In which the Master schools the ignorant student and leaves him whimpering for mercy

November 14, 2011

I don’t know how many of you watched the Republican debate on foreign affairs and national security last Saturday (1); I caught only parts, but I have to share this gem, which came when arrogant prat CBS anchor Scott Pelley (2) asked Newt Gingrich about the rule of law and the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki last September. The former Speaker starts to answer, and then Pelley kicks his moderator role to the gutter and begins to argue with him. (3)

Let’s just say that, when Gingrich was done with him, Pelley looked like Daffy Duck after yelling “Duck! Fire!

Thing. Of. Beauty.

RELATED: ST surprises herself by taking a second look at Newt. Much to my surprise, so am I.

Footnotes:
(1) I had been avoiding them up until this point; I hate the quiz-show format. I will be watching the AEI-Heritage-CNN debate on the 22nd, however, since it will deal with foreign policy, one of my main interests.
(2) Pelley infamously compared skeptics of Man-caused global warming to Holocaust deniers. As you might imagine, he’s one of my favorite people.
(3) Thus displaying again the renowned impartiality of the MSM.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How we tracked Awlaki

October 1, 2011

At Big Peace, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (1) provides the inside story of how we tracked down Al Qaeda’s rising star, Anwar al-Awlaki:

Awlaki lived in the southern Yemen province of Shabwa, an area beyond the reach of Yemen’s military and central government. Much of Yemen is like the Wild West, with no central governing authority. The numerous tribes settle disputes among themselves. Awlaki came from the Awalik tribe.

Intelligence gathered last year from Yemeni authorities and from debriefings with several American converts who returned to the United States after training with Awlaki, helped narrow Awlaki’s location to a 100 square mile area. He moved at night, often in convoys of armored SUVs in order to prevent U.S. drones and surveillance from determining which vehicle he was in. But the drones, which have advanced in the ability to recognize faces on the ground, hovered above the area where Awlaki was believed to be. Electronic intelligence – including telephone intercepts –also were used, although Awlaki was said to be careful in limiting his use of electronic communication, aware that he could be tracked that way.

In the past several months, American drone operators were confident they had identified Awlaki as he moved from among a series of underground bunkers. An initial drone missile targeting him was fired at an al-Qaida training camp but missed him.

Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agents collected as much personal data about Awlaki as they could from his extended family living in western countries. For example, he had an ex-wife living in Ireland that no one knew about until a close relative living in the United States identified the family tree for agents in early January. The relative proved to be a goldmine of information about Awlaki’s siblings, parents, wives, and children.

Intelligence officials learned about the American relative in January through other Yemeni expatriates living here who knew her. She agreed to cooperate and provided extensive information about close relatives living either with him, elsewhere in Yemen, or in different parts of the world. Telephone numbers belonging to a close relative living in Yemen’s capital Sanaa that the American relative provided to U.S. intelligence officials proved the most critical.

The relative knew that Awlaki called that number. The National Security Agency (NSA) quickly was able to triangulate the phone numbers and determine almost exactly where Awlaki was when he called the Sanaa number. The American relative also provided information on other Awlaki relatives who apparently had direct contact with Awlaki, either through email or other electronic means. That knowledge helped track other communication and confirm Awlaki’s whereabouts.

I’m not surprised the ex-wife was willing to talk, given this deeply spiritual man’s preferred hobbies.

It really is a fascinating story: once they had a good idea of the area Awlaki was hiding in, they flooded the skies with drones and kept watching. We also had informants on the ground posing as his students. (2) Finally they got word he was moving in a convoy during the day from one bunker to another. The CIA had passed on earlier shots before, out of fear of too many civilian casualties, but this one looked good and so…

Bye-bye, Anwar. (3)

I draw a few lessons from this:

  • I’ve read elsewhere that the investigative work was carried out by the same group that tracked down bin Laden. These guys are good.
  • If you make a name for yourself among jihadists and you take us on, we will find you and you will either take a bullet to the head or go boom. Our choice, not yours.
  • If you’re going to live the life of a terrorist on the run, stop calling family! On second thought, scratch that. Make all the calls you want.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Footnotes:
(1) The IPT is Steve Emerson‘s outfit. They do great work.
(2) In other words, we have spies in their midst. Your first thought may be to ask why we’re revealing this, but consider: whether fact or disinformation, it plays with AQAP’s minds and throws a heaping helping of doubt and suspicion into their internal operations. Whom can they trust, even among their “brothers?”
(3) Bite me, Glenn Greenwald. (Among others.)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Traitor Anwar al Awlaki is dead. This is war, not a police matter.

September 30, 2011

"I say again, the infidels will never find me! Wait. What's that noise?"

And, we sincerely hope, he is in a place decorated in fire and brimstone.

