Colorado: No charges for 3 Muslim girls who tried to join ISIS and lied to officials

Poor Muslim girls are just the victims of an online predator. via 3 US girls who wanted to join ISIS victims of online predator, say officials.

DENVER: The case of three teenage girls being investigated for trying to join Islamic State militants poses vexing questions for US officials about the use of social media by terror groups to recruit people inside the United States, experts said Wednesday.

A Colorado school official said the Denver area girls – two sisters ages 17 and 15, and a 16-year-old friend – were victims of an online predator who encouraged them to travel overseas and eventually to Syria.

Mia Bloom, a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, said the girls’ story so far suggests how Islamic extremists have mastered social media to prey on younger and younger women with “Disney-like versions of what it is like to live in the caliphate,” complete with promises of husbands and homes.

At least one of the girls was communicating with someone online who encouraged the three to travel to Syria, said Tustin Amole, a spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District where the girls attend high school.

Fellow high school students told school officials that the girls had been discussing travel plans over Twitter, Amole said.

The girls were detained at an airport in Frankfurt, Germany, and sent home over the weekend. They were interviewed by the FBI and returned to their parents in suburban Aurora. Those in the tight-knit east African community where they live said the sisters are of Somali descent and their friend is of Sudanese descent.

“There’s no indication they had been radicalised in a way that they wanted to fight for ISIS,” Amole said.

A US official said evidence gathered so far made it clear that the girls were headed to Syria, though the official said investigators were still trying to determine what sort of contacts they had in that country. Another US official said that investigators were reviewing evidence, including the girls’ computers. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name.

“Social media has played a very significant role in the recruitment of young people,” said FBI spokesman Kyle Loven in Minneapolis, home to the largest Somali community in the U.S. Authorities there have been concerned about terror recruiting of the young for years.

“What we’ve experienced here in Minneapolis is that young, disaffected youth who exist primarily on the fringes of society – they seem to be more susceptible to this type of propaganda, unfortunately,” Loven said.

Terror recruiting has been a problem for years in Minneapolis. Since 2007, roughly 22 young Somali-Americans have traveled to Somalia to take up arms with al-Shabab, an al-Qaida linked group. Those were all men.

Within the last year, a handful of people from the community left Minnesota to join militant groups in Syria, and this time, there are fears that women might have been targeted. Loven said the FBI is working with the Somali community to establish trust and help identify young people at risk for radicalization.

In Colorado, Amole said the three teens had no prior problems at school, aside from unexcused absences on Friday.

Still unknown is how they managed to get to Frankfurt. [Did anyone ask them? Fact check their stories? Cameras abound.]

The US government doesn’t have any restrictions on children flying alone, domestically or internationally. Airline policies vary. Most US airlines allow children 12 and older to fly alone but often with restrictions on international flights, according to the US Transportation Department.

The girls’ parents reported them missing Friday after they skipped school. They had taken passports and $2,000 in cash from the sisters’ parents’ home.

At some point, the US informed German authorities at the airport about the girls arriving alone on their way to Turkey, German Interior Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Mueller-Niese told reporters Wednesday. She said the three were detained by German police, with approval from a judge, and returned voluntarily to the US on Sunday. [So they skipped school and within hours these families were able to determine they were on their way to Germany, contact authorities, get a judge involved and alert German authorities? But they don't know how they got to the airport? Something is fishy here.]

Once home, the girls told a deputy they went to Germany for “family,” but wouldn’t elaborate. [And officials let them off the hook with that lie? No charges?]

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Denver would not say whether prosecutors plan to charge the girls with a crime. State prosecutors said they have no imminent plans to charge the girls. Amole said they will not face discipline

“Our biggest concern is for the safety and well-being of these girls,” Amole said.


Will the Obama administration charge them or are Somali and Sudanese Muslims exempt from federal laws now?

 

Former USMC General: To Defeat ISIS, “We must work…to tell the story of how we celebrate Islam”

Another Onion-like performance from retired Gen. John Allen. via US Envoy: To Defeat ISIS, We Must Highlight ‘Our Profound Respect’ for Islam | CNS News.

Gen. John Allen, special U.S. envoy for the coalition to combat ISIS meets with Kuwait’s emir, Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, right, in Kuwait City on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/KUNA)

  A global effort to counter claims by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) that it is acting in the name of Islam must include a counter-narrative that highlights “our profound respect” for the religion, the administration’s point man in the anti-ISIS coalition said this week.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen was speaking in Kuwait, where representatives of more than a dozen Islamic and Western met to discuss using public communications to combat ISIS (also known as Da’esh – an acronym for the Arabic rendering of the group’s name, ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fil-Iraq wa ash-Sham).

