Virginia: Muslim immigrant pleads guilty – helped Muslim friend try to join Islamic State

ramirez-isisAnother of Obama Muslim immigrant or refugee…which is not clear. Source: Va. man pleads guilty to helping friend who wanted to join the Islamic State – The Washington Post

On Jan. 15, Mahmoud Elhassan headed out in his taxi from Northern Virginia to pick up a friend in Richmond who was preparing to travel overseas. They pulled over at a rest stop, where the friend, Joseph Farrokh, shaved off his beard. Then, with hours left before Farrokh’s flight, they went to a mall to pass the time.

Finally, Elhassan called another cab to take Farrokh to the Richmond airport. Elhassan began driving back north.

The shave and the second taxi were intended to help the pair avoid detection as Farrokh set out on his way to Syria to join the Islamic State. It was no use; the FBI had been watching the whole time, and an undercover informant was in on the plan. Farrokh was arrested as he walked toward his gate, Elhassan in the food court of Potomac Mills mall.

Elhassan, 26, pleaded guilty Monday morning to attempting to help a terrorist group and giving false statements to the FBI. He admitted that he introduced Farrokh to the informant at Farrokh’s wedding last fall and spoke numerous times about ways to get to Syria. He also lied to investigators, claiming that his friend had flown out of Dulles International Airport to attend a funeral in California.

He may yet go to trial on a charge of conspiracy to provide material support. He says that he himself never tried to go abroad.

“There’s an issue of whether this is more than an attempt” to help the Islamic State, said Thomas Durkin, Elhassan’s attorney.

A trial would be “meaningless,” Durkin said, because it probably would have little effect on Elhassan’s sentence. He said he hopes prosecutors will agree to drop the conspiracy charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick said in court that Elhassan and Farrokh, both of Woodbridge, engaged in conversations that were “violent in nature,” discussing “chopping off heads” and “fighting against the U.S. military.”

Durkin said there are personal details that put Elhassan’s actions in context.

“Preceding all this, he was under tremendous emotional and family problems,” Durkin said. “His mother had died at a young age, which was traumatic for him and his family.”

Elhassan’s father died in 2008, which is when most of his family came from Sudan to the United States. His mother became sick in 2014 and died of cancer in September 2015.

Durkin called Elhassan “a very, very thoughtful and intelligent kid,” who, as a refu­gee in Cairo, studied at Al-Azhar University, the oldest in Egypt. In the United States, before his arrest, he was a student at Northern Virginia Community College.

Elhassan had initially pleaded not guilty, with his attorney Ashraf Nubani arguing that the case was manufactured by undercover informants. Nubani identified the key informant as Jesse Morton, a former Islamist extremist who was let out of prison more than seven years early.

Farrokh, 29, pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to 8½ years in prison. Raised by a Shiite Muslim father and a Christian mother, he turned to Islam in his 20s after battling an opioid addiction. Court documents show that he latched onto an extreme religiosity and became fixated on the idea of dying as a martyr on the battlefield in Syria. After his arrest, he expressed bafflement and disgust at his actions.

The two are among seven young men from Northern Virginia accused of ties to the Islamic State this year. Along with Farrokh and Elhassan, Haris Qamar has pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges. Four other cases are pending.

Connecticut: Jordanian national crashes plane near military jet-engine manufacturer; likely intentional says NTSB


Source: NTSB: Deadly Conn. plane crash was likely intentional – CBS News h/t TFI

The deadly crash of a small plane that struck a utility pole near the Connecticut River in East Hartford appears to have been intentional, according to investigators and the surviving witness.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board announced it had turned over the investigation of the crash to the FBI because their probe so far “indicates the crash is the result of an intentional act.”

Police said there were two sets of controls aboard a small plane that crashed in Connecticut with a flight instructor and student on board, killing one of them.

The instructor pilot survived, but remains hospitalized with serious burns. Two people in a minivan were also taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

East Hartford police Lt. Joshua Litwin told reporters Wednesday that he didn’t know who was controlling the plane when it crashed on a road.

