“Central to Pakistan’s struggles is its poor economy and burgeoning “youth bulge.” Given these conditions, radicalism is on the rise in settled areas and threatens increased militant activity and insurgency in parts of Pakistan where the sway of the state traditionally has been the strongest,”
WASHINGTON — At least 50 Americans have joined the mix of extremist groups that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, and some could try to mount terrorist attacks at home, U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday.
Intelligence officials say the Syrian civil war has become one of the biggest magnets for Islamic extremists around the globe since CIA-backed militants fought to oust Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the 1980s, a war that ultimately gave rise to Al Qaeda.
James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, told the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that “7,500 or so” foreign fighters are in Syria from 50 countries. Clapper had cited an estimate of 7,000 at a Senate hearing last week.
A U.S. intelligence official told The Times that the total includes at least 50 Americans, a more concrete estimate than authorities have given previously. He declined to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the figure publicly.
Robert Spencer is such a “good scholar” when comes to Islam and the Middle East, that he couldn’t get his work published by a university or reputable trade press. Instead he got his work published by Regnery Publishing, a propaganda outlet with standards low enough to print creationist garbage. Now he is worried about our president and we are supposed to take him seriously. He thinks its very likely he maybe a secret Muslim waging “stealth jihad” against America.
Now I partially agree with Spencer, despite the fact he’s promoting a conspiracy theory and thinks that having a Muslim president in and of itself would be a bad thing. It’s unlikely that Obama would be acting that much differently if he were a Muslim, but that’s only because contrary to Spencer, most American Muslims are nothing like the negative stereotype people like him put forward. Policy wise, I don’t think we’d see a lot of difference, only because being a Muslim doesn’t say that much about you. Even if he were a Muslim, ( which we have no good reason to think he is ) I doubt that as president of the United States, Obama would support our nation’s enemies, even if they were also Muslims.
Other wingnuts of course have also claimed that he’s helping Al Qaeda, ignoring the fact that he’s been responsible for killing large numbers of Al Qaeda terrorists not to mention the fact that Osama Bin Laden was killed by US special forces under his watch, and he praised them for it. Do you really not think that this is something that would not anger fanatical supporters of groups like Al Qaeda more than him leaving Islam? Even if he where a Muslim, he’s not acting like a friend to Jihadists at all.
The idea that Obama is part of some kind of “stealth jihad” is ridiculous. It’s laughable at best, but so is the entire idea of the “stealth jihad” conspiracy. Most US Muslims do not want to live in theocracies like Iran or Saudi Arabia. The biggest American Muslim Organization Supported a bill to ban discrimination against LGBT people for example. Something you would not expect if they thought the way people in the “counter Jihad” expect us to believe they do. The Muslim Public Affairs Council also put out a declaration condemning extremism, which condemned Muslim extremists as well. In addition there’s something else that makes the whole “stealth jihad / creeping sharia” idea ridiculous.
Muslims in fact are less than one percent of the total US population. Just look at this graph from the Pew Research Center
If you want a group that really threatens our freedom, that may destroy America as we know it, from within, look no further than the religious right, which Spencer is a part of. Radical Christians will be the ones to do it, if anyone will turn America into a theocracy. Some of them outright deny that non Christians have any right to practice their faiths under our constitution, despite the fact that first amendment protects religious liberty for everyone. Many of them have whined about persecution while promoting and defending regimes guilty of the real thing.
This isn’t because Christianity is inherently evil, its not, anymore so than Islam or any other religion for that matter. It’s just that the Christian religious right has wide spread support here in the US, the Muslim religious right does not. Even if the average American conservative doesn’t support their agenda wholesale, it’s far more likely to appeal to him, than the agenda of some radical Muslim extremist group.
Spencer and his supporters in fact have come out against the rights of Muslims on more than one occasion. In fact the “counter jihad” only supports things like freedom of speech and freedom of religion when its their rights that are being violated*
This is why you rarely see them condemn attempts to take our rights away that are endorsed by people who are not Muslims or groups like the American Religious Right, that are not comprised of Muslims.
Yet in spite of the total lack of evidence, and even evidence to the contrary, we are told we should be worried that Obama is a “secret Muslim” working with our enemies. The shear fact that Spencer even thinks that conspiracy theory is plausible, should be seen as more proof that he’s little more than a propagandist and an anti Muslim bigot.
*While I don’t entirely agree with Jacob Mchangama regarding the decision the court made dealing with MTA refusing to run Geller’s bus adds, everything else he wrote here is spot on.
This Guy again?
The U.S.-born co-founder of a Muslim extremist group that once threatened the creators of “South Park” over an episode depicting the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bear suit is now facing up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to issuing online threats against Jewish leaders.
Yousef al-Khattab, who entered the plea on Nov. 1, is the third person associated with the group Revolution Muslim to be convicted in federal court in Alexandria, Va., the Washington Post reported. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7.
