Tag Archives: terrorism

Nous Sommes Charlie: Offence is Never Given – Only Taken

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are like all other rights: to keep them you have to exercise them – and sometimes that takes courage and involves risk. We should be profoundly grateful to those who help keep that right for us by exercising it.

And today, our thoughts are with our French friends – and especially with the families and friends of those who have been directly attacked for using that most important of freedoms – freedom of speech – to stimulate our use of another – freedom of thought.

And we don’t lose sight of the fact that we must stop ceding the moral high-ground in fighting against such an attack on liberty through a foreign policy that makes terrorists by killing innocents. Nor do we forget the impingement on the same liberty by our own politicians.

Offense is Always Taken – Never Given… but if it can be given, it is given by physical aggression against innocent people.

NSA Director: China Can Damage U.S. Power Grid

According to the director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command, China and “one or two” other countries are capable of cyber attacks that could shut down the U.S. power grid and other critical systems in the United States.

Michael Rogers confirmed what was widely speculated.

According to ABC News, Rogers said at a hearing of the House intelligence committee that U.S. adversaries are electronic “reconnaissance” regularly in an attempt to give themselves the upper hand to disrupt the industrial control systems throughout the country.

“All of that leads me to believe it is only a matter of when, not if, we are going to see something dramatic,” Rogers said.

Experts say that the U.S. Cyber Command could also hack into and damage critical infrastructure of its adversaries, which acts as a deterrent.

Rogers said that the nuclear deterrence model did not not necessarily apply to cyber attacks since they could be easily disguised and could be carried out by criminals and individuals not countries.

In cyberspace, “You can literally do almost anything you want, and there is not a price to pay for it,” the NSA director said.

Last year, BenSwann.com reported that some power companies conducted “drills” to prepare for outages.

Our source told Benswann.com, “SCADA systems are the ones that control all the power plant systems.  It stands for “Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition”.  SCADA systems vary from product to product and company to company.  A virus could potentially be made to gain control of that system.  These can and are remotely controlled via the web in many cases.  For instance, I can log in and control a wind turbine across the country with my laptop.”

Read more here.

Eric Frein wanted a ‘revolution’ and was upset with the government

A new document obtained by the court in the Eric Frein shooting case in Pennsylvania, shows Frein was distraught by the direction he thought the US was heading and wanted to “wake people up” by ambushing state troopers outside of their barracks.

“Our nation is far from what it was and what it should be,” Frein allegedly wrote in a letter addressed to his parents.  “There is so much wrong and on so many levels only passing through the crucible of another revolution can get us back the liberties we once had. I do not pretend to know what that revolution will look like or even if it would be successful.”

The night Frein was arrested, he waived his right to remain silent and told officers, according to the Talking Points Memo, he “wanted to make a change  (in government) and that voting was inefficient to do so, because there was no one worth voting for.”

Frein does not talk about what he planned on doing in the letter, but the letter indicates he believed he might die because, as the letter reads, he “knows the odds.”

The letter was found on a portable storage drive within the hangar Frein was using as a shelter while he was on the run.  The file was created last December meaning Frein was potentially planning the shooting for at least nine months.

Frein is already being charged with first-degree murder for the killing of Cpl. Bryon Dickson, but with this new document submitted as evidence, he is also being charged with two counts of terrorism, according to the LA Times.  The one count is for attempting to influence the policy of the government through intimidation and/or coercion, while the other is for trying to affect the conduct of the government.

The prosecution has already said they are seeking the death penalty for Frein.  He is currently held without bond, and Frein’s next court date is Dec. 9.

ISIS Executes 46 Surrendered Tribal Fighters in Iraq

Largest Execution Yet in Anbar Province

by Jason Ditz, October 29, 2014
Reports from the eastern Anbar Province town of Hit say that ISIS has carried out a mass public execution of 46 tribal fighters from the Albu Nimr Tribe, which were fighting alongside Iraqi government forces.
Albu Nimr tribe is a Sunni group influential in the former Sunni Awakening movement, and is one of the few tribes that remains on the side of the Iraqi government.

The tribal fighters had reportedly surrendered in a rout by ISIS fighters, and the killings were carried out all the same. The public show of force was seen as an effort to intimidate other tribal factions that may be inclined to rebel.

