Saturday, November 14, 2015

Why Are We Afraid To Call It What It Is - Islamic Terrorism

The classification of the recent knife attack on several students at the University of California at Merced by 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad is in danger of falling through the cracks of political correctness.

Mohammad entered the classroom armed with a hunting knife. He also had a backpack containing zip tie handcuffs, two plastic bags of a petroleum substance, a night vision scope, duct tape, and other tools. He stabbed and slashed several students before construction worker Byron Price rushed into the classroom after hearing the screams of the victims and confronted Mohammad.

Price was stabbed while attempting to subdue him. Mohammad then fled the classroom and attacked another student before being shot and killed by a responding university police officer.

A subsequent search of Mohammad's property uncovered a folded copy of the ISIS flag, a handwritten manifesto with detailed instructions to behead students and multiple reminders to "praise Allah."

This horrendous act was then glorified on a Twitter posting from an account associated with ISIS stating "May Allah accept him."

Is there any question as to how this incident should be classified? Apparently in the minds of some there is.

At a press briefing, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said "there is nothing to indicate this was anything other than a teenage boy who got upset with a few fellow classmates."

Still, local law enforcement asked the FBI to assist in the investigation to determine if there were any terrorist connections based on Mohammad's ISIS flag, and also to analyze Faisal Mohammad's Internet activity.

We are told that there were some questions arising over possible websites that Mohammad visited. But to assuage our fears the university Chancellor Dorothy Leland announced there is no evidence linking the UC Merced stabbings to terrorist organizations.

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.

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.
In the past, we thought of terror groups in terms of cells, or handlers who coordinated attacks. But terrorist organizations no longer need handlers in direct contact to bring the crazy guy along and convince him to do their will. They can do it online and unilaterally.

The Internet and social media postings of ISIS are specifically designed to attract disassociated loners with unstable minds to a convenient pathway to channel their anger. It matters not to ISIS if the individual is a true believer, they only want him to act out. That is one of the reasons ISIS puts these images on the web.

ISIS knows its audience.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

California Campus Attacker's Motive Examined for Radical Influences

University of California - Merced

The California college student who stabbed four people last week was carrying an image of the black flag of ISIS according to a report Tuesday, as well as a handwritten manifesto with instructions to behead a student and multiple reminders to pray to Allah, yet authorities continued to insist Faisal Mohammad's motives had nothing to do with radical Islam.

The 18-year-old, who was killed by a campus police officer to end the Wednesday morning attack, was a loner who was incensed at being booted from a study group, according to Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke. But the extreme way Mohammad dealt with his rage, the presence of the printout of Islamic State's black flag and the deadly plans spelled out in the two-page document he carried could indicate there was more to the attack than simple rejection.
Faisal Mohammad

"This fits exactly with what ISIS is looking for, individuals to go and do an act of terrorism unilaterally," said Patrick Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the New York State Corrections Criminal Intelligence Unit and author of the 2011 book “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection. "The fact that he may have been kicked out of a study group does not preclude this being a lone wolf act. It only needs some sort of trigger, which could be totally unrelated to Islam, that causes him to act on his rage and attribute it to Allah."

                          "ISIS is not looking for a few good men; one crazy will do."

Dunleavy likened it  to the case of Alton Nolen, who allegedly beheaded a former co-worker at a food plant in Oklahoma City in 2014. While he was angry over a workplace issue, his actions were likely the result of radicalization, said Dunleavy.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Seven Years: To Little Time to Fit the Crime

