Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Information Lacking Resolve Is Useless

Anis Amri
The terrorist attack in Berlin by radical Islamist Anis Amri is flooding media outlets with continued questions about what authorities knew and when they knew it.
Amri was on German security radar, and his asylum claim was rejected over concerns he was radicalized, but somehow he managed to stay free and make a video pledging allegiance to ISIS before he crashed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market, killing at least 12 and injuring many more.               The search for answers to prevent it from happening again requires solid data from reliable sources. We are consumed with obtaining the facts. As the layers of this case are peeled back and the process of drilling down on the facts of Amri's life occurs, we find more and more of what was already known, and we ask, did authorities miss something?
Anis Amri was an illegal immigrant from Italy, originally from Tunisia. He was disenfranchised and isolated from his family. He had a prior propensity to violent behavior, with prior arrests for assault. He had a history of petty criminal behavior and spent time in prison. He was radicalized while incarcerated. He was previously known to Counter Terrorism authorities and was on a watch list. His method of attack has been sanctioned and encouraged by ISIS.

We've heard these descriptions before. The Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, the Paris/Brussels attacks, the Toulouse shootings in France, the Orlando nightclub attack, the Chelsea bombing, unfortunately the list goes on. The vast majority of the most recent vicious attacks carried out in the name of Islam against society share some of the same indicators. If the information was there, then what went wrong?
We live in a time that has been dubbed the information age, where enormous amounts of data flow freely over the internet and other media outlets. And yet I'm reminded of a line from a 1965 Rolling Stones' song: Satisfaction - "And the man comes on the radio, He's tellin' me more and more, About some useless information"                                                                                                         What exactly is useless information ?   Read the answer in IPT News...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Funding Terrorism - The Buck Stops Here

Funding Hamas is a Crime
"Follow the money" – that fundamental rule for investigating organized crime – also holds true for uncovering terrorist organizations. But if the search leads to your own doorstep, immediate and decisive action must be taken.
This may be the case for the U.S. government in light of recent statements by Mahmoud Abbas, the current president of the Palestinian Authority. The 81-year-old Abbas, who has been president since 2005, is calling for unifying the Fatah party government with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. President Bill Clinton's executive order first labeled Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization in 1995.
Hamas was included among terrorist groups whose "grave acts of violence ... disrupt the Middle East peace process [and] constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."
The State Department followed that up by labeling Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. Those actions make it prohibited by law for any U.S. citizen to provide material support, including currency, to the organization. That means that if you or I gave a dollar to them or their pseudo charities, we can go to prison.
Read Complete IPT News Article Here...

Friday, October 28, 2016

France's De-Radicalization Program Deemed a Failure

The latest attempt by Western democracies to deal with the ever-growing threat of Islamic radicalization in the prison system has been deemed an utter failure. French officials announced Tuesday that they would no longer isolate inmates with jihadists tendencies from other inmates, or offer therapeutic services or specialized counseling aimed at de-radicalizing Islamic terrorists already in prison.
They found that the program actually increased the threat of radicalizing inmates into terrorists rather than diminishing it.

Following a series of terrorist attacks in France, counterterrorism investigators found that a large number of the jihadists had previously spent time in prison for petty crimes. It was there, in the fertile soil of prison, where they were influenced by the radical Islamic teachings of incarcerated members of groups like al-Qaida, the GIA (Armed Islamic Group of Algeria) and ISIS.

In announcing the suspension of the program Justice Minister Jean Jacques Urvoas admitted the failure: "I don't use the term de-radicalization. I don't think we can invent a vaccine against this temptation" (Islamism).

France has produced more soldiers for ISIS than any other Western country.

But France is not the only country that has attempted to come up with an program to prevent Islamic radicalization in prison and help rehabilitate those terrorists who have been successfully prosecuted and sent to prison.
Read more in IPT News...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Milking the System - Jihadists On The Dole

The social safety net was designed to give those in need a helping hand and not to give potential terrorists a hand out.

Milking the system for all they can get now appears to be a strategy employed by radical Islamic extremists. While counter terrorism investigators were busy searching for the funding terrorist organizations used to plan attacks and get out their message of violence against all non-believers, there is one place nobody thought to look: the social welfare line.
We now know that some of the individuals involved in the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels were supported by benefits supplied by Europe's social welfare net.

Some of the money came from unemployment claims and some came from student assistance claims submitted by the terrorists while they were planning the attacks.

"We've identified that the benefit system is vulnerable to abuse for terrorist financing purposes," Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London said. And then he posed the question, "What are we going to do about that?"

One of those who received benefits was Anjem Choudary, the radical Islamic preacher who for more than 20 years proselytized and recruited people to a radical form of Islam that encourages jihad as a necessary tenet of the faith. He did it on street corners, mosques, and in front of television cameras.

Choudary received more than £25,000, or roughly $40,000 a year, in social benefits. He had the audacity to call those payments "Jihad Seeker's Allowance." He described it to his flock of potential jihadists as a form of jizya.