This is the first major public execution ISIS has carried out in Anbar Province, where it has mostly been welcomed by tribal factions as a safer alternative to Shi’ite militias.

Executions are a risky tactic with the tribals, as while they may indeed intimidate some in the near-term, ISIS is heavily dependent on tribal acquiescence in the long run for ruling their “caliphate.”

New political ads feature James Foley’s beheading

The video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley is likely being used as part of the propaganda machine behind ISIS, but the group Secure America Now is also using the footage in their own political advertisements.

The conservative group used the footage as part of multiple campaigns meant to target vulnerable Democratic senators throughout the country.  One ad meant to target Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), features the footage of Foley with a voice over saying, according to the Hill, “While radical Islamists threaten to attack America, and millions cross our border undetected, President Obama and Sen. Shaheen have done nothing.” 

John and Diane Foley, the parents of James, have come out against the use of their son’s final moments for advertisement purposes.  “I think it is deplorable, and I think it should be taken down,” said John Foley, according to Politicus USA.  Diane also commented on the ad saying, “It makes me very sad that people would use the brutality of our son’s death for their own political purposes.”

The head of Secure America Now, Allen Roth, originally defended the use of the footage for the group’s political ads, saying, according to Mediaite, “The image has appeared around the world millions of times… We meant no harm.”

However, after negative publicity from both political parties in New Hampshire and Foley’s parents, the ad was removed from online campaigns in New Hampshire.  Secure American Now released a statement to accompany the removal of the video which reads:

“It has been brought to our attention that a news report image of American hostage James Foley that appeared in a Secure America Now video has upset his parents, so we have decided to take the video down. The purpose of the video was to draw attention to Washington’s failure to secure our borders from real threats by terrorists. That remains our objective and we will continue to engage in this public debate.”

The ad is also reportedly being used in Louisiana, Colorado, and Arkansas to denounce Democratic senators who hold seats in each state.  Whether or not the ads featuring the footage of Foley have been taken down in those states has not yet been confirmed.

US soldiers exposed to chemical weapons while in Iraq, according to new report

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, American troops discovered close to 5,000 chemical munitions within the country, and some of these munitions were used against American troops according to a new report released from the Pentagon.

The chemical weapons were found to be incorporated into warheads, shells, and aviation bombs, all manufactured before 1991, according to a report from the New York Times.  Various intelligence reports also show up to 17 American soldiers, along with six Iraqi police officers, were wounded and exposed to these chemical weapons on six different occasions.  However, the actual tally of exposed troops may be higher, but government officials are keeping these numbers hidden.

American troops were reportedly exposed to the nerve agent sarin gas and mustard gas, amongst other weaponized agents, according to CBS News.

“In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies,” said the report on the chemical weapon exposure obtained through FOIA.

The report from the Times also found officers and troops were told to remain quiet on what had happened.  Recently retired Army major, Jarrod Lampier, who was present for the finding of close to 2,500 chemical weapons, said, “ ’Nothing of significance’ is what I was ordered to say.”

Because many of the troops were told to keep their exposure a secret, proper medical treatment was seemingly denied these soldiers.  One former sergeant told the New York Times, “I felt more like a guinea pig than a wounded soldier.”

The allegations of troops not receiving proper medical care in the wake of these chemical exposures also prompted Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. john Kirby to say, according to FOX News, “While we cannot speak to individual decisions made by unit commanders or medical staff at the time — or the guidance they may have given their troops about the existence of chemical munitions in Iraq — the Defense Department made public its discovery of these munitions as far back as 2006 and acknowledged the likelihood that more could be found.” 

Most of the chemical agents were also reportedly found in a complex northwest of Baghdad, and this area has been held by ISIS militants since June.  The US government says the weapons found in that area no longer pose a threat after being unused for two decades, but the presence and possible access to these chemical weapons should still be watched carefully as ISIS militants continue to threaten the area.

Middle Eastern civilians have more to fear than ISIS now

ISIS is currently the single largest, immediate threat to citizens in the Middle East, but people in the area now have to worry about Shia militias carrying out similar acts of brutality.