The Post reported that in court documents al-Khattab “admits encouraging readers to take unspecified action against Jewish leaders.”
Senator John McCain swung back at the Earl of GOHMERT! after the latter accused him of supporting Al Qaeda.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) threw verbal punches at each other Wednesday night and Thursday morning, respectively, in an ongoing tiff between the two lawmakers.
On Wednesday, McCain said Gohmert had “no intelligence” in response to Gohmert’s charge that McCain is an al-Qaeda supporter.
“Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence I don’t feel it as being a malicious statement,” McCain said on NBC News. “But yes, there’s polarization here, and there’s a lack of civility.”
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped Thursday by armed men and taken to an unknown location, the government said.
“The head of the transitional government, Ali Zeidan, was taken to an unknown destination for unknown reasons by a group” of men believed to be former rebels, the government said in a brief statement on its website.
Gunmen broke into the hotel where the prime minister was staying in the capital, Tripoli, and kidnapped him early Thursday morning, Al-Arabiya, a Saudi news channel, reported.
A former Libyan rebel group, The Libyan Revolutionary Operations Chamber, said on its Facebook page Thursday that it had “arrested” Zeidan after the government allowed the United States to capture Al-Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli last weekend.
The group said it had seized the prime minister “on the prosecutor’s orders,” and added that Zeidan was “arrested under the Libyan penal code … on the instructions of the public prosecutor.”
“His arrest comes after the statement by (U.S. Secretary of State) John Kerry about the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby, after he said the Libyan government was aware of the operation,” a spokesman for the group said.
The saga at the Westgate Mall in Kenya continues for another excruciating day. At least 62 people are known to have been killed by the terrorists in the attack.
Gunfire echoed around a Nairobi mall early Tuesday as security forces continued to hunt al Qaeda-linked attackers - believed by Kenya to include “two or three Americans” and a British woman - behind a siege that killed 62 people.
A large explosion was heard from the shopping complex on the fourth day since heavily-armed militants from the Somalia-based al-Shabaab stormed the busy Westgate complex, terrorizing shoppers.
In an unverified Twitter post on Tuesday, the terror group said its members were “still holding their ground” inside, and that some hostages were “still alive.”
The BBC reports that there are mixed reports as to whether the attack is now over, or whether security forces are continuing to carry out operations to clear the mall of remaining terrorists.
Fires at different parts of the mall caused significant damage. One part of a parking garage collapsed from fire damage.
The identities of those terrorists involved is beginning to be known, and again there have been conflicting reports as to whether the attack was carried out by all men, or whether women were involved as well. The woman is believed to be Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, who was the wife of a terrorist involved in the 7/7 terror attacks in London. She’s believed to be a facilitator for terror groups in East Africa.
While Twitter had killed their earlier account, the terror group established another one to tout their ongoing terror campaign in Nairobi.
Kenya’s foreign minister relayed that American and British citizens of Somali or Arab origin are among the perpetrators. That would seem to jibe with the American assessment that some Americans have joined with the terror group. That some Americans would join with the terror group is not without precedent. After all, al Qaeda’s ranks include (or included) Anwar al Awlaki and Adam Gadahn. Jose Padilla is another American who carried out plans to attack the US and its interests while Awlaki exhorted others to carry out attacks against the US and its interests worldwide.
Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, was British citizen who later went to Pakistan and Afghanistan to join up with the terror groups there.
The terror attack appears to have been a coordinated effort with two or three teams of terrorists and are quite similar to the attacks by Lashkar-e-Taiba’s attack in Mumbai in 2008 that killed more than 200 people and focused on non-Muslims. Some of the terrorists may have been wearing suicide vests. Muslims were separated from non-Muslims who were then executed. Bill Roggio indicates that families of diplomatic personnel are among the hostages.
It is possible that the terrorists at the mall are in contact with outside handlers, again following tactics seen at the Mumbai attacks.
The terror group claims that this attack is in retaliation for Kenya’s military operation against al Shabaab forces in Somalia.
It shouldn’t be surprising to see that al Shabaab is picking up tactics used with success by terror groups elsewhere. What it doesn’t say is whether this is a last-gasp attack indicating that the group needed to carry out a major attack or else fall by the wayside through a lack of support, or whether it signals a new resurgence in the group’s capabilities in the past couple of years.
The attack does once again show the importance of dealing with failed states to prevent them from becoming a safe haven and a terrorist incubator. Somalia continues to be a problem for East Africa and beyond, and some of the deadliest terror attacks have been carried out by terrorists who operated out of the failed state. This includes the US Embassy bombings in 1998.
#Kenya president: Terrorists defeated, 3 mall floors collapsed, 72 dead, more bodies trapped
If you could use a good laugh in light of the Egyptian bloodbath, look no further:
More of these troll tweets can be seen here: Twitter Totally Trolled Al Qaeda Last Night - Business Insider