Former DOCCS employee Joyce Mitchell weeps
before Judge Kevin K Ryan sentences her to prison
On monday Sept. 28th one chapter in the Great “Shawshank” Escape case was closed when Clinton County Judge Kevin K Ryan sentenced former
New York State corrections employee Joyce Mitchell to a prison term not to exceed seven years for her role in the escape of convicted murders Richard Matt and David Sweat from the maximum security prison in Dannemora, NY in June of this year.  That led to a three week manhunt for the fugitives by a task force of well over one thousand federal, state, and local law enforcement officers.  It ended when Matt was shot and killed by a member of a Department of Homeland Security SWAT team as he pointed a shotgun at the pursuing officers.  Two days later Sweat was shot and wounded by a courageous New York State Police Sergeant, Jay Cook, as he attempted to flee in a wooded area one mile from the Canadian border.
The plan to escape had begun six months before the actual breakout.   Mitchell’s participation  included smuggling  hacksaw blades and tools necessary for the plan to succeed,and also to provide a car for the getaway.  The conspiracy included plans to murder her husband.
Now she is remorseful and told NBC’s Matt Lauer, “I got in over my head” .  
However the investigation revealed that was not the only part of her body utilized in the plot. What started as an amorous relationship with both inmates proceeded to her regularly meeting the inmates in a broom closet in the prison’s Tailor Shop for sex.  
This “Shawshank” plot went on for months undetected even though allegations of this 
inappropriate relationship between the employee and the inmates was forwarded to Department officials in Albany and an investigation initiated by the Department’s Office of Special Investigations.  The investigation floundered when no action was taken by the Department’s Chief of Investigations to either remove the inmates from Honor Block or transfer them to other prisons.
According to Mitchell, she was going through a period of depression and didn’t think her husband loved her anymore.  She feared to tell  prison authorities what was going on because of threats made by both Matt and Sweat if she backed out of the plan.  Mitchell also now claims that inmate Matt forced her to perform the sex acts against her will.  
None of her tears or claims at the sentencing are to be believed according to her sworn statement to New York State Police investigators on June 8th, two days after Matt and Sweat flew the coop.  In her own words she was a willing participant stating she “agreed” to the plan,  which was: “After I picked them up, the plan was to drive to my home and inmate Matt was going to kill  the glitch (her husband Lyle Mitchell, also a prison employee at Clinton)  …Then after it quieted down, inmate Matt would go off by himself, and inmate Sweat and I would be together.
She now states the reason why she didn't show up with the get away car and instead checked into a local hospital with claims of a “panic” attack, was because she loved her husband Lyle.  Investigators eventually drove to the hospital to speak with her.
  By then the fugitives had crawled out the back of their cells, through a tunnel, and up to a manhole cover in the streets of Dannemora.
By the time authorities had discovered the inmates missing, Matt and Sweat were already some distance away in the thick wooded mountains of the Adirondacks.  The pursuit required specialized law enforcement teams and equipment to traverse the bogs, lakes, and brush both day and night for 22 days.
Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie was not fooled by Mitchell’s crocodile tears in the courtroom.  He told told the Court “She is once again making excuses…Each and every time she was interviewed the truth did not come out.”
In her interview before sentencing Joyce said she felt that the punishment she faced did not fit the crime she committed. The price she would be paying would be to high she said.
 In response to that Judge Ryan told her emphatically “…you have nothing to complain about”
Was the sentence to much?  Not when you consider the cost to taxpayers for the escape which has been estimated at almost twenty five million dollars .
That averages out to about $3.5 million a year for Ms. Mitchell’s incarceration, if she serves her entire sentence.  That is highly unlikely.  She will be eligible to go before the Parole Board in October 2017.  If she earns good time and has an exemplary prison record she may even be eligible for Merit or Presumptive Release much earlier than that. 
 After all she is a non-violent first time offender.   
Somehow in this case, the time doesn’t fit the crime.  More responsibility must be accounted for.  We are still awaiting the findings of Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott’s investigation into what caused the breakdown in security policy and procedures that allowed this escape to occur.  Policy that was put in place by department officials in Albany.
Hopefully others, much higher than Ms. Mitchell will be called to account for their misdeeds.  Until they are,  serious problems continue at the Clinton prison.  The sound of shots fired could be heard last month as facility security staff sought to quell a riot in the yard caused by ongoing fights among inmates over the drug trade and gang activity.  
These and other incidents continue to occur even though a new administration was put in place at the facility after the escape.  Perhaps this time a change in the leadership in Albany is required .

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New York Prison Problems Continue

Clinton State Prison - Dannemora, NY
(photo Gannett)
New York Post - Aug 2015

Less than two months after a task force of federal, state and local law-enforcement officers searched through the Adirondack Mountains for two escaped murderers from a maximum-security prison in Dannemora, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, or DOCCS, again finds itself with egg on its face — and new revelations suggesting Albany deserves more of the blame for the security breach.

