Friday, September 6, 2013

Iran aggressively recruiting Latin American converts to Islam to enter U.S. from Mexico

From Jihad watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Why border control is a national security issue. "Iran Aggressively Recruiting ‘Invisible Army’ of Latin American Converts to Infiltrate U.S. Through ‘Soft Belly’ of the Southern Border," by Sara Carter in The Blaze, September 3:
Iran is recruiting an “invisible army” of revolutionary sympathizers in Latin America to infiltrate the U.S. through the “soft belly” of the southern border, U.S. officials and national security experts told TheBlaze. And they’re using one website in particular to do it. 
The Iranian regime’s conversion efforts are becoming increasingly aggressive, especially over the Internet, with the goal of conducting operations against United States interests in the Western Hemisphere, according to U.S. government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the nature of their work in the region.
Islamoriente.com, which focuses on religion and politics, is one of Iran’s main recruitment and conversion websites for Latin America on the Internet, TheBlaze has learned. The site, which launched in 2008, includes links to Iranian television for Spanish speakers, anti-American news stories, essays on reasons to convert to Islam, chat rooms and a personal message from the Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran....
Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and expert in Iranian affairs, said Iran’s focus on Hispanic converts is a new evolution in Iranian operations in Latin America. Phillips said Khamanei’s message titled “The Importance of Work and the Nobility of the Worker” in Islam, is significant because the Ayatollah is “normally a background player in these sorts of efforts and doesn’t usually play such a public role.”
“Historically, Iran has tried to recruit agents from the Lebanese Shi’ite diaspora in South America and West Africa,” Phillips said.  ”This emphasis on Hispanic converts is something new.”...
In 2009, six U.S. officials confirmed in an earlier investigation conducted by this reporter that the designated terrorist group Hezbollah, which is supported by the Iranian government, had been using the same narcotics routes used by drug cartels into the U.S.
That has not changed but now “Iran’s goal is to recruit people that can be utilized against U.S. interests” and blend in without raising suspicion, the U.S. official said.
Hezbollah is based in Lebanon and was founded after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It has grown into a major political, military and social welfare organization, which is controlled and financed by Iran and in 2006, it fought a 34-day war against Israel.
Hezbollah members and supporters have entered the U.S. through the southern border as early as 2002, with the case of Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, a Mexican of Lebanese descent. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison by Mexican authorities on charges of organized crime and immigrant smuggling. Mucharrafille had owned a cafe in the border city of Tijuana, near San Diego. In 2002, he was arrested for smuggling 200 people into the the U.S., including Hezbollah supporters, according to a 2009 Congressional report.
In 2005, Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, the brother of a Hezbollah chief, pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah after being smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border and settling in Dearborn, Mich.
“Now what they desire is a proxy terrorist group that can easily slip past U.S. border security,” the U.S. official added. “Who’s going to suspect an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter, of being a jihadist?”
Night Watch

Russia-Syria: The Russian military news agency, Interfax-AVN, reported two more Russian ships are heading to the Mediterranean Sea. The destroyer Nastoychivyy of the Baltic Fleet and the patrol combatant Smetlivy of the Black Sea Fleet will join the Russian Navy's task force in Mediterranean in the next few days, Interfax-AVN was told at the Main Staff of the Navy on Wednesday, 4 September.

"The patrol combatant Smetlivy will enter the Mediterranean for combat duty in the next few days in accordance with operational command plans. The flagship of the Baltic Fleet, the destroyer Nastoychivyy, is expected to join the group of our ships," a spokesman said.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said the patrol combatant Neustrashimyy and the large landing ships Aleksandr Shabalin, Admiral Nevelskoy and Peresvet are carrying out missions in the Mediterranean in accordance with operational command plans.

The large landing ships of the Black Sea and Baltic fleets, the Novocherkassk and the Minsk, will join them on 5-6 September. The medium reconnaissance ship SSV-21 Priazovye, which put out from Sevastopol on 1 September, is acting in accordance with special plans of the General Staff.

Comment: The Russian navy task force in the Mediterranean Sea is supposed to comprise 16 ships of various types. Eight of them are listed above. They have the capability to harass any US naval formation of destroyers.

Comments from Navy and Marine Corps veterans question the wisdom of using fleet defense assets - destroyers - in an offensive strike role. The key question is who or what protects the destroyers after they shoot, with Russian destroyers and patrol combatants around. Submarines presumably, but they are not effective in preventing harassment and disruption of surface formations.

