About 180 Americans have traveled to Syria to join Islamist militants and around 40 of them have returned to the United States, the U.S. National Intelligence director, James Clapper, said on Monday.
Clapper said not all those who went to Syria, where Islamic State militants and other factions are fighting each other and the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, had engaged in the Islamist campaign. Some might have been aid workers, he said.
The United States and its allies believe that more than 20,000 foreign fighters from more than 90 countries have gone to Syria. Islamic State forces have taken over large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq.
U.S. officials have expressed concern that some Americans, radicalized and trained to stage attacks in Syria, may wreak havoc when they come home. Clapper said he was not aware of any plots in which returning fighters had been involved.
He told a forum at the Council of Foreign Relations that as long as such travelers did not become engaged in violence, it was their "privilege as American citizens" to return to the United States.
Clapper said donations to extremist groups like Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliates by governments and private parties in Muslim countries had recently declined, and said that was partly because of stepped up oversight by governments in the region.
He reiterated that the priority of the United States and its allies in Syria now was the fight against Islamic State. But he said the United States still believed it was essential that Assad leave office because the "magnet for all of this extremism ... is because of him."
He acknowledged that U.S. efforts to recruit, vet and train "moderate" Syrian rebels would be a prolonged effort.
"The issue is the time it is going to take ... to get the ... firepower that will have an impact," he said.
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Tuesday, March 3, 2015
From Yahoo! News:
Boston Bomber's Widow Investigated 'For Helping Buy The Pressure Cookers Her Husband Used In Attack On Marathon'
From the Daily Mail:
Katherine Russell, 25, the widow of bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is suspected of accompanying her late husband to a Macy's store in Boston two months before the April 2013 attack, where Tsarnaev purchased five pressure cookers, according to ABC News, citing law enforcement sources.
Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar, then planted two of the pressure cookers at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 260, police say.
The FBI and the US Attorneys office have not commented on an investigation involving Russell, who now lives in New Jersey with her and Tsarnaev's three-year-old daughter, Zahara ...
From Daily Mail:
Read more here.
Housing the Islamic State executioner and his relatives in affluent parts of London has cost taxpayers up to £400,000.
One landlord said Mohammed Emwazi’s family were ‘parasites’ and ‘tenants from hell’. Incredibly, they are still believed to be pocketing £40,000 a year in handouts despite there being no sign of them in Britain.
Emwazi’s father Jasem, who has six children, is back in his native Kuwait – the country he claimed he fled fearing for his life.
Westminster City Council is still paying the rent on the family’s £600,000 flat even though the rules say housing benefit should normally be stopped after 13 weeks.
MPs said they were horrified that the child of a family given refugee status, citizenship and benefits had returned the favour by orchestrating the murder of two of its citizens.
‘They are abusing our hospitality,’ said Philip Hollobone. ‘The rules are quite clear. If there has been any abuse of the system here, money should be paid back.
'Mohammed Emwazi’s offences are worse than murder or terrorism. They are an assault on the British way of life.’
David Davies, a fellow Tory MP, said: ‘This is an absolute outrage and a disgrace. We should stop their housing benefit immediately. Mr Emwazi clearly doesn’t need asylum in this country.’
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Monday, March 2, 2015
From Jihad Watch:
And then he blamed the supine dhimmi British authorities for so mistreating jihad murderer Mohammed Emwazi that they turned him from a “beautiful young man” into a jihadist. It is, of course, always the Infidel’s fault. But the fact that anyone considers Asim Qureshi a “human rights campaigner” is a sign of the desperate straits Supine Britannia is in.
“Jihadi John: Activist who praised Mohammed Emwazi as ‘beautiful’ caught on video backing jihad,” by Robert Mendick, the Telegraph, February 27, 2015:
The human rights campaigner who described Mohammed Emwazi as ‘a beautiful young man’ previously supported waging jihad against British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Asim Qureshi, research director at Cage, called on Muslims to back jihadists at an anti-US rally held in London in 2006.
In an emotive speech caught on video, Mr Qureshi told a crowd gathered at rally organised by Hizb-ut Tahrir, an Islamist group: “When we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, then we know where the example lies. When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know where the solution is and where the victory lies.
“We know that it is incumbent upon all of us, to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West.”
