Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The ISIS threat: From north to south - Eyal Zisser



by Eyal Zisser

An attack by 300 terrorists in broad daylight with the objective of taking over an Egyptian municipality (Sheikh Zuweid) proves that this is already a full-scale militia that does as it pleases with large stretches of the Sinai Peninsula

The Islamic State group's attack in the northern Sinai Peninsula last week raised a justified concern in Israel about the possibility that the group may try to carry out similar attacks against Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Egypt border.

A few days later, Islamic State sent Israel a reminder of its existence, a warning of things come, with the launch of a few rockets from the Sinai border and the claim that Israel is helping the Egyptian army fight the group. But Islamic State does not need an excuse to attack Israel. Its operatives (in their previous incarnation as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis) have already fired rockets at Eilat in recent years, and in 2012, they carried out a terrorist attack on Route 12 along the Israeli-Egyptian border, killing eight Israeli citizens and soldiers.

And yet something has changed in the Sinai Peninsula recently. The attack on the Egyptian army outposts proves that Islamic State has grown under the watchful eyes of Israel and Egypt, and now it is no longer just a few hidden terror cells carrying out local targeted attacks and returning to their hiding places. 

An attack by 300 terrorists in broad daylight with the objective of taking over an Egyptian municipality (Sheikh Zuweid) proves that this is already a full-scale militia that does as it pleases with large stretches of the Sinai Peninsula -- setting up bases and training camps and controlling the area undisturbed. An attack like this also demonstrates its significant operational capabilities -- with no shortage of weapons, funding or fighters -- as well as its command and control capabilities. All this has shown us, unfortunately, the failure of the Egyptian army to regain control over IS-taken land in the northern and central Sinai Peninsula. 

A similar reality is likely to take shape earlier than anticipated on Israel's northern border as well, where Islamic State continues to close in on the border fence. A year ago, IS fighters were still in eastern Syria, nearly 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the Israel-Syria border. Now, IS fighters can be found an hour's drive away from the border, and concern is growing that some of the rebel groups currently in the Golan Heights are planning to swear loyalty to it, just as happened in the Sinai. In Jordan, like in Egypt, it is likely that the terrorist organization will seek to establish bases from which to work not only against the Jordanian army, but also against Israel.

In the Sinai Peninsula, as in Syria, IS is at the brink of taking over a land base that will allow it to build itself up undisturbed. Airstrikes in the face of bases like these are nothing more than a minor annoyance, mosquito bites, and only a ground invasion can bring the phenomenon to an end. But a ground operation like that would not be practical. It's doubtful whether the Egyptian army would be capable of such an undertaking. And in Syria, there is no one left who is willing or able to take on IS. 

Israel must not wait until IS's next attack is too close for comfort, whether in the north or the south. Israel is already taking preventative steps, such as fortifying the border and practicing increased alertness and caution nearby, and of course, collecting intelligence on IS. But in addition to all that, we must increase cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, which are both embroiled in the struggle against IS. And we must also consider active Israeli efforts against the terrorist organization, including acting against its arms routes, its funding, its flow of volunteers, and especially its attempts to take hold of land near the border with Israel.

And a final comment, the statements made by Israeli officials saying that Hamas in Gaza cooperated with IS in Sinai on the attacks on the Egyptian army and on firing missiles are worrying. After all, the single reason given not to topple Hamas in Gaza was to avoid having IS take over the Strip. 

But now it seems that Israel will have to deal with Hamas and IS together, with a clear division of labor -- Hamas ensures calm along Gaza's border with Israel, but IS in the Sinai, with Hamas' help, freely operates against Israeli and Egyptian targets. This is a reality we cannot accept.


Eyal Zisser

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=13075

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

One Chance Is All a Terrorist Needs - Michael Cutler



by Michael Cutler

How DHS is failing to heed its own warnings.





On June 22, 2015 the ICE Newsroom posted a startling “Top Story” news release under the category, “Document and Benefit Fraud.” The title of the news release was obviously crafted to create the illusion that a major vulnerability to U.S. national security, the threat of a terror attack, was being addressed: “ICE-DMV partnership combating identity, document fraud.”

The news release was accompanied by a poster. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words the above poster is worth.

Here is how the news release begins:
If you walk into your local Department of Motor Vehicles office (DMV) on any given day, you’ll most likely find a crowd of people waiting to get a new license or updating their vehicle registration.
What many aren’t aware of is that while they’re waiting in anticipation of their number to be called there may be document and identity fraud taking place just a few feet away.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) identified a potential vulnerability in which DMV employees exploit their positions by selling DMV-issued identification documents for financial gain. The access DMV employees have to the tools and technology needed to produce identity documents has been exploited by criminals who seek these documents to mask their identities and commit crimes ranging from narcotics trafficking, firearms distribution, and murder to even terrorist acts.
With these factors in mind, in December 2009, HQ HSI Identity and Benefit Fraud Unit (IBFU) launched a national outreach campaign to raise awareness about potential employee misconduct at DMV facilities. HSI Special Agent Keith Fowler, a National Program Manager within the IBFU, was charged with implementing and overseeing the outreach campaign.
Since day one, Mr. Obama and his administration have created a larcenous narrative that was carefully crafted to skirt the nexus between immigration and the threat of terrorism. The news release is consistent with that narrative and ignores the nexus between immigration and terrorism.

The 9/11 Commission certainly made note of failures of state agencies, especially Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) that enabled a number of the terrorists who wrought such destruction to assume multiple false identities by acquiring multiple driver's licenses. However, the 9/11 Commission made it clear that failures of components of the immigration system enabled the terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States.