“As we seek to expose Da’esh’s true nature,” Allen told the gathering on Monday, “we must also tell a positive story, one that highlights our respect – our profound respect for Islam’s proud traditions, its rich history, and celebration of scholarship and family and community.”

ISIS is following Mohamed’s proud traditions and history. We need not respect it in any way except prepare to defeat it.

“We must work with clerics and scholars and teachers and parents to tell the story of how we celebrate Islam, even as we show that Da’esh perverts it.”

The conference in Kuwait City brought together officials from leading Arab states, Turkey, France, Britain and the U.S. to discuss ways their governments are working to counter ISIS’ message.

The jihadist group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq and has declared a “caliphate” in those areas, runs a dynamic propaganda and recruitment operation, including a full-color online magazine, video clips, and an active social media presence.

The Qur’an and other Islamic texts, along with viewpoints of historical and modern-day Muslim scholars, are central to its messaging, and the U.S.-led coalition is prioritizing attempts to counter the purported religious justifications for its actions.

Allen said that ISIS propaganda serves both to attract recruits and “perverts the innocent.”

“It is only when we contest Da’esh’s presence online and deny the legitimacy of its message – the message that it sends to vulnerable young people – and as we expose Da’esh for the un-Islamic, criminal cult of violence that it really is, it is only then that Da’esh will be truly defeated.”

And according to the State Dept. that’s going to require more taxation for Islamization, paid for by Americans.

“This involves intensifying our engagement to address significant events; enhancing exchanges, training and other cooperative programs for government leaders and spokespersons; actively opposing the recruitment of foreign fighters; and encouraging important religious and social leaders, opinion makers, and the millions of young people who oppose violent extremism to raise their voices through traditional and social media,” it said in a statement.

Previously on CS:

Last week Allen also meet with the Saudis.

QNA_Salman_Saudi_US_261020144 QNA-Alfaisal25102014

 Even Foreign Policy magazine asks, Is Gen. John Allen in Over His Head?

ISIS in America: Radicalized in the Heartland (video)

via CBN.com.

It’s hard to imagine America’s heartland as a breeding ground for terrorism. Yet when news emerged that two U.S. citizens had been killed in Syria fighting alongside ISIS, the path led back to, of all places, Minnesota.

Not hard to imagine at all and that would be the first place most Americans would guess if asked.

What is hard to imagine is that the mosques haven’t been shut down, that immigration and importation of Muslims has not been halted and that the passports of Muslims known to have left the U.S. to wage jihad have not been revoked.

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.”

 

American journalist working for Iranian tv killed days after exposing Turkey’s support for ISIS jihadists

“I’ve got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks,” she said.

via Suspicion hangs over death of U.S. journalist in Turkey.

The death of an American journalist who worked in the Middle East has come under suspicion because she had claimed days before her death that the Turkish intelligence services had threatened her over her coverage of the siege of the Syrian city of Kobani.

Serena Shim, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, was a journalist for Iran’s state-owned Press TV. She was killed in a car crash in the city of Suruc after she reportedly collided with a “heavy vehicle.”

She was in a rental car returning from her assignment when the crash occurred. Neither the “heavy vehicle” nor its driver has been located, although her driver reportedly was arrested.

Just days before her death, she had expressed concerns to colleagues and later on camera that she could be arrested by Turkish officials over her reporting. She disclosed that ISIS jihadists were being smuggled into Turkey and back into Syria in the back of humanitarian aid vehicles.

Suruc was located near the Turkish-Syrian border where most of the international media are assembled to cover the Kobani siege by ISIS.

“She was a wonderful young lady from Tennessee working as a reporter for Press TV in southern Turkey,” Franklin Lamb, an international lawyer and friend of Shim, told WND.

“She was preparing to return to the United States and to her mother,” he said. “She was a lovely young woman, smart, funny, hardworking, very American, open, optimistic. She wanted to help the world and alleviate struggle,” said Lamb.

A statement from Press TV said that Shim leaves behind two children, Ali, age 4, and Ajmal, 2.

“The tragic death of Serena Shim has left pain and sorrow in our hearts,” the statement said. “Her family is calling on the Turkish government to provide answers over the circumstance leading to her death.

“Just a couple of days ago she had been threatened by Turkish intelligence,” Press TV stated.

A few days prior to her death, Shim had spoken on camera of her fears of being arrested. She claimed Turkish intelligence agents had accused her of spying after her report of the alleged smuggling of ISIS militants.

