Accused White House Intruder to Appear in Court

0Associated Press (Sep 22) — Investigators found more than 800 rounds of ammunition, a machete and two hatchets in the car of the former soldier accused of scaling the White House fence and sprinting inside while carrying a knife, a federal prosecutor said Monday. President Barack Obama was “obviously concerned” about the weekend incident, a spokesman said.

The Secret Service increased security around the famous grounds on Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital, some guards openly holding weapons, others escorting dogs. There was talk of expanding the security zone beyond the current area as a major investigation began into the question of how the man managed to get to the building without being stopped.

On Monday evening, a temporary, second layer of fence was set up along the north side of the White House, in an apparent attempt to deter additional fence-jumping incidents

Forty-two-year-old Omar J. Gonzalez of Copperas Cove, Texas, faces charges of entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. He had been arrested earlier in the summer in Virginia with a carful of weapons, authorities said, and a federal prosecutor said Monday in court that Gonzalez had had a map then with the White House circled.

Authorities ran into Gonzalez again, less than a month ago on Aug. 25, when he was stopped while walking along the south fence of the White House, his car parked nearby. He had a hatchet in a rear waistband but no firearms, a federal prosecutor said at Monday’s hearing. Gonzalez gave permission to search his car and was not arrested.

Friday evening, Obama and his family had left the White House for Camp David when the incident occurred. Gonzalez was seized just inside the building’s front door. No guns were found in his car.

In court, Gonzalez, with a gray beard, a shaved head and dressed in a standard prison orange jumpsuit, listened impassively as the prosecutor spoke. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of illegally entering a restricted area with a dangerous weapon.

The Army said he served from 1997 until his discharge in 2003, and again from 2005 to December 2012, when he retired due to disability.

Obama, asked about the incident at the White House, said, “The Secret Service does a great job, and I’m grateful for the sacrifices that they make on my behalf — and my family’s behalf.”

But spokesman Josh Earnest said the president was “obviously concerned” about what had happened.

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Iranians Behind ‘Happy’ Video Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail, 91 Lashes

They were sentenced to jail and lashes because in Iran it’s 1) illegal for women to be out in public without a headscarf and 2) it’s illegal for women to dance with men. What a great country that the West totally believes while negotiating over nuclear weapons.

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The Independent (Sep 20) — A group of seven Iranian men and women who created and starred in their own version of a video for Pharrell Williams’ song ‘Happy’ have each been given suspended sentences of prison time and 91 lashes.

The fun-loving friends were arrested in May after posting their homemade music video ‘Happy in Tehran’ to YouTube.

They were forced to publicly confess and apologise on national television before being released on bail, with police chief Hossein Sajedinia warning others that the video was “a vulgar clip” which “hurt public chastity”.

Their lawyer Farshid Rofugaran told English-language Iranian news outlet IranWire that six of the group were yesterday given six months in prison and 91 lashes, while a seventh – the Director of the video – was also given 91 lashes but one year in jail. The sentences are suspended for three years.

“A suspended sentence becomes null and void after a certain period of time,” he said.

“When it’s a suspended sentence, the verdict is not carried out, but if during this period a similar offense is committed, then the accused is subject to legal punishment and the suspended sentence will then be carried out as well.”

The announcement of the arrests earlier this year drew widespread criticism and even led to Pharrell Williams tweeting that it was “beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness”.

Click here for full article.

Survey: 69 Percent of Americans Support Using U.S. Troops to Prevent Iran From Getting Nukes

Iran's second nuclear reactor in the Bushehr province / AP

Iran’s second nuclear reactor in the Bushehr province / AP

Free Beacon (Sep 19) — A majority of Americans continue to say they want the United States to assume an active role in global affairs after more than a decade of wars in the Middle East, according to a new survey released this week.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they would back the deployment of U.S. troops to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Large majorities also favored actions that do not typically involve ground troops, such as air strikes or drone strikes against suspected terrorists, as well as sending U.S. forces to prevent genocide or provide humanitarian relief.

The survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that 58 percent of Americans “think it will be best for the future of the country if we take an active part in world affairs.” That number has remained high throughout 40 years of polling by the Chicago Council, though it has dipped since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More than eight in 10 Americans said strong U.S. leadership in world affairs is desirable.

The recent survey pushes back against the narrative that “war-weary” Americans are increasingly inclined to withdraw from the world after years of conflict overseas. Some commentators suggested that a Pew Research Center poll from July 2013—in which 46 percent of Americans said the United States “should mind its own business internationally,” the highest in 50 years of polling—provided evidence of a new isolationism among the public.

“It’s clear that Americans are fatigued by a decade of war, but describing them as isolationist is misleading,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of the Chicago Council, in a statement. “They understand that we live in a dangerous world, and that our safety and security will at times require a resort to arms. When that clearly is the case, Americans will support using force.”

Click here for full article.

Hamas TV Just Can’t Seem to Get Enough of That Jews-Use-Christian-Blood-for-Matzo Theme

TheBlaze (Sep 19) — A Hamas spokesman this summer claimed that Jews use Christian blood to make traditional unleavened matzo bread for the holiday of Passover. Now, a Jordanian politician is circulating the same slur which was used widely as a pretext to persecute Jews during the Middle Ages.

