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.

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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)

El Paso: Nexus of a Narco-Terror Ring

Narco-Muslim Terror Ring that is. via El Paso: Nexus of a Narco-Terror Ring – Judicial Watch.

A sophisticated narco-terror ring with connections running from El Paso to Chicago to New York City has been uncovered with the help of Judicial Watch.  This narco-terror ring involves two of the FBI’s “most wanted.”

On the morning of August 27, 2014, Emad Karakrah led police on a high-speed chase through Chicago streets as an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag waved from his car.  When Chicago Police finally stopped and arrested Karakrah, he told officers his car was rigged with explosives that would detonate if searched.  Bomb disposal units secured the vehicle without incident.  The arrest of Karakrah, 49 years old, helped expose a narco-terrorist network with roots and financing in El Paso.

Authorities believe Karakrah may have been “acting out” during the Chicago flag and bomb threat incident, in the frantic, desperate belief that the rest of his terrorist network had been apprehended by U.S. law enforcement.

Judicial Watch warned the public on August 29th of an imminent terrorist attack in the vicinity of El Paso, based on reporting from its own sources.  (The Obama administration vehemently denied any imminent terror threat until two weeks after Judicial Watch’s report – then reversed its position and largely adopted Judicial Watch’s warning.) Karakrah’s Chicago meltdown occurred because he knew his El Paso and Juarez based networks were under pressure and collapsing.  Simply stated, Karakrah was alone, panicking, and may have been seeking “martyrdom by cop.”

Karakrah is a logistics and transportation operative for militant Islamists in the United States, according to sources close to the investigation.  He moves people, weapons, explosives, drugs, money, and other materiel to terrorist cells operating in Chicago, Brooklyn, NY and Saddle Brook, NJ — among other locations across the United States.  More than a decade ago Karakrah smuggled drugs and weapons for the Juarez drug cartel in Mexico.  In July of this year, he was on a supply run to a militant Islamist cell operating out of a basement in Brooklyn, sources tell Judicial Watch.

Karakrah is, allegedly, also a former FBI confidential informant who has gone rogue, breaking contact with his bureau handlers.  Sources tell Judicial Watch that legal proceedings against Karakrah in Chicago have now twice been delayed because of FBI “equities.” Karakrah’s next hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2014, and he remains in the Cook County Jail.

Before moving to Chicago sometime in 2011, Karakrah lived in Anthony, NM and a suburb of El Paso, TX.  His ex-wife and two children remain in the El Paso area.  In 1999 Karakrah pleaded guilty to felony “Criminal Sexual Penetration of a Child, Ages 13-16” as well as a related conspiracy charge, according to public records.  Law enforcement sources characterized Karakrah as a “dangerous, crazy thug.”

Karakrah’s other El Paso connection is a friend and business associate, Hector Pedroza Huerta.  He is a 44 year old, illegal alien currently residing in the El Paso County Jail Annex after his third arrest in August 2014 for “Driving While Intoxicated.”  Huerta is reportedly now a “kitchen trustee” in the Jail Annex while awaiting court proceedings on federal immigration charges for “unlawful reentry of a removed alien.”  His next federal court date is reportedly October 7, 2014.

Like Karakrah, Huerta is also believed to be deeply involved in smuggling drugs and weapons. Though he is an illegal alien, Huerta has resided in the El Paso area for years.  He has ties to a wealthy American in El Paso with business interests in the transportation industry. The wealthy owner of the transportation business is believed to protect Huerta and provide him with free legal counsel in exchange for Huerta’s continued silence concerning certain aspects of the transportation business.

Huerta is alleged to have smuggled explosives and weapons from the Fort Bliss range and exercise areas in concert with corrupt US Army soldiers and government contractors with gate passes at the El Paso base.  In 2009 he partnered with Karakrah to plan a Chicago truck bombing that was thwarted.  Between December 2010 and February 2011, Huerta and Karakrah also planned two additional bomb plots targeting oil refineries in Houston and the Fort Worth Stockyards, according to Judicial Watch sources.

During the 2010/2011 timeframe, Karakrah and Huerta met with two of the FBI’s “most wanted” terrorists: Jaber A. Elbaneh and Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah (a/k/a: “Javier Robles”).   The meetings took place in a private home in Anthony, NM. The four men discussed the movement of drugs, money and people.

The plots were further planned by fellow conspirators at a “mosque” on Redd Road in El Paso, as well as two other “mosques” in the city.

Karakrah, Huerta, Elbaneh and el Shukrijumah all met again in Anthony, NM in March 2014 according to Judicial Watch sources.

With both Karakrah and Huerta in custody, federal law enforcement officials have an extraordinary opportunity to break the powerful narco-terrorism grip on El Paso – assuming they can overcome internecine turf wars between the various agencies of the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.  Judicial Watch “connected the dots” in this narco-terrorism network for federal law enforcement.

For too long, “experts” have discounted the level of cooperation between Mexican drug cartels and Islamist militants. Meanwhile terrorists, weapons, drugs and money cross back-and-forth over the border virtually undetected, in a city long known as the “safest in America.”

