After rightly rejecting the new draft Constitution for Syria submitted by Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is wisely rejecting the Trump administration concept of the implementation of “safe zones” inside Syria. In the first interview with Western media since the election of Donald Trump, Assad decried the plan as a bad idea that would have no real ability to protect civilians or end the Syrian crisis.
When asked by the interviewer about Trump’s statement that he would “absolutely” create “safe zones” in Syria “for the Syrian people,” Assad responded by saying,
But actually, it won’t [protect civilians], it won’t. Safe zones for the Syrians could only happen when you have stability and security, where you don’t have terrorists, where you don’t have [the] flow and support of those terrorists by the neighboring countries or by Western countries. This is where you can have a natural safe zone, which is our country. They don’t need safe zones at all. It’s not a realistic idea at all.
When the interviewer pressed Assad on the fact that so many Syrians were displaced and thus “How can you oppose safe zones?” Assad pointed directly at the root of the problem. He stated,
The first thing you have to ask: why were they displaced? If you don’t answer that question, you cannot answer the rest. They were displaced for two reasons: first of all, the terrorist acts and the support from the outside. Second, the [U.S.] embargo on Syria. Many people didn’t only leave Syria because of the security issues. As you can see, Damascus is safe today, it’s nearly normal life, not completely.
But they don’t find a way for life in Syria, so they have to travel abroad in order to find their living. So, if you lift the embargo, and if you stop supporting the terrorists … I’m talking about everyone who supported terrorists, including the United States during Obama’s administration. If you stop all these acts, most of those people will go back to their country.
Indeed. In this short interview clip, Assad echoed the same sentiment and solutions that I and many other Syrian researchers and analysts have been saying from the beginning of the crisis; i.e. if America wants to stop terrorism in Syria, it need only stop funding it, supporting it, and directing it. It’s that simple. The U.S. could also call on its allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey, U.K., France, Qatar, and Israel to do the same. It could work with Russia to eliminate the remnants of terrorist forces and it could provide information and coordinates to both Syria and Russia on the whereabouts of terrorists and terrorist forces.
We should call on the Trump administration to immediately end any and all support for armed groups in Syria, to press America’s allies to stop supporting terrorists, immediately begin rapprochement with Russia and Syria, and look toward the future of investment in rebuilding Syria as a country as well as immediately ending the sanctions currently in place against the Syrian people.
BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview released on Friday that the United States is welcome to join the battle against “terrorists” in Syria — as long as it is in cooperation with his government and respects the country’s sovereignty.
Speaking with Yahoo News, Assad said he has not had any communication — direct or indirect — with President Donald Trump or any official form the new U.S. administration.
But the Syrian leader appeared to make a gesture to the new U.S. president in the interview, saying he welcomes Trump’s declaration that he will make it a priority to fight terrorism — a goal Assad said he also shares.
However, Assad’s government has labelled all armed opposition to his rule — including the U.S.-backed rebels — as “terrorists.”
“We agree about this priority,” Assad said of Trump. “That’s our position in Syria, the priority is to fight terrorism.”
Syria’s six-year civil war has killed more than 300,000 people and displaced half the country’s population. The country is shattered and the chaos has enabled the rise of the Islamic State group, which in a 2014 blitz seized a third of both Syria and neighboring Iraq. The extremist group, responsible also for several deadly attacks around the world, has declared an Islamic caliphate on the territory it controls.
Assad also told Yahoo News that his country would welcome U.S. “participation” in the fight against terrorism but it has to be in cooperation with the Syrian government.
Assad’s comment ignored the U.S.-led international coalition, which has been targeting the Islamic State group and al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria with airstrikes since September 2014. The U.S. also has advisers in Syria along with predominantly Kurdish fighters north of the country who are fighting against the Islamic State.
“If you want to start genuinely, as United States … it must be through the Syrian government,” Assad said. “We are here, we are the Syrians, we own this country as Syrians, nobody else, nobody would understand it like us.”
“So, you cannot defeat the terrorism without cooperation with the people and the government” of Syria, he added.
The Syrian government has always blamed the U.S. for backing opposition fighters trying to remove Assad from power. The rebels formed a serious threat to the Syrian leader until 2015, when Russia joined Syria’s war backing Assad’s forces and turned the balance of power in his favor.
“We invited the Russians, and the Russians were genuine regarding this issue. If the Americans are genuine, of course they are welcome, like any other country that wants to defeat and to fight with the terrorists. Of course, with no hesitation we can say that,” Assad said in English.
