Resources for Global Threat

Hearing: Yemen's Instability is al-Qaida's Gain

 

IPT News
March 2, 2011
Unrest in Yemen threatens to create a power vacuum that can be exploited by al-Qaida's franchise there and there's little the United States can do to help, three experts testified before a House subcommittee Wednesday.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) already constitutes the most dangerous terrorist threat to attack the U.S. homeland, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano testified last month. The panel of security experts before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism Wednesday agreed with her assessment.

IPT News

March 2, 2011

Unrest in Yemen threatens to create a power vacuum that can be exploited by al-Qaida's franchise there and there's little the United States can do to help, three experts testified before a House subcommittee Wednesday.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) already constitutes the most dangerous terrorist threat to attack the U.S. homeland, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano testified last month. The panel of security experts before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism Wednesday agreed with her assessment.

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Democracy is a Relative Term

 

By Robert Spencer
February 15, 2011
Everyone is excited about the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.  “This is a moment of huge opportunity,” enthused one noted analyst.  Another agreed:  “We will soon see a new Middle East materializing.”  The two analysts in question are Tony Blair and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—and that sums up the reigning confusion about what exactly has happened in Egypt, and what is likely to happen next.
Blair opined that “this is a moment of huge opportunity, not just for Egypt,” but for the entire Middle East.  “Despite all those challenges,” Blair added, “this is a moment when the whole of the Middle East could pivot and face towards change and modernization and democracy.”
Maybe.  Ahmadinejad, however, is envisioning a wholly different scenario.  He predicted that “we will soon see a new Middle East materializing without America and the Zionist regime, and there will be no room for world arrogance [that is, the West] in it.”
So who’s right?  Will Egypt become a Western-style pluralistic democracy, with equal rights for women, as well as for its sizable and embattled Christian minority?  Or was Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Ahmad Mersi correct when he declared that the Egyptian people want the rule of Islamic law?
Over the course of Egypt’s revolution, the mainstream media has been intent on downplaying the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Egyptian presidential contender Mohamed ElBaradei also minimized both the Brotherhood’s commitment to the draconian elements of Islamic law and its popularity, saying, “This is total bogus that the Muslim Brotherhood are religiously conservative.  They are no way extremists.  They are no way using violence.  They are not a majority of the Egyptian people.  They will not be more than maybe 20 percent of the Egyptian people.”
ElBaradei’s claim that the Brotherhood is not “religiously conservative,” although echoed by Obama’s clueless intelligence chief, James Clapper, is ridiculous on its face, and contradicted by numerous statements of past and present Brotherhood leaders, including Mersi.  Nonetheless, the Brotherhood has an 80-year history in Egypt, and in the course of 80 years, one may make a lot of enemies—soElBaradei’s lowballing of the Brotherhood’s likely post-Mubarak support within the country may not be very far off the mark.
Nonetheless, it may be able to steer post-Mubarak events in Egypt its way precisely because it is the foremost exponent of political Islam in Egypt.  A Pew Research Center survey conducted in Egypt in spring 2010 found that no fewer than 85% of Egyptians thought that Islam was a positive influence in politics.  Fifty-nine per cent said they identified with “Islamic fundamentalists” in their struggle against “groups who want to modernize the country,” which had the support of only 27% of Egyptians.  Only 20% were “very concerned” about “Islamic extremism” within Egypt.
In light of all that, it may seem puzzling that 59% of Egyptians affirmed that “democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.”  But while Westerners may assume that democracy refers in all cases to the implementation of Jeffersonian principles of limited government, tolerance, the free press, and popular accountability, all too often nowadays it has been reduced to mere head-counting—and in Egypt as well as elsewhere in the Middle East, the advocates of political Islam are the ones who have the heads.
That’s why Mohammad-Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the ironically named Iranian High Council for Human Rights, was able to express unqualified support for the Egyptian uprising:  “In my opinion, the Islamic Republic of Iran should see these events without exception in a positive light.”  He characterized the already-toppled Ben Ali government in Tunisia as “anti-Islamic,” and predicted that soon Tunisians would have a “people’s government.”  And in Egypt, Larijani said, “Muslims are more active in political agitation and, God willing, they will establish the regime that they want.”
The regime they want, by all indications, is an Islamic one.  A Kerensky-style interregnum featuring an uneasy democratic coalition enjoying little popular support may follow Mubarak, or the military may clamp down entirely on the protests.  But if the Egyptian people are allowed to express their will, almost certainly an Islamic regime will follow—with consequences that should give even Tony Blair reason to regret his enthusiasm.
Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad, Stealth Jihad and The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran (all from Regnery-a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

By Robert Spencer

February 15, 2011

Everyone is excited about the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.  “This is a moment of huge opportunity,” enthused one noted analyst.  Another agreed:  “We will soon see a new Middle East materializing.”  The two analysts in question are Tony Blair and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—and that sums up the reigning confusion about what exactly has happened in Egypt, and what is likely to happen next.