The first piece of bad news for the Clinton Correctional Facility came when Prisoners Legal Services, an inmate advocacy group, filed a complaint on behalf of more than 60 inmates at the prison alleging physical abuse and harsh treatment immediately following the discovery by security staff that two inmates were missing from their cells in the early morning of June 6.

That was when two killers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, dug their way out of the back of their cells, climbed down a catwalk, crawled through a steampipe tunnel and under the wall, coming up through a manhole cover on the streets of Dannemora. The breakout led to a massive three-week manhunt involving over 1,200 law-enforcement personnel.

The inmates filing the complaints of abuse claim that immediately after the escape was discovered they were interrogated, beaten, threatened with waterboarding, unfairly removed from Honor Block and arbitrarily transferred to other prisons throughout the state. During that time, state officials instituted new security policy and procedures to operate a “tighter ship” in the wake of the escape.

The procedures were instituted to “gain control” of a prison run amok. Other actions included the suspension of numerous facility employees, including the facility’s Executive Team, and the arrest of two employees for helping Matt and Sweat carry out their escape plans.

Yet the great escape might have been thwarted if state officials had heeded the warning signs coming from the facility in the months preceding the incident.

In the first half of the year, the prison saw a significant increase in assaults and contraband, including drugs. It culminated in a riot in the yard on May 31 when security staff had to use chemical agents to quell the disturbance. Many of the incidents were believed to be related to the drug trade in the facility and control for turf and money.

The majority of the narcotics were being smuggled in through visitors and packages, but a small percentage was from employees and volunteers.

One week before the escape, prison Superintendent Steve Racette contacted officials in Albany and requested that the facility be put on “lockdown” and searched. Crucially, he also wanted a search of the tunnels and catwalks throughout the facility by the department’s elite Corrections Emergency Response Teams. This request was based on the prior reports that had been forwarded to officials in Albany on the unusual increase in trouble brewing at the facility.

It’s DOCCS policy that no superintendent has the authority to shut down prison operations to conduct security searches. He must request permission from the deputy commissioner for facility operations.

The answer from the deputy commissioner’s office was emphatic: No.

One week later, Matt and Sweat broke out.

The decision to avoid the facility search was a misjudgment based in part to avoid the cost of overtime to conduct the searches. That decision has now cost almost $25 million in overtime for the law-enforcement officers deployed to capture the killers. Additional costs for equipment and repairs to the facility have yet to be calculated.

To this date, the focus on pinning blame for the prison break has centered on Dannemora, not Albany. Yet we know that several department heads had oversight and responsibility for the security procedures that were in place at the time of the escape as well as the placement of Matt and Sweat in the facility’s Honor Block.

To add to the department’s woes, we’re now being told that the FBI is opening an investigation into allegations of corruption and drug trafficking at the Clinton prison. It suggested the feds’ had little confidence in the department’s Narcotics Unit or Internal Affairs investigators to conduct a thorough investigation on their own.

Those units also operate out of Albany as part of the Office of Special Investigations.

The previous director of operations for that office was arrested in January for sexual harassment. The office has been in disarray since and the new department head had only been there a short time when the escape occurred. His previous background was in white collar crimes, not prison operations.

The state’s corrections-related budget — which had saved money when the state reduced the inmate population and closed several facilities, acts that were the direct results of a reduction in crime and modified sentencing laws — will be heavily impacted by the mistakes made by state officials.

The current DOCCS commissioner has never been confirmed by the state Legislature. His title is “acting Commissioner.” He’s been acting for more than two years, since May 2013.

Perhaps it’s time for that act to close and new leadership to be brought in.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New York Prison Officials Shift the Blame, Avoid Responsibility

Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Annucci (left) and Superintendent Racette  tour Clinton  State Prison
following the escape of two murderers

Now that New York’s great escape is over, Albany’s engaged in an epic bout of passing the buck.