But when asked if he wants American troops to come to Syria to help with the fight against the Islamic State group, Assad said that sending troops is not enough — a genuine political position on respecting Syria’s sovereignty and unity is also needed.
“All these factors would lead to trust, where you can send your troops. That’s what happened with the Russians; they didn’t only send their troops,” Assad added.
Assad would not comment on Trump’s move to bar Syrian refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., calling it an “American sovereignty” issue.
But he appeared to offer some veiled support at last, saying that there are “definitely terrorists” among the millions of Syrians seeking refuge in the West, though it doesn’t have to be a “significant” number.
Excerpts of Assad’s comments were aired on Thursday while the full interview with Yahoo News ran on Friday.
The Syrian president also blasted a report released this week by Amnesty International in which the group said as many as 13,000 prisoners were hanged in over four years in one of Syria’s prisons and later buried in mass graves.
“It’s always biased and politicized, and it’s a shame for such an organization to publish a report without a shred of evidence,” Assad said.
He also rejected an initiative that calls for creating “safe zones” in Syria for refugees, an idea also been floated by Trump as a substitute for resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere.
“Safe zones for Syrians could only happen when you have stability and security,” Assad said. “It’s much more practical and less costly to have stability than to create safe zones. It’s not a realistic idea at all.”
In other developments Friday, the Kremlin said that Russia and Turkey have agreed to improve coordination in Syria to prevent further friendly fire incidents after a Russian airstrike killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded 11 the day before.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the accidental strike near the town of al-Bab in northern Syria prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss better cooperation in fighting the Islamic State group in the area. In a signal that the incident hasn’t hurt a Russia-Turkey rapprochement, Peskov said that Erdogan is set to visit Russia next month.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the Turkish casualties on Thursday were the result of “faulty coordination” in Syria and showed “there is a need for a much closer coordination.”
WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Friday to order new security measures by next week intended to stop terrorists from entering the United States, even as aides debated whether to ask the Supreme Court to reinstate his original travel ban that has now been blocked by lower courts.
A day after a three-judge panel rebuffed him, Mr. Trump said he might sign “a brand new order” as early as Monday that would be aimed at accomplishing the same purpose but, presumably, with a stronger legal basis. While he vowed to keep fighting for the original order in court, he indicated that he would not wait for the process to play out to take action.
“We will win that battle,” he told reporters on Air Force One as he flew to Florida for a weekend golf outing with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Yet noting that it most likely would not happen quickly, he also raised the possibility of “a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order.”
Asked if he would do that, Mr. Trump said, “We need speed for reasons of security, so it very well could be.”
The president’s pivot represented a short-term tactical retreat even as he insisted that he would prevail in the long run. The battle over his order, which suspended refugee flows and temporarily blocked visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries, has come to define Mr. Trump’s young presidency both at home and abroad, and has tested his capacity to impose his will on a political and legal system that he has vowed to master but that has resisted his demands.
Mr. Trump typically prefers a fight, but drafting a new travel order would acknowledge that sometimes a president must find other ways to proceed. Asked to describe what he had in mind for a new executive order, he said: “We’re going to have very, very strong vetting. I call it extreme vetting, and we’re going very strong on security. We are going to have people coming to our country that want to be here for good reason.”
White House officials denied news reports that the president would not appeal the case to the Supreme Court. “All options remain on the table,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said by email late Friday.
A new version of the executive order would amount to a tacit admission that the administration would not be able to quickly or easily overturn the decision issued on Thursday by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Even some conservative lawyers allied with the White House said there was little chance of prevailing right away with the Supreme Court, which is divided along ideological lines with a seat vacant.
Emboldened by the appeals court, Democrats attacked Mr. Trump for trying to subvert American values.
“I promise you, we will fight back,” Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in his party’s weekly radio and internet address. “We will resist. We will resist on behalf of what is American. And we will resist on behalf of the immigrants who came here in the past and who will come here in the future.”
Mr. Trump has other ways to soldier on. The Ninth Circuit decision left in place a temporary restraining order blocking the travel order, but did not rule on the underlying constitutional or legal issues of the case. The president could ask the full Ninth Circuit to hear an appeal on the restraining order, or he could return to the lower courts for a battle over the merits, which would take longer to conclude.
