Wednesday, April 24, 2013

No Room For Complacency in Confronting Terrorist Threat

No Room For Complacency in Confronting Terrorist Threat

By: Donald Lambro / Townhall Columnist
WASHINGTON -- The deadly bombing in Boston and the wave of terror plots in the United States since 9/11 lead inexorably to three conclusions: The terrorist threat is growing; al-Qaida has not been decimated, as President Obama told us in his 2012 campaign; and there are gaps in our security system that need to be repaired.

Two young terrorists proved last week how much death and mayhem they can cause, even with police on every street corner, in one of our major cities. They showed they could pierce our defenses with stunning ease, murdering three people and wounding more than 200 within seconds with small, low-grade, simple explosives left on a sidewalk.

The sad irony in the unfolding investigation is that the Russians warned us about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two Chechen brothers who were granted U.S. asylum here in 2002. But the FBI found no evidence to justify Moscow's suspicions he had terrorist connections and the case was closed.

This was one of the first successful terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11. Yet in all the stories written about last week's Boston Marathon tragedy, little attention has been paid to the alarming number of plots that have preceded it.

Near the end of October 2012, a Heritage Foundation study said a foiled attempt to use a bomb-laden vehicle to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York was the 53rd terrorist attempt since 9/11.

The number of attempted plots is accelerating at an alarming rate, proving that a growing army of combatants are in our midst, planning further attacks with the help of al-Qaida jihadists here and abroad.

"At least 53 publicly known Islamist-inspired terrorist plots against the U.S. have been thwarted since 9/11. Of these, 13 have involved New York City as a target, second only to domestic military targets, showing that terrorists continue to seek to strike at the heart of the U.S.," writes Jessica Zuckerman, a national security analyst at the Heritage think tank.

The terrorist who wanted to blow up the Fed's bank was a Bangladeshi citizen, 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, who came here on a student visa with the single-minded goal to kill as many Americans as he could with what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb inside a van.

Nafis sought out fellow al-Qaida operatives in the U.S. to help him execute the attack, but one of the people he recruited turned out to be an FBI informant -- part of an elaborate sting operation that has proved so successful in countless plots before.

Shortly before Nafis was arrested for attempting to set off the phony bomb, he revealed his plan in a chilling video in which he said, "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom."

The lengthening list of such plots should be setting off alarm bells. In 2011, there were "at least 45 jihadist terrorist attack plots against Americans since 9/11," the Daily Beast website warned at the time. Since then, the number has climbed into the 50s and is very likely heading higher.

Last week, a Washington Post poll asked Americans: "Which comes closer to your view -- the terrorists will always find a way to launch major attacks no matter what the U.S. government does, or the U.S. government can eventually prevent all major attacks if it works hard enough at it?"

Only 30 percent believe the government can prevent all major attacks, while 66 percent say terrorists "will always find a way."

Equally alarming is the growing role that the al-Qaida terrorist network is playing in more recent plots.

While it's not clear what level of support, if any, outside terrorist organizations gave to the Tsarnaev brothers in the Boston bombing, al-Qaida may have had a hand in the explosive devices they detonated near the marathon finish line on Boylston Street.

Law enforcement officials said the pressure cooker bombs followed design plans that were accessible on the Internet, including the al-Qaida-linked publication "Inspire."

On Monday, Canadian authorities announced they had arrested two men who were charged with plotting to blow up a passenger train in Toronto, with the support of al-Qaida "elements" in Iran.

"This is the first known al-Qaida planned attack we've experienced in Canada," a top Royal Canadian Mounted Police official told reporters.

That must come as news to Obama, who boasted in the closing weeks of his re-election campaign in Green Bay, Wis., that "al-Qaida has been decimated," a claim that has been repeated by other administration officials.

Then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was a bit more circumspect at the time when he said its leadership ranks were reduced, but the organization continues intact. "We have slowed the primary cancer -- but we know that the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the global body," he said in a speech at the Center for a New American Security here last November.

The truth is that al-Qaida operatives have not only spread throughout the Middle East, but also across key parts of North Africa, into Asia, the U.S. and now into Canada.

Last year, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the older of the two brothers, traveled to visit his family in Russia for about six months, visiting places where Russian forces had fought Islamic insurgents in the 1990s. When he returned to the U.S., he posted a video on his YouTube channel, which he later removed, of Islamic militant Abu Dujana.