The Middle East Media Research Institute posted a video clip showing former Jordanian parliament member Sheik Abd Al-Mun’im Abu Zant repeating the accusation on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV last week, and even took it up a notch by accusing Jews of using Muslim blood as well.

“One could go on forever about the deceptiveness of the Jews,” Abu Zant said. “They are liars. They allow cannibalism, and the eating of human flesh.”

“Check their Talmud and religious sources. On their religious holidays, if they cannot find a Muslim to slaughter, and use drops of his blood to knead the matzos they eat, they slaughter a Christian in order to take drops of his blood, and mix it into the matzos that they eat on that holiday,” he said according to MEMRI’s translation.

Though the Jordanian politician claimed to have a knowledge of the Jewish religion, in fact, according to the Bible, Jews are strictly forbidden from consuming blood.

To abide by the mandate in Leviticus 7:26-27, “And you shall not eat any blood of fowl or beast in any of your dwelling places. Whoever eats any blood that soul will be cut off from his people,” observant Jews meticulously wash any meat to remove the blood and examine each egg to ensure there is no trace of blood before cooking.

Abu Zant went on to say, “We have to understand the true nature of the Jews, because the entire world is deceived and tormented by them. The Holy Koran has revealed their true nature, as expressed by our masters, the prophets.”

The “Jews use Christian blood for matzos” theme gained attention over the summer when Osama Hamdan, spokesman the terrorist group Hamas, refused to retract his promotion of the slanderous accusation in an interview with Wolf Blitzer.

Hamdan maintained that he didn’t “have a problem with” Jews, telling CNN, “I’ve said in the same — in the same occasion, that we don’t have a problem with the Jews as Palestinians and as Muslims, we don’t have problems with Jews.”

On his radio program in August, Glenn Beck mocked the Hamas blood accusation, using red syrup, waffles and pancakes as props.

Here is an excerpt of the Jordanian politician interview courtesy of MEMRI:

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Click here for original source.

Understanding Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi And The Phenomenon Of The Islamic Caliphate State

By: Y. Carmon, Y. Yehoshua, and A. Leone for MEMRI (The Middle East Media Research Institute) (Sep 14)

Introduction

The successive atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS, previously called the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham – ISIS) have diverted the discussion away from an understanding of this organization’s political program, creating the erroneous impression that it is simply a more vicious version of Al-Qaeda. According to this view, this organization presumably intends to attack the West by means of its foreign militants who hold Western passports and could return to Western countries to carry out terror attacks – and hence it is paramount to destroy the IS forthwith. Saudi King ‘Abdallah bin ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz promoted this approach when he said that he was certain that those jihadists “would arrive in Europe within a month and in America within two months”.[1]

This report seeks to clarify the IS’s doctrine based on the organization’s official writings and speeches by its leaders. It will argue that, unlike Al-Qaeda, the IS places priority not on global terrorism, but rather on establishing and consolidating a state, and hence it defers the clash with the West to a much later stage. In this, it is emulating and reenacting the early Islamic model.

Unlike Al-Qaeda, IS Prioritizes State-Building

Although the IS and global jihad organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda share similar beliefs about the necessity to wage jihad for the sake of Allah and establish a caliphate where Islamic shari’a law will be instated, a major distinction exists between them in terms of the order of priorities for implementing these major goals. Whereas in Al-Qaeda, emphasis is on worldwide jihad prior to the declaration of the yearned-for Islamic caliphate (see Osama bin Laden’s February 23, 1998 declaration of jihad against the Crusaders and the Jews), IS doctrine is characterized by prioritizing the establishment and consolidation of the caliphate state as the immediate and overriding objective.[2] This objective is presented by the IS leaders as a matter of survival[3] that warrants making compromises dictated by reality, the major compromise being deferral of the struggle with the West to a distant future. In other words, the IS’ doctrine under Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi explicitly puts off the clash with the West to different times, and concentrates in the immediate term on the region where the Islamic caliphate is being established.[4] The IS’s English-language magazine Dabiqsays that the Islamic State “is a marvel of history that has only come about to pave the way for al-Malhamah al-Kubra [the grand battle against the Crusaders at the End of Days].”[5]

Furthermore, Al-Baghdadi’s vision of the Islamic state is modeled on ancient Islamic history, and therefore does not descend to the level of wallowing in contemporary Middle East politics and struggles. Hence, it addresses political issues such as the Palestinian national struggle quite marginally, and even postpones them to the End of Days era as well.[6]

In the current stage, the IS is concentrating on consolidating its rule in the parts of Iraq and Syria it has already conquered, and on expanding its rule in these countries, beginning with areas where there is a Sunni majority.[7] The next stage will be conquering the bordering Muslim states.[8] The second issue of Dabiq cites a reliable hadith of the Prophet that precisely defines the organization’s order of priorities following the establishment of the state – first Saudi Arabia, then Iran and ultimately “Rome”:[9] “You will invade the Arabian Peninsula, and Allah will enable you to conquer it. You will then invade Persia, and Allah will enable you to conquer it. You will then invade Rome, and Allah will enable you to conquer it. Then you will fight the Dajjal, and Allah will enable you to conquer him.”[10] In his declaration of the caliphate, IS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-‘Adnani stated that the area from which the caliphate will expand is the region presently under Al-Baghdadi’s rule, extending “from Aleppo to Diyala”.[11] …