Blair opined that “this is a moment of huge opportunity, not just for Egypt,” but for the entire Middle East.  “Despite all those challenges,” Blair added, “this is a moment when the whole of the Middle East could pivot and face towards change and modernization and democracy.”

Maybe.  Ahmadinejad, however, is envisioning a wholly different scenario.  He predicted that “we will soon see a new Middle East materializing without America and the Zionist regime, and there will be no room for world arrogance [that is, the West] in it.”

So who’s right?  Will Egypt become a Western-style pluralistic democracy, with equal rights for women, as well as for its sizable and embattled Christian minority?  Or was Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Ahmad Mersi correct when he declared that the Egyptian people want the rule of Islamic law?

Over the course of Egypt’s revolution, the mainstream media has been intent on downplaying the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Egyptian presidential contender Mohamed ElBaradei also minimized both the Brotherhood’s commitment to the draconian elements of Islamic law and its popularity, saying, “This is total bogus that the Muslim Brotherhood are religiously conservative.  They are no way extremists.  They are no way using violence.  They are not a majority of the Egyptian people.  They will not be more than maybe 20 percent of the Egyptian people.”

ElBaradei’s claim that the Brotherhood is not “religiously conservative,” although echoed by Obama’s clueless intelligence chief, James Clapper, is ridiculous on its face, and contradicted by numerous statements of past and present Brotherhood leaders, including Mersi.  Nonetheless, the Brotherhood has an 80-year history in Egypt, and in the course of 80 years, one may make a lot of enemies—soElBaradei’s lowballing of the Brotherhood’s likely post-Mubarak support within the country may not be very far off the mark.

Nonetheless, it may be able to steer post-Mubarak events in Egypt its way precisely because it is the foremost exponent of political Islam in Egypt.  A Pew Research Center survey conducted in Egypt in spring 2010 found that no fewer than 85% of Egyptians thought that Islam was a positive influence in politics.  Fifty-nine per cent said they identified with “Islamic fundamentalists” in their struggle against “groups who want to modernize the country,” which had the support of only 27% of Egyptians.  Only 20% were “very concerned” about “Islamic extremism” within Egypt.

In light of all that, it may seem puzzling that 59% of Egyptians affirmed that “democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.”  But while Westerners may assume that democracy refers in all cases to the implementation of Jeffersonian principles of limited government, tolerance, the free press, and popular accountability, all too often nowadays it has been reduced to mere head-counting—and in Egypt as well as elsewhere in the Middle East, the advocates of political Islam are the ones who have the heads.

That’s why Mohammad-Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the ironically named Iranian High Council for Human Rights, was able to express unqualified support for the Egyptian uprising:  “In my opinion, the Islamic Republic of Iran should see these events without exception in a positive light.”  He characterized the already-toppled Ben Ali government in Tunisia as “anti-Islamic,” and predicted that soon Tunisians would have a “people’s government.”  And in Egypt, Larijani said, “Muslims are more active in political agitation and, God willing, they will establish the regime that they want.”

The regime they want, by all indications, is an Islamic one.  A Kerensky-style interregnum featuring an uneasy democratic coalition enjoying little popular support may follow Mubarak, or the military may clamp down entirely on the protests.  But if the Egyptian people are allowed to express their will, almost certainly an Islamic regime will follow—with consequences that should give even Tony Blair reason to regret his enthusiasm.

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad, Stealth Jihad and The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran (all from Regnery-a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

 

Terror in Sinai

By Frank Crimi

FrontPageMag

 

