Monday, February 01, 2010

Terrorism & Security

Colleen LaRose: The New American terrorist?
Solicit financial and material support to wage Jihad, or holy Islamic war against the West
By Doug Hagmann
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
A four-count count indictment issued against Colleen Renee LaRose, 46, formerly of 429 Main Street, Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, was unsealed yesterday by federal authorities in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The indictment charges LaRose with one count each of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements to a government official and attempted identity theft. The indictment also references five other co-conspirators, including one who resides in the U.S., although none of the five were identified by name.
LaRose came to the attention of federal authorities in 2008, when she allegedly began using the internet to solicit financial and material support to wage Jihad, or holy Islamic war against the West. Using the internet pseudonyms “JihadJane” and “Fatima Rose,” LaRose posted on Islamic internet forums, YouTube and FaceBook in an attempt to befriend and rally like-minded Muslims to her cause. She expressed her desire to advance Islamic holy war and become a shahed, or martyr, for Islam. Others living within and outside of the U.S. answered her calls, and she began to put her alleged murderous plans into action.
Her online activities abruptly stopped when she was arrested by federal authorities in on October 15, 2009, on charges of transferring a stolen U.S. passport to a co-conspirator. Following her arrest, she was incarcerated at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Philadelphia where she currently remains.
The indictment released Tuesday offers only a limited glimpse into the activities and ambitions of Colleen LaRose. Her path to “Islamic jihad” is neither exclusive nor exceptional, despite her U.S. citizenship and decidedly Western appearance. In fact, the case of Colleen LaRose can be an example of an emerging breed of Islamic terrorists and a template illustrating the developing threat posed by an ideology motivated by hatred.
The road to jihad
Diminutive at 4’11” tall, with dark blond hair and green eyes, Colleen Renee LaRose most recently lived in a second-floor apartment at this four-unit brick apartment house in the town of Pennsburg, a rural community located north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She resided there with her cats and for a time with a boyfriend and his ill father after living in San Angelo, Texas for several years.
In Texas, she lived at 305 N. Schroeder Avenue, San Angelo, with her husband Rudolpho CAVAZOS until her divorce in 1998, although maintained that surname as well as other aliases and variations of her name. In 1997, she was convicted of a class B misdemeanor for passing a bad check. According to court records, an open warrant still exists for her in the state of Texas stemming from that case. She was also convicted of driving under the influence.
LaRose reportedly converted to Islam as a result of her relationship with a male companion. Over the last few years, she began to become active in Islamic forums and web sites, embracing the ideology while living a rather unremarkable life and blending with the landscape of suburban sprawl in America.
Information obtained exclusively by this investigator from a federal source involved in this investigation provided insight into LaRose’s path from an American suburbanite to alleged terrorist, as well as the ensuing investigation leading to her indictment.
In June 2008, LaRose posted an entry on the internet site YouTube under the pseudonym “JihadJane,” writing that she wanted to help the “suffering Muslim people.” Following the posting of the video and her statement, federal agents began and maintained surveillance of the video and postings, including LaRose’s writiings.
It was not until December 2008 that the posting by LaRose received a response by a co-conspirator in “a south Asian county” who expressed a desire to also wage jihad and become a martyr. It is relevant to note that the lapse between June and December 2008 was caused, in part, by self-proclaimed “cyber vigilantes” intent on “taking down” such postings to “fight against jihad.” Those activities also caused interruptions of proactive monitoring of the seditious activity by federal intelligence officials – an issue coincidently addressed in this article by this author.
From December 2008 through March 2009, LaRose communicated via the internet with other Muslim terrorists and supporters, arranging for financing, training and travel to advance Islamic jihad. One of the communications between LaRose and an unidentified co-conspirator referenced the plan for LaRose to marry the co-conspirator to secure his residency in a European country. Meanwhile, LaRose sought information from the Swedish Embassy, inquiring how to obtain permanent residency status in Sweden.