One week after the capture of prison escapee David Sweat by the heroic effort (and crack shot) of New York State Police Sgt. Jay Cook, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced sweeping changes in the security procedures at Clinton Correctional Facility from which inmates Sweat and Richard Matt escaped on June 6.
Now we’re told by Albany officials that they’re instituting new polices such as more random cell searches, the closing of the Honor Block — from which Matt and Sweat escaped, and in which the two never should have been placed from the beginning — increased supervision of staff and more frequent inspections of tunnels and electrical panels.
Plus, they’ve suspended the majority of the facility’s executive team, as well as nine officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant who were in charge of the facility during the midnight security tour of the prison on the night of the escape.

Matt and Sweat were housed in the Honor Block, in which prisoners are rewarded for good behavior with more freedom of movement, for an extended period of time.
Both were able to break out of the back of their cells and sneak through a series of catwalks and tunnels before surfacing on the streets of Dannemora undetected by the officer on duty in the guard tower overlooking the prison yard.
The escape plot had been in the works for months uninhibited by security staff.
Crucially, prison officials made no mention of how Matt and Sweat came to be in that block or how they both managed to remain in this particular prison facility after the Office of Special Investigations discovered an inappropriate relationship each prisoner had with civilian employee Joyce Mitchell. It was that office that had the authority to transfer one or both of the inmates prior to the escape.
Here’s the key: Allowing them to remain there was not the facility superintendent’s decision.
That decision was made in Albany.
In instituting the new security procedures, the Department of Corrections is attempting to deflect the blame onto the facility administrators when, in fact, the procedures that were in effect when Matt and Sweat escaped were written by the deputy commissioner for facility operations in Albany.

Facility superintendents don’t issue policy; they implement directives issued by headquarters.
Security policy and procedures for the state’s correctional facilities are set by Albany and codified in the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Rules and Regulations.
They cover everything from health care to safety. Security falls under the authority of the deputy commissioner of facility operations.
We’re not told by the Department of Corrections whether the new security procedures will be instituted in the department’s 16 other maximum-security prisons, or just at Clinton. (One of the other such prisons is Five Point Correctional Facility in Romulus, NY, where Sweat was transferred early Sunday morning after his discharge from the Albany Medical Center.)
One would hope that the new measures extend to all the facilities. Otherwise, we’ll probably have to go through another incident like this which has cost the taxpayers of New York millions, put people needlessly at risk and left the entire Department of Corrections with egg on its face.
It may be that certain facility staff were lackadaisical in the performance of their duties and as such should face disciplinary charges.
But if they’re the only ones held accountable, then state officials were successful in shifting the blame to lesser shoulders.
READ ...

LATE BREAKING NEWS -  Superintendent Racette forced to retire or take demotion

Monday, June 15, 2015

Breakdown in Prison Security - The Human Factor

The daring escape of two murderers serving life sentences from a maximum security prison in New York proves the old adage, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”   In this case it was the human factor, a lovelorn female civilian and a seasoned correction officer.
But the responsibility for the escape goes beyond the two low-level employees who were “conned” by the convicts.
The truth is, those low-level prison employees shouldn’t have been able to assist the escapees the way they did without their superiors noticing and putting a stop to it.
Plus, the prisoners should never have been placed in the cells they were, nor should they have been given freedom of movement they were.

If we learned anything from this, it is that anything can be gotten in prison, for a price.  Neither sophisticated electronic security systems nor stone walls and steel bars will  prevent corrupt employees from acts of misconduct.  But ultimate responsibility for lax security lies at the door of prison administrators.....READ MORE
Joyce Mitchell

Monday, June 8, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Federal Bureau of Prisons Fails to Follow IG Recomendations

