Obama’s Gitmo board oks release of Saudi who “remains devoted” to al Qaeda

…because he’s less a risk than the Taliban 5…whom we were told were no risk at all…yet have since met with Haqqani leaders. via Guantánamo board says Saudi captive can go home | The Miami Herald.

Muhammed Zahrani, al Qaeda terrorist cleared for release by Obama

Muhammed Zahrani, al Qaeda terrorist cleared for release by Obama

A U.S. national security panel has approved for release from Guantánamo a long-prisoner whose advocates argued was less of a risk at-large than the five Taliban captives sent to Qatar in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May.

Muhammed Zahrani, 45, got to Guantánamo in August 2002 and was until this month held as an indefinite detainee, without charge or eligible for release, a “forever prisoner.” The Periodic Review Board announced Monday he was eligible for repatriation to his native Saudi Arabia, raising to 80 the number of men approved for transfer from the remote prison holding 149 detainees.

Zahrani persuaded the board to make him eligible for release, according to a document released by the Pentagon, because of his “candor with the board about his presence on the battlefield, expressions of regret, and desires for a peaceful life after Guantánamo.”

It’s not possible to know what he said because, at Zahrani’s request, his remarks and written submission to the board were under seal at the parole board website.

These were the board’s first review of Saudi prisoners, and the members note in their unsigned recommendation that they gave consideration specifically to Zahrani because of the ongoing Saudi rehabilitation panel.

A panel of representatives of the Departments of Defense, Justice, State, Homeland Security and National Intelligence Directorate heard his case June19.

It was unclear why the decisions took so long.

A U.S. intelligence assessment, which was prepared in April, said Zahrani trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan in the two years prior to the Sept.11, 2001 terror attacks. It said he has “provided information of value” to U.S. intelligence but alternately “withheld details” and “possibly has exaggerated his role in and significance to al-Qaida, to which he remains devoted.”

 

Canadian soldier shot dead by Muslim convert at National War Memorial in Ottawa (video)

On the heels of Monday’s Islamic terror attack that killed a Canadian soldier. via Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot dead after opening fire at Parliament Hill in Ottawa | Daily Mail Online.

A gunman shot dead a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa today before exchanging dozens of shots with guards inside Parliament in a terrifying attack that left the nation’s capital on lockdown.

Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who reportedly recently converted to Islam, fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a 24-year-old father, as he stood guard at the War Memorial on Wednesday morning.

Zehaf-Bibeau then ran inside the Parliament, where he opened fire before he was shot dead by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms.

Zehaf-Bibeau was born in Quebec as Michael Joseph Hall but recently converted to Islam,CBS reported. His attack comes just two days after another Canadian soldier was killed in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

Authorities initially said they believed ‘two or three’ gunmen were responsible for the attack in Ottawa on Wednesday, but at an afternoon press conference, Chief of Police Charles Bordeleau would not confirm whether or not they are still searching for other shooters.

The shooting spree began at 9.52am when witnesses reported seeing a gunman climb out of a car, grab a rifle, shoot the soldier in the abdomen and then run towards Parliament.

A shootout unfolded and Zehaf-Bibeau was killed by Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers, who worked for the RCMP for 29 years before joining the Parliament in 2006. (He is pictured by the Hill Times.)

‘I am safe & profoundly grateful to Sgt at Arms Kevin Vickers & our security forces for selfless act of keeping us safe,’ said Julian Fantino, Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs, on Twitter.

The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for safeguarding the authority of the House of Commons and providing safety and security of the Parliament buildings and the people inside.

As gunfire erupted in the hallways, journalists and politicians scrambled for safety, while members in the Conservative Party caucus room blocked the door with a stack of chairs.

A parliamentary guard was shot in the leg during the gunfight but is recovering in hospital, according to Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove, who is inside the building.

Witnesses also told the Citizen that they saw a man wearing an ‘Arabic scarf’ and carrying a long rifle, while others said the suspect looked South American.

http://youtu.be/cylQBgHH2Cg

Yet to be confirmed, but ISIS has published a photo they claim is the jihadist…yet Canadian police nor Obama can muster a motive.

Update: Obama forced to acknowledge the jihad attack…he still hasn’t mentioned the beheading by a Muslim in Oklahoma:

President Barack Obama condemned fatal shootings in Canada on Wednesday as “outrageous attacks.” ”We’re all shaken by it,” he said.

Obama said the motive for the shootings remained unknown. But he said as more becomes known, that information will be factored into U.S. security considerations. “We have to remain vigilant,” he said.

 It’s unclear who Obama is referring to when he says “we”. It’s certainly not the American people.