East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said Wednesday that the survivor of the crash near a military jet-engine manufacturer told authorities that it was intentional. Leclerc cautioned that the information has not been confirmed.

East Hartford police asked the FBI to assist the investigation because it happened near Pratt & Whitney, which makes military and commercial jet engines. Chief Scott Sansom called the jet engine maker “critical infrastructure.”

“The path that the plane took could have been much worse. So we’re very fortunate in that sense,” Sansom said.

One of the men on the plane, Feras M. Freitekh, is a Jordanian national who first entered the U.S. in 2012 on a temporary student M1 visa to fulfill a course of study for flight school, CBS News has learned. At some point his status changed to anF1 visa, and he went to a language school in Toledo, Ohio. It then went back to an M1 visa.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Cessna took off from Hartford’s Brainard Airport on Tuesday with a student pilot and an instructor on board. It struck a utility pole in East Hartford and crashed around 4 p.m., bursting into flames.

The Piper PA 34 twin-engine plane crashed on Main Street in East Hartford at around 3:30 p.m., according to the deputy police chief. Main Street was shut down between Brown Street and Ensign Street. Drivers were being asked to avoid the area, CBS affiliate WFSB reports.

Police said Main Street will be closed between Willow Street Extension and Ensign Street until further notice.

Two people were in a nearby car when the plane crashed on Main Street, police said. Authorities said the car occupants were traumatized from the crash and were taken to the hospital. The car they were in was never hit by the plane.

Officials said the plane originated from a local flight school. The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was on final approach to a runway at Brainard Airport.

On Tuesday evening, police said the surviving occupant of the plane is expected to survive. He is awake and speaking with investigators.

“As far as the occupants of the plane, he is expected to survive. He is cooperating with investigators he’s actually speaking with detectives as part of this investigation as ongoing,” said East Hartford Police Lt. Josh Litwin.

Fifteen years after 9/11 and the powers that be are still allowing Muslims to come into the U.S. for flight training. Another aspect of immigration policy that is wholly corrupted and must be halted.

Expect this story to change shortly to mental instability, prescription drugs, Islamophobia, pure coincidence, the survivor recants, never said it or can’t remember…or doesn’t survive. Anything but Islam.

Update: Nothing to see here, cousin says he’s not religious and governor warns citizens not to jump to conclusions. Run along.

A high-ranking local law enforcement official said Wednesday that the student pilot and instructor were arguing shortly before the crash, which killed the student and left the instructor injured.

Another source said the student pilot started flying the plane erratically and the instructor fought to gain control before the crash. The source said the student was distraught and feeling stressed over his poor performance at the flight academy.

Public records show Freitekh address as being in Orland Hills, Ill. since April 2013. He has a license to fly a single-engine plane. Federal Aviation Administration records show he was issued a private pilot certificate on May 29, 2015. On his Facebook page he spells his name, Rafael Majdi Feritekh.

Freitekh only received mail at the Orland Hills address and had never lived there, Orland Hills Police Chief Tom Scully said at a news conference Wednesday evening, according to the Chicago Tribune. His father also had not been to the Orland Hills address, Scully said

A man from Amman who identified himself as a cousin of Freitekh’s, contacted through Facebook, said Freitekh’s dream was to become a pilot, and that’s why he came to the United States.

“He was a good person, kind and helpful,” said the cousin, who did not want to be identified by name. “He wasn’t religious at all. He was open-minded.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy warned Wednesday that the public should not jump to conclusions about the reasons for the crash.

“As a nation, we have all had to adjust to a new reality,” Malloy told reporters at the Capitol. “When events such as this occur, we recognize that people almost automatically wonder if someone meant to do us harm. But we must exercise caution about jumping to conclusions before discovering and considering all of the facts.”

What new reality does Dannel Malloy want Americans to adjust to? Muslim immigrants that kill Americans? Another elected official failing to uphold his oath.

