Category Archives: Jihad

More on the Jihad Threat this Christmas and New Year’s Season

by Christopher W. Holton

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Both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have issued audio, video or online threats to attack the West this Christmas.

These threats focus on European population centers, such as Paris and London, and New York City in America, though the possibility of Jihadi attacks in other places in the West can certainly not be discounted. History has shown that places as diverse geographically as Brussels, Berlin and San Bernardino have all been targeted, especially at Christmas time.

Lone Wolf or Individual Jihad?

The possible attacks in the West could take the form of organized, planned attacks directed from Jihadi leaders overseas or inside Europe or America, or they could be carried out by individuals “inspired” by Jihadist ideology.

Ironically, very often, Western media and officials seem to take some form of weird comfort when a deadly attack ends up being the work of an individual jihadi, as opposed to an organized cell or affiliate of a known terrorist group.

In reality, the opposite should be the case.

First of all, none of the Jihadist groups–Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, Lashkar e Taiba, Ansar al-Sharia, Abu Sayyef, Jemaah Islamiyeh–issue membership cards or wear uniforms. So a case can be made that classification of an attacker as “inspired” or “directed” could be a distinction without a difference.

But there is a difference between a cell such as the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks after training and planning conducted by Al Qaeda’s leadership and infrastructure, and the husband and wife team who shot up a Christmas party of people they knew and worked with in San Bernardino. (Though it is vital that we understand that their acts are based on the same Islamic doctrine and they are tied together by the same Jihadist ideology.)

So which flavor of Jihadi is more dangerous?

If you’re on the receiving end of an attack, it makes no difference to you, but by casualty count, the cell would appear to pose a greater threat. On the other hand, the inspired attacks seem to happen much more frequently.

A case can be made that individual Jihadis pose a greater challenge for our intelligence and law enforcement communities.

Cells have to be organized, trained and communicated back and forth with. All of this provides opportunities for detection and even infiltration.

Individual jihadis don’t offer any of these potential vulnerabilities. One can infiltrate a cell, especially one in which members are using cell phones and email to contact each other and leaders elsewhere. How does one infiltrate one guy, like the Chattanooga, Tennessee shooter, the Orlando shooter or the Uzbeki vehicle jihad attacker in New York City?

If the individual jihadi isn’t communicating with others and no one is aware of his or her plans, how are our intelligence and law enforcement assets supposed to detect them “left of bang” (before the attack)?

Unfortunately, here in the West, and the U.S. in particular, we have failed to even properly identify the nature of the threat. A popular term in Western vernacular to describe the threat of individual jihad is the term “lone wolf.”

The term “lone wolf” does not appear in Islamic doctrine, nor is it part of any Jihadist group ideology.

What is part of Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology is the concept of Jihad as an individual obligation. So what we have been seeing around the world are acts of individual jihad based on Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology. Given the basis for these attacks, they are not “senseless violence.” We can explain and understand these attacks based upon Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology.

Most importantly, the wave of individual jihadi attacks in recent years is all part of plans articulated by Jihadi ideologues:

Successful jihad will only happen within an ummah [Islamic nation or community] in which the fighting creed is firmly established and clarified. This must happen in order to attain the “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” that will spontaneously give rise to instruments of resistance.

 Violent jihad is as an individual duty obligatory upon every Muslim. All the ulema have said this…”

The Call to Global Islamic Resistance
Abu Musab al-Suri
Al Qaeda propagandist
Captured in Pakistan 2005

We are now seeing this “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” in the West as evidenced by the rise of seemingly spontaneous acts of Jihad carried out by individual Muslims with no known direct contacts with Jihadist organizations.

It is this threat that we are most likely to see this Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your Local Jihadi

Warnings in Jihadist literature and on Jihadi social media aren’t meant to give us a heads up. They are meant to inspire individual Jihadis to rise up and attack, in this case during the Christmas season. If recent history is any indication, we will see an act of deadly jihad somewhere in the West as a result of these communications.

The Christmas and New Year season is a particularly high-risk period as it offers unusually large numbers of potentially high-value and high-casualty targets, not just in places like New York, London, Paris and Berlin, but in just about every major city in the West.