Canadian soldiers run down in possible Quebec terror attack

Muslim terror attack. via Canadian soldiers run down in possible Quebec terror attack | Toronto Star. h/t Jawa

MONTREAL—The suspect in a hit-and-run that injured two Canadian soldiers in Quebec — an incident identified as a possible terror attack — has died in hospital after being shot several times by police.

Lt. Michel Brunet of the Sûreté du Québec says the 25-year-old man died a few hours after being shot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal.

Police sources identified the suspect as Martin Rouleau, according to La Presse.

The shocking incident, which occurred at about noon Monday, also sent the two Canadian Armed Forces personnel to hospital with one fighting for his life and the other having suffered minor injuries, according to the Quebec provincial police.

The two soldiers were reportedly walking through the parking lot of a shopping centre located less than three kilometres from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, the French-language university run by the Department of National Defence, when they were run down by a driver.

A police chase ensued and the car drove into a ditch after the driver lost control of the vehicle, police said.

Witnesses who spoke with the TVA network Monday afternoon said they saw a man emerge from the flipped vehicle that was lying in a ditch on the side of the road. The man had his hands in the air and was walking toward police when at least one officer opened fire on the suspect. The witnesses said they heard up to seven gunshots.

TVA also showed images of a knife with an elaborate handle lodged into the ground near where the incident occurred.

A source told the Star that the incident happened near the Integrated Personnel Support Centre on Blvd. du Séminaire Nord. This centre, one of several across the country, is operated jointly by Veterans Affairs and National Defence to assist veterans as well as reservists and regular force troops on issues such as return to work.

In a statement Monday evening, the RCMP said the suspect was known to federal officials.

This individual was known to federal authorities including our Integrated National Security Investigations team in Montreal who along with other authorities were concerned that he had become radicalized,” RCMP Cpl. David Falls said in a statement.

The Toronto Star can’t bare to put the words to paper: Islam, Muslim, jihad.

“Out of respect and deference to the ongoing criminal investigation arising from today’s terrible events the RCMP will not comment further except to say that we are working with our law enforcement partners to ensure all avenues of investigation are pursued,” Falls said.

 

 

Bergdahl ‘deserter’ verdict won’t be released until after November elections

President Barack Obama Gives a Statement Regarding The Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by The Taliban

via Bowe Bergdahl ‘deserter’ investigation is complete – but verdict will not be determined until after November’s elections | Daily Mail Online.

The Army completed its investigation last week into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance from a base in Afghanistan five years ago, but the Pentagon said Tuesday that it doesn’t know when the report will be released.

‘The investigating officer has done his work, but now that work is moving through the Army system, and at each stop … there will … be questions, requirements for clarification,’ Army Colonel Steve Warren told reporters.

‘So it’s working its way through the system as would any other investigation.’

The results of the Army’s probe into whether Bergdahl deserted his post will most certainly be withheld from the public until after November’s elections, if it discloses its findings at all.

The Pentagon’s announcement has Republicans and former platoon mates of Bergdahl’s wondering what’s taking so long, as the facts of the case appear fairly cut and dried on the surface.

According to soldiers who served with Bergdahl, the 28-year-old willingly abandoned his base several days before he was kidnapped by the Taliban and taken hostage in June of 2009.

If cleared of wrong doing, Sgt. Bergdahl stands to receive $200,000 in back pay and $150,000 compensation for his troubles.

The Army said on Friday that it had received Dahl’s report and its ‘reviewing it,’ but it has no timeline for the completion of its audit.

But members of Bergdahl’s unit say they don’t understand why the Army’s assessment is taking so long.

Bergdahl’s former platoon leader, Sgt. Evan Buetow, has said on numerous occasions that after Bergdahl, then a private in the army, went missing, soldiers in his unit learned from locals they were observing over the radio that an American was wandering around town, looking for someone who spoke English so that he could communicate with the Taliban.

‘We’ve come out when he first got released, and we explained exactly what happened. He deserted his post, all on his own, and we’re now still sitting here waiting for answers,’ Buetow told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday evening.

Buetow said he was interviewed Gen. Dahl and had a ‘lengthy’ conversation with him about the details of Bergdahl’s disappearance, including the chatter the platoon heard over the radio.

‘I have a list of the people that the general spoke to during this investigation,’ Buetow told Hannity. ‘It’s everyone from the platoon, and I know exactly what they said.

‘There’s no way that they can conclude this investigation without the truth.’

The truth, Buetow said, is that Bergdahl deserted.

‘There’s not one person [from his platoon] who disagrees,’ Buetow said.

Another former platoon mate of Bergdahl’s, Sgt. Jordan Vaughn, said Wednesday on Fox and Friends that he’s also suspicious of delay, given that the military had ‘five years to investigate this, talk to everyone who was there, who was involved, talk to the family, check the emails, look at the facts.’

‘The only thing that was missing here, the only piece, is Bergdahl himself talking to him,’ he said.