According to the Quran and the Hadiths, the jizya is a per capita yearly tax historically levied by Islamic states on certain non-Muslim subjects permanently residing in Muslim lands under Islamic law. Choudary taught that milking the social welfare system was another form of collecting the payment that was owed to Muslims.
Imam Bengharsa
A similar case is taking place right here in the United States. Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa has been an Islamic cleric in the Baltimore area for more than 10 years. During that time he has drawn FBI attention for his fiery sermons, which, like Choudary's, walk right up to the legal line of incitement. But it has yet to be proven that he crossed it.

Bengharsa founded the Islamic Jurisprudence Center, which calls for the death of homosexuals. He has also been implicated in the case of Sebastian Gregerson, a Muslim convert who was arrested in July for possessing explosive devices. According to the New York Times, an FBI affidavit from last year that was mistakenly filed publicly said that Bengharsa gave Gregerson $1,300 in June 2015. Gregerson, who also goes by the name Abdurrahaman Bin Mikaayl, then used the money to buy grenades and other weapons.

The reason for them, according to the agent who wrote the affidavit was clear: "Based on the totality of the aforementioned information and evidence, there is reason to believe that Bengharsa and Gregerson are engaged in discussions and preparations for some violent act on behalf of the Islamic State."

And yet Bengharsa, like Choudary did for so many years, has avoided being charged with any crime.
Bengharsa resigned in 2006 after admitting to plagiarism, records show. He filed for unemployment compensation, which was contested by the Department of Commerce and upheld by a D.C. administrative judge. From there Bengharsa applied to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to be a prison chaplain. He worked in the state prison system until 2009 when he filed for worker's compensation, alleging he was hurt lifting a box of books.

The more alarming fact is that someone like Bengharsa, who holds radical Islamic views and preaches a message of hate, was even considered to work in the prison environment.
Authorities have known for quite some time that prisons are fertile soil for recruiting potential Islamic terrorists, and that one of the catalysts in the radicalization process is the presence of clergy or religious volunteers holding extremist views. Bengharsa's dismissal from that sensitive position should have occurred before he was able to apply for a financial benefit from Maryland taxpayers. The social safety net was designed to help those in our society who truly need a hand up. Not a radical Islamist who wants a handout.
article published in IPT News...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Case of Junk Justice: Light Sentence for Convicted Terrorist

Anjem Choudary
Law enforcement and counter terrorism experts in the United States and around the world are shaking their heads in collective disbelief after convicted Islamic terrorist Anjem Choudary's sentencing in London's Old Bailey courthouse last week.  
Choudary received a mere 5½ years in prison after being convicted of supporting the terrorist organization ISIS.
After calculating for good behavior, his actual time spent behind bars will probably be less than 30 months. Career criminals would call that a "skid bid" and say they could do that amount of time "standing on their heads."

British officials have stated that Choudary will be isolated from other inmates and held within a special "extremist wing" which will prevent him from radicalizing. 
                          Even the criminals know it's a joke.

The light sentence was imposed by Timothy Holroyde, a judge of the High Court of Justice of England, while describing the defendant as a "dangerous man."

What exactly did Choudary do? Well, for more than 20 years he preached, proselytized, and recruited people to a radical form of Islam that encourages jihad as a necessary tenet of the faith. He has done it on street corners, mosques, and in front of television cameras.

Sly like a fox, he avoided prosecution in the past because no direct contact between him and a terrorist organization could be proven. But then British authorities uncovered a video of Choudary pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. This is an organization that is responsible for such heinous acts as beheadings, drownings in cages, immolations, and throwing gay people off the roofs of buildings.

Pledging allegiance to the leader of this group of radical Islamic terrorists is not like joining the Rotary Club: it is more akin to taking an induction oath into the armed forces. He's now a soldier in the fight.
Read more @ IPT News...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Choudary Quandary - Fox in the Hen House Redux

With the United Kingdom's successful prosecution of noted radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary for providing material support to ISIS, British officials are now faced with the dilemma of what to with him when he is sentenced September 6th.                                 While he is sure to receive a lengthy period of incarceration, that may create even more problems for counter terrorism officials. In going to prison, he is not actually moving from the frying pan to the fire. A more appropriate analogy is akin to the fox in the hen house. Anjem Choudary has spent the better part of 20 years preaching, proselytizing, and recruiting individuals to a radical form of Islam that encourages jihad as a necessary tenet of the faith. He has done it on street corners, mosques, and in front of television cameras. And like a sly fox, he avoided prosecution in the past because no direct contact between him and a terrorist organization could be proven until now. British authorities uncovered a video of Choudary pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.                                                                            

When he goes into prison, Choudary will have the opportunity to continue his evil work in an environment that guarantees him a captive audience of people who already have a disdain for government and a predisposition for violence. It is fertile soil.                                                                                                          How successful will he be?                                                                                 We already know of his effectiveness with ex-cons such as shoe bomber Richard Reid, who attended the Finsbury Mosque after his release from prison. Finsbury was one of the places that Choudary was allowed to preach his message of hatred and intolerance to all things non-Muslim. Many of his converts are already in prison for committing terrorist acts.
Read More in IPT News...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Ask any successful individual, "who was one of the most influential people in your life?" and very often the answer is a teacher. A good teacher can make all the difference in the world to an aspiring learner. But a bad teacher can have a disastrously adverse effect.