At the risk of stating the obvious, for the terrorists to game the process by which driver's licenses are issued, they first need to enter the United States. If the terrorists could not have acquired visas and could not have entered the United States. They could not have attacked us.

Even if the terrorists had managed to enter the United States by stowing away on a ship or running our borders, but were unable to successfully defraud the immigration benefits program they could not have attacked us.

While the poster seeks to create the illusion that DHS is working aggressively to protect America and Americans, In reality, some of the greatest threats to national security are the direct result of the many failures of the DHS that fundamentally undermine national security and public safety.

To this point, the staff of attorneys and federal agents who were assigned to the 9/11 Commission issued a report known as the “9/11 and Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.”

This report focused specifically on the ability of the terrorists to travel around the world, enter the United States and ultimately embed themselves in the United States as they went about their deadly preparations. Page 54 contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot.”
Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.
In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
The poster and press release above focus on how the administration is trying to convince state motor vehicle agencies to go after their corrupt officials who provide criminals with licenses they should not have. Does DHS have to convince state governments to seek to identify corrupt officials?

The irony is that DHS is providing lawful status to immigration law violators without any legal underpinning. USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), the division of DHS that adjudicates all applications for various immigration benefits has provided hundreds of thousands of “DREAMERs” with official identity documents to signify that they have been granted temporary lawful status and employment authorization- without a face-to-face interview and without field investigations. This is a virtual open invitation to fraud.

These DHS-issued identity documents are accepted by DMV's to issue driver's licenses to aliens. If an alien terrorist games this process, USCIS then becomes an unwitting accomplice in providing that terrorist with a driver's license- something the DHS poster warned about. The poster also warned about the nexus between identity theft and terrorism.

However, the administration has unilaterally decided that aliens who have been convicted of identity theft- the very same crime frequently committed by terrorists as highlighted in the administration news release and poster, will not be arrested by ICE or deported. In fact, on June 23, 2015, just one day after the ICE news release that is the predication for my commentary was published, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued his own press release, “Goodlatte: 
Implementation of Priority Enforcement Program Endangers Our Communities.”

Here is an important excerpt from the Chairman Goodlatte's press release:
Here are the Facts about the Administration’s “Priority Enforcement Program”:
PEP Permits Significant Numbers of Criminal Aliens to Remain in the United States: Obama Administration officials claim that PEP will continue to rely on biometric data to identify criminal aliens, but ICE will only be permitted to transfer aliens from the custody of state and local law enforcement through the new program when an alien has been convicted of certain, but not all, of the offenses in the Administration’s new, so-called immigration enforcement “priorities.” These “priorities” ignore entire categories of removable criminal aliens defined by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act. After the implementation of PEP, DHS will not pursue the vast majority of criminal aliens who commit the following offenses: fraud or material misrepresentation in the immigration process; drug possession offenses; most theft offenses, including identity theft; nearly all crimes involving moral turpitude; and, aliens who have misdemeanors that the Administration does not deem to be “significant.”
Even Aliens Who Have Been Charged or Arrested for Serious Criminal Offenses Will Not be Pursued under PEP: If an unlawful immigrant commits a crime, but is able to be released from state or local custody before the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, DHS will turn a blind eye to allow the unlawful immigrant to remain on the streets until that alien has an actual conviction. Note, this is even a departure from the previous priorities issued by former Director Morton. For DHS, permitting the criminal alien to remain on the streets overrides protecting the community.
What does an illegal alien have to do to get deported?

Immigration fraud has a clear nexus to national security and comes in two broad categories, document/identity fraud and immigration benefit fraud.

There is certainly no ambiguity to the message about the first half of the fraud equation (document and identity fraud) and its nexus to national that this poster delivers. It begins with the admonition, “Do the Right Thing” and then commands: “Stop Document and Identity Fraud.”

What the ICE poster blithely ignored, however, is that immigration benefit fraud, an issue I raised earlier, is commonplace and has been utilized by many terrorists who have carried out or attempted to carry out terror attacks in the United States. Immigration fraud enables aliens to acquire lawful immigration status in the United States to which they are not entitled, by gaming the adjudications process.

On March 9, 2015 The Daily Caller published my article, “Congress Has Fully Funded The DHS — America’s Biggest Document Mill.”

The poster draws a clear connection between the fact that the 19 terrorists, in the aggregate, used 364 aliases and obtained “26 State-Issued Identification Documents.” The connection that was carefully ignored, however, is that each and every one of those terrorists was an alien who, in one way or another gamed the process that is supposed to prevent the entry of among the categories of excludible aliens, criminals, terrorists and spies.

The bottom line for the ICE poster is, in fact, the bottom line - “1 Chance Is All a Terrorist Needs.” This succinct assessment of the threats we face in this particularly perilous era made this statement an irresistible choice for the title of my commentary today.

Appearing in the largest print and in center of the poster is “9/11” an obvious reference to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

What is more than ironic is that in addition to providing photos of the 19 terrorist/hijackers who, on September 11, 2001, wrought such horrific devastation to America and innocent victims and their families, the poster also provided partial photos of driver's licenses from a number of states. Look closely and you will see that among the states are New York, California, Illinois and Kansas. All of those states have at least one “sanctuary city” within their jurisdictions and as a consequence, those cities make it easy for illegal aliens who, for reasons known only to them, evaded the inspections process conducted at ports of entry that is supposed to prevent the entry of international terrorists and transnational criminals from entering the United States. California is a “Sanctuary State.”