Shia militias in Iraq have reportedly abducted and killed large numbers of Sunnis in the area in retaliation against ISIS, according to an Amnesty International report released Tuesday.

This report says the Shia militias are armed and supported by the Iraqi government which is currently controlled by Shia Muslims.  However, the report does say these militiamen are not part of any official Iraqi military organization, and they operate outside any official oversight or legal framework.

Bodies have been showing up in cities not controlled by ISIS since June, when the Iraqi military was in a state of disarray from the threat of ISIS.  The bodies have been found in Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Samarra, and all have reportedly had execution style gunshot wounds to their heads.

“Shia militias are ruthlessly targeting Sunni civilians on a sectarian basis under the guise of fighting terrorism,” said Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser Donatella Rovera, according to the Independent.  “By granting its blessing to militias who routinely commit such abhorrent abuses, the Iraqi government is sanctioning war crimes and fueling a dangerous cycle of sectarian violence that is tearing the country apart.”

While the Amnesty report has shed light on human rights violations in Iraq, but according to Al-Jazeera, Shia militia spokesmen in the country have called the report, “an attempt to downgrade our gains and accomplishments so far in the fight against ISIL by supporting the Iraqi forces.”

Naeem Al-Aboudi, the spokeman of the Shia militia group Aasab Ahl Haq, said, “We had fought and won over ISIL in Shia and Sunni areas and while doing so we had not violated any human rights.” 

FBI calls for Americans to identify ISIS fighters

While the intelligence community has been working on trying to identifying the infamous ‘Jihadi Joe’ from previous ISIS beheading videos, the FBI is now asking for the American public to help them identify any people who have traveled to the Middle East or are planing to travel there in order to fight for ISIS.

The call for the American people’s help and support started after the release of an ISIS propaganda video titled “Flames of War.”  The video features a fighter who speaks to the camera in Arabic, but then switches to fluent English.  While he talks to the camera, men behind him are  seen “digging their own graves in the very place they were stationed.”  Eventually, all of the people digging their graves are killed in the video.

What is significant about this video is the fighter’s ability to effortlessly switch from Arabic to English. CNN reports the English dialect of the ISIS fighter is a North American accent, and this prompted the FBI to ask for help identifying the fighter and any others who might want to fight for ISIS.

Officials are saying the man on film could be a Middle Eastern man educated in the west, or they could be from North America and traveled to the area to aid ISIS.

One security analyst says this video was clearly meant for a western audience.  Frank Cillufo, the analyst from George Washington University, said, “Clearly ISIS had a calculated step to be able to put this guy on camera… Why? Because he seems American. The message is aimed at a Western audience.”

Michael Steinbach, the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, said on the FBI’s webpage, “We are hoping that someone might recognize this individual and provide us with key pieces of information… No piece of information is too small.”

Steinbach also said, “We need the public’s assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas.”

As of now, top US security officials have estimated about 100 Americans have traveled to the Middle East in order to fight for ISIS.

Vice President’s Hypocritical Blame Game Backfires, admits there is no moderate middle in Syria

You can almost picture President Obama in the Oval Office (or on the golf course), shaking his head at what Vice President Joe Biden said at Harvard University on Thursday.

Biden now says that the Persian Gulf countries helped create and fund ISIS, or ISIL. And after hearing his remarks, those countries’ leaders are demanding apologies.

Biden told the crowd that the United States could not have acted sooner to combat ISIS, because our Arab allies were not ready to act.

Biden said that places like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar took their time to realize the threat ISIS posed to them and to be willing to work with the U.S. “Even if we wanted it to be, it cannot be our fight alone,” Biden said. “This cannot be turned into a U.S. ground war against another Arab nation in the Middle East.”

Biden told students that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted to him that his country had erred in allowing foreign terrorist fighters an easy route to pass in and out of Syria.

“President Erdogan told me — he’s an old friend — he said, ‘You’re right. We let too many people through.’ Now, they’re trying to seal their border,” Biden said.

Erdogan then demanded an apology, which he received on Saturday.

“I have never said to him that we had made a mistake, never. If he did say this at Harvard then he has to apologize to us,” Erdogan said, according to The Associated Press.