Such may be the case in Nashville, Tenn. where Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall recently announced that he was partnering with the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) to provide an instructor to lead a class called "Islam 101"  that will be taught to correction officers and other prison staff. The Davidson County Corrections Department has about 800 personnel and an inmate population that exceeds 2,000 offenders on any given day. With a captive audience of that size, it is vitally important to know what is being taught and who is doing the teaching. AMAC grew out of a project, called the "Muslim Rapid Response Team," which was initiated by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).

The rapid response team was formed to provide vocal opposition against an anti-terrorism bill being considered by the Tennessee Legislature. The bill, sponsored by Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro and House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, sought to enhance law enforcement capabilities in preventing terrorist attacks by converted jihadis in Tennessee. The bill targeted people who provided aid or material support to the individual committing the terrorist act.

This bill was offered in response to the 2009 attack by Carlos Bledsoe on a recruiting station in Arkansas which killed Pvt. William Long and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula. Bledsoe, who was from Memphis, was raised as a Baptist before converting to Islam in 2004 at Masjid As-Salam in Memphis. Another incident motivating the Tennessee legislators was the February 2011 arrest of Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari for conspiring to blow up former President George W. Bush's home in Texas. Aldawsari had come to the United States from Saudi Arabia on a student visa and attended Vanderbilt University while living in Nashville.

That AMAC would oppose any law that would seek to protect the citizens of Tennessee from terrorist attacks by jihadists is disturbing. Putting the group in charge of teaching its version of Islam in the prison environment is alarming.

Why? Because we know that the potential for Islamic radicalization in the prison system is very real.  Tennessee Department of Corrections' Commissioner Tony Parker acknowledged the threat when he testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security in 2015. At the time, Parker was an assistant commissioner; he was later appointed Commissioner by Governor Bill Haslam in June 2016)

Since 9/11, prison radicalization has produced numerous people hoping to go to paradise,  willing to kill innocent men, women, and children in the name of Allah. That group includes people like Jose Padilla, Michael Finton, Kevin James, James Cromartie and more. In Europe, the perpetrators of the recent attacks in Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, and Toulouse were radicalized while incarcerated for petty crimes.
Investigators found that one of the radicalizing agents in the process came from clergy and religious volunteers holding extremist views of Islam, who had not been properly vetted by law enforcement.

This development first came to light with the exposure of Warith Deen Umar, former head  Islamic chaplain of the New York Department of Corrections, where I had worked for over 26 years as the deputy Inspector General in charge of the Criminal Intelligence Division. Umar was also a U.S. Bureau of Prisons chaplain. In 2003, he gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal, in which he called the 9/11 hijackers heroes and martyrs. He went on to say that prisons were "the perfect recruitment and training grounds for radicalism and the Islamic religion." Umar also was an official in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim organization which sought to be the certifying body for Islamic prison chaplains in the United States, but was rejected by the FBI because of its connection to the Council on American Islamic Relations and the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing case. The Holy Land investigation unequivocally established that funds from Muslim organizations in the United States were being funneled to Hamas, an Islamic terrorist organization. Tennessee's AMAC is an affiliate of the Islamic Network Groups, whose founder and CEO Maha El Genaidi  previously advised American Muslims not to talk with FBI agents without an attorney present, and to contact CAIR  or MPAC of any investigative inquiries.

This type of response to legitimate law enforcement activity was also seen on a CAIR poster depicting federal agents as dark sinister shadows with the caption, "Build a Wall of Resistance." Resisting law enforcement activity when it comes to radical Islamic terrorism seems to be a long standing philosophy in these organizations.

Sheriff Hall and the Davidson county officials should follow the lead of fellow Tennessean Stephen Fincher before allowing the AMAC teach Islam 101 in their correctional system. Fincher, a three-term congressman from Tennessee's 8th congressional district, recently introduced a bill (HR 4285), the "Preventing Terrorism from Entering Our Prisons Act."  It would mandate the thorough screening of volunteers and religious workers for terrorist links before granting access to any prison. This was also the recommendation of the DOJ's Inspector General in 2004.. Failure to implement this requirement, the IG noted, would only exacerbate an existing problem.

Allowing Islamic clergy into the jail without proper vetting is akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house. And we all know how that story ends.
Published in IPT News....

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Disconnecting The Dots: Blurring The Lines

In my childhood, one of the fun games in the daily newspaper was a "connecting the dots" puzzle. A simple system of drawing a line from one numbered dot to the other produced a picture any child could see. Every now and then a typo would occur in the printing of the paper and the result was an unsolvable puzzle with a blurred image. The newspaper would issue an apology to its readers and that was that. A harmless mistake in an innocent game.

The same solution does not hold true in more serious fields.   Remove the smallest of elements and the outcome of an equation is changed.
Any physicist will tell you that E=MC is not the same as E = MC .