Mr Qureshi was in contact with Emwazi, the true identity of ‘Jihadi John’, for at least two years. Emwazi, 26, had contacted Cage for help after he was detained by MI5 over a trip to Tanzania amid allegations he was trying to join the terrorist group al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Qureshi provoked outrage in describing Emwazi as “the most humble young person that I ever knew”, calling him “extremely kind” and “extremely gentle” and blaming his radicalisation on the British authorities.
Yesterday, a spokesman for David Cameron condemned the comments as “reprehensible” while Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “It was incredible that people could stand up and pretend that somehow it was the fault of the security forces for trying to apprehend and impede these guys and that that could somehow cause them to be radicalised.
“I think that is beyond satire and amounts to nothing less than an apology for terror. I hope they will be rethinking their position.”
• Jihadi John’s mother screamed at beheading video: ‘That’s my son’
• Jihadi John: Emwazi’s brother voiced support for radical cleric
Cage insists it is a legitimate human rights group, serving the interests of Muslim victims of injustice, torture and illegal detention. But it has also been accused of supporting convicted terrorists and promoting the preachings of Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical al-Qaeda cleric, who was killed in a US drone attack in 2011.
Cage was founded by Moazzem Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, who was charged with committing a Syria-related terrorism offence last year although the case collapsed when it emerged that MI5 had been in contact with him and was aware of the trip he was making.
Mohammed Emwazi is ‘extremely gentle’, says British advocacy group Cage director
Cage, which has its headquarters in east London, had also been working with Michael Adebolajo, the killer of Fusilier Lee Rigby outside his army barracks in Woolwich, prior to the murder and at a time when Adebolajo was complaining of being harassed by MI5.
Its bank accounts were frozen last summer and, according to the Cage website, its “funders and board” are under investigation.
On Friday, critics called on Cage’s backers to withdraw their support. The organisation has had funding from The Roddick Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and says on its website it works with a number of law firms and charities including the International Committee for the Red Cross The American Civil Liberties Union.
Robin Simcox, research director at Henry Jackson Society, a think tank which has previously investigated Cage, said: “Asim Qureshi has openly called for jihad in the past and makes no apology for it. It’s astonishing that anyone could view Cage as some kind of human rights group. They are not. They stand up for convicted terrorists and have long been associated with Anwar al-Awlaki. Recent events are finally allowing Cage to be exposed for what they truly are.”
He added: “Any reputable organisation that works with or supports Cage should seriously consider the kind of views they are giving legitimacy to”.
The Red Cross said it did not work with Cage as such but did have meetings with them from time to time. The charity said the comments by Mr Qureshi, who lives in a £500,000 house in Surrey, did not alter that position.
As Jihad Watch notes: "Watch the video. He keeps saying that it is not he who is saying these things, but that they’re Islamic teachings. Will some Muslim spokesmen in the West who claims to abhor what Mullah Krekar is saying kindly explain how he is wrong on Islamic grounds? Of course not. And no one in the mainstream media will ask any of them to do so."
Posted by Women Against Shariah
From Fox News:
Intelligence authorities in the U.S. and Great Britain have known the knife-wielding jihadist was 26-year-old Mohammed Emwazi for months. But the public identification of him, first in a Washington Post article, and followed by disclosure of a torrent of personal information about his life and associates prior to going to Syria in 2013, will turn up the heat and likely ensure he never leaves ISIS' so-called caliphate alive.
"British intelligence had a handle on Emwazi's identity for some time prior to the public release of the identity," said Mike Baker, a Fox News contributor and former CIA covert operations officer. "They've been working the target for awhile, mapping out his associates in the UK, understanding his motivations and path to radicalization and working with U.S. intelligence."
K and U.S. authorities have been tracking Emwazi's digital footprint for at least five months before his identity was publicly known, likely monitoring every social media account and tapping into phone communications between the young terrorist and his associates, according to Baker.
Emwazi's role as the face of ISIS' gruesome videos, in which only his eyes showing through the slit of his black mask and his British accent offered clues to his identity, make him a high-value target. Even though he is likely not key to ISIS operations, he is a powerful symbol of the terrorist group.
Now that his name is known and his photo has appeared online and in print around the world, the noose could tighten quickly on Enwazi, who was born in Kuwait and raised in London. He will not be able to travel back to Great Britain, as Western intelligence officials fear so many foreign fighters could. Any communications with family or friends are sure to be monitored, and the pressure for someone -- even within the terrorist group -- to turn him in has been ratcheted up, say experts.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to use all resources necessary to hunt down Emwazi. On Sept. 19, the U.S. Senate approved - without knowing his full name - a $10 million bounty for information leading to his whereabouts. That bounty is a powerful incentivefor information, former FBI agent Michael Harkins said.