Russia-US/ France: President Vladimir Putin warned the West against taking one-sided action in Syria, but also said Russia 'doesn't exclude' supporting a UN resolution on punitive military strikes if it is proven that Damascus used poison gas on its own people.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television, Putin said Russia is developing a plan of action in case the United States does attack Syria without United Nations approval, but he declined to go into specifics.

He said he 'doesn't exclude' the possibility of backing force against Syria, but at this stage he does not even accept that an alleged chemical weapons attack took place."
 
Syria and Gas: Previously, the US, France and the UK published declassified documents about the 21 August gas attack and Syrian government forces use of gas in the past. Today, Russia published a summary of its findings about a prior attack that was alleged loudly and wrongly to be a Syrian government chemical attack.

This Russian study concerns a gas attack in Aleppo, also attributed to the Syrian government. The Russian document has received no coverage in Western media.

NightWatch reproduces the Russian report below.

"Text of "Commentary by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with the situation concerning the investigations into the use of chemical weapons in Syria" by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on 4 September"

"We note a massive injection into the information space of material of different kind with a view to make official Damascus responsible for a possible use of chemical weapons in Syria even before the publication of the results of the UN investigation. "Groundwork" is thus being prepared for the use of force against it. In view of this, we deem it permissible to share the main findings of the Russian analysis of the samples collected at the site of the incident involving the use of toxic warfare substances in Aleppo's Khan al-Assal suburb."

"We recall that that the tragedy, which killed 26 civilians and Syrian army servicemen and left 86 people with injuries of varying severity, took place on 19 March of this year. The results of the analysis of samples carried out by a Russian laboratory certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at the request of the Syrian authorities were on 9 July handed over to the UN secretary-general due to the Syrian authorities' request for him to conduct an independent investigation into that incident. The Russian specialists' main findings are as follows:

- the used piece of ammunition was not a standard issue piece of Syrian army ammunition but a crudely produced one whose type and parameters were similar to those of the unguided rockets produced in Syria's north by the so-called Bashair al-Nasr brigade;

- hexogen, which is not used in standard chemical munitions, was used as the charge to detonate the round;

- non-industrially synthesized nerve agent Sarin and diisopropylfluorophosphate, which Western countries used for chemical weapons purposes in World War II years, were found in round and soil samples."

"We stress that the Russian report is extremely specific. It represents a 100-page scientific-technical document with numerous tables and diagrams reflecting a spectral analysis of samples. We hope that it will be of significant help in the UN's investigation into this incident. Unfortunately, effectively it has not started yet."

"The attention of those who wittingly, and always, seek to place all responsibility for the developments on the Syrian Arab Republic's official authorities has fully shifted to the events in eastern Al-Ghutah. However, in this respect too there is "selectiveness coupled with a shortcoming". 

Specifically, attempts to forget the data about the exposure of Syrian army servicemen to toxic agents during the discovery on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of materials, equipment and containers with traces of Sarin on 22, 24 and 25 August supplied by official Damascus to the UN are evident. As is known, the condition of the injured servicemen was examined by members of the group of UN experts headed by A. Sellstrom. It is clear that any objective investigation into the 21 August incident in eastern Ghutah is impossible unless these circumstances are taken into account."

"In view of the above, we welcome the statement by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the A. Sellstrom group intends to go back to Syria in the near future to continue its work, including in the Khan al-Assal area."


Blunder after blunder. That's been the story of President Barack Obama's policy toward Syria. 

In April 2011, Obama said dictator Bashir al-Assad "had to go." But he did little or nothing to speed him on his way.

At an Aug. 20, 2012, press conference, in campaign season, he was asked about Syria's chemical weapons and said "a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus."

On Aug. 21, 2013, a year and a day afterwards, chemical weapons were used in large quantities in the Damascus suburbs a 20-minute drive from United Nations inspectors.

Last week, all signs -- strong statements by Secretary of State John Kerry, leaks of detailed military plans -- indicated that Obama would soon order what he described as "a shot across the bow."

But on Saturday, Aug. 31, he announced that he would ask Congress to pass a resolution authorizing the use of military force -- even though he believed he had authority to do it unilaterally. That means delay until Congress assembles Sept. 9 -- time for Assad to put his military assets out of harm's way.

There are strong arguments for voting against a resolution, the exact wording of which is not established at this writing.