In the war on terrorism, substituting hard facts with esoteric rhetoric blurs the picture and creates confusion. The latest example of this situation, coming on the heels of the terrorist attack in Orlando, is the Department of Homeland Security's interim report on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Subcommittee released this month.  This was not a wartime strategy report. On the contrary, this was the administration's latest initiative to move further away from the war on terrorism and blur the picture as to who the enemy really is.

The subcommittee was formed as part of the DHS's Homeland Security Advisory Council ("HSAC") last November. It was described by the department as "an incubator of ideas." It defines CVE as the actions taken to counter efforts by extremists to radicalize, recruit, or mobilize followers to violence.
Incubator of Ideas
Who is a violent extremist you ask? According to the report, it is an individual who supports or commits ideologically-motivated violence to further political goals. And what type of weapons would one use in this fight? The committee recommends using "soft power tools." Soft power is a conceptual idea that persuasive words are more important than the use of force in a time of war.

This formation of the subcommittee and its objectives coincided with the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 and injured more than 350 men women and children. The sophistication of the Paris attacks and the subsequent Brussels attacks led authorities to conclude that the terrorists had received prior combat training. Some had returned to Europe after fighting with ISIS in Syria.

One month after the subcommittee was formed, another terrorist attack occurred in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 22 injured. The attack was carried out by a husband and wife jihadi team, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.                                                                            ISIS described the couple as "soldiers of the caliphate."

In Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, Omar Mateen, having pledged bayat, or allegiance, to ISIS, opened fire on the crowd killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. His goal was not political. It was to rid the world of infidels.

In the original 9/11 Commission report, the committee clearly identified the enemy: It "is not just 'terrorism,' some generic evil. This vagueness blurs the strategy. The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed by Islamist terrorism..."

And lest we think that pronouncement has changed in the 15 years since 9/11, we should look at the supplemental report issued by the commission 10 years later. In it, the members informed us that the threat of Islamic terrorism had not been defeated but had grown stronger, and had evolved in methodology, tactics and leadership.

When the current administration removes the words "radical Islamic terrorism" from the equation, it is more than a semantic faux pas. It is an intentional erasure of one of the dots necessary to see clearly the threat facing the United States. It identifies who has declared war on us.                          Groups like al-Qaida, al-Shabaab, and ISIS are not looking to attract students to some philosophy or political science class.

They are soldiers, combat-hardened jihadists, sadistic killers. They are using every tool available to them to recruit more – social media, the internet, violent videos, fiery sermons. Soft power means nothing to them. They respond only to the sword.

When the president uses terms like "the full resources of the federal government" and "spare no effort" in responding to the latest terrorist attack by an Islamist, what exactly does it mean? To the average American it sounds like more rhetoric from the "incubator of ideas."

This administration and Congress must give the FBI and local law enforcement the necessary resources, including the additional manpower and equipment necessary to face the current challenge of investigating numerous leads on ISIS sympathizers within our borders. And they must restore to our intelligence agencies the ability to collect and analyze the data necessary to track Islamic terrorist organization like ISIS.

In a time of war we need decisive action, not soft power tools.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Absurdity Reigns: Of Want Ads and Counter-Radicalization

The theater of the absurd seems to have found a place to perform in the current atmosphere created by the threat of Islamic terrorism in both Europe and the United States.

Belgium, which has seen its deeply-rooted radical Islamic nature exposed by the attacks in Paris and Brussels, thinks it has the answer to the phenomenon of Islamic radicalization. The Muslim Executive of Belgium placed an ad seeking counselors to deradicalize inmates.

The advertisement lists the following qualifications, looking for candidates with "sufficient religious knowledge" and a "resistance to stress."
In essence, Belgium outsourced hiring for this experimental state-run deradicalization program to the country's religious leaders.

It's a bad idea that cannot work, and is especially untenable if Americans tried to follow suit.
Can you imagine if, after any terrorist attack or plot in the United States, instead of responding with force against the terrorist organizations that perpetrated those heinous acts, we simply placed an advertisement in the help wanted section of a newspaper announcing the job opening for someone who could "cure the problem"?

We'd call it what it is, naive foolishness.

Yet 15 years after 9/11, we find that some have actually taken that approach to the threat of Islamic radicalization and the acts of terrorism it produces.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Where Have all the "Good Boys" Gone?: Effective Handling of Captured Terrorists

Salah Abdeslam
"Jail wise" terrorists game the system in order to continue their radical activities behind bars, IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy writes. Even now, prisons have no systems to counter the inmates' radical ideology.

Captured terror suspect Salah Abdeslam now sits in an isolated cell inside a French maximum security prison. Before his extradition from
Belgium this week, the individual responsible for the recent terror attacks in both Paris and Brussels that killed over 150 people was known to prison officials as a model inmate and is being called "a very good boy."

This is not the first time a captured Islamist terrorist received this type of description. In 2013, Indiana U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson lauded the prison behavior of John Walker Lindh. Lindh, also known as the "American Taliban," is serving a 20-year sentence after he was captured by American forces in 2001 fighting alongside the jihadists in Afghanistan. He also carried an explosive device and was believed by many to be partly responsible in the death of a CIA Operations Officer named Johnny Micheal Spann. Spann was killed in 2001 when inmates in the Qali-Jangi prison at Mazar-e Sharif started a riot at the fortress in Afghanistan.
John Walker Lindh
The riot occurred the same day Lindh was interviewed by Spann and another CIA officer. Some felt strongly that Lindh purposely withheld information he had regarding the pending prison revolt.