Vaughn suggested that part of the problem is that Dahl is not qualified to conduct the probe.

‘I really want to see the line of questioning presented by Major General Dahl given that he is not an army investigator,’ Vaughn said.

He later referred to Dahl as a ‘general that has no experience’ leading ‘a line of questioning in a criminal investigation.’

‘What are Gen. Dahl’s credentials?’ he asked.

Vaughn said if the Army doesn’t release its finished review to the public, he and other members of Bergdahl’s platoon would ‘look into filing a Freedom of Information Act’ to obtain the report.

Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle, who was filling in this morning for regular Fox and Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, commented that it seemed ‘very politically expedient’ that the Army is delaying the release of its report until after the election.

On Tuesday night, Hannity noted that ‘the Army says politics has nothing to do with’ the protracted wait.

‘I’m not sold,’ he said.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, a frequent Fox guest, told Hannity later in the show that he, too, believes the Obama administration may have asked the Army to sit on the verdict of its investigation until after Nov. 4.

‘When it comes to why it’s being withheld, it’s obvious. It’s gotta be withheld until after the election because no matter which way the report goes, Obama loses,’ he said.

‘If the White House was able to exert sufficient pressure on the chain of command in the Pentagon to whitewash Bergdahl’s actions, then there’s gonna be this huge outcry from those serving in uniform, from veterans from conservatives,’ he noted.

On the other hand, he said, ‘if it turns out that the Army got some backbone and really looked at what Bergdahl did, listened to people like Sgt. Buetow and his platoon mates, and finds that, yes, he should be charged with desertion, well then the Rose Garden ceremony looks like an even greater debacle.’

‘So Obama has dug himself into a very deep hole, and he can’t stop digging,’ he said, referring to a news conference the president held at the White House on the day of Bergdahl’s release with the sergeant’s parents.

Peters claimed that he has ‘nothing personal’ against Sgt. Bergdahl and that he’s never met him.

‘This is about a much greater issue than one individual who appears to have deserted from his post and left his comrades behind in war time,’ he explained.

‘The principle is this: the Obama administration really despises our military, in my view. And they understand why Bergdahl would desert, they just don’t understand why anybody would join the military.

Returning back to the topic at hand, Peters said that ‘if there’s a whitewash, and Bergdahl walks with all his back pay and stuff, the travesty, the precedent it sets for all future wars is that, “Hey dude, it’s OK, man. You don’t like what’s going on, walk away, we’ll cover for you.”

‘That’s profoundly wrong,’ he concluded.

priorities

Lessons from the U.S. Airstrikes on Aleppo

…they ain’t working. Or read Stratfor’s take.

When the United States began its campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Sept. 22, it also used Tomahawk cruise missiles to attack a series of al Qaeda-related facilities in the Aleppo area. The strikes targeted al Qaeda’s regional franchise in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as personnel belonging to the al Qaeda core who were in Syria working with Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadists. The U.S. government has referred to the al Qaeda personnel it attacked in Syria as the “Khorasan Group,” but they are clearly personnel from the al Qaeda core who have been dispatched to Syria and not from some other organization.

 It appears the strikes caught the al Qaeda militants by surprise, and there are reports that al Qaeda operative Muhsin al-Fadhli, reported to be Ayman al-Zawahiri’s senior operative in Syria, was killed in the strikes. The United States also claimed that al-Fadhli and his fellow al Qaeda members were working on plots to strike the United States and Europe from their base in Syria. The group reportedly was the reason for an alert issued on July 2 warning that al Qaeda elements in Syria were working with bombmakers from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in a new plot to smuggle concealed explosive devices onto U.S.-bound aircraft.

 The fact that al-Fadhli and his companions were dispatched to Syria to plot attacks against the United States should not be surprising. The group and other jihadist militants have long operated in lawless areas in countries such as Yemen, Algeria, Somalia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Iraq and Syria. The al Qaeda core also has a long history of seeking to attack the United States. We have seen the al Qaeda core dispatch operatives to work with groups of local jihadists to conduct attacks in New York (1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Africa (1998 East Africa embassy bombings.)

 The U.S. strikes against al Qaeda targets in Aleppo are noteworthy because they highlight the need of al Qaeda groups to seek sanctuary in places such as Syria. The strikes also serve as a reminder that while the campaign against al Qaeda has weakened the group since 9/11, the group can revive if it has time and space within which to operate.

  It is important to understand that sanctuary alone is not enough to produce sophisticated transnational terrorist attacks. Indeed, there are many jihadist groups that are operating in lawless areas across a wide arc of the world stretching from West Africa to the Sulu Archipelago. However, only a small number of these groups possess the requisite combination of intent and capability needed to conduct transnational attacks. Many of these groups are nationally or regionally focused and therefore have no aspiration of striking targets beyond their areas of operation. Friction between nationally focused and transnationally focused jihadists has resulted in rifts and infighting among the members of groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Shabaab. But even those jihadist groups that aspire and threaten to commit transnational attacks have been constrained by their limited capabilities. Projecting terrorist power across continents is not as easy as it appears in the movies.

