Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged on Thursday that Iran will likely use some of the tens of billions of dollars its receives as a result of sanctions relief under the nuclear deal to sponsor terrorists.
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists to some degree,” he told CNBC in Davos, Switzerland. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”
Kerry said there were no indications yet that released funds were being directed “to that kind of endeavor” but that he was “sure at some point some of it will.”
He went on to suggest that the impact in the region of such funding would be limited, pointing to the much larger military spending by Gulf Arab states in comparison to Iran.
“The Saudis alone spend $80 billion a year on defense. The entire Gulf state community spends 130 billion a year on defense,” he said. “Iran spends 15 billion a year on its military activities. So it’s so incredibly disproportionate.”
The U.S., by working with its Gulf state partners, would be able to guarantee their security, he said. It would “stand by them, even as we look for this potential other shift in behavior.”
In Washington, Republican senators responded scathingly.
“Talk about stating the obvious,” the Associated Press quoted Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) as saying, adding that even when Iran’s economy was crippled by sanctions it was funding “guns, not butter.”
“To have them actually now say, ‘Well, we think some of this might go to terrorism.’ D’uh. I mean, really?”
At a press conference with several Senate colleagues focusing on Iran, Ayotte said it had been obvious from the outset.
“Finally Secretary Kerry acknowledged what all of us who have opposed this [nuclear] agreement from the beginning saw was obvious – that when they got this economic relief and lifting of the sanctions that in fact some of that money was going to support their terrorism in the region,” she said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) disputed that Iran’s use of the freed-up funds for terror was merely likely, saying in words directed at Kerry that it was “certain that they will use this money to support terrorism. You might as well as have written the check to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad yourself; you might as well have funded Hezbollah yourself.”
“So all of this cash going into the ayatollah’s pockets won’t stay long,” Graham said. “It’s not going into roads and bridges in Iran, it’s going into war machines throughout the Mideast and to think otherwise is completely naïve.”
In Davos, Kerry said Iranian President Hasan Rouhani had indicated that he wants to use the nuclear deal “as a departure point for something new” – although he conceded that “just saying it doesn’t make it happen. You have to now test it and see where we’re going.”
Kerry told the network Iran would likely get $55 billion in sanctions relief, not the considerably larger sums sometimes reported.
“It’s not 150 billion, it’s not 100 billion. Iran will get approximately – according to the Treasury Department and all of the analysis of our intelligence community – about $55 billion,” he said.
“Why won’t they get the 100 [billion] that some people refer to? Because a large chunk of it is already committed to China, to other countries through loans and long-term commitments that have been made.”
‘This is a sovereign country that will make their own decisions’
The IRGC which Kerry referred to is not itself designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under U.S. law, despite efforts by Republican lawmakers to prod the administration into doing so. (While in the U.S. Senate, Kerry opposed such a move, as did then-Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden; Hillary Clinton did not.)
Iran is a primary sponsor of violent anti-U.S. Shi’ite militias in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Iraq (Khata’ib Hezbollah and others). It has also long supported Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas. Hezbollah, Khata’ib Hezbollah and Hamas are all designated FTOs.
Shortly after the nuclear deal was announced last July, Kerry downplayed concerns about sanctions relief money benefitting terrorists, arguing that the Iranian government had more pressing priorities.
“If President Rouhani and his administration do not [use the freed-up funds to] take care of the people of Iran, they will have an enormous problem,” he told the BBC at the time.
In similar comments earlier last year, White House press secretary Josh Earnest conceded that the administration would not be able to prescribe how Iran uses the money its sanctions relief windfall, but said it was “common sense” to expect Tehran would use it to improve the ailing economy, not to increase funding for terrorism or for other destabilizing actions in the region.
“I’m not going to make any predictions about what they are going to do, and I’m certainly not going to be in a position to prescribe what they should do,” he said. “This is a sovereign country that will make their own decisions.”
Saudi Arabia’s execution of a top Shiite cleric has sparked outrage across the Middle East and around the world as furious protesters clashed with security forces on the streets over the decision to execute Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
Shiite leaders from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon have fiercely condemned the execution of al-Nimr, who was a driving force of the protests that broke out in 2011 in the Sunni-ruled kingdom’s east, where the Shiite minority complains of marginalisation.
al-Nimr was condemned as a terrorist by Saudi Arabia and executed alongside 47 other people convicted of ‘terrorism’ today. Widespread demonstrations have erupted in support for al-Nimr with Shia Muslims in from London to India condemning Saudi Arabia for the murder of the cleric.
Hundreds of Shi’ite Muslims marched through the Qatif district of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province in protest, which was closely watched by security forces with tensions also mounting on the streets of neighbouring Bahrain.
The Qatif protesters chanted ‘down with the Al Saud’, the name of the ruling Saudi royal family, leading to call in of dozens of Saudi military reinforcements being called into Qatif. Images have emerged on social media of a bus burning, reportedly in Qatif as the protests escalated tonight.
Protesters in Bahrain were met with tear gas as they clashed with security forces in the suburbs while hundreds demonstrated in Iraq’s Shiite holy city of Karbala.
In London, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Saudi embassy to express their anger about the executions.
Amnesty International UK’s Shane Enright told the Press Association that the death penalty was ‘unacceptable in all circumstances’ and it was particularly concerning that a number of ‘peaceful dissidents’ had been killed, including sheikh al-Nimr.
Speaking at the scene of the demonstration, he said a recent Amnesty report concluded that the trial against him was ‘deeply flawed’, adding: ‘We also came to the conclusion that he was jailed solely for expressing his peaceful points of view, protesting peacefully against the regimes.
‘This is an absolute, fundamental, breach of basic human rights,’ Mr Enright said.
al-Nimr’s execution has sparked fierce criticism from Shiite communities in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Indian-controlled Kashmir.
One of the 47 men executed in Saudi Arabia was Adel al-Dhubaiti, the al-Qaeda gunman convicted for the attempted assassination of BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner and the murder of his cameraman Simon Cumbers.
Iran’s Shia leadership said the execution of Nimr ‘would cost dearly’ and an Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq called the execution a ‘new crime’ carried out by the Saudi royal family.
It called on the Iraqi government to ‘reconsider the benefit of having a Saudi embassy in Iraq, with a suspicious ambassador and goals.’
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki warned in a statement that the execution of the Shiite cleric ‘will topple the Saudi regime’.
But most of the 47 executed in the kingdom’s biggest mass execution for decades were Sunnis convicted of al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia a decade ago. Four, including Nimr, were Shi’ites accused of shooting policemen.
The executions took place in 12 cities in Saudi Arabia, four prisons using firing squads and the others beheading.
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, members of a Saudi-led coalition battling Iran-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen, praised their ally.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan called the executions a ‘clear message against terrorism and those who call for and incite sedition and unrest to tear apart the society’s unity and threaten social peace in the kingdom’.
Bahrain, which has itself faced unrest from its Shiite majority population, also backed Riyadh in ‘all deterrent and needed measures it takes to confront violence and extremism’.
In the suburbs of the Bahraini capital Manama however, dozens of Shiite youth gathered for small demonstrations to condemn the executions. Clashes quickly escalated between demonstrators and security forces, who released tear gas to disperse the gathering.
A cleric from Bahrain who was at the protest in Iraq’s Karbala, said the world should react to Nimr’s execution. ‘Sheikh Nimr was an icon for Islamic resistance,’ Sheikh Habib al-Jamri told AFP.
‘His words were his weapon. They couldn’t defeat his words so they detained him, tortured him and today executed him in front the world’s eyes, like a challenge to global conscience.’
Bahrain was one of the countries caught in the centre of the Arab Spring in 2011, with the country’s Shiite majority population heavily suppressed during protests against the monarchy. Bahrain has remained a close ally of Saudi, who have been careful to safeguard the country during the Arab Spring.
Shiite protesters in Bahrain in 2011 called for the constitutional reform of the monarchy before security forces heavy handedly clamped down on demonstrations leading to calls for the end of the monarchy.
The protests in Bahrain tonight come after opponents have repeatedly been detained and stripped of their citizenship for speaking out against the Bahraini government and the actions of their ally Saudi Arabia.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) threatened to retaliate against Saudi Arabia for any execution of its members in December.
The list also includes Fares al-Shuwail who has been described by Saudi media outlets as the top religious leader of Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. He was arrested in August 2004.