I’ve waited most of the day to post the good news, because it’s happened many times over the years since 9/11 that we’ve announced a major kill, only to have the target show up in another video thumbing his nose at us. But now it’s confirmed: we nailed the traitor Anwar al Awlaki:

Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamic militant cleric who became a prominent figure in al-Qaida’s most active branch, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks in the United States, was killed Friday in the mountains of Yemen, American and Yemeni officials said.

The Yemeni government and Defense Ministry announced al-Awlaki’s death, but gave no details. A senior U.S. official said American intelligence supports the claim that he had been killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Yemeni security officials and local tribal leaders said the was killed in an airstrike on his convoy that they believed was carried out by the Americans. They said pilotless drones had been seen over the area in previous days.

And we didn’t just get Awlaki; this same strike also took out another traitorous dirtbag, Samir Khan, the editor of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) online magazine, “Inspire.” Khan also had regularly threatened the lives Dr. Rusty Shackleford and  his family. Shackleford is the main Jawa at The Jawa Report, an important counter-jihad blog that’s done invaluable work against Al Qaeda’s online presence,  so this news is doubly sweet.  Replacing these two won’t be easy for Al Qaeda; as men born in America, they had a unique ability to communicate jihadist thinking to radicalized Muslims in the West who might not speak Arabic well enough to understand the garbage spewed by the likes of Zawahiri and bin Laden.

Naturally, this set off caterwauling among Leftists and hardcore libertarians (and jihadist sympathizers) about the targeted killing of American citizens, denying them due process in a court of law. I can understand the argument and I have a reasoned, thoughtful reply:

Boo-freaking-hoo! Cry me a river!

Forget the whining from CAIR, they’re nothing but tools of the Muslim Brotherhood. But leftists like the ACLU and Ron Paul-worshipping libertarians need to pull their heads out of their collective rears and realize one thing: this is war, not a police matter. Traitors like Awlaki, Khan, and al Qaeda mouthpiece Adam Gadahn chose to side with those who make war on their (former) country. Awlaki in particular was described as having operational control over AQAP’s foreign strikes. He was involved in the attempted bombing of a Northwest flight over Detroit; he was at least the spiritual mentor to Major Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter; and he may have had an operational role in 9-11, itself. And who knows what else he was planning?

To quote what I’ve been told is the First Rule of Texas Common Law:

“He needed killing.”

And so did Samir Khan, and so does Gadahn, and so does everyone who takes up arms for Al Qaeda. I’m very much a Jacksonian about this: they are traitors and they are trying to destroy my country. They want to kill my people. They need killing.

Again: this is war, not a police matter.

If traitors who join the jihad against us want to surrender, fine: we’ll give them a fair trial, hopefully followed by a hanging. But, if we spot them going about their merry jihadi way, then…

“Gentlemen, you may fire when ready.”

And, to the group that tracked Anwar al-Awlaki and took him and Khan out, good work!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bombing plot foiled? – Updated. New: explosives found

October 29, 2010

(Scroll down for updates.)

They’re still trying to kill us:

Authorities were investigating “potentially suspicious items” on Friday on cargo planes that landed at airports in Newark, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, the Transportation Security Administration said.

“Out of an abundance of caution the planes were moved to a remote location where they are being met by law enforcement officials and swept,” the TSA said in a statement.

They’re also checking a UPS truck in New York, on which they may have found a bomb.

This may be partly why the terrorist chatter has picked up over the last few weeks.

Updates as they become available.

LINKS: More at Hot Air.

UPDATE: More from CNN

Airports in some of the United States were on high alert Friday after investigators found a suspicious package on a plane in the United Kingdom the night before, a law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation said.

The suspicious package, which contained a “manipulated” toner cartridge, tested negative for explosive material, the source said, but it led to heightened inspection of arriving cargo flights in Newark, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a UPS truck in New York.

Police also were investigating a suspicious package at the distribution center of an airport in East Midlands, in the United Kingdom, an airport spokesman said. Authorities said they could not immediately connect that investigation to the ones unfolding in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Authorities seemed most focused on inspecting cargo planes.

Investigators were examining two UPS planes that landed at Philadelphia International Airport and another at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, said Mike Mongeot, a UPS spokesman.

Authorities are focusing on flights coming from Yemen into the United States, according to the source.

Note: Anwar al-Awlaki, an American imam who has called for jihad attacks against the US, is hiding in Yemen.

UPDATE 2:  Explosives were found in Dubai on a plane headed for the US:

A suspicious device discovered in an air cargo shipment in Dubai that was headed for the U.S. contained explosive materials, an official UAE security source said Friday.

It was the first confirmation that any of the suspicious packages reported Friday contained explosives.

The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said late Friday the “explosive device” was found in the last 24 hours in a courier company’s regional hub and originated in a shipment from Yemen.