It's not known if he came home with specific instructions from terrorist leaders there. But it's clear he returned more determined then ever to carry out the terrorist acts he and his younger brother perpetrated in Boston.

In her prescient analysis of the fast-growing al-Qaida threat in the United States, Zuckerman tells us that while we've foiled many plots, "the U.S. cannot afford to become complacent."

We need to re-examine and reform our visa screening system, which is being exploited by terrorists, and repair gaps in information-sharing with our allies.

In hindsight, Moscow's urgent request to investigate Tamerlan, the mastermind of the bombing, certainly deserved a longer and a far more thorough, in-depth follow-up investigation, which could have resulted in his deportation before he committed his evil acts.
America's Insane Asylum for Jihadists, Hustlers and Frauds

America's Insane Asylum for Jihadists, Hustlers and Frauds

By: Michelle Malkin / Townhall Columnist
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon killing spree by foreign-born jihadists, see-no-evil bureaucrats in Washington are stubbornly defending America's lax asylum policies. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate Tuesday that the screening process is rigorous, effective and extensive.

These people can't handle the truth. Or tell it.

The Tsarnaev brothers reportedly were granted asylum by "derivative" status through their parents. After entering on short-term tourist visas, the mother and father (an ethnic Chechen Muslim) won asylum and acquired U.S. citizenship. Next, younger son Dzhokhar obtained U.S. citizenship. Older son Tamerlan, whose naturalization application was pending, traveled freely between the U.S. and the jihad recruitment zone of Dagestan, Russia, last year before the bombers' gunfight in Watertown, Mass., last week left the Muslim terrorist dead.

Though they had convinced the U.S. that they faced deadly persecution, the Tsarnaevs' parents both returned to their native land and were there when their sons launched last week's terror rampage.

Authorities will not reveal any details of the sob stories the Tsarnaevs originally spun to win asylum benefits for the entire family.

The whole thing stinks. And it's an old, familiar stench. Immigration lawyers have been working the system on behalf of asylum con artists for decades. The racketeers coach applicants with phony stories and documents from "chop shops" and game their way through "refugee roulette."

Asylum and refugee claimants are being rubber-stamped at all-time-high rates. Government data analyzed by the nonpartisan TRAC website show that "the odds of an asylum claim being denied in Immigration Court reached an historic low in FY 2012, with only 44.5 percent being turned down.

Ten years ago, almost two out of three (62.6 percent) individuals seeking asylum lost their cases in similar actions. Twenty years ago, fewer than one out of four (24 percent) asylum applicants won their cases, while three out of four (76 percent) lost."

The game is rigged in favor of identity-group hustlers, who mau-mau adjudicators whose approval rates don't meet their approval.

Soft-on-enforcement lobbying groups argue that it's better to err on the side of allowing bogus asylum-seekers and refugees to stay than to get serious about cracking down on fraud and send undeserving foreigners home. It's not "practical" or worth it, they say.

But what about the "if it saves just one life" standard set by President Obama? Why does it only apply to gun control? Why won't Washington err on the side of public safety by reexamining and overhauling our fraud-riddled asylum, detention, deportation and visa issuance policies after the Boston jihad?

In case you'd forgotten, the Tsarnaevs were not the first murder-minded jihadists to benefit from ineffective policing of our asylum and refugee policies. As I've reported previously:

--Ramzi Yousef landed at New York City's JFK airport from Pakistan and flashed an Iraqi passport without a visa to inspectors. He was briefly detained for illegal entry and fingerprinted, but was allowed to remain in the country after invoking the magic words "political asylum." Yousef was released for lack of detention space and headed to Jersey City to plot the deadly 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

--Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Palestinian bomb-builder, entered the U.S. illegally through Canada in 1996-97. He claimed political asylum based on phony persecution by Israelis, was released on a reduced $5,000 bond posted by a man who was himself an illegal alien and then skipped his asylum hearing. In June 1997, a federal immigration judge ordered Mezer to leave on a "voluntary departure order." Mezer ignored him. He joined the New York City bombing plot before being arrested in July 1997 after a roommate tipped off local police.