We’re told there are foreign Muslims in other flight schools across the U.S. including the Epic Flight Academy in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Unrelated but also in CT yesterday, per the WSJ:

Employees of Bridgewater Associates LP, the biggest hedge fund in the world, evacuated from the company’s Connecticut office after a “non-specific bomb threat,” according to an alert sent out by the company to employees. The alert, sent out at about 3:30 p.m.,

Arizona: Muslim who wanted to “take out marines and jews” pleads guilty

Khan described himself as an “American Jihadist” on Feb. 22 and sent a picture of himself, saying he needed guns to “take out marines and jews.”

Source: Arizona man pleads guilty to terrorism charges in planned attack

An 18-year-old Tucson-area man accused of planning jihad-style attacks in Maricopa and Pima counties has pleaded guilty to three felonies and faces up to 14 years in prison, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.

In a deal made with prosecutors on Friday, Mahin Atif Khan pleaded guilty to inciting or inducing terrorism, financing or managing terrorism, and to manufacturing, possessing or selling a prohibited weapon, court records show.

Khan’s sentencing hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 4 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

His was the first conspiracy to commit terrorism case to be prosecuted by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, according to Mia Garcia, an office spokeswoman.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich is working with the FBI to take a proactive approach to arrest and prosecute anyone plotting or planning a terrorist attack in our community, Garcia said.

Khan will be sentenced to the Arizona Department of Corrections for no less than five years, and no more than 10.25 years, for the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism, court documents said. The crime of conspiracy to commit weapons misconduct carries a sentence of no less than two years in prison, the documents showed, and the two prison terms will run consecutively.

In regards to the terrorism crime, Khan agreed to be on supervised probation after his release from prison and will be prohibited from traveling outside of Maricopa or Pima counties, court documents showed. He will be required to hand over his passport to authorities.

Khan has been held without bond since his arrest July 1 after an elaborate investigation that included round-the-clock surveillance, undercover agents and communications on a “burner,” or disposable, phone.

At a hearing in July, FBI agent Benjamin Trentlage testified about how Khan unknowingly communicated with FBI agents over the course of several months, during which he detailed what he envisioned to be a “lone jihad attack.”

At various points, Khan said he was eyeing a Jewish community center and an Air Force recruitment center in Tucson for attacks, as well as the state Motor Vehicle Division office in Mesa, Trentlage said.

Once again begging the question, Should We Deport the Families of Muslim Terrorists?

Dozens of Afghan troops AWOL from military training in the U.S.

Source: Exclusive: Dozens of Afghan troops missing from military training in U.S. | Reuters –

Forty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than two years, presumably in an effort to live and work illegally in America, Pentagon officials said.

Although the number of disappearances is relatively small — some 2,200 Afghan troops have received military training in the United States since 2007 — the incidents raise questions about security and screening procedures for the programs.

They are also potentially embarrassing for U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, which has spent billions of dollars training Afghan troops as Washington seeks to extricate itself from the costly, 15-year-old war. The disclosure could fuel criticism by supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has accused the Obama administration of failing to properly vet immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and has pledged a much tougher stance if he wins.

While other foreign troops on U.S. military training visits have sometimes run away, a U.S. defense official said that the frequency of Afghan troops going missing was concerning and “out of the ordinary.”

Since September alone, eight Afghan troops have left military bases without authorization, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told Reuters. He said the total number of Afghan troops who have gone missing since January 2015 is 44, a number that has not previously been disclosed.

“The Defense Department is assessing ways to strengthen eligibility criteria for training in ways that will reduce the likelihood of an individual Afghan willingly absconding from training in the U.S. and going AWOL (absent without leave),” Stump said.

Afghans in the U.S. training program are vetted to ensure they have not participated in human rights abuses and are not affiliated with militant groups before being allowed into the United States, Stump said.

The defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added there was no evidence any of those who had absconded had carried out crimes or posed a threat to the United States.