The ministry statement said the 47 had been convicted of adopting the radical ‘takfiri’ ideology, joining ‘terrorist organisations’ and implementing various ‘criminal plots’.
The list also includes Sunnis convicted of involvement in Al-Qaeda attacks that killed Saudis and foreigners in the kingdom in 2003 and 2004.
International rights group Reprieve, who works to abolish the death penalty has condemned Saudi Arabia’s execution of 47 people, saying two were teenagers when they were detained.
Reprieve says the 47 people whose execution was announced Saturday include four Shiite dissidents.
It says one of the dissidents, Ali al-Ribh, was 18 when he was arrested in 2012, and another, Mohammed al-Shuyokh, was 19.
Both were convicted on charges related to anti-government protests in eastern Saudi Arabia, where the Shiite minority is centered.
Ahead of the announcement their mothers wrote a letter of thanks, published in The Independent today, along with the mothers of other youths sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia.
Reprieve said in a statement that the Saudi government ‘is continuing to target those who have called for domestic reform in the kingdom.’
Quoting the Koran, the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry statement said: ‘The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.’
While the list does not include Nimr’s nephew, Ali al-Nimr, who was 17 when he was arrested following the protests, concerns are growing for his fate.
His sentencing to death by beheading and crucifixion sparked an international outcry. Official charges against Nimr include attending a protest, using his phone to encourage further support for the demonstrations and possessing a gun, an accusation which the family strongly denies.
British shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn told the Press Association: ‘With the carrying out of this large number of executions there will now be huge international concern about what will happen to Ali Mohammed al-Nimr who is Sheikh al-Nimr’s nephew.
‘The Foreign Secretary has told Parliament that he does not expect Ali Mohammed al-Nimr to be executed but he now needs to seek fresh assurances that he will be reprieved.’
The Sheikh’s brother Mohammed al-Nimr said that the executions came as a ‘big shock’ because ‘we thought the authorities could adopt a political approach to settle matters without bloodshed.’
‘There will be reactions,’ he said, but urged people to ‘adopt peaceful means when expressing their anger.’
He says the family has not yet been asked to pick up the body but that a funeral would be held as soon as possible.
The execution of al-Nimr was expected to escalate tensions in eastern Saudi Arabia, where the Shiite minority is concentrated, and Bahrain, which has seen years of simmering unrest between its Shiite majority and Saudi-allied Sunni monarchy.
Those executed include an Egyptian and a Chadian. The rest were all Saudis.
Executions have increased in the kingdom since King Salman acceded to the throne in January 2015 following the death of king Abdullah.
The number of convicts executed on Saturday is more than half of those executed under Salman’s predecessor in the whole year of 2014, which tallied 87.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people convicted of various crimes, including drug-trafficking.
Authorities in the kingdom set up specialised courts in 2011 to try dozens of Saudis and foreigners accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda or of participating in the wave of attacks that swept the country from 2003, which killed 150 Saudis and foreigners.
The kingdom’s current Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef oversaw a crackdown on the militants at the time.
But Nimr was arrested for completely different reasons in 2012.
The interior ministry had described him at the time as an ‘instigator of sedition’ as it announced his arrest in the Shiite village of Awamiya in the east after being wounded in the leg while putting up resistance.
President Barack Obama says his administration will continue releasing terrorists from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, so long as those released are less dangerous than the jihadists currently fighting against the U.S. and its interests.
The bizarre argument comes in a new interview with Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News and is one of several comments in their discussion that reinforces the president’s stubborn nonchalance on issues related to jihad. Obama also shrugs off concerns about recidivism of former Guantanamo detainees, suggesting that only a “handful” of former detainees have returned to the fight and claiming that only “low-level” terrorists have been released from the detention facility. Both claims are demonstrably false.
In the interview, Knox asked Obama about Ibrahim al Qosi, a Guantanamo detainee transferred by the Obama administration to Sudan in July 2012, who recently resurfaced as a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, often described as the most dangerous al Qaeda branch. Al Qosi appeared in a propaganda video disseminated by the group last week. Knox asked Obama whether having someone return to the fight “in a big way,” like Qosi, has caused the administration to revisit its vetting procedures.
“I am absolutely persuaded, as are my top intelligence and military advisers, that Guantanamo is used as a recruitment tool for organizations like ISIS,” Obama began. “And if we want to fight ’em, then we can’t give ’em these kinds of excuses.”
There is no reason that Obama would need to be “persuaded” of something that can be easily demonstrated. Either Guantanamo is a major recruitment tool or it’s not.
Administration officials have been making this claim for years and it’s not true.
Guantanamo rarely appears in jihadist propaganda, whether ISIS or al Qaeda, and reviews of recent propaganda materials from ISIS and al Qaeda – online videos and audio recordings, glossy magazines, etc. – found very few mentions of the facility.
“Keep in mind that between myself and the Bush administration hundreds of people have been released and the recidivism rate – we anticipate,” Obama said. “We assume that there are going to be – out of four, five, six-hundred people that get released – a handful of them are going to be embittered and still engaging in anti-US activities and trying to link up potentially with their old organizations.”
A handful? Obama is woefully ill-informed or he’s being dishonest. According to the most recent report on Guantanamo recidivism, prepared in September 2015 by James Clapper’s office, Obama’s own Director of National Intelligence, 196 former detainees are either confirmed (117) or suspected (79) of returning to the fight. That’s a recidivism rate of more than 30 percent. Intelligence officials tell THE WEEKLY STANDARD that those numbers are almost certainly low, as they do not include jihadists the United States and its allies are no longer tracking.
(Obama’s formulation there is odd, too, using “embittered” as if the reason the jihadists would once again take up arms against the United States is their time in detention.)
Obama continued, describing the process officials use to determine whether a detainee can be released or transferred. “The judgment that we’re continually making is: Are there individuals who are significantly more dangerous than the people who are already out there who are fighting? What do they add? Do they have special skills? Do they have special knowledge that ends up making significant threat to the United States?”
It’s an odd set of criteria for evaluating threats unless your main objective is emptying the detention facility. These are standards set up to allow the administration to claim that the knowledge base and skill sets of Guantanamo detainees are outdated. But former Guantanamo detainees return to the fight with elevated status and often assume leadership roles in the groups determined to attack the U.S. and its interests. Just like Ibrahim al Qosi.
Obama went on to suggest that those released don’t present much of a threat anyway. “And so the bottom line is that the strategic gains we make by closing Guantanamo will outweigh, you know, those low-level individuals who, you know, have been released so far.”
Again, Obama’s claim is false. Many of the 653 detainees transferred or released from Guantanamo as of September 2015 were much more significant than “low-level individuals.” It’s a group that includes al Qaeda operatives who worked directly for Osama bin Laden, senior leaders of the Afghan Taliban, and veteran jihadists with decades of experience fighting.
According to assessments provided by Joint Task Force Guantanamo, the original population of Guantanamo was 43 percent “high risk,” and 36 percent “medium risk.” Only 20 percent of those ever detained at Guantanamo were deemed “low risk.” The Bush administration transferred many of the detainees found to present minimal risks to the U.S. and by the time Obama took office, 98.7 percent of those remaining were considered medium risk (23.8 percent) or high risk (74.9 percent).
Consider the Taliban Five, released in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl. Although Obama administration officials initially downplayed the significance of these detainees, intelligence and military officials made it clear that they were high-risk transfers. Michael Leiter, the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center under Obama, said it was “very, very likely” that the five Taliban leaders would return to the fight. Rob Williams, the national intelligence officer for South Asia, who briefed Congress shortly after the transfer, testified that there was a high likelihood that at least four of the five freed detainees, and possibly all of them, would rejoin the fight.
And what about Ibrahim al Qosi? He’s the Guantanamo recidivist that triggered Knox’s question to the president. Was he a “low-level” fighter, as Obama suggested?
He is not. Qosi is now a senior leader in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the group’s public spokesman. AQAP has repeatedly attempted to attack the U.S., while taking over large parts of Yemen. The dossier compiled by U.S. officials for Qosi demonstrates that he served bin Laden in multiple roles because he was so trusted.
A threat assessment of al Qosi prepared by the intelligence officials on the Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) reported that he would present a “high risk” of taking up arms against the United States or its allies if he were freed from the detention facility. “Detainee is an admitted veteran jihadist with combat experience beginning in 1990 and it is assessed he would engage in hostilities against US forces, if released.”