Pursuing A State As A First Priority, Even At The Cost Of Compromises – Emulating The Strategy Of Muhammad

In his approach that prioritizes the consolidation of the Islamic State over an all-encompassing battle with Islam’s enemies, Al-Baghdadi is emulating the Prophet Muhammad – the ultimate Islamic role model.[21] The Prophet, while displaying cruelty in battle ­– cruelty mirrored by the IS – put off battles with his enemies and integrated compromises and tactical agreements in his policy, in order to gather strength prior to renewing action to obtain his ultimate goals.[22] The IS, ruling from its informal capital in Syria’s Al-Raqqa, conducts itself in a similar manner, enforcing the laws of the shari’a while selling oil to Europe via the black market.[23]

Assessing The Threat Posed By The Islamic State To The West

The IS’s ideology, discourse and conduct thus demonstrate that terror attacks in the West are at the bottom of its order of priorities. However, it is equally clear that, once the near and immediate enemy has been defeated, the West’s turn will arrive. Moreover, if allowed to implement its strategy of stages, upon reaching the third stage, the stage of war against the West, the Islamic state will no longer marshal only a few thousand fighters riding pickup trucks. Instead, it is likely to command a wide range of modern military assets, possibly including planes, guided missiles, and chemical weapons or some other kind of WMD. Therefore, postponing the clash with the West serves the IS’ interests rather than the West’s (which is precisely why it opts to postpone it in the first place).[24]

Furthermore, while the threat of terror in the West is not part of the IS’s immediate agenda, the threat to Western interests in the Middle East, for instance in the Gulf States, Yemen, and Jordan, materializes in the second stage, a good deal before the millenarian battles…

Click here for full report.

The Shocking Display Seen at NYC’s Muslim Day Parade

TheBlaze (Sep 16) — New York City’s Madison Avenue was the site of the 29th annual Muslim Day Parade on Sunday. Last year’s Muslim Day Parade sparked some controversy as the black flags of jihad were spotted along the parade route. According to reports from a couple of sources, no black flags or flags from the Islamic State were on display.

However, that does not mean the parade was without controversy.

A marching band from the NYPD and a contingent of New Jersey Girl Scouts in Muslim attire kicked off the event. The streets were filled with flag-waving marchers, pro-Islam floats and a demonstration of a hanging.

That’s right, a hanging:

Hanging-close-up[1]

The “float” was really a crude display in the bed of a pickup truck adorned with the yellow and black R4BIA “Free Egypt” symbol that has been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood since August 2013, an Egyptian flag and several graphic images that appeared to be from riots associated with Egypt’s revolution from 2011:

Side-of-the-truck[1]

Women and children dressed in yellow garb followed the truck, carrying a large banner with the R4BIA logo and the words “Free Egypt”:

Free-Egypt-Banner[1]

Blogger Urban Infidel captured the hanging float rolling down the parade route:

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The men in black shirts were seen carrying tubes and sticks as they marched alongside the chariot. However, before the parade started, the same men were photographed carrying realistic-looking toy weapons. The NYPD reportedly told the men that the fake guns would not be permitted in the parade.

MB-with-fake-guns-1[1]

Also escorting the chariot, three men wearing masks depicting Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama, and Senator John McCain:

Kerry-Obama-McCain[1]

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Click here for full article.

Why Coca-Cola’s New Ad Has Received More Than One Million Views in Just Days

A new ad released in the Philippines by Coca-Cola has amassed more than 1 million views in just days — and about halfway through the video, it becomes clear why.

The ad, published on YouTube Thursday, shows a series of individuals answer one question: who are the people you say thank you to everyday?

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Each person reveals the special person they appreciate in their hectic lives: a driver, a grocery bagger and an apartment security guard. Then the individuals admit that they don’t know know the names of these people.

In the second half of the three minute commercial, the ad then shows the individuals say thank you to the people they appreciate by handing them a personalized Coca-Cola bottle featuring their name.

It’s unclear how the documentary-style ad was filmed, or how the individuals learned the name of the people they appreciate, (AdWeek suggests it was staged), but it has nonetheless warmed the hearts of thousands on the Internet.

“Good thing I didn’t skip this video,” one individual commented on YouTube. “Thank you, Coke.”

“This is the only advertisement I didn’t skip,” another echoed. “This is truly heart touching.”

Click here for original source.

There Were 124 Reports on Bush’s Approval Rating in First Half of 2006 — 9 on Obama’s in First Half of 2014: ‘Incredible’

TheBlaze (Sep 15) — During the first half of 2006, there were 124 network news reports on former President George W. Bush’s approval rating, according to conservative watchdog group Accuracy in Media. Accordingly, there were just nine reports on President Barack Obama’s low approval rating in the first half of 2014.

The discrepancy has some decrying media bias. John Ekdahl, a blogger at the popular Ace of Spades blog, called the comparison “f***ing incredible” in a tweet.