The Afghan army has occasionally been infiltrated by Taliban militants who have carried out attacks on Afghan and U.S. troops, but such incidents have become less frequent due to tougher security measures.

Trump, whose other signature immigration plan is to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims seeking to enter the country, and has said that law enforcement officers should engage in more racial profiling to curb the threat of attacks on American soil.

After Omar Mateen, whose father was born in Afghanistan, killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June, Trump said an immigration ban would last until “we are in a position to properly screen these people coming into our country.”

Washington has allocated more than $60 billion since 2002 to train and equip Afghan troops, but security remains precarious and the Taliban are estimated to control more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since 2001 when the U.S. invaded.

Earlier this year Obama shelved plans to cut the U.S. force in Afghanistan nearly in half by year’s end, opting instead to keep 8,400 troops there through the end of his presidency in January.

The military training program brings troops to the United States from around the world in order to build on military relations and improve capabilities for joint operations.

In some cases, officials said, the Afghan students who went missing were in the United States for elite Army Ranger School and intelligence-gathering training. The officials did not identify the missing troops or their rank.

Even though the troops were in the United States for military training, they were not necessarily always on a military base.

If students under the military program are absent from training for more than 24 hours, they are considered to be “absent without leave” (AWOL) and the Department of Homeland Security is notified.

In one case the Pentagon confirmed that an Afghan student had been detained by Canadian police while attempting to enter Canada from the United States.

It was unclear how many others have been located by U.S. authorities, and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Experts said low morale and insufficient training to fight the Taliban could explain the troops leaving, in addition to a dearth of economic opportunities in the impoverished country.

“They face a formidable enemy, with very limited resources and many Afghan troops aren’t getting paid on time,” said Michael Kugelman, a South Asia specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington think-tank.


Green Beret on Syrian Training Program: “Everyone on the ground knows they are jihadis”

Source: US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in Syria | SOFREP

“Nobody believes in it. You’re like, ‘Fuck this,’” a former Green Beret says of America’s covert and clandestine programs to train and arm Syrian militias. “Everyone on the ground knows they are jihadis. No one on the ground believes in this mission or this effort, and they know they are just training the next generation of jihadis, so they are sabotaging it by saying, ‘Fuck it, who cares?’”

I don’t want to be responsible for Nusra guys saying they were trained by Americans,” the Green Beret added. A second Special Forces soldier commented that one Syrian militia they had trained recently crossed the border from Jordan on what had been pitched as a large-scale shaping operation that would change the course of the war. Watching the battle on a monitor while a drone flew overhead, “We literally watched them, with 30 guys in their force, run away from three or four ISIS guys.”

More via: How the US Armed-up Syrian Jihadists – Consortiumnews

In a detailed report, US Special Forces Sabotage White House Policy gone Disastrously Wrong with Covert Ops in Syria, Jack Murphy, himself a former Green Beret (U.S. Special Forces), recounts a former CIA officer having told him how the “the Syria covert action program is [CIA Director John] Brennan’s baby …Brennan was the one who breathed life into the Syrian Task Force … John Brennan loved that regime-change bullshit.”

Murphy states bluntly:

distinguishing between the FSA and al-Nusra is impossible, because they are virtually the same organization. As early as 2013, FSA commanders were defecting with their entire units to join al-Nusra. There, they still retain the FSA monicker, but it is merely for show, to give the appearance of secularism so they can maintain access to weaponry provided by the CIA and Saudi intelligence services. The reality is that the FSA is little more than a cover for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra. …

“The fact that the FSA simply passed American-made weaponry off to al-Nusra is also unsurprising considering that the CIA’s vetting process of militias in Syria is lacklustre, consisting of little more than running traces in old databases. These traces rely on knowing the individuals’ real names in the first place, and assume that they were even fighting-age males when the data was collected by CTC [Counterterrorism Centre] years prior.”

