Last week U.S. officials identified two American citizens, Abdurrahman Muhumed and Douglas McCain who died fighting along side Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces in Syria. McCain (no relation to Senator McCain) was a Minnesota native who moved to San Diego where he took Arabic classes at San Diego City College. The radical conversion to Islam of McCain and Muhumed aren’t the first cases of American jihadis., U.S. officials say this is part of a growing trend, one that will make it harder for law enforcement agencies to detect, if or when, newly-minted terrorists return to their western homes. So what is President Obama’s strategy to blunt the ISIS rampage in the Middle East? “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.”
The stunning remarks from President Obama alarmed U.S. officials who have been warning the White House about the group’s growing momentum for months if not years. However, the urgency to halt the radical jihad movement took a darker turn when a recovered ISIS laptop computer revealed a number of manuals on bomb making as well as the best disguises to use when crossing international borders.
The contents of the computer leave intelligence officials asking the age-old question, “Should American’s worry about its porous southern borders?” (Read previous story here)
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, released a report that confirmed prior stories concluding terrorists are exploiting America’s biggest weakness, its border with Mexico.
“Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.”
The Judicial Watch bulletin continued, “Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon, according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as 'ISIS and Al Qaeda.' An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed."
The ISIS laptop of doom
Adding more fuel to ISIS’ brutality against the infidels are details articulated on a recovered ISIS computer. The laptop contained more than 35,000 files describing plans to annihilate the Western non-believers.
A 26-page fatwa discloses or gives permission for Muslims to kill infidels with weapons of mass destruction. A Foreign Policy story said, "If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir [unbelievers] in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction," states the fatwa by Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd, who is currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. "Even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth."
The “laptop of doom” contents of "death and destruction" included meticulous plans for biological weaponry that requires extreme scientific precision. This type of biological attack was something al-Qaeda’s Osama bin-Laden dreamed of achieving but failed to realize before SEAL Team Six killed him in Pakistan.
Enter an ISIS ransom email sent to U.S. photojournalist Jim Foley’s family before his August 2014 beheading. “We have also offered prisoner exchanges to free the Muslims currently in your detention like our sister Dr. Afia Sidiqqi, however you proved very quickly to us that this is NOT what you are interested in.” The mention of Aafia Siddiqui (misspelled in the ISIS email) signals ISIS is desperately or spotlighting their wish to obtain a credible scientist capable of producing biological weaponry. Plus, an indication of the important place she appears to hold in jihadist thinking.” The chilling passage reveals that terrorists continue their quest to procure the expertise required to unleash mass destruction using biological or dirty bombs against the West.
The release of popular Jihadist scientist, Siddiqui has been demanded in several hostage negotiations. “She was demanded by various terrorist groups in exchange for hostages, among them a British aid worker who was killed by her Taliban captors during an abortive rescue mission in Oct. 2010,” according to CNS News; “a large number of hostages seized by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists at a natural gas plant in Algeria last year, an episode that ended with dozens of hostages killed.”
Plus ISIS’ stratospheric rise on the Middle East battlefield is seen by many Intel analysts as directly attributable to the May 2014 release of the “Taliban five” from GITMO for wayward soldier Bowe Bergdahl.
Perhaps he is just too cautious to act?
Many American journalists are used to President Obama’s slow, at times painfully slow, response from a question or what strategy is best to implement with the reams of daily presidential briefings at his fingertips.
However the wavering decision process appears to concern members of the president’s own party. The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said that President Obama has perhaps been “too cautious” in confronting the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“I think I've learned one thing about this president, and that is he's very cautious. Maybe in this instance, too cautious,” she said during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Citing her history of monitoring non-state actors and extremist organizations as a member of the Intelligence panel, she said ISIS is “really the first group that has the wherewithal in terms of financing, the fighting machine in terms of a structure -- a heavy equipment, heavy explosives, the ability to move quickly.”
Feinstein concluded that ISIS has crossed the border from Syria into Iraq “before we even knew it happened. So this is a group of people who are extraordinarily dangerous. And they'll kill with abandon,” she warned.