--Mir Aimal Kansi, convicted in 1997 of capital murder and nine other charges stemming from his January 1993 shooting spree outside the CIA headquarters in McLean, Va., also exploited our insane asylum laxity. Despite his history as a known Pakistani militant who had participated in anti-American protests abroad, Kansi received a business visa in 1991. After arrival, he claimed political asylum based on his ethnic minority status in Pakistan. While his asylum application was pending, he obtained a driver's license and an AK-47, murdered two CIA agents and wounded three others.

--Somali national Nuradin Abdi, the al-Qaida shopping mall bomb plotter convicted in 2007, first entered the U.S. in 1995 using a false passport. He entered again illegally from Canada in 1997 and secured asylum on false grounds. Abdi then was able to fraudulently obtain a refugee travel document, which he used to fly to Ethiopia and, yes, Chechnya for jihad training.

--Among the convicted Fort Dix (N.J.) jihad plotters were three ethnic Albanian illegal alien brothers, Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, who snuck into the country through Mexico with their parents. In 1984, the father applied for asylum, but the feds ignored them for two decades. In the meantime, as America showed the Dukas' refugee community unmatched compassion and generosity, the Muslim trio returned the favor by planning to massacre U.S. soldiers.

As always, political correctness and political pandering are the handmaidens of terrorism.

Boston Suspect: US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan Motivated Brothers

By Todd Beamon / Newsmax                                                                                                                                                                                    The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings told interrogators
that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq motivated him and his brother to carry 
out the attack, U.S. officials familiar with the interviews said.


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has acknowledged from his hospital bed his role in planting the explosives near the marathon finish line on April 15, the officials told The Washington Post.

The blasts — the first successful large-scale attack since 9/11 — killed three people and wounded more than 250 others.

Tsarnaev was arrested late on Friday in suburban Watertown just outside Boston.

The officials, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, said Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed by police in an overnight shootout, did not appear to have been directed by a foreign terrorist organization.

But the evidence so far suggests the brothers were “self-radicalized” through Internet sites and U.S. actions in the Muslim world, the officials told the Post.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has specifically cited the U.S. war in Iraq, which ended in December 2011 with the removal of the last American forces, and the war in Afghanistan, where President Barack Obama plans to end combat operations by the end of 2014.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has provided limited information to authorities that indicates he and his brother acted independently, without direction or significant influence from Islamist militants overseas, the Post reports.

U.S. officials said they were still working to assemble a detailed timeline of a trip the older Tsarnaev took to Russia, but see no evidence that he received instructions there that led to the attack.

“These are persons operating inside the United States without a nexus” to an overseas group, a U.S. intelligence official to the Post.

U.S. officials have said that the FBI questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the request of Russian authorities who had become concerned that he was becoming radicalized, the Post reports.

The request was conveyed to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. U.S. officials told the Post that they sought follow-up information from Russia, but that Moscow failed to respond.

Officials also expressed skepticism that Russian authorities were concerned about the elder Tsarnaev’s contacts during his trip to Russia.

“The evidence points to the fact that they let him into the country and let him out of the country,” the U.S. official told the Post. “They didn’t take any legal action, which they could have while he was there.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said on Tuesday that according to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s condition is now listed as “fair,” the Post reports.

On Monday, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

He made his first court appearance in an unusual nonpublic proceeding in which a federal judge and several lawyers went to his hospital bed in Boston, the Post reports.

Meanwhile, the Boston Public Health Commission said on Tuesday that at least 250 people have sought medical treatment at area hospitals for injuries related to the bombings.

The number has gradually increased in the past week as people sought delayed help for minor injuries that didn’t heal on their own or hearing problems, a commission spokeswoman told the Post.

Islam And Immigration

by / Personal Liberty Digest

Islam And Immigration
UPI
The Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, came to the United States from Chechnya.
Who is our enemy? President Barack Obama is convinced it is Americans that simply want to exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms. At the same time, the President refuses to condemn Muslims both foreign and domestic — religious fanatics, like the Boston bombers, who are part of a global jihad and have declared America the “Great Satan.”

For all his education, with all of the intelligence services at his fingertips and with nearly 12 years of attacks on American soil, our President remains willfully blind of what must be done to protect America when it comes to Islam and immigration.

Instead, his focus is on guns. This was on display when the President railed the Senate for rejecting his gun-control legislation.

“I see this as just round one,” said the President, surrounded by relatives of the Newtown, Conn., victims as well as former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in Tucson, Ariz.