New York City, the city that suffered the greatest devastation on September 11, 2001, has provided official municipal identity documents to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who are “Undocumented” meaning that they either don't have, or refuse to provide authentic and reliable identity documents to attest to their true identities. The International Business Times reported on this latest example of lunacy in the January 15, 2015 article, “Immigrant Identification Card: New York's ID Program Watched By Immigration Reform Advocates Across Nation.”

A person who is unable to produce authentic identity documents is at a disadvantage to conduct business. Providing documentation lends a level of credibility to aliens who not only have no right to be in the United States, but whose very presence represents a violation of some our most fundamental laws. Illegal aliens and criminals- irrespective of their immigration status, seek to acquire official identity documents in false names to embed themselves in communities where they live and operate. For such individuals, a change in identity is the equivalent of the change in coloration that chameleons undergo in order to conceal themselves- often among their intended victims.

Yet the federal government, for all of the posters and press releases, does absolutely nothing to deter states and cities from creating these opportunities for criminals and terrorists to hide in plain sight. Consider that under 8 USC § 1324 - Bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a section of law that is comprehended within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), it is a felony to harbor, shield from detection, transport, aid, abet, encourage or induce aliens to enter our country illegally or remain in our country illegally thereafter.

How on earth could providing illegal aliens with official identity documents, whether they are driver's licenses- as some states are now doing, or “municipal identity documents” such as New York City and other municipalities doing, not in violation of the statute I noted above?

On September 23, 2014 FrontPage Magazine published my article, 'Sanctuary Cities' or 'Safe Havens' for Terrorists?

I raised this very issue in my prepared testimony when I testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on March 29, 2013 on the topic, “Building an Immigration System Worthy of American Values.” A video and copies of the prepared testimony of the witnesses at that hearing are available for review.

When terrorists and alien criminals and fugitives learn that they can obtain driver's licenses in a particular state, for example, they will flock to that state and acquire that document which provides them with camouflage. They can then use that document in each and every town, city and state from coast to coast and border to border. This is not merely a supposition but is grounded in facts and my experiences.

Cities and states that engage in practices that create opportunities for terrorists and criminals to embed themselves in their jurisdictions also imperil public safety and U.S. national security. To this point, on July 3, 2015 the LA Times published an article, “San Francisco homicide suspect was deported five times” about Francisco Sanchez, an illegal alien from Mexico with seven prior felony convictions and had been deported five times, managed to get an illegal gun. On July 1, 2015 he allegedly fired that gun, apparently randomly, and fatally wounded a 32 year old woman, Kathryn Steinle, as she strolled with her father along a San Francisco pier. ICE had turned him over to San Francisco police for criminal prosecution and lodged a detainer so that he would not be permitted to be set free but brought back into ICE custody after his criminal case was resolved. San Francisco refused to honor the detainer claiming it violated that city's ordinances because it is a “Sanctuary City.”

Tragically, this murder is not an isolated case.

Undoubtedly, the officials in San Francisco will face no consequences from the Obama administration for their outrageous decision.

Physical fitness aficionados often say, “No pain- no gain.” I have a different saying, “No pain – no deterrence!”

In a reasonable world, individuals- including local and state officials, who create such opportunities for illegal aliens and potentially terrorists, would “feel the pain” by being criminally prosecuted for aiding and abetting our enemy- if indeed we are waging a “War against terrorists.”

At the very least, sanctuary cities and states that issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens should have their federal subsidies for law enforcement and other vital programs cut drastically, if not eliminated altogether. Of course this administration won't take that action because it is operating in concert with those sanctuary cities and has turned America into a “Sanctuary Country.”

On June 26, 2015 Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) posted my commentary, “Prosecutorial Deception: The $21 Billion DHS Betrayal.” My focus was on the alarming findings of the DHS Inspector General and the utter lack of accountability at ICE and USCIS.
To clarify the title for my commentary for CAPS- I have written a half-dozen Op-Eds for Fox News Latino. One of them, published just two days after Obama stood in the White House Rose Garden on June 15, 2012 to announce his plans to implement the DACA Program for “DREAMERS,” was described by the Fox News Latino editor this way, “Op-Ed: Obama Orders Prosecutorial Deception” Obama's unprecedented expansion of prosecutorial discretion skirts Congress and undermines the Constitution, argues former INS agent Michael Cutler.
Indeed, the administration's claimed use of “Prosecutorial Discretion” which I have come to refer to as “Prosecutorial Deception,” has provided hundreds of thousands of illegal alien “DREAMERS,” up to age 31, with lawful status and identity documents without so much as an in-person interview, let alone a field investigation. Most terrorists are under the age of 30.

On November 25, 2014 FrontPage Magazine published my commentary, Obama 'Solves' Immigration Crisis by Ordering 'Shields Down' and my April 7, 2015 article, “Connecting the Dots: Iran, Immigration & National Security” connected still more of those “dots.”

My June 25, 2015 commentary for FrontPage Magazine was predicated on an interview that the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee gave on the CBS News program, “Face the Nation.” The title of my piece, in fact, “borrowed” the title of the report that CBS news posted about the interview, “Rep. Nunes: America Faces Highest Terror Threat Level Ever »Ignoring the grim lessons of 9/11.”

On June 30, 2015 I was interviewed on Newsmax-TV's program, “Prime” hosted by former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Kahn on the concerns about the current elevated threat level. Newsmax posted a video under the title, “Newsmax Prime | Michael Cutler discusses the heightened terror threat over the 4th of July holiday.”

