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MUST READ: ‘Lone Wolf,’ or ‘Known Wolf’? The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

by PATRICK POOLE

Katie Gorka of the Council on Global Security has released an important report, “The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” and events of this week show that it couldn’t be more timely. The separate terror attacks in Canada and a long string of terror attacks here in the U.S. show that the counter-terrorism policies of Western governments are fundamentally broken, and are directly responsible for getting their citizens killed. Even as I write this there are breaking reports of yet another attack.

The primary targets of Gorka’s new report are the various fictitious narratives and bogus social science models that drive Western counter-terrorism efforts. Chief among these is the “countering violent extremism (CVE)” narrative that has been the centerpiece for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement.

CVE has been a colossal disaster because it has no roots in reality. It was always intended as a convenient fiction for politicians, bureaucrats, media and academics to avoid talking about the problem of the ideology that supports Islamic terrorism.

There has never once been a recorded case of anyone on the planet swearing their allegiance to the ideology of “violent extremism” and their willingness to kill others and die in the cause of “violent extremism.” It is a null set. There is nothing to counter, which is the whole point. And yet there are academics and institutions who are the beneficiaries of mountains of taxpayer cash to pursue the elusive CVE unicorn.

CVE has been used to smuggle all kinds of crackpot theories into not just our counter-terrorism policy, but also our foreign policy.

One crackpot theory has been that there are good Islamists that we can use against the bad Islamists. This was the keystone of the Obama administration’s Arab Spring policies. And this theory put into practice in Egypt, Libya, Syria and other places has left the Middle East in even worse shape than Obama found it.

As Gorka observes, the administration’s head cheerleader for this “good Islamist/bad Islamist” approach has been Quintan Wiktorowicz, who served as senior director of the National Security Council under Obama. But the disaster of the Arab Spring has prompted Wiktorowicz and his CVE pals to double-down on this approach. Now we have entirely new categories of actors, such as “vetted moderates,” and even “good bad Islamists,” who presumably are any jihadists not currently wearing a suicide belt.

This rampant idiocy has become so bad that we have the supposed best and brightest in the Washington, D.C. foreign policy elite now calling for engagement with “moderate al-Qaeda” (no, I’m not kidding).

Another theory championed by the CVE crowd is the “lone wolf” syndrome, reportedly where unknown individuals unconnected to any other actor strike without warning. But numerous examples show that terrorist actors are almost always part of a network who were involved in recruiting and tasking terrorist activity….

….I’ve written previously about the laughable attempts by the FBI to engage in community outreach and the disastrous effect of the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach efforts in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

There are other cases, such as the FBI’s strange dance with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, that could be mentioned. Suffice it to say, the U.S. government’s performance in each of these cases has yet to foster any types of reform. What we can see is that the reckless government policies operating in each of these cases has not led to any degree of self-reflection by the system itself or its well-fed CVE enablers.

The first step to recovery is a recognition that what many Western governments are doing with respect to counter-terrorism isn’t working, which is what makes Katie Gorka’s recent analysis critical reading for policymakers. The next step would be to amputate the gangrenous limbs of entrenched interests that encourage these systemic failures, but it isn’t clear that there’s anyone in the White House or on Capitol Hill willing to do what’s necessary.

So as we see jihadist attacks escalate and threats around the world proliferate, we should expect that more Americans will die because of the false narratives and social science hucksters holding their CVE monopoly over our nation’s counter-terrorism system. And no one should be surprised when more of our “lone wolves” turn out to be “known wolves” to our law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

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The Poison Tree

BY: Matthew Continetti

….The change in the manner in which the government treated Islamism was profound. “Whereas the 9/11 Commission report, published under the presidency of George W. Bush in July 2004 as a bipartisan product, had used the word Islam 322 times, Muslim 145 times, jihad 126 times, and jihadist 32 times,” Gorka writes, “the National Intelligence Strategy of the United States, issued by the Obama administration in August 2009, used the term Islam 0 times, Muslim 0 times, jihad 0 times.” The omission is stunning.

For Bush, terrorism consisted of immoral deeds committed by evil men animated by anti-Western ideology. Obama downplayed such judgmental language. He preferred an interpretation of terrorism as discrete acts of wrongdoing by extremists, driven by resentments and grievances such as the American failure to establish a Palestinian state, American support for secular Arab dictatorships, American forces in the Middle East, U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay, and, infamously, an anti-Islamic YouTube video. “The logic that follows,” Gorka writes, “is that once those grievances are addressed, the extremism will subside.”

Some logic. Six years into the Obama presidency, not only has the vocabulary of jihad been removed from official rhetoric and counterterrorism policy, but troops have been removed from Iraq, troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the administration has condemned Israeli settlement activity while coddling Hamas’ backers in Ankara and Doha, “torture” has been banned, the White House intends to close Guantanamo unilaterally, Hosni Mubarak was abandoned in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the president is desperate for a partnership with the Islamic theocracy of Iran.