As the Obama administration welcomes participation by the Muslim Brotherhood in the new Egyptian government to be formed, reports have surfaced that the Brotherhood is now directing its terrorist minions to use the Sinai as a staging area for new terrorist operations.
According to Israeli intelligence officials, Hamas and al Qaeda fighters, under the operational control of the Muslim Brotherhood, are now using North Sinai as a base from which to launch large-scale attacks on both Egypt and Israel.
While Israel remains a favored target, the new terror strategy is also designed to push Egyptian forces out of the northern and central regions of the Sinai Peninsula and bring Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip under Palestinian control. An Egyptian retreat would also allow Hamas to fully eliminate the Egyptian blockade that impedes the organization’s smuggling routes into Gaza and restore them back to full operation.
By taking advantage of the current upheaval in Egypt, more than 1,000 Hamas and al Qaeda fighters have now reportedly entered into the Sinai through the tunnels that link Gaza to the Egyptian city of Rafah. Adding further concern to the situation are reports that Hamas has struck a deal to help arm the Gaza-based Army of Islam and transport them into the Sinai.
While the Sinai has long been a source of terrorist strife, having been used by militants to launch assaults on resorts in the southern Sinai, the new terror strategy has engulfed the region with a blistering series of militant attacks over the past few weeks.
On January 30, fighters from Ezz e-Din al Qassam, the armed component of Hamas, crossed into North Sinai and attacked Egyptian troops near the city of El Arish. This was followed a day later by an attack on an Egyptian police station in El Arish by an al Qaeda terror cell from Gaza.
On February 5, terrorists were accused of blowing up a section of an Egyptian natural gas pipeline that supplied both Israel and Jordan. Although that explosion was initially blamed on a gas leak, it was later confirmed as a terrorist attack by Egyptian officials.
In fact, the intelligence organization, Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) claimed that prior to the attack, an Islamist website had posted: “To our brothers, the Bedouins of Sinai, the heroes of Islam, strike with an iron fist, because this is a chance to stop the supply to the Israelites.”
On February 6, five armed men, three of whom were members of Hamas, were captured by Egyptian soldiers as they went back to blow up another section of the pipeline. A day later, Egyptian security forces came under attack near the city of Rafah by the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Takfir Wal-Hijra. The Egyptians claimed that the same group had kidnapped three Egyptian policemen only days earlier.
Adding further unease to the terror situation in Egypt has been the escape of thousands of criminals and Islamic terrorists from Cairo jails during the initial period of the Egyptian uprising. In the Egyptian city of Fayoum alone, over 700 prisoners reportedly escaped from jail while four jails in Cairo emptied onto the streets over 1000 convicts

As the Obama administration welcomes participation by the Muslim Brotherhood in the new Egyptian government to be formed, reports have surfaced that the Brotherhood is now directing its terrorist minions to use the Sinai as a staging area for new terrorist operations.

According to Israeli intelligence officials, Hamas and al Qaeda fighters, under the operational control of the Muslim Brotherhood, are now using North Sinai as a base from which to launch large-scale attacks on both Egypt and Israel.

While Israel remains a favored target, the new terror strategy is also designed to push Egyptian forces out of the northern and central regions of the Sinai Peninsula and bring Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip under Palestinian control. An Egyptian retreat would also allow Hamas to fully eliminate the Egyptian blockade that impedes the organization’s smuggling routes into Gaza and restore them back to full operation.

By taking advantage of the current upheaval in Egypt, more than 1,000 Hamas and al Qaeda fighters have now reportedly entered into the Sinai through the tunnels that link Gaza to the Egyptian city of Rafah. Adding further concern to the situation are reports that Hamas has struck a deal to help arm the Gaza-based Army of Islam and transport them into the Sinai.

While the Sinai has long been a source of terrorist strife, having been used by militants to launch assaults on resorts in the southern Sinai, the new terror strategy has engulfed the region with a blistering series of militant attacks over the past few weeks.

On January 30, fighters from Ezz e-Din al Qassam, the armed component of Hamas, crossed into North Sinai and attacked Egyptian troops near the city of El Arish. This was followed a day later by an attack on an Egyptian police station in El Arish by an al Qaeda terror cell from Gaza.

On February 5, terrorists were accused of blowing up a section of an Egyptian natural gas pipeline that supplied both Israel and Jordan. Although that explosion was initially blamed on a gas leak, it was later confirmed as a terrorist attack by Egyptian officials.

In fact, the intelligence organization, Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) claimed that prior to the attack, an Islamist website had posted: “To our brothers, the Bedouins of Sinai, the heroes of Islam, strike with an iron fist, because this is a chance to stop the supply to the Israelites.”

On February 6, five armed men, three of whom were members of Hamas, were captured by Egyptian soldiers as they went back to blow up another section of the pipeline. A day later, Egyptian security forces came under attack near the city of Rafah by the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Takfir Wal-Hijra. The Egyptians claimed that the same group had kidnapped three Egyptian policemen only days earlier.