The holiday season brings large crowds at sporting events, Christmas celebrations and ceremonies, churches, parks, restaurants and other gathering locations. In addition, the holiday season is also characterized by high volumes of leisure travel leading to large numbers of travellers in airports and train depots. The vast number of potential targets makes it virtually impossible for homeland security and law enforcement agencies to deploy enough personnel to successfully prevent every possible attack.

The Western holiday season is particularly attractive to Islamic jihadists because any successful attack, even a minor one, becomes a propaganda victory that can inspire others to follow suit and aid in Jihadist organization recruitment (despite what the U.S. government has said, Jihadis don’t recruit based on the prison at Gitmo; they recruit based on their successful attacks).

Jihadists have repeatedly demonstrated their will and capacity to plan and execute attacks during high-profile events. The Nice (July 216), Berlin (December 2016) and Manchester (May 2017) attacks show how individual jihadis and small cells can successfully carry out mass-casualty attacks. Despite their resounding defeats in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State continues to benefit from supporters in the West, which means there is a greater risk of terrorist attacks in the West during the holiday season.

We are most likely to see vehicle jihad using large trucks, knife jihad (stabbings) and shooting attacks, but improvised explosive device (IED) attacks are certainly also a possibility using pressure cookers (Boston marathon bombing), fertilizer and diesel fuel (1993 World Trade Center bombing) or propane tanks (failed Time Square VBIED attack).

This is why intelligence services and foreign service offices continue to issue bulletins almost on a daily basis for Europe. As Christmas nears, we should expect to see such alerts issued for major events in the U.S. as well.

British police arrest two Jihadis, disrupt “significant plot”

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by Christopher W. Holton

Late yesterday British counterterrorism police arrested two Jihadis who were reportedly planning attacks in London and Birmingham.

Details are scarce but it has been reported that the two suspects were 20 and 21 years old and were “inspired” by the Islamic State.

More to follow as information comes available.

An Insane Way to Fight a War

by Christopher W. Holton

Though many would still deny this reality, Islamic Jihadists are at war with America.

They are not homogenous and certainly not united, but Jihadists from groups we know by name (Al Qaeda, the Islamic State) and some from groups whose names are not commonly known are at war with us–whether we want to be in a war with them or not.

One time and place in which our Jihadist enemies launched an act of war against the United States occurred on 11 September 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.

In that action 4 Americans were killed, including a US ambassador and two brave military contractors. 10 more Americans were wounded.

Let’s examine the salient facts of this attack:

It was carried out by a group called Ansar al-Sharia, a Jihadist organization based in Libya made up of Libyan jihadists.

The attack(s) occurred at two places in Benghazi, Libya.

Obviously, the proper response to this act of war would have been to seek out, close with and destroy the members of Ansar al-Shariah, wherever they are. If any of the Jihadists survived the operation they should have been taken prisoner as irregular enemy combatants and treated as such.

Unfortunately, this is not the way that the Obama administration decided to handle the situation.

In 2014, the US military, following Obama’s policies, captured the reported ringleader of the Benghazi attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattala in an operation IN LIBYA.

Unbelievably, Khattala was brought aboard a US Navy ship and, eventually, Mirandized.

He was brought to the US and charged with some 18 crimes, including murder.

Note that he wasn’t charged with a war crime, he was simply charged with murder, the same way a gangbanger from a bad neighborhood in any US city would be after a drive-by shooting.

We have now seen the outcome of this insane policy of fighting a war with lawyers:

Yesterday, a jury in Washington acquitted Khattala of 14 of the 18 charges he faced after deliberating for 5 days following a 7 week trial.

Khattala was convicted on 4 charges including conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism, maliciously destroying and injuring dwellings and property as well as using and carrying a semi-automatic weapon during a crime of violence.

Fortunately, Khattala still faces up to 60 years in prison, but the fact that he was acquitted of the most serious charges against him illustrates the dangerous folly of confronting an enemy who is fighting a war against us this way.

It is one thing to apprehend a Jihadi in the United States after he carries out an attack here and trying him in our courts, especially if he is a US citizen.