Nor, confirms Murphy, was vetting any better with the 5th Special Forces operating out of Turkey:

“[It consisted of] a database check and an interview. The rebels know how to sell themselves to the Americans during such interviews, but they still let things slip occasionally. ‘I don’t understand why people don’t like al-Nusra,’ one rebel told the American soldiers. Many had sympathies with the terrorist groups such as Nusra and ISIS.”

Others simply were not fit to be soldiers. “They don’t want to be warriors. They are all cowards. That is the moderate rebel,” a Green Beret told Murphy, who adds:

“Pallets of weapons and rows of trucks delivered to Turkey for American-sponsored rebel groups simply sit and collect dust because of disputes over title authorities [i.e. Presidential authorities] and funding sources, while authorization to conduct training for the militias is turned on and off at a whim. One day they will be told to train, the next day not to, and the day after only to train senior leaders. Some Green Berets believe that this hesitation comes from the White House getting wind that most of the militia members are affiliated with Nusra and other extremist groups.”

Murphy writes:

“While the games continue on, morale sinks for the Special Forces men in Turkey. Often disguised in Turkish military uniform, one of the Green Berets described his job as, ‘Sitting in the back room, drinking chai while watching the Turks train future terrorists’ …

“Among the rebels that U.S. Special Forces and Turkish Special Forces were training, ‘A good 95 percent of them were either working in terrorist organizations or were sympathetic to them,’ a Green Beret associated with the program said, adding, ‘A good majority of them admitted that they had no issues with ISIS and that their issue was with the Kurds and the Syrian regime.’”


Maryland: Muslim Immigrant Arrested in Plot to Kill U.S. Military Member


Source: Maryland Man Charged With Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL for Plan to Kill U.S. Military Member | OPA | Department of Justice

Nelash Mohamed Das, 24, a citizen of Bangladesh residing in Hyattsville, Maryland, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, in connection with a plan to kill a U.S. military member.

“Nelash Mohamed Das is alleged to have plotted to kill a U.S. service member on behalf of ISIL,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “Individuals intent on carrying out violence in the name of foreign terrorist organizations pose one of the most concerning threats that law enforcement faces today and stopping these offenders before they are able to act is our highest priority.”

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Das was admitted to the U.S. in 1995 and is a legal permanent resident.

The affidavit alleges that from Sept. 28, 2015 to early 2016, Das used social media to express his support for ISIL, including support for terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California.

On Oct. 26, 2015, Das tweeted the name of an individual and the city where they lived, stating that the individual “aspires to kill Muslims.” Das knew that the individual hoped to become a member of the U.S. military. ISIL members and supporters have posted identifying information about U.S. military personnel in hopes that those inspired by ISIL would carry out attacks against them. The affidavit alleges that Das was advertising the individual’s identity and whereabouts in order to inspire violence against that individual.

On Jan. 30, 2016, Das tweeted a picture of an AK-47 assault rifle along with the text, “This is more than just a gun. This is a ticket to Jannah.” “Jannah” is a reference to the Islamic concept of paradise.

According to the affidavit, on April 30, 2016, Das attended the Handgun Qualification License class at a firing range in Prince George’s County, Maryland. After the class, Das told another individual that he wanted to buy a Glock 9mm handgun and an AK-47. Over the next five months, Das returned to the firing range to practice firing weapons, and submitted his fingerprints to obtain a handgun permit.

During May 2016, Das met a confidential human source (CHS) working for the FBI. Das believed the CHS to be a like-minded supporter of ISIL. On May 24, 2016, Das told the CHS that he knew people overseas in Al Dawla (a common name for ISIL) and communicated with them through online communications.

On July 23, 2016, Das told the CHS that he wanted to kill a particular military member who lived in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and whose identifying information Das had obtained the prior year from a list posted online by ISIL. Das stated that he could acquire a firearm from an individual he knows and stated his desire to travel overseas for ISIL if he had the opportunity. On July 30, 2016, Das advised the CHS that he could no longer find the ISIL list from the year before and asked the CHS if he had any ISIL contacts who could re-send the list. Continue reading

7 Afghani Muslims in the U.S. for Military Training are AWOL

Not so much as a warning to Americans? No BOLO? No names, no photos? Americans, you are on your own.

