This attack was not merely a teenager spray painting the side of an old building. This was not merely some college-aged nerd sitting in his dimly lit bedroom in the basement of his parent’s house trying to hack into someone’s website. Yet, the administration appears to be treating it lightly. [Read more...]

How to fight the lone wolf

by Charles Krauthammer    •    Washington Post isis-militants-iraq terrorist

The lone wolf is the new nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important.

The real terrorists are rational. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, had been functioning as an Army doctor for years. Psychotics cannot carry that off. Hasan even had a business card listing his occupation as SoA (Soldier of Allah). He then went out and, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” shot dead 13 people, 12 of them fellow soldiers. To this day, Hasan speaks coherently and proudly of the massacre. That’s terrorism. [Read more...]

Taliban and ISIS sink to ever newer levels of atrocities

terrorismThe extremists are copying Islamic State’s terror strategy

By H.D.S. Greenway  •   The Boston Globe

It is a sad fact of modern life that homicidally inclined extremists feel they have to compete in frightfulness. It is no longer enough to just kill people in twos and threes. Terrorist outrages have to be evermore spectacular in the post-9/11 age. The attack this week on an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed 145, most of them children, takes atrocity to a new level for the Taliban, which is no doubt a reason why it did it.

The Taliban has said that the attack is an act of revenge for army operations in nearby Waziristan. But there are likely other reasons for the massacre.

The Taliban has been deeply impressed with the successes of the Islamic State, which now controls great swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria. Extremists are trying to match the Islamic State’s level of atrocities. Sadly, the very awfulness of its deeds is part of its recruiting appeal. [Read more...]

Sen. Feinstein lives up to Rolling Stone’s standards

by Marc A. Thiessen     •     Washington Post

Feinstein Brennan CIA SpyingRolling Stone magazine has faced nearly unanimous condemnation for publishing serious accusations without bothering to interview those it accused to check the facts and get their side of the story.

So why is it wrong for Rolling Stone to do this, but okay for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)?

Feinstein and Senate intelligence committee Democrats just spent six years and $40 million investigating the CIA’s rendition and interrogation program. Surely they took the time to sit down with the CIA officials who ran the program, present the committee’s findings and ask officials to explain their version of events, right?

Wrong. [Read more...]

A Travesty of a Report

by Charles Krauthammer     •     Washington Post

CIAThe report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein appears to offer some extenuation when she reminds us in the report’s preamble of the shock and “pervasive fear” felt after 9/11.

It’s a common theme (often echoed by President Obama): Amid panic and disorientation, we lost our moral compass and made awful judgments. The results are documented in the committee report. They must never happen again. [Read more...]

A partisan report for the dustbin

by John Yoo     •     Daily News 9:11 attack twin towers terrorism

The release of a Senate report on Bush-era interrogation policies could have prompted an informed, responsible debate over intelligence and the war on terror. But not the report that saw the light of day Tuesday.

Because of fundamental mistakes made at its very birth, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s accounting offers a dispiriting, partisan attack on American intelligence agencies at a time when we need them more than ever.

Bizarrely, Feinstein and her staffers refused even to interview the very CIA officials who ordered and carried out the program in question. Because Republicans saw where the train was headed, they refused to participate in the review.

The slanted approach to the investigation sadly colored its conclusions — which are questionable, to put it charitably. [Read more...]

Terrorism Risk Insurance Makes Sense

by Peter Roff Insurance Risk

In just a few short weeks control of the United States Senate floor will pass from the Democrats to the Republicans. This single fact means the political pressure that typically accompanies a post-election “Lame Duck” congressional session will be atypically acute.

There’s a lot to do and precious little time in which to do it, meaning members of both parties in both chambers will need to prioritize. The time for partisan gamesmanship is over; practical policymaking concerns need to take the wheel.

In particular Congress needs to handle in a deliberative fashion those pending pieces of legislation that directly affect the nation’s national defense, its economic health, and the ability to create jobs and raise living standards that are set to expire at year’s end.