Virtually everything Obama said in his Yahoo interview about Guantanamo is false. Guantanamo is not a leading recruitment tool for jihadists. From the earliest days of the facility, many of those detained there were deemed more than the “low-level” fighters the president would have us believe. And far more than a “handful” of released detainees – nearly 200 suspected or confirmed – have returned to the fight.
We are left with this uncomfortable but incontrovertible fact: Barack Obama is releasing jihadists known to present a serious threat to the United States and he’s misleading the country about it.
In a recent interview with Jeffrey Wells, acting legend Kurt Russell responded to questions on the San Bernardino attacks by saying it’s “absolutely insane” to “think gun control will change terrorists’ point of view.”
This was preceded by Russell explaining that he doesn’t “understand concepts of conversation about gun culture” because “we’ve lived with guns since, what, the 7th Century or something?”
But according to Hollywood Elsewhere, Wells continued to paw at Russell, combining the emphasis on terrorism with the suggestion that guns are something “disenfranchised white guys need” so they can “feel good about themselves.”
If you think gun control is going to change the terrorists’ point of view, I think you’re, like, out of your mind. I think anybody [who says that] is. I think it’s absolutely insane. The problem, the problem that we’re having right now to turn it around… you may think you’ve got me worried about what you’re gonna do? Dude, you’re about to find out what I’m gonna do, and that’s gonna worry you a lot more. And that’s what we need. That will change the concept of gun culture, as you call it, to something [like] reality. Which is, if I’m a hockey team and I’ve got some guy bearing down on me as a goal tender, I’m not concerned about what he’s gonna do – I’m gonna make him concerned about what I’m gonna do…
Wells responded with, “I get that,” and Russell seized the opportunity to go back to an earlier question about the line separating fantasy and reality and said that reality is doing what has to be done to “stop” the guy coming at you–whether that guy is in the hockey scenario or in a scenario hedged in by terrorism. And once you “stop him,” Russell said, “That’s when things change.”
Wells countered by sticking with the gun control theme, saying, “Obama’s point was that the guys on the no-fly list, [they’re on it] for good reason because of terrorist connections or suspicions… they can get hold of a gun pretty easily.”
Russell said, “They can also make a bomb pretty easily. So what? They can also get knives and stab you. Whaddaya gonna do about that? They can also get cars and run you over. Whaddaya gonna do about that?”
Wells said, “They didn’t kill the people in San Bernardino with cars.”
Russell retorted, “But they’ve killed others that way, haven’t they? Yeah, yeah. Whaddaya gonna do? Outlaw everything? That isn’t the answer.”
Wells then said the words, “Just put some controls…” to which Russell responded, “Put some controls? What, so the people, so the people who want to defend themselves can’t?”
Wells tried to right the ship, saying, “No, not so you can’t, just so the idiots can’t get hold of them [so easily], that’s all.”
Russell said, “You really believe they’re not going to? Are you serious about that? What good will that…? Oh my God. You and I just disagree.”
Listen to the audio of the interview here.
Muslim San Bernardino Gunman Was ‘Eadicalized By Known Terrorists’ Before He And Pakistani-Born Wife Collected Masses Of Ammunition, Built More Than A Dozen Pipe Bombs And Left Their Baby Behind To Slaughter 14 People At A Holiday Party – Daily Mail
FBI agents have discovered nearly 5,000 rounds of ammunition, a dozen pipe bombs and hundreds of tools for making improvised explosive devices at a home in California linked to San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook and his wife, law enforcement officials revealed this morning.
The news comes as it emerged that the US-born Farook, 28, appeared to have been radicalized and was in touch by phone and via social media with more than one international terrorism subject, reported CNN citing investigators.
San Bernardino Police Chief Burguan said at a press conference that Farook and his 27-year-old wife, Tashfeen Malik, fired between 65-75 rounds inside a conference center at the Inland Regional Center during a holiday party for county health employees Wednesday morning, killing 14 people and injuring 21 others.
The couple came dressed in black tactical-style vests and were armed with a .223-caliber DPMS Model A15 rifle, a Smith and Wesson M&P15 rifle, a handgun made by Llama and a Smith and Wesson handgun.
Federal officials said all four weapons were purchased legally in the United States four years ago – the handguns by Farook himself and the assault rifles by a third party.
During a standoff with police in Redlands that occurred five hours after the San Bernardino massacre, the husband and wife fired on responding cops, who returned fire, peppering the couple’s rental Ford Expedition SUV with 380 rounds. Both Farook and Malik were pronounced dead on the scene.
When law enforcement officials searched the bullet-riddled vehicle with Utah license plates, they found more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition on or around the deceased shooters.
During the early-morning search of a residence in the city of Redlands associated with a family member of Farook, Chief Burguan said they came away with a massive arsenal of ammunition, including 2,000 9mm rounds, another 2,500 .223 rounds and several hundred long rifle bullets, along with 12 pipe bombs and tools that could be used to construct IEDs.
Burguan noted that the couple were well-equipped to carry out another attack. He added that Farook had no criminal record that police were aware of.
Farook met his Pakistani wife-turned-accomplice while on the hajj in Saudi Arabia and appeared to have been radicalized, law enforcement officials revealed.
Federal officials also told NBC News that Farook made a trip to Saudi Arabia, most likely for the hajj – the annual religious pilgrimage to the sacred city of Mecca that all devout Muslims are required to go on at least once in their lives.
FBI Assistant Director David Bowditch said it is believed that during his stay overseas, Farook met Malik, got engaged and in July 2014 brought her over to the US on a K-1 fiancee visa. He also mentioned that Farook traveled to Pakistan at some point, but he would not go into detail.
On Wednesday morning, Farook and Malik dropped off their six-month-old baby with Farook’s mother, saying they were going to a doctor’s appointment.
By noon, according to police, the couple had donned assault clothing, armed themselves with rifles and stormed a holiday party attended by San Bernardino County employees, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others.
Before sunset, after a massive manhunt and a violent shootout with police on a residential street in the city of Redlands.
Those who knew Farook, among them his colleagues at the San Bernardino County Public Health Department, described him as a devout Muslim but not someone who often talked about religion.
‘He never struck me as a fanatic, he never struck me as suspicious,’ said Griselda Reisinger, a former colleague.
Co-worker Patrick Baccari, who shared a cubicle with Farook, told the Los Angeles Times he and his young family appeared to be ‘living the American dream.’
In the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning, a search team comprised of police and federal agents combed the residence in Redlands, California, associated with Farook and his wife. A black sedan parked outside was also searched.
The home is where officers initially saw a vehicle matching the description of the suspects’ SUV in the hours before the final gun battle that killed them. A bomb squad on Wednesday swept the building with robots. Public records show it is a possible residence of a family member of Farook.
President Barack Obama addressed the shooting from the Oval Office shortly before noon Eastern Time, saying it is possible the massacre in San Bernardino was related to terrorism, but it’s also possible it was workplace-related, or that the perpetrators had mixed motives.
‘At this stage, we don’t yet know why this terrible event occurred,’ a somber Mr Obama told the press.
‘We do know that the two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes, but we don’t know why they did it; we do not know the extent of their plans and their motivations.’
The commander-in-chief assured Americans that the FBI, who has taken over the investigation, will get to the bottom of what happened in California on Wednesday.
In his remarks, Obama also touched upon the issue of gun control, saying the nation must make it harder for people to carry out acts of violence.
‘We see the prevalence of these kinds of mass shootings in this country, and like so many Americans, sometime feel as if there is nothing we can do about it,’ Obama said.
‘We can’t just leave it to our professionals to deal with the problem of these kinds of horrible killings. We all have a part to play.
‘We’re gonna have to search ourselves, as a society, to make sure that we can take basic steps that would make it harder, not impossible, but harder, for individuals to get access to weapons.’
Earlier in the day, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at a press conference the Justice Department will be offering ‘any and all assistance necessary’ as the investigation into the California mass shooting continues.
Lynch was speaking at an event about criminal justice at the White House. She called Wednesday’s deadly massacre ‘unspeakable.’
Lynch says the government doesn’t know a lot yet about the incident. But she says the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and other federal authorities have been dispatched.
The attorney general said that whatever the results of the investigation, there’s no place for this type of violence in the US.