The media study appears to have originated at the Media Research Center, which analyzed past ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts earlier this month to determine how many times public opinion polls were referenced for each president during the specified time frame:

Such coverage is in stunning contrast to how those same newscasts relentlessly emphasized polls showing bad news for George W. Bush during the same phase of his presidency. Media Research Center analysts reviewed every reference on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts to public opinion polls from January 1 through August 31, 2014, and from the same time period in 2006. Eight years ago, the networks aired 124 evening news reports which cited public opinion polls about either President Bush’s overall approval rating or his handling of specific policies. In 2014, those same broadcasts produced only nine reports which mentioned public opinion surveys related to President Obama.

The numbers were also featured on Fox Business:

Twitter

MRC also provides this telling infographic:
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Muslim Preacher Whips Out Machine Gun During Sermon to Make His Point About How to Secure ‘Mohammed’s Caliphate’

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TheBlaze (Sep 15) — In case his message that only armed jihad can establish a caliphate wasn’t fully understood by his congregation, a Muslim cleric in Gaza drove home his point recently by whipping out a machine gun and punctuating his militant sermon by repeatedly raising it to the sky.

The Middle East Media Research Institute posted a video along with translation of Sheik Iyad Abu Funun delivering his Friday sermon at Gaza’s Huda Mosque on August 29 during which he used the eye-popping prop.

“These weapons are our only means to liberate the Al Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem],” shouted Abu Funun. “These weapons are our only means to establish the Islamic state! … These weapons are our only means to reestablish Mohammed’s caliphate!”

The sheikh’s calls were answered by repeated shouts from the congregation of “Allahu Akbar! Allah be praised!”

“These weapons are our only means to instate the law of Allah. Therefore, they will take our souls before they can take our weapons!” the Muslim cleric declared.

Referring to the armed hostilities with Israel that ended in late August, the preacher said, “This war has proven that these weapons are our only means to liberate our land.”

When he announced a new campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq last week, President Barack Obama asserted that the group “is not Islamic.”

“No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIS’s [the Islamic State's] victims have been Muslim,” Obama said.

However, Palestinian terrorist groups – along with the Islamic State – repeatedly use Muslim imagery alongside weapons, emphasizing that their religious goals can be obtained only through violence. One recent example was a photo posted online of a newborn baby posed with the Islamic State’s black flag emblazoned with the word “Allah” surrounded by grenades and guns. Another example: Posters and backdrops at Hamas rallies printed with graphics displaying the Al Aqsa Mosque together with machine guns and crossed swords.

Click here for full article.

Saudi anti-Christian sweep prompts calls for US involvement

Saudi King Abdullah speaks before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at his private residence in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi King Abdullah speaks before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at his private residence in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Fox News (Sep 10) — Dozens of Christians arrested at a prayer meeting in Saudi Arabia need America’s help, according to a key lawmaker who is pressing the State Department on their behalf.

Some 28 people were rounded up Friday by hard-line Islamists from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the home of an Indian national in the eastern Saudi city of Khafji, and their current situation is unknown, according to human rights advocates.

“Saudi Arabia is continuing the religious cleansing that has always been its official policy,” Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com. “It is the only nation state in the world with the official policy of banning all churches. This is enforced even though there are over 2 million Christian foreign workers in that country. Those victimized are typically poor, from Asian and African countries with weak governments.”

In Friday’s crackdown, several Bibles were confiscated, according to reports from the Kingdom.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va, told FoxNews.com he will press the U.S. ambassador in Riyadh and the State Department to assist the arrested Christians.

“I hope our government will speak up,” said Wolf, adding that the anti-Christian raid was not surprising given that the Saudi regime “did not want our soldiers to wear crosses during the Desert Storm” operation in 1991 to stop Iraqi jingoism.

A spokeswoman for Saudi Arabia’s embassy press officer, Nail Al-Jubeir, in Washington, told FoxNews.com that “Mr. Jubeir has nothing on that [arrests of Christians].” She suggested calling the Saudi Gazette newspaper.

The English-language paper Saudi Gazette, along with Saudi Arabic-language news outlets, published a news item about the mass arrests.

An article posted on the Arabic-language news website Akhbar 24 said the arrests came after the Kingdom’s religious police got a tip about a home-based church. The report further noted that “distorted writings of the Bible were found and musical instruments, noting their referral to the jurisdictional institutions.”

The Saudi media reported different compositions of the arrested Christians. Some reports said the Christians were men and women, while the Saudi Gazette wrote that children, as well as men and women, were detained. It was unclear if a court date has been set in the notoriously opaque fundamentalist court system.

Saudi Arabia has gone to great lengths over the years to re-brand its image as a tolerant advocate of multi-religious dialogue. The arch-conservative monarchy funded the Vienna-based King Abdullah International Center for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue. Nevertheless, critics argue, Saudi Arabia’s Islamist religious police continue to expunge any trace of Christianity within its territory.

Click here for full article.

Countering Islamic State will be hard in Iraq and harder in Syria, officials say

ISIS brutalityThe Washington Post (Sep 11) — President Obama’s strategy to beat back Islamic State militants spread across Iraq and Syria will depend on far more than U.S. bombs and missiles hitting their intended targets.

In Iraq, dissolved elements of the army will have to regroup and fight with conviction. Political leaders will have to reach compromises on the allocation of power and money in ways that have eluded them for years. Disenfranchised Sunni tribesmen will have to muster the will to join the government’s battle. European and Arab allies will have to hang together, Washington will have to tolerate the resurgence of Iranian-backed Shiite militias it once fought, and U.S. commanders will have to orchestrate an air war without ground-level guidance from American combat forces.