The administration was still fighting battles in other courts across the nation. Lawyers for the Justice Department were back in court in Alexandria, Va., outside the nation’s capital, arguing against a preliminary injunction that would halt the travel ban from being enforced nationwide.
Given multiple challenges, the idea of starting over appealed to the White House.
Edward Whelan, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and an advocate of Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, wrote on Twitter that it was “utterly crazy” to expect the justices to overturn Thursday’s ruling. As a result, Mr. Whelan wrote, it would be better to develop a “sensible” executive order and unveil it “with clear expectations” for carrying it out.
The original executive order issued last month barred refugees from anywhere in the world from entering the United States for 120 days and refugees from Syria indefinitely. It also cut off visitors for 90 days from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Mr. Trump said he needed time to tighten screening procedures.
White House officials could draft a new order that would address some of the concerns raised by the judges. A new order, for instance, could explicitly state that it did not apply to permanent legal residents holding green cards. After some initial crossed signals, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security have said Mr. Trump’s original ban does not affect green card holders, but the appeals court judges pointed out that was not in the text of the order.
The White House could also narrow the categories of people affected, or change the list of countries targeted. And it could take out provisions intended to give preference to religious minorities, which in Muslim countries would refer to Christians, among others. Mr. Trump said in a television interview that he wanted to give preference to Christian refugees, but the judges expressed concern about a religious rule that could be discriminatory.
Mr. Trump has also argued that the restrictions were necessary to stop terrorists from entering the United States, citing attacks in Europe over the past year. As the United States has struggled with terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, no one has been killed in a terrorist attack on American soil by anyone from one of those seven countries — a point noted by the judges — although some would-be attackers from them have been thwarted. The White House could try to offer a stronger rationale for why a temporary ban would actually stop terrorism.
In his weekly address, Mr. Trump told Americans he was “committed to your security” and would not be deterred by criticism of his order. “We will not allow our generous system of immigration to be turned against us as a tool for terrorism and truly bad people,” he said.
Mr. Trump’s attacks on the judiciary have drawn criticism. He initially called a federal district judge in Seattle who first blocked his executive order a “so-called judge” and said Americans should blame the judge if there were a terrorist attack. When the appeals court took up the case, he said a “bad high school student” would uphold the order.
Mr. Trump started Friday with another attack on the appeals court ruling, calling it “a disgraceful decision.”
But for much of the rest of the day, he avoided the incendiary language he has been using. At a White House news conference with Mr. Abe before flying to Florida, he said he would fight in court, but did not address the judges.
Mr. Trump suggested that he had learned more about the threat of terrorism from intelligence briefings since he took office.
“While I’ve been president, which is just for a very short period of time, I’ve learned tremendous things that you could only learn, frankly, if you were in a certain position, namely president,” he said. “And there are tremendous threats to our country. We will not allow that to happen. I can tell you that right now. We will not allow that to happen.”
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s advisers are debating an order intended to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, targeting the oldest and perhaps most influential Islamist group in the Middle East.
A political and social organization with millions of followers, the Brotherhood officially renounced violence decades ago and won elections in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Affiliated groups have joined the political systems in places like Tunisia and Turkey, and President Barack Obama long resisted pressure to declare it a terrorist organization.
But the Brotherhood calls for a society governed by Islamic law, and some of its former members and offshoots — most notably Hamas, the Palestinian group whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel — have been tied to attacks. Some advisers to Mr. Trump have viewed the Brotherhood for years as a radical faction secretly infiltrating the United States to promote Shariah law. They see the order as an opportunity to finally take action against it.
Officially designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt, where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.
The proposal to declare it a terrorist organization has been paired with a plan to similarly designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to current and former officials briefed on the deliberations. Leaders of the corps and its Quds Force unit have already been put on a government terrorist list, but Republicans have advocated adding the corps itself to send a message to Iran.
The Iran part of the plan has strong support within the White House, but momentum behind the Muslim Brotherhood proposal seems to have slowed in recent days amid objections from career officials at the State Department and the National Security Council, who argue that there is no legal basis for it and that it could alienate allies in the region. Former officials said that they had been told the order would be signed on Monday, but that it had now been put off at least until next week.
The delay may reflect a broader desire by the White House to take more time with executive actions after the chaos associated with hastily issued orders, like the temporary ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. But it also underscored the complex dynamics involving the Muslim Brotherhood, whose chapters have only loose relationships across national lines.
Critics said they feared that Mr. Trump’s team wanted to create a legal justification to crack down on Muslim charities, mosques and other groups in the United States. A terrorist designation would freeze assets, block visas and ban financial interactions.
