OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DEFIANTLY RELEASES MORE GITMO DETAINEES

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“What the Obama Administration is doing is dangerous and, frankly, reckless.”

by BRADFORD THOMAS | TRUTH REVOLT | NOVEMBER 22, 2014

Nearly lost amidst the turmoil over President Obama’s historic unilateral action on immigration Thursday was yet another act of defiance by the administration. Despite requests from Republicans to stop any further transfers of Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainees, the administration signaled Thursday that they wouldrelease four al Qaeda fighters from Yemen, including a “senior figure” in the organization, and one extremist from Tunisia.

These most recent transfers come in spite of reports of previously released detainees joining the Islamic State and increased pressure from Republicans to stop what they deem to be potentially dangerous to U.S. interests.

In a written response issued Thursday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman and vocal critic of the administration Buck McKeon (R-CA) called the administration’s actions “dangerous” and “reckless” and said that he has contacted Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel to express his frustration over “a new swell of recidivism”:

“As long as detainees are rejoining the battlefield, these transfers must stop.

“I have written to Secretary Hagel expressing my frustration and great concern over a new swell of recidivism. If just one U.S. soldier loses their life over these transfers, we will have failed in our duty to the American people.

“What the Obama Administration is doing is dangerous and, frankly, reckless. They have chosen many times to put politics above national security. It’s time they stop playing with fire and start doing what’s right. Until we can assure the terrorists stay off the battlefield, they must stay behind bars.”
McKeon had written Hagel in late October requesting that the administration stop transfers. In a Nov. 13 committee hearing, McKeon confronted Hagel on the issue. Clearly his efforts did not deter the administration’s plans to chip away at the number of Gitmo detainees. The transfers leave 143 detainees in the facility the president once vowed to close.

Obama fundraises off immigration speech, seeks $1,000 contributions

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I lie

By Paul Bedard | November 21, 2014 | 12:53 pm

President Obama is fundraising off his controversial immigration decision Thursday night, dispatching an email that steers readers to a “Donate Today” page that seek contributions up to $1,000.

That page reads, “Thanks — now, we need to fight back. President Obama is taking action. The other side wants nothing more than to tear this progress down. Help fight back — make a donation today.”

What’s more, in his email from his Organizing for Action, he claims that he is just like every other president in taking action on issues where Congress failed to act.

RELATED: Obama calls immigration action legal, not amnesty

His email:

I want to tell you why I’m taking action on immigration.

There’s no disagreement in Washington that our system is badly broken. That’s why a bipartisan majority in the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform. That was more than 500 days ago, but we’re still waiting for the House to hold a vote.

Every day we delay, our country and our economy suffer. Millions of families go on living in the shadows, without a chance to pay their taxes or do what’s necessary to get on the right side of the law.

So, just like every president in the last 70 years — Republican and Democrat — I’m taking steps in my power to help fix this broken immigration system.

If you agree that we can’t wait any longer for meaningful action on immigration, join Americans across the country, including supporters of OFA, who are standing up to fight for reform.

Some voices in this debate want to make this issue about me, so I want to be clear about this:

The actions I’m taking today are no substitute for comprehensive reform. Only Congress can finish the job.

But I’m not just going to wait for that day to come. The American people expect solutions from the people they send to Washington. Today, I’m doing what I can to take common-sense steps forward.

Add your name if you’re ready to fight for reform:

http://my.barackobama.com/Immigration-Reform

Thank you,

Barack Obama.

Iraqi dealers confirm ISIS hoarding gold, precious metals to issue currency – report

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Islamic State militants are reportedly acquiring gold, silver and other precious metals in a bid to further solidify their control over large swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory by issuing their own currency, Iraqi metal dealers confirmed to McClatchy.

Earlier this month, the militants’ Beit al Mal, an ancient Islamic term which translates as “Treasury Department,” issued a statement announcing the plan. The coins, which they plan to fashion from gold, silver and copper, will be modeled on the 8th century currency of the Umayyad Caliphate.

At the time, experts expressed doubts the militant group had the technological capability and overall knowhow to produce their own modern currency for the territory under their control; roughly one third of Iraq and Syria.

A recent report in McClatchy, however, which draws on interviews with precious metal dealers in northern and western Iraq, would indicate the group is in fact moving ahead to obtain enough material necessary to carry out the plan.