Two recent, seemingly unrelated, arrests expose the nexus of Islamic terror and drug cartel trafficking operating from El Paso, that in the last four years has been nationally recognized for having the “lowest crime rate ranking” among municipalities with populations over 500,000.

NY: Fugitive Afghan soldiers now seeking asylum in U.S.

via Lawyer for fugitive Afghan soldiers says US government is fighting bid for release – Metro – The Boston Globe.

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2 of 3 Mohammad’s: Major Jan Mohammad Arash, Captain Noorullah Aminyar, Captain Mohammad Nasir Askarzada

 BATAVIA, N.Y. — The lawyer for three Afghan soldiers who disappeared last month from a military training camp on Cape Cod said Wednesday that federal officials are fighting their bid to be released from jail as they seek asylum.

“They’re not a security risk at all,” their lawyer, Matthew Borowski, said after the soldiers appeared at brief hearings in the Department of Justice’s immigration court. “They went through the right process of coming here legally and seeking asylum, and they shouldn’t be kept in detention in a prisonlike setting here.”

Borowski, a Buffalo lawyer handling the case for free, said he had hoped immigration Judge Steven Connelly would release the soldiers on bail Wednesday. Instead, he said, he wound up asking the judge to postpone the hearing so he could prepare, after it became clear US Immigration and Customs Enforcement opposed granting bond.

Marvin J. Muller III, the immigration prosecutor, declined to comment after the hearing. In court, he asked the judge to make the continuance brief. Connelly continued the three cases to Oct. 8.

The hearing capped an embarrassing series of events for US and Afghan officials. The soldiers are among five Afghan officers who vanished last month from training to improve their skills fighting drugs, terror, and other crimes in Afghanistan. The Central Asian nation, which inaugurated a new leader this week, is considered extremely dangerous.

A week before the soldiers disappeared from Cape Cod, two Afghan police officers skipped out on a Drug Enforcement Administration training session in Virginia. They were later found in Buffalo and have since returned home.

The Embassy of Afghanistan has expressed a hope that the three Afghan soldiers would return to their wives and children. On Wednesday, the Afghan government did not send a representative to the hearing and did not respond to requests for comment.

To qualify for asylum, the soldiers must show they fear persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular group that faces persecution.

Immigration lawyers said the soldiers could argue for asylum based on their support for American soldiers, fears of the Taliban, and even the publicity surrounding their cases.

“These aren’t just any soldiers,” said Matthew Kolken, a Buffalo immigration lawyer who is not involved in the case. “These are soldiers that have been invited to the United States to participate in an exercise by the American government, which means they are more at risk to be targeted by the Taliban upon their return.”

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, urged the federal government to thoroughly investigate the Afghans’ cases.

“These guys may be fine, or they may be dangerous,” she said. “I don’t have faith in our asylum system to really determine that, and that’s very concerning.”

She added that agencies hosting similar trainings, such as the DEA or Camp Edwards, should monitor visitors’ whereabouts more closely in future. “This strikes me as a failure in supervision on the part of their sponsoring agency, the people who were responsible for them,” she said.

But Lieutenant Colonel James Sahady at Camp Edwards, which hosted the training camp, said the rest of the 200 participants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Mongolia returned home. “Nobody else attempted to defect,” he said.


Send them home and don’t bring any more to the U.S. for training. Train them at one of the hundreds of bases outside the U.S. that taxpayers are forced to fund.

Has the entire U.S. military leadership been corrupted? Bringing Afghan Muslims who have shown a propensity to kill U.S. soldiers into the U.S.? Sending the 101s Airborne Division to fight Ebola at ground zero of the deadliest outbreak in recent memory?

Whistleblower: Obama doesn’t read the intel he’s getting or he’s bullshitting

obama-al-qaeda-run

via Obama has had accurate intelligence about ISIS since BEFORE the 2012 election, says administration insider | Daily Mail Online.

Barack Obama’s intelligence briefings have provided him with specific information since before he won re-election in 2012 about the growing threat of the terror group now known alternatively as ISIS and ISIL, an administration insider told MailOnline on Monday.

‘Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about ISIL have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the 2012 election,’ said a national security staffer in the Obama administration who is familiar with the content of intelligence briefings.

The staffer declined to share anything specific about the content of those briefings, citing his need to maintain a security clearance.

But ‘it’s true,’ he said, ‘that the [intelligence] community was sending pretty specific intel up to us.’

‘We were seeing specific threat assessments and many of them have panned out exactly as we were told they would.’

The aide said he is familiar with some of the material regarding the Middle East that reaches Obama’s desk.

In a ’60 Minutes’ interview that aired Sunday, the president singled out James Clapper, his director of national intelligence, for blame in failing to understand the significance of the threat posed by the terror army that calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

‘Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper,’ Obama said, ‘has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.’

That finger-pointing, MailOnline’s source said, is not sitting well in the White House.

‘It’s starting to affect morale around here,’ he said.

‘Any time you’re hired by a boss to advise him about what to do in a high-stakes area, and he ignores you for a long time, it’s going to gnaw at you.’ Continue reading

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