This looks like a carefully thought-out plan to use several “delivery paths,” some true and some false, in the hope that one or more gets through. Let’s hope we’ve found them all.

UPDATE 3: Synagogues may have been the target. Allahpundit wonders if al Qaeda has switched to mail bombs because getting a person into the US has become too difficult. I doubt it. More like they’re trying every avenue of attack, figuring one will work.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Should America have an assassination list?

October 6, 2010

Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen. He is also a high-ranking al Qaeda propagandist and spiritual leader who counseled the Fort Hood shooter on his murderous mission. He inspired Feisal Shahzad, the Muslim jihadist who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square. He approved the Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit. He has called for jihad against his own country.

Not surprisingly, the American government wants him dead.

This troubles Jonah Goldberg, one of my favorite authors. Not because of the orders against Awlaki, himself: Jonah agrees this medieval sociopath needs to be reduced to his component parts as quickly as possible. But  other questions trouble him:

There’s ample precedent — and common sense — to support the claim that the executive branch can kill American citizens when they are sworn members of enemy forces and avowed traitors working with the enemy.

But those precedents start to fray at the edges when the whole world is the war zone and the war doesn’t end until a diffuse, committed, and often camouflaged army of suicidal religious fanatics defy their god and agree to leave the Dark Ages. And the common sense starts to drain away like water through your fingers when you contemplate that we may be facing these kinds of problems for half a century. So while it strikes me as a no-brainer that al-Awlaki should go, what about the next guy? Or the next?

Goldberg’s problem comes not with the targeted-killing policy, per se, but with its secret, ad hoc nature in a society based on democracy and the rule of law. Rather than having this question fought out in the courts (not surprisingly, the ACLU has sued the Obama administration in court to have the order to kill Awlaki blocked), the policy should be debated openly and settled democratically by the elected political branches in a way that meets our traditions: voted on in Congress in agreement with the President. Not the specific targets, mind you, but a set policy on what happens when a citizen joins a non-state actor to wage war against his own country.

I agree, both with Goldberg and with the Obama administration: Anwar al-Awlaki has sided with our deadly enemy and thus needs to die himself, citizen or not. But  we need clear rules for for future cases.

Because we know there will be more.

This is the kind of genuine national issue Congress should be dealing with, the very kind of question for which the federal government was created. Not regulating the air we breathe or the kinds of light bulbs we can buy.

Very frustrating.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Ft. Hood shooter’s imam on assassination list

April 11, 2010

Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, the “spiritual adviser” of the Ft. Hood jihadi and a suspected facilitator of the 9-11 hijackers, has the first American citizen to be targeted for assassination by the CIA:

A Muslim cleric tied to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner has become the first U.S. citizen added to a list of suspected terrorists the CIA is authorized to kill, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

Anwar al-Aulaqi, who resides in Yemen, was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance against a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

Because he is a U.S. citizen, adding Aulaqi to the CIA list required special approval from the White House, officials said. The move means that Aulaqi would be considered a legitimate target not only for a military strike carried out by U.S. and Yemeni forces, but also for lethal CIA operations.

“He’s in everybody’s sights,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the topic’s sensitivity.

Good. Awlaki may have US citizenship, but he’s sided with America’s enemies and provided aid and comfort to them. He’s a traitor who’s made his choice, so he can pay the price.

And while I’ve been heavy in my criticism of President Obama, he earns praise for this. Guys like al-Awlaki deserve to be treated as enemies in wartime, not as suspected criminals to be investigated and brought to trial. He should take the opportunity this presents to rectify his mistake in approving civilian trials for Khaild Sheikh Muhammad and other al-Qaeda plotters and instead return them to the military justice system, where captured enemies belong.

LINKS: More at Hot Air.


Islamists in the UK government? What could go wrong?

December 16, 2009

For several years now, Great Britain has been trying to deal with the growing radicalism in its Muslim population by bringing into government moderate Muslims who can advise the Crown as to the best ways to “reach out” and counter Salafist influence. Trouble is, the “moderates” they keep recruiting aren’t so moderate. Islamist Watch gives us two of the latest examples:

Not Jolly Good: Islamists in the UK Government

Is there any degree of radicalism that disqualifies someone from holding a sensitive government post in the UK? Probably. But it would be difficult to tell based on two recent stories.

First, Treasury official Azad Ali has begun advising the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on combating Islamic extremism. Apparently his suspension earlier this year for blog entries steeped in — you guessed it — Islamic extremism presented no barrier to his joining the “community involvement” panel chaired by the CPS anti-terror chief. In addition to naming radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki, the email pal of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, as “one of my favorite speakers and scholars”

And…

Second, there is Asim Hafeez, the new “head of intervention” at the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism of the Home Office, where he is charged with “divert[ing] fellow Muslims from the path of violence.” However, Hafeez has been described by a knowledgeable colleague as a “hardcore Salafi,” one who follows a puritanical form of Islam. According to Harry’s Place:

A number of Hafeez’s talks are available online which appear to not only back up [these] accusations but also to suggest that Hafeez might additionally be a hard-line Islamist who wishes to replace the British constitution with “the Quran and the Sunnah.”