“Harder than anything we’ve tried to do thus far in Iraq or Afghanistan” is how one U.S. general involved in war planning described the challenges ahead on one side of the border that splits the so-called Islamic State.

But defeating the group in neighboring Syria will be even more difficult, according to U.S. military and diplomatic officials. The strategy imagines weakening the Islamic State without indirectly strengthening the ruthless government led by Bashar al-Assad or a rival network of al-Qaeda affiliated rebels — while simultaneously trying to build up a moderate Syrian opposition.

All that “makes Iraq seem easy,” the general said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share views on policy. “This is the most complex problem we’ve faced since 9/11. We don’t have a precedent for this.”

Click here for full article.

U.S. Confirms ISIS Planning Infiltration of U.S. Southern Border

Militants from the al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) removing part of the soil barrier on the Iraq-Syria borders and moving through it / AP

Militants from the al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) removing part of the soil barrier on the Iraq-Syria borders and moving through it / AP

Washington Free Beacon (Sep 11) — A senior Homeland Security (DHS) official confirmed to Congress on Wednesday that militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are planning to enter the United States via the porous southern border.

Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the border.

“There have been Twitter, social media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility,” Taylor told Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) in response to a question about “recent reports on Twitter and Facebook of messages that would urge infiltration into the U.S. across our southwestern border.”

“Certainly any infiltration across our border would be a threat,” Taylor said, explaining that border security agents are working to tighten measures that would prevent this from taking place.

“I’m satisfied we have the intelligence and the capability on our border that would prevent that activity,” Taylor said.

However, McCain was dubious, referring to recent videos released by activist James O’Keefe showing him crossing the border while wearing an Osama bin Laden mask.

Asked by McCain why agents did not stop O’Keefe, Taylor could not provide an answer.

“You can’t answer it because they weren’t there to stop him,” McCain responded.

“The fact is there are thousands of people who are coming across our border who are undetected and not identified, and for you to sit there and tell me that we have the capability or now have the proper protections of our southwest border, particularly in light of the urgings over Facebook and Twitter [by ISIL] for people to come across our southwestern border, is a great concern to the citizens of my state.”

Taylor admitted that more must be done to shore up border security in light of ongoing threats.

Click here for full article.

Migrant crisis hits Europe

3105-ImmigrationMapWashington Post (Sep 10) — Globally, the world is witnessing an epidemic of war and religious conflict, insurgent violence and deadly oppression. This year, the U.N. refugee agency estimates, the number of people risking life and limb to seek sanctuary has jumped to more than 51 million — the highest figure since World War II.

In the United States, thousands of migrants — including scores of unaccompanied minors — are pouring over the Mexican border. But Europe is confronting the consequences of even larger regional strife, witnessing an unprecedented wave of migrants as conflicts rage in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ukraine and elsewhere within reach of its relatively prosperous shores.

At ground zero is Italy, by far the largest gateway for migrants into Europe with a record 119,839 people arriving since January, according to the Italian Interior Ministry — already more than double the 42,000 total for 2013.

Human rights groups have criticized other gateway nations — chiefly Greece and Spain — for summary pushbacks or ill treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers. Italy, too, once repelled migrants and cut deals with authoritarian regimes in North Africa to stop them before they left. It still has agreements with Egypt and Tunisia to return migrants from those nations unless they are minors or can prove that they are being persecuted.

But arrivals are surging as Italy embraces what activists and refugee agencies describe as one of the world’s most progressive policies toward migrants.

Click here for full article.

ISIS Threat: Fear of Terror Attack Soars to 9/11 High

article-2661007-1EAFF8BC00000578-954_634x368NBC News (Sep 10) — The nation is on edge in the wake of brutal beheadings of journalists by Islamic extremists — with more Americans saying the United States is less safe now than at any point since 9/11, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll shows.

The exclusive poll reveals that 47% of Americans believe the country is less safe now than before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That’s a significant increase from even a year after the twin towers fell when in September 2002 just 20% of the country said the nation was less safe. The level of fear across America also is up substantially from last year when 28% felt the same way.

In fact, just 26% of Americans now feel the nation is safer than before 9/11.

The numbers are a backdrop for the primetime speech President Obama will deliver on Wednesday night outlining his plan to combat the terrorist group ISIS, which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, beheaded two American journalists, distributed images of the killings in via gruesome videos, and has launched a social media campaign to extend its reach.

Read the full poll here.

“A very war-weary country … seems to have woken up to the real threat that ISIS may present,” says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart and his colleagues at Hart Research.

“The beheadings are so chilling to the American public,” added Hart. “The only things I think of equal impact are the self-immolations back in Vietnam.”

The new poll also found that more than six in 10 respondents believe that taking military action against the Islamic militant group ISIS is in the nation’s interest.

And a whopping 94 percent of Americans say they have heard about the news of the beheaded journalists – higher than any other news event the NBC/WSJ poll has measured over the past five years.

That includes the 2011 debt-ceiling debate (77 percent), the 2012 health-care decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (78 percent), Syria’s reported use of chemical weapons in 2013 (79 percent) and this year’s botched execution in Oklahoma (68 percent).