Adding further unease to the terror situation in Egypt has been the escape of thousands of criminals and Islamic terrorists from Cairo jails during the initial period of the Egyptian uprising. In the Egyptian city of Fayoum alone, over 700 prisoners reportedly escaped from jail while four jails in Cairo emptied onto the streets over 1000 convicts.

 

These newly re-circulated terrorists include members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas, all of whom walked out of Wadi Natrun prison when the guards purportedly left their posts amid the turmoil of the rioting. However, other reports have said that the convicts were released in a Hezbollah-led operation, and that the Hezbollah- and Hamas-affiliated escapees returned to Gaza.

Other terrorists who were confirmed as having escaped from jail were two top Hamas leaders, including Mohammad a-Shaer, a renowned weapons smuggler. Perhaps more disturbing was the escape of 26 Hezbollah fighters convicted of planning terror strikes in the Suez Canal. Among them was the notorious Hezbollah terrorist Sami Shihab, sentenced to 15 years in prison for planning attacks on Israeli tourists in the Sinai. According to Mahmoud Komati, a senior member of Hezbollah, all men were “out of jail and safe.”

In the Sinai, Egyptian security officials announced that 50 terrorists from the Islamic group, Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, had broken out of jail. They had all been convicted of planning the truck bombing at the Sinai Taba Hilton in 2004, an explosion which killed 31 people and wounded 179.

Egyptian officials also confirmed that Hamas’s most notorious smuggling experts, including Muhammad Shaar, had broken out of the El Arish jail and were headed for Gaza City.

In an attempt to regain control of the situation in the Sinai, Egyptian forces have increased their presence in the area by adding an estimated 800 soldiers to the fight. Even though their presence violates the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli treaty, it is believed the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu has given the nod of approval.

That, of course makes, sense given the increased threat a militarized terror base in the Sinai poses for both countries. For its part, the Israeli IDF has also beefed up security along the Gaza border. However, this increase in troop strength is not just out of fear from terrorist activity, but also from a possible mass influx of Bedouins, who may flee from the unrest in Egypt into Israel.

Lastly, the sole vestige of an international presence in the Sinai appears to be on its way out, which will surely exacerbate the precarious situation. Disturbing reports have surfaced that the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), made up of mostly Americans and Canadians, is on maximum alert in its northern Sinai base and is awaiting evacuation to Europe, ending a thirty year presence in the region.

Most infuriatingly, despite evidence to the contrary, the Muslim Brotherhood still continues to play the role of benevolent peacemaker. Violent events unfolding in the Sinai reveal a far different view of the terrorist organization’s ulterior aims, however. For those who continue to invest in the idea of a nonviolent Brotherhood, we can only pray that these facts serve as a final warning.

Frank Crimi is a writer living in San Diego, California. You can read more of Frank’s work at his blog, www.politicallyunbalanced.com.

This article was originally published here

 

 

Iranium the Movie

Iranium powerfully reports on the many aspects of the threat posed by a nuclear Iran to America and the international community. 

Watch the complete film below. Visit www.iraniumthemovie.com for more information, and click here to take action.

 

Iran Goes All In

By Rich Trzupek

FrontPageMag.com

Dec 6th, 2010

While Iran has a huge amount of crude oil reserves in its rich fields, its ability to tap those reserves is steadily declining. According to CSIS, Iran is losing between 400,000 barrels per day to 700,000 barrels per day in crude production as its oil fields mature. There’s still plenty of oil down there, but Iran lacks the technology to engage in the sort of enhanced oil recovery practices that more advanced nations use to coax stubborn crude out of the ground. Absent the assistance of the West, Russia or China, oil export revenues could soon disappear. According to the CSIS report:

A 2007 National Academy of Sciences study reports that if decline rates are allowed to continue, Iran’s exports, which in 2007 averaged 2.4 million bbl/d could decrease to zero by 2015. To offset natural decline rates, Iran’s oil fields require structural upgrades including enhanced oil recovery (EOR) efforts such as natural gas injection.

Gasoline is Iran’s other Achilles’ heel. The Islamic Republic is desperately trying to increase its internal refining capacity, with good reason: Iran is much too heavily dependent on outside sources to supply the gas needed to keep its economy stumbling along. From the CSIS report:

Iran’s oil consumption was approximately 1.7 million bbl/d in 2007. Iran has limited refinery capacity for the production of light fuels, and consequently imports much of its gasoline supply. Iranian domestic oil demand is mainly for gasoline and diesel. Tehran imports about 40 percent of its gasoline.