Do read the whole thing.

This is only the latest example of how, through a blind devotion to unquestioning multiculturalism and political correctness, we tie one hand behind our backs in our fight with the jihadis. For fear of seeming intolerant or bigoted against all Muslims (and for fear of angering those on whom we depend for our crack oil), we don’t dare inquire into what the people we want to place in sensitive positions might really believe. We turn a blind eye to the very real ideology of violent jihad, Islamic supremacism, and antisemitism that runs throughout the Qur’an, the hadiths, the writings of later scholars to the present day – the core of Islam, not a radical heresy or misunderstanding. At times, as at Ft. Hood, this leads to fatal results.

Do I think there are no moderate Muslims? Far from it. There are plenty who reject the jihad imperative and just want to live quiet lives among their neighbors. But there is a disturbingly large fraction who have taken Islam’s aggressive message to heart and support both the cultural and the violent jihad, seeking Islam’s eventual victory over Western civilization. We do ourselves no favors -indeed, we harm our own cause and that of genuinely moderate Muslims – by refusing to face head-on the ideological and theological challenges posed by Salafist Islam.

Screening for Islamist sentiments should be a basic precaution, hurt feelings be damned.


A screw-up of colossal proportions, part two

November 11, 2009

In an earlier post, regarding the efforts of Major Hasan to contact al Qaeda prior to his rampage at Ft. Hood, I wrote:

It’s time for subpoenas to start flying. If this report is true, or if Intelligence passed on the information and the Army did nothing, then heads should roll and careers be ended.

We now know the answer – nobody told the Army:

The Pentagon said it was never notified by U.S. intelligence agencies that they had intercepted emails between the alleged Fort Hood shooter and an extremist imam until after last week’s bloody assaults, raising new questions about whether the government could have helped prevent the attack.

A top defense official said federal investigators didn’t tell the Pentagon they were looking into months of contacts between Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki. The imam knew three of the Sept. 11 hijackers and hailed Maj. Hasan as a “hero” after the shooting last week at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead.

“Based on what we know now, neither the United States Army nor any other organization within the Department of Defense knew of Maj. Hasan’s contacts with any Muslim extremists,” the official said.

Just to emphasize the mind-blowing incompetence this required, Ed at Hot Air reminds us that al-Awlaki was named several times in the 9-11 commission report as being an important contact for the 9-11 hijackers. We know also that he was the imam at a Virginia mosque attended by both Major Hasan and two of the 9-11 hijackers. And yet no one on the interagency task force that had learned of Hasan’s contacts with al-Awlaki thought there was a problem:

A person familiar with the matter said a Pentagon worker on a terrorism task force overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was told about the intercepted emails several months ago. But members of terror task forces aren’t allowed to share such information with their agencies, unless they get permission from the FBI, which leads the task forces.

In this case, the Pentagon worker, an employee from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, helped make the assessment that Maj. Hasan wasn’t a threat, and the FBI’s “procedures for sharing the information were never used,” said the person familiar with the matter.

Emphasis added. Excuse me while I go beat my head against the nearest brick wall.

UPDATE: Oh, looky here! Even more connections between Major Hasan and “people” being tracked by the FBI:

A senior government official tells ABC News that investigators have found that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan had “more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI” than just radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The official declined to name the individuals but Congressional sources said their names and countries of origin were likely to emerge soon.

Apparently the only thing Hasan didn’t do was wrap himself in flashing Christmas lights and skip through a park shouting “I’m a jihadi! I’m a jihadi!” How many clues did these schmucks need?

(via Hot Air)


Praise for the Ft. Hood jihadi

November 9, 2009

From his former imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, who preached at the Virginia mosque Major Hasan attended while working at Walter Reed:

Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn’t exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.

Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.

The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation. Many amongst them are choosing the former. The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal’s operation.

The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right -rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.

Allah(swt) says: Give tidings to the hypocrites that there is for them a painful punishment – Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely. (al-Nisa 136-137)

The inconsistency of being a Muslim today and living in America and the West in general reveals the wisdom behind the opinions that call for migration from the West. It is becoming more and more difficult to hold on to Islam in an environment that is becoming more hostile towards Muslims.

May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance and steadfastness and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act. Ameen

“Al-Nisa” is the fourth chapter of the Qur’an.

Imam al-Awlaki was also a favorite of three of the 9-11 hijackers, two of whom attended the mosque in Falls Church at the same time as Major Hasan.

(via Jihad Watch)