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One Fallujah-based gold trader, identifying himself as Hajj Samir, told McClatchy that foreign jihadists had been buying up all the gold and silver in the city’s markets. He said he alone had sold more than 15 pounds to known affiliates of the militant group.

“They said it was for gifts for their wives, but now I know why, and all the traders say the same thing,” Hajj Samir told the news portal. “We’ve been making trips to Baghdad to get more, and they buy all of it.”

Another 37-year-old trader who has worked out of Mosul told a similar story of selling off his precious metals to those connected to the group.

“We don’t ask why they’re buying so much,” said the trader, Osman Ahmed.

“But even silver in small shops outside the city is sold out.”

Ahmed said the speed with which they were buying up precious metal stocks was forcing traders such as himself to travel to cities in Kurdish-controlled territory to renew their stocks.

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Zakaria Ahmed, a Mosul resident not related to Osman, said US-led airstrikes had taken their toll on IS’s currency plans, noting they had made it difficult for the militants to transport valuables.

Despite the setbacks, Zakaria, whose brother is reportedly an IS official, said the currency plan was still coming along.

“It is still in an ongoing process to be released,” he told McClatchy by phone.

The desire to create their own currency has also extended to the battlefield, with militants reportedly stripping copper wiring from electric transmission cables and other sources to gather materials for the coins.

The Islamic militant group notorious for extreme violence and war crimes has gone to great lengths to establish a caliphate with all the requisite state institutions over a piece of territory roughly the size of Belgium.

Relying on funds brought in from taxes, stolen oil and gas and organized crime, IS has, in the words of Jordanian journalist Raed Omari, “undergone the quickest transformation to statehood in modern history.”

Father of UK student believes son in jihadist video: report

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Father thinks his 20-year-old son was among jihadists on video, which showed severed head of Peter Kassig.

A father said on Monday he believed his son, a British medical student, was among a squad of Islamic State jihadists filmed beheading Syrian soldiers in a video posted online on Sunday.

Ahmed Muthana told the Daily Mail newspaper his 20-year-old son Nasser Muthana appeared to be among a group of 16 jihadists who were seen on the video, which also showed the severed head of American hostage Peter Kassig.

“I cannot be certain, but it looks like my son,” said Ahmed Muthana, who lives in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff.

“He must fear Allah now for killing people. How can he expect to face Allah if he is killing human beings?”

The announcement of aid worker Kassig’s death, the fifth such killing of a Western captive by Islamic State, formed part of the 15-minute video which showed the beheadings of at least 14 men IS said were pilots and officers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

IS, which is fighting in Iraq and Syria, includes thousands of foreign combatants and has become a magnet for jihadi volunteers from Europe and North America, Western intelligence agencies have said.

IS has previously released videos of the beheading of two American and two British men which feature a masked, black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent, who has been dubbed “Jihadi John” by British media.

Sunday’s video showed most of the killers unmasked and the Daily Mail said the man who appeared to be Nasser Muthana was standing alongside Jihadi John.

Nasser Muthana had already appeared in a online video released in June urging Muslims to join IS.

Why the Islamic State (or ISIS, or QSIS, or ISIL) has so many names
Joshua Keating, Slate
His younger brother Aseel had also traveled to Syria after both were radicalized in Cardiff, his father told the BBC in June. Nasser Muthana’s school friend Reyaad Khan also appeared in the online footage in June, various media reports said.

French jihadist

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said there was a strong likelihood that a 22-year-old French citizen also appeared in the beheading video.

Cazeneuve said analysis by its DGSI security service suggested that one of the men shown herding prisoners to the execution site was Maxime Hauchard, a Frenchman from the northern Eure region who left for Syria in August 2013.

“This analysis suggests with a very high probability that a French citizen could have directly participated in carrying out these abject acts,” Cazeneuve told journalists.

Hundreds of Western volunteers have joined the ranks of Islamic State insurgents in Syria and Iraq. The French and British governments have said that any citizen participating in executions would face consequences for their acts.

French authorities have said that about 1,000 citizens have joined Islamist factions in Syria.

Judges last year opened a preliminary investigation against Hauchard on suspicion that he was participating in a conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, the charge commonly levied against citizens who have fought with Islamist militants.

Hauchard, whom French media have said was known in his home town as “friendly, easygoing” and without a criminal record, was interviewed by BFMTV in the summer saying that his goal in joining Islamic State was to become a martyr.