The refusal of the administration to enforce immigration laws flies in the face of commonsense and the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission as I noted in my March 11, 2015 FrontPage Magazine article, “Ignoring the 9/11 Commission’s Warnings »Even as terrorists expand operations in Europe.”

Every candidate for the presidency and, indeed, every candidate for every public office must be pinned down to the specifics as to where they stand on the effective enforcement of our immigration laws. This is about far more than securing the U.S. / Mexican border - so much hangs in the balance.


Michael Cutler

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259353/one-chance-all-terrorist-needs-michael-cutler

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

EU leaders to meet in crisis summit following Greek 'no' vote - Rick Moran



by Rick Moran

EU finance ministers are saying that negotiations are still possible but that Greece must come up with new proposals. And the Germans, who hold the lifeline for Greece in their hands, are adamant that the referendum changes nothing.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has gotten his way on the referendum to accept or reject the bailout terms of the EU.  With a resounding "no" vote, the Greek electorate swallowed whole Tsipras's delusion that rejecting the bailout terms would strengthen his negotiating position.

In fact, he has fatally weakened it, and it's questionable whether the Greek economy survives the week.

The twin power centers in Europe – the European Commission and the European Central Bank – are both saying this morning that the next move is up to Greece.  EU finance ministers are saying that negotiations are still possible but that Greece must come up with new proposals.

And the Germans, who hold the lifeline for Greece in their hands, are adamant that the referendum changes nothing.

The Telegraph:
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says Germany sees no basis at present for entering negotiations on a new bailout program for Greece.
Steffen Seibert said Monday that Germany respects the "clear 'no' vote" by Greeks against austerity measures demanded by creditors and that "the door for talks always remains open."
However, he said the conditions are "not there at present to enter negotiations on a new program." He said the "no" vote is a vote against the principle - still supported by Germany - that solidarity requires countries to take responsibility.
Seibert says Europe will explore what possibilities there are to help Greek citizens and "a lot will depend on what proposals the Greek government now puts on the table."
Regarding requests by Athens to restructure its debt, finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said: "I can see no reason to enter into discussions."
Meanwhile, ECB governing council member Christian Noyer said that Greece's debt cannot be restructured.
"Greek debt held by the Eurosystem is debt that cannot by its very nature be restructured because that would be monetary financing of a state," he said.
Meanwhile, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned.  This is a tactical move by Greece in that Varoufakis is intensely disliked by the other EU finance ministers due to his arrogant, bombastic rhetoric about the EU committing "terrorism" against Greece and veiled references to German Nazis.  Putting it simply, Varoufakis was not the man to enter into what is sure to be extremely delicate negotiations with the EU.

But will a softer front by Greece make a difference?  Not in the short term.  The fate of the Greek economy is now firmly in the hands of the eurogroup.  When Greek banks reopen tomorrow, they will not have enough cash to cover withdrawals unless the ECB renews its emergency funding mechanism for Greece.  And if they do, it is possible that many Greek depositors will be forced into ceding up to 30% of their money to the central bank in a gigantic haircut.  The ECB has indicated that it will no longer finance the run on Greek banks that has siphoned cash out of the system, and in order to recapitalize them, depositors must pay part of the price.

But the immediate worry is what the EU leaders will do and what the ECB is prepared to do in order to prevent the unprecedented chaos of a meltdown.  No modern society has ever experienced what Greece is about to experience, and no one knows if the tenuous bonds of civilization will hold under the enormous pressure of a financial collapse.


Rick Moran

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/07/eu_leaders_to_meet_in_crisis_summit_following_greek_no_vote.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

India's Abstention Against Vote on Israel Significant Shift - PTI



by PTI

Israeli daily Haaretz saw India's abstention as reflective of "a significant policy change" by Delhi, which traditionally voted in favour of all anti-Israel resolutions in UN institutions.


JERUSALEM: India's abstention in a vote at the UNHCR on a UN report critical of Israel's Gaza war last year is being seen here as a "significant shift" in New Delhi's policy, a "testament to strong ties" which are "taking off" under the new NDA regime, experts have said.

In a "historic first" in UN votes on Israel, India did not vote for the Palestinians, but rather abstained, wrote a commentator while others described it as "dramatic" and an "unprecedented achievement for Israel".

They said the move indicated a major "take off" in ties indicated also by an announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Israel, the first by an Indian Premier.

"That India's representative in Geneva abstained on Friday is a significant shift testament to the strong ties that have developed between Israel and India over the last 20 years, and which are taking off now under Prime Minister Narendra Modi," a columnist wrote.

"This is a huge development for India, one of the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement, which as a movement always voted against Israel," he noted.

Israeli daily Haaretz saw India's abstention as reflective of "a significant policy change" by Delhi, which traditionally voted in favour of all anti-Israel resolutions in UN institutions.

"Friday's abstention was another sign of warming ties between India and Israel since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014," it said.

Despite clarifications from New Delhi emphasising "no change in India's support for the Palestinian cause", Israeli media quoted diplomatic sources describing the vote as "dramatic".

Israeli envoy to India Daniel Carmon tweeted, "We appreciate votes by members of @UN_HRC, including #India, who did not support yet another anti Israel bashing resolution. We thank them."

"Well, on Friday, that shift took place – and its implications for Israel’s foreign relations are positive, dramatic and significant", a political commentator said.