“I’m very surprised at this accusation – I even thought of approaching Turkish intelligence because I have nothing to hide,” Shim said in the broadcast a day before she was killed.

“I am a bit worried, because … Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists … so I am frightened about what they might use against me,” she said.

Shim said that she had received images from Islamic jihadists crossing the Turkish border and was one of the few reporters covering the development.

“We were some of the first people on the ground – if not the first people – to get that story of … militants going in through the Turkish border. … I’ve got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks,” she said.

As WND has reported, Turkey has been aiding ISIS and has refused to join the U.S.-led coalition against the brutal jihadist army, which has committed atrocities such as beheadings in its takeover of large portions of northern Syria and western and central Iraq.

Informed sources tell WND that Turkey continues to keep open its borders to allow jihadists seeking to join ISIS to cross into Syria. Many of the fighters are from Europe and the United States.

Turkey has been a major gathering point for fighters throughout the world to obtain training and logistical support to join various jihadist groups and the Syrian opposition fighting Shiite-Alawite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey has made clear that its first priority isn’t the elimination of ISIS but to overthrow Assad.


Just like Obama.

Make no mistake, Press TV is a propaganda outlet of Iran and, like Russia’s RT, is no friend of the U.S. However, this is at least the third American civilian killed in recent weeks that Obama and his lapdog media has completely ignored.

Muslim Extradited to New York, Planned Terror Training Camp in Oregon

 Like the deadly ebola virus, Obama has imported a growing list of foreign jihadists to U.S. prisons…where they can preach and recruit. via FBI — Haroon Aswat Extradited from the United Kingdom to the Southern District of New York to Face Terrorism Charges.

…(“FBI”), and … (“NYPD”), announced the extradition of HAROON ASWAT from the United Kingdom to face charges of conspiring to provide and providing material support to al Qaeda and terrorists for attempting to establish a terrorist training camp in the United States.

ASWAT was arrested in Zambia in July 2005, and in August 2005, ASWAT was deported from Zambia to the United Kingdom, where he was arrested pursuant to a provisional warrant that was issued in response to a request by the U.S. Government in connection with this case. On September 4, 2014, the United Kingdom ordered ASWAT extradited to the United States on the charges described below. In coordination with British authorities, ASWAT was extradited from the United Kingdom to the Southern District of New York on October 21, 2014. ASWAT will make his first court appearance later today before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest.

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, statements made at related court proceedings, and evidence presented at prior trials:

In late 1999, ASWAT, along with co-defendants Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, a/k/a “Abu Hamza” (“Abu Hamza”), Ouassama Kassir, and Earnest James Ujaama, attempted to create a terrorist training camp in the United States to support al Qaeda, which has been designated by the United States Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization. ASWAT conspired with Abu Hamza, Kassir, and Ujaama to establish the terrorist training camp on a rural parcel of property located in Bly, Oregon. The purpose of the Bly, Oregon camp was for Muslims to receive various types of training – including military-style jihad training – in preparation to fight jihad in Afghanistan. As used by the conspirators in this case, the term “jihad” meant defending Islam against purported enemies through violence and armed aggression, including, if necessary, by using murder to expel non-believers from Muslim holy lands.

In a letter faxed from Ujaama, in the United States, to Abu Hamza, in the United Kingdom, the property in Bly was described as a place that “looks just like Afghanistan,” and the letter noted that the men at Bly were “stock-piling weapons and ammunition.” In late 1999, after transmission of the faxed letter, Abu Hamza directed ASWAT and Kassir, both of whom resided in London, England, and attended Abu Hamza’s mosque there, to travel to Oregon to assist in establishing the camp. On November 26, 1999, ASWAT and Kassir arrived in New York, and then traveled to Bly.

ASWAT and Kassir traveled to Bly for the purpose of training men to fight jihad. Kassir told witnesses that he supported Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and that he had previously received jihad training in Pakistan. Kassir also possessed a compact disc that contained instructions on how to make bombs and poisons. After leaving Bly, ASWAT and Kassir traveled to Seattle, Washington, where they resided at a mosque for approximately two months. While in Seattle, Kassir, in ASWAT’s presence, provided men from the mosque with additional terrorist training lessons – including instructions on different types of weapons, how to construct a homemade silencer for a firearm, how to assemble and disassemble an AK-47, and how an AK-47 could be altered to be fully automatic and to launch a grenade. On another occasion, with ASWAT sitting by his side, Kassir announced to the men in Seattle that he had come to the United States for martyrdom and to destroy, and he informed his audience that some of them could die or get hurt.