Obama said Senators are fearful that “the gun lobby would spend a lot of money,” accusing them of opposing the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

On Friday, shortly after the capture of the surviving Boston Marathon bomber, Obama went on television to tell Americans not to be quick to judge any one group of people. Translation: Don’t blame Muslims.

The President can tell that to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The surviving suspect in the Boston bombings posted links to Islamic websites calling for Chechnya’s independence.

Tsarnaev proclaimed his “world view” as Islam. Other posts from him include: “Salamworld, my religion is Islam” and “There is no God but Allah, let that ring out in our hearts.”

His dead brother, Tamerlan, said once said, “I don’t have a single American friend. I don’t understand them.” He said that despite the fact that he trained almost daily to become a champion amateur boxer while living in Boston.

To this day, some of the best friends I have were people I met at the boxing gym. It seems impossible to me to work so hard for a boxing team with coaches and other fighters and not make friends. Then again, I boxed while in Spokane, Wash., when I was an immigrant from Canada — an immigrant who shared the same Christian and democratic values as my coaches and teammates.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Boston bombers rejected, rather than embraced, American values so much so that they sought to terrorize the Nation by killing and crippling women and children. I don’t see this type of behavior in immigrants to America or Canada who are Latino, Asian or Western European.

“Islam is not just a religion,” writes Mark Steyn in his book, America Alone: The End of the World as we know It. “Those lefties who bemoan what America is doing to provoke ‘the Muslim world’ would go bananas if any Western politician started referring to ‘the Christian world.’… So it’s not merely that there’s a global jihad lurking within this religion, but that the religion itself is a political project — in a way that modern Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are not.”

Let me share something that happened at the Calgary airport shortly before my family was boarding a flight. My daughter’s friend is a petite and shy Lebanese young lady. We have known her for more than a decade.

As we headed for the gate, I noticed four women in full Islamic dress walking toward us. As I was lagging behind, I saw our young friend approach them and be rudely rebuffed. I then saw my wife hug her, and I noticed the girl was in tears. I wanted to know why. My wife told me that the women were her aunts and that because she had adopted a Western lifestyle (in part, probably because she was with infidels such as us) she was shunned.

Why Won’t Obama Suspend Islamic Immigration?

It is clear that the President is determined to neither limit nor — Allah forbid — restrict immigration of Muslims into the United States. There is no reason why the United States cannot implement serious restrictions on any or all peoples wanting to reside in America. Switzerland has been doing it for decades.

As Obama continues to respond to the Sandy Hook tragedy with gun legislation, you can bet he will resist any calls for immigration restrictions — especially if Muslims are the target. The only good news is that Obama may have a fight on his hands with the Senate because the Boston bombers came from predominantly Muslim Chechnya, a Russian-occupied nation in the Russian Caucasus.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said at a hearing on immigration reform last Friday that it would be prudent to review the process.
Given the events of this week, it’s important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system.

How can individuals evade authority and plan such attacks on our soil?
Other leaders are grasping a fundamental truth about America’s real enemies. Last week, Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the Federal government needs to take its blinders off when it comes to immigration:
I do believe that whether it’s Chechnya or whether it’s really any countries from areas where there is fighting going on–particularly terrorist fighting–that we have to be extra careful, extra scrupulous. That would include, to me, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Somalia [and] obviously …. somebody of a Chechnyan background. All of that, to me, we can’t afford to be politically correct and say that somebody coming from a country where there’s a Muslim war going on is the same as somebody … from Switzerland, for instance. There’s a difference.
Islam’s Growing Foothold

Pew Forum reports:
In the United States… population projections show the number of Muslims more than doubling over the next two decades, rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030, in large part because of immigration and higher-than-average fertility among Muslims.
In 2011, the National Post quoted Tarek Fatah, an outspoken secular Muslim leader living in Canada: “[W]hat is different from other immigrant groups is there is a subgroup among Muslims, I call Islamists, who come [to Canada] with the intention of destroying the social fabric of the country.”

As for the majority of Islamic immigrants, most refuse to become part of America’s melting pot.

They cling to their unforgiving religion and medieval traditions. Among them are radicals who preach jihad against America. An even smaller minority will accept this call to arms, people like the alleged killer at Fort Hood, Texas, or the terrorists in Boston.

In Canada on Monday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested two apparent Islamic terrorists who were allegedly planning to derail a passenger train and kill Canadians.