Click here for full article.

Hamas: Give Us West Bank So We Can Destroy Israel

By Khaled Abu Toameh who formely worked for PLO’s newspaper, an Israeli Muslim with a Palestinian, non-Israeli mother.

What Hamas and Iran are saying is that if and when Israel pulls back to the pre-1967 lines, they, together with other Palestinians, would bring weapons into the West Bank to achieve their goal of eliminating the “Zionist entity.”

Abbas’s initiative also ignores that Hamas could easily seize control of the West Bank through force or through the promised free and democratic elections, which recent polls show Hamas is assured of winning. Abbas is demanding something that would bring about his own demise.

Gatestone Institute (Sep 7) —  If the West Bank had one quarter of the weapons that the Gaza Strip has, Israel would be eliminated in one day. This is what Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told worshippers during a sermon he delivered on September 5.

Zahar, who, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, spent his time in hiding, was speaking during Friday prayers at Martyr Abdullah Azzam Mosque in Gaza City.

Abdullah Azzam, by the way, was a Palestinian “scholar,” teacher and mentor of Osama bin Laden, the slain leader of Al-Qaeda. Azzam was killed in Pakistan in 1989.

Back to Zahar, who delivered his first sermon since the Egypt-brokered cease-fire between Hamas and Israel was announced in late August: he chose to remind Palestinians and the rest of the world of his movement’s dream to destroy Israel.

“If only the West Bank had one quarter of what Gaza has of resistance tools, the Israeli entity would end in one day,” Zahar declared, reiterating the claim that Hamas had scored a “big victory” in the war.

The Hamas leader went on to criticize those who still have doubts as to whether Israel could be destroyed.

“Those who were skeptical as to whether Palestine could be liberated are no longer doubtful after the enemy was hit from the Gaza Strip,” Zahar said. “Can you imagine what would happen if the enemy is targeted from the West Bank, which makes up 20% of the size of Palestine?”

Zahar’s wish to see the West Bank flooded with rockets and mortars and other “tools of resistance” was echoed by other Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and spokesmen after the recent war in the Gaza Strip.

Zahar himself was quoted recently as saying that Hamas’s goal now was to “move the Gaza example of resistance” to the West Bank.

Even the Iranians seem to think that the time has come to turn the West Bank into a launching pad for attacks on Israel.

During the war in the Gaza Strip, a senior Iranian commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohamed Reza Naqdi, announced that Tehran had plans to “arm Palestinians in the West Bank” in order to destroy Israel.

Naqdi boasted that the weapons used by Hamas and other Palestinian groups during the recent war had been manufactured and supplied by Iran.

The threats by Hamas and Iran regarding the West Bank show why it is critically important for Israel (and the Palestinian Authority) to insist on the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip as part of any long-term cease-fire agreement.

Even more significantly, these threats underline the need to keep the West Bank a demilitarized area in any future peace agreement, especially one that would see the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

Moreover, these threats support Israel’s insistence on maintaining permanent security control over the border with Jordan. Without such a presence, Iranian-made weapons would easily find their way into the West Bank.

What Hamas and Iran are saying is that if and when Israel pulls back to the pre-1967 lines, they, together with other Palestinians, would bring weapons into the West Bank to achieve their goal of eliminating the “Zionist entity.”

Zahar does not even believe that there is a need for large amounts of weapons – just one fourth of what Hamas and Islamic Jihad already have in the Gaza Strip are sufficient, in his eyes, to destroy Israel in one day.

In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, it is not difficult to understand why flooding the West Bank with weapons poses an existential threat to Israel.

But this is also something that would wreak havoc on Palestinians in the West Bank.

Fortunately, Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority are fully aware of attempts by Iran and Hamas to turn the West Bank into a base for terrorism and jihadis.

Thanks to Israel, they are also aware of Hamas’s effort to topple the Palestinian Authority and replace it with an Islamist government.

Last month, Israel announced the arrest of more than 90 West Bank Hamas members who planned to stage a coup against Abbas and renew terror attacks against Israelis. Were it not for Israel’s effort, Abbas and his top officials would have been either killed or imprisoned by Hamas.

That episode explains why Abbas has now ordered a massive crackdown on Hamas members and supporters in the West Bank. During the Gaza war, Abbas refrained from such measures against his Hamas rivals out of fear of being accused of “collaboration” with Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas (r) meets with the Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Qatar, July 20, 2014. (Image source: Handout from the Palestinian Authority President’s Office/Thaer Ghanem)

Since the cease-fire went into effect, Abbas’s security forces in the West Bank have detained more than 80 Hamas men. They have also stopped Hamas-affiliated preachers from delivering sermons during Friday prayers.

Abbas will be able to rein in Hamas in the West Bank only if he pursues security coordination with Israel.

However, it would be unrealistic to expect Abbas or any Palestinian government to disarm Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority would not be able to survive for one day in the West Bank without the presence of the IDF, especially given Hamas’s rising popularity among Palestinians in the aftermath of the war.

Last week, Abbas sent two senior officials, Saeb Erekat and Majed Faraj, to Washington to present his “new peace initiative” to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Abbas’s initiative envisages the establishment of a Palestinian state within three years either through negotiations or by having the UN Security Council impose a solution on Israel.