In September 2002, special agents from the FBI recovered a ledger, among other items, from an al Qaeda safe house in Karachi, Pakistan. The ledger listed a number of individuals associated with al Qaeda, including ASWAT. The al Qaeda safe house was used by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al Qaeda’s chief operational planner and the alleged planner of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Indictment charges ASWAT, 40, a British citizen, with four offenses that carry the following maximum penalties:

Charge Statutory Violation Maximum Prison Term

Conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists 18 U.S.C. § 371 Five years

Providing material support to terrorists 18 U.S.C. §§ 2339A, 2 10 years

Conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda) 18 U.S.C. §2339B 10 years

Providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda)

18 U.S.C. §§ 2339B, 2 10 years

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

 

The history of Saudi Arabian links with Islamic terrorism

via The history of Saudi Arabian links with Islamic extremism – Rear Vision –

Islamic State militants have been in the headlines for months, but groups like IS don’t appear out of nowhere, they arise in a political and historic context. IS has emerged out of the opposition to the Assad regime in Syria at a moment when Iran and Saudi Arabia are vying for political influence in the region.

It’s well known that Saudi Arabia has supported jihadist movements in Afghanistan, North Africa and Syria, and that most of the terrorists involved in the September 11 attacks were Saudi nationals.

‘The trend one notices in Saudi Arabia is that they are much more against jihadi organisations if they threaten the security of the House of Saud, or if jihadis begin to act within Saudi Arabia,’ says Patrick Cockburn, journalist and author of The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising. ‘But they are quite prepared to use jihadis as an instrument of Saudi foreign policy and Saudi influence abroad.’

‘You had Saudi preachers, immensely influential, often speaking on satellite television stations financed by Saudi royals, preaching hate to Shia, preaching jihad in Syria and elsewhere. So there has always been ambivalence in Saudi policy between what they want to see at home and what they want to see abroad.’

Saudi Arabia’s history of involvement with jihad dates to the early 20th century, when the state as we know it was formed. Unlike other Arab countries, which had fully-fledged nationalist independence movements, Saudi Arabia was united through a series of wars.

‘There were no historical precedents whereby the whole region was governed as one entity, and therefore the Al Saud [family] reinvented the 18th century Wahhabi movement, which is a puritanical movement initially aiming to return people to the right path of Islam,’ says Madawi Al-Rasheed, visiting professor at the London School of Economics and the author of A History of Saudi Arabia.

‘This involved religious wars against those who refused the political leadership or rejected the political leadership of the Al Saud, but they were depicted as people whose Islam wasn’t the right Islam and therefore they had to succumb to the authority of the Al Saud.’

‘They were able to bring this vast territory together and subject the people, under the pretext of Islamising them, which was a violent episode in the 20th century. It lasted for more than 25 years, at the end of which the Al Saud declared themselves as the rulers, and they had to continue this alliance with the Wahhabi clerics who supported the regime and also were given certain priorities in running the social and religious affairs of the country’

The alliance between the royal family and the Wahhabi clerics continues to this day. According to Al-Rasheed, the clerics provide a politically useful religious justification for the House of Saud’s political authority. From early on in the history of Saudi Arabia, all kinds of dissent, from strikes to demonstrations, have been banned.

The discovery of oil in commercial quantities both cemented the position of the Saudi royal family within Saudi Arabia and gave it enormous influence within the Muslim world. The country began to enjoy significants oil revenues during the 1950s and ‘60s, and by 1972 average oil revenue was between $2 and $3 billion a year.

That was nothing, though, compared to the profits that would flow after the oil crisis of 1973 and 1974 and the nationalisation of the oil industry. It’s that oil wealth, argues Cockburn, that has allowed Wahhabi Islam to spread and dominate the Muslim world.

‘One of the most important trends in the Muslim world, perhaps in the world as a whole over the last 50 years, is the way in which Wahhabism has influenced and to some extent taken over mainstream Sunni Islam: the 1.4, 1.5 billion Sunni Muslims in the world,’ he says.

‘Why has it become so influential? Well, mainly Saudi money. If you wanted to build a mosque in Bangladesh or some other poor country and you need $20,000, the only place you can get it easily is from Saudi Arabia or some Saudi charity.’

‘It is remarkable to me that we are at this moment again where the Saudis have been complicit in the rise of a jihadist network in Syria, seen it spread regionally, and now [it] becomes at least a regional threat, if not a global threat,’ says Jones. ‘We are not just repeating the sins of 2003 but the same kind of patterns that persisted in the 1980s and that led to the violence of the 1990s and 2001.’

Remarkable or predictable? Read it all at ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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