In the Shadow of the Prison Walls

Often what happens within the shadows of the prison walls is elusive to the understanding mind.
A recent article by Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Wall Street Journal regarding  Imam Fouad El Bayly and the Federal Bureau of Prisons leaves one aghast at how prison officials make hiring decisions.  That the BOP would select an individual, who has openly called for the death of infidels,  as a spiritual leader of the inmate muslim population nationwide is beyond a logical explanation.
Fouad El Bayly, was the leader of an Islamic Center in Pennsylvania in 2007 when he made a statement regarding killing anyone who would defame
Islam or depart from it's tenets of faith.  At the time of his statement Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who  had been an outspoken critic of radical Islam and the subjugation of women,  was scheduled to speak at the University of Pittsburgh.
Fouad El Bayly
Eight years later we now discover that Mr. Bayly  was recently cleared by the Department of Justice for hiring as a chaplain within the U.S. prison system.
 Ayaan Hirsi Ali described her reaction on hearing this ; "Imagine my surprise when I learned recently that the man who threatened me with death for apostasy is being paid by the U.S. Justice Department to teach Islam in American jails."
She went  to outline her analysis of how something like this could take place. It was a willful  disregard of DOJ guidelines for background checks of potential prison employees prior to allowing them access to inmates.
Ms Ali is correct in her assessment of the potential threat overlooked by Mr. Bayly's new employer.
The failure of the Department of Justice to follow the recommendations of it's own Inspector General ten years earlier lead to the  hiring of Imam El Bayly.
The IG's report in 2004 called for the use of an established eclessiastical body, approved by the FBI,  to be utilized in the certification of Islamic Clergy as well as a thorough background investigation by law enforcement for all potential religious workers.  At that time CAIR, the Council of American Islamic Relations, offered to be that certifying organization but was turned down by the FBI because of security concerns and alleged ties to Hamas.   Now officials at the BOP have either chosen to ignore the security recommendations of the DOJ or have turned a blind eye to Mr. Bayly prior comments regarding how to deal with critics of Islam.
Perhaps it is time once again for a Congressional oversight committee to look into the threat of radical Islamic influences within the prison community.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Senators Press Administration for Report on Radicalization Threat

10 years after the initiation of an FBI program designed to "detect and deter"  Islamic radicalization in the U.S. prison system, Congress is demanding answers as to the effectiveness of the program.
This request authored by Senators Susan Collins,  Republican from Maine and Barbara Mikulski,  Democrat from Maryland, was the result of the recent terrorists attacks in Paris and Copenhagen conducted by former inmates.

The Congresswomen, both members of Senate Intelligence Committee, stated, "“This fact underscores the importance of implementing effective efforts to prevent and counter radicalization of inmates at federal prisons in the United States.”

The requested information on the threat assessment and the specific preventive actions being taken
by the current Administration has not been been provided as of this date.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons was given 45 days to respond to the official request.

In May of 2004 the Federal Bureau of Investigation instituted a program entitled "The Correctional Intelligence Initiative"  Its stated goal was to detect, deter, and interdict efforts by radicals to recruit among inmate populations.  At that time the FBI defined prison radicalization as "the process of attracting and possibly converting inmates to radical Islam"
The actual cost of the program,  operating for over a decade, is also being called into question.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Copenhagen Attacks Renew Fears of Prison Radicalization

The fertile soil of prison has once again produced deadly fruit as in the case of Omar Abdel El-Hussein.  Just two weeks after release from a Danish prison, where he had been exposed to Islamic radicalization, he opened fire at  an free-speech seminar and a synagogue in Copenhagen killing two before being shot by police.
Omar Abdel El-Hussein
White House correspondent Susan Crabtree from the Washington Examiner outlines the current threat of ISIS and prison recruitment...

In his Facebook page just minutes before his attacks Omar, the son of Palestinian refugees, pledged his allegiance to ISIS and global jihad.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Washington Post Acknowledges Prison Radicalization Problem

Eleven years after the Inspector General for the Department of Justice issued his report on the potential threat of Islamic radicalization in the prison system the Washington Post has agreed with the assessment.
Using the recent terrorist attacks in Paris as a focal point, the WP found systemic problems in the French penal system whereby common criminals,  such as Amedy Coulibaly a petty thief incarcerated in the Fleury-Merogis prison for a robbery in 2005, became terrorists.  There they meet convicted  terrorists such as Djamel Beghal, an Islamist with ties to al-Qaeda convicted of plotting to bomb the US embassy in 2001.  Such convicts exercise a powerful influence on the general population in the prison.  Their influence helped forge his (Coulibaly) belief in the call to jihad.
Following his release, Coulibaly killed a policewomen and four Jewish hostages in a Kosher deli as a mujahid  in support of ISIS.