Abbas’s initiative, however, ignores the threat from Hamas and Iran to use the West Bank as a launching pad for destroying Israel. It also ignores that Hamas could easily seize control over a future Palestinian state by force or through the promised free and democratic elections, as assured by a recent public opinion poll published by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Abbas is demanding a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines (including the border with Jordan). But he cannot offer any assurances that Hamas and Iran would not use this border to smuggle weapons into the West Bank.

In fact, Abbas is demanding from the Israelis and Americans something that would bring about his own demise. His only option for now is to hold onto power in the West Bank and continue to work with Israel against the common enemy – Hamas. The day Hamas agrees to lay down its weapons and abandon its dream of destroying Israel, he will then be able to go to the U.S. and Security Council and ask for an independent state next to Israel.

Click here for original source.

Caroline Glick: The dilemma of the Jewish leftist

Given the genocidal Jew-hatred endemic in jihadist doctrine, it was obvious that if Sotloff’s Judaism was exposed, he would have been singled out for torture and execution.

A left-wing protester holds up a sign that reads, "No to Code Red, yes to peace," during Tel Aviv rally

A left-wing protester holds up a sign that reads, “No to Code Red, yes to peace,” during Tel Aviv rally

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick’s work, visit carolineglick.com

The Jerusalem Post (Sept 4) — During his yearlong captivity at the hands of the barbarians from Islamic State, Steven Sotloff’s colleagues in Israeli media organs purged all of his articles from their websites to erase his connections to Israel and hide the fact that he was an Israeli citizen. So, too, every effort was made to hide the fact that he was Jewish.

The reason was clear. Given the genocidal Jew-hatred endemic in jihadist doctrine, it was obvious that if Sotloff’s Judaism was exposed, he would have been singled out for torture and execution.

Much has been written since Islamic State released the video of its British executioner chopping off James Foley’s head last month. We have been told by leaders and commentators alike that with this singular crime, Islamic State awakened the sleeping lion of the West. That act of barbarism, we have been assured, will now force the US to lead a global coalition against this Islamic army of butchers.

Clearly Islamic State is not convinced. With the release of the Sotloff beheading video this week, it appears that Islamic State thinks its cinematographers will move the West in another direction – apathy.

Foley’s execution video ended with the preview of coming attractions for the Sotloff execution video.

And the Sotloff execution video ended with the preview of a British hostage’s execution video.

By releasing the films gradually, Islamic State is apparently trying to routinize beheadings. Its leaders are probably betting that by the seventh or eighth beheading video, we will greet the violence with a shrug of our shoulders.

In this, Islamic State is channeling Iran, the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban.

No, it isn’t that all these terror-supporting regimes and terror groups have engaged in beheading. It is simply that when they began engaging in terrorism, their actions shocked the civilized world until their actions didn’t shock the civilized world anymore.

Once the shock wore off, these terror states and enterprises began enjoying the stature of legitimate parties to a political dispute. As Islamic State sees it, it is only a matter of time before it too is accepted as a legitimate force in world affairs.

… In late July, Islamic State forces in Mosul, Iraq, decreed that all girls and women between the ages of 12 and 42 must have their genitals mutilated.

The order was an act of pure evil. Yet it was not particularly controversial within the Islamist context Islamic State operates.

As Soeren Kern wrote for the Gatestone Institute last July, throughout the world, some 140 million women and girls, the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslims, have been subjected to the barbaric practice. Three million girls under the age of 15 are forced to undergo clitoridectomies each year.

In Europe, at least 180,000 Muslim females have undergone this defilement. According to British authorities, in England alone, at least 20,000 girls are at risk of “being cut” each year.

Yet, despite the cruelty and degradation inherent to female genital mutilation, and despite the fact that under British law, anyone found guilty of carrying out this practice is supposed to face criminal charges and up to 14 years in prison, so far no one has been convicted and only a five or six offenders have even been charged for the crime.

There are two principal causes for British authorities’ failure to protect Muslim girls residing in England. First, neither the children themselves, who live in a permanent state of terror and abuse, nor their communities, which turn a blind eye, and so condone the practice, are willing to come forward and finger those responsible for this endemic abuse and violence.

And second, non-Islamic British authorities, including welfare workers and teachers, who are in a position to protect the children, are unwilling to stick their necks out. This unwillingness has two causes.

First, they fear for their lives. The murder of Theo van Gogh and the repeated attempts by Muslim fanatics to execute the Danish cartoonists who drew the caricatures of Muhammad are central components of the cost-benefit analysis most Westerners carry out when considering whether or not to get involved with human rights abuses carried out by Muslims.

Second, they fear excommunication from and defamation at the hands of the Left. Over the past 15 years, the international Left has consistently expanded its political alliance with Islamists in the West.

Among other things, this alliance has required the Left to turn a blind eye to barbaric Islamic practices like female genital mutilation and rape and to defame those who dare to openly oppose these reactionary, obscene behaviors as Islamophobic racists.

And so we have a situation where, both at home and abroad, the West has become habituated to Islamic barbarism and passive in the face of its expanding threat to their lives and their way of life both abroad and at home. Observing this behavior, clearly Islamic State’s terror masters are betting that once habituated to the beheading of Westerners, the West will yawn and go to sleep as Islamic State expands its conquests to additional countries.

