by Morgan Chalfant • Washington Free Beacon
Criminal and terrorist networks are evolving “out of view” of U.S. intelligence and increasingly cooperating to achieve their goals, according to a new document from the U.S. military that calls for a better coordinated effort between the Pentagon and other government agencies to counter threat networks.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for the United States to deter threats from transnational networks such as terrorist organizations and groups trafficking illicit goods, according to the document from the Joint Chiefs of Staff published in late December.
The Joint Publication 3-25, which was recently highlighted by the Federation of American Scientists, evaluated the United States’ efforts to counter networks threatening U.S. interests at home and abroad, calling for more interagency work and partnerships with international organizations and allies to deter them. Continue reading
The Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (Syria) is the largest and most gratuitously and viciously violent armed terrorist organization in the world and headed by a man who is enthusiastic for murder, death and destruction. His name is Abdullah Ibrahim, and his nickname is Abu Baker Al-Baghdadi. Interestingly, Ibrahim was previously detained at Bucca Camp American prison in Iraq and holds a PhD in Islamic history from the Islamic University in Baghdad.
This man, who called himself Caliph of Muslims, leads today an advisory council of military and political experts, and another council which consists of dozens of Emirs who are responsible for Sunni areas, in addition to hundreds of senior officials who run and lead ministries of the so-called the Islamic Caliphate State. Leaders of this organization consist of senior Iraqi officers with high military discipline and tough intelligence training where their methods of governance depend on the sword, shedding blood and killing anything in the way. It may not pass for enlightened leadership, but so far it has been an effective approach to grabbing control of vast regions and exercising iron-fisted control. Continue reading
by Charles Krauthammer • Washington Post
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
by Marc A. Thiessen • Washington Post
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. Continue reading
by Charles Krauthammer • Washington Post
The 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. Continue reading
by John Yoo • Daily News
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. Continue reading
by Rich Lowry • Politico Magazine
What this means, he hasn’t spelled out in great specificity. Presumably fewer beheadings. A slower pace of Western recruiting. Fewer genocidal threats against embattled minorities. A downgrading of the caliphate to a mini-state, or merely a large swath of territory in Syria and Iraq.
The evil of ISIL has stirred nearly everyone around President Obama to ringing statements of resolve. Vice President Joe Biden says, “We will follow them to the gates of hell.” Secretary of State John Kerry tweets, “ISIL must be destroyed/will be crushed.” Continue reading
by the Editorial Board of the New York Post
When he campaigned for re-election two years ago, President Obama repeatedly reassured us al Qaeda had been “decimated” and “is on the path to defeat” — even after the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the US ambassador.
But we’ve just had two new reports demonstrating that not only has al Qaeda not been defeated, it’s stronger than ever.
The first, from The New York Times, reports that European governments have paid al Qaeda and its affiliates at least $125 million since 2008. The money was funneled through proxies or disguised as humanitarian aid, and it was used to ransom kidnapped citizens from terrorists. Continue reading