In the hours after the shooting, more information emerged about Farook, who was born in the US, and Malik, whom he met in Saudi Arabia.
Farook’s family was originally from South Asia, while Malik was believed to be from Pakistan and had lived in Saudi Arabia before coming to the United States, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Farook had an older brother, he added, who had served in the US military.
Farook graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a degree in environmental health in 2009, according to the university’s commencement document.
As BuzzFeed first reported, according to Transparent California, which publishes public employee salary information, Farook earned $51,747 plus benefits, in 2013 working as an environmental health specialist.
The gunman’s father, also named Syed Farook, seemed shocked when talking to the New York Daily News in the wake of the slaughter.
“I haven’t heard anything,’ the elder Mr Farook said before his son’s name became public. ‘He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.’
In an online profile reportedly created by Farook and his parents six years ago on the dating site iMilap.com, a ‘one stop source for Indian matrimonial and dating services,’ the health inspector described himself as 6 feet tall and said he didn’t drink or smoke, according toABC News.
Farook wrote that he was part of a ‘religios [sic] but modern family of 4 – 2 girls, 2 boys,’ and that he enjoyed ‘doing target practice with younger sister and friends’ in their backyard.
He added that he enjoyed working on vintage and modern cars, and read religious books while enjoying eating out sometimes.
He was also registered on Dubaimatrimonial.com, a dating site that is the ‘first and only legal marriage service provider in UAE’ (United Arab Emirates), according to the website description. In that profile, Farook described himself as being from Karachi, Pakistan, but was born in Chicago and was residing in Los Angles as an American citizen. His religion was shown as Islam.
He also shared his thoughts on living a balanced life as a Muslim-American: ‘I try to live as a good Muslim. Looking for a girl who has the same outlook, wear hijab, but live the life to the fullest.’
Public records suggest possible turbulence in Farook’s younger life.
In 2006, Rafia Farook, who records indicate is Farook’s mother, filed in a Riverside court for divorce from her husband, the elder Mr Farook.
She enumerated multiple instances of domestic abuse in the legal filing, and said her husband ‘threatens to kill himself on a daily basis.’ During one incident, she said in a court filing, her son came between them ‘to save me.’
The suspect’s co-worker, Patrick Baccari, said Farook was gone for about a month in the spring. A short time after his return, he was joined by his wife, a woman he described as a pharmacist. A baby soon followed.
An online baby registry on the site The Bump that has been attributed to Tashfeen Malik by NBC News mentions the city of Riverside, California, as the mother’s address and a due date of May 17, 2015. Malik’s short wish list included Pampers diapers for newborns, cotton swabs, baby body wash and a convertible car seat.
Baccari said the reserved Farook showed no signs of unusual behavior, although he grew out his beard several months ago.
He said he had been sitting at the same table as Farook at the party on Wednesday morning, but his co-worker suddenly disappeared, leaving his coat behind. Baccari escaped most of the carnage as he was in the bathroom when the shooting started, and sustained only minor wounds from shrapnel which made it through the wall.
‘If I hadn’t been in the bathroom, I’d probably be laying dead on the floor,’ he said.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said that Farook was ‘angry’ when he left the party, before returning with Malik and a stash of heavy weapons. Burguan said that there was obviously ‘some degree of planning involved’ in the attack.
Survivors of the shooting said the heavily armed duo entered the party venue and opened fire on the guests without uttering a single word.
Police said a third person was detained, but during Thursday morning’s press conference Chief Burguan said that individual played no part in the shooting and is not considered a suspect or a person of interest.
Burguan elaborated saying that police realized the person was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant and he was booked on that warrant.
Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of CAIR, said the couple left their six-month-old daughter with Farook’s mother in the city of Redlands early on Wednesday morning. They told her they were going to attend a doctor’s appointment for the wife. They never returned.
Dramatic aerial images showed the aftermath of the police chase, which came to an end around a mile and a half from the scene of the massacre.
The bodies of Farook and Malik can be seen near their shot-out SUV, surrounded by heavily-armed officers. One of them was killed in the passenger seat and later removed from the vehicle, while another of the pair appears to have bolted from the vehicle and been gunned down not far away.
Fragments of video from witnesses on the ground showed the killers and officers exchanging gunfire on the roads of San Bernardino as bystanders ducked for cover. The chase ended some time between 3pm and 4pm local time Wednesday – as long as five hours after the massacre began.
A source told CNN that the suspects threw pipe bombs out of the windows of the vehicle before the shootout with police.
A spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the suspects threw a thick-gauge copper pipe out of the SUV, but no explosives were found inside. The fake pipe bomb was equipped with a piece of material made to look like a wick.
One officer was hit in the shoot-out, and was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The married couple also reportedly had left explosives behind in the conference center in San Bernardino prior their escape in the wake of the slaughter.
A bag believed to belong to Farook and Malik was later found at the site of the holiday party. Inside, police discovered three crudely made bombs packed with black powder and rigged to a remote-controlled toy car.
The remote for the car was later recovered from Farook and Malik’s SUV, a law enforcement official said, adding that its presence indicated that the couple planned to detonate the explosives from a distance but something must have stopped them.
KNBC reporter Michelle Valles tweeted shortly after 6am on Thursday that the gunmen’s shot-up black SUV was still in the street where the gun battle with police took place the night before.
Neighbors in Redlands were shocked that the suspected shooters had ties to their city.
A man who has been working in town told CBS Los Angeles he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people.
Police have yet to offer a clear motive for the attack, though federal agencies have yet to rule out terrorism, and are hunting for links to ISIS and other extremist groups.
Farook’s brother-in-law Farhan Khan spoke at a press conference held at the offices of the CAIR in Anaheim to say he was stunned to hear of his relative’s involvement in the shooting.
Khan, who is married to Farook’s sister, said he last spoke to him a week ago. He said he had ‘absolutely no idea why he would do this. I am shocked myself.’
‘I just cannot express how sad I am for what happened today. I am very sad that people lost their lives. I am shock that something like this could happen.’ Khan said other family members asked him to speak at the news conference, and to express their sadness over the shootings.
The FBI are considering domestic terrorism and workplace violence as potential motives in the killing, which is the worst since Sandy Hook elementary school was attacked in 2012.
After Farook and Malik were killed, police served a search warrant on a home in Redlands, believed to be the one where the chase began.
Around six vehicles carrying helmeted police drove into the area. One officer carrying an assault rifle ordered reporters to clear the area, and an armored vehicle parked outside a row of homes.
Stories also began to emerged from those inside the conference center. Shortly before noon, dozens of people were seen existing the building with their hands up. Others were seen being taken away by paramedics on gurneys. According to the New York Times, those who fled were brought to a golf course behind, but were then moved from the scene due to a ‘potential explosive device.’
The Los Angeles Times reported how one victim hid under a desk when she was shot once in the lower back.
Denise Peraza, 27, called her sister telling her that two armed gunmen, dressed in black, wearing black masks entered and started shooting at random.
‘She said, “I just want to tell you that I love you” and then she said she had to go and she hung up,’ said Stephanie Baldwin.
She said after the shooting, everything was silent for around five minutes until police entered and she was taken out of the building.
Marcos Aquilera told KABC his wife was in the Inland building when a shooter burst in and opened fire.
‘They locked themselves in her office. They seen bodies on the floor,’ Aguilera said.
People inside the building sent panicked texts to friends and relatives as the gunmen armed with what has been described by CNN as AK-47s stormed the center.
A woman named Holly who works at the learning center where the shooting took place texted her father, Terry Pettit: ‘Shooting at my work. People shot. Waiting for cops to catch him. Pray for us.’
Pettit replied: ‘Hide find a good spot hide now.’
Holly said: ‘I am but we are locked in an office. Cops SWAT helicopter, everything here.’
Another worker named Gina texted her sister Monique: ‘There’s a shoot out at my work I’m scared.’
The San Bernardino Fire Department tweeted at around 11am local time that first responders were on the scene in 1300 block of South Waterman Avenue. The shooting occurred at the Inland Regional Center, a non-profit organization for people with disabilities.
Marybeth Feild, the president and CEO of the Inland Regional Center, said the shooting happened in the conference area of a building that houses at least 25 employees as well as a library.