“This would signal they are more interested in provoking conflict with an imaginary fifth column of Muslims in the U.S. than in preserving our relationships with counterterrorism partners like Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco, or with fighting actual terrorism,” said Tom Malinowski, an assistant secretary of state under Mr. Obama.
The Brotherhood has long been a source of alarm on the right, especially at Breitbart News, whose chairman, Stephen K. Bannon, is now Mr. Trump’s chief White House strategist. A 2007 summary for a film Mr. Bannon proposed making on radical Islam in America, obtained by The Washington Post, called the Brotherhood “the foundation of modern terrorism.”
Sebastian Gorka and Katharine Gorka, two Breitbart contributors who have long warned of Muslim extremists in the United States, also joined the new administration. Mr. Gorka is a deputy national security assistant, while Ms. Gorka is working at the Department of Homeland Security.
Frank Gaffney Jr., founder of the Center for Security Policy, who once asserted that Mr. Obama might secretly be a Muslim, urged Mr. Trump on Breitbart’s radio show last week to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. He has argued that the Brotherhood’s philosophy mirrors that of groups that are already on the list.
“The goals of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Mr. Gaffney said in a recent interview with The New York Times, are “exactly the same as the Islamic State, exactly the same as the Taliban, exactly the same as, you know, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Nusra Front, on and on, Al Shabab. It’s about Islamic supremacism. It’s about achieving the end state that is their due.”
Some congressional Republicans reintroduced legislation last month calling on the State Department to designate the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization or explain why it would not. “It’s time to call the enemy by its name,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who sponsored the measure with Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, wrote on Twitter.
Among those objecting is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which describes itself as the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the United States. Mr. Gaffney and others have accused it of being a front for the Brotherhood, which the council denies. It said such an order by Mr. Trump would be a brazen attempt to repress Muslims.
“We believe it is just a smoke screen for a witch hunt targeting the civil rights of American Muslims,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the council. He said that, given what he called false attempts to link Muslim Americans to the Brotherhood, a terrorist designation would “inevitably be used in a political campaign to attack those same groups and individuals, to marginalize the American Muslim community and to demonize Islam.”
It is unclear what form a presidential order would take. Presumably, Mr. Trump could direct Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson to review whether the Brotherhood should be designated. At his confirmation hearing, Mr. Tillerson grouped the Brotherhood and Al Qaeda together as “agents of radical Islam.”
But officials may try to narrow the scope of such an order to avoid affecting Brotherhood affiliates outside Egypt, or they may shelve the order in favor of waiting for legislation from Congress.
Founded in 1928 in Egypt, the Brotherhood used violence for decades in pursuit of its Islamist goals, but officially renounced it in the 1970s and embraced democracy as its means.
In recent years, offshoots have joined the political system, including Ennahda, a party that belongs to the governing coalition in Tunisia and has eschewed extremism. Even in Turkey, a NATO ally, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party has long supported the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood’s most successful period ended in 2013, when President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, who had succeeded Mr. Mubarak, alienated other sectors of society and, after protests, was removed by the military. The general who took over, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has cracked down on the Brotherhood and lobbied the United States to designate it as a terrorist organization
From 2013 through mid-2015, a former American official said, every interaction with Egyptian leaders included pressure on the issue. At one point, a senior Egyptian intelligence official personally brought a dossier to Secretary of State John Kerry, though it had no new information, according to the former American official. The State Department decided the Brotherhood did not meet the legal requirements for the designation because there was no evidence that its leaders had systematically ordered terrorist attacks.
A similar review released by Britain in 2015 found that the Brotherhood “selectively used violence and sometimes terror in pursuit of their institutional goals,” and that it emphasized engagement in English but jihad in Arabic. Its leaders have defended Hamas’s attacks on Israel and justified attacks on American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the review said. But it did not recommend that it be designated as a terrorist organization, either.
In his short time in office, Mr. Trump has already come under pressure from Arab allies eager for such a designation. He had phone conversations with Mr. Sisi; Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi; and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. But he also spoke with Mr. Erdogan on Tuesday.
A top Arab official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity according to diplomatic protocol, declined to discuss what was said on the calls, but added, “It’s safe to assume since U.A.E., Saudi and Egypt have all designated the M.B. as a terrorist organization, that decision would be welcome by those countries and several others in the region.”