“Foreign fighters have never entered Syria from our country. They may come to our country as tourists and cross into Syria, but no one can say that they cross in with their arms.”

Turkey’s border remains a concern for the Obama administration.

At Harvard, Biden continued by explaining how fighting Assad became their focus: ““What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

Biden’s comments also threw the United Arab Emirates under the diplomatic bus as well.

Biden’s remarks were “amazing and ignore the role of the Emirates in the fight against extremism and terrorism,” the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Mohammad Gargash, said in a statement carried late Saturday by the official WAM news agency.

Gargash asked for Biden to clarify the comments, which he said had given “a false impression about the role of the UAE… at a time when it is actually supporting… efforts to overcome” the jihadists.

WAM reported that Biden had since apologized.

 

The Vice President’s office released a statement on Saturday:

“Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clarify recent comments made at Harvard University. The Vice President apologized for any implication that Turkey or other Allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria,” the White House said.

“The Vice President made clear that the United States greatly values the commitments and sacrifices made by our Allies and partners from around the world to combat the scourge of ISIL, including Turkey.”

The UAE is one of a handful of Arab allies taking part in US-led air strikes against ISIS in Syria. The others are Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Benswann.com has reported extensively on American’s role in arming Al Nusra Front and al-Qaeda link rebel groups in Syria and its relationship with Saudi Arabia, a country that funds terrorism. See here, here, herehere and here.

In the above video around 5:00, Biden admits what we have been saying all along: “there is no moderate middle in Syria.”

Fourth ISIS hostage beheaded in yet another video

British aid worker Alan Henning, another ISIS hostage, has been beheaded on video three weeks after the Scottish aid worker David Haines was executed in a similar fashion.

In the video, a man dressed in orange speaks to the camera, saying, according to ABC News, “I am Alan Henning. Because of our Parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic State [ISIS], I, as a member of the British public, will now pay the price for that decision.”

The executioner standing next to Henning then speaks to the camera before carrying out the grizzly act, saying, “The blood of [fellow slain captive] David Haines was on your hands, [British Prime Minister David] Cameron… Alan Henning will also be slaughtered but his blood is on the hands of the British Parliament.”

The video has yet to be authenticated by US or British intelligence agencies.

Henning was captured in Syria last December as he was driving an aid truck across the border between Turkey and Syria, according to the AP.  This was the second time Henning took part in an aid convoy into Syria where he and a group of Muslim friends delivered medical equipment.

According to the Guardian, a group of armed gunmen surrounded a warehouse, which Henning was in, and took Henning captive.  The gunmen said they were suspicious of Henning since he was not Muslim like the rest of the volunteers, and they were also concerned about a chip in his UK passport.  The other volunteers tried to show the gunmen how all UK passports carried a similar chip, but this did not deter them from taking Henning.

Earlier, Barbara Henning, the wife of Alan Henning, released her own video, asking ISIS to release her husband, saying, “Surely those who wish to be seen as a state will act in a statesman-like way by showing mercy and providing clemency.”

Barbara also said, according to the BBC, “Muslims across the globe continue to question Islamic State over Alan’s fate.”

Two British Imams, last month, also made a claim for sparing Henning’s life, saying holding Henning was against Islamic law and “haram [forbidden].”

At the end of the video, another hostage clad in orange is shown to the camera.  This fifth hostage was identified as American Peter Kassig, but like the rest of the video, these claims have not been verified yet.

Charges for Oklahoma beheading suspect emerge as details come to light

Days after Alton Nolen attacked two women after losing his job, murder charges are expected to be filed against him on Monday.

Nolen lost his job at Vaughan Foods in Oklahoma last Thursday and after this, Nolen reportedly went to his former workplace and carried out acts of violence against his co-workers.

Nolen reportedly drove to the Vaughan Foods processing plant, and rammed his car into another vehicle at the entrance before he entered the building.  Upon entering, it is believed he grabbed a knife, similar to those used on the production floor of Vaughan Foods, and beheaded 54-year-old Colleen Hufford, an employee at Vaughan Foods.

Then, Nolen supposedly attacked 43-year-old Traci Johnson, another employee in the plant, before he was stopped by gunfire.  Mark Vaughan is the company’s chief operating officer as well as a reserve deputy sheriff for Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department, and it was only after he shot Nolen the attack stopped.

Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told the LA Times, detectives will recommend prosecutors to charge Nolen with first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

After he was released from prison in 2013 on drug related charges, Nolen reportedly became more religious and co-workers at Vaughan Foods said he had tried to convert them to Islam.

A Facebook page under the name “Jah’Keem Yisrael,” was used by Nolen before the attacks according to CNN.  The page contains pictures of Nolen as well as posts and pictures regarding Islam and the Quran.  Some of these pictures are of al-Qaeda chiefs as well as the 9/11 attacks.

There were also disturbing posts on this Facebook page.  One post reportedly showed a beheaded man with the quote, “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them.”

The Oklahoma Conference of Churches made a statement Saturday saying, “The Islamic Community of Oklahoma has consistently condemned all violence — most especially acts of violence ostensibly carried out in the name of Islam… Along with our Muslim brothers and sisters we affirm that true Islam is, in fact, a religion of peace and that those inflicting violence in the name of Islam are perverting Islam for their own ends.”

After undergoing surgery, Nolen spoke to investigators on Friday, but no details have emerged form these interviews.

UN passes resolution to stop foreign fighters and terrorists

As the world begins to respond to the growing threat of ISIS, the United Nations Security Council met Wednesday and unanimously approved a resolution which forces member states to stop terrorist recruiting and movement within their territories.

President Obama chaired the committee saying, according to the Hill, “I called this meeting because we must come together as nations and as an international community to confront a real and growing threat of foreign terrorist fighters… The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our commitment to meet this challenge.”

The resolution not only calls for states to stop recruiting and movement within their borders, but also requires states to take precautions to ward off potential terrorist attacks from foreign fighters within their borders.

Foreign fighters, in this instance are defined, according to the International Business Times, as, “Individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts…”  An estimated 12,000 fighters who fit into this definition have already traveled from at least 74 countries to the Middle East to fight on behalf of ISIS.

In addition, the resolution calls for all member states to share information concerning any domestic terrorist concerns with other members.  However, there was no definition given as to what constitutes a domestic terrorist, leaving it up to each state to make up their own definition of a “domestic terrorist.”

In order to show how serious the US takes the issue at hand, the US Treasury Department put immediate sanctions in place against 11 individuals and one Indonesian organization.  The people and group in question are thought to be sending foreign fighters and funds to Islamic terrorist groups, such as ISIS.

In a statement after the sanctions were passed, David Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said, according to RT, “These steps, taken the same day as the adoption of a new United Nations Security Council Resolution, affirm the commitment of the United States and our partners to degrade and destroy terrorist access to financing.”

President Obama says fight with IS not ‘America’s fight alone’

One day after the US began carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, President Obama made a speech hailing the efforts of an international coalition to help stop the growing terrorist threat in the Middle East.

The US airstrikes in Syrian territory were in unison with five other Middle Eastern allies against the terrorist group, and marks a substantial growth in the efforts to stop the Islamic State.  Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are five substantial forces carrying out airstrikes and fighting alongside the US.

Each of these nations, according to the Guardian, provided their own level of support with various forms of air power, including deploying fighter jets, bombers, and Tomahawk missiles to target and weaken 22 ISIS targets in Syria.

“The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone… we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these nations,” said President Obama from  speech on the White House lawn, Tuesday.  “Once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”

Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant General Bill Mayville, also said, according to the BBC, the attacks in Syria were organized in three separate waves.  The US carried out the first wave of airstrikes while the other Middle Eastern nations participated in the second and third waves of airstrikes.

Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke Tuesday about the efforts to stop ISIS.  Kerry said to the UN, “We will hold them responsible for their grotesque atrocities.”

Syrian citizens flee ISIS to seek refuge in Turkey

As ISIS continues to grab land and key towns across Syria and Iraq, thousands of Kurdish Syrians are fleeing their country with the hopes of finding safety in the neighboring country, Turkey.