Also in March, LaRose reportedly received instructions to travel to Sweden for the alleged purpose of murdering an individual there. In a series of communications on March 22, 2009 between LaRose and a co-conspirator and Islamic terrorist identified as CC#3 in the indictment, CC#3 directed LaRose to murder an individual in Sweden, killing him “in a way that the whole Kufar [non-believer] world would get frightened.”
Based on a confirmation received by this author from a federal source, her mission was to murder Lars Vilks, an artist who drew a picture of the head of Muhammed on the body of a dog. That depiction of Muhammed angered Muslims throughout Europe, much like the Danish cartoon controversy. LaRose agreed to do so, writing “I will make this my goal till I achieve it or die trying,” according to the indictment.
On August 23, 2009, LaRose allegedly stole the passport from the male with whom she resided, removed the hard drive from her computer in an attempt to conceal her plans, and embarked on her journey to Europe. Later that month, she traveled to Europe “with the intent to live and train with jihadists” and to “find and kill” Vilks. Within two weeks, she joined an online community hosted by Vilks and eventually moved into Vilks’ artist enclave in Sweden.
For the next few weeks, LaRose waited for final authorization from her terrorist contacts. On September 25, 2009, she reportedly received a communication stating that “The brothers are ready,” and a request that she send money to her contact in Somalia, reportedly a member of the al Shabaab terrorist organization. In a follow-up communication five days later, LaRose stated that she considered it “an honor and great pleasure to die or kill” for her terrorist contact, adding that “only death will stop me here that I am so close to the target,” according to the indictment.
LaRose never executed her plan to murder Vilks, and federal officials are not releasing additional information about the events that followed, citing the ongoing nature of this investigation and additional pending arrests. What is clear is that LaRose traveled back to the U.S. in the days that followed, and was arrested by federal officials in Philadelphia on October 15, 2009.
What is also clear is that LaRose is not the only American being motivated to Islamic jihad. The road to jihad is a busy one, and until the West understands and acts upon the peril we face, there will many others answering the call to jihad.
Can We Defeat Terrorists without Defeating Terrorism?
Terrorism is not a tactic of war, it is a political tactic
By Daniel Greenfield
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
“We are not waging a war against terrorism because terrorism is but a tactic that will never be defeated, any more than a tactics of war will. Rather, such thinking is a recipe for endless conflict. ... We are at war with Al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and any comment to the contrary is just inaccurate.” —John Brennan, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
Now there’s an obvious paradox in a man whose own post is defined by counterterrorism, arguing that terrorism can never be defeated. Back when the USSR forged its pact with Nazi Germany, the Soviet propaganda machine propounded that they were not at war with “fascism”, as “isms” could not be defeated. Similar defeatist arguments were used by Western governments to argue that Communism was another “ism” and Isms could not be defeated.
Both arguments were of course proven wrong, because you can defeat an “Ism” by bringing down the system and country that most exemplifies it, thereby devaluing it as a political or ideological strategy at least for some time to come. That in turn is exactly why Muslim terrorism is targeting America, because we exemplify a society that blends human freedoms, popular representation and free enterprise. If they can corrupt, destroy or bring down America, they will have come one step closer to demonstrating that there is no alternative to accepting Islam.
Brennan argues that terrorism is just another tactic of war, and that therefore it cannot be defeated. This is wrong on both counts, as a man who spent so much time in the intelligence and counterterrorism world should know.
Terrorism is not a tactic of war, it is a political tactic
First of all, a tactic of war can indeed be defeated by demonstrating that its use is either futile or self-destructive. The reason we have never had a nuclear war is because any strategy that depended on winning a nuclear war was eliminated by demonstrating that it was far more likely to lead to self-destruction than to victory.
Secondly, terrorism is not a tactic of war, it is a political tactic. Terrorists don’t employ terrorism in order to defeat armies, but to show that the army and security forces are unable to defeat them or stop their attacks. Their real target is the political apparatus of the enemy which is forced to make concessions to the political goals of the terrorists in order to end the attacks. These concessions can be direct or indirect. An example of direct concessions would occur at a peace conference, such as the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and Arafat. While an indirect example would be the American and European attempt to appease “moderate” Muslims who have the same goals as the “extremist” Muslims. While the terrorists will usually denounce such appeasement, this is only done in order to stake out their position on the left or the right, and thereby achieve even more far-ranging concessions.