The judge who issued an injunction against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban came under criticism after a key part of his questioning turned out to be incredibly faulty.
Judge James Robart, a Seattle-based federal jurist, issued the injunction Friday based in part on a lack of reasonable danger to American from individuals who hailed from the seven countries on the temporary ban list.
However, a clip that surfaced of the Friday hearing indicated that Robart was grossly in error about his understanding of the number of terrorism-related arrests involving individuals from those countries.
A portion of the clip showed Judge Robart asking a government attorney, “How many (terrorism-related) arrests have there been of foreign nationals for those seven countries since 9/11?”
When the attorney said that she didn’t have that information, Robart responded: “Let me tell you. The answer to that is none, as best I can tell. So, I mean, you’re here arguing on behalf of someone that says: We have to protect the United States from these individuals coming from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”
Unfortunately, the “best (he) could tell” wasn’t exactly all that factual. As The Associated Press pointed out, several high-profile terrorism arrests have taken place involving refugees from those nations.
In November, a Somali refugee was involved in an attack at Ohio State University in which he ran his car into a group of people and then tried to attack with a knife. Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, an Iraqi refugee living in Texas, pled guilty in October to a plot to blow up Houston-area malls on behalf of the Islamic State group, according to CBS News.
And while the “Bowling Green massacre” comment from Kellyanne Conway got plenty of derision from the mainstream media, there was the very inconvenient fact that she was referring to a real case — two Iraqi refugees arrested in the Kentucky city back in 2011 for Al Qaeda ties. Those arrests were responsible, in part, for a temporary pause in the Iraqi refugee program by the Obama administration.
Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill told The Associated Press that 23 percent of Muslim-Americans charged with extremism-related terrorist offenses since the 9/11 attacks have come from the seven countries on Trump’s temporary ban list.
Washington (CNN)A senior US military official told CNN Monday that intelligence collection wasn’t the only objective of the recent military raid in Yemen but the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had also been targeted.
If the leader, Qassim al-Rimi, wasn’t there, the US military believed it would find intelligence that would help lead to him, the official said.
But US Central Command, which oversees US forces in the region, strongly disputed that al-Rimi was the objective of the raid just over a week ago.
“It wasn’t a high-value target mission,” Col. John Thomas told CNN, referring to operations aimed at killing or capturing terrorist leaders.
Thomas added that there was no hard intelligence indicating a “high possibility” al-Rimi was at the compound on the night of the raid, saying that the Navy SEALs would have captured AQAP leaders, including al-Rimi, as part of the intelligence-gathering operation.
“Anyone found on site would have been taken,” Thomas said.
Al-Rimi was not captured or killed and has since released an audio message mentioning the raid and taunting President Donald Trump.
NBC first reported that al-Rimi was a target of the raid.
The chance to take out such a pivotal member of al Qaeda may explain the large allocation of resources used in the mission.
The raid led to the first US combat death since Trump took office. The mission combined US Navy SEALs with significant air support, as well as support from UAE special forces. In addition to the death of Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, several SEALs were injured.
An 8-year-old girl, who was the daughter of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who directed attacks against the US, was killed in the raid; al-Awlaki was killed in 2011. The London-based NGO Reprieve and a Sanaa-based human rights worker told CNN that at least 23 civilians were killed in the attack.
The SEAL team was detected by AQAP fighters prior to reaching its objective leading to the intense firefight.
Following news of the raid, the military had said the goal of the mission was to gather intelligence on AQAP. The senior military official said that the raid still gained valuable intelligence that could help lead the US to the AQAP leader.
On Friday, the Pentagon released clips from an al Qaeda training video seized during the raid, but later pulled those clips back because they were years old.
Government officials had previously told CNN plans for the raid had been in the works for months and that Trump greenlit the mission shortly after his inauguration.
The Pentagon said the battle resulted in the deaths of 14 al Qaeda fighters, including two AQAP leaders.
Since its formation in 2009, many observers have considered among the most dangerous if not the most dangerous branch of al Qaeda.
Al-Rimi reportedly became the head of AQAP following the drone strike killing of Nasir al-Wuhayshi in 2015.
Female suicide bombers were relatively unknown till the second intifada that began in September 2000.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, said Sunday that he had been surprised to discover that the perpetrator of an explosion in the bus in which he was traveling was a woman.
Fortunately, he suffered only slight injuries and was able to take care of them himself. This was the first time that a woman had been involved in a suicide attack, he said. Casting his mind back after the incident, he remembered having seen her wearing a blue velvet dress – a garment worn only at weddings. “She was dressed for a wedding with shaheeds [‘martyrs”] in heaven.”