Glenn Willwerth, who heard shots being fired, told Fox News that he saw a black SUV leaving the scene that was ‘driving slowly and deliberately’. He said he saw people running frantically out of the building and hiding behind cars.
A day before the shooting, the San Bernardino center hosted a children’s Christmas party.
While most of the center’s youngest patients only come in for appointments, some of the most disabled are permanent residents.
A video posted on Twitter showed wheelchair-bound children beaming as they danced to the song Celebrate in one of the center’s halls – and pictures posted to the center’s official Facebook page show children receiving presents from Santa Claus.
SWAT teams were called in to clear the scene, according to Los Angeles News reporter Doug Sanders.
A bomb squad used a robot to detonate an apparent explosive device left at the scene, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing anonymous sources.
Loma Linda University Medical has received four patients in its trauma center and officials there were expecting three more. Hospital spokeswoman Briana Pastorino said she didn’t know the patients’ conditions.
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, which is run by the county, has received eight patients.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting in San Bernardino by homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco, and has asked to be kept informed as the situation develops.
In an interview with CBS News this afternoon, Obama addressed this latest shooting.
‘We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world, and there are some steps we can take… to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently,’ said the president.
The shooting in San Bernardino comes less than a week after a man opened fire at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado, killing a police officer and two civilians, and injuring nine others.
Neighbors of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook told ABC Wednesday that they noticed “suspicious activity” at Farook’s home recently, but did not report it for fear of being called racist.
One neighbor noted that police had been called to the Farook household in the past, “maybe for a domestic violence dispute.”
Additionally, Aaron Elswick – a neighbor of Farook’s mother in Redland – said that another neighbor told him “they had I guess been receiving packages – quite a few packages within a short amount of time, and they were actually doing a lot of work out in the garage.”
“She was kind of suspicious and wanted to report it,” Elswick explained, “but she said she didn’t want to profile.”
Over the last 48 hours, the unserious parade of clown leftists in politics and the media have jumped on every narrative rake in sight. They desperately wanted the shooting in San Bernardino to be a right-winger with an NRA tramp stamp gone mad. Instead, it turned out to be two Muslims who dropped their six-month-old baby off in order to pursue killing.
Here’s how the left desperately attempted to spin narrative after narrative – and will continue to spin in the coming days, ignoring the very real threat of radical Islam.
It Must Be Pro-Lifers! In the aftermath of the left’s gleeful attempts to tie clinically insane person Robert Dear to the entire pro-life movement, they initially thought they’d hit the narrative gold mine again: a Planned Parenthood was located near the shooting location! How near? Well, not that near. At least a mile away, it turns out. But that didn’t stop Sam Stein of Huffington Post from tweeting:
Planned Parenthood is about 1.3 miles from site of shooting. CNN, however, is reporting that the shooting didn’t take place there
– Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) December 2, 2015
Or Jennifer Bendery of MSNBC:
Planned Parenthood near San Bernardino shootings says they’re fine, no gun violence there, per MSNBC. – Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) December 2, 2015
There is a Chuck-E-Cheese 1.5 miles away from the shooting location. They weren’t targeted either.
It Must Be Right-Wingers of Unspecified Political Priority! If it couldn’t be pinned on the pro-life movement, it had to be some other right-wingers, at least according to moral cow pie Markos Moulitsas of Vox.com, who tweeted this:
Yo GOP, kinda hard to talk about “keeping people safe” when your peeps are shooting up America.
– Markos Moulitsas (@markos) December 2, 2015
Geraldo Rivera of Fox News had the day’s most facepalming moment on Twitter:
The key now is for us to be as outraged by San Bernadino massacre as we would be if Muslim extremists were doing the killing. This is terror
– Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) December 2, 2015
Oopsies. We Need More Gun Control! As the shootings unfolded, Democrats universally came out of the woodwork to chant to their pagan god, government: The Great God of Government had to stop such nefarious activities by activating the gun control agenda. Barack Obama said to CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, “We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.” Hillary Clinton tweeted:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted:
Mass shootings are becoming an almost-everyday occurrence in this country. This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop.
– Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 2, 2015
And the inimitable Geraldo Rivera again:
This narrative hasn’t faded quite as fast as some of the others, because Democrats are far too invested in it to let it go. Here’s Senator Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) this morning:
We’re going to force the Senate to vote today on amendments that do something to stop gun violence. – Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 3, 2015
Prayer Is The Problem! One of the odder narratives yesterday came courtesy of the mainstream media, as well as certain Democratic politicians, including a sitting U.S.AIR Senator: those offering thoughts and prayers were the problem. This narrative likely began months ago after the Umpqua Community College shooting, when Obama said that thoughts and prayers weren’t enough; now that narrative has penetrated the leftist mainstream.
Your “thoughts” should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your “prayers” should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.
– Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 2, 2015
Official GOP position: “Praying.” “God bless.” “Praying.” “Thoughts and prayers.” “Praying.” “Thoughts and prayers.” pic.twitter.com/OyW3fQvm4w
Scott Bixby (@scottbix) December 2, 2015
Other countries must have fewer mass shootings because their conservative politicians offer thoughts and prayers more vigorously. – Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) December 2, 2015
At least 14 dead and 14 injured. But lucky for them, the GOP is offering up loads of thoughts and prayers! – Markos Moulitsas (@markos) December 2, 2015
Fuck your prayers. https://t.co/y1nb2Jbxif
– timheidecker (@timheidecker) December 2, 2015
Huffington Post ran the headline, “Another Shooting, Another Deluge of Tweeted Prayers,” with the lead, “Public officials are the people society trusts to solve society’s ills. Like, say, gun violence. But every time multiple people have been gunned down in a mass shooting, all these officials can seemingly do is rush to offer their useless thoughts and prayers.” The dying New York Daily News took the cake with this cover:
– New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 3, 2015
The same people who believe that when radical Muslims engage in mass shootings, that’s not an indictment of Islam, are now pointing to Christians who pray for shooting victims and labeling them the problem. According to these deep thinkers, if you shout “Allahu akhbar!” while shooting crowds of innocents, that’s not religious in any way; if you pray for the victims, you’re a religious nutjob.
It’s Workplace Violence! This narrative began with the terrorism-associated Council on American-Islamic Relations, which held a press conference late last night. The CAIR spokesman said, “We don’t know the motives. Is it work, rage related? Is it mental illness? Is it extreme ideology? At this point it’s really unknown to us.” Today, President Obama suggested that workplace violence could be a motivation, even though workplace violence isn’t a motivation, but a method. NBC’s Kerry Saunders suggested that the workplace “Christmas party” could have offended the Muslim shooter.
It is highly unlikely that simple hatred of coworkers led to an organized terrorist incident, complete with IED development and GoPro cameras. It is far more likely, as President Obama suggested, that the motivation was Islamic but the targets were workplace-based. Given that the federal government has labeled Fort Hood workplace violence, however, we could see a redux of that narrative here.
Stop The Islamophobia! Sooner or later, we knew we would arrive here. And so we have: when all else fails, blame Islamophobia. On Thursday, Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) criticized Republicans for demonizing Muslims. That will continue all day.
There’s just one more step before we reach the end of the rake-stepping parade: climate change.
Keep an eye out.
President Obama’s universe must be a wonderful place.
It sure isn’t reality.
In an interview with CNN that aired on Thursday – the day after reportedly ISIS-inspired radical Muslim terrorists murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, California – Obama explained that Americans were safe from ISIS attack like the Paris attacks. “ISIL will not pose an existential threat to us,” Obama said, as though anyone argues differently. “They are a dangerous organization like al Qaeda was, but we have hardened our defenses. The American people should feel confident that, you know, we are going to be able to defend ourselves and make sure that, you know, we have a good holiday and go about our lives.”
The interview was taped simultaneously with the investigation into the San Bernardino shootings on Wednesday.
The level of disconnect here truly rises to the level of astonishing. We know that President Obama has lied about national security repeatedly in order to ensure his own political popularity – and we know he’s done so specifically with regard to ISIS. On Monday, his former intelligence head openly explained that Obama ignored intelligence about ISIS’ rise in 2011 and 2012 to boost his re-election chances. Now, Obama’s openly lying to us about our level of safety in order to protect his own prioritization of climate change.