Understanding that terrorism is a political tactic is the key to defeating it. Terrorism gambles that the spines of the enemy politicians will be weak enough that they will choose to withdraw, appease and concede—rather than fight harder and do whatever it takes to win. Terrorists cannot win against a nation whose political and military leadership is united with their citizens in their determination to defeat the terrorists. They can only win by exploiting weakness, and their crimes are crimes of weakness.
Spread terror through public acts of terror and highly visible atrocities in order to make it easier for weak politicians to make a fitful effort to stop them
If terrorists had the courage to make war, they would make war. They don’t plant bombs in cafes because they believe they can actually defeat their enemies in battle. They plant bombs in cafes because they know that they can’t, and that their only hope is to spread terror through public acts of terror and highly visible atrocities in order to make it easier for weak politicians to make a fitful effort to stop them, and then pull back when they realize that their half-hearted measures alone won’t carry the day.
That is why it is impossible to defeat terrorists without defeating terrorism. Because the two are the same. Terrorists depend on the success of their core tactic, that of terrorizing the enemy. You cannot defeat them without discrediting this tactic, without demonstrating that it is futile and self-destructive. And you do that in two ways, first by never bowing to terrorism or its demands in any way shape or form. And secondly by going on the offensive against terrorists, by targeting their allies and their affiliated political movements, and any groups, ethnic, religious or political that support them.
The terrorists’ tactic is to turn up the heat on their enemies. The best counter is to turn up the heat on them. The terrorists gain their strength by being on the offensive and forcing their enemies to take reactive stances, always waiting to defend against every possible attack. The best counter is to force the terrorists to go on the defensive, to hit them and keep hitting them so that they are forced to be reactive, anticipating the next attack.
A major terrorist organization requires a core of professionals to train new recruits and run operations. It requires a constant flow of money to fund terrorist activities. It needs a political arm or sympathizers and fellow travelers who will conduct their propaganda for them, and make their aims and goals clear. And finally it needs warm bodies to throw into the fray and transform into martyrs. Critics usually harp on the last of these as demonstrating that you cannot simply kill terrorists because they will just recruit more. Which is true. But such recruits are generally worthless. Suicide bombings alone demonstrate how worthless even the terrorist leaders themselves think their recruits are.
But if you can destroy or severely damage the first three, then you have destroyed or severely crippled the ability of the terrorist group to operate. If you destroy its core personnel, you can eliminate the entire group as a threat. If you can humiliate them by forcing confessions out of them, you can even discredit the group’s “brand” and impede other terrorists from trying to form the group again in the future.
If you can stop or block the majority of operations, and discredit or destroy some of the core personnel, you will discourage the flow of donations to the group from its backers. Furthermore, if you can destroy the political arms and terrify or take down the fellow travelers, you can essentially isolate the terrorist group both from its financial backers and its political goals. The group becomes a dead end, with no real way left to achieve its objectives. Because terrorism is a political strategy, and if the group cannot have any way left to effect political change, it becomes worthless.
To defeat both terrorists and terrorism, you must be ruthless
It sounds easy, but it’s not. The key is to understand that doing these without any real commitment is almost as bad as not doing anything at all. Because the terrorists depend on a certain amount of engagement in order to be able to carry on a running battle that will bring them attention and money, and that will make the people feel that further fighting is futile. The terrorists count on being able to survive repeated engagements by a government too afraid to fight them with the gloves off… so that they can then claim that force will not stop them, only concessions and appeasement will end the violence.
To defeat both terrorists and terrorism, you must be ruthless. You must destroy them by destroying whatever cover they depend on. You must cut off their outside aid and political camouflage, put them on the run and keep them on the run, until they are isolated and immobile, at which point they can be destroyed. This will require tactics that often seem ugly to the postmodern mentality that believes that force is only moral when it is practiced with perfect purity. But the only thing uglier than what it will take to defeat terrorists, is their victory.