Sanctioning Against Media Criticizing Muslims Called For by HuffPo Columnist

So now a Huffington Post (UK) columnist is saying that Muslims are ‘misrepresented’ in the media, and if those same misrepresentations were made of other minority groups, there would be a real ‘backlash’ – such as advertisers “boycotting” the newspapers. Give me a break:

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From the article:

The columnist and political director of the Huffington Post UK said the press has proven “singularly unable or unwilling to change the discourse, the tone or the approach” towards Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers.

Hasan, who was speaking in a personal capacity at a media industry event hosted by Mindshare UK, said: “We’re not going to get change unless there is some sanction, there is some penalty. This is not just about Muslims; it is about all minorities.”

“Therefore you have to ask questions about: does it need to be externally imposed, either by better regulation or via some form of commercial imperative? Though, that requires a separate campaign to get companies to give a damn about this stuff,” Hasan added.

He suggested advertisers would have boycotted newspapers over the publication of certain headlines about Muslims, had they been about other minorities.

In a session titled “The Muslims are coming!”, Hasan presented to a group of media industry figures a slideshow of British newspaper headlines and front pages, which he said ostracised the Muslim community, presenting Muslims as “the other”. Hasan also highlighted the factual inaccuracy of some of the stories and accused newspapers of peddling misinformation.

He said the practice was not just morally wrong, but also “dangerous and counter-productive [...] because it increases alienation, [...] and it also confirms the extremist narrative, the Islamist narrative that there is some kind of inevitable clash between the West and all of the Muslims living in the West, that there can never be any kind of reconciliation, that there is always going to be some kind of war between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

He added: “To pretend that all this negative, mad, crazy, over the top, dishonest, demonising press coverage is justified is wrong. To pretend that it has no impact on a minority community living in the UK or on our multicultural society, on relations between communities is naive, if not disingenuous.”

In addition to commercial pressure from advertisers and stricter press regulation, Hasan said a drive for greater diversity in the industry was essential to changing culture: “If you’re a Daily Express journalist writing some sort of anti-Muslim headline and the guy sitting opposite you is a Muslim it makes it much more difficult I would imagine.”

Finally, Hasan called for “similar sized apologies for similar sized nonsense headlines”. He told the Guardian he is a proponent of front page apologies for incorrect front page stories.

Hasan is a prominent critic of Islamophobia. In 2008, while working at Channel 4, he commissioned and produced an episode of Dispatches on the danger of Islamophobia titled, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Muslim. He has also written regularly about the issue of Muslims’ portrayal in the media.

Mehdi Hasan was speaking at Mindshare UK’s Huddle in London yesterday.

Ok, so hold the phone a sec. Is this guy REALLY trying to suggest that writers would be less likely to write a piece regarding ISIS terror groups, or a Muslim act of terrorism, or war in the middle east, because the guy across from me is Muslim? I hardly think it would hold me back. This is NOT about equal opportunity employment. This is NOT about minorities. This is about acts of terror and the RIGHT of anyone who wants to write about it, can. Yes, he is in the UK, but here in the United States, we have the First Amendment. That guarantees us the right of free speech and press. Let’s be honest – if there weren’t Muslims acting in outrageous ways, and taking civilians as prisoners, there would not be any issues with Muslim people in general. Don’t we have a right to be outraged? Again, enough of the PC crap. Sometimes, people are generalized. Sometimes rightly or wrongly so. This is not a case where this is ‘wrong’. Once again, a group is asking for special treatment. He claims in the article that advertisers would “boycott” if it was about another minority groups and “requires a separate campaign to get companies to give a damn about this stuff,” – dude, if the companies CARED, we would know. They stop purchasing ad space. They write emails. Etc. This is no one’s job to pay for or educate regarding Muslims. They have created the mess they have to live in, and in the modern world, news is so much faster. Deal with it.

Muslims Take Over London Tunnel — ISIS Communicating With Mexican Drug Cartels

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Without fear of the British authorities, Muslims recently took over the Blackwell Tunnel in London, openly displaying jihadist sentiments and waving Al Qaeda and Islamic State Flags.

The Islamist protesters blocked the route through the tunnel temporarily trapping other motorists.