Officials here said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reached out to his Indian counterpart and urged him to abstain during the UNHRC voting. The two leaders share a good rapport and had met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last year. They have since kept in touch.

India's constant support for resolutions condemning Israel in favour of Palestinians at UN forums has probably been the only irritant in an otherwise ever-strengthening ties between the two countries.

The UNHRC on Friday adopted a resolution condemning Israel for its use of "huge firepower" against Gazans during its offensive last year. 41 countries voted in favour of the resolution with only Israel's close ally US voting against.

India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Macedonia abstained. The 50-day Gaza war killed 1,462 civilians, and left 11,231 injured on the Palestinian side while six civilians died on the Israeli side.


PTI

Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/Indias-Abstention-Against-Vote-on-Israel-Significant-Shift/2015/07/05/article2903703.ece

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Israeli Arab Teachers Arrested for Joining ISIS - Ari Soffer



by Ari Soffer

Four teachers from Bedouin town in the Negev among six arrested for joining ISIS terror group, attempting to recruit children.




In a joint operation with local police, the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) arrested six Arab residents of the town of Hura in the Negev who formed a cell of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, authorities released for publication Monday.

An initial investigation revealed that the cell members conducted secret meetings in which they learned and discussed ISIS's radical Islamist ideology, while some of them actively worked to recruit friends and family members and encouraged them to travel to join ISIS in Syria.

Several of the group also planned to travel to Syria themselves.

Shockingly, four of those arrested were teachers at a school in the Negev. Investigators say they used their positions to try to brainwash children and encourage them to join ISIS as well.

In addition to those arrested, several other teachers and staff members - including the headteacher of one Negev school - have been questioned under suspicion of withholding knowledge of their colleagues' jihadist activities from authorities, and not acting to stop them.

The headteacher - who has not been named - denies having any knowledge of the extremist activity at his school.

Security services believe that several Israeli Arabs who previously traveled to Syria to join ISIS were part of the same cell.

The arrested suspects have been named as:
  • Bashir Jabrin Salim Abu Alkian (26). A teacher at a local elementary school, he was arrested on May 17, and admitted under interrogation to spreading ISIS propaganda via social media, as well as by sending ISIS propaganda videos to family members, friends and other associates. 
  • Akhram Aleb Ahmad Abu Alkian (30), also a teacher at a local elementary school. He was arrested several weeks later on June 2, and admitted under interrogation to supporting ISIS and helping set up the cell. 
  • Mohammed Aleb Ahmad Abu Alkian (27). A teacher at a local high school, he admitted to similar charges as the previous cell members, as well as making plans to travel to Syria on July 15 and join ISIS, under the guise of embarking on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
  • Issa Shuhada-Khadr Hassan Abu Alkian (27). Arrested on June 13, he admitted to taking part in meetings conducted by the cell, and similarly of planning to travel to Syria and join ISIS on July 15 under the pretense of a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
  • Sharif Shahada Razaq Abu Alkian. The youngest member of the cell (23), he also admitted to joining the cell and planning to travel to join ISIS in Syria with two other cell members.
  • Hamza Abed Ali Abu Alkian (27), also a teacher, admitted to joining the same cell.
All were indicted in a Be'er Sheva court on a wide range of terrorism charges.

 
Ari Soffer

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/197762#.VZrlRkazchQ

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Britain's Political Extremists - Samuel Westrop



by Samuel Westrop

  • Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn is running for leadership of Britain's Labour Party, with the support of George Galloway.
  • In 2012, Corbyn agreed to speak at a Ramadan celebration with Abdur Raheem Green, a Salafist preacher who has spoken of a "Yehudi [Jewish] ... stench." In addition, Green encourages men to hit their wives to "bring them to goodness," and has called for the killing of homosexuals and adulterers.
In the wake of Britain's general election, candidates with ties to anti-Semitic extremists and terror groups are standing for important political positions.

In May, George Galloway declared that he was vying to become Mayor of London. Those concerned with Galloway's work with the Syrian and Iranian regimes expressed dismay at the news.

Now, a month later, the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn is running for leadership of Britain's Labour Party, with the support of George Galloway.

In 2010, Britain's media watchdog, OFCOM, censured Galloway and Corbyn, after Corbyn appeared on Galloway's television program -- broadcast by the Iranian regime's channel, Press TV. OFCOM ruled that Galloway's description of Israel as a "terrorist gangster...miscreant, law breaking, rogue, war launching, occupying state," and Corbyn's call for economic sanctions against the world's only Jewish state, "did not show due impartiality."

Galloway has long been able to rely on Corbyn for support in the House of Commons. In 2013, Galloway tabled a motion to commemorate the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, which was seconded by Corbyn.

Corbyn's views, however, amount to far more than mere anti-Israel hysteria and a fondness for South American dictators.

In 2009, Corbyn announced at an "anti-war" rally:
"It will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. I also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well. ... That is the absolutely the right function of using parliamentary facilities to invite people from our other parts of the world. ... The idea that an organization that is dedicated to the good of the Palestinian people...should be labelled as a terrorist organization by the British government is really a big, big historical mistake."
In 2009, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn (left) said: "It will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. I also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well." London mayoral candidate George Galloway (center) is pictured embracing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (right) in Gaza.

In 2011, Corbyn invited the Palestinian Islamist preacher Raed Salah to speak in parliament. In 2005, an Israeli court jailed Salah for funding Hamas organizations.

Salah has claimed that 4000 Jews skipped work at the World Trade Centre on the day of the 9/11 attacks; that those who killed the "Martyr, Sheikh Osama Bin Laden" had "sold their consciences to Satan"; and that the children of Europe had their "blood mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread."

