Saturday, September 27, 2014

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: Free Radicals

by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

The threat that embodies the current clash of civilizations more than any other is the threat of radical Islam • ISIS is not alone -- there are others just like it, only without the beheading videos • Iran poses a far greater threat than ISIS.

Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria
Photo credit: AP

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror


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Jonathan Spyer: The Defense of Kobani

by Jonathan Spyer

This week witnessed the second determined attempt by Islamic State forces to destroy the Kurdish enclave around Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) city in northern Syria. Kobani is one of three autonomous enclaves maintained by the Kurds in Syria.

As of now, it appears that after initial lightning advances, the progress of the jihadis has been halted; they have not moved forward in the last 24 hours. The arrival of Kurdish forces from across the Turkish border is the key element in freezing the advance.

Yet Islamic State has captured around 60 Kurdish villages in this latest assault, and its advanced positions remain perilously close – around 14.5 km. – from Kobani city. Around 100,000 people have fled Kobani for Turkey, from the enclave's total population of around 400,0000.

Islamic State employed tanks, artillery and Humvees in its assault, according to Kurdish sources. The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have no comparable ordnance. However, their fighters were assisted by Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrillas who crossed in from Turkey, and appear to have played a vital role in halting the advance.

Whether the current situation will hold is not yet clear. But the commencement of US and allied bombing on Islamic State in Syria probably means the jihadi forces will have more pressing issues to attend to for the moment.

The assault on Kobani indicates that Islamic State is turning its attention back to Syria. The Kurdish enclave has long been a thorn in the side of the jihadis; the Kurdish-controlled area interrupts the jihadis' territorial contiguity, separating Tel Abyad from Jarabulus and making a large detour necessary from Islamic State's capital in Raqqa city to the important border town of Jarabulus.

For this reason, the jihadis have long sought to conquer the area. Abu Omar al-Shishani, the much feared Chechen Islamic State military commander, is reputed to have made the conquest of Kobani a personal mission. With the weapons systems captured in Mosul now fully integrated, and with further progress in Iraq impeded by the presence of US air power, it appears Islamic State is now making its most serious effort to achieve this goal.

The Kobani enclave has long been an isolated, beleaguered space. This reporter visited there this past May; at the time, Islamic State was trying to block the supply of electricity and water into the city. Skirmishes along the borders were a daily occurrence.

Particularly notable also were the very strict border arrangements kept in place by the Turkish authorities to the north – in stark contrast to the much more lax regime maintained facing the areas of Arab population further west.

As of now, a determined Kurdish mobilization appears to have stemmed the jihadi advance. Unless the picture radically changes again, Kobani looks set to remain a thorn in the side of Islamic State.

Perwer Mohammed, 28, an activist close to the YPG in Kobani, sounded worried but hopeful when speaking from the city on Monday: "They are now on the outskirts of Girê Sipî [Tel Abyad].

But they will have to pass through our flesh to get to Kobani, and they are no longer advancing from the east."

A variety of forces contributed to the mobilization; 1,500 PKK fighters arrived in Kobani city to reinforce the YPG there, according to Kurdish sources.

In addition, forces loyal to both the Kurdistan Regional Government of Massoud Barzani and to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) are set to arrive in Kobani.

The PUK forces, according to the organization's website, are currently on the Iraq-Syria border, waiting to deploy.

The YPG itself, meanwhile, is trying to push forces through from Ras al-Ain to Tel Abyad on the eastern edge of the enclave. A concerted Kurdish military effort is under way.

Suspicions remain regarding possible collusion between Turkish authorities and Islamic State. The Kurds have long maintained that at least in its initial phase, Islamic State was the beneficiary of Turkish support. Evidence has emerged of Turkish forces permitting Islamic State fighters to cross back and forth across the border during early clashes with the YPG.

The subsequent picture remains shrouded in ambiguity, as Turkey officially denies any relationship with Islamic State. But the release of 49 Turkish hostages by the terror movement this week under unclear circumstances has once more cast a spotlight on the possible complex connection between the two.

If the situation in Kobani holds, this will offer proof of the limitations of Islamic State forces. In Iraq, their advance has been stopped by the coordination of US air power with Iraqi and Kurdish forces. In Kobani, as of now at least, the jihadis appear to have been stalled by determined resistance on the ground alone. Yet the last chapter remains to be written.

Should Kobani fall, large-scale massacres of the type which befell the Yazidi communities in the Mount Sinjar area in August would inevitably follow; this is likely to result in a massive new refugee problem. Moreover, an Islamic State victory would consolidate the borders of the jihadi entity considerably.

The clash between Islamic State and the Kurdish autonomous areas also has broader ramifications than merely tactical military significance – it shows the extent to which "Iraq" and "Syria" have become little more than names.

In Kobani, two successor entities to these states are clashing. The Kurds have organized three autonomous cantons stretching east to west from the Syria-Iraq border to close to the Mediterranean coast. The Sunni jihadis, for their part, have organized their own "state," going southeast to northwest.

Kobani is the point at which these two projects collide. Hence, the outcome of the current fight will indicate the relative strength of these two very different projects.

Yet the clash itself offers a broader lesson regarding the shape of things to come, in the ethnic/sectarian war now raging across what was once Iraq and Syria.

Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians and the "Death Boats" Scandal

by Khaled Abu Toameh

As the past few weeks have, shown, hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians would rather risk their lives at sea than live under Palestinian governments and leaders whose only goal is to enrich their  bank accounts.
Instead of creating job opportunities for young men and women, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have spent the past seven years fighting over money and power. They are now busy planning how to lay their hands on the millions of dollars that are supposed to go to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas wants to use the Palestinian Authority as a tool through which the international community channels funds to he Gaza Strip — a move that would  ultimately empower Hamas to tighten its grip over the Palestinian population there.
They said that Hamas officials are providing the emigrants with forged visas and travel documents to to enable them to enter Europe.

