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Al Qaeda Tag

Do we really need to invent new terror groups to justify America's actions in the Middle East? Is the Obama administration so reluctant to admit that al-Qaeda still exists? If you ask Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review, the answer to both of those questions is yes:
The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist We’re being had. Again. For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name. Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade. Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group. The who? There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize. You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the –Iranian–​Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it. The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. As we all know, the Obama administration loves to fuss with nomenclature.

Watching the press conference that President Obama gave yesterday in which he revealed that his foreign policy has devolved from "don't do stupid stuff" to "no strategy," I was perplexed that the media was complaining more about the color of the suit instead of its emptiness. Mulling over the subsequent coverage, I couldn't help but wonder what the upcoming September 11th would bring for our country, because our enemies are clearly inspired by weakness. Now Judicial Watch has revealed that Islamic terrorist groups are operating Mexico and plan to attack the United States along our southern border.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

It has been ten years since the original 9/11 Commission released it's report. The Commission has stayed together informally, but today released a anniversary report entitled “Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of The 9/11 Commission Report.” The panel members warn that though al-Qaeda has been severely weakened since 2001, new and offshoot groups -- like ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) continue to pose serious threats to the United States national security. From The Washington Post:

The breaking news via Twitter on Wednesday night was quite alarming. The United Nations seems to be playing down the significance of the threat, but the Iraqi government's warning was specific that this material could be used in creating weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq has notified the United Nations that Sunni militants seized nuclear material from a university in the northern city of Mosul last month as they advanced toward Baghdad, the nuclear regulatory body of the United Nations said on Thursday. Gill Tudor, a spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is based in Vienna, said in a statement that the organization’s experts believed the material — thought to be uranium — was “low-grade and would not present a significant safety, security or nuclear proliferation risk.” Word of the seizure first emerged in a letter to the United Nations dated July 8 and seen by reporters from Reuters, which quoted it as saying that “terrorists” from the insurgent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, had taken control of the materials. The letter said that almost 90 pounds of uranium compounds had been kept at the university and that the materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction,” Reuters said.
The first question that comes to many Americans' minds is: How can there be uranium material left in Iraq? After all, the Bush Administration was skewered by the media (and continues to be) when they presented the "yellowcake" evidence at the United Nations prior to the 2003 Iraq War. And, as that TIME article pointed out, even the Bush Administration admitted in 2003 that they messed up on the yellowcake evidence.

Al-Qaeda aligned terror groups have made major land gains from the Syrian civil war into the heartland of Iraq over the last several days. Despite the herculean efforts of the United States military with the Multi-National Force in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, Iraq appears to be sliding into violent chaos across much of its territory between Baghdad and the border with Syria. Fueled by training in the Syrian civil war and allowed by the vacuum of no major U.S. forces in Iraq, the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), is poised to take control of the most land mass since al-Qaeda formed in the late 1980s. According to videos posted by ISIS on social media, the militants also captured U.S. Humvees and Blackhawk helicopters from the Iraqi forces. So far this week, ISIS forces have captured Tikrit -- the former home of Saddam Hussein and his political movement -- and Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.  As ISIS forces converged on Mosul on Tuesday, U.S.-trained Iraqi forces collapsed and fled the city.  Tikrit is less than 100 miles from Iraq's capital of Baghdad, while Mosul is just 225 miles to the northwest from Baghdad.
"The city of Mosul is outside the control of the state and at the mercy of the militants," an interior ministry official told the Agence France Presse news agency, saying soldiers had fled after removing their uniforms. Several residents told the Associated Press that the militants were now touring the city with loudspeakers, announcing that they had "come to liberate Mosul and would fight only those who attack them."
Reports from Mosul detail mass beheadings of residents by the ISIS terrorists and a flood of hundreds of thousands of refugees out of the city. The al-Qaeda aligned ISIS organization now effectively controls a region from the eastern Syrian city of Raqaa, over the through the western Iraqi desert up to northern Iraq and less than 100 miles from Baghdad.

It was reported yesterday that Israel's internal security agency, the Shin Bet broke up an al Qaeda cell operating in Jerusalem. According to the report, three men in Jerusalem were recruited by an al Qaeda operative in Gaza to carry out three attacks: targeting the Jerusalem-Maale Adumim bus line, the Jerusalem convention center and the American embassy in Tel Aviv. (Last year, in an apparently unrelated case, Israel arrested an Iranian national photographing the embassy.) The Jerusalem Post notes:
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said an al-Qaida operative in Gaza, named as Ariv al-Sham, recruited the men separately as three independent terrorist cells. Senior Shin Bet sources said they believed Sham received his orders directly from the head of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Using Skype and Facebook, Sham was able to recruit Iyad Khalil Abu-Sara, 23, of Ras Hamis of east Jerusalem, who has an Israeli ID card. During questioning, Abu-Sara, who was arrested on December 25, admitted to volunteering to carry out a “sacrifice attack” on an Israeli bus traveling between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. In the planned attack, terrorists would shoot out the bus’s tires, causing it to overturn, before gunning down passengers at close range and firing on emergency responders.
One of them was planning to arrange to bring foreign terrorists to Israel posing as Russian tourists to aid in the execution of his plans. The report in USA Today explained why this discovery is a big deal:

The murder trial of two Islamic radicals who hacked British soldier Lee Rigby to death on the street continues. We noted how the murderer pictured in so many of the newpaper covers holding a bloody machete argued in his defense that he was a "soldier of Allah" and that he was in a war, Killer of British soldier Lee Rigby: “I am a soldier and this is war” The second murderer decided to offer no defense evidence, as reported by the Daily Mirror, which has a live blog of the proceedings:
The second man accused of hacking Fusilier Lee Rigby to death has refused to give evidence. Michael Adebowale, 22, was due to take the stand to explain the attack on the 25 year-old soldier near Woolwich Barracks in south London. His co-defendant Michael Adebolajo, 28, has already told the court that he tried to decapitate Lee Rigby to protest against British foreign policy. Abbas Lakha, representing Adebowale, told the court: "I call no evidence on behalf of Mr Adebowale." ... The judge sent the jury of eight women and four men away for the weekend and told them the court will contact them by mobile phone when they should return to court. He said there was more legal argument to sort out before closing speeches start but said the case was still due to conclude by Christmas.
Here's video of his capture immediately after the attack:

One of President Obama's pitches for re-election was "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive." Or as the President said, slightly more elaborately, in a speech shortly before his re-election:
Remember, in 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new jobs. (Applause.) The auto industry is back on top. (Applause.) Home values are on the rise. (Applause.) We’re less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years. (Applause.) Because of the service and the sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda is on the run, and Osama bin Laden is dead. (Applause.) So we’ve made real progress these past four years.
Yes, Al Qaeda is on the run.

To Yemen:

Yemen which has been in a state of political turmoil since the ouster of its long time dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is facing two insurgencies in the north: one are the Iran backed Houthi separatists and the other are Salafists. Both groups are fighting each other as well as Yemen's central government.

There was a double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian Embassy in Beirut earlier today. There are at least 25 dead, including one diplomat. An al-Qaeda linked group is claiming credit, but the Iranians are blaming Israel. The bobming is assumed to be in retaliation for Iran's involvement in...

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