Obama, the terrorist financier

analysis
By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(National SentinelUnprecedented: When he was running for his first term as president in 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama delivered what was described at the time by ABC News as a “strikingly bold speech” about the “war on terror.”

In calling for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, the freshman Democratic senator from Illinois called for redeploying thousands of troops to Afghanistan and, if necessary, Pakistan.

“I understand that [then-]President Musharraf has his own challenges,” Obama told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, “but let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005.

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama vowed.

Granted, as president, the world looks different from the Oval Office, but does it look so different that it transforms a presidential candidate seeking to protect Americans from terrorism to a president who funds them?

Apparently so — at least, if you’re Barack Obama.

You may recall that as part of his ‘gotta have it at all costs nuclear deal’ with the Iranians, Obama authorized a payment of $400 million to the murderous theocrats who run the country, a payment that was literally delivered secretly, in the dead of night, on pallets stacked in a cargo plane.

As The Wall Street Journal noted at the time, the payment wasn’t made to the Iranians until four U.S. hostages were released — meaning that Obama reversed decades of U.S. policy against paying ransom to terrorist organizations (Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism, making the entire regime a terrorist organization):

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.

As outrageous as that was, there’s more to the story. The WSJ noted further:

The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17—without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.

Next, the Obama administration authorized 13 payments of $99,999,999 on the same day to the Iranian regime for a total of around $1.3 billion — paid out of a secret fund run by the Treasury Department called the “Judgement Fund” that is used to pay monetary awards against the U.S. government. The payments were less than $100 each to avoid oversight (reporting requirements), according to the New York Sun.

Of course. We’re talking about the most corrupt regime in the history of our country, as we continue to learn each day.

For months after revelations surrounding the ransom payments, foreign policy realists predicted that Iran would use the monetary windfall to fund its terrorist proxies, which include Hamas and Hezbollah (rather than spend the money on its own people).

Those predictions were met with the usual derision and pompous dismissal by the pro-Obama commentariat and congressional Democrats.

Turns out those predictions were spot-on.

As Bill Gertz reported for the Washington Times, a U.S. government study has found that “Iran used the funds to pay its main proxy, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, along with the Quds Force, Iran’s main intelligence and covert action arm and element of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

During his two terms in office, Obama did more to support terrorists aligned against America than he did to eliminate them as a threat. And now we know for certain.

What a guy.

A version of this story appears at NewsTarget.com.

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Report: 675 ‘Sanctuary’ jurisdictions preventing ICE from locating, removing TERRORISTS

(National SentinelHomeland: A new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general says that 675 local and state jurisdictions are refusing to help federal immigration officials with  “detainer” requests to hand over illegal immigrants who have been arrested for breaking local laws.

By refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests, the local jurisdictions are also helping to shield terrorist suspects, the report, which was published earlier this month and titled, “ICE Faces Challenges to Screen Aliens Who May Be Known or Suspected Terrorists,” says.

Some local law enforcement agencies will not honor ICE immigration detainer requests, which further impacts (Enforcement and Removal Operations)’s ability to take criminal aliens into its custody and apply (the Known or Suspected Terrorist Encounter Protocol) to identify possible terrorist connections,” the report said, as noted by the Media Research Center.

The IG noted that ICE “may have missed opportunities to identify, apprehend, and adjudicate the status of aliens posing the highest risk to public safety and national security” because of the jurisdictions’ failure to cooperate.

“Based on source data provided by ERO’s Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis unit, we determined that approximately 675 jurisdictions nationwide declined to honor more than 29,269 ICE immigration detainers from January 2014 through May 2017,” the report said.

Detainer requests are sent to local law enforcement agencies when ICE believes a suspect who has been arrested may be in the U.S. illegally.

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission,” ICE’s Detainer Policy reads.

The IG report makes four recommendations.

One, KSTEP should be expanded to require “periodic screening of aliens under supervision” because, at present, the program does not require continued screening of the 2.4 million illegal immigrants in ICE custody.

Two, ICE should ensure that ERO offices have all necessary communication facilities.

Three, ICE should assess its current resources to see if more officers are needed.

Four, the agency should “strengthen its quality control program by defining clear oversight responsibilities.”

“Mitigating and reducing any vulnerability is vital to our nation’s security,” Acting Inspector General John Kelly said. “We are pleased with ICE’s response to heed our findings by initiating the process to implement all recommendations.”