It is quite another to go capture a foreign terrorist in a foreign country after he attacked the US in that foreign country and then bring him back stateside to face a jury trial.

That is pure insanity and it must never happen again.

British step up counterterrorism measures as threat of jihad looms

posted by Christopher W. Holton

British security services are preparing a new crackdown on terrorism as the threat against the UK continues to grow.

Ben Wallace, the security minister, said a total of eight planned attacks have now been thwarted since the Isis-inspired massacre in Westminster in March, bringing the total to 21 since 2013.

“Nearly 600 investigative leads are ongoing, covering about 3,000 people and approximately another 20,000 people who we have at some stage had concern about,” he told the Westminster Counter-terrorism Conference.

Around 850 people travelled from the UK to join Isis and al-Qaeda in Syria, with 15 per cent killed and half returned home, according to Government figures.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-terror-attacks-isis-threat-rising-new-terrorism-strategy-propaganda-online-islamic-state-a8072641.html

U.S. Continues to Step Up Campaign Against Al Shabaab Jihadists in Somalia

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posted by Christopher W. Holton

The policy of the Trump administration seems clearly aimed at pursuing violent Jihadists  militarily where ever they gather. This stands in stark contrast to the Obama era policies which allowed violent Jihadists to have safe havens in various areas of the world.

No where is this more true than in Somalia, where Al Shabaab has become resurgent. Clearly the U.S. is now actively engaged in pursuing and destroying Al Shabaab jihadists…

U.S. forces say they have carried out three drone strikes within 24 hours in Somalia, stepping up their campaign against the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab and the Islamic State group. With these three attacks, the U.S. has now carried out 26 attacks in Somalia against extremist targets in 2017.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-carries-drone-strikes-extremists-somalia-51099066

 

 

Internal Threat from Jihad Persists in France Two Years After Paris Attacks

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posted by Christopher W. Holton

Two years after the Jihadist attacks that have turned Paris into a virtual armed camp, the plague of Jihad that the French imported into their society continues to pose a violent terrorist threat.

Two years after militants killed 130 people in co-ordinated attacks across Paris, French officials say there remains an unprecedented level of “internal” threat.
With Islamic State (IS) losing ground in Iraq and Syria, hundreds of French citizens – and in some cases their children – are expected to attempt to return to France, leaving the government in a quandary over how to deal with them.

 

There has also been the passage of more stringent French legislation, with the most recent law, effective this month, giving police extended powers to search properties, conduct electronic eavesdropping and shut mosques or other locations suspected of preaching hatred.

While he has ended the state of emergency brought in after the attacks, heavily-armed soldiers still patrol the streets of Paris daily, and barely a week goes by without a police operation to round up suspects. According to the interior ministry, extraordinary measures have helped intelligence agencies thwart more than 30 attacks in the last two years. Last week, the police arrested nine people and another was apprehended in Switzerland in a co-ordinated counter-terrorism operation.

 

French prosecutor Francois Molins has said that while larger cells are still plotting, more attacks are likely to come from isolated individuals using “low-cost” methods such as cars or knives to kill.
“We are witnessing a new bout of isolated actions, 11 since the beginning of the year, which supports the idea of an increasing endogenous threat,”

 

Of particular concern is what to do about hundreds of French citizens who went to fight with IS and may now seek to return. French secret services estimates that around 690 French nationals are now in Iraq and Syria, including 295 women. Estimates from late 2015 suggested around 2,000 French citizens had gone to fight with IS.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/570952/France-frets-over-internal-threat-two-years-after-

 

 

 

Reacting With Tactical Defensive Measures, Ignoring Strategic Realities

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by Christopher W. Holton

In the wake of the recent vehicular Jihad attacks that have occurred in France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Israel and Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, cities in America are beginning to take prudent steps to attempt to prevent more such attacks here. An example is Miami:

The most recent of Europe’s vehicle-into-crowd attacks will alter the look of South Beach’s Lincoln Road — concrete barriers will soon frame the internationally known shopping and socializing promenade.