I can already hear the outcry from liberals who will label me a racist. But, hey, I didn’t start this fight; the followers of Muhammad did that a decade before I was even born when the United States threw its economic and political might behind Israel.

In his best-seller The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright traced Islamic hatred of Westerners back to one man, an Egyptian dissident named Sayyid Qutb.

Qutb was an Egyptian author, educator and Islamist theorist who immigrated to the United States in 1948. (He later returned to Egypt.) He has been called “the man who inspired [Osama] bin Laden,” and it is not hard to see why he earned that reputation after you read his philosophy on infidels.
Wright wrote:
He also brought home a new and abiding anger about race. “The white man in Europe or America is our number-one enemy,” he declared. “The white man crushes us underfoot while we teach our children about his civilization…”
It may be that only two in 10,000 Muslims have bad intentions against the United States; but as the suspected Boston-bombing brothers from Chechnya proved last week, that is two too many.

Yours in good times and bad,

Mosque that Boston jihad bombers attended has ties to jihad terrorists

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


Big surprise here -- this is going to knock back a lot of Christian leaders who are engaged in wonderfully fruitful "dialogue" with these slick deceivers. Or maybe they won't be knocked back, because they're impervious to facts. "Mosque that Boston suspects attended has radical ties," by Oren Dorell for USA Today, April 23 (thanks to Charles Jacobs):
BOSTON — The mosque attended by the two brothers accused in the Boston Marathon bombing has been associated with other terrorist suspects, has invited radical speakers to a sister mosque in Boston and is affiliated with a Muslim group that critics say nurses grievances that can lead to extremism. 
Several people who attended the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Mass., have been investigated for Islamic terrorism, including a conviction of the mosque's first president, Abdulrahman Alamoudi, in connection with an assassination plot against a Saudi prince.
And its sister mosque in Boston, known as the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, has invited guests who have defended terror suspects. A former trustee appears in a series of videos in which he advocates treating gays as criminals, says husbands should sometimes beat their wives and calls on Allah (God) to kill Zionists and Jews, according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance, an interfaith group that has investigated the mosques.
The head of the group is among critics who say the mosques teach a brand of Islamic thought that encourages grievances against the West, distrust of law enforcement and opposition to Western forms of government, dress and social values.
"We don't know where these boys were radicalized," says the head of the group, Charles Jacobs. "But this mosque has a curriculum that radicalizes people. Other people have been radicalized there."
Yusufi Vali, executive director at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, insists his mosque does not spread radical ideology and cannot be blamed for the acts of a few worshipers.
"If there were really any worry about us being extreme," Vali said, U.S. law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security would not partner with the Muslim American Society and the Boston mosque in conducting monthly meetings that have been ongoing for four years, he said, in an apparent reference to U.S. government outreach programs in the Muslim community.
The Cambridge and Boston mosques, separated by the Charles River, are owned by the same entity but managed individually. The imam of the Cambridge mosque, Sheik Basyouny Nehela, is on the board of directors of the Boston mosque.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, attended the Cambridge mosque for services and are accused of setting two bombs that killed three people and injured at least 264 others at the April 15 Boston Marathon.
The FBI has not indicated that either mosque was involved in any criminal activity. But mosque attendees and officials have been implicated in terrorist activity.
• Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who signed the articles of incorporation as the Cambridge mosque's president, was sentenced to 23 years in federal court in Alexandria, Va., in 2004 for his role as a facilitator in what federal prosecutors called a Libyan assassination plot against then-Saudi crown prince Abdullah. Abdullah is now the Saudi king.
• Aafia Siddiqui, who occasionally prayed at the Cambridge mosque, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 while in possession of cyanide canisters and plans for a chemical attack in New York City. She tried to grab a rifle while in detention and shot at military officers and FBI agents, for which she was convicted in New York in 2010 and is serving an 86-year sentence.
• Tarek Mehanna, who worshiped at the Cambridge mosque, was sentenced in 2012 to 17 years in prison for conspiring to aid al-Qaeda. Mehanna had traveled to Yemen to seek terrorist training and plotted to use automatic weapons to shoot up a mall in the Boston suburbs, federal investigators in Boston alleged.
• Ahmad Abousamra, the son of a former vice president of the Muslim American Society Boston Abdul-Badi Abousamra, was identified by the FBI as Mehanna's co-conspirator. He fled to Syria and is wanted by the FBI on charges of providing support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill Americans in a foreign country.
• Jamal Badawi of Canada, a former trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston Trust, which owns both mosques, was named as a non-indicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial in Texas over the funneling of money to Hamas, which is the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
What both mosques have in common is an affiliation with the Muslim American Society, an organization founded in 1993 that describes itself as an American Islamic revival movement. It has also been described by federal prosecutors in court as the "overt arm" of the Muslim Brotherhood, which calls for Islamic law and is the parent organization of Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group.
Critics say the Muslim American Society promotes a fraught relationship with the United States, expressed in part by the pattern discussed by Americans for Progress and Tolerance in which adherents are made to feel cut off from their home country and to identify with a global Islamist political community rather than with America....
The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood group.