There has already been an influx of Syrian refugees since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011.  This early conflict caused over one million Syrians to seek shelter in Turkey over the past few years.  However, fears of ISIS have caused the single largest exodus of Syrians to Turkey in recent history at 130,000 Kurdish refugees over the past few days.  Most of these refugees are women and children trying not to get caught in the crossfire.

Fears have risen in Syria as ISIS has tightened its grip on the town of Kobane, or Ayn al-Arab, according to BBC.  Kobane is a border town in the northern region of Syria near Turkey, and has been a contributing member of the movement to establish a Kurdish nation in the region.

Kurdish political leaders in Turkey are calling on their brethren in the southeast of the country along the border to help defend their country from the progress of ISIS forces, according to Reuters.  These same political leaders also spoke out against ISIS, likening the actions of ISIS to “genocide.”

“They are going into the villages and cutting off the heads of one or two people and showing them to the villagers,” said Ibrahim Binici, a member of the pro-Kurdish HDP party in Syria.  “It is truly a shameful situation for humanity.”

The minister of Turkey, Numan Kurtulmus, also commented on the influx of refugees, saying according to the Huffington Post, “This is not a natural disaster… what we are faced with is a man-made disaster… a refugee wave that can be expressed by hundreds of thousands.”

Exclusive: Obama Partnering with the House of Saud is a terrible strategy

On Sunday, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was “extremely encouraged” by Saudi Arabia joining the U.S. coalition to fight ISIS. But should Kerry be so enthusiastic? Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, why does the U.S. government still consider Saudi Arabia to be our ally?

According to former Secretary of State and potential U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ISIS has received funding from the Saudis.

Eight years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Clinton, wrote in a cable leaked by WikiLeaks that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan) and other terrorist groups.”

Senator Bob Graham, the co-chairman of the official inquiry into 9/11, has said the Washington has turned a blind eye to the Saudis support.

“I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions and particularly its involvement in 9/11 has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the U.S. – and in particular their support for Isis,”he said.

The Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 has long been public knowledge since 15 out of 19 of the hijackers were Saudis, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, was a member of the Saudi ruling elite. For financing, al-Qaeda relied on a core group of private donors and charities in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

Despite the Saudi connections of the 9/11 terrorists, Saudi Arabia and its citizens were treated with extreme leniency. After air travel was grounded, approximately 144 people were permitted to fly back to Saudi Arabia within days of the attacks without even being questioned by the FBI.

The most noteworthy example of the United States protecting Saudi Arabia is that those 28 pages about the country’s involvement in 9/11 are still censored, even 13 years after the event.

Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, in their book The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11, quote a senior American official, who saw the 28 pages before they were excised, apparently on the initiative of President Bush, as saying: “If the 28 pages were to be made public, I have no question that the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia would change overnight.”

The fundamental question is this: is America’s foreign policy making us safer or making the world more dangerous?

Please comment below.

 

Further reading. The Roots of ISIS by Brandon Turbeville.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria

New York man being accused of aiding ISIS

An upstate New York man is  being accused of attempting to provide material support for ISIS and plotting to kill current and former members of the US military.

Mufid A. Elfgeeh, 30, from Rochester, New York, has been indicted by a grand jury on three counts of trying to provide various resources and material support for ISIS.  He is also being charged with attempted murder for plotting to kill various personnel connected to the military.

Court documents are saying Elfgeeh tried to provide three people here in the US with the resources to travel to the Middle East to become fighters for ISIS.  However, according to Al-Jazeera, two of the people trying to travel to the Middle East were cooperating with the FBI and informed the authorities on Elfgeeh’s plans.

“Disrupting and holding accountable those who seek to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin according to Politico, “is and shall remain a critical national security priority.”

The three charges for assisting ISIS carry a maximum sentence of 15-years, while the attempted murder charge carries a potential 20-year sentence.

This is not the first time this year Elfgeeh has been picked up by the FBI.  Earlier this year, members of the FBI’s Rochester Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Elfgeeh after he purchased two handguns with silencers outfitted for each.  The task force said Elfgeeh planned on killing US soldiers returning from war as well as Shiites in the Rochester area.