An interesting comment from the original YouTube video by user CharmingLordSausage reads:

As an Englishman, I have some bad news. My nation is dying. We are slowly losing control of our cities. Soon, the great Islamic uprisings will take place. Riots, purges, the first emirates. Entire counties will be lost. There will be no united English response because no one believes in the nation state anymore. Besides, the Left control the discourse. By 2050, an Islamic regime will be in full control of Parliament. By then, Muslims will be 40pc of the population. No amount of flag waving and marching can put off the inevitable. Enjoy what remains of your freedom. Your memories of your time in the sun will serve to warm you as we enter the new dark age.

Meanwhile back in the States, former CIA covert operations officer Mike Baker recently stated in an interview that he believes ISIS is communicating with Mexican drug cartels, who will basically go into business with anyone.

The whole world knows our southern border is completely wide open and Obama is doing nothing about it but giving a free ticket those who come across to various parts of the country. Obviously he’s giving a helping hand to his Muslim brothers.

It’s getting closer to showtime folks.

ISIS 7X BIGGER THAN WEST BELIEVES

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ISIS rules a third of Iraq and a third of Syria

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War with Isis: Islamic militants have army of 200,000, claims senior Kurdish leader

PATRICK COCKBURN Sunday 16 November 2014

The Islamic State (Isis) has recruited an army hundreds of thousands strong, far larger than previous estimates by the CIA, according to a senior Kurdish leader. He said the ability of Isis to attack on many widely separated fronts in Iraq and Syria at the same time shows that the number of militant fighters is at least 200,000, seven or eight times bigger than foreign in intelligence estimates of up to 31,500 men.

Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said in an exclusive interview with The Independent on Sunday that “I am talking about hundreds of thousands of fighters because they are able to mobilise Arab young men in the territory they have taken.”

He estimates that Isis rules a third of Iraq and a third of Syria with a population of between 10 and 12 million living in an area of 250,000 square kilometres, the same size as Great Britain. This gives the jihadis a large pool of potential recruits.

Proof that Isis has created a large field army at great speed is that it has been launching attacks against the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Iraqi army close to Baghdad at the same time as it is fighting in Syria. “They are fighting in Kobani,” said Mr Hussein. “In Kurdistan last month they were attacking in seven different places as well as in Ramadi [capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad] and Jalawla [an Arab-Kurdish town close to Iranian border]. It is impossible to talk of 20,000 men or so.”

The high figure for Isis’s combat strength is important because it underlines how difficult it will be eliminate Isis even with US air strikes. In September, the CIA produced an estimate of Isis numbers which calculated that the movement had between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters. The underestimate of the size of the force that Isis can deploy may explain why the US and other foreign governments have been repeatedly caught by surprise over the past five months as IS inflicted successive defeats on the Iraqi army, Syrian army, Syrian rebels and Kurdish peshmerga.

The US and its allies are beginning to take on board the obstacles to fulfilling President Obama’s pledge to degrade and destroy Isis. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Baghdad on Friday in a surprise visit. He said he wanted “to get a sense from our side about how our contribution is going”. Earlier in the week, he told Congress that to defeat Isis an efficient army of 80,000 men would be necessary. Few in Iraq believe that the regular army is up to the task, despite winning a success last week by retaking the refinery town of Baiji and lifting the siege of the refinery, the largest in Iraq.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Hussein spelled out the new balance of power in Iraq in the wake of the Islamic militants’ summer offensive and the military re-engagement of the US. The Kurdistan Regional Government now faces Isis units along a 650-mile front line cutting across northern Iraq between Iran and Syria. Mr Hussein said that the US air intervention had enabled the Kurds to hold out when the unexpected Isis assault in August defeated the peshmerga and came close to capturing the Kurdish capital Irbil: “They were fighting with a strategy of fear that affected the morale of everybody, including the peshmerga.”

As well as terrifying its opponents by publicising its own atrocities, Isis had developed an effective cocktail of tactics that includes suicide bombers, mines, snipers and use of US equipment captured from the Iraqi army such as Humvees, artillery and tanks. To combat them, Mr Hussein says the Kurds need Apache helicopters and heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery.

The Kurdish leaders are now much more relaxed about Isis because they have a US guarantee of their security. The grim experience of the US in seeing the collapse of the government and army in Baghdad, which the Americans had fostered at vast expense, also works in favour of the Kurds.