Appearing before Judge Magnus-Stinson, Lindh requested lightening some conditions of his confinement. The Bureau of Prisons opposed the changes, saying it believed Lindh remained a security risk.

The judge saw it differently, finding that although Lindh was convicted of the terrorist acts, "His scant, nonviolent disciplinary history during his incarceration has merited him a classification of low security."

In other words becoming "jail wise" can make you less of a threat to the United States. The term has become synonymous with inmates who have learned to work the system to their advantage by outwardly appearing to be compliant to prison rules without ever changing their criminal nature.

They don't call them "cons for nothing.
We know that Lindh did not attend any de-radicalization program specifically designed to treat radical Islamists because there is none in the United States prison system. What then of the terrorists incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay? As the administration pursues a policy of closing the prison at any cost, we find ex-detainees being sent to dubious locations.

Earlier this month, nine inmates were transferred from GITMO to Saudi Arabia. What awaits them there? The Saudis have a de-radicalization program that would be the envy of most captured jihadists.

Located at the al-Ha'ir prison outside of Riyadh, inmates can look forward to lavender walls, red carpet, queen size beds, a refrigerator, television and private showers. There is even an ATM so inmates can draw from their commissary accounts which the government replenishes every month. Married inmates are entitled to monthly conjugal visits with fresh linens, tea, and sweets provided on the nightstand.                                                                                                                                          The Wahhabi/Salafist teachings prominent in Saudi Arabia allow men to have up to four legitimate wives, so inmates can actually get a wife to visit once a week. The de-radicalization philosophy there is to see the terrorists as misguided, or simply suffering from an ideological sickness which can be easily corrected with the proper treatment. Sounds simple and extravagant.

No wonder terrorists are calling for the closing of the Guantanamo prison. They want to go to the Islamic version of Disneyland.

Yet even with all these perks, a very real threat of recidivism remains which the Saudis have had to face. Several graduates of the program have gone on to become suicide bombers right there in Saudi Arabia. Others returned to the battlefield in countries outside the kingdom.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Brothers, Prison, and the Reign of Terror

Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui
Tuesday's deadly, coordinated attacks on the Brussels airport and Metro line marked the third major terrorist attack to have rattled the Europe Union since the beginning of last year.

Each was carried out by terrorists sharing the radical Islamist ideology pushed by the Islamic State. And they may include some overlapping conspirators. But we now know that the attacks all featured brothers who had spent time in prisons.

Most of the estimated 30 deaths in Tuesday's bombings in Brussels, Belgium were caused by suicide bombings by brothers Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui.
Both had extensive criminal histories and spent time in prison. In 2010, Ibrahim was sentenced to prison for armed robbery. The next year, Khalid received a prison sentence for carjacking and possession of a weapon.
As I have previously written, prisons can serve as incubators for radical Islamists.

The Brussels attack came days after authorities finally tracked down Salah Abdeslam, a key conspirator and the only known surviving terrorist from November's multi-targeted attacks in Paris which killed as many as 130 people and wounded more than 350.

Abdeslam's brother, Ibrahim, blew himself up in the attack at the Voltaire Cafe. Salah had extensive criminal history for petty crimes and was jailed in 2010 for robbery.
That was the second terrorist attack to strike Paris in 2015. In January, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi entered the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and killed 12 people. The attackers said they were avenging Islam's prophet Muhammad, who had been depicted in several unflattering images by the satirical magazine.

A subsequent attack at a Jewish deli by an accomplice of the Hebdo shooters resulted in the deaths of five more people, including a French police officer, Clarissa Jean-Philippe.

The Kouachis were known to authorities for prior criminality. Cherif spent almost two years in the Fleury-Merogis prison where he met and was radicalized by a fellow inmate and al-Qaida associate named Djamel Beghal. Cherif Kouachi's cellmate was Amedy Coulibaly.

Coulibaly was responsible for killing the French police officer and the four hostages in the Jewish deli.
Common threads, prior criminality, prison radicalization, brotherhood.

The United States is not immune from these links. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was carried out by brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

In 2010, the New York State Police did a study on known terrorists and issued its findings in the Vigilance Report, a comprehensive analytical report to identify trends in major U.S. terrorism cases since 9/11. It showed a nexus to prior criminal history, be it arrest, probation, imprisonment, or parole, in nearly half of the perpetrators.

A more recent concern is the findings of the Congressional Research Service, which reports that within the next five years, more than 100 inmates in prison for terror-related crimes will be released. In light of that development, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin recently spoke of the dim prospect of these individuals having been cured of their radicalization tendencies. "There are [rehabilitation] programs for drug addicts and gang members [in prison]. There is not one [program] with a proven track record of success for terrorism," he said.

There is a registry for sex offenders when released, yet we have none for known terrorists. This omission doesn't seem right.