Over the past few weeks, dozens of Palestinian immigrants from the Gaza Strip have been killed or injured while trying to reach Europe by sea.

At least 500 Palestinians have gone missing after the boats carrying them sank in the sea. Some reports have suggested that rival gangs deliberately sunk the boats. The gangs are fighting for the cash the Palestinians are prepared to pay to leave the Gaza Strip. Palestinians refer to the situation as their "Death Boats" scandal.

The Palestinian immigrants are said to have paid thousands of dollars to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers to facilitate the exodus from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki claimed that each Palestinian paid $1,000 to Hamas personnel at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Others are believed to have paid $5,000 each to leave the Gaza Strip.

Malki said that preliminary investigations have revealed that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have fallen victim to Hamas and Egyptian gangsters who managed to lure them with false promises.

According to various reports, some 13,000 Palestinians have already fled the Gaza Strip to Europe with the help of the gangsters. Most left through Hamas's smuggling tunnels or by bribing its security officials at the Rafah terminal.

Another 25,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have applied to various European countries for immigration.

Although Hamas has denied any connection to the mass exodus, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip revealed that the Islamist movement had set up special offices to register those wishing to start a new life in Europe. They said that Hamas officials are providing the emigrants with forged visas and travel documents to enable them to enter Europe.

Hamas said this week that its security forces have arrested several suspects in connection with the illegal immigration. But the movement refused to say whether the suspects were members of Hamas.

A Palestinian journalist in Gaza City said that Hamas has also used mosques to encourage Palestinians to immigrate to Europe. At one of the mosques in the southern Gaza Strip, a leading Hamas preacher told worshippers: "Those who are not happy can always emigrate to Europe. We do not force anyone to stay here."

Most of the immigrants left the Gaza Strip through a two-kilometer tunnel belonging to a senior Hamas operative. Survivors told a Palestinian Authority Commission of Inquiry that when they reached the Egyptian side of the border, Egyptian gangsters intercepted them and robbed them of their money.

"Hamas gangsters worked in cooperation with gangsters on the Egyptian side of the border," said a senior Palestinian Authority official involved with the inquiry commission. "They operated like a real mafia, exploiting the predicament of the people, especially young men who were hoping to find jobs and better lives in Italy and other European countries."

Palestinians say that the emigration began long before the last military confrontation between Hamas and Israel. But the trend has witnessed a dramatic increase since the end of the fighting in late August.

"Hamas has failed to help the Palestinians ever since it came to power in 2007," said Ahmed Bader, whose son managed to leave the Gaza Strip through a tunnel one week after the end of the fighting. "There is nothing for the young people to do in the Gaza Strip: no jobs, no entertainment and no security. Young men who graduate from universities cannot find work if they are not members of Hamas."

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority bear responsibility for the tragedy of the Palestinian immigrants.

The two rival parties have failed to improve the living conditions of their people in the Gaza Strip.  Instead of creating job opportunities for young men and women, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have spent the past seven years fighting over money and power.

Now, the two parties are blaming each other for the tragedy of the illegal immigrants. And, of course, they are also blaming Israel for the fact that thousands of Palestinians no longer want to live under the Palestinian Authority or Hamas.

Hamas says that Palestinians are fleeing the Gaza Strip because their leader (Mahmoud Abbas) is a helpless 80-year-old man "who suffers from half the diseases of the universe."

The Palestinian Authority, for its part, says that the Palestinians are fleeing the "hell of Hamas."

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are trading allegations and abuses while their people are being exploited emotionally and financially, then robbed, drowned and fed to sharks.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are now busy planning how to lay their hands on the millions of dollars that are supposed to go to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

At last week's "reconciliation" talks between the two sides in Cairo, they completely ignored the tragedy of the Palestinian immigrants. Once again, Hamas and Fatah officials exchanged kisses and hugs as they announced yet another agreement to implement a previous agreement. In fact, this is what Hamas and Fatah have been doing since 2006 – signing one reconciliation agreement after the other without tangible results. Needless to say, so far none of these agreements has been implemented. Skeptics say the most recent agreement between Hamas and Fatah is also likely to remain ink on paper due to the wide gap between the two parties.

Hamas appears to be willing to bring the Palestinian Authority back to the Gaza Strip not because it has changed its ideology. Rather, Hamas wants to use the Palestinian Authority as a tool through which the international community channels funds to the Gaza Strip – a move that would ultimately empower Hamas to tighten its grip over the Palestinian population there.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also seems to be willing to act as a bridge for channeling financial aid to the Gaza Strip. He is hoping that his government would be strengthened if it is given the authority to sign the checks and distribute the aid. Of course,  he is also hoping that some of the funds would end up in the bank accounts of his loyalists and close aides.

But many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have obviously lost their confidence in both Abbas and Hamas. As the past few weeks have shown, hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians would rather risk their lives at sea than live under Palestinian governments and leaders whose only goal is to enrich their bank accounts.

Khaled Abu Toameh


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Thomas Lifson: A very, very Bad Sign on Obama Administration Iran Nuke Policy

by Thomas Lifson

Those of us who believe that the Obama administration was never serious about stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons received some powerful supporting evidence yesterday. Frankly, I’d rather be wrong, but this most definitely looks like a sign of things to come. Lee Smith writes in The Weekly Standard:
Colin Kahl has just been named Vice President Joseph Biden's national security adviser. Kahl previously served in the Obama administration at the Department of Defense, and left in December 2011 when he moved to the Center for New American Security.
Among other duties at CNAS, Kahl oversaw a three-part series about the nuclearization of Iran. In the final installment (which I wrote about in May 2013), “If All Else Fails: The Challenges of Containing a Nuclear-Armed Iran,” he laid out the case for containment. It remains to be seen whether this put him in opposition to a commander in chief who insists his policy is preventing Iran from getting the bomb.
Smith notes, as have others including Charles Krauthammer, that conspicuously absent from President Obama’s UN speech this week was any reaffirmation of the pledge to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Once Iran has nukes, the world will change. Israel and Saudi Arabia, perhaps the oddest couple ever, will face mortal threats. How they will react is unpredictable, as are the actions that will be taken by the mullahs in Tehran, who actually want Armageddon as a means of hastening the return of the Twelfth Mahdi. A suicide cult with nukes is a clear and present danger.