Holding on: Kurdish chief of staff Fuad Hussein with John Kerry in June Holding on: Kurdish chief of staff Fuad Hussein with John Kerry in June AFP/Getty
Mr Hussein does not like to talk about it today, but the Kurdistan Regional Government got a nasty surprise in August when it asked the Turkish government for help in stopping Isis only to be told Ankara planned no immediate assistance. It was only then that the Kurds turned to Iran and the US, both of which immediately acted to prevent a complete victory by the Islamic militants. Iran sent some officers, military units and artillery while the US started air strikes on 8 August.

Mr Hussein speculates that the CIA and US intelligence agencies may only have been speaking about “core” fighters in claiming that the jihadis had at most 31,500 men under arms. But the fighting over the past five months has shown that Isis has become a formidable military force. “We are talking about a state that has a military and ideological basis,” said Mr Hussein, “so that means they want everyone to learn how to use a rifle, but they also want everybody to have training in their ideology, in other words brainwashing.”

A sign of the military professionalism of Isis is the speed with which they learned to use captured US tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment captured after the fall of Mosul on 10 June. The same thing happened in Syria where Isis captured Russian-made arms which it rapidly started using. The most likely explanation for this is that IS’s ranks contain many former Iraqi and Syrian soldiers whose skills Isis has identified. Mr Hussein says that the peshmerga has been impressed during the fighting by Isis’s training and discipline.

“They will fight until death, and are dangerous because they are so well-trained,” said Mr Hussein. “For instance, they have the best snipers, but to be a good sniper you need not only training on how to shoot, but discipline in staying put for up to five hours so you can hit your target.”

There is supporting evidence for Mr Hussein’s high estimate for Isis numbers. A study by the National Security Adviser’s office in Baghdad before the Isis offensive showed that, when 100 jihadis entered a district, they would soon recruit between five and 10 times their original number. There are reports of many young men volunteering to fight for Isis when they were in the full flood of success in the summer. This enthusiasm may have ebbed since the US started air strikes and the Isis run of victories ended with their failure to capture Kobani in northern Syria despite a long siege.

In an impoverished region with few jobs, Isis pay of $400 (£250) a month is also attractive. Moreover, Mr Hussein says that in the places they have conquered Isis is remodelling society in its own image, aiming to educate people into accepting Isis ideology.

A fighter jet takes off from a US war ship A fighter jet takes off from a US war ship Reuters
The Kurds have recovered their military self-confidence in the knowledge that they are backed by the US and Iran. The peshmerga have taken back some towns lost in August, notably Zumar close to the Syrian border, but not Tal Afar and Sinjar where 8,500 Yazidis are still besieged on their mountain top. But there are limits to how far the Kurds are willing to advance even if they succeed in doing so. Mr Hussein says that the Kurds can help an Iraqi army, supposing a non-sectarian one is created, but “the Kurds cannot liberate the Sunni Arab areas”.

This is the great problem facing a counter offensive against Isis by Baghdad or the Kurds: it will be seen by the five or six million Sunni Arabs in Iraq as directed against their whole community. Hitherto, the US has been hoping to repeat its success between 2006 and 2008 in turning many Sunni against al-Qaeda in Iraq. Mr Hussein ticks off the reasons why repeating this will be very difficult: the Americans then had 150,000 soldiers in Iraq to back up anti-al-Qaeda tribal leaders. Isis will savagely punish anybody who opposes it. “We have seen what happened in Anbar to the Albu Nimr tribe [that rose up against Isis]. They stood bravely against the terrorist but 500 were killed. It was a disaster.”

Overall, Mr Hussein says he does not see any convincing sign of resistance from the Sunni Arabs. Many of them may be unhappy, particularly in Mosul, but this is not translating into effective opposition. Nor is it clear what outside force could organise resistance. The Iraqi army might be acceptable in Sunni areas but only if it is reconstituted so that is not dominated by the Shia.

At the moment, the Kurds see little sign of its presence. They have been asking for regular troops to defend the Mosul Dam on the Euphrates so they can use up to 3,000 peshmerga stationed there, but no Iraqi troops have turned up. “Those who are now defending Baghdad are the army of the [Shia] parties. To re-establish a professional army needs time.”

Mr Hussein did not say so, but it may be too late to establish a competent cross-confessional regular army in Iraq. The counter-offensive by Baghdad is led by the three main Shia militias which have almost the same ideological fervour and sectarian hatred as Isis. Any advance on the battlefield leads to the population deemed loyal to the losing side taking flight so the whole of northern Iraq has become a land of refugees.