Thus, if the civilized powers – and especially Europe – were to cut off Iran’s access to Western technology and to refined products, the regime in Tehran would be in real trouble. The combination of a loss in oil revenues and a transportation crisis would throw the already troubled Iranian economy into chaos. It might be enough to tip the balance in favor of the millions of Iranians who are already unhappy with the theocratic, reactionary regime ruling their nation. Sanctions could make a real difference in Iran, if the West somehow could find the will and the self-discipline to impose them in earnest.

If it all comes down to the military option, and it seems that the Iranian problem inevitably must come down to that, then there are only two nations in the world with the power and the will to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Israel could do it, but the political price it would have to pay to do so would be tremendously expensive. An Israeli strike would anger its neighbors, depending on the route it choose, potentially including erstwhile friends – or at least political acquaintances – like Jordan and Turkey. Iran would certainly unleash Hezbollah and Hamas into full insurrection mode and – at best – the stability of the Middle East would continue to erode for many years to come.

That leaves the United States. The United States alone has the capability to penetrate Iranian airspace at will at minimal political cost to deliver wave upon wave of precision-guided bunker-busting munitions that would reduce critical elements of Iran’s nuclear program to smoking holes in the ground. B-2 bombers staged out of Diego Garcia need not violate the airspace of any sovereign nation other than Iran, thus avoiding the public-relations quagmire that Israel would face if it staged the raids. Our erstwhile allies in the region, nations like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey, wouldn’t have to lift a finger to cooperate with us, nor would they have to express outrage, because we would not need to trample their lawns. They could instead quietly breathe a sigh of relief because Uncle Sam would have once again eliminated a grave threat infesting their portion of the globe.

The mission of the P5+1 nations in Geneva is clear: to convince Iran in no uncertain terms the that mullahs will face economic hell if they refuse to comply with the West’s demands. And, as important, it must be made abundantly clear that even if sanctions should fail, the United States has the ability and the will to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions once and for all. It is unfortunately doubtful whether the current dithering president of the United States has the backbone to draw such a line in the stand. Still, there is hope. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron appear to be made of sterner stuff. Perhaps they can fill the vacuum and provide the kind of leadership that Barack Obama is unwilling or unable to supply.

This article was originally published here.

Sweden's Decline to Islam

Sweden's Decline to Islam

VIDEO - Through uncontrolled Muslim immigration Sweden has ‘made its own bed’ and now has to sleep in it. These comments of Pat Condell, which aired just weeks before the December suicide bombing in Sweden, are enlightening.

The Jihadist Social Network Underworld

IPT News – The Investigative Project on Terrorism

December 10, 2010

"When are these crusaders gonna realize they can't win?," Baltimore bomb plotter Antonio Martinez boasted on his Facebook page on August 4th. "How many more lives are they willing to sacrifice. ALLAHUAKBAR." As details emerge about the plot to bomb a military recruitment center in Baltimore, MD, one thing is clear—Facebook is having a coming out party as the new go-to place for Jihadi recruitment, radicalization, and planning.

According to an internal DHS memorandum from early 2010, "jihadi supporters and mujahideen are increasingly using Facebook, one of the largest, most popular and diverse social networking sites, both in the United States and globally, to propagate operational information." While the DHS report, reported on earlier today by FoxNews.com, provides an academic study of terrorist groups' infiltration of social networking sites, an IPT analysis of the Facebook accounts of Martinez and his friends and associates shows that the threat is very real.

Facebook features pages devoted to convicted and suspected terrorists, radical clerics, and terrorist organizations. One page, dedicated to Faisal Shahzad, who's now serving a life sentence for trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, has been "liked" by 30 people. Another page for Omar Hammami—aka Abu Mansoor al-Amriki—a Daphne, Ala., native now serving as an operational commander for al-Shabaab in Somalia, has been "liked" by 26 people. Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader and spiritual advisor to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has 24 supporters. Al-Awlaki has been designated by the United States government as a terrorist; Hammami has been indicted for his close personal links to the designated, al-Shabaab.

Martinez's page includes links to numerous nasheeds—Islamic-oriented songs, often sung a capella—most of which appear to have been originally published by al Qaida's As-Sahab Media. Commenting on one such video of jihadis engaging in acts of terrorism, Martinez writes "ALLAHUAKBAR!!!!!!" On another, he explains "Shaheed is the goal and the women of paradise is waiting. So why are we delaying o brothers? Lets meet our wives in the paradise inshallah and reap the fruits of the 1 who struggles for Allah and His deen."