These measures are no doubt proper, but they are also flawed in two ways:
1. Our Jihadist enemies pay attention to what we do to prepare for their attacks. If we make it difficult to run innocent victims over with a truck or tractor trailer, they will come up with another method. We will always be playing catch up.
2. Tactical defensive measures such as barriers in pedestrian areas are all well and good, but until we as a nation come to terms with the Jihadist doctrine and ideology that animates our enemies, we will never develop the serious strategies needed to defeat the Jihadists and achieve victory.

New Threats from Al Qaeda: Inspire 17 Magazine

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by Christopher W. Holton

Al Qaeda has issued its latest edition of Inspire magazine, Inspire 17.

The magazine is published by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but it covers Al Qaeda operations worldwide. In particular, Inspire 17 features the emir of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abu Musab Abdel al-Wadoud.

However, this latest issue of Inspire is noteworthy in that the most prominent personality in the magazine is Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden. Hamza bin Laden is emerging as a global leader of Al Qaeda and has specifically vowed to take revenge on the U.S. for killing his father.

Here is a brief summary of the highlights of Inspire 17:

Al Qaeda claims that they will be concentrating on targeting Western nations’ transportation infrastructure, seeking to disrupt the movement of people and cargo.

While Al Qaeda says that they will be targeting all aspects of transportation, air, sea and land, as well as local and international, Inspire 17 focuses on rail transport.

As implied by the name “inspire” Al Qaeda seeks to inspire individual Jihadis to take action. They suggest attacking transport vehicles such as trains and aircraft, lines of transport, such as railways, and stations, terminals and transit points, such as train stations, subway terminals and airports.

Bin Laden specifically states: “I urge my Mujahideen brothers everywhere, especially Lone Jihad heroes; I say to them: Target America.”

But America is not the only target mentioned in the magazine. It sets a priority order for targets in the following order: “everyone who transgresses against our religion,” Jewish interests, US, NATO, Russia.

Al Qaeda specifically instructs its followers to target civilians, as opposed to military targets: “In targeting civilians, there is much advantage and benefit for attaining goals of Jihad that cannot be attained when targeting the military.”

The emir of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Abu Musab Abdel al-Wadoud is quoted as singling out France for attack: “France! Do you know time for settling debts has approached? Do not think you will escape punishment! Start preparing to pay what you owe to Muslims, in cash and in kind.”

France has conducted a robust military campaign against AQIM for several years now.

The impact on Western and American lifestyles from increased security measures is not lost on Al Qaeda: “O Mujahideen, it is time we instill fear and make them impose strict security measures to trains as they did with air.”

Concentrating on rail, the magazine describes a austere technique for attacking trains by derailing them from railroad tracks by positioning an item on them that will alter the course of the train’s wheels.

Unlike previous terror attacks on rail infrastructure, such a technique would not require explosives.

The magazine points out the merit of derailing high speed trains and lists Acela in the US, Class 395 Javelin in the UK and TGV in France as high speed trains to attack.

The magazine also suggests prioritizing derailing trains with HAZMAT cargo in cities and towns in the USA.

The following passenger trains are listed as specific targets: Lake Shore Limited, Empire Builder, Coast Starlight, Acela Express, Amtrak Cascades, Cardinal, Carolinian, City of New Orleans, Crescent, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle. It also depicts a map of US rail lines by Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, BNSF and Amtrak.

Please Pray for Lt. Jeff Neville

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by Christopher W. Holton

Police officer LT. Jeff Neville was ambushed by a savage Islamic jihadi today at the airport in Flint, Michigan and is in critical condition fighting for his life.

Please pray for his safe recovery and for comfort for his loved ones.

https://bluelivesmatter.blue/jeff-neville-terrorist-attack/

 

 

Video Footage of Philippine Military Fighting the Islamic State

posted by Christopher W. Holton

This serves as a good reminder that we are in a world war. Western political leaders don’t want to admit that the war exists, but the 200,000 residents of the Philippine city of Marawi know all too well about the war.

The Islamic State seized control of their city more than two weeks ago and this video illustrates the degree to which the Philippine military is going to battle against the Jihadists in their country…

It seems to us that our grandfathers did not liberate the Philippines from Japanese imperialism from 1944 to 1945 only to have Jihadists seize control and impose their barbaric way of life on the good and brave people of the Philippines.

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