Just to ensure that Americans feel perfectly safe against ISIS, Obama has pledged to move strongly on gun control. Today, the White House announced that Obama’s desire to strengthen anti-gun regulation would actually deter terrorism. Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked, “Does the President really think that common sense gun laws would deter terrorists now that he has admitted that these two may have been terrorists?” Josh Earnest answered, “Yes.”
Just like climate change summits intimidate ISIS. Just like ISIS was jayvee.
You’re not safe under President Obama’s watch. That’s because he’s not watching. He’s just covering his own ass, forever and always.
The terrorists were arrested trying to board a plane to Germany.
Police said one of the suspects had a hand-drawn picture of a planned route from Turkey to Germany, via Greece, Serbia and Hungary.
Via : FOX and Friends
Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have detained eight people at Istanbul’s main airport who they suspect could be Islamic State militants planning to make their way to Germany, posing as refugees.
The Anadolu Agency said Wednesday the eight arrived in Istanbul from Casablanca, Morocco, and were interviewed by criminal profiling teams at Ataturk Airport. Citing police sources, the agency said one of the suspects had a hand-drawn picture of a planned route from Turkey to Germany, via Greece, Serbia and Hungary.
Anadolu said the eight claimed to be tourists visiting Istanbul but a hotel refuted claims they had reservations there.
As I write, Paris is under curfew for the first time since the German occupation, and the death toll from the multiple attacks stands at 158, the vast majority of them slaughtered during a concert at the Bataclan theatre, a delightful bit of 19th century Chinoiserie on the boulevard Voltaire. The last time I was there, if memory serves, was to see Julie Pietri. I’m so bloody sick of these savages shooting and bombing and killing and blowing up everything I like – whether it’s the town where my little girl’s favorite fondue restaurant is or my favorite hotel in Amman or the brave freespeecher who hosted me in Copenhagen …or a music hall where I liked to go to hear a little jazz and pop and get away from the cares of the world for a couple of hours. But look at the photographs from Paris: there’s nowhere to get away from it; the barbarians who yell “Allahu Akbar!” are there waiting for you …when you go to a soccer match, you go to a concert, you go for a drink on a Friday night. They’re there on the train… at the magazine office… in the Kosher supermarket… at the museum in Brussels… outside the barracks in Woolwich…
Twenty-four hours ago, I said on the radio apropos the latest campus “safe space” nonsense:
This is what we’re going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us.
Almost. When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?
With his usual killer comedy timing, the “leader of the free world” told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning, America” this very morning that he’d “contained” ISIS and that they’re not “gaining strength”. A few hours later, a cell whose members claim to have been recruited by ISIS slaughtered over 150 people in the heart of Paris and succeeded in getting two suicide bombers and a third bomb to within a few yards of the French president.
Visiting the Bataclan, M Hollande declared that “nous allons mener le combat, il sera impitoyable”: We are going to wage a war that will be pitiless.
Does he mean it? Or is he just killing time until Obama and Cameron and Merkel and Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull fly in and they can all get back to talking about sea levels in the Maldives in the 22nd century? By which time France and Germany and Belgium and Austria and the Netherlands will have been long washed away.
Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described tonight’s events as “an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share”.
But that’s not true, is it? He’s right that it’s an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity”. And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live – modern, pluralist, western societies and those “universal values” of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.
And all Chancellor Merkel and the EU want to do is make that large comfort zone even larger by letting millions more “Syrian” “refugees” walk into the Continent and settle wherever they want. As I wrote after the Copenhagen attacks in February:
I would like to ask Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt what’s their happy ending here? What’s their roadmap for fewer “acts of violence” in the years ahead? Or are they riding on a wing and a prayer that they can manage the situation and hold it down to what cynical British civil servants used to call during the Irish “Troubles” “an acceptable level of violence”? In Pakistan and Nigeria, the citizenry are expected to live with the reality that every so often Boko Haram will kick open the door of the schoolhouse and kidnap your daughters for sex-slavery or the Taliban will gun down your kids and behead their teacher in front of the class. And it’s all entirely “random”, as President Obama would say, so you just have to put up with it once in a while, and it’s tough if it’s your kid, but that’s just the way it is. If we’re being honest here, isn’t that all Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt are offering their citizens? Spasms of violence as a routine feature of life, but don’t worry, we’ll do our best to contain it – and you can help mitigate it by not going to “controversial” art events, or synagogues, or gay bars, or…
…or soccer matches, or concerts, or restaurants…
To repeat what I said a few days ago, I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day. The west cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamization and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.
So I say again: What’s the happy ending here? Because if M Hollande isn’t prepared to end mass Muslim immigration to France and Europe, then his “pitiless war” isn’t serious. And, if they’re still willing to tolerate Mutti Merkel’s mad plan to reverse Germany’s demographic death spiral through fast-track Islamization, then Europeans aren’t serious. In the end, the decadence of Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of the fin de civilisation western leadership will cost you your world and everything you love.
So screw the candlelight vigil.
Russian intelligence officers claim Islamic State (ISIS) is preparing to take on Central Asia in its latest battle to take on the world in a frightening discovery.
Huge numbers of Islamist fighters are massing on Afghanistan’s northern border ready to march into neighbouring states, Russian intelligence officials have revealed.
Moscow’s spy chief Alexander Bortnikov warned fighters from the Taliban, many of whom have pledged allegiance to ISIS, were heavily armed and prepared to pass through porous border controls.
Speaking at a meeting of special services from the Commonwealth of Independent States, he warned: “The international community has now hit a new geopolitical challenge, an international criminal group in the name of the Islamic State.
“This project, which grew out of the ‘Arab Spring,’ has gained momentum thanks to the double standards of certain world regional powers by using ‘a terrorist battering ram’ to reach their own strategic goals in Asia and Africa.
“According to our estimates, citizens from more than 100 countries are currently fighting in the ranks of terrorist structures and the recruits constitute up to 40 percent of their forces.
“The escalation in tensions in Afghanistan has brought on serious dangers. There are numerous criminal groups included in the Taliban movement on the northern borders of this country right now. Some of them have also began operating under the Islamic State flag, which has led to a sharp rise in the threat of terrorists invading Central Asia.”
The jihadi hate group could be trying to open up a new front to the north of its territories after being pegged back in Syria by Russian airstrikes.
The invasion would be a swipe at Vladimir Puitin as it would take them into the former Soviet states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which are still beholden to Moscow.
They would also secure control of lucrative drug trafficking routes taking raw opium from Afghanistan to be sold as heroin on the streets of Russia and Europe.
ISIS has been looking to grow its presence in Asia and has active cells in India, Pakistan and Malaysia.
Putin earlier this month called the situation in Afghanistan “close to critical” and called on other ex-Soviet nations to be prepared to act together to repel a possible attack by ISIS.
The Islamic maniacs have been heavily battered by Western and Russian airstrikes, with some experts warning its economy is ailing and its command structure close to collapse.
The brutal jihadis have previously announced their intentions to take over the world and subject everyone to their warped ideology of Sharia Law.
Black Woman Arrested In GA For Threatening To Kill Police, White People, Connected To Black Lives Matter, FYF… Update: Charges Include Making Terroristic Threats And Cruelty To Children, Judge Denies Bond – Weasel Zippers
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. – Clayton County police are investigating threats against officers made by a woman in videos posted on the Internet.
Police say the woman who made the Internet threats lives a mile-and-a-half from a Clayton County police station.
The videos are filled with profanity and hate for white people.
The woman in the video, Latausha Nedd, who goes by the name Eye Empress Sekhmet, calls for a war on not only white people, but she advocates shooting police officers.
“I say let’s have a take a gun day, and start walking up on these untrained and stealing their weapons,” Nedd said.
“You really want people to kill cops?” Channel 2’s Tom Jones asked Nedd.
“I never said that,” Nedd told Jones.
Here’s the arrest:
Here’s some of the uncensored video (warning for language):
Here’s another interesting fact. In the first video above, there are two men in one of her videos, one identified as ‘Black Supreme Power’, the other as ‘Palmetto Star’.
Palmetto Star was involved in organizing the Black Lives Matter FYF event at Stone Mountain on 9/11. If you’ll recall they said they were going to have 2500 people out and ended up with 8.
Here’s a picture of the eight:
Latausha showing her affection for the flag on Memorial Day:
She used to work for the Georgia Citizen’s Coalition for the Homeless, Amnesty International and other social justice organizations. She was a fellow of the ‘Women’s Policy Institue’ to train grassroots leaders in California to help pass legislation.