A friend of Martinez who goes by the name Mohamed Momo, lists Faisal Shahzad, Anwar al-Awlaki, and As-Sahab Media among his interests. Momo's list of friends on Facebook includes a smorgasbord of likely jihadist-sympathizers—judging from the contents of their profiles—mixed in with well known American Islamists. One such individual is Imam Siraj Wahhaj, the spiritual leader of Masjid at-Taqwa in Brooklyn, N.Y. Wahhaj has had a long history of virulent speech against America and Jews, and appeared on a list of unindicted co-conspirators during the trial for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Additionally, Wahhaj served as a defense character witness on behalf of the planner of the attack, Omar Abdel-Rahman (aka the "Blind Sheikh").

Reviewing these pages, the case against Martinez presents a perfect example of how terrorists—who have traditionally sought to exploit new and alternative media—are increasingly turning to social networking sites to spread propaganda, direct users to more radical websites and forums, exchange operational and tactical guidance, and for reconnaissance and targeting purposes.

Terrorist organizations and their supporters have consistently utilized developing technologies to spread their message, and social networking sites are only the newest method. Highlighting the use of Facebook to "share operational and tactical information," and "as a gateway to extremist sites and other radical content," the DHS report demonstrates how radicals have taken to the web to promote their message of hate.

In one example, DHS explained, "explosives related material, informational videos with titles such as 'tactical shooting,' 'getting to know your AK-47,' 'how to field strip an AK-47,'" were collected from a Facebook group with over 2,000 members. "Links to al-Qaida videos on YouTube, propaganda videos featuring wounded and dead Palestinians in Gaza, and videos promoting female suicide bombers were all openly accessible as well."

DHS also highlights how more than simply posting radical propaganda, Facebook is increasingly being used for its discussion forums to "spread ideological, tactical, and operational information." As an example, the report references a statement on a forum by a known radical:

"This [Facebook] is a great idea, and better than the forums. Instead of waiting for people to [come to you so you can] inform them, you go to them and teach them! God willing, the mujahideen, their supporters, and proud jihadi journalists will [use the site, too]. [First,] it has become clear that the market of social networking websites is developing in an astonishing manner and that it fulfills important needs for Internet users, particularly younger ones."

Finally, and a threat that the DHS report appears to recognize is still in its infancy, Facebook is increasingly being used for "remote reconnaissance for targeting purposes." The Shin Bet security agency has recognized terrorist use of social networking sites for remote reconnaissance, warning Israeli soldiers about posting sensitive information: "terror organizations are using these [social networking] sites to tempt Israelis to meet up in person in order to either abduct them, kill them or recruit them as spies."

While the DHS report provides anecdotal evidence of Facebook's use by radicals and terrorists, the case of Antonio Martinez and his Internet ilk demonstrate the severity of the threat.

This article was originally published here.

Time is Up to Stop Iran's Nuclear Bomb

By Clare M. Lopez

It’s not that unusual to hear hostile remarks directed at the United States from the Iranian regime -- but lately, it’s been getting not only personal but frankly contemptuous. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki recently let it be known that “we do not take [U.S. Secretary of State] Mrs. Clinton seriously.” Hostility is normal between mortal enemies. Contempt means they think we’re so weak, we don’t even rate the effort hostility would take.

At this point, even moves intended to show resolve fall flat with Tehran. Despite a U.S. naval build-up in the Persian Gulf that includes stationing two ships armed with anti-missile missiles and providing additional defensive missiles to Sunni regimes in the area, the Iranians remain unimpressed. Just as they were earlier when the Obama administration offered an “outstretched hand” if Iran would “unclench its fist.” Or when president Obama wrote ridiculous letters of supplication and congratulation to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and president Ahmadinejad.

The White House decision not to speak out in support of the Iranian demonstrators who took to the streets to protest rigged presidential elections in June 2009 didn’t seem to win any points with the mullahs either. Instead, the Iranian parliament voted to approve $20 million for exposing human rights abuses in the U.S. Is this country even capable anymore of realizing when it’s being seriously dissed?

Apparently not, because events in the Middle East are closing inexorably on an Iranian demonstration of nuclear weapons status. Years of dithering negotiations have proven utterly ineffective in halting Tehran’s deliberate, determined progress towards acquiring the bomb. The ayatollahs have missed deadline after deadline set by the international community while brazenly forging ahead with nuclear enrichment and a succession of missile delivery system tests. That not one single meaningful consequence has ever followed years of Iranian non-compliance with obligations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty they willingly signed must be the cause of much chuckling in Tehran’s tea rooms and war rooms. As long as China and Russia can be counted on at the United Nations Security Council to block serious sanctions or any other enforcement action with teeth, Tehran’s brutal dictators have no reason to expect they’ll be called to account. Certainly not by the Obama administration.