But it seems as though a president who believes the principal problem with the world is too much American power and influence is about to change that situation forever. There will be no going back, absent a revolution in Iran.

Thomas Lifson


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Arnold Ahlert: An Emboldened Iran Takes the Stage at the United Nations

by Arnold Ahlert

On Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the United Nations in a speech replete with anti-Western sentiments, anti-Semitism, tiresome tropes regarding the genesis of terror, and promises to continue pursuing his nation’s nuclear program.

While acknowledging that terror had become a global issue, Rouhani sought to put the blame everywhere else. “Today’s anti-Westernism is the offspring of yesterday’s colonialism,” Rouhani insisted, proceeding to take a none-too-subtle shot at America, noting that “certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands of madmen, who now spare no one.” Apparently omitted from this list of madmen is Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has received direct support from Iran in the form of financial assistance, and despite all denials to the contrary, hundreds of Revolutionary Guard troops fighting in that nation. Iran also supports Hezbollah and Hamas, both of whom have been designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department.

Thus, it was no surprise that Rouhani characterized the last war between Hamas and Israel as a conflict in which “thousands of innocent Palestinians in Gaza” were victims of the “Zionist regime’s aggression,” even as he characterized his own nation—the one that has openly boasted about sharing missile technology with Hamas to improve their ability to hit Israeli cities—as one of “tranquil secure and stable nations” in the Middle East.

Rouhani also aligned himself with the American left’s thoroughly misguided notions about the root of terror, “that germinates in poverty, discrimination, humiliation and injustice” that “grows in a culture of violence.” Several studies have thoroughly debunked that contention, yet it provides Rouhani and other apologists the opportunity to obscure the reality that Islamic fundamentalism is the primary driver of terror throughout the world. Thus, Rouhani expresses “astonishment” that groups like ISIS “call themselves Islamic” and that the Western media “repeats this false claim, which provokes hatred of all Muslims” and is “part of a (sic) Islamophobic project.” Like every other religion, Rouhani insists Islam is peaceful, and like every other prophet, the taking of even one innocent life is condemned by the prophet Mohammed.

Not quite. The Qur’an is filled with verses promoting violence and death against unbelievers, all the innocence in the world notwithstanding. Furthermore, the concept of abrogation explains that later verses in the Qur’an take precedence over earlier ones. Almost all of the violent verses appear later in the book.

Rouhani nonetheless continued his deceptive characterization of the real problems of the Middle East. “The strategic blunders of the West in the Middle-East, Central Asia and the Caucuses have turned these parts of the world into a haven for terrorists and extremists,” he insists, citing Iraq, Afghanistan and the “improper interference in Syria” as examples. He further insists the Middle East wants democracy—even as it impossible to believe he is unaware of the reality that democracy and Sharia Law are fundamentally incompatible systems of governance.

That reality made itself plain last week, when six Iranians were given suspended sentences of six months and 91 lashes for “obscene behavior” for appearing in a video singing the American pop song “Happy.”

They got off easy. In August, 16-year-old Ateqeh Rajabi was hanged in the Iranian town of Neka. She was executed for having sex with her boyfriend. She was one of several victims executed for sexual “crimes” that violated Sharia Law.

Unsurprisingly, Rouhani addressed the issue of sanctions, calling them a “strategic mistake against a moderate and independent nation under the current sensitive condition of our region.” He falsely framed the issue as one where the “will of Iranian people,” rather than the economic squeeze imposed on his country, reinvigorated the current negotiations that were continuing in good faith, even as he warned that any other solution to Iran’s pursuit of nukes would be a “grave mistake.”

Rouhani made it clear that his nation remains “committed to our peaceful nuclear program” and that the “avoidance of excessive demands in the negotiations by our counterparts is the prerequisite for success in the negotiations.” He then tied those negotiations to the “beginning of a multilateral collaboration aimed at promoting security, peace and development in our region and beyond.”

In short, Iran wants to use nuclear negotiations as a bargaining chip in the fight against terror.
The Obama administration has sent out conflicting signals with regard to such a scenario. Publicly they claim they will not share intelligence, or coordinate military activity, with the nation still designated “world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism” by the State Department. Yet prior to bombing ISIS in Syria, the administration notified Iran about it, and reassured them they would not target the government of Bashar Assad, who remains a terrorist-abetting proxy of Iran. Furthermore, an unnamed Iranian official told Reuters that “military and security issues are being shared to fight against IS.” Secretary of State John Kerry also revealed he was “open to have a conversation at some point in time if there’s a way to find something constructive.”

Rouhani reiterated that a “historic” nuclear agreement with Iran is one where the West can show “that it does not oppose the advancement and development of others and does not discriminate when it comes to adhering to international rules and regulations.” He doubled-down on those questioning his nation’s motives, insisting “the notion that Iran seeks to control other Muslim countries in the region is a myth fanned in the recent years in the context of an Iranophobic context,” and that those who do so “breed imaginary enemies to sustain tensions and sow division and conflict.” He called for a “right approach” to the terror problem, insisting the proper solution comes from “within the region and regionally provided solution (sic) with international support and not from the (sic) outside the region.”

