No Way to Fight a War

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The left-wing Guardian in the UK has been focused on the so-called “air war” waged by the Royal Air Force in Syria and Iraq, with the emphasis being on accusing the RAF of covering up civilian casualties.

The Guardian essentially discounts the British official claim that RAF air strikes caused only one civilian casualty.

The RAF may be wrong. But to dispute the RAF claim the Guardian relies on “Airwars,” an NGO that in turn relies on local claims and reports in Syria and Iraq. Anyone who has served in the Middle East knows just how problematic it can be to get the truth out of locals…we’ll leave it at that.

Then there is “Airwars” itself. It’s staffed by a hodgepodge of leftists, mainly with journalism backgrounds. There is no mention among their staff of anyone with any military background at all, much less experience in bomb damage assessment.

The tragic and sad fact is that in war civilians die. That has always been the case and will probably always be the case. But focusing on the alleged mistakes of the side in this conflict that was clearly fighting on the side of human rights and civilization is misguided and clearly one-sided.

Why focus only on “air wars?” Isn’t it true that the Jihadists in Iraq and Syria have killed far more innocents than the coalition fighting them have? Why ignore those numbers? Is there a hidden agenda here?

A case can be made that air strikes inflicting heavy casualties on Jihadist terrorists actually prevent the barbarians from killing innocent civilians. Why isn’t that taken into account?

The forces of freedom have a distinct advantage over our Jihadist enemies in terms of air power. We should continue to exploit that advantage to minimize casualties to our side as well as to innocent civilians.

WHAT A SHOCK (NOT): “Sharia law graduate” in charge of the Islamic State (ISIS)

by Christopher W. Holton

The Daily Mail came out today with what some folks must have thought was a revelation: the new head of the Islamic State is a sharia-educated scholar.

This should come as no surprise, the recently killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was also a highly educated sharia scholar with a PhD is Islamic Studies.

Now, his successor, Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi, is also an expert in sharia with a degree in sharia from the University of Mosul.

As an aside, just as was the case with al-Baghdadi, al-Salbi had also been detained and held by U.S. forces in Iraq. In fact, The Guardian reports that al-Salbi and al-Baghdadi met while being held prisoner by U.S. forces.

As frustrating as that is, the more important point here is that this is further evidence that Jihadists like al-Baghdadi and al-Salbi were not ignorant or fringe characters.

Sharia is close by at the core ideology of terrorist groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, HAMAS and other Jihadist organizations. According to sharia, the world must submit to Allah and live according to sharia as a one world state, referred to as a caliphate.

Sharia mandates violent jihad against non-Muslims to establish Islam’s rule worldwide. For those Muslims who cannot engage in physical jihad using force, sharia mandates that they support jihad financially—“Jihad with money.”

The brutal doctrine of sharia is both the basis of the Islamic State and the goal of the Islamic State. It is the code that they follow, it’s the path on which they walk and they will not rest until sharia is the law of the land everywhere.

So it should come as no surprise that sharia scholars lead ISIS.

A Reminder of the Threat Stateside

posted by Christopher W. Holton

I do not subscribe to the notion that the Ayatollahs in Iran have seen the light and will no longer wage a global low-intensity war against America. They may be scared by what happened to their henchman Qassim Soleimani, but you can be sure that vengeance is on the minds of many of those in the IRGC and the regime.

And we may need a reminder that the Iranians and their terrorist proxies have a well-developed network in the western hemisphere, including inside the U.S.

Todd Bensman has probably done more work on the issue of terrorism and border security than anyone else. He just wrote an article for The Federalist that details that threat…

Weirdly absent from much of the professional speculation about where and how Iran will exact its promised “severe revenge” for the U.S. drone strike killing of Quds Force Gen. Qassem Suleimani is mention of the dead man’s highly suggestive hint. During a time of intense saber rattling between Iran and President Donald Trump in July 2018, Suleimani gave a speech during which he called out the American president: “Mr. Gambler, Trump! I’m telling you that we are close to you, exactly where you wouldn’t think that we are.”

While American media and citizens entertain escalating World War III-esque theories, however, honest analysis and prudence demand we consider Iranian threats much closer to home.