Amedy Coulibaly
The Post stated the following regarding the
threat of radicalization:
"France’s prisons have a reputation as factories for radical Islamists, taking in ordinary criminals and turning them out as far more dangerous people."

Unfortunately it's recommended solution is to hire more religious workers without a structured process of certifying the Islamic clergy, something the IG's report believed was crucial in thwarting the radicalization process.

Without those safeguards unvetted prison Imams would only exacerbate the problem.

Monday, January 12, 2015

NY Times Agrees with Author on Terrorism's Prison Connection

In two back to back reports the New York Times has outlined the progression from convict to jihadist in the case of the most recent terrorist attacks in France.
In the first article by Andrew Higgins, the reporter outlined the downward spiral of the life Amedy Coulibaly, the self admitted follower of ISIS who was killed by French Tactical Units after he killed a policewomen, and four Jewish customers in Paris’s Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket.

Coulibaly was known to authorities as a petty criminal who became a radicalized follower of Smaïn Ait Ali Belkacem, an incarcerated terrorist serving a life sentence for a 1995 attack on a rail station at the Musée d’Orsay.
The second article by Jim Yardley picked up on the life of Chérif Kouachi, a known associate of Amedy Coulibaly, who along with his brother Said attacked the offices of Charlie Hedbo and killed twelve individuals while purporting to be acting as members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula(AQAP).
According to the reporter prison was the environment that :

"There, their radicalism hardened as some members of the group came together with other prominent jihadists who were connected to more extensive and dangerous militant networks."

A new concept?  Not really.   Counterterrorism experts knew of this phenomena years ago.
It had been outlined in intelligence reports by several agencies including, the CIA, the FBI, and France's domestic intelligence agencyRenseignements Généraux (RG).
I first wrote about this phenomena five years ago in an article entitled, "The Roots of Radical Islam in Prison"
The dynamics of specific cases  were further outlined in my book, "The Fertile Soil of Jihad"

This is an issue that will not soon go away.  Thankfully the main stream media is recognizing the problem of placing convicted terrorists in the same prisons a common criminals.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Another Ex-Con, Another Terrorist Attack - The Danger of Closing Gitmo

Said Kouachi, Cherif Kouachi, and Amedy
Coulibaly, the radicalized Islamic terrorists who brutally murdered police, journalists, and civilians in the streets of Paris share a common theme with other Muslim terrorists such as Mohammed Merah (Toulouse, France Massacre 2012)  Alton Nolen (the Oklahoma beheading), Michael Zehaf Bibeau (Attack on Canadian Parliament) and Carlos Bledsoe (Arkansas Army Recruiting Station).
All spent time behind bars.
This list would be larger if we included those arrested for plotting terrorist attacks that were thwarted by Counter Terrorism officials.
Now we are discovering that at least two of the Paris attackers received training in Yemen from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). More disturbing is that while there they met
with noted al-Qaida bomb maker Said Shihri. Shihri spent almost six years in prison for terrorism before his release in 2007. His was incarcerated at Camp Delta Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. U.S. officials released him to a Saudi Arabian Rehabilitation Program designed to help captured terrorists re-acclimate themselves into society.
The program clearly did not work.
The Paris tragedy is another clear example that releasing terrorists from prison may not be such a good idea. France’s problem is that they have no alternative. There is no death penalty and no sentence of life without parole. Everyone eventually gets out of prison.
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 the phenomena of individuals coming out of prison radicalized and then traveling overseas to continue their journey to jihad is relatively new, yet not unknown to law enforcement or counter terrorism experts.
French authorities have known for a time of the cauldron of radicalization brewing in their correctional system. In 2006, Pascal Maihlos, the director of Renseignements Généraux (RG), France's domestic intelligence agency, admitted to a problem of mixing hardened Islamic terrorists with common criminals that was producing a crop of new jihadists.
In 1999, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in New York learned of a plan hatched by an incarcerated terrorist to send recently released convicts overseas to the Middle East to receive tactical training. In 2010, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report stating that at as many as three dozen ex-cons had traveled to Yemen to receive AQAP training.
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 insure that they will not be able to travel or reconnect with former jihadist associates, as Said Shihri did.
Placing them in the Bureau of Prisons will not restrict them from influencing other inmates to their cause. John Walker Lindh, otherwise known as the “American Taliban, captured in Afghanistan fighting alongside al-Qaida. Many counter- terrorism experts also felt that he was in part responsible for the death of CIA Officer John Michael Spann killed during a prison uprising at Qala-i-Jangi Detention Center.
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 to be their spokesman and Imam, leader of the inmate Muslim community demonstrates his influence)
The current threat posed by ISIS is compounded by the fact that officials are now finding out that the entire command and control center for this organization was formulated with its leaders, including it’s emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, while incarcerated in Camp Bucca prison in Iraqi.  All  were subsequently given their freedom when the prison was turned over to Iraqi officials.