As it stands now, Rouhani’s “solution” aligns perfectly with an Obama administration seemingly convinced it can fight a proxy war from the air, while the nations of the Middle East ostensibly cobble together the “boots on the ground” necessary to degrade and destroy ISIS and other terror entities congealing in the caliphate that straddles Iraq and Syria. In the meantime, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-abaci revealed that ISIS terrorists captured in his nation said the group is planning subway attacks in Paris and the United States.

One wonders when—or is that if—it will occur to the Obama administration that prolonging this conflict emboldens terrorists, not only in the Middle East, but all over the world, including the 40 ISIS fighters from America the administration admits have returned home. With regard to Iran, prolonging the conflict allows them to use it as leverage in what ought to be seen as fruitless negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

In fact the negotiations are now bordering on the absurd, as the administration has reportedly floated a proposal that allows Iran to disconnect thousands of centrifuges, rather than dismantle them. A senior administration official offered the administration’s rationale to the New York Times, insisting that “it takes a lot of time to put a cascade together, and piping is one of the most time-consuming parts of that laborious process.” Yet other experts noted this idea has been floated many times over the last decade, a reality that likely indicates a certain level of desperation on the part of the P5+1 nations who are under pressure to complete a deal—even a bad one–by Nov. 24.

Toward that end, the Obama administration has been touting the idea that Rouhani is a “moderate,” a notion that calculatingly ignores his abysmal human rights record and the reality that he is little more than a front man for the genuine seat of power in Iran: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his band of nihilistic mullahs. Mullahs who yearn for the re-emergence of the Twelfth or Hidden Imam that will bring about a period of chaos. In 2010 Khamenei claimed he met the Hidden Imam and said he was assured that his reemergence would occur while Khamenei was still Supreme Leader.

Rouhani’s speech at the U.N. should be seen for exactly what it is: a more aggressive “charm offensive” by the latest representative of the world’s foremost sponsor of state terror. Moreover, a nuclear Iran would precipitate a nightmarish nuclear arms race in the most unstable region in the world. And despite every obfuscation on the part of the Obama administration, and their equally weak-kneed European allies, those are the real stakes. Stakes that include the real possibility of Iran supplying such weapons to terrorists.

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to, and He may be reached at


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Courage and Honor in the Benghazi Battles

by Bill Schanefelt

If you’re looking for a compelling read you need look no further than the tale told by the “Shooters” of their fights to rescue, defend, and evacuate the survivors of the 2012 Benghazi assaults.

It is an extraordinary and exciting first-hand account of the courageous and honorable actions of a few men (hereinafter called “the rescuers”) who took it upon themselves to do their duty and act---some of them against orders---when others did not, could not, or would not act.

By (as put by them) “doing their duty,” their actions managed to save comrades who were in distress and then, similarly, saved and extracted themselves and many others from dire circumstances.

The book also debunks and refutes the “official accounts” of the events with which we have been saddled these many months and about which I have written extensively here, here, here, and elsewhere

But it leaves unanswered such important questions as who the assaulters were, the assaulters’ motives and ends, and why the assaulters broke off and resumed assaults several times during the 13 hours.

By now, most readers of this piece will have viewed or read one or more interviews with the book’s authors or seen or read accounts of the book’s contents.  However, most of those interviews and accounts zero in on the controversial “stand-down” orders, lack of aid from the outside, and other peripheral matters.

On the other hand, the book itself is an almost minute-by-minute tick-tock of the, literal, steps taken by the rescuers as they prepared for and carried out their actions at the Special Mission Compound (SMC) and its associated Annex.

For example, for the first time (to my knowledge) we learn that once the rescuers finally left the Annex, they subsequently dismounted and linked up with some friendly Libyans some four hundred yards from the SMC and then proceeded, on foot, to shoot themselves into the SMC. 

We also learn that many Libyans assisted the rescuers in the SMC as they searched for Ambassador Chris Stephens and State Department Computer Specialist Sean Smith and gathered up and evacuated the survivors within the SMC.

The book also does not supply any revelations as to the goings-on at and purpose of the Annex, but it does seem to, subtly, suggest that a massive arms transfer operation was not going on at the Annex itself.  That is, the book reveals that there just were too few people of the right type at the Annex, and that the facilities described in the book would not be appropriate to support such doings.

The book also gives lie to the common notion that the mortars that killed Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were fired by “a well-trained and highly-skilled team.”  The mortars were just one part of one of the come-and-go assaults by the pick-up group of attackers.

Additionally, we learn that there was at least one female agent at the Annex.  Now, I’m not making the sexist suggestion that a female operative would be inappropriate for an arms transfer operation---she was apparently involved with other, quite-open dealings with local officials.

In fact, the reason one of the rescuers (“Oz” Geist) was not in on the actions at the SMC was because he was escorting the female agent to a private dinner with one such official and his wife at their residence in town at the time of the events at the SMC.

Indeed, it was quite fortunate that “Oz” was so engaged at the time, for it allowed him to organize the defense of the Annex after he and the female agent hastily returned to the Annex once “Oz” learned what was going on elsewhere in Benghazi.

That he had to do so attests to the woeful inadequacies and ineptitude of those in authority at the Annex before, during, and after the actions of those 13 hours.

And I would be remiss not to relate that the female agent quite unselfishly exposed herself to danger in supplying the shooters with food and beverages during the defense of the Annex, particularly when others who could have and should have been so doing (or otherwise participating in the defense) crouched uselessly within the Annex buildings during the several engagements with the assaulters.

I urged here that readers not buy an earlier, farcical, and factually-challenged book on the events, but I strongly urge readers to buy this one because it is, without doubt, the real deal: I couldn’t put it down until I finished it.

And those who buy the book will learn about its real hero: Henry, the aging document-translator who shakily obeyed when he had a gun thrust into his palms and told to “suit up and get in the car” because he was going to go into combat for the first time in his life!