The charges for the ‘Empress’ include making terroristic threats, criminal solicitation (urging people on youtube to kill white people and take over police stations), battery and ‘cruelty to children’. We do not yet know the story behind the last two charges yet.
After all sorts of proclamations about not caring what the police or anyone thought, her buddy, Palmetto Star, is now claiming the youtube threats were part of a ‘movie’. Given several videos and appearances on his blog talk radio show, it’s clear that was not the case. He also encouraged people to phone harass the police to ‘check on her’.
The judge denied her bond, so the Empress is going to sit for a bit.
Peaceful Protests –
Two New Black Panthers members were indicted in April on charges they were planning to bomb public buildings including the Ferguson police station.
The two panthers admitted in court they were plotting a major bomb attack but ran out of money on their EBT cards.
Brandon Orlando Baldwin, 22, and Olajuwon Davis,22 were indicted on charges by federal agents.
Two St. Louis men were ordered Thursday to spend seven years in federal prison for planning a foiled bomb attack targeting the Ferguson police chief, the county’s prosecutor and other officials after last year’s police shooting death of Michael Brown.
The two #BlackLivesMatter activists admitted in court that they were planning to blow up the Ferguson police station and murder St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch… But they didn’t have enough money on their EBT card!
The Obama administration intends to transfer up to 10 detainees from the Guantanamo detention center to other countries this month, even while the Senate debates freezing such transfers and keeping the prison site open. These would be the first transfers since the president stopped releasing the detainees the first of January amid anger on the part of Americans and a refusal of some countries to accept any more of them.
“You’re likely to see some progress in June,” a defense official said Wednesday. “I just talked to the National Security Council and people at State Department, and we could see as many as 10 be released. While there is no definite timeframe on this it would be sooner rather than later. The administration is actively engaged with a number of countries in additional negotiations regarding the 57 that are eligible. Of the prison’s 122 detainees, 57 have been cleared for transfer to other countries by the Pentagon as part of an interagency review.
Last year, the Obama administration sped up transfers in a race to empty the detention center before the Republican-led Congress could block attempts to close it. Those transfers came to a halt in January. In April, when the Washington Post reported they might start again, and today, the official said that some June transfers are likely.
These would be the first prisoners to leave Guantanamo under new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Carter replaced Chuck Hagel in February following his reluctance to back the administration on the releases of the terrorists. Ultimately, Hagel transferred 44 Guantanamo detainees – more than half of those in the weeks before he stepped down in November. Still, that was ten times more than his predecessor, Leon Panetta, who transferred just four.
Obama wants to close Guantanamo, and in Carter, he has found a willing accomplice. “He has also said that he wants to take a holistic approach,” the official said. “So he wants to focus on the 57 who are cleared for transfer, but he wants to see what we’re doing with the rest of those. So he’s thinking about all 122, not just the 57.”
The source said Carter was working hard on the issue. “I think it’s fair to say he’s fully engaged in all things Guantanamo – transfers, dealing with the Senate and the House and the Hill, talking with the White House on a regular basis”. “There’s a been a lot of oversight and follow-up on the Hill, explaining why a specific transfer meets the statute; why somebody, who hypothetically is in Guantanamo because they’re not a choir boy, that threat can be substantially mitigated.”
This week, the Senate began considering the 2016 defense authorization bill, or NDAA, which over the years has become the main battleground for the fight to keep or close the prison. Both existing versions of House and Senate NDAA would extend current restrictions on transferring prisoners to facilities inside the United States, and restore stricter provisions stripped out in past years. In some cases, they would also add new obstacles, essentially blocking many of the third-party transfers. The House version would withhold 25 percent of Carter’s budget as punishment for what House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, called foot-dragging on providing documents related to the five terrorists swapped for accused deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
The Senate Armed Services Committee inserted a compromise provision drawn up by Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.: the president can close the prison if he can draw up a plan that gets Congressional approval; if not, stricter restrictions go into effect.
“This legislation contains a bipartisan compromise on how to address the challenge of the detention facility of Guantanamo Bay,” McCain said in his opening statement on the floor Wednesday. “President Obama has said from day one of his presidency that he wants to close Guantanamo, but six and a half years into his administration, the President has never provided a plan to do so.”
SASC Ranking Member Jack Reed, D-R.I., voted against the bill and spoke against it on the floor. “One problem is the familiar, oft-debated and very complicated challenge of Guantanamo,” he said. “While we have had some carefully crafted compromise language in this bill, there are other provisions that reverse progress, particularly on the overseas transfers of detainees.”
The White House has threatened to veto the NDAAs as drafted, arguing they not only move backward rather than forward on closing the facility, but that portions are unconstitutional infringements on the executive.
“The bill also continues unwarranted restrictions, and imposes onerous additional ones, regarding detainees at Guantanamo Bay,” the administration policy statement on the Senate NDAA reads, repeating the veto threat. “These provisions undermine our national security by limiting our ability to act as our military, diplomatic, and other national security professionals deem appropriate in a given case.”
The five Taliban prisoners in the proposed exchange are from top left: Mohammad Nabi Omari, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa. (NY Times)
The five top Taliban leaders released by Obama last year in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl will be set free by Qatar on June 1st.
The five senior Taliban Commanders released from Guantanamo (GITMO) in exchange for the return of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are set to be freed from their “luxurious” confinement in Qatar effective June 1. These five hard-core terrorists are Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammend Nabi Omari. They were classified as some of the most dangerous Taliban commanders held at GITMO, according to Thomas Joscelyn of The Long War Journal.
There is little doubt that these five Taliban commanders will return to the Afghanistan battlefield. The real issue that should not be overlooked is why these five hardcore terrorists were traded for the return of Bergdahl, a deserter, according to his platoon mates. Bergdahl left his guard post and walked away from his base in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. He took off his body armor and left his weapon behind.
An AP report of March 2, 2014, states that Bergdahl willingly walked away from his post while deployed in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan. The article further refers to aRolling Stone article that quoted e-mails from Bergdahl to his parents saying that he was disillusioned and had lost faith in the US Army mission, and that he was considering desertion. He told his parents that he was “ashamed to even be American.” Prior to deserting his position, he mailed home boxes containing his uniform and books. The AP could not verify the e-mails.
Afghan officials worried the Taliban leaders released by Barack Obama will rejoin the battle against the government.
One former Gitmo prisoner, Taliban leader Noorullah Noori, promised to return to Afghanistan and fight the Americans after his arrival in Qatar.
Al-Shabaab terrorists interrogated students whether they were Christian or Muslim as they went door-to-door during this morning’s early morning massacre at a Kenyan university, killing at least 15 people.
The group raided the Garissa University campus shortly after 5am local time, overwhelming guards and killing anyone the suspected of being a Christian.
Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said that only 280 of the 815 students in the college have so far been accounted for.
The terrorists stuck mid-way through Holy Week, the most solemn period in the Christian calendar. Tonight, the Christian students were planning to celebrate the Last Supper in preparation tomorrow for Good Friday.
Kenyan security officials said one of the terrorists has been arrested after he tried to escape the compound.
They have also offered a $220,000 bounty for Mohammed Mohamud, known as Dulyadin, alias Gamadhere, who they suspect of masterminding the attack.
Eye-witness Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said he was preparing to take a shower when he heard gunshots coming from Tana dorm, which hosts both men and women, 150 meters (yards) away.
The campus has six dormitories and at least 887 students, he said.
The remaining terrorists have been cornered in one of the four remaining dormitories according to Kenyan security officials.
He said that when he heard the gunshots he locked himself and three roommates in their room. ‘All I could hear were footsteps and gunshots nobody was screaming because they thought this would lead the gunmen to know where they are.
‘The gunmen were saying sisi ni al-Shabaab (Swaihi for we are al-Shabaab).’
Mr Wetangula said he could hear the gunmen interrogating fellow students hiding inside their rooms about their religion.
He said: ‘If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.’
The gunmen started to shoot rapidly and it was as if there was an exchange of fire, he said.
‘The next thing, we saw people in military uniform through the window of the back of our rooms who identified themselves as the Kenyan military.’
The soldiers took him and approximately 20 others to safety.
As they were running, al-Shabaab snipers on top of a three-storey building attempted to gun them down.
He added: ‘We started running and bullets were whizzing past our heads and the soldiers told us to dive.’