The scorn that drips from every comment to or about the U.S. by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his regime’s thugs has been earned. U.S. refusal to acknowledge the state of war declared against us by the Ayatollah Khomeini over 30 years ago, refusal to stand up to the rampant export of Islamic jihadist terrorism across the globe, refusal to impose regime-threatening consequences for failure to end the nuclear weapons program, refusal to stand with brave Iranians who dare to stand for their own liberty, and above all, refusal to confront Tehran’s 2-decade-long alliance with al-Qaeda, have thoroughly convinced the mullahs that they can get away with literally anything.

Even though Tehran has tried to hide its nuclear weapons program under bunkers, mountains, and population centers, given the revelations about it over the years from the Israelis, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), and every other Western intelligence service but ours, and despite the thoroughly discredited 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate which said Iran ended its nuclear program in 2003, there’s not much doubt anymore (even at the International Atomic Energy Agency—IAEA) that Iran is moving methodically towards acknowledged status as a nuclear weapons power.

The Iranian-North Korean joint venture on missile development has been coming along nicely with steady advances in technology (such as the use of solid rocket propellant fuel) and range capability (southern Europe by now). Iranian centrifuges spinning at the Natanz show site seem to multiply by the week (what goes on at the covert enrichment sites is anybody’s guess). An obvious nuclear triggering device test program and blueprints for fashioning the hemispherical pits of a nuclear weapon elicit little more than yawns from the U.S. intelligence community, even after both the MEK and IAEA revealed the details.

All that’s really left at this point is the buzzer -- or more specifically, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander’s finger on the button.

Change is coming to Iran, whether from a new generation of Greens determined to be free, or the gathering internal implosion of a revolution that’s run its course. But the time clock on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is ticking faster than either one of those now. Absent action from the outside, from the U.S., Israel, and/or the international community, Iran will be a nuclear weapons power in the very near future. Whether it chooses to demonstrate that status with a test launch, like India and Pakistan, an out-of-the-blue genocidal bolt against Israel, or a life-altering electro-magnetic pulse attack over the U.S., will soon be out of any of our hands unless somebody stops the mullahs soon and forcibly.

The courageous Dutch politician, Geert Wilders (currently on trial in Amsterdam for daring to speak the truth about Islamic jihad), has called America “The Last Man Standing.” The question is: are we? Are we really?

Clare Lopez is the Vice President of the Intelligence Summit and a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies.

This article was originally published here.

WikiLeaks Reveals an Isolated Iran

By Ryan Mauro

FRONTPAGEMAG.com

WikiLeaks’ release of 250,000 diplomatic cables is a shameful act that will discourage countries from sharing information with the U.S. and officials from having frank discussions. In the shadow of this disgrace, however, one kernel information may rise above the subversions and deliver an unexpected benefit: the world, including the Iranian regime, now knows that many Arab states are secretly entreating the U.S. to strike Iran.

In March, a member of Israel’s parliament claimed that a “wall to wall coalition” of Muslim states had secretly informed the Jewish State that they’d be behind whatever action was necessary to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The files released by WikiLeaks show that the MP was not bluffing. The Sunni Arab states are petrified of the prospect of a nuclear Iran, and an unofficial alliance of necessity between Israel and the Arab states has been forged.

Saudi Arabia, despite its promotion of anti-Semitism and Wahhabism, was reported, on several occasions, to have offered Israel its air space to carry out an attack. Exercises to simulate such an event have taken place. The Saudis deny that any agreement exists, but the private communications revealed by WikiLeaks show that King Abdullah “frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran.” He has told the U.S. that if Iran gets nukes, the rest of the countries in the Middle East, his own in particular, will follow suit. King Abdullah went so far as to tell the Iranians in March of 2009 that they had one year to change their approach. It is not clear from the documents what Abdullah planned to do after that deadline.

In a meeting in April 2008 between General Petraeus and the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., the ambassador said, “He [Abdullah] told you [Petraeus] to cut off the head of the snake,” a remark that could be interpreted as meaning the Saudis support regime change in Iran. If so, then they are on the same page as the Israelis. The director of Mossad, Meir Dagan, was recorded imploring the U.S. in August 2007 to support regime change in Iran by supporting the democracy movement and restive minorities like the Kurds, Baluch, and Azeris. The cable says that Dagan was “sure” the regime could be toppled.