“Arab Spring” in Central Asia?

“Arab Spring” in Central Asia?
by Enza Ferreri / Posted in Jihad Watch

Mirroring what is happening in the world, there is an Islamic revival in the Caucasus and Central Asia, with all that it means for local Christians.

The predominantly Muslim Central Asian Republics, after the collapse of the Soviet Union of which they were part, have seen an increase in the persecution of Christians. The fall of dictatorship, in a pattern similar to that of post-war Iraq and the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, seems to have “liberated” the radical elements within the Muslim communities.

Caucasus and Central Asia
The now independent countries of Central Asia are the following five, in order of population size: Uzbekistan (just under 30 million people), Kazakhstan (16-17 million), Tajikistan (7-8 million), Kyrgyzstan (5-6 million), which is particularly topical now because it is where the family of the Boston bombings suspects lived for a time, and Turkmenistan (just over 5 million), for a total population of 64.7 million in 2012, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. Another Muslim-majority country that was part of the Soviet Union is the Republic of Azerbaijan, the largest in the Caucasus, at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, with a population of over 9 million, 95 percent of whom are Muslim.

What is paradoxical is that, while during the Soviet era the ruling Communist Party, through the education system and official propaganda, imposed so-called "scientific atheism" (a name reminiscent of so many Western atheists who, à la Richard Dawkins, fallaciously declare the denial of God to derive from science), for Christians in Central Asia and the Caucasus the end of the Communist regime, which was supposed to bring freedom of religion among other freedoms, brought instead another form of religious oppression.

It may have freed Christianity but, by freeing Islam as well, it unleashed hostility against Christianity, from governments as well. Churches are raided, closed and torched, crosses are burnt, fathers are arrested and fined for holding a prayer meeting and religious leaders for not registering the church (while at the same time the strict legislation makes it impossible for churches to register), believers are beaten up during raids on their homes, Christian literature is destroyed, and families are restricted to owning only one Bible. There is growing intolerance, and the media target organizations and beliefs.

The organization Russian Ministries' Facebook page says: "However due to the strictness of the laws in these countries, it is practically impossible for churches to register and practically all religious materials are illegal, meaning that it is becoming more or less de facto illegal to practice Christianity".

It does not end there. In Azerbaijan "The government is also intent on vilifying Christians to the public. Government-controlled mass media accuses believers of occult practices, hypnosis, and extremism, while newspaper articles encourage discrimination and physical abuse of Christians and other minorities".

In the article Central Asia: Growing Religion Oppression, Anneta Vyssotskaia, of the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, writes:
During 2007 there were numerous reports of restriction and persecution of Christians in Central Asia. However, these may be only the tip of the iceberg of the real situation regarding persecution of the Christians living and worshipping God in the predominantly Islamic environment. Most of what would be considered persecution in Western countries is just part of daily life for every Christian there; persecution comes from family, neighbours, Muslim religious leaders and the government. Most of these cases may never become generally known. Religious legislation in these countries is undergoing changes that restrict worship and evangelism even more. Despite this, the number of Christians is constantly growing.
In Uzbekistan a small Baptist church which has endured more than a decade of official harassment was again raided during Sunday morning worship on 24 March. "The secret police officer who led the raid told the Baptists that 'all believers are backward-looking fanatics who drag society down'".

This pronouncement again rings a bell to Western ears. Take away the raid and you can hear our own "progressives" and "enlightened" gay-marriage supporters saying very much the same.