Source: Missing Afghans Raise Terrorism Fears – Washington Free Beacon

Several Afghan nationals undergoing military training in the United States disappeared from U.S. military bases this month, according to Pentagon and Homeland Security officials.

“During the month of September, seven Afghan students were considered absent without leave (AWOL) during international military student programs,” Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Patrick L. Evans said.

Three of the Afghan military trainees fled from a Pentagon training program two weekends ago during the bombing spree in New York and New Jersey by Afghan-born bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami, raising concerns among security officials that the missing Afghan students may be linked to terrorism or plans for attacks in the United States.

The disappearance of the Afghans comes amid heightened fears of increasing Islamist terror attacks around the country. The attacks have included the New York area bombings and attempted bombings, a knife attack at a Minnesota mall by a Somali jihadist, and other regional shootings.

Two of the missing Afghans had been training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and one was training at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

An Army source said the Afghans who left the weekend of the New York area bombings appeared to be part of a coordinated effort. The three men are being probed for possible connections to Rahami. “Initial assessment is that there is not relation and the timing is coincidental,” the source said.

Evans declined to comment on whether the Pentagon has security concerns about the missing Afghans.

Sarah Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, said authorities are pursuing the Afghans.

“ICE Homeland Security Investigations is aware of the situation, and is actively working to locate these individuals in coordination with the State Department and the Department of Defense,” she said, declining specifics because of the ongoing investigation.

However, the service, which tracks illegal aliens, was notified of the missing Afghans.

Four other Afghan military trainees fled over the Labor Day weekend, two from Fort Benning, Georgia, one from Fort Lee, Virginia, and one from an Army facility in Little Rock, Arkansas.

A defense official said two of the Afghans were accounted for and suggested the two men may have fled the United States.

It is not the first time Afghan military students have disappeared. Two maintenance airmen from the Afghan Air Force disappeared from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia in December. One was later found in Virginia.

Retired Army officer Joe Myers, who was posted in Kabul, Afghanistan, said the U.S. military frequently trains foreign military students as part of a security assistance and international training and education program.

“It is not unusual at times for some foreign students to use the opportunity to not return to their country of origin,” Myers said.

“In the case of Afghanistan it is more sensitive for homeland security when their students disappear, especially in light of actual graduates of programs such as the new ISIS military commander, Gulmurod Khalimov, who attended and completed several State Department sponsored counterterrorism programs,” Myers said.

The missing soldiers were part of the International Military Education and Training program under the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

According to the agency’s website, the military education is aimed at training future leaders, fostering a better understanding of the United States, and establishing closer ties between the U.S. and Afghan militaries.

Evans, the Pentagon spokesman, defended the program to train Afghan troops. “It is important to note that the majority of Afghans who train in the U.S. successfully complete their training and return to their country,” he said.

“However, there have been occasions where [military officials] have learned of plans to go AWOL. In some of those cases, those students have been returned immediately to their country,” he said.

A manual for training foreign military personnel states that the training can include “potentially sensitive or lethal training.”

Foreign military students that are absent from scheduled activities for more than 24 hours are considered “AWOL.”

Once declared missing, details about the foreign military students are sent to military police as well as to the Defense Intelligence Agency, FBI, and U.S. Northern Command.

A working group currently monitors the status of all missing foreign military students. The group is composed of officials from ICE, DIA, FBI and Northcom.

That working group has compromised leadership that are not upholding their oath to protect Americans from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Some of these defectors who were supposedly vetted will end up being your neighbors.


Massachusetts: Afghan soldier who deserted training in U.S. granted “asylum”

Texas: 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base

Georgia: Two (more) Afghan military trainees disappear

Massachusetts: 3 Afghan Army trainees fled U.S. training assignments


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