"There’s certainly now an incentive for someone to help the US government," said Harkins, who worked for 22 years with the FBI and who was deployed on numerous overseas operations.
"He is a big target," he said. "By getting someone like Emwazi, it sends a great message that no matter who you are, we’re going to find you and hold you accountable for killing U.S. citizens."
While Harkins and Baker could not detail specific tactics used by authorities to track Emwazi, money for information has proven successful in tracking high value targets in the past, including those of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
"There have been some major apprehensions as a result of a source coming forward seeking an incentive," said Harkins.
Emwazi's alleged ties to terror groups were well known to the British government. He was a member of a terror cell linked to failed attacks on London's Underground subway system in 2005, according to court documents.
In the documents, first published by two British newspapers, The Observer and The Sunday Telegraph, Emwazi is described as a "person of interest" to MI5, Britain's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency.
Authorities said he was a member of a cell formed in 2007 to recruit fighters for al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based terror organization linked to Al Qaeda. The network was believed to have at least a dozen members.
The BBC reported that Emwazi attended Quintin Kynaston Academy in northwest London and in 2009 graduated from University of Westminster with a degree in computers. Emwazi's father said his son was a devout Muslim and last spoke with his family in 2013, when he said he was going to Turkey to join a charity in Syria. Although Emwazi was born in Kuwait in August 1988, his family are so-called "stateless" southern Iraqi immigrants, many of whom were deported after Kuwait was liberated from Saddam Hussein in 1991.
Emwazi first appeared in an ISIS State video last August, when he beheaded American freelance journalist James Foley. He later appeared in videos showing the beheadings of American journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British taxi driver Alan Henning, and American aid worker Peter Kassig.
Although the United Kingdom-Muslim advocacy group CAGE attempted to paint Emwazi as a victim of harassment by British intelligence, a charge Prime Minister David Cameron called "reprehensible, Emwazi was long known to associate with radical and terrorist groups.
In a January 15, 2015 address on the Egyptian ON TV channel, TV host Gaber Al-Karmoty complained that the Holocaust was "off limits," while drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was not. "I'm talking about what people call the Nazi Holocaust, for which they are still sucking the blood of the Germans. Who? The Jews!" said Al-Karmoty.
From the Daily Mail:
A British fighter who travelled to Iraq to stop the Islamic State claims the terror group fed a murdered kidnap victim to his own mother after she went to their headquarters and demanded to see him.
Yasir Abdulla, a security guard from Keighley, West Yorkshire decided to go to Iraq and fight against ISIS after hearing they came within six miles of taking control of his home village in Kurdistan, which he left in 2000.
It has been reported that the 36-year-old bought a set to combat fatigues online for £100 before going to Kurdistan and buying an assault rifle.
He then joined hundreds of other Kurdish and Peshmerga forces who are trying to stop the spread of ISIS by patrolling a ten-mile front line in Iraq.
Mr Abdulla returned to the UK last week but told The Sun how an elderly Kurdish woman, whose son was captured by ISIS and taken to Mosul, went to meet the jihadis to try and secure his release and was then fed his body.
The father of four told the newspaper: 'She was determined to find her son and went to ISIS headquarters and asked to see him.
'The ISIS men told her to sit down because she had travelled a long way and said she should have some food before they took her to meet her son.
'They brought her cups of tea and fed her a meal of cooked meat, rice and soup. She thought they were kind.
'But they had killed him and chopped him up and after she finished the meal and asked to see her son they laughed and said: "You've just eaten him."'
During his time on the front line, Mr Abdulla revealed how ISIS are terrorising locals by calling them and threatening to kidnap them and bury them alive unless they surrender.
He also told of how the terror group kill prisoners they capture by throwing them on a 'human bonfire' and that he saw his own cousin killed in an ISIS attack.
But despite returning back to his family in Yorkshire, Mr Abdulla is keen to go back to Kurdistan saying he wants to finish the job in defeating ISIS.
The new details about the cruelty of ISIS come as Iraq's prime minister called on tribal fighters to abandon the jihadis ahead of an offensive to retake Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit from extremists.
Haider al-Abadi offered no timeline for an attack on Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, which fell into the hands of ISIS last summer....