So where does that leave us? With a recidivism rate between 40-65 percent of common criminals, what is the prospect of one of these soon-to-be released terrorists returning to the jihad?

If we do not seriously address the problem beforehand we may find ourselves facing the same types of attacks as our European NATO allies in the not-too-distant future.
Read IPT News article...

Friday, March 18, 2016

FBI findings in Calif. college stabbing attack continue pattern of downplaying terror

UC Merced student Faisal Mohammad
More than four months after a black-clad loner with an Islamist-themed manifesto and a printed ISIS flag in his backpack stabbed four people on a California college campus, the FBI wrapped up its investigation Thursday by saying “it may never be possible to definitively determine” what motivated the bloody rampage.

The inconclusive findings from the probe of the Nov. 4, 2015 attack at the University of California Merced campus followed months of hesitation by local and federal law enforcement to link Faisal Mohammad’s stabbing spree to terrorism.

"Every indication is that Mohammad acted on his own; however, it may never be possible to definitively determine why he chose to attack people on the UC Merced campus,” the FBI’s Sacramento office said in a statement that avoided calling the attack an act of terrorism.
Critics say it followed a pattern in which the federal government downplays domestic terrorism even when there are seemingly obvious links. The flag, the manifesto annotated with reminders to pray to Allah in between stabbings – all reported in November by FoxNews.com, yet not confirmed by the FBI until this week, pointed early on to the 18-year-old Mohammad having been radicalized, say terrorism experts. Even the stabbings themselves, which came as a wave of terrorist blade attacks occurred in Israel, were indicators of an extremist motivation, say experts.

The handling of the case seems to reflect a top-down law enforcement approach to downplay terrorism in such attacks, said Patrick Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the New York State Corrections Criminal Intelligence Unit.

“The Department of Justice continues to process investigations of terrorism cases through the lens of political correctness,” said Dunleavy, who authored the 2011 book “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection. “They go to great lengths to avoid the obvious, that is calling it what it is: Radical Islamic terrorism. It is as if by doing so, they will calm the public's fear, when in fact all their actions and statements only acerbate them.”

“Officials seemed to think that in order for an act to be connected to a terrorist organization, the deranged individual must have been in direct contact with Abu Bakar al Baghdadi specifically telling him what to do,” said Dunleavy. “They evidently haven't learned that the methodology used by radical Islamic groups like ISIS has changed. It has morphed and adapted to utilize social media and the Internet.”

Read FoxNews article...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Author Comments on the Threat Posed by Incarcerated Terrorists

 Radical Islamists "Control" Some Maximum Security Prisons in Britain according to a recent report.  Guards at Britain’s most secure prison have “lost control” amid fears that radical extremists are bullying other inmates into converting to Islam.
The claims will fuel concerns about the extent of radicalisation in prisons.
UK's Justice Secretary Michael Gove has already ordered an inquiry into prison extremism in response to fears that a surge in the number of terrorist convictions has led to increasing Islamist influence in some jails.
In December last year, Glyn Travis, assistant general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, said: “We have concerns that Islamist extremists are deliberately getting custodial sentences in order to target vulnerable prisoners. They are often clever and well educated and can brainwash young people.”
In 2014, it was claimed that Michael Adebolajo, one of Lee Rigby’s killers, was moved out of Belmarsh to stop him radicalising fellow inmates.
In an interview with IPT News regarding this situation,  Patrick Dunleavy, the former deputy inspector general for New York State Department of Corrections and author of "The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism's Prison Connection"  stated challenges posed by imprisoned radical Islamists are a global problem.  Jihadists have an "uncanny ability" to flourish in prisons, he said.

"Until we acknowledge the threat and devise effective counter measures to address the problem the threat will continue to spread," Dunleavy said.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Plans That Go Awry: Closing Guantanamo and Releasing Terrorists

We often hear the line from a Robert Burns poem, "The best laid schemes of mice and men, often go askew," invoked when someone's grandiose plans blow up in one's face.
That may be what we're in store for if President Obama's recently announced plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and place terrorists on U.S. soil is able to proceed unilaterally without congressional approval. This time, the danger in the plan is to the American people.

Slowly over the years he has been in office, Obama has released numerous terrorists to other countries without adequate provisions to prevent them from returning to the battlefield against U.S. soldiers and civilians.

One recent case is that of Ibrahim al Qosi. He was a member of al-Qaida and a personal aide to Osama bin Laden who was released from Guantanamo in 2012 and sent to Sudan. He recently appeared in a video as a spokesperson for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

In the video, "Guardians of Sharia," he calls on people to commit acts of jihad. Clearly his time in Guantanamo did nothing to rehabilitate him. He is the classic recidivist.

The fact that ex-cons often get released from prison neither rehabilitated nor transformed is nothing new. Recidivism rates for common criminals continue to be an issue for sociologists and criminologists to explore.

