Two weeks ago, al Qaeda-linked jihadists attacked the Splendid Hotel in Burkina Faso and murdered 28 people, including an American missionary. It was the work of al Qaeda’s Algerian franchise, one of the world's deadliest jihadist groups, albeit one less known to Westerners. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is led by the one-eyed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a charismatic terrorist who has evaded death and capture numerous times and in the process transformed AQIM into a major threat across West Africa. It's time we paid more attention to Belmokhtar and his jihadist gang—as well as to the troubled country that produced them.Read more
The Obama administration is set to release another 17 detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The New York Times reports that the defense secretary has notified Congress of the iminent transfers:
The Obama administration appears to be on the cusp of the largest round of transfers of Guantánamo Bay detainees in a single month since 2007, a move that could reduce the detainee population there to as low as 90 by mid- to late January, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has notified Congress in recent days that he has approved 17 proposed transfers of lower-level detainees, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to
President Obama needs to accept that our current conflict is as much against the idea of radical jihadism as it is against the physical presence of ISIS. Furthermore, by failing to define the religious-political ideology underpinning the enemy, the president contributes to an environment where all Muslims are increasingly looked at with suspicion. And when President Obama says that we are not at war with Islam, he is implicitly acknowledging to the public that Islam does have something to with extremism, disorder, and violence.
President Obama has also inadvertently cast a blanket of suspicion on the Muslim community through his rhetoric and framing of the challenge.Read more
President Barack Obama says his administration will continue releasing terrorists from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, so long as those released are less dangerous than the jihadists currently fighting against the U.S. and its interests.
The bizarre argument comes in a new interview with Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News and is one of several comments in their discussion that reinforces the president's stubborn nonchalance on issues related to jihad. Obama also shrugs off concerns about recidivism of former Guantanamo detainees, suggesting that only a "handful" of former detainees have returned to the fight and claiming that only "low-level" terrorists have been released from the detention facility. Both claimsRead more
Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, went to the Senate floor yesterday evening to explain that the U.S. is engaged in a war with radical Islam. "We are at war," Sasse said. "Washington ignores what it cannot escape."
The fact that Washington ignores the war means a presidential candidate who focuses on it can do well, Sasse suggested. "[B]efore another person in this body – or in the national media – stands up to scold the American people about how they could possibly entertain voting for candidate x or y, perhaps we should look in the mirror at why so many of our people are running to demagoguing leaders.Read more
Ben Sasse, a Republican U.S. senator from Nebraska, went to San Bernardino last night to deliver a rebuttal to President Obama's speech to the nation on terrorism.
Sasse argues that the U.S. was attacked "Because we're an open society, we're a free society, and our enemies hate freedom." And that we are at war.
"We are most certainly though at war with militant Islam. We are at war with the violent Islam. We are at war with jihadi Islam. We are not at war with all Muslims. We're not at war with Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan who want the American dream for their kids. But we are at war with those who believe that they will kill in the name of religion."
But, Sasse explains, "We are not at war with terrorism,Read more
President Obama used the terror attack in California this week to push gun control. In his weekly address, Obama called the massacre an "act of terror" but then pivoted to talking about American gun laws.
"We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons—weapons of war—to kill as many people as they could. It's another tragic reminder that here in America it's way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun," Obama said in his weekly address.
"For example, right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I'm calling onRead more
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that President Obama thinks that gun control would help deter terrorists. Earnest made the comments today at the White House's daily press briefing.
Peter Doocy: "President Obama yesterday jumped to say that this mass shooting means it's time for commonsense gun laws. Does the President really think that common sense gun laws would deter terrorists now that he has admitted that these two may have been terrorists?"
White House press secretary Josh Earnest: "Yes. The president believes that passing common sense gun laws that makes it harder for people with bad intentions to get guns, makes the country safer.Read more
ABC reporter Brian Ross called yesterday's California massacre "hybrid workplace jihad" this morning. Watch here:
"Well, it appears to be a kind of hybrid workplace jihad," said Ross.
"He had issues, he targeted his co-workers but also had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia where he met the woman he says he married. On his website, the dating line website, he appears to be an all-American boy, snowboarding, and guns and likes to relax by going the backyard for target practice.Read more
One of the most durable arguments for not responding as forcefully as possible to al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and jihadi groups in general is that they do not pose an “existential” threat to America. Indeed, this lies at the core of the Obama administration’s strategy for the Middle East. As the president toldRead more
After meeting with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama reiterated his vow to close Guantanamo. The president said that he could Americans safe and release the terrorists held there.
Via the pool report:Read more
In remarks today in Paris, France, Secretary of State John Kerry justified the terror attack earlier this year that targeted the magazine Charlie Hebdo in January. This latest attack, by contrast, was different, said Kerry.Read more
For years, the British government and a network of anti-Guantanamo activists have agitated for the release of Shaker Aamer. Now their wish was finally granted. Aamer has been released from Guantanamo. He is receiving a hero’s welcome in the UK, where much of the media has treated him as an innocent who was wrongly detained.Read more
One of the more puzzling manifestations of the conflict between radical Islam and the West is the presence of Islamist communities in places like Great Britain, the Netherlands, and France: They are unwelcome in their Muslim homelands—indeed, they are in exile from them—and yet they harbor an abiding hatred for the societies that offer them refuge.Read more
Hillary Clinton made a statement today on the terror attack in Tennessee, which reportedly claimed the lives of four Marines. The Democratic presidential candidate compared today's attack to the racially-motivated murder of 9 Americans in a Charleston church last month:Read more
"Oh, you Jews! Allah has permitted us to kill your brothers on French soil and here on the soil of the Islamic State.” So says the speaker in an Islamic State video released in March, which allegedly shows a Palestinian Mossad agent being shot dead by a child executioner. Standing next to the boy and behind the kneeling detainee, the man, whose face is uncovered, speaks French with the cadence of the banlieues, France’s troubled urban slums that have proved fertile recruiting grounds for the Islamic State and other jihadist groups.Read more
Last week’s horrific events in Charleston demonstrate, unfortunately, that there are violent homegrown extremists in this country. The extent to which they present a danger to the citizens of the United States is a serious issue worth considering.Read more
The new novel Les Événements (The Events), by the French author Jean Rolin, tells the tale of a France that has descended into a chaotic and multifaceted civil war involving jihadist, nationalist and Marxist militias, in various and fluctuating combinations, as well as remnants of the regular army.Read more
It's been a full week since The Scrapbook inveighed against the assault on free speech, so we have a new parade of horribles to shake our head at. The precipitating event this time was the killing of two armed assailants at an event in Garland, Texas, that was displaying Muhammad cartoons. It should go without saying that free speech means supporting the right of people you don’t like to say things you don’t like.Read more
Last month the Kosovar Center for Security Studies (KCSS), a think-tank in the Balkan republic, published a “Report Inquiring Into the Causes and Consequences of Kosovo Citizens’ Involvement as Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq.” The survey was financed by the U.S.Read more
In remarks at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama warned that one can't profile a terrorist, or predict who will become one. It's not determined by people or any particular faith, the president said.Read more
In response to the Islamic State’s horrific burning of a pilot, the Jordanian government has released from prison one of the most influential al Qaeda-allied ideologues in the world. Sound strange? It is.Read more
President Obama told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that 99.9 percent of Muslims reject radical Islam. He made the comments in response to a question about the White House avoiding using the phrase "Islamic terrorists."Read more
Scott Walker told ABC that he would not rule out putting "boots on the ground" to fight ISIS:Read more
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