Obama's "limited, tailored" approach seems certain not to destroy Assad's chemical weapons and may well not deter him from using them. And we have the president's word that he is not seeking "regime change."

In the unlikely event that air strikes do undermine the Assad regime, we have no assurance that an alternative would be preferable. Al-Qaida sympathizers may gain the upper hand.

At the same time, there are strong arguments against a vote countering a resolution. Undermining the power of even a feckless American president risks undermining the power of the presidency -- and of America -- for years.

Crossing a president's "red line," however improvidently drawn, should carry consequences, however limited.

Many in Congress, and not just Republicans, surely resent being called upon to authorize an action that public opinion polls indicate is widely unpopular, particularly among the Independent voters who can determine election outcomes in many states and congressional districts.

If a vote were taken this week, the resolution would be rejected -- just as a similar resolution was, unexpectedly, rejected in the British House of Commons Aug. 29.

Some Democrats want the resolution to strictly limit the president, while Republicans like Sen. John McCain want a broader permit that would allow for regime change.

Presidents usually prevail on issues like this, where they can argue that national security is at stake, and the administration can probably round up enough votes in the democratic-majority Senate.

That will be much harder in the Republican-majority House. Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have both endorsed a resolution.

But Boehner and Democrat Chris Van Hollen have both called this a conscience vote and said their parties will not whip the issue. The White House will have to do the hard work of rounding up the votes.

At midweek The Washington Post listed only 17 House members favoring military action and 130 opposed or leaning against.

Most House Democrats voted against the Iraq War resolution in October 2002, when most voters favored it. Their party has dovish instincts going back to the Vietnam War and has been largely ignored by the administration since it lost its House majority in 2010.

House Republicans, the object of Obama's continued denunciations and disdain, are not inclined to trust him at all. Many surely believe they're being set up as fall guys for a president whose chief political goal is regaining the House majority for Democrats in 2014.

That suspicion was surely enhanced in Sweden on Wednesday when Obama said, "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line."

But the world is not clamoring to enforce it. The only nation contemplating joining the United States in military action is France. That's 38 fewer allies than joined the United States after the supposed unilateralist George W. Bush, with congressional authorization, ordered troops into Iraq.

Former Bush administration official Elliott Abrams has argued that Obama's foreign policy is designed to restrain and reduce America's power in the world. The twists and turns of his policy toward Syria certainly seem to be having that effect.

Obama Voters Suffer Most Under Obama Economy

by / Personal Liberty Digest

Obama Voters Suffer Most Under Obama Economy
PHOTOS.COM
The cynic might say that President Barack Obama is pushing to make war on Syria to distract Americans from the myriad scandals swirling around his Administration and/or his failed efforts at economic recovery.

But while there are deeper issues behind the push to war (which we have been and will continue to explore elsewhere), war talk has served to push big issues to the back pages.

For instance, recovery summer never materialized — not in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 — despite predictions by Obama and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. And guess who’s hurt the most by Obama’s policies. It’s Obama’s core demographic.

Obama received 51 percent of the vote in 2012. The five demographic groups he carried and the percentage that voted for him were youths (60 percent), single women (67 percent), blacks (93 percent), Hispanics (71 percent), and those without a high school diploma (64 percent).

According to a report by Sentier Research, since recovery summer was announced in 2009, households headed by single women have seen their incomes fall by 7 percent, and those under age 25 have seen their incomes drop 9.6 percent.

The incomes for black heads-of-household have dropped by 10.9 percent, and Hispanic heads-of-household have seen theirs drop 4.5 percent. For those with a high school diploma or less, incomes dropped 8 percent. (Incomes fell 6.9 percent for those with less than a high school diploma and 9.3 percent for those with one.)

In dollar terms, female heads of household saw their annual salaries drop by $2,300. Black-led households saw their annual salaries drop by more than $4,000, and Hispanic-led households saw their annual salaries drop $2,000.

Gallup released its monthly Payroll-to-Population survey yesterday. It showed that only 43.7 percent of the eligible population is employed, and it pegged unemployment at 8.7 percent. In 2012, those numbers were 45.3 percent and 8.1 percent.

So much for hope and change.

Let allah sort it out

Look at all these ships for this muslim country...I like what Sarah said...'Let allah sort it out'.

SYRIAN STANDOFF! This is what the current situation looks like in the Mediterranean. However, this graphic does NOT show the Chinese ships that are now positioning themselves in the area. Tim added the arrow and the "We shouldn't be here" text.


