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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Extremist Recruitment and Who is Qatar?

Islam's New Recruiting Methods
Qatar's Role as U.S. Ally At odds With Claims it Sponsors Terror
Fed's Bulletin Describes Threat of Imminent Terrorist Attack on Southern Border

Two days ago I commented on an issue which should be at the forefront of domestic counter-terrorism efforts.  Islamic extremists are here in our communities, folks, and they are looking for disaffected young people to join their causes.  I hope that all Federal Law Enforcement personnel affiliated with counter-terrorism operations will take the time to read the Brigette Gabriel piece that I have linked.  Ms. Gabriel is one of the most brilliant, well-spoken persons who put themselves at risk by regularly commenting on Islamic Extremism.  Because of her heritage, Gabriel brings immediate bona fides to her perspective.  Unfortunately her heritage also makes her a target for extremists who believe that Muslim women are not worthy or intelligent enough to discuss these matters.  Let's get one thing straight: Gabriel is not shrinking violet.  She will go toe-to-toe with the best of them, and wins her arguments through honesty, wisdom and integrity.
Islamic extremists have been recruiting in certain American communities for decades.  Particular groups of disaffected young people have shown a willingness to listen to the jihadist point of view.  Most of the targets are young men, so the traditional argument that women should be kept covered, quiet, out of sight, and compliant usually meets with approval.  And then we have the "40 virgins" (or whatever) that are alleged to be waiting in Heaven for those who "die for the cause".  I have no intention of turning this blog into a discussion about faith.  In my world, faith is a very personal issue, and excuse the cliché, but buttholes come in all shapes, sizes, and religions.  For many years my mantra was "mind your own business".  But the spread of Islamic extremism has made things a bit tricky.  The jihadist believes so strongly in the righteousness of his/her cause, that mosques and schools have become great places to hide missiles, weapons and ammunition.  Mosques are ideal for spreading particular messages, and recruiting for extremist causes.  Intelligence Agencies in the United States and in Europe (and also in China and East Asia, I had been informed) have no difficulty determining links from one extremist mosque to the next.  With the advent of a "borderless" Europe, people, money, and even weapons can be transported from a mosque (or religiously affiliated schools, etc.) in one country to a mosque on another.  There is usually a main mosque with an Imam who considers himself a big shot (egos know no bounds with some of these Imams).  Mosques affiliated with extremist beliefs are usually easy to find because these Imams just can't keep quiet.  They have to shout their hatred of all things "western" louder than the guy at the mosque down the street.  It would behoove them to preach a quieter more peaceful brand of Islam
so as to avoid attention.  But they just can't seem to help themselves.
I won't go into detail regarding the efforts to recruit in the United States and Europe, because the main points are relatively simple.  Educated persons are in high demand, and also persons with a particular trade (IEDs can be tricky).  At this stage, groups like ISIS/ISIL are looking for recently retired soldiers (I'm sure they would welcome an active duty soldier as well, God help us all) who have been trained on particular weaponry.  I'm sure they are looking for folks who have first-hand knowledge of Russian-made weaponry as well.  A recent Google satellite shot of Al-Taqbah Airbase in Syria revealed at least 10 Mig-21s sitting on the tarmac.  This is the airbase that ISIS/ISIL captured this last week.  From what I understand, the Migs were still there (who knows what condition they're in).  So keep your eyes peeled in the classifieds of Pravda for ads "looking for persons who can fly Mig-21s".  I'm more interested in what else they picked up at that airfield.  Hopefully nothing that can help them mount a biological agent delivery-system.
I assume that the inner cities of the United States, places with rampant unemployment and urban blight, are prime locations for jihadi recruitment.  I imagine the Russians need to look closely at Chechnya and some of the other former Soviet Republics, if they even give a shit at this point (its been at least a few months since someone blew themselves up in Moscow).
My second link deals with the frequent accusations that Qatar is involved with supporting Islamic extremist groups.  This is not a simple matter.  There are a handful of obscenely rich royal families in the Gulf, and each family has hundreds if not thousands of obscenely wealthy members.  The ruling Shaykh of each family is traditionally burdened with keeping everyone square, but in truth it is impossible to know who is giving money to whom.  There was recently an incident at an airport in one of the U.A.E. Emirates (yes, I know I said "Emirates" twice in a row) during which a number of jumbo jets were left unclaimed.  These people literally do have money to burn.  As for the Shaykh of Qatar (from the Al-Thani clan), I have no reason to believe that he or his government have any financial dealings with groups like ISIS/ISIL.  Since Hamas is considered by many to have social and political functions, I would expect Hamas and the Qatari government to have an official relationship.  But the Qataris have hosted the U.S. Fleet for many years without incident.  I'm sure some members of the royal family do financially contribute to the bad guys.  Personally, though, I believe it pales in comparison to the "support for extremists" activities of some of the other royal families of the Gulf.
My final link of the day is an article about possible terrorist activity on the Texas border, namely El Paso.  In all honestly, the article didn't really shake me up.  It appears that Judicial Watch is quoting from a Department of Homeland Security release of some sort.  I would not be surprised to see attempts to destabilize our cities with IEDs, etc., but not with a singular attack in El Paso.  I'm more concerned with a series of pre-planned, well-organized and coordinated attacks in Metro areas.  I don't think we have any idea how many operatives are currently sitting in place.  Hopefully none.

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