Unless the United States and other Western democracies take firm decisive action to keep captured or convicted terrorists behind bars, we will see more heinous acts like the ones that took place in Paris.
The current “catch and release” program in the war on terrorism simply does not work.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Attacking the Sacred Cow of Journalism

On January 7th heavily armed jihadists conducted a deadly attack on the streets of Paris with precision.  Twelve individuals were killed, including two policemen.  At least eleven others were wounded.  The target of the attack was the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo, a weekly periodical that often publishes satirical cartoons
and articles.

NPR News reported that eight of the individuals killed were "journalists".

The response from politicians and the main stream media was quick and with clarity.
President Obama called it an "act of terrorism"  Unlike the initial administration's response regarding the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, there was no ambiguity here.  The President made no mention of any correlation to any anti-Muslim videos or cartoons as the catalyst for the attack.
One has to ask why?  The President and the main stream media considered this action on one of the bastions of western civilization and democracy, the free press, as outrageous and threatening the very fibre of society.
A question arises over their astonishment to this latest terrorist attack, which had been precluded by a warning from both ISIS and counter terrorism experts that an orchestrated attack would soon take place in Europe and/or the United States.  No less than John Miller the head of Counterterrorism and Intelligence for NYPD stated recently, in regard to another terrorist attack on the West, "I think it's less a question of if, more a question of when."
The failure of the main stream media to do true investigative journalistic work in this war on terrorism in general and radical Islam specifically leads me to enquire of their nobility.
What else were you expecting?  That somehow radical Islamists would be won over by reason and logic.  That they would cease the senseless violent acts because the West showed them the error of their ways.
When groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS issue proclamations that they will kill their enemies.  When they name Western Civilization "Boko Haram"  they are deadly serious.  A true journalist would seek to find not only how these organizations came to be but how they continue to prosper.  An old adage in investigations was "follow the money"  No criminal organization or terrorist group can function without funds, whether they receive it from pseudo charities or acquiescent governments.  This is nothing new.  Terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas have milked this cow for years.
We however have attempted to manage this war through a doctrine of appeasement.  The jihadist understands one thing and one thing only, the sword.
If journalists are truly angered over this attack let them get out from behind their desks and hit the bricks.  Dig deep and find the sources.  Write about the methodology by which Al-Qaeda and ISIS receive their funding.  Expose the individuals and organizations that are assisting these groups.
Follow the truth and cease from writing about nonsense.  That is the way true journalism and the press can help in this war.  And don't  be fooled.  It is a war and in this war no institution is safe.  Inaction is not an option.  To paraphrase the words of Mordecai to Esther "do not think that because you live in the hallowed halls you can escape this threat any more than the others."
Radical Islamic terrorists have killed thousands of innocent individuals from all walks of life.  Mothers, fathers, children, students, relief workers, policemen, and scores of other vocations have suffered at the hands of those who profess to do the work of Allah.  They have attacked schools, churches, synagogues, office buildings and now newspapers.
 No loss is insignificant and no life greater than another.

French authorities have identified 3 individuals involved in the attack.  One was a former inmate.
Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, named the suspects to the Associated Press as Frenchmen Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, in their early 30s, as well as 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, whose nationality wasn't immediately clear.

Cherif Kouachi was convicted in 2008 of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq's insurgency and sentenced to 18 months in prison.