Click on map to see an enlarged version.
 
(Map made by Tim Salety Sr.)


Op-ed:
Putin vs. Obama...and the battle continues on
By: Diane Sori

Isn’t it a sad commentary on today’s America when an enemy (of sorts) makes way more sense and draws logical conclusions to the serious problem that is Syria when our own president does NOT.

A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US Congress had NO right to unilaterally approve the use of force against Syria without a decision first coming down from the UN Security Council, and that doing so would be what he called an “act of aggression”.

Putin claimed, and rightly so, that Obama doing anything militarily without UN Security Council approval is indeed aggression against a sovereign nation...a nation America is NOT at war with...and that what the US Senate and House is doing is in essence ‘legitimizing that aggression’...and that Putin said is inadmissible in principle to international law.

And how right Putin is for ‘legitimizing aggression’ is Barack HUSSEIN Obama's way to take his temper tantrum to the next level all because his side…the al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood backed rebels…is losing to al-Assad’s forces.

And with Obama time and again publicly bloviating his support for the rebels, he cannot now renege on that support and still appear as somewhat of a leader, even knowing that the new information and evidence coming to light from reliable Middle Eastern sources casts serious doubts on his oh so wanted ‘truth’ that it was al-Assad who was the one responsible for the sarin gas attacks on civilians, for it now appears (but NOT being reported by the media) that in actually it was his outwardly supported rebel forces launching said gas attacks.

In fact, in a report from the Russian Arabic-language channel RT Arabic, pictures were shown of captured rebel arsenals with what’s believed to be chemical agents and gas masks manufactured in Saudi Arabia that support the Russian claims that the rebels are the ones gassing the people NOT al-Assad.

And in a video released yesterday by The New York Times that showed rebel forces shooting execution-style seven Syrian government soldiers, this gives credence to just how bad the rebel forces are, and the Russians have made a very good case for who is really the ‘badder’ of the ‘bad guys’ in Syria.

So if the Russians are proven right…which I believe they will be…in fact I have said it was the rebels doing the gassing and the atrocities since day one…Obama’s ego and narcissism will NEVER allow him to admit he was wrong, for he will NEVER turn on his blood brethren NO matter what they are proven to have done.

And now Obama is on Putin’s home turf with other world leaders who are meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia for the G20 Summit, which while being an economic summit will still at some point have the leaders discussing the situation in Syria.

And with Obama having garnered little international support for military action so far (of the G20 members only France is on board with China and Germany strongly voicing their opposition to any involvement in Syria), you just know Obama will try to feign manliness and face off with Putin…which by the way will be hard to do without his teleprompter…over Putin’s recent remarks doubting the evidence Obama is using to justify his sure to come (with or without Congressional approval) military strike against Syria.

Also, you just know Obama is seething under the collar that Putin has publicly called out his Secretary of State John ‘Swiftboat’ Kerry for what he is…a LIAR of the first degree…a LIAR who deliberately mislead Congress about the role and ties al-Qaeda has to the Syrian rebels…and did so simply to corral support for Obama’s war.

“Al-Qaeda units are the main military echelon, and they (the US) know this…he (Kerry) is lying and knows he is lying. It’s sad,” Putin said. And Putin knows this to be fact for he watched the Congressional debates and heard when a member of Congress asked Kerry: ‘Is al-Qaeda there?’ and Kerry, with a straight face but avoiding eye contact said, “I am telling you responsibly that it is not.

And when pressed further and asked whether it was “basically true” that the Syrian opposition had “become more infiltrated by al Qaeda over time, Kerry LIED and said: “No, that is actually basically not true. It’s basically incorrect”.

The very man who LIED about the extent of his military service in Viet Nam is now LYING to Congress so that Obama can take America to war…and shooting even one Tomahawk missile into Syria is indeed an act of war in case Kerry did NOT know it..

And as a counter to Kerry’s LIES and Obama’s bloviations, Putin pledged to give al-Assad a ‘missile shield’ if Obama attacks them…a missile shield Russia cancelled a few years ago under strong US and Israeli pressure. In fact, Putin has already given some components of the S-300 air defense missile system to al-Assad, but with a warning that, “If we see that steps are taken that violate the existing international norms, we shall think how we should act in the future, in particular regarding supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world.”

Smart man saying all the right things at the right time, but I’m smart enough to know that we cannot trust Putin completely, but even trusting him half way is better than trusting Barack HUSSEIN Obama at all.