The result? The Islamic State rules Mosul, threatens Baghdad, and has conquered half of Syria as Bashar Assad gasses the other half. Libya has collapsed into tribal warfare. Egypt has gone from military dictatorship to Islamic authoritarianism and back again. An Islamic strongman rules Turkey, Hamas murders with impunity, Al Jazeera broadcasts anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda around the world, and the Taliban are biding time in Afghanistan. Not only is al Qaeda not on the run, it governs more territory than at any point since 2001. It is once again the “strong horse,” attracting jihadists to its crusade who inevitably turn their attention to the West.

“Without an ideological catalyst,” Gorka writes, “grievances remain merely grievances. They are dull and banal. They only transform into acts of transcendental violence when ignited by Sayyid Qutb or Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. It is the narrative of Holy War that gives value to local grievances, not the other way around.” Before we can hope to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State or the al Qaeda movement, we must recognize the poison tree of jihad for what it is. We must recognize the global and unitary nature of the threat. We must recognize that there is only one way to deal with a poison tree: You chop it down.

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Canada: Two Terror Attacks in Three Days; More to Come?

By: Rachel Molschky

Martin Rouleau

…Islam is the perfect excuse to commit murder. Hiding behind so-called “religious” doctrine, terrorists find a way to justify crimes which no religion should condone. In the surreal world of multiculturalism, political correctness and liberalism of the modern West, where up is down and black is white, terrorists are victimized and their religion is a protected species like the California condor. As we protect the species, separating the religion from the violence it inspires, and we welcome more to become our neighbors and coworkers through immigration, allowing them to build houses of “worship” where terror is bred, with our helping hand, the process of our own demise begins.

The new friendly immigrants charm their way into converting our people to their “religion,” second and third generation immigrants (and sometimes first) are radicalized, and homegrown terrorists are scattered about, living among us, plotting whatever acts of terror they can against their hosts. And the result is two terror attacks in three days…

…We can categorize the terrorists however we want, but while we perpetuate our own ignorance by putting the blinders on, pretending only a few Muslims are “radical” while “moderate” and “mainstream” Imams continue to preach violence in their mosques, and Western Muslims wanting to be obedient and dutiful to Allah listen intently, idolizing the savagery of ISIS and others like them, we are only fooling ourselves. More attacks will come.

In fact this is exactly what ISIS is calling for, and we already saw it in Oklahoma with the beheading by yet another Muslim convert. Just as Al Qaeda had called on devout Muslims to perpetrate “lone wolf” terror attacks in the West, so too is ISIS, and with its popularity on social media, it is finding success.

To make matters worse the US has “inadvertently” armed ISIS, when a cache of arms meant for Kurds wound up in the hands of ISIS, adding to millions of dollars of American weaponry the terrorists have already commandeered from Iraqi soldiers. It’s left ISIS jihadists thumbing their noses at the US and the allies, no doubt providing even greater motivation for Western fans of the terror group to strike on unsuspecting people in surprising places.

The days of safety are ending in Canada. PM Harper said that Canada is not immune to terror attacks. He was right. More Muslim immigrants, more mosques, more Islam- more terror.

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ISIS Is Following Established Islamic Jurisprudence

by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY

If you want to understand the challenge Western liberalism faces from Islamic supremacism, take six minutes to watch this extraordinary interview of Ayad Jamal al-Din, a Shiite cleric, Iraqi intellectual, and former member of the Iraqi parliament who campaigns for a democratic Iraq that separates mosque and state. Mr. al-Din was in Washington for the October 17 interview by al-Iraqiya TV in Iraq, and the interview with English subtitles (which I’ve reproduced as a transcript below) was publicized on Monday by the invaluable MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute).

While President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Prime Minister Cameron absurdly contend that the Islamic State, or ISIS, is not Islamic, al-Din – an authenticmoderate Muslim who regards the Islamic State as the enemy – patiently explains that the jihadist organization adheres to a firmly established interpretation of Islam that is based on sharia and fiqh (jurisprudence).

I have repeatedly argued that classical, mainstream sharia is repressive, discriminatory, and anti-democratic, and thus that it was self-defeating for the United States to sponsor new constitutions in Iraq and Afghanistan that attempted to meld Western democratic principles with sharia (see herehere, and here). It is especially gratifying to hear a passionate, articulate explanation of the incompatibility of Western democracy and Islamic jurisprudence from someone who reveres the former, is steeped in the latter, and understands the stakes.

Moreover, for those of us who frequently point out that mosques – which Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna described as the “axis” of his ideological movement in every city and town – are often centers for jihadist incitement, recruitment, training and fundraising, it is refreshing to hear someone intimately familiar with this phenomenon explain that there are mosques throughout the world directly and indirectly championing the Islamic State by glorifying jihad and the caliphate.

Our national security will not be well served until the United States government ends its futile search for “moderate Islamists” and realizes our allies in the Muslim community are the real moderates, meaning pro-Western democrats who reject the imposition of sharia on civil society. Supporting our enemies only undermines our friends….

More

Geert Wilders on “The West’s Battle for Freedom.”

The Watchman: Silent Conquest of the West

Long live the Peshmerga

Compare this to the foul ISIS videos you’ve seen:

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