To National security advisor: Don’t “tweak” terrorism, confront it!
Tweaking and quoting comedians shouldn’t be in the same sentence as international terrorism
By Judi McLeod
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Cut White House national security advisor James Jones in as part of the Obama administration’s shock-a-day style of operation.
Americans, says this retired 4-star Marine General, will feel “a certain shock” when they read an account being released later today of the missed clues that could have prevented the “alleged” Christmas Day bomber from ever boarding the plane. (Susan Page, USA Today, Jan. 7, 2010).
“President Obama ‘is legitimately and correctly alarmed that things that were available, bits of information that were available, patterns of behavior that were available, were not acted on,’ Jones said in an interview Wednesday with USA TODAY.
“That’s two strikes,” Obama’s top White House aide on defense and foreign policy issues said, referring to the foiled bombing of the Detroit-bound airliner and the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, in November. In that case, too, officials failed to act when red flags were raised about an Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Hassan. He has been charged with killing 13 people.
“Jones said Obama “certainly doesn’t want that third strike, and neither does anybody else.”
How can you tell, Gen. Jones, when it took the president three days to check in on the foiled terrorist attack from his latest Hawaiian vacation?
Jones answer to terrorism in the skies counts on remedies involving “tweaks” rather than the overhaul that followed the Sept. 11 attacks—for instance, hiring for intelligence agencies so analysts aren’t overwhelmed by their workload.
“We know what happened, we know what didn’t happen, and we know how to fix it,” Jones told USA TODAY.
As a one-time Marine, Jones would certainly know that it takes courage to face-off terrorists who ride about in planes with bombs in their undies.
Pussyfooting with these terrorists doesn’t cut it.
Bowing and scraping to their leaders will never stop them in their tracks so long as there’s another infidel still breathing.
This is the course Jones was on a year ago last February in his remarks to the 45th Munich Conference on Security Policy: “Thank you for that wonderful tribute to Henry Kissinger yesterday. Congratulations. As the most recent National Security Advisor of the United States, I take my daily orders from Dr. Kissinger, filtered down through General Brent Scowcroft and Sandy Berger, who is also here. We have a chain of command in the National Security Council that exists today.” (Italics CFP’s). (Council on Foreign Relations, Feb. 8, 2009).
In other words, Jones is a follower in the footsteps of One World Order forging Henry Kissinger and documents-stuffed-in-his socks Sandy Berger!
Back in Munich, Jones was talking about ways “to better carry out the president’s priorities”. The National Security Council, he said, “must respond to the world the way it is and not as we wish it were”.
“To achieve those goals we will be guided by several principle. As one of our great comedians in the United States, Groucho Marx, once said, “These are our principles, and if you don’t like them, we have others.”
Tweaking and quoting comedians shouldn’t be in the same sentence as international terrorism.
Nor will all tweaking available ever change the real meaning of the words ‘terrorism’ or ‘terrorist’.
Contemporary writers on the subject of terrorism, including Northeast Intelligent Network founder and CFP columnist Doug Hagmann do not believe in the merits of tweaking: “To believe that restricting lavatory use and keeping blankets off the laps of grandmothers will make air travel safer is to believe in a myth that should be insulting to every law abiding air passenger,” Hagmann wrote in CFP on Jan. 5. “All passengers are not the problem, and not all passengers pose a threat to air travel. To make air travel safer, we must identify potential threats before they board an aircraft. To do so, we must break free from the bonds of political correctness and admit, without feelings of guilt or reservation, that the threat is originating from Islamic terrorists and those who facilitate them.
“It is beyond the time that we understand that the consequences for our failures to admit who we are fighting will only result in more needless deaths of innocent men, women and children. We need to understand the level of infiltration that has been allowed to occur in all branches of our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement under the guise of religious tolerance and political correctness. In many cases, our enemies are wearing our own uniforms.”
Meanwhile, it is not the American people who lack the courage to deal with Islamic terrorists but their wanting leaders.