However, how to effectively prevent the phenomenon of a captured terrorist coming out of prison and returning to fight in the jihad is relatively unknown to law enforcement and counter terrorism experts. A recent Congressional Research Service report announced that as many as 100 inmates convicted of terror related crimes will be released in the next five years. When faced with the question of rehabilitation strategies for those terrorists about to be released, John Carlin, the Justice Department's Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said, "There are [rehabilitation] programs for drug addicts and gang members. There is not one [program] with a proven track record of success for terrorism."

Which brings us to the administration's plan to close the Guantanamo detention center, something it cannot do without congressional approval, by either releasing detainees to other countries or by transferring them to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Both options are dangerously foolish and fraught with peril. Releasing terrorists to a neutral country does not ensure that they will not be able to travel or reconnect with former jihadist associates, as Ibrahaim al Qosi did.

Placing them in the Bureau of Prisons will not restrict them from influencing other inmates to their cause.  

Case in point: John Walker Lindh, otherwise known as the "American Taliban," who was captured in Afghanistan fighting alongside al-Qaida, is one of the 100 inmates to be released from a U.S. prison in the near future. Lindh recently won a lawsuit filed in federal court challenging the BOP's authority to restrict his movement and interaction with other inmates.
He is now allowed to co-mingle with other potential jihadists at least five times a day. The fact that he was chosen by the other inmates as their spokesman and amir – the leader of the inmate Muslim community – demonstrates his influence.
Prison Communal Area
David P. Coleman / DOD / Reuters

The president's plan to close Guantanamo lacks any specificity about where the remaining terrorists will be housed. That type of vagueness is fraught with danger to the American people. Congressional leaders must take firm decisive action to stop the president's plan to close Guantanamo. Captured or convicted terrorists must be kept behind bars in their current location, Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay. The administration's current "catch and release" program in the war on terrorism simply is not working.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Author Speaks at United States Army's Anti-Terrorism Conference

On February 3rd of this year, Patrick Dunleavy, author of "The Fertile Soil of Jihad" spoke to attendees of the Annual Army Worldwide Antiterrorism Conference in Orlando, Florida.  The event was hosted by the Office of the Provost Marshal General.

The theme of this year's conference was "The Evolution of Antiterrorism."
Mr. Dunleavy presented an examination of the radicalization process of prisoners held in the federal penitentiary system, the influence of currently incarcerated terrorists, and its potential impact on our society.  He commented that radicalization spans all ethnic boundaries within the prison system.  He challenged the attendees to reflect on what happens after the capture of a terrorist.  Mr. Dunleavy outlined numerous current U.S. court cases and focused on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, implemented to ease the conditions of confinement for convicted terrorists.  He also provided a historical perspective on the progressive evolution of Islam in the American prison system, culminating with the availability of radical Islamic clergy to prisoners.  His final word to the group was
 “the most dangerous weapon available to a radicalized prisoner is access to social media.”

alluding to the fact that cell phones have become the number one contraband item in the U.S. prison system, and that ISIS presently uses social media to both attract and direct radicalized individuals .
In regard to the future of the threat,  Dunleavy referred listeners to a recent Congressional Research report that stated within the next five years approximately 100 hundred inmates convicted of terrorist related crimes will be released from prison.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Al Qaeda Recruiter Released From Gitmo Prison

The latest detainee to be released from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp was considered a high risk Al Qaeda loyalist and recruiter as recently as 2014, but was deemed to no longer pose a risk to the U.S. before being freed Monday, as the Obama administration continues to empty the prison of terror suspects.

Muhammed Abd Al Rahman Awn Al-Shamrani, a member of Al Qaeda, was released from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Saudi Arabian government, the Department of Defense announced Monday.

The U.S. government "determined continued law of war detention of Al-Shamrani does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States," the Defense Department said in a statement.  
Muhammed Abd Al Rahman Awn Al-Shamrani
Al Qaeda Recruiter
Independent terrorism experts say detainees like Al-Shamrani will amost certainly return to a radicalized life aimed at harming the U.S. and its allies.
"I think that is going to draw others to the radical Islamic movement," said Patrick Dunleavy, author of “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection.”

                  "He’s like a poster boy. 'I survived Gitmo – you can, too,'"       

Dunleavy, who is the former deputy inspector general for New York State Department of Corrections, said Saudi Arabia's rate of recidivism for known terrorists like Al-Shamrani is somewhere between 20 and 30 percent -- even with rehabilitation programs. The Justice Department, he said, estimates the recidivism rate as "upwards of 60 percent."

"Even if we say conservatively that one-third of these terrorists return to the battlefield, that is alarming," Dunleavy told FoxNews.com. "The defense experts looking at him said he was not only on the battlefield, but was considered to be a recruiter. So now we’re putting a known recruiter back into the mix."

Friday, January 8, 2016

NYPD Gives In To Demands

Thursday's announcement that the New York Police Department (NYPD) will settle a lawsuit filed by Muslim activist groups is unsettling and confounding. With Islamic terrorist acts on the rise globally and the FBI stating that it has as many as 900 open cases on individuals suspected of being ISIS operatives, it is beyond reason that NYPD would cave to the demands by a select group to impede investigations in potential terrorist cases.