There are many pieces of legislation that fit the bill in one category or more – and very few that apply to all. One is the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, a law that passed with strong bipartisan support in the period after 9/11 and which is set to expire at year’s end.

If TRIA is allows to lapse, it would make it nearly impossible for commercial brokers to continue to offer terrorism insurance, something that has become essential in the post-bin Laden economy. [Read more...]

Terrorism insurance protects American prosperity into the future

by Peter Roff     •     The Hill  terrorism

In just a few weeks control of the United States Senate floor passes from the Democrats to the Republicans. Because of this, the political pressure that typically accompanies a post-election “Lame Duck” congressional session will be atypically acute.

There’s a lot to do and precious little time in which to do it. Members of both parties in both chambers need to prioritize. The time for partisan gamesmanship is over; practical policymaking concerns need to take center stage.

Congress needs to handle in a deliberative fashion those pieces of legislation pending that directly affect the nation’s national defense, its economic health, and the ability to create jobs and raise living standards that are set to expire at year’s end.

There are many pieces of legislation that fit the bill in one category or more – and very few that apply to all. One is the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, a law that passed with strong bipartisan support in the period after 9/11 and which is set to expire on December 31.  [Read more...]

Late to the Challenge: Diminishing American Leadership in the Age of Terror

by Peter Huessy  (An address to the Precision Strike Association and the National Defense Industrial Association, at the Johns Hopkins University, October 21, 2014)

INTRODUCTION:obama-see-no-terrorism1

A year ago, in trying to make the case for a much diminished role in foreign affairs for the United States, a well known conservative institute in Washington argued our current policies were still linked to our perception of the then Soviet Cold War threat, not the new realities of today.

They even argued: “Soviet war plans for Europe that are now public were primarily defensive; they assumed Soviet forces would be responding to a NATO attack.”

Their claim was two-fold: Not only were they claiming our policy today was based on a threat that no longer existed, but the threat we thought existed during the Cold War was in their view equally bogus. [Read more...]

Encircling Baghdad: The Country that Became a City-State

 by Dr. Larry Franklinisis-militants-iraq terrorist

ISIS-led anti-government Sunni Islam coalition troops have virtually surrounded Baghdad. Iraq’s largest province, al-Anbar, is almost totally occupied by anti-regime forces. Only a portion of Fallujah remains outside of occupation by the ISIS-led resistance. Following enemy takeover of Hit, regular Iraqi units fell back into a defensive posture at al-Asad, the largest military facility in Anbar. Several key population centers to the north and northeast have also fallen. Enemy gains last month north of Baghdad prompted U.S. aircraft bombing sorties previously unnecessary to the north. Since June, the central government also has lost ground east of the capital, with Diyala Province barely remaining under Shia control.[1] After the collapse of government forces in Hillah, south of the capital and the enemy’s mid-June seizures of Iskandariyah and Mahmoudiyah, barely six miles south of the Baghdad, routes to Iraq’s Shia heartland now also have been jeopardized.[2] [Read more...]

Passing the Buck on ISIS Failures Fits a Clear and Unmistakable Pattern

isis-militants-iraq terroristby Orange County Register

What’s the saddest statistic of the political season? Here’s one contender: a Google search for the phrase “Obama ISIS buck pass” yields about 478,000 results.

That’s what happens when a president makes comments like the ones Barack Obama made during an interview on “60 Minutes.” There, he haplessly explained that Jim Clapper, director of national intelligence, acknowledged he’d underestimated how quickly ISIS could rise to threaten the Mideast.

True enough – but also misleading, and another unforced error for our clearly beleaguered president. Mr. Obama should have recognized that he had opened himself up to legitimate charges of buck passing.

But instead of facing the music – as John F. Kennedy did in the wake of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 – Mr. Obama all but hid behind his new press secretary, Josh Earnest. [Read more...]