Here’s what is missing from the analysis. Iranian avengers, in the form of Quds Force-supported Hezbollah operatives of the clandestine “Unit 910,” are stationed in cities across America, set to activate pending distant command on target lists they have painstakingly developed over time. Hezbollah operatives also are positioned throughout Latin America, where American officials and economic interests are ubiquitous, at least as close as Nicaragua.

Read more…

https://thefederalist.com/2020/01/07/iran-has-terrorists-embedded-inside-the-united-states-and-across-our-border/

France Says it Prevented a “September 11-type” Terrorist Plot

posted by Christopher W. Holton

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced this week that a Jihadi (our word, not his) had been arrested for plotting an attack on France inspired by the September 11th terrorist attacks on America.

Castaner shared an ominous statistic: there have been 61 attempted or actual terrorist attacks in France since 2013. That’s nearly one per month.

Reuters reports that since the November 2015 attacks in Paris, 230 people have been killed in France by terrorists.

An unknown number of French jihadis were held in detention camps in Syria until recently when those camps were disrupted by the Turkish incursion into northwestern Syria. It is now feared that those jihadis will work their way back to France where they will pose a threat to carry out more terrorist attacks.

The Department of Defense Almost Gets it Right on Jihad

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The news has been dominated recently by the withdrawal of U.S. special operations advisers from northern Syria ahead of the Turkish invasion of the region.

Those advisers were primarily charged with training and assisting indigenous forces in battling Islamic State jihadists, who, despite reports to the contrary, are still very much active in the area.

The Department of Defense released a statement emphasizing that the withdrawal does not mean that U.S. forces have abandoned the fight against the Islamic State:

U.S. Will Continue Defeat-ISIS Campaign, Official Says

The United States will continue its campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from outside Syria, said a senior defense official…

“The Defeat-ISIS campaign will continue,” the official said. “The enduring defeat of ISIS remains one of our top security priorities. We have significant assets and personnel as well as coalition capabilities throughout the region that will continue to prosecute that campaign.”

Here is the most important part of the DOD statement. I don’t agree with the terminology, but the substance is important:

It is important to remember that ISIS is not just a Middle East/Central Asia phenomenon. The terror group is attempting to foment extremism in many other areas including Somalia, Niger, Southeast Asia, the Philippines and elsewhere.

This statement is important because it acknowledges the fact (without coming right out and saying so) that we are in a global jihadist insurgency. The Islamic State was not defeated when its caliphate was rolled up in Syria and Iraq. Its affiliates operate in West Africa, East Africa, Southeast Asia (most likely referring to Thailand), the Philippines (where just a few years ago ISIS took over an entire medium-sized city for months) and elsewhere.

What is meant by “elsewhere?”

We can’t be sure what DOD means by this, but there is no doubt that the Islamic State has sympathizers and operatives throughout Europe and here in the USA. Periodically we read of plots, attacks and arrests. Mostly our media has relegated these reports to the “back pages” of the news, in my opinion because they seek to downplay the threat because it doesn’t resonate for Leftist politicians most of the media covertly support.

https://www.defense.gov/explore/story/Article/1990196/us-will-continue-defeat-isis-campaign-official-says/

Al Shabaab Expands into Ethiopia

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The world seems to have mostly forgotten about the global jihadist insurgency. That’s unfortunate because jihadis are still active around the globe. It seems that attention in the US is focused on the partisan battle raging between President Trump and the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

As we have detailed for some time over the years, Africa continues to be a place that is being targeted by jihadis. One of the most dangerous groups in Africa is Al Shabaab, which originated in Somalia but has conducted operations elsewhere in east Africa, notably Kenya.

Now, there are reports that Al Shabaab has expanded into Ethiopia as well…this merits watching since there are numerous supporters of Al Shabaab here in the USA…

Is al-Shabab looking to Ethiopia?

https://www.dw.com/en/is-al-shabab-looking-to-ethiopia/a-50854924

The Shame of Sri Lanka and the West

by Christopher W. Holton

The West is in trouble. The entirety of the political class of Western civilization is in complete denial. And the leader of the Free World, America, is largely to blame.
There was a horrific attack overnight on our Christian brothers and sisters as they celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And today on the Sunday news shows, all the talking heads can talk about is the old-news Mueller probe and the Russian collusion hoax, the same story they’ve been forcing on viewers for 2 long years. And that includes Fox News.