The department was accused of singling out the Muslim community for surveillance and undercover operations in a post 9/11 world, as if that was some sort of abnormal behavior by law enforcement. The original suit, brought by several Islamist activist organizations, included the Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Foundation, accused the NYPD of violating their civil rights through a program which including surveillance and intelligence gathering of the Muslim community in New Jersey.
It was tossed by U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in February 2014. Then, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit last October.

Now, in an attempt to placate a small, though noisy group of complainers, Mayor Bill De Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton have acquiesced to demands that the police treat with kid gloves a select community. Why? What specifically did the department do in investigating radical Islamist threats that differed from other criminal investigations that led to this surrender by city officials? Nothing!

This decision by the mayor and the NYPD was made in the climate of political correctness rather than according to well-established law enforcement practices. Surveillance and undercover operations have long been effective tools in fighting crime. When police were investigating the Mafia and organized crime, for example, the Italian community was assessed, examined for structure and hierarchy and highly scrutinized.
Similarly, when Colombian drug cartels were investigated for cocaine distribution, the Hispanic community was the focal point. If Islamic terrorists use local mosques to further their plotting of heinous acts, as in the case of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, then why should the Muslim community be exempt or require special procedural protocols by the police before investigating?

The specifics of the surveillance and intelligence gathering program, which included community outreach, surveillance, and undercover operations was both lawful and effective. NYPD knew that many participants in the first World Trade Center attack and other plots frequented mosques in the greater New York / New Jersey area. That fact is indisputable.

As the former deputy inspector general of the New York State prisons' criminal intelligence division, I was assigned to work with the NYPD Intelligence Division from 2002-2005 in this program. I can confidently state that the program was neither biased nor harmful to individuals or organizations. Rather, it was a proactive protective service on behalf of the people of New York who had witnessed first-hand the atrocities of Islamic terrorists. It kept the city safe.
An exhaustive NYPD report, written by Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt, "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat," is a necessary tutorial for all law enforcement organizations seeking to understand how an individual is moved to Islamic radicalization. The city's agreement to delete it from the department's website as part of the settlement is a blatant act of cowardliness.

Seeing the NYPD and city officials caving in to the demands of a few is most disheartening.

Perhaps the tool most needed in fighting radical Islamic terrorism in 2016 is going to be a backbone.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

FEDERAL PRISONS : Ripe for Radicalization

 ADX Florence Colorado
America’s federal prisons have become a “breeding ground” for radical Islam, warn critics, who say imprisoned terrorists are more likely to spread their beliefs than renounce them.

As law enforcement authorities lock up more home-grown terrorists, experts are warning the success could turn sour if jailhouse jihadists are allowed to infect fellow inmates. Prisons have long been criticized for a culture that can make some inmates more dangerous than when they entered, but the possibility that typical felons could become lone wolf terrorists upon earning parole is a disturbing new wrinkle.

“If we continue to downplay the threat, we do so at our own peril,” said Patrick Dunleavy, author of “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection.”

The aggressive recruitment of Americans by ISIS has resulted in a spike in domestic terror-related convictions. Some 71 people are imprisoned in the U.S. on ISIS-related charges, including 56 individuals arrested in 2015, the most terrorism arrests in a single year since September 2001, according to George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.

n addition, the FBI has said it is currently conducting more than 900 investigations into ISIS-linked radicalization, including cases in all 50 states.

There are hundreds more federal inmates serving time for terrorist activities related to other terror groups. An estimated 100 are scheduled for release in the next five years, according to the Congressional Research Service. Still more terror suspects could be transferred to U.S. prisons from Guantanamo Bay in the coming months.

“We have never been faced with such a large number of terror inmates before,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., during a recent Homeland Security Committee hearing on countering violent extremism in prison.

King and others say the federal Bureau of Prisons must do a better job of monitoring and, if necessary, isolating inmates who could radicalize others behind bars.

Dunleavy, a retired deputy inspector in the criminal intelligence unit of the New York Department of Correctional Services, said criminals have been radicalized in prisons for years, and predicted it will only get worse. He cited Chicago gang member Jose Padilla, who converted to radical Islam while doing time in prison in the 1980s, and was later accused of plotting to set off a radiological “dirty bomb” in the U.S. He is now serving a 21-year sentence for conspiring to commit acts of terror overseas.

More recently, ex-convict Alton Nolen was arrested in a September, 2014 attack at his former place of employment, a food processing plant in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. Nolen, who is awaiting trial, allegedly beheaded a 54-year-old female worker while yelling Islamic slogans. Dunleavy believes Nolen converted to Islam while serving time in an Oklahoma prison after attacking a police officer in 2010.

In between Padilla and Nolen, Dunleavy says there were “scores of others” who became radicalized in state and federal prisons, either by listening to fellow inmates or hearing sermons on contraband devices smuggled into prisons and shared.

“Over the years, our Federal prisons have become a breeding ground for radicalization,” said Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., who introduced a measure that would compel the BOP to study prison radicalization and beef up background checks for clergy and other workers allowed access to inmates. “By allowing volunteers to enter the system without first having to undergo a comprehensive background check, some of the most vulnerable members of society have become susceptible to radicalization.”