Bill Schanefelt is retired; his profile may be found on LinkedIn, and he may be argued with at


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'Lancet' Journal Hijacked in Anti-Israel Campaign

by Jake Wallis Simons

Senior British medical figures say the well-respected journal is being used as a platform by alleged conspiracy theorists David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klansman

Two of the authors of the open letter, Dr Paola Manduca and Dr Swee Ang, have sympathies with the views of David Duke, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard.

For almost 200 years, it has been regarded as a well-respected medical journal. But according to senior British medical figures, the Lancet is being hijacked to campaign indefatigably against Israel, and used as a platform by alleged conspiracy theorists.

In August, it published a controversial “open letter for the people of Gaza” that condemned Israel in the strongest possible terms, but strikingly made no mention of Hamas’ atrocities.

The five principal authors of the letter made it clear that they had “no competing interests”. However, all of them have campaigned vociferously for the Palestinian cause over many years.

Dr Swee Ang is an orthopaedic surgeon, and Dr Manduca, a professor of genetics at the University of Genoa in Italy – who are both members of pro-Palestine NGOs.

In another email, Dr Manduca forwarded a message alleging that the Boston marathon bombings were in fact carried out by Jews. “Let us hope that someone in the FBI is smart enough to look more carefully at the clues in Boston and find the real culprits behind these bombings instead of buying the Zionist spin”, it said.

Elsewhere, she shared an article comparing the Jewish state to a “strangler fig”, which grows around other trees and takes their sunlight, often resulting in the death of the original trees.

In response to questions by the Daily Telegraph, Dr Manduca issued a statement in which she denied being anti-Semitic. “But I legitimately use my right of freedom of opinion,” she said, “and do not agree or value the politics of the government of Israel, nor of many others, including Jews in and out of Israel.”

For her part, Dr Ang said: “I didn’t know who David Duke was, or that he was connected to the Ku Klux Klan. I am concerned that if there is any truth that Jews control the media, politics and banking, what on earth is going on? I was worried.”  She said that she was made aware of Duke’s conspiracy theories by a friend, Dr Kamal Alubaid, who appears to have been active on 9/11 "truth" websites. In one post, he referred to the Jewish State as "Racist Apparthide (sic) Israel".

Moreover, Dr Mads Gilbert, a third author of the letter, gave an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet in 2001 in which he said that the 9/11 atrocities were as a result of Western foreign policy, and that he supported terror attacks in that “context”.

Israeli campaigners brought this information to the attention of the Lancet in a letter sent on 1 September. However, the journal has refused to issue a response and has not removed the open letter from its website – through which it collected 20,000 signatures in support of the letter.

“It's utterly irrelevant. It's a smear campaign,” the editor of the Lancet, Dr Richard Horton, told the Daily Telegraph. “I don’t honestly see what all this has to do with the Gaza letter. I have no plans to retract the letter, and I would not retract the letter even if it was found to be substantiated.”

Dr Horton, who has in the past spoken at rallies organised by Stop The War Coalition, denied that the journal's reputation would be damaged by giving a platform to people who appear to hold such views, and said that the Lancet is not intending to investigate the allegations. According to its critics, the current episode is just the latest example of anti-Israel prejudice that the Lancet’s editors have encouraged.

“For many years, the Lancet has been consistently using its reputation to attack Israel,” says Professor David Katz, an expert in infection and immunity at University College London. The Lancet is supposed to be a politically neutral medical journal. The fact that they have given proven anti-Semites a platform and not rescinded it, even when confronted with the evidence, is appalling. They have allowed their hatred of Israel to blind them to the norms of medical science and the pursuit of reason.”

NGO Monitor, an Israeli watchdog, points out that over the past 15 years, the journal has formed a number of partnerships with Palestinian groups, including the Lancet-Palestinian Health Alliance, Medical Aid for Palestinians and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme. By contrast, there have been no comparable collaborations with Israeli groups. Professor Katz and a number of other senior medical figures have written to the medical ombudsman to register their complaints.

On 29 August, Professor Sir Mark Pepys, director of the Wolfson Drug Discovery Unit at UCL, wrote: “The failure of the Menduca et al authors to disclose their extraordinary conflicts of interest… are the most serious, unprofessional and unethical errors. The transparent effort to conceal this vicious and substantially mendacious partisan political diatribe as an innocent humanitarian appeal has no place in any serious publication, let alone a professional medical journal, and would disgrace even the lowest of the gutter press.”

He accuses Dr Horton, the Lancet editor, personally: “Horton’s behaviour in this case is consistent with his longstanding and wholly inappropriate use of The Lancet as a vehicle for his own extreme political views,” he says. “It has greatly detracted from the former high standing of the journal.”

Jake Wallis Simons


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Michael Cutler: ‘Sanctuary Cities’ or ‘Safe Havens’ for Terrorists?

by Michael Cutler

Since the deadly terror attacks of 1993 at the CIA and the World Trade Center, there have been a series of terror attacks attempted inside the United States by radical Islamists.

On September 11, 2001 our nation suffered the worst terror attacks ever carried out within the borders of our country.

Every one of these attacks had something in common: The perpetrators were all aliens who had managed to gain entry into the United States and managed to hide in plain sight, or in the jargon of the 9/11 Commission, they embedded themselves in our country as they went about their deadly preparations.

Our borders and our immigration laws are our first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists who seek to attack America and Americans. Yet this essential fact is blithely ignored by the president, members of his administration, members of Congress who seek to implement a variant of “comprehensive immigration reform” and local and state politicians who proudly proclaim that they have created “sanctuaries” for aliens who have run our borders or violated the terms of their admission into the United States and have violated those critical immigration laws.

On Friday, September 19th, I was a guest on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV hosted by former Congressional Representative JD Hayworth. NewsMax posted a video of my segment with a synopsis of our discussion. The title of this article was: “Michael Cutler: Sanctuary Cities Are Safe Havens for Terrorists.”