Kedar, an officer in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, was speaking at the Begin Heritage Center at the launch of the Gefen Publishing House book Women and Jihad by Rachel Avraham, a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online, the English language Internet edition of the televised Channel 2 News.
“Women are not supposed to blow themselves up,” Kedar said. They are supposed to stay at home and give birth – “preferably to boys” – and care for their families. Blowing themselves up goes against the grain of Islamic society – at least it used to.
Moderator David Bedein, whose Center for Near East Policy Research was a co-sponsor of the event, showed clips taken several years ago of interviews with Palestinian female would-be suicide bombers who had survived, been treated in Israeli hospitals and incarcerated. At the time of the interviews, there were more than a hundred such women, said Bedein. Today they are all free, having been included in the 2011 exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, he stated.
In the interviews, the women expressed no remorse or regret. They had felt blessed just before embarking on their missions, because they were about to meet Allah and would see the martyrs in paradise. One woman, who had been badly burned and been treated and nursed back to health in Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba, had returned to the same hospital with an explosive belt strapped to her body. She was intercepted by security personnel. Some of the women were aggressive, saying that Palestine would be part of the large Islamic state. Others expressed admiration for al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and said that they hoped that all Arabs would be like them. One woman said: “The base of the conflict between Jews and Palestinians is a religious struggle.”
The faces of all the women, including the most highly educated, shone with a religious radiance that spoke of the depth of their indoctrination.
Minister-without-Portfolio Ayoub Kara said that he has made a study of extremism, and while he has not yet found a solution, it is essential for Israel to cooperate with the Saudi-Arab coalition. He lamented the fact that the Saudis won’t make a move in that direction until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.
Libyan-born Dr. Yitzhak Ben Gad, a former Israeli consul-general in Chicago and Miami, while not discounting religious fervor as a springboard for female terrorists, said there were also other factors: a miserable life, the knowledge that sooner or later she will be killed in “honor” crime by a male family member; and revenge for real or imagined suffering.
Dr. Nancy Kobrin, a fellow of the American Center for Democracy, psychoanalyst, Arabist and counter-terrorism expert, attributed knife wielding by female jihadists to their having been abused as women in the Islamic shame/honor culture. “Violence is embodied by female suicide bombers,” said Kobrin. The female is at the eye of the political terrorism storm. Incidents of domestic violence in Palestinian society, serve as “a red flag and a ticking time bomb,” she warned. “The need to hate and to have an enemy is in place by age three,” declared Kobrin “It is a rage that exceeds murder itself. There is a need not just to kill but to obliterate and annihilate – something that the West can’t understand.”
Quoting from Avraham’s book, Kobrin said that female suicide bombers receive eight times more media publicity than male suicide bombers.
Avraham stated that no act of terrorism is spontaneous. They are all carefully planned, and more than the desire to actually harm Israelis is the terrorists’ goal to attract publicity for their cause. Without publicity, it’s as if the act of terrorism did not happen, she said.
She conceded that while there are Palestinian moderates, most are too afraid to express their true opinions. “We don’t know what Palestinian women are really thinking, because they are afraid of deviating from the norms of their society.”
An increasing number of Palestinian women are becoming terrorists as a result of media incitement, she said, adding that women getting more publicity shames Palestinian men into committing greater violence
MACDILL AIRFORCE BASE, United States (AFP) — President Donald Trump vowed Monday that America and its allies would defeat the “forces of death” and keep radical jihadists from gaining a foothold on US soil, but did not offer details about his strategy to defeat the Islamic State group.
In his first visit to US Central Command — responsible for an area that includes the Middle East and Central Asia — Trump did not say whether he would scrap the anti-IS mission in Iraq and Syria undertaken by his predecessor Barack Obama.
“Today we deliver a message in one very unified voice to these forces of death and destruction — America and its allies will defeat you. We will defeat them,” he told about 300 military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
“We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism. And we will not allow to it take root in our country,” Trump added.
“Freedom, security, and justice will prevail.”
He accused Islamic State fighters of leading a “campaign of genocide, committing atrocities across the world.”
“Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino, and all across Europe,” added the president.
He claimed that the “the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on certain attacks, without offering any corroborating evidence to back up his allegation.
“They have their reasons,” he said, without explaining further.