The fact is, because the attack on Christians occurred in a country made up of brown people, the US news media just doesn’t care.

For years Boko Haram made blowing up Christian churches in Nigeria on Easter Sunday, Palm Sunday and Christmas a national sport. Al Shabaab carried out similar attacks in Kenya. The West barely took notice. We managed to at least mention some attacks here on TTB:

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2015/12/30/jihad-its-not-all-about-us-its-about-islamic-doctrine/

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2012/04/08/boko-haram-islamikaze-car-bomb-kills-38-christians-outside-easter-service-in-kaduna-nigeria/

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2013/12/28/christian-churches-attacked-in-kenya-on-christmas/

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2013/05/06/boko-haram-attacks-another-church-in-nigeria/

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2013/05/07/four-saudis-arrested-in-attack-on-catholic-church-holding-mass-in-tanzania/

Several years ago, Al Qaeda leader Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri made an announcement that Al Qaeda was turning east and forming Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. Overnight we saw the results of their work. We may not view 207 dead and 475 wounded Sri Lankans as any big deal (shame on us), but I can assure you, our enemies see it as a big deal.
The problem in that for us is that, by their own doctrine, which I have studied ad nauseam for 15 years, success will–MUST– embolden them.

Maybe the West can get lucky and the Jihadis will only keep killing Christians halfway around the globe…it seems too many of us are content with that.

Islamic State Supporter Amer Alhaggagi Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

posted by Christopher W. Holton

This is yet another example of the inadequacy of the U.S. criminal justice system for dealing with Jihad.

Amer Alhaggagi of California was an admitted Islamic State “supporter.” He set up Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus/Gmail accounts for other Islamic State supporters and posted terroristic threats online.

He even identified targets for an Islamic State member who turned out to be an undercover federal agent.

In the process of all this, he also ran an identity theft operation.

For all this he has been sentenced to just over 15 years in prison. Alhaggagi is 23 years old. When his assigned sentence ends, he will be 38 years old. But the reality is that he will be released sooner than 15 years if he behaves himself in prison.

So we have to HOPE that when he does get out of prison, he will have turned into a peaceful, patriotic American. Excuse me for being skeptical. Given the level of Jihadi activity in America’s prisons, it is just as likely that Alhaggagi will emerge from prison even more devout.

This is part of a wider pattern. According to the George Washington University Program on Extremism, 123 Islamic State members or supporters in America have been convicted of various crimes over the past few years.

The average sentence for these convicts was 13.5 years. And it is highly likely that these people will NOT serve their entire sentences.

America needs to overhaul its sentences for terrorist-related offenses and it desperately needs a terrorist offender registry modeled after the sex offender registry that has worked successfully for decades.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-isis-supporter-who-bragged-of-bomb-plots-gets-more-than-15-years-in-prison

Turkey Backs Pakistan in Kashmir Conflict

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Turkey has wasted no time in backing Pakistan in the conflict over Kashmir, despite the fact that the violence began with a terrorist attack launched from inside Pakistan in which 40 Indian troops were killed.

This is just the latest sign that Recep Erdogan of Turkey seeks to recreate the Ottoman Empire as a modern-day seat of a caliphate.

Turkey has often “looked the other way” as jihadists transited through its territory and even used it as a launching pad. Erdogan’s main problem with the Islamic State was that it threatened his desire to have Turkey re-emerge as the seat of the caliphate when it declared itself a caliphate…

http://www.radio.gov.pk/27-02-2019/turkey-categorically-announces-to-stand-by-pakistan-in-pace-of-indian-aggression

Escalation in Kashmir

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The latest round of fighting started with a Jihadi attack by JeM on India-controlled Kashmir and has now escalated to an air war between India and Pakistan…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6750329/Pakistan-shoots-Indian-jets-carries-airstrikes-Kashmir.html

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