Salah's work funding Hamas was evidently not a problem for Jeremy Corbyn, who is a staunch advocate of the British organization Interpal, a pro-Hamas charity that is a designated terrorist organization under United States law.

Interpal's leaders regularly attend Hamas rallies and ceremonies in the Gaza strip. At one such event, Interpal trustee Essam Yusuf participated in a song that praised Hamas's terrorist activities and its "martyrs."

Other Interpal officials also promote extremist ideas. Interpal staff member Ibrahim Dar has expressed support for the late Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki, has called for killing homosexuals, and claims that ISIS is a "western setup undercover organisation." Interpal trustee Ibrahim Hewitt has spoken of a "so-called Holocaust," advocates killing apostates, and has written: "The Jews cannot be entrusted with the sanctity and security of this Holy Land."

Despite Interpal's violent ideas, Corbyn has sponsored and signed a number of parliamentary motions in support of it, and regularly speaks at Interpal events.

In his constituency of Islington, Corbyn hosts meetings at the Finsbury Park Mosque, an institution with which he works closely. One of the mosque's trustees, in fact, is Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander. According to BBC reports, Sawalha is "said to have masterminded much of Hamas's political and military strategy" from London.

Corbyn does not appear, however, to support just Palestinian terror. His sympathies are rather diverse.

In 1984, Corbyn invited representatives of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to speak in parliament -- just weeks after an IRA bomb murdered five people, including several prominent British politicians, and that nearly killed Britain's Prime Minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher.

In 2012, Corbyn agreed to speak at a Ramadan celebration with Abdur Raheem Green, a Salafist preacher who has spoken of a "Yehudi [Jewish] ... stench." Green urges Muslims to "push them [Jews] to the side." In addition, Green encourages men to hit their wives to "bring them to goodness," and has called for the killing of homosexuals and adulterers.

In 2014, Corbyn spoke at an event organized by representatives of the Iranian regime, to commemorate the Iranian revolution of 1979. Corbyn's fellow speakers included Hassan al-Sadr, who represents the UK office of Iraqi terrorist Moqtada al-Sadr; and Abdolhossein Moezi, the personal representative of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Also in 2014, Corbyn hosted an event in parliament that featured the "neo-Nazi" speaker James Thring, who has appeared in a revisionist pro-Nazi documentary and has said that, "the Jewish lobby has so much power."

As with Galloway's hopes for the London mayoralty, Jeremy Corbyn's chances of being elected leader of the Labour Party are slim. Nevertheless, a recent poll conducted by a prominent Labour website concluded that Corbyn is an overwhelming favourite among some Labour voters.

The Labour membership appears disenchanted with the mainstream politics of recent Labour leaders. Notionally, Corbyn might win the necessary support of grassroots voters and the powerful trade unions.

In a worst-case scenario, with George Galloway becoming Mayor of London, and Jeremy Corbyn fighting Britain's next general election, Jews and other minorities could have good reason to be worried.


Samuel Westrop - Follow Samuel Westrop on Twitter

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6103/britain-political-extremists

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Erdogan’s Last Gamble - Robert Ellis



by Robert Ellis

In a Q&A session last October at Harvard, Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag when he claimed that U.S. allies – Turkey, the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. -- were their largest problem in Syria, as they supplied Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and other extremist jihadis with hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons.



In December 1944, Adolf Hitler launched a massive offensive in the Ardennes in an attempt to stave off the inevitable, and there is every sign that Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has the same in mind.

Turkish foreign policy under the direction of the dyad Davutoglu and Erdogan has suffered a resounding defeat, particularly in Syria. Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, first as Erdogan’s foreign policy advisor, then as foreign minister and now as prime minister, has nourished Erdogan’s folie de grandeur with his vision of the restoration of Turkey’s role as the leader of the former Ottoman empire. However, this policy has seriously backfired, resulting in what another of Erdogan’s advisors, Ibrahim Kalin, plaintively called Turkey’s “precious loneliness.”  

Turkey’s plans to create a Middle East free-trade zone, including Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, met with a setback with the civil uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in 2011, which later developed into a civil war. In accordance with what Ibrahim Kalin termed Turkey’s new “value-based and principled” foreign policy, Turkey under Erdogan’s AKP (Justice and Development Party) government chose to be a party to the conflict to effect regime change rather than adhere to Turkey’s traditional role as mediator.

In a Q&A session last October at Harvard, Vice President Joe Biden let the cat out of the bag when he claimed that U.S. allies – Turkey, the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. -- were their largest problem in Syria, as they supplied Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and other extremist jihadis with hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons. His spokeswoman later came with a retraction that the Veep had not implied that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had “intentionally” facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria, but the damage had been done.

Now the gloves are off, and Barack Obama has openly criticized Turkey for not having ramped up the capacity it needs to prevent the influx of foreign fighters into Syria. At a State Department briefing a month ago, it was stated that Turkey was the main transit route for more than 22,000 fighters who have joined extremist organizations, mostly ISIL, in Syria. As a senior State Department official concluded: “Turkey wants to get a handle on this.”

There is also abundant evidence of Turkey’s cooperation with ISIL, the Al Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and other extremist groups, militarily, logistically and financially, and the role played by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT), whose head, Hakan Fidan, was handpicked by Erdogan for the job. 