“We will remain aggressive in identifying and disrupting those who seek to provide support to ISIL and other terrorist groups that are bent on inflicting harm upon Americans,” said Attorney General Eric Holder according to CBS in New York.  “As this case shows, our agents and prosecutors are using all the investigative tools at our disposal to break up these plots before individuals can put their plans into action. We are focused on breaking up these activities on the front end, before supporters of ISIL can make good on plans to travel to the region or recruit sympathizers to this cause.”

Elfgeeh was made a US citizen last year.

Ground troops might be needed to combat ISIS according to Pentagon official

After President Obama said the US would not send troops to fight ISIS in the Middle East, the top military official in the US has said if the current strategy were to fail, American ground troops would be needed to stop the growing threat of the Islamic State.

Army General Martin Dempsey gave testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee saying, according to ABC News, “To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president.”

Gen. Dempsey also said he believes the current strategy of forming an international coalition with nations from the West and Middle East is the appropriate response at this time.  If there was a direct threat to the US though, Gen. Dempsey said, according to the BBC, “I of course would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of US military ground forces.”

One instance where US ground troops may be required to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the area would be in the retaking of the second largest Iraqi city, Mosul.  “It could very well be part of that particular mission to provide close combat advising or accompanying for that mission,” said Gen. Dempsey.  “But for the day-to-day activities that I anticipate will evolve over time, I don’t see it to be necessary right now.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also spoke to the committee saying the initial plan to keep current airstrikes focused in Iraq would expand to Syria, according to the LA Times.  Hagel said, “targeted actions against ISIL safe havens in Syria, including its command and control, logistics capabilities and infrastructure.”

As of now, the US has conducted over 160 airstrikes against ISIS and the Islamic State in order to help ally forces on the ground in Iraq.

US Government Denies Threatening Foley Family

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough denied accusations that the families of murdered journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were threatened with prosecution if ransom was paid to terrorists to free the men.

Last week, Diane Foley, the mother of executed journalist James Foley, told the media that the federal government threatened to file lawsuits against her and her family if they raised money to pay the ransom for their son. Following Diane Foley’s claims, the family of Sotloff corroborated their story and said that they had faced the same threats from the government.

On Sunday McDonough gave several interviews to media outlets advocating the Obama administration’s strategies for fighting the Islamic State and denied that threats were made against the families. “We didn’t threaten anybody, but we made clear what the law is. That’s our responsibility to make sure we explain the law and uphold the law,” said McDonough.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said “It’s part of our job to help the family understand what our laws are about terrorists paying – or paying ransom to terrorists? Absolutely. But this Department would never and did not ever intend to nor do we think we ever did anything that we would consider threatening.”

McDonough and Harf made the denials despite ABC News reporting that five officials connected to Foley’s case confirmed that threats were made.

Government threatened Foley family before son’s execution

After a series of recent interviews, members of the Foley family have said the government threatened to prosecute their family if they had raised and paid the money for the ransom sought for the life of their son, James Foley.

According to ABC News, Diane Foley, the mother of James, said they were threatened with lawsuits multiple times if they had gone through with paying the ransom.  “We were told that several times and we took it as a threat and it was appalling.”

Diane then said a highly decorated military officer, who serves on the National Security Council, came to their house to warn them about the pending prosecutions.

“Three times he intimidated us with that message,” said Diane.  “We were horrified he would say that. He just told us we would be prosecuted. We knew we had to save our son, we had to try.”

A current NSC member said the military officer who went to the Foley house had, “no business,” talking to the family and these discussions were “idiotic.”  This same current NSC member said the officer was unqualified to discuss legal issues and should have stayed away from the family.

Michael Foley, James’s brother, confirmed these accusations against the government with FOX News.

“I was specifically threatened by the Department of State about raising funds towards ransom demands for my brother,” said Michael.  “[The government] were actually an impedance… We were smart enough to look past it but it slowed us down.”

Diane also told CNN, she was told to have faith her son would be freed and be safe.  “We were just told to trust that he would be freed somehow, miraculously… And he wasn’t, was he?”

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden did defend the position of prosecuting the Foley family.  “Without getting into the details of our private discussions with families,” said Hayden, “the law is clear that ransom payments to designated individuals or entities, such as ISIL [ISIS], are prohibited. It is also a matter of longstanding policy that the U.S. does not grant concessions to hostage takers.”