Foreign Policy reporter Richard Engel also spoke on Sunday’s on “Meet The Press” program where he was asked by Andrea Mitchell about the “president’s reluctance to take the fight against ISIS to Syria.”
“Well, I spoke to military commanders, I speak to former officials, and they are apoplectic,” he explained. “They think that this is a clear and present danger. They think something needs to be done.”
Any competent political leader knows the military keeps plans for most worldwide scenarios, plus they complete real world training just in case a threat actually materializes. One military leader said; “It’s embarrassing to think the president doesn’t know this!”
Another U.S. official said, “that this was a Freudian slip. That it shows how the United States does not have a policy to deal with Syria, even when you have ISIS — which has effectively become a terrorist army, roughly 20,000 strong, about half of them foreign fighters — and incredibly well-armed after two major weapons hauls.”
It’s been no secret that the current administration has suffered messaging problems, especially when they discuss military-related issues. In the last 10 years America has embarked on several wars of luxury, not necessity, namely Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan II.
American’s are rightly war weary, which makes the new ISIS terror threat more difficult to sell. But even Marine General Anthony Zinni told Meet the Press moderators ISIS is different and requires immediate attention.
“We need to revamp the security assistance program in both Iraq and with the Kurds that we have been reluctant to do because of Iraqi objections. I think the same with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and others because they have a front in this literally. The boots on the ground question is the toughest one. I wish we were not so paranoid about the boots on the ground. We can’t define it. There has to be special operations forces, people that can call and adjust air and fire and advisors to be with these units. Very simply put, if you put two brigades on the ground of U.S. forces, they would push ISIS back to Syria in a heartbeat and probably take less time with less cost. I think in the long run (it would result in) fewer deaths.”
The revolution begins
While the world watched in horror as an ISIS executioner beheaded two America journalists, most of the Arab world stood quietly, unsure whether they support or abhor the bloodthirsty jihad movement.
Even Turkey has been relatively quiet. However, Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the Gulen movement who is highly critical of President Erdogen’s administration said; “ISIS members are either completely ignorant of the spirit of Islam and its blessed messenger, or their actions are designed to serve their individual interests or those of their political masters. Regardless, their actions represent those of a terrorist group and they should be labeled as such and be brought to justice.”
Even with those words, most of the Arab world will not participate in any kind of retaliation for fear they will be labeled “Muslim killers.”
But the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff are horrific examples of the ruthless enemy that has declared war against the United States. The only way to deal with such a threat to American citizens worldwide is to send the Marines. Don't send them with rules of engagement that prevent them from accomplishing their mission, don't send them to win the hearts and minds of the enemy, send them to kill the cowards that murder innocent Americans and to destroy those that harbor and aid them. And as Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said, “we need to kill them all and their pet goats.”
As has been said of the Marines, they can be your best friend and worst enemy. The Marines will avenge this global war on Americans if the president lets them achieve their mission objectives.
Just end it right
There’s little doubt that war is hell. At least three million Syrians are now classified as refugees. Since the ISIS terrorists unleashed barbaric warfare on ethnic minorities as well as Muslims, one million Iraqis have fled their homes for refuge.
The Obama administration has also papered over the unsecure southern border. Border Patrol and federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE/CBP) have succumbed to Department of Homeland Security’s heavy-handed mantra that the border is more secure than ever.
But a different picture is painted by local law enforcement and residents along the southern border; they along with Border Patrol have reported a disturbing trend of more violence, bigger drug busts and a heavier arsenal. Earlier this month, a couple in Texas were arrested by ICE/HSI with components from cluster bombs. (Story here)
In the meantime, perhaps American’s should demand a strategy that includes secure borders as well destruction of those that would do us harm.
Previous story: President Obama begins airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq: Link here
The Islamic State seemingly moves with impunity and precision in Iraq & Lebanon: Link here
Obama trained insurgents launch killing spree against Iraq then turn to Syria (Part One Link here)
Iraq, ISIS and trained Islamic insurgents (Part Two Link here)
Obama’s Regime change train stops in Ukraine: Link here
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