As we have previously discussed, fighting an insurgency and conducting transnational terrorist attacks are two distinct things, and possessing the ability to conduct insurgent warfare does not mean that a militant group can automatically use its insurgent capabilities to carry out terrorist strikes. To project terrorist power transnationally, a militant group needs to develop the capability to employ advanced terrorist tradecraft.

image004

Terrorist groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have also sought other ways to extend their reach from places of sanctuary to attack the United States and Europe. One way they have sought to do this is by using concealed bombs to attack aircraft. For example, in the 2009 underwear bomb plot and the 2010 computer printer bomb attempt, the perpetrating group sought to use innovative and imaginative explosive devices created in its Yemeni bases to attack international aviation targets. This is because making explosive devices in areas where there is access to military-grade explosives and bomb components is easier than sending an operative to create a device from improvised components in a hostile environment.

 In response to the group’s failed attacks, security agencies have dramatically increased the scrutiny of people and cargo originating from Yemen. The country was already a fairly isolated place due to its geography, making it difficult to dispatch people and bombs without detection. The area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where the al Qaeda core is believed to be hiding, is also quite isolated and under heavy scrutiny by intelligence agencies. Because of this, relocating cells to Syria to plan and execute plots against the West makes sense. There is also an immense amount of traffic going both ways across the Syria-Turkey border, facilitating travel to Turkey as the far more convenient location to get to the United States and Europe than Yemen or Pakistan. Continue reading

ISIS Using U.S. Tents at Jihad Training Camps?

via New Islamic State Training Video Emerges — Pay Very Close Attention to What Is Printed on the Tents Used by Terrorists | Video | TheBlaze.com.

Militants with the Islamic State group on Monday captured a military training camp in western Iraq, inching closer to full control of the restive Anbar province, as a spate of deadly bombings shook Baghdad, hitting mostly Shiite neighborhoods and leaving at least 30 dead.

The attacks, which came as Iraqi Shiites marked a major holiday for their sect with families crowding the streets in celebration, raised new concerns that the Sunni militant group is making gains despite U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

A new alleged Islamic State training video also emerged this week, apparently showing how their fighters are trained. And if you look closely at the tents used by the terrorists, they are clearly marked “US.”

 Purported video:

Meanwhile:

This ‘scorched earth’ policy is being waged by jihadis whose most brutal members seem to be Europeans. ‘They are Chechen, they are English, they are from all over Europe. We know because we can hear their accents,’ said Mr Bakki.

Another man, Khalid, a teacher, claimed he had seen two fighters involved in the crushing of Kobane, and he had been told by a friend that the pair were boasting they were British.

American Military Contractor Shot & Killed in Saudi Arabia by US-born Saudi Muslim

Crickets. via American Is Fatally Shot in Saudi Arabia – NYTimes.com.

Two American employees of a United States military contractor were shot on Tuesday, one fatally, by a recently dismissed Saudi-American colleague at a gas station in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, the Interior Ministry reported.

The shooting, which appeared to be workplace-related, came amid heightened concern about possible reprisal attacks by Islamic militants against the United States and Saudi Arabia, which are collaborating in a military coalition against the Islamic State, the extremist group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

Saudi security forces rushed to the scene of the shooting, where they exchanged fire with the gunman before wounding him and taking him into custody, American and Saudi officials said.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington released a statement from the Interior Ministry that identified the assailant as Abdulaziz Fahad Abdulaziz Alrashid, 24, a dual Saudi-American citizen who had been “recently dismissed from his job due to drug-related issues.”

The statement said Mr. Alrashid, born in Washington State, had traveled to Bahrain, France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and most recently to Bahrain, this month.

“The investigation is ongoing, and the relevant authorities will reveal details as they emerge,” the statement concluded.

Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement that the Americans were employees of Vinnell Arabia, an American military contractor supporting Saudi National Guard military programs in Riyadh.

Ms. Psaki said the gas station was about half a mile from the Vinnell Arabia base in Riyadh and about 20 miles from the United States Embassy.

“We are in close contact with the Saudi government as we continue to gather details about the shooting


More:

Alrashid was booked in Boise, Idaho, in 2011 for driving while “under the influence,” according to Mugshotsonline.com. It appears that Alrashid left to Saudi Arabia following the incident, possibly fearing the repercussions in the United States. The words “failure to appear” appears beside Alrashid’s image.

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Image from the murder scene. (Al Arabiya)

Image from the murder scene. (Al Arabiya)

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