The cables show that Bahrain is also part of the coalition. “The danger of letting it [Iran’s nuke program] go on is greater than the danger of stopping it,” King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa was recorded communicating to the U.S. In November 2009, the U.S. ambassador to Bahrain reported that King al-Khalifa had “argued forcefully for taking action to terminate [Iran's] nuclear program, by whatever means necessary.”

Bahrain has good reason to want to stop Iran. It is a Shiite majority country, and the ruling Sunni government must worry about an uprising from its people. The country is very susceptible to Iranian manipulation, and should the regime aim to create a Hezbollah-type force there, the government could very likely be overthrown. The country has been targeted by terrorists trained in Syria, and so, King al-Khalifa is right to feel that he is seen by the Iranians as prey.

The leadership of the United Arab Emirates is also very vocal in their support for attacking Iran. Like the Saudis, the Foreign Minister explicitly told the U.S. in February 2009 that the rest of the region would be forced to build nukes if Iran is not stopped. The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed told the U.S. that “I believe this guy is going to take us to war…It’s a matter of time. Personally, I cannot risk it with a guy like Ahmadinejad.” He even asked the U.S. if “all locations of concern” could be hit with air strikes and suggested that ground forces be used if they could not be. The UAE position isn’t news — the country’s ambassador to the U.S. said in July that Iran should be attacked if sanctions don’t work and that it would be worth the cost to his country.

Jordan appears to be a part of the Arab anti-Iran coalition as well, with the president of the country’s senate saying, “Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb,” according to one of the WikiLeaks documents. In January, Jordan immediately suspected Iranian involvement in a plot to assassinate two Israeli diplomats in its territory. Kuwaiti officials expressed similar alarm about Iran, specifically accusing the regime of supporting the Shiite Houthi militants in Yemen. The country’s military-intelligence chief was also optimistic about regime change, opining that a potential arrest of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi could spark a popular uprising.

Egypt is undoubtedly in the alliance as well. The cables say that President Mubarak has a “visceral hatred” for Iran. Mubarak’s greatest challenge comes from the Muslim Brotherhood inside his country, which is the parent group of Hamas — a close ally of Iran. In April 2009, Egypt arrested 49 members of Hezbollah plotting attacks on Israeli targets in the country, which prompted the Iranian-backed terrorist group to call on Muslims to replace governments that had allied with the West. The Egyptian Prime Minister flatly stated that Hezbollah had “virtually declared war.”

The central Asian country of Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, did not explicitly support an attack in the files, but President Aliyev was recorded as expressing deep concern. He says that Iranian activity in his country, including the financing of terrorists like Hezbollah, is increasing. He also mentioned to the U.S. that Iranian state media was broadcasting photos of him with a Star of David into Azerbaijan. He condemned the fraudulent “re-election” of Ahmadinejad and said the regime is unstable.

The position of Qatar is less clear. This pro-American ally is described as “the worst in the region” in terms of supporting terrorism and is too fearful of its own population to take action. Qatar has taken a frustratingly pro-Iranian line in recent years, but Prime Minister al-Thani is recorded as saying he doesn’t trust the Islamic republic. “They lie to us, and we lie to them,” he said.

Interestingly, the WikiLeaks cables indicate that the party most opposed to a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites is the United States. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates believes that the Iranian people would somehow forget how the regime has brutally oppressed them and embrace the regime if an attack occurred. One cable describes Gates as saying that an Israeli strike would only delay the nuclear program by one to three years “while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker.”

The WikiLeaks document dump indicates a wide range of support for military action against Iran. The files show that Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and probably Kuwait and Azerbaijan support a strike. It is safe to assume that a large number of Muslim and non-Muslim governments not mentioned in the cables are also supportive.

The documents indicate that the Obama administration has all but ruled out military action, but Israel certainly has not. Time has been bought with the success of the Stuxnet cyber attack and sanctions against Iran, but should the time come when a decision to bomb Iran is made, the U.S. and Israel can count on the support of a large but quiet Muslim bloc.

Ryan Mauro is the founder of WorldThreats.com, National Security Advisor to the Christian Action Network, and an intelligence analyst with the Asymmetric Warfare and Intelligence Center.

This article was originally posted here.

Iran180 - Rally to Restore Sanity to Iran!

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Iran180 - Rally to Restore Sanity to Iran! Using every opportunity to make the point.