It isn’t that the Westerners, led by the leftist elite, lack the ability to feel or express moral outrage. It is just that they refuse to direct it against Islamic jihadists.

And this brings us back to their political alliance with the Islamists.

The only meaningful commonality between Islamist and leftist dogma is hatred for Jews with power, first and foremost for Israel. And the singular creation of this alliance is the sides’ joint determination that it isn’t racist to hate the Jewish state, or Jews who refuse to condemn it.

In this state of affairs, the only outlet that leftists have for their moral outrage is Israel. Because while they fear being called racist, they know that being anti-Semitic will not expose them to charges of racism.

And they know Jews won’t assault them for attacking Israel and its supporters. So they project all the crimes perpetrated by Islamic fanatics on Israel.

For instance, this week Megan Marzec, the president of Ohio University’s Student Senate, posted a video of herself dousing herself in a bucket of “blood.”

Marzec explained, “This bucket of blood symbolizes the thousands of displaced and murdered Palestinians – atrocities which OU is directly complacent in [sic] through cultural and economic ties with the Israeli state.”

In other words, she accused Israel of the crimes Hamas seeks to inflict on Israel, and of the crimes that Islamist forces, such as al-Qaida, Islamic State and Boko Haram, are currently carrying out in their areas of operations.

The growing prevalence of anti-Semitism in leftist circles has placed Jewish leftists in a vulnerable position.

Their ideological movement is denying Jews the right to self-defense and self-determination and siding with Islamists who seek to annihilate them. For a growing number of leftist Jews, their new status as members of a hated group has made them feel it necessary to publicly side with Israel’s enemies against it.

Consider the recent New York Times op-ed by Antony Lerman which ran under the title “The End of Liberal Zionism.”

Lerman insisted that there is no way to square Zionism with liberal values.

According to this disaffected Jewish leftist, “The only Zionism of any consequence today is xenophobic and exclusionary, a Jewish ethno-nationalism inspired by religious messianism. It is carrying out an open-ended project of national self-realization to be achieved through colonization and purification of the tribe.”

But of course, outside the fringes of Israeli society, no such movement exists.

Rather, Lerman is describing Islamic supremacism and, like his fellow leftists, projecting its pathologies on Israel, which Islamic supremacists seek to destroy.

Lerman quoted an article published a few weeks before his in The New York Review of Books by Jonathan Freedland titled “Liberal Zionism After Gaza.”

Freedland argued that as the two-state solution becomes more and more remote, liberal Zionists “will have to decide which of their political identities matters more, whether they are first a liberal or first a Zionist.”

But this is of course absurd. The only way a person can uphold liberal values is by being a Zionist. Israel is the only country in the region that is a human rights-respecting liberal democracy that is governed by the rule of law.

What is becoming more and more difficult is being a Zionist while being a leftist. As the Left becomes more and more tied to Islamic fanatics, anti-Semitism is going to become more and more of a staple of leftist dogma. And that anti-Semitism will express itself first and foremost as a virulent rejection of Israel and of Jews who refuse to disavow and condemn the Jewish state.

Sotloff reportedly maintained faith with his Judaism in secret while in captivity. He refused food on Yom Kippur and secretly prayed toward Jerusalem.

In so doing, he showed that the evil that controlled him physically, could not penetrate his soul. For this he died a Jewish hero.

Leftist Jews must take a lesson from Sotloff, who was reportedly a product of a Jewish-leftist worldview.

They should understand that the decision they are being required to make is not a choice between liberalism and Zionism, but between liberalism and a reactionary dogma that sits comfortably with genocidal Jew-haters and misogynist oppressors. It shouldn’t be a particularly difficult choice.

Click here for full article.

Friday Sermon In Spain: ‘Allah, Destroy The Plundering Jews, Do Not Spare A Single One’

In a Friday sermon at Azuqueca De Henares, near Madrid, Sheik Saleheoldine El Moussaoui said that the “plundering Jews” were “the masters of treachery and betrayal,” and prayed: “Oh Allah, the Most Merciful, count them one by one, and do not spare a single one of them.” The sermon was posted on the Internet on August 25, 2014.

Click here for full transcript and original source.

Senior Fatah official justifies shooting Israeli civilians: “There are no innocent Israelis”

Palestinian Media Watch (Aug 27) — Senior Palestinian official and Fatah leader, Abbas Zaki, stated that he does not want the Palestinian Authority to join the International Criminal Court, because if Palestinians shoot Israelis they could then be tried in international courts. Discussing this, Zaki added that in his opinion “there are no innocent Israelis.”

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Member of Fatah Central Committee Abbas Zaki:
“I’m against signing the Rome Statute (i.e., joining the International Criminal Court) as long as our country is occupied. If tomorrow you shoot, they’ll say you signed an agreement. This is not meant for people who want to liberate their country… I think the [Palestinian] people’s weapon is pure – they don’t want to kill. By the way, there are no innocent Israelis.”

[Palestine Today TV (Lebanon), Aug. 22, 2014]

Earlier this year, Palestinian Media Watch reported on Zaki’s belief that “Allah, will gather them [Israelis] so we can kill them.”

Click to view more statements by Fatah leader Abbas Zaki.