In its survey analysis of freedom of religion or belief in Kazakhstan, Forum 18 News Service found serious, continuing violations of human rights, including:
attacks on religious freedom by officials ranging from President Nursultan Nazarbaev down to local officials; literature censorship; state-sponsored encouragement of religious intolerance; legal restrictions on freedom of religion or belief; raids, interrogations, threats and fines affecting both registered and unregistered religious communities and individuals; unfair trials; the jailing of a few particularly disfavoured religious believers; restrictions on the social and charitable work of religious communities; close police and KNB secret police surveillance of religious communities; and attempts to deprive religious communities of their property. These violations interlock with violations of other fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression and of association.
And it is getting worse. In Kazakhstan, a proposed new Criminal Code expected to be approved by the government in May and presented to parliament in July, if adopted in its current form, would allow those who lead unregistered religious communities to be imprisoned for up to three months, and those who share their faith for up to four months.

Perhaps for the first time since Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991, a court ordered religious literature to be destroyed, in the form of 121 Christian books confiscated from a believer who was handing them out on the city streets when police arrested him. He was given a fine corresponding to a month’s wages.

In recent weeks and months there have been many incidents in which Central Asian churches have been raided, often without warrant, and, if Christian literature or an on-going service were found, church members were given a heavy fine (in some cases as much as 100 times the monthly minimum wage) for possession of illegal material or unregistered religious activity.

To counter this worsening situation, on February 6 in Washington, DC Russian Ministries organized a briefing to raise awareness of the worrying trend among U.S. leaders, which was attended by 90 people, including people from the State Department.

The goal was to mobilize and get support from the global community to develop policies and put pressure on the governments of the Muslim former Soviet republics so that they give more freedom to the churches and leaders there.

Among the causes of suppression of religious freedom there appear to be both blasphemy laws and laws intended to combat religious extremism and terrorism, which seem to mistakenly conflate militant Islam and Christianity, as is the case of the new law introduced in Kazakhstan in late 2011.
In that country, with the declared intention to stamp out Islamic extremism and “to counter manifestations of religious extremism and terrorism”, Christians and other innocent faith minorities have increasingly become victims of the reform, aggressively implemented: after a year, among other abuses, 579 religious communities had been stripped of their registration rights.

Therefore Christians suffer from the presence of Islam in two ways: directly, through the various torching of churches, burning of crosses, attacks on apostates and the usual niceties, and indirectly, for becoming scapegoats of Islamic radicalism.

Anneta Vyssotskaia explains:
As religious liberty for churches in Central Asia deteriorates, some common trends are evident. Governments are increasingly negative about Christian outreach, especially amongst the Muslim population, and want to control it more or stop it completely.  
They fear tensions may escalate where the number of Christian converts in the local population is growing. In other instances governments legislate to control minority religious bodies due to concerns about the activities of Islamic groups. However as Christians are a religious minority throughout Central Asia they are restricted by such laws along with these Islamic and other minority religious groups. In addition local Muslim communities regard Muslim converts to Christianity as 'traitors' and enemies and persecute them in various ways.
Sergey Rakhuba, President of Russian Ministries, an expert on mission issues related to Russia and the former Soviet Union, says in the above video: "In the 'stan' countries you cannot bring Bibles, you cannot bring literature, you cannot evangelize or share your faith outside of your home; but, in the case of Uzbekistan, you cannot even share your faith with your children, you cannot pray, and a meeting of more than 3 people is considered a violation of this law, and that's why people suffer and get imprisoned".

Mission Network News reports:
It's like going back to the days of the cold war, he [Sergey Rakhuba] says. "Evangelical churches are not allowed to do anything outside of their homes, even inside their homes. If they gather together for prayer meetings they are punished and are penalized. Many pastors have already been thrown into prison there." 
While it's reminiscent of the days of communism, Rakhuba says, "This is a new wave of persecution that's based on radical Islamism, on nationalism, and even mainline churches like the Orthodox church...is the reason for persecution of local believers in Russia and Ukraine or other Slavic countries."
The information presented will help create a policy guide for Christians in the region to help fight laws that are meant to fight terrorism. "Based on those laws, evangelical Christians--for their most humble actions--are punished just for having prayer in their own home. So, we'd like to create some policies and to encourage governments to change it."

In parallel with what happens in the Arab countries, we see in Central Asia the Christian communities targeted on two fronts: attacked by Muslim mobs, neighbours and leaders on one hand, and attacked or not protected by governments, police/army and local officials on the other.