Trump had made fighting “radical Islamic terrorism” a central plank of his election campaign and the issue is emerging as the organizing principle of his foreign and domestic policies.
Centcom plays a key role in Operation Inherent Resolve — the US-led mission to “degrade and defeat” the Islamic State group — which has resulted in 17,861 strikes across northern Syria and Iraq since August 2016.
In late January, the president ordered generals to begin a 30-day review of the US strategy to defeat IS.
Trump visited the base as he made his way back to Washington following a three-day break at his Mar-a-Lago estate in southern Florida.
The Republican president, now in his third week on the job, had lunch with enlisted soldiers before making brief remarks.
Apart from seizing territory and declaring a caliphate, the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for attacks in Africa, Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia and across the Middle East.
It’s seen as having influenced attackers in San Bernardino, California, who killed 14 people in December 2015, and the attacker of an Orlando nightclub, who left 49 dead in June last year.
President Trump’s executive order curtailing immigration “could do long-term damage” to the United States’ national security and foreign policy interests, endangering troops and intelligence agents and disrupting efforts to prevent terror attacks, 10 former senior U.S. diplomats and security officials asserted Monday in a court document.
The affidavit, written jointly by two former secretaries of state, two former heads of the CIA, a former secretary of defense, a former secretary of homeland security, and senior officials of the National Security Council, slammed Trump’s order as “ill-conceived, poorly implemented and ill-explained.”
“This order cannot be justified on national security or foreign policy grounds. It does not perform its declared task of ‘protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States,'” the co-authors — John Kerry, Madeleine Albright, Janet Napolitano, Susan Rice, Leon Panetta, John McLaughlin, Avril Haines, Michael Hayden, Lisa Monaco and Michael Morell — wrote in the filing.
The co-authors are mostly Democrats, but notably, Hayden is a retired U.S. Air Force four-star general who served as the director of the CIA under President George W. Bush. And McLaughlin served as deputy director of the CIA under both Clinton and Bush.
The affidavit was filed early Monday with the court of appeals in support of Washington state’s challenge to Trump’s executive order, which temporarily banned entry to the U.S. by people from seven Muslim-majority nations: Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days. The order banned refugees outside of Syria for 120 days, and Syrian refugees indefinitely.
The filing is notable not because of the novelty of the former intelligence officials’ arguments, but because they give the case against Trump’s entry ban a national security credential that many of its other opponents cannot.
The Justice Department has argued that judges could not make an appropriate determination of the effectiveness of Trump’s entry ban in protecting national security without the advantage of national security clearance and briefings. Four of the filing’s authors — Kerry, Haines, Monaco and Rice — told the court they were “current on active intelligence regarding all credible terrorist threat streams directed against the U.S.” as recently as one week before Trump’s order.
The former intelligence officials argue that Trump’s entry ban misses its intended target — potential terrorists. “Since September 11, 2001, not a single terrorist attack in the United States has been perpetrated by aliens from the countries named in the order,” they write in the brief. “Very few attacks on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001 have been traced to foreign nationals at all.”
The former officials argue the entry ban, if allowed to continue, would compromise U.S. national security by immediately placing American troops fighting alongside soldiers from the affected countries in harm’s way.
Further, they say, the order would make key countries critical to obtaining intelligence needed to fight ISIS and other terror groups reluctant to share that information.
Because of the order’s “disparate” effect on Muslim travelers seeking to enter the U.S., the authors write that the entry ban effectively acts as propaganda for extremist groups like ISIS, by sending the message to Muslims “that the U.S. government is at war with them based on their religion.”
Trump has argued that the entry ban is needed while a review of the government’s system for vetting refugees and others seeking to enter the U.S. is reviewed. The authors defend the national security vetting apparatus developed since Sept. 11, 2001 as a “rigorous system of security vetting, leveraging the full capabilities of the law enforcement and intelligence communities.”
On top of all that, they said, the order “offends our nation’s laws and values.”
The group’s appeal to the federal appeals court is in the form of an affidavit because it is a written statement confirmed under oath for use as evidence in a court. When someone signs an affidavit it means they are effectively swearing the statement is true.
Trump’s travel ban has unleashed widespread confusion and chaos at airports around the world – the Justice Department estimated that 100,000 visas were impacted by the ban. The ban has sparked global protests – at airports from Los Angeles to New York, as well as large marches from Miami to London, as well as in small towns that had supported Trump in the election
Perhaps if liberals understood that while the bulk of Islam is made up of people who are just trying to live, Islam has a terrible record when it comes to honoring the rights of others. In much of the Islamic religion “rights” are not even a notion. So maybe if the Democrats really grasped the fact that there are gun classes and training being given at little or NO cost to radicals in a church somewhere in the world so that they can kill those who are not Islamic, likely THEN the left would awaken.