The starting point for my interview was an important news report that contained a video clip of an interview that Rep. Jason Chaffetz participated in with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. The title of the report was: “BREAKING: Four Terrorists Captured on US Border on September 10 – Day Before 9-11.”

The video clip of the Chaffetz interview on Kelly’s program also contained a brief video of an exchange between Congressman Chaffetz and Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security at a hearing conducted earlier that day. The exchange was infuriating. At first Johnson stated that he was not aware of terrorists running our borders. Rep. Chaffetz then confronted Secretary Johnson, saying that there was information that four terrorists had been apprehended attempting to run our borders at two locations along the U.S./Mexican border. Johnson became extremely uncomfortable and started rubbing his face and all but twitching in his seat. He then claimed that he had heard about it but that they were trying to confirm the information. Next Chaffetz asked Johnson about what level of “operational control” DHS has over the U.S./Mexican border. Johnson said he did not know, whereupon Chaffetz stated that he had information that at present there is 6% operation control.
Secretary Johnson simply stared blankly at Representative Chaffetz.

If DHS has just 6% of “operational control” then we must presume that conversely we have a 94% free-for-all along that critical border. Indeed, the fact that our nation is currently suffering from a flood of heroin that is so severe that police departments around the United States are issuing the antidote to heroin overdoses to their officers and other first responders, would certainly coincide with such a lack of border security. This is why I have come to refer to the DHS as the Department of Homeland Surrender.

During my discussion with JD on his program, I also referenced an exchange between Congressman Lou Barletta and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about whether or not criminals who are known to be criminals in the United States would come forward to participate in an amnesty program. Johnson conceded that they would not. This was covered in a Breitbart News report that was published on September 17, 2014: “DHS Chief Concedes Background Checks for Amnesty Would Not Catch Criminals”

During my interview with JD on his program I also raised the issue of “sanctuary cities” and the impact such policies have on national security. I referenced the fact that New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio had decided, with utter impunity, to provide illegal aliens with identity documents that, as an added “bonus,” would enable illegal aliens to whom those cards are issued to gain entrance into museums and other cultural landmarks in New York City.

While some news programs debated this outrageous program, the focus, for the most part, was the economic cost of providing illegal aliens with the municipal IDs that can be used as a free pass to so many major attractions that would cost thousands of dollars per alien. No one mentioned the cost to national security and public safety under de Blasio’s ill-conceived program by providing illegal aliens with identity documents that could easily enable criminals and terrorists to acquire official identity documents in false names. This violates the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and also violates the REAL ID Act that was enacted as a result of the 9/11 Commission report.

The article that chronicled my interview on NewsMax-TV included this excerpt:
“When we hear sanctuary city, we should think about the word haven, as when the president the night before the 13th anniversary of 9/11 said, ‘we need to deprive the terrorists’ safe haven,’” Cutler explained.
“Sanctuary cities is doing precisely that — providing safe haven, right here in cities across the United States, aided and abetted by this administration that refuses to enforce the laws, and has provided hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens with identity documents,” he said.
“What could possibly go wrong?” Cutler asked.
What, indeed, could possibly go wrong?

On September 17, 2014, Homeland Security News Wire published a report with the title: “NYC mayor de Blasio facing criticism for curbing counterterrorism programs.”

This important news report quoted none other than John Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy and a former member of the 9/11 Commission. Here is a significant excerpt from this report:
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is facing backlash over his decision to curb several counterterrorism programs introduced by former mayor Michael Bloomberg. “He has reassigned people and vehicles and special equipment to non-counterterrorist activities,” said John Lehman, a former member of the 9/11 Commission, who recommended that New York City adopt stronger surveillance initiatives after the 9/11 attacks.
The New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program, which faced criticism for disproportionately targeting minority youths, has been restricted under de Blasio. Lehman believes the program was instrumental in discouraging would-be terrorists from carrying a bomb or wearing a suicide vest in high-risk areas of New York City. Critics say the policy change may discourage police officers from stopping a person who might appear suspicious. “If you see someone with a package or a bulky vest, you are taking a great risk if you stop and frisk them. If the person is a person of color and not carrying a bomb or evidence of potential terrorist risks, as a cop you’re in big trouble,” Lehman said.
The Hill reports that de Blasio has also been criticized for approving a program to issue municipal IDs of standards lower than those mandated by the federal government’s Real ID program. The municipal IDs are intended to serve undocumented immigrants and residents who may not be eligible for regular state IDs under the Real ID program. “They’re completely opposed to Real ID and the other issues that were adopted by Congress as a result of our recommendations,” Lehman said.
The Real ID Act of 2005 requires verified proof of identification, like birth certificates or social security numbers, before state identification cards are issued to residents. “You need a reliable way of identifying people. You don’t simply issue ID cards willy nilly to anybody who wants them and shows up and has his picture taken and tells you what his name is,” Lehman said.
I previously wrote about de Blasio’s preposterous and dangerous program in an article I wrote for CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) that was posted on February 25, 2014: “NYC Mayor Determined to Give Illegal Aliens ID Cards.”

These issues all raise the question: Why on earth would the government of the United States embark on a program of providing documents to aliens who evade our borders and the lawful inspections process that are supposed to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence would be problematic for the United States — including international terrorists and transnational criminals?

It is unfathomable that the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission are never raised by the members of Congress or other politicians who support “comprehensive Immigration reform.” This includes Texas Governor Perry who has been certainly sounding the alarm that terrorists are entering the United States by running our borders but then has repeatedly stated that the border must be secured before we can deal with the millions of illegal aliens who are present in the United States.
The issue is that the terrorists who have managed to evade the Border Patrol are already among those unknown millions of illegal aliens present in the United States. There is no possible way for USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) the division of the DHS that would be responsible for processing those millions of illegal aliens, to actually conduct in-person interviews with these foreign nationals who snuck into the United States. There are no resources to conduct any sort of field investigations of these aliens either. The applications would simply be processed by mail without the ability to corroborate any of the information contained in those applications.