While the motivations of the former are the same (Muslims being Muslim), the reasons behind the latter may have less to do with Islam than in the Arab world. Kazakhstan’s 1995 constitution, for example, stipulates that it is a secular state, and the governments of the Central Asian republics are wary of theocracy and Islam in the political sphere, although Islamization in the region is increasing.

Op-ed:
Disgraceful words extolling those out to kill us
By: Diane Sori

As per the FBI..."Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."

How right they are...just too bad due to political correctness and other such nonsense that the FBI has fallen into a pattern of making mistakes, a few of which have allowed Americans to be killed, and all this has happened because Barack HUSSEIN Obama will NOT admit that we are indeed fighting a 'War on Terror' and the enemy is muslim terrorists...YES Obama...muslims...you know, your brethren.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush made some major policy decisions concerning FBI protocol,...some we liked, some we didn't...but all kept us safe at home (as in NO terrorist attacks on American soil)...that is until April 15, 2013, when two muslim brothers...two muslim terrorists...set off bombs that killed four and injured over 170 others...and brought a major US city to a standstill for almost a week.

And even after this happened Barack HUSSEIN Obama still refused to admit or say the words that we are engaged in a 'War on Terror' and that muslim terrorists...muslim jihadists...are out to kill us.

So while Obama turns a deliberate blind eye to the war we're engaged in...the 'War on Terror'...it must be stated and understood that said war cannot be won in the time honored way of winning on the battlefield, at least NOT as long as we have a president who fights politically correct wars instead of fighting to win. And fighting to win means collateral damage...lots of collateral damage...for that is the only incentive that will get an enemy to lay down their weapons.

So how do we win this war when our president ties the hands of our troops from doing what they were trained to do....how do we win this war when our president won't even admit there's a war...sadly, we won't on this man's watch unless Barack HUSSEIN Obama willingly and strongly discredits the entire islamic terrorist ideology, and that means discrediting his muslim brethren NOT making excuses for them, catering to them, or apologizing to them.

And while in today's world terrorism is the muslim's way of raging war, especially the very nasty tactic of using suicide bombings as a weapon of first choice, the bottom line is that the muslim terrorist threat will never be completely eliminated as long as islam itself is NOT radically reformed, radically changed from within, and that means removing completely the basic tenet of islam...killing those who differ with their ideology...killing those they call infidels.

And Barack HUSSEIN Obama knows very well that in the qur'an there are 164 verses commanding, yes commanding, followers of islam to kill the infidels...and guess what...we are those infidels.

What's even sadder is that the Obama controlled liberal media is actually encouraging that war to be brought to our shores by whitewashing the enemy...turning them into the victims instead of showing them for the barbaric bast*rds that they are. The liberal media allows this president to repeat time and again lines such as this without calling him to task, "This great religion has been distorted at the hands of a few extremists."

'This great religion'...those words make me sick.

By the way, Barack HUSSEIN Obama spewed out this very line after the Boston bombings...and this is the very same line he used in November 2010 when addressing St. Xavier College students in Mumbai, Inda.

He couldn't even think of something original to say when his brethren brought the war to our shore.

In fact, in a press conference after the bombings Obama said, “The phrase jihad has lot of meanings within islam, and is subject to a lot of different interpretations. But I will say that first, islam is one of the world’s great religions.” “And, uh, more than a billion people who practice islam, the overwhelming majority, uh, view their obligations to their religion as ones that reaffirm peace and justice, and fairness and tolerance. I think all of us recognize that this great religion in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted to justify violence against innocent people that is never justified.”

He said this after the bombing...uhs and all...and he said those exact words...uhs and all, in the exact same places, in 2010 in Mumbai, India.

And the liberal media won't tell you but I will that our president, Barack HUSSEIN Obama, rehashed a prepared speech from 2010, given in a foreign country, and didn't even have the decency to come up with an original thought when our nation was hurting...when our nation was grieving...when our nation needed comforting. NO, this miserable excuse of a president had NOT a modicum of sympathy for those lost or injured as he reused words spoken on one of his photo-op trips extolling the virtues of the very religion whose follower's goal is to kill us all...the very religion who just brought the war to the streets of Boston.

My contempt for this man cannot even be put into words.