Well, if so, then the alarm clock is ringing because the above-mentioned scenario is not happening in another nation, but it is happening right here in America! In Florida, in a mosque as the left cries for churches to be gun free zones, CAIR-Florida Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze has been very busy taking his gun teachings to the very people who are most likely to harm innocents.
The Society of Sarasota and Bradenton not only is anti-American (which is vile, but legal) but they support suicide bombers and their families. All of this must mean the gun training at the local Baptist Church is allowable too, right Democrats?
True Constitutionalists do not have a problem with gun ownership being displayed anywhere since violence and a need to defend may arise anywhere, but when a group like CAIR (Center for American/Islamic Relations) Florida is been found to have supported outright Palestinian terrorism, questions need to be asked. HAMAS has murdered far more innocents in cold blood than any fanatic “on the right” who is always the target on the left, yet CAIR has brought HAMAS to downtown Miami in a nauseous show of support for a hate filled rally.
After the rally the leader Sofian Zakkout wrote, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!” When one looks at how Hamas defeats Jews it is seen that they don’t mean at the ballot box, but with the knife, the bomb, and the death of children. The N.R.A who the left detests never says such things after a rally.
The most sickening part is the Democrats keeps imploring voters to “be inclusive” and to elect people who are of differing faiths just to show how “inclusive” we all are. In this case, the voters did by electing a Muslim who is now going into mosques, teaching the use of guns to those who did not even seek the knowledge, and who is using his post as deputy sheriff to teach those in the congregation how to legally hide from law enforcement. It is perfectly legal to own guns and to avoid law enforcement detection.
It is perfectly legal to own guns and avoid law enforcement detection, that is not the point. The point is that we have a CAIR leader, with proven ties to terrorist groups, using his post with law enforcement to purposefully teach ways to a selection of people who are most likely to harm others due to their terrorist ties as well, and no one seems worried.
There are virtually no newspapers, magazines, talking heads, or even bloggers in their basements talking about Nezar Hamze at all. Instead, CAIR is out trying to sue the government for stopping travel for 120 measly days and stopping travel from nations that even Democrat leftist Obama had deemed as terrorist supporting nations. CAIR want the terrorists here.
In the early 2000’s the group had been tied to Arafat and those that supported terror through him, even leading to arrests for giving material support to Al-Qaeda during a time that the United States was at its deepest with the war on terror. How many roadside bombs blew off our troop’s legs, how many lives were snuffed out by sniper fire, and how many innocents in even Muslim lands were raped or hurt because of this support? It must be understood that by funding Al-Qaeda, they were not just funding a differing point of view, but they were funding groups that were dead set on killing other Muslims, too.
The ties to this group and the terrible things that they do go all the way back at least to the mid to late 1990’s. It is not outside of the realms of reason to deduce that these may have been some of the people who danced merrily as the towers fell and crushed 3000 people to death, Muslims included. CAIR never cares very much for the families of those slain by terrorists but only for the families of the terrorist who killed and maimed for Allah. They never care about the wounded who fight the butchers who have ruined the Middle East but instead have chosen to call such terrorists “heroes” who died bravely for their cause.
Their cause then is to turn the whole world Islamic and under the iron fist of sharia law. Oh, they may claim to be just “on of us” with a different religion and worldview, but this is not true in any fashion. The Koran openly says that forced coercion is to be used to make someone either convert or die. The Koran says to use every weapon against those that refuse to allow Islamic ways to rule without question. The Koran even says that it is allowable to lie and deceive one’s enemies to reach this goal. That means lying to get into office under the guise of acceptance and lying to get a gun into a church under the guise of law enforcement and safety.
Now that America is politically correct to the point of suicide, each new accepted norm from Islam is like a game of Russian roulette with a lot more than one bullet in the chambers. The people pulling the trigger for us believe differently which is more than tolerable except for the grisly fact that “differently” means “against” in this instance. Radical Islam does not want to coexist, they do not want peace, and they do not want to get along with anyone. They want to march in the streets about how they hate freedom, America, and any non -radical persons.
They also want to teach likely shooters how to kill others from their pulpit.