On September 10, 2014 the New York Times published President Obama’s “Remarks on the Fight Against ISIS,” which he delivered that same evening, just hours before the 13th anniversary of the worst terror attacks ever carried out on American soil. It is important to consider this excerpt from that speech:
So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. Our objective is clear: We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.
First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense. Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.
That last sentence bears repeating:
This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
It is worth noting that Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush, also noted that the terrorists who carried out the attacks of 9/11 would be deprived “safe haven.”

CNN published a copy of the transcript of President George W. Bush’s speech he delivered on September 20, 2001; just nine days after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here are a few excerpted paragraphs from his speech that are well worth remembering:
On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars, but for the past 136 years they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war, but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning.
Americans have known surprise attacks, but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day, and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.
Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking, “Who attacked our country?”
The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are some of the murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.
Al Qaeda is to terror what the Mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money, its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.
President Bush went on to say:
And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.
From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we’re not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security.
Let’s go back and consider the sentence that should be the focus of everyone’s attention today:
From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
There are a couple of “take-aways” to consider in those paragraphs. First of all President Bush, not unlike President Obama, made it clear that terrorists must be deprived “safe havens.”

Second, President Bush also noted that the U.S. Embassies at Tanzania and Kenya had been attacked by the terrorists who also bombed the USS Cole.

It is worth considering the attack that was carried out last year at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

A documentary film was recently released about this horrific, devastating attack that is currently airing regularly on HBO. On September 14, 2014 the New York Times reviewed the film and gave that review the title, “In This Horror Film, Blood Is All Too Real / ‘Terror at the Mall’ on HBO Documents an Attack in Kenya.”

Here is how the extensive review of this documentary begins:
One year ago, gunmen from the Shabab militant group in Somalia laid siege to the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they stalked their victims from a gourmet burger restaurant at the entrance to the vegetable aisle of a grocery store at the back.
The British filmmaker Dan Reed assembled thousands of hours of footage gleaned from more than 100 security cameras inside the mall, video from television crews and modest cellphones, as well as still photographs. Then he and his team tracked down more than 200 people and interviewed 82 of them on camera, many survivors or their rescuers.
The result is a harrowing hourlong documentary, “Terror at the Mall,” airing on HBO on Monday night. Tracer bullets slash across blurry closed-circuit footage, blood stains tile floors where children skipped moments before, and family members recount in horrific detail the deaths of loved ones.
This documentary should be required viewing by every member of the Obama administration who has even the most tangential involvement with national security issues. It should be required viewing for every member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate and their respective staffers. Finally, every mayor, governor, state and local legislator and every chief of police must also be made to watch this film.

The mayors and governors who have declared their towns, cities and states sanctuary cities should be required to watch this documentary as many times as it takes to get them to reverse their deadly policies.

What transpired in Kenya could easily, God forbid, take place in any of the malls to be found in towns and cities across our nation. Several weeks ago I wrote an article about the foolish idea that all that DHS needs to do to protect our nation from terrorists and transnational criminals is to simply secure the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico. The title of my article was: “Border Security and the Immigration Colander.”

The point I addressed in that article was that it is insane to think that simply focusing on one of many failures of the immigration system — plugging just one of many holes in the system — would make our country safe. A similar article could be written about the myriad vulnerabilities that terrorists could easily exploit to carry out an attack inside the United States.

Certainly it is important to make certain that we keep terrorists off of airliners. However, this is only one of many, many vulnerabilities and most of the other such vulnerabilities are being utterly ignored.
For several years after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 politicians from both political parties repeated what became the virtual mantra that justified our military actions overseas: “We are fighting them (the terrorists) over there so that we will not have to fight them over here.”

It should be obvious that such statements are baseless and in point of fact, absurd. The terror attacks of 9/11 were carried out over here – at the World Trade Center in New York City, at that field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.

Subsequent terror attacks were also attempted within America’s borders.

For example, on May 1, 2010 Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized United States citizen who was born in Pakistan attempted to carry out a terror attack by setting off a bomb in an SUV that he left parked in New York City’s Times Square, often referred to as the “Crossroads of the World.”

On April 15, 2013 the Boston Marathon was attacked by the Tsarnaev Brothers who, along with their family members, had been, years earlier, granted political asylum, claiming a “credible fear” that they could not safely return to their native Russia. No sooner were they granted asylum in the United States than they hopped on airliners and returned to Russia. It would certainly appear that they lied on their applications for asylum. Yet their deception went un-noticed and unpunished.

On May 2, 2013, I was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News about that terror bombing of the Boston Marathon. The video of the interview was posted on the Fox News website under the title, Immigration Expert: The System Failed in Boston and Keeps on Failing.

Thanks to failures in the system, it is not known how many ticking time bombs like Shahzad and the Tsarnaev Brothers are in our midst.

On September 20, 2013 CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) posted my article about the failures of the vetting process for alien applicants who apply for immigration benefits: Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Background Checks Require a Reality Check
On July 30, 2012 CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) posted my commentary: Fraud: The Immigration Vulnerability That Undermines the Immigration System and National Security
On November 20, 2013 ABC News reported: “Exclusive: US May Have Let ‘Dozens’ of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees

This is not a new problem, on July 13, 2011 the Washington Times published a truly disturbing article: “Visas reviewed to find those who overstayed / Aim is to find any would-be terrorists
On July 20, 2013 the Washington Times published another disturbing report: “Homeland Security loses track of 1 million foreigners; report could hurt immigration deal.”

On Friday, May 24, 2013 “The Blaze” and “My San Antonio,” reported on the arrest of Wissam Allouche by the FBI and members of the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) in San Antonio, Texas, for lying on his application for naturalization to acquire United States citizenship.