Fellow student, Augustine Alanga, 21, described a panicked scene as gunshots rang out outside their dormitory.
He said he saw at least five heavily-armed terrorists wearing masks.
He said: ‘I am just now recovering from the pain as I injured myself while trying to escape. I was running barefoot.’
He told journalists he crossed barbed-wire fencing to escape the massacre.
Mr Alanga said any students attending morning prayers at the university’s mosque at 5.30am were not attacked.
It is understood that some of the terrorists have taken sniper positions and have been shooting police officers trying to retake the campus
One policeman said: ‘I have counted 14 bodies of dead people being carried out of the campus by a Red Cross ambulance, and they include two of our officers who were also killed
‘We are finding it difficult to access the compound because some of the attackers are on top of a building and are firing at us whenever we try to gain entry.’
A spokesman for al-Shabaab said it was claiming responsibility for the latest atrocity.
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s ‘military operations spokesman’ said: ‘We sorted people out and released the Muslims.
‘There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building. We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college.’
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed that a hostage situation had now developed between his men and the remaining gunmen, who are holding the students.
Troops have so far cleared three of the four dormitories.
President Kenyatta said he was going to fast-track the recruitment of 10,000 new police officers to tackle the al-Shabaab menace.
Just last week, the Chief Security Officer at the University of Nairobi feared an attack was imminent and issued a security warning – but it is unclear whether the same information was relayed to Garissa officials.
It’s believed the gunmen attacked in the early hours, ‘during morning prayers’, setting off explosions and exchanging gunfire with security services for several hours, Kenyan media and the Red Cross said.
Witness Milka Ndung’u told NTV that the gunfire was popping ‘like fireworks’ from about 5am local time.
Ms Ndung’u said she and other students ran for their lives and took cover in a nearby field, but when the gunmen took aim, they were forced to flee their hiding spot.
Another student, Augustine Alanga, told CNN he too was woken by the shooting and looked out to see colleagues running for cover.
Musa Yego said gunshots and explosions could be heard from a building on the campus, which is surrounded by police and a military compound.
A press release tweeted by Joseph Boinnet, the second Inspector General of Police of Kenya, confirmed the shooting began at 5.30am when attackers fired at guards at the main gate of the university.
‘Police officers who were at the time guarding the students’ hostels heard the gunshots and responded swiftly and engaged the gunmen in a fierce shootout,’ the statement from police reads.
‘However the attackers retreated and gained entry in the hostels.
Police further stated ‘they are currently engaged in an elaborate process of flushing out the gunmen from the hostels’.
Al-Shabab militants have previously vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia.
The Somalia-based group has carried out several attacks in Garissa and across Kenya, including the 2013 attack on an upscale shopping mall in the capital Nairobi.
Kenya sent its troops into Somalia in 2011 to fight al-Shabaab militants following cross-border attacks.
Last month, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for attacks in the county of Mandera on the Somali border in which twelve people died.
Four of them died in an attack on the convoy of Mandera County Governor Ali Roba.
Police statistics show that 312 people have been killed in al-Shabaab attacks in Kenya from 2012 to 2014. Thirty-eight people were killed and 149 wounded in Garissa in the same period.
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, was interviewed by Council on Foreign Relations last week on Global Intelligence Challenges. During a Q&A session, Clapper suggested that when it comes to training and equipping moderate rebels in Syria, the definition of ‘moderate’ has evolved so that nowadays it really means “anyone who is not affiliated with ISIL”.
If you watch the video instead of just reading the transcript, you’ll notice Clapper using air quotes several times when he says the word ‘moderate’. He even says at one point “whatever that means“, referring to the term ‘moderate’.
So there are some portion of our oppositions who are regarded as moderate. Moderate these days is increasingly becoming anyone who’s not affiliated with ISIL. And so, you know, we are attempting to engage with them, and that’s the whole point of the train and equip proposal – project that the Department of Defense is gearing up for, is to vet, recruit and train and equip oppositions in sufficient size and capability to actually make a military difference.
And so one of our challenges is, again, the recruiting and vetting part. So we picked people that not only are moderate, whatever that is, but also we have to be sensitive to complying with the international rules of law, which in this environment is a pretty tough order.
So this is a very, very complex situation in Syria, compounded by the fact that we are actually not there, which is very different than the situation we have in Iraq, where we are there. And so from an intelligence perspective and for our ability to exert leverage and influence, it’s much, much easier in Iraq than it is in Syria. That’s a long-winded answer to your question but it’s a tough one.
Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, is facing questions about why she let multiple bank employees who funneled millions of dollars to the Iranian government, Middle Eastern terrorists and Mexican drug cartels walk away without criminal prosecution.
Sen. David Vitter, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today launched an investigation into the matter. He cited the concern as a reason to delay Senate confirmation of Lynch, who was nominated to replace Eric Holder as the chief law enforcement officer in the United States.
“If Loretta Lynch and [the Justice Department] swept under the rug a serious money laundering scheme involving Mexican drug cartels and terrorist organizations, we need to know a heck of a lot more about it,” Vitter told The Daily Signal.
“This is especially true since American citizens may be completely unaware that their identities – including names and Social Security numbers – were compromised in this fraud.”
While serving as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Lynch, along with the Justice Department, oversaw a massive lawsuit against British banking giant HSBC. Bank officials and other employees faced accusations of laundering more than $200 million through its U.S. bank. The employees allegedly opened fake accounts using customers’ private information.
Federal prosecutors accused HSBC of “illegally conducting transactions on behalf of customers in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma – all countries that were subject to sanctions enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the time of the transactions.”
Instead of criminally prosecuting those individuals responsible, Lynch helped negotiate a $1.92 billion dollar settlement with HSBC in December 2012.
During her confirmation hearing for attorney general last month, Lynch said she has been “very aggressive” in pursuing white-collar crime.
“At the outset, no individual is ‘too big to jail.’ And no one is above the law,” she told Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
But in the case of HSBC – one of the most high-profile white-collar crimes to date – no one ever went to jail.
The Daily Signal has reached out to the Justice Department for comment on the lawsuit.
Some, like Vitter, perceive the settlement as nothing more than a “slap on the wrist.” He said: “A simple monetary fine is the equivalent of a slap on the wrist, and would cast serious doubt on Ms. Lynch’s capacity to serve as our top law enforcement official.”
After being tipped off by a WND reporter who has closely followed the case since its onset, Vitter and his staff yesterday spoke with whistleblower John Cruz, a former HSBC manager who took more than 1,000 pages of bank account records and recordings related to the money laundering before being fired.
Following that conversation, Vitter became suspicious about the settlement. For that reason, he plans to delay Lynch’s confirmation process until he has answers.
“There is a very credible whistleblower… who said folks at HSBC knew what was going on, actively were helping use fake bank accounts to help this happen on behalf of drug cartels and terrorists,” Vitter told the Judiciary Committee earlier today.
“That’s pretty serious to end up having a resolution with a pure money fine.”
President Barack Obama offered the nation a lesson in moral relativism at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, when he admonished Americans not to “get on our high horse” about radical Islam because “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” including here in the United States. Obama’s statement was both immoral and insensitive, and appeared to excuse the grotesque atrocities carried out by radical Islam, as well as his own passivity in responding.
Obama’s moral equivalence – immoral equivalence, really – between medieval Christianity and contemporary radical Islam points to the fundamental reason that he has often refused to identify terrorism as more than “workplace violence”, and “extremism” as something other than radical Islam. Obama’s focus is to transform America, and to do that he first needs to humble America, to convince Americans that there is nothing innately better or exceptional about our chosen values.
While it is true that history is replete with examples of people carrying out atrocities in the name of nearly every faith and ideology, in the context of our present circumstances, where the jihadists of the so-called Islamic State are taunting the world with their brutality, to declare that “it’s not unique to one group or one religion” is to abdicate any pretense at moral leadership in rallying the nation and the world to stop what is happening–and to prevent it from spreading elsewhere.
Instead, Obama called on Americans to “start with some… humility.” He told Americans to “not be so full of yourself and so confident that you are right” and that “somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.” Not only does he often fail to take that advice, but his self-righteousness about his own moral relativism is self-contradictory. He has shown more passion in admonishing Americans than condemning terror. Worse than insulting, his remarks are a disgrace to the office he holds.