In August 2012 Davutoglu called on the U.N. Security Council to establish a safe zone in Syria for refugees, which would also have meant a no-fly zone, but without success. NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, has also stated that Turkey’s proposal is not on NATO’s agenda. Nevertheless, Davutoglu continues to revisit the idea, and once again the U.S. has refused to be drawn.  

The reason the issue has arisen is because ISIL has been driven from the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad by the Kurdish PYG (People’s Protection Units), the military wing of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), backed by U.S. air support. Erdogan, who has equated the PYD with Turkey’s PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) as a terrorist organization, has declared Turkey will never allow the establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Syria, “no matter what the cost.”

Davutoglu, who is the leader of an interim AKP government, is prepared to take “the necessary measures” to prevent this, which could include a cross-border operation to create a buffer zone on the Syrian side, which would drive a wedge between two of the three autonomous cantons the PYD has already established.

The Turkish military has warned against the international repercussions of such a move, and the risk that Turkish forces would face a clash with the PYG, ISIL and Syrian government forces. The PKK’s military commander, Murat Karayilan, has also warned that a decision to attack the Kurdish cantons would amount to an attack on all Kurdish people. “Such an intervention would be an intervention that takes Turkey to civil war.”

However, Davutoglu has ruled out immediate plans for an incursion into Syria. Now he has to form a coalition government, either with the secular CHP (Republican People’s Party) or the nationalist MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), which is adamantly opposed to the Kurdish peace process and supports the idea of a safe zone in Syria.

Erdogan’s last hope is the failure to form a coalition or the coalition’s collapse, which will lead to a new election and the possibility of regaining control of events. In a tape of a national security meeting leaked before Turkish local elections in March last year, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu complained that national security had become the tool of common, cheap domestic policy. The risk still remains.


Robert Ellis is a regular commentator on Turkish affairs in the Danish and international press.   

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259358/erdogans-last-gamble-robert-ellis

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

When Palestinians Die in Jail - Khaled Abu Toameh



by Khaled Abu Toameh

  • Like the mainstream media in the West, the UN chooses to look the other way when Palestinians torture or kill fellow Palestinians.
  • The Palestinian Authority and Hamas claim that the three men committed suicide.
  • When three detainees die in less than a week, this should sound an alarm. But pro-Palestinian groups and human rights activists do not care about the human rights of Palestinians if Israel cannot be held responsible. Their obsession with Israel has made them blind to the plight of Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority.
Three Palestinian men were found dead in their jail cells in the West Bank and Gaza Strip this past week.

But their stories did not attract the attention of the international media or human rights organizations in the U.S. and Europe. Nor was their case brought to the attention of the United Nations or the International Criminal Court (ICC).

By contrast, the case of 17-year-old Mohamed Kasba, who was shot dead north of Jerusalem by an Israeli army officer as he attacked the officer's car with stones, received widespread coverage in the Western media.

The UN even rushed to condemn the killing of Kasba, and called for an "immediate end" to violence and for everyone to keep calm. "This reaffirms the need for a political process aiming to establish two states living beside each other safely and peacefully," said UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Maldenov.

The UN official, needless to say, made no reference to the deaths that occurred in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas jails. He did not even see a need to express concern over the deaths or call for an investigation. Like the mainstream media in the West, the UN chooses to look the other way when Palestinians torture or kill fellow Palestinians.

The reason the case of the three detainees will not interest anyone in the international community is because the men did not die in an Israeli jail. Instead, the three men died while being held in Palestinian-controlled jails.

Had the three men died in Israeli detention, their names would have most likely appeared on the front pages of most leading Western newspapers. The families of the three men would have also been busy talking to Western journalists about Israeli "atrocities" and "human rights violations."

But no respected Western journalist is going to visit any of the families of the three detainees: they did not die in an Israeli jail.

The same week that the three Palestinian men were found dead in jail, the UN Human Rights Council decided to adopt a resolution condemning Israel over the UN report into last year's Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. Again, the UN Human Rights Council chose to ignore human rights violations by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, who deny detainees basic rights and proper medical treatment.

Two of them died in PA security installations in Bethlehem, while the third was found dead in a Hamas-controlled jail in the Gaza Strip.

The two detainees who were found dead in their jail cells in Bethlehem are Shadi Mohamed Obeidallah and Hazem Yassin Udwan. The man who died in the Gaza Strip jail was identified as Khaled Hammad al-Balbisi.

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas claim that the three men committed suicide.

In the case of Obeidallah, the Palestinian Authority police said he hanged himself with a piece of cloth inside the jail restrooms. He was taken into custody on suspicion of committing a murder three years ago.

The second man, Udwan, died a few days later in another Bethlehem police facility. According to police officials, he too committed suicide.

The detainee in the Gaza Strip, al-Balbisi, was being held by Hamas authorities for allegedly assaulting his wife.

But al-Balbisi, 43, apparently did not commit suicide. He was very ill when he was arrested by the Hamas security forces, and did not receive proper medical care while in detention.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), a Gaza-based non-profit group dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Palestinian territories, called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the detainees.

"PCHR stresses that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the lives of prisoners and detainees under its control and is thus responsible for treating them with dignity, including offering them medical care," the group said in a statement.

The Palestinian Authority police on parade, January 2015.

When three detainees die in less than a week in Palestinian detention, this should sound an alarm bell, especially among so-called pro-Palestinian groups and human rights activists in different parts of the world.