The article published by “My San Antonio” was entitled: “Alleged member of Hezbollah arrested here.”

The article in “The Blaze” was entitled: “Infiltration? The Alarming Details Surrounding Alleged Hezbollah Member’s Arrest in Texas”

While Allouche’s application for naturalization was approved and he was arrested and indicted for committing fraud in filing that application years earlier, what no one has pointed out is that in addition to allegedly successfully gaming the naturalization process, he had been a lawful immigrant for years. He had a Green Card for at least three years before he applied for United States citizenship. It is vital to understand that the lack of integrity to the process by which aliens are granted lawful status in the United States — including resident alien status and United States citizenship — poses an immediate and direct threat to national security.

Just a few weeks ago, on September 2, 2014 ABC News reported, “Lost in America: Visa Program Struggles to Track Missing Foreign Students.” The Report read in part:
ABC News found that immigration officials have struggled to keep track of the rapidly increasing numbers of foreign students coming to the U.S. — now in excess of one million each year. The immigration agency’s own figures show that 58,000 students overstayed their visas in the past year. Of those, 6,000 were referred to agents for follow-up because they were determined to be of heightened concern.
They just disappear,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. “They get the visas and they disappear.”
Coburn said since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, 26 student visa holders have been arrested in the U.S. on terror-related charges.
Tightening up the student visa program was one of the major recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, after it was determined that the hijacker who flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had entered the U.S. on a student visa but never showed up for school.
This news report was also the focus of my interview by JD Hayworth on the NewsMax-TV program, “America’s Forum” on September 3, 2014.

Back on May 7, 2014 ICE issued a news release about the enrollment of foreign students in the United States: “SEVP report provides snapshot of international students studying in US. International student enrollment up 2 percent at US schools, 75 percent of students from Asia”

Here is the key paragraph from that press release:
As of April 1, almost 1.02 million international students were enrolled in nearly 9,000 U.S. schools using an F (academic) or M (vocational) visa. This marks a two percent increase from January. Seventy-five percent of all international students were from Asia, with 29 percent from China. Saudi Arabia and India had the greatest percentage increase of students studying in the United States at 10 and eight percent, respectively, when compared to January statistics. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil.
It was known that visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud were among the vulnerabilities that made the 9/11 attacks possible. In fact, on May 20, 1997, more than four years before the attacks of 9/11, the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims conducted a hearing that was predicated on the two attacks of 1993 (at the CIA in January and the first World Trade bombing one month later) on the topic: “Visa Fraud and Immigration Benefits Application Fraud.

I participated as a witness at that hearing. It was my first appearance before a congressional hearing but would be hardly my last.

On September 11, 2001 as the ashes from the conflagration at what came to be known as “Ground Zero” fluttered down on my neighborhood and, indeed, my home, I was enraged knowing that if the Clinton Administration had acted to close the gaps in the immigration system that were discovered in the wake of the two 1993 attacks, in my judgement, the terror attacks of 9/11 could have been prevented. (I am not being political in that statement; for what it is worth, I am a lifelong registered Democrat. Immigration is not about “Left” or “Right” but about right or wrong.)

Perhaps the highest profile hearing for which I have been called to testify was conducted on March 19, 2002 by the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, on the topic: “INS’s March 2002 Notification of Approval of Change of Status for Pilot Training for Terrorist Hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi.”

This hearing was covered by C-SPAN and the C-SPAN video every member of Congress should be required to watch it. It is unfathomable how twelve years after that hearing was conducted into one of the most outrageous screw-ups that all of the promises to address the failures of the system continue to plague the very same system as clearly evidenced by the “missing” students noted above.

The 9/11 Commission warned about the way that visa fraud and immigration fraud undermines national security and has become the method of choice for terrorists to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States.

Here is an important paragraph from the 9/11 Commission Report:
Inspectors at the ports of entry were not asked to focus on terrorists. Inspectors told us they were not even aware that when they checked the names of incoming passengers against the automated watchlist, they were checking in part for terrorists. In general, border inspectors also did not have the information they needed to make fact-based determinations of admissibility.The INS initiated but failed to bring to completion two efforts that would have provided inspectors with information relevant to counterterrorism—a proposed system to track foreign student visa compliance and a program to establish a way of tracking travelers’ entry to and exit from the United States.
The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel detailed numerous examples of instances where terrorists not only made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud to enter the United States, but to also embed themselves in the United States. Page 47 of this report noted:
Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.”
It is significant to note that the Seasonal Agricultural Program, also known as the Special Agricultural Program (SAW), was a major component of the 1986 Amnesty and that New York’s then Congressman Chuck Schumer, the leading member of the “Gang of Eight,” was one of that program’s major architects even though there were absolutely no farms in his congressional district when he concocted it.

This paragraph is found on page 98 of the report, under the title “Immigration Benefits:”
Terrorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.”
It is absolutely imperative that the mission of denying “safe haven” to terrorists anywhere in the world, as called for by Presidents Bush and Obama, be successfully carried out. However, even before our government casts its gaze overseas to countries around the world, the focus must be on the ways that our own “leaders” on the federal, state and even local level are providing safe haven for terrorists and others who pose a serious threat to national security and public safety right here, inside our own country.

It has been often said that “charity begins at home.” Our national security must also begin at home.

When a doctor makes a mistake that injures, cripples or kills his patient he (she) may well face a lawsuit, loss of his license to practice medicine and may even be prosecuted for committing a crime stemming from his malpractice. Police officers who use excessive force may also face similar sanctions, as may other professionals.

As a result of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 the only people who lost their jobs were the same people who lost their lives.

The time has long since come for our politicians to be made no less accountable than those in other professions. The impact they have on America and Americans is far greater than that of any doctor or police officer.

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force.


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