But these folks, like the UN and mainstream media, do not care about the human rights of the Palestinians if Israel cannot be held responsible. Their obsession with Israel has made them blind to the plight of Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, as well as to the horrific crimes committed every day by Muslim terrorists in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The story of the three men who died in Palestinian jails is yet another example of the double standards that the international community and media employ when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Khaled Abu Toameh - Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6110/palestinian-prisoners-death

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Gay Whale Swallows JONAH - Janet Tassel



by Janet Tassel

What was obviously needed was expert opinion to explain to the jury the validity of these theories. And indeed, six experts, well-known in the field of reparative therapy, were scheduled to testify for JONAH -- a psychiatrist-author, a psychologist, also an author, licensed practitioners -- and a rabbi.  However, Judge Peter F. Bariso, Jr. refused to allow them to testify


This year, June, not April, was the cruelest month.  Traditionalists and right-thinkers were overwhelmed by the unfathomable Supreme Court rulings, the vulgar rainbow-hued White House, and the culture -- or what remains of it.

A lesser-known casualty of the June wars was a tiny New Jersey non-profit called JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing), dedicated to educating the Jewish community and beyond about the social, cultural, and emotional factors that lead to same-sex attraction. JONAH unfortunately found itself in the giant maw of the radical leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, which made a meal of it.

According to their mission statement, "JONAH works with those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA) and with families whose loved ones are involved in homosexuality." The italics are mine: JONAH doesn't target happy gays; it is there for gay people suffering from feelings they profoundly do not want.

Again, from their mission statement: "Through psychological and spiritual counseling, peer support, and self-empowerment, JONAH seeks to reunify families, to heal the wounds surrounding homosexuality, and to provide hope."

Arthur Goldberg, co-director of JONAH, is the author of a voluminous book, Light in the Closet, in which he reminds us that Judaism's prohibition against homosexuality is based on Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is an abomination." However, he states, "abomination…has a deeper connotation of 'going or being led astray,' which is untranslatable in any other language; and straying implies the possibility -- indeed the necessity -- of teshuvah, of returning to the path of Torah and the Commandments…through a guided process involving counseling, self-discovery and a combination of gradual spiritual and behavioral self-adjustments characteristic of teshuvah.'"

This type of reparative therapy, as it is known, can work successfully -- "and has been accomplished…with a rate of success that is much too high to ignore," states Goldberg.  It is described, with many testimonials, in his book. Several websites, in addition to JONAH's, offer similar testimonials. See, for example, www.narth.org, www.pfox.org, and www.peoplecanchange.com.

But JONAH has never guaranteed change; like all forms of therapy, it offers hope, not an ironclad promise.  And like other therapies, it has its adherents and its detractors. The detractors include two young men, Benjamin Unger and Chaim Levin, both from Orthodox Jewish families.  About five years ago, Unger and Levin, who had been working with counselors referred by JONAH, made contact with a gay-affirmative group called Jewish Queer Youth, for whom they agreed to make YouTube videos. This led to a meeting with gay activist Wayne Besen, for whose website www.truthwinsout.org, the two also made videos. Besen played a significant role in hooking these disappointed young men up with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which, despite its name, specializes in left-wing activism, and whose endowment is in the neighborhood of $340 million.

It was only a matter of time before SPLC, with a huge and starry legal team, hit JONAH with a lawsuit that, after months of discovery, opened before the New Jersey Superior Court on June 3.  The plaintiffs were the aforesaid Benjamin Unger and Chaim Levin, Chaim Levin's mother, someone named Sheldon Bruck and his mother, and another young man, a lapsed Mormon, Michael Ferguson. The big guns, of course, were SPLC and its battery of lawyers. The thirty-page motion explains:

According to plaintiffs, JONAH's business practices violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act…by misrepresenting that homosexuality is a mental illness or disorder and that JONAH's therapy program is effective in changing the sexual orientation of clients.

The motion goes on to describe, in somewhat lurid detail, the methods used by JONAH's counselors, which allegedly caused discomfort to the young men.  These methods, some involving a form of psychodrama developed by Abraham Maslow and others, are intended to expose and understand possible family-related and other trauma. Unger and Levin had deprecated these treatments in their videos, but as was later shown in cross-examination at the trial, Levin considered the experience positive and helpful at the time of treatment, even volunteering to become a spokesman for JONAH.

What was obviously needed was expert opinion to explain to the jury the validity of these theories. And indeed, six experts, well-known in the field of reparative therapy, were scheduled to testify for JONAH -- a psychiatrist-author, a psychologist, also an author, licensed practitioners -- and a rabbi.  However, Judge Peter F. Bariso, Jr. refused to allow them to testify, on the grounds that "the theory that homosexuality is a disorder is not novel but -- like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it -- instead is outdated and refuted."  Apparently judges (vide Justice Kennedy) now come to court fully equipped with preconceived judgments.

Bariso's ruling effectively ended JONAH's ability to mount a successful defense. Despite their lead attorney Charles Limandri's efforts, called "dazzling" by sympathizers, and the poor showing of the plaintiffs and their mothers, the jury found for the plaintiffs. JONAH will now be on the hook for as much as $4 million in legal fees and financial restitution to the plaintiffs -- even though JONAH is a non-profit and poor, and even though Levin paid only one check, and that one bounced. 

JONAH plans to appeal. The real loser in this case, however, is the cause of reparative therapy, widely mocked by its opponents as "conversion" therapy.  There is little doubt that the object of such lawsuits is the abolition of any attempt to treat homosexuality as anything but inborn, much less remediable. And that would be a pity for those who sincerely seek help.


Janet Tassel

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/07/gay_whale_swallows_jonah.html

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.
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