The Trump Justice Department is also stepping up enforcement actions against sanctuary jurisdictions. Last week DoJ sent letters to 23 cities demanding proof they are complying with federal immigration laws.

The letters warned the jurisdictions they will face legal action in federal court unless they reverse policies that shield illegal immigrants from deportation.

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This is WHY Trump’s travel bans are VITAL to protecting Americans (and why judges who block them should be impeached)

(National SentinelNational Security: The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have compiled data on federal arrests for alleged, actual or attempted acts of terrorism within the United States and found a shocking statistic.

Between Sept. 11, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2016, 73 percent of of terrorist offenders were foreign-born, a new report notes.

Of the 549 people convicted of international terrorism-related charges between Sept. 11, 2001 and and the end of last year, 402, or three-of-four, were not born in the United States.

Many came from terrorist-infested or terrorism-sponsoring countries, some of which included countries contained in President Donald J. Trump’s travel bans that were blocked by federal courts.

“Over the same period, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed approximately 1,716 aliens with national security concerns. Further, in 2017 alone DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States,” the report says.

The report was mandated by Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which declared that “it is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals,” and directed a series of actions to enhance the security of the American people.

“My top priority as Secretary of Homeland Security is to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“This report is a clear reminder of why we cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists, and why we must examine our visa laws and continue to intensify screening and vetting of individuals traveling to the United States to prevent terrorists, criminals, and other dangerous individuals from reaching our country,” she continued.

She said legislation is needed to correct current vetting and immigration deficiencies or “DHS will continue to see thousands of terrorists a year attempt to enter the United States, and while we must be right every time, the terrorists only need to be lucky once.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also sounded an alarm bell.

“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality—our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” he said.

“And the information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg: we currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees,” Sessions added.

“Our law enforcement professionals do amazing work, but it is simply not reasonable to keep asking them to risk their lives to enforce the law while we admit thousands every year without sufficient knowledge about their backgrounds.”

He also praised Trump’s immigration priorities of “securing our porous borders, moving to a merit-based immigration system that ends the use of diversity visas and chain migration, and enforcing our nation’s laws.”

The report also noted that from October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2017, a total of 355,345 non-U.S. citizen offenders, were administratively arrested after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), or two or more crimes each punishable by more than one year (felony offenses).

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This is CNN: As terror attack unfolds in NYC, network covers Trump’s Diet Coke and TV consumption

(National SentinelMedia Fail: An ISIS-inspired terrorist attempted to kill scores of New Yorkers during rush hour in Midtown Manhattan this morning, but embattled cable news outlet CNN took time to cover President Donald J. Trump’s Diet Coke fetish instead.

As reported by rival Fox News, viewers on social media and elsewhere mocked CNN‘s editorial decision to shift away from a major developing story and opt for coverage critical of the amount of soda the president enjoys.

A law enforcement official told reporters around 8:45 a.m. that a would-be bomber detonated a pipe bomb prematurely at the Port Authority bus terminal below Midtown.

That roughly coincided with the time that CNN was in the middle of a segment that featured the chyron, “NYT Report: Trump drinks a dozen diet cokes per day,” while a large graphic promoting Tuesday’s Election Night in Alabama took up a significant portion of the screen.

Viewers took notice very quickly.

Media crisis guru Yossi Gestetner tweeted, “More than an hour after the pipe-bomb story broke, CNN was busy with Trump’s diet Coke,” while another viewer asked, “Why are you talking about this!”

https://twitter.com/YossiGestetner/status/940229106859413504

“Astonishing how quickly CNN pivoted from NYC explosion to ridiculous story Trump drinking a lot of Diet Coke,” Newsbusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes tweeted.

Fox News reported further that Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor used the network’s recent ad campaign in which it uses an apple as a prop in a bid to combat its “fake news” reputation.

“U.S. News was talking about the bombing at 7:54. Nearly an hour later, CNN is whining about Donald Trump drinks Diet Cokes and watches too much TV instead of reporting about terrorism in New York City,” Gainor said. “CNN might tell you what it’s giving you is an apple, but if it is, it’s rotten.”

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The suspected bomber was identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah and police have called the incident an “attempted terrorist attack.”

Others mocked CNN‘s focus on Trump’s TV and Diet Coke habits on Twitter.

One user wrote, “CNN was talking about the bombshell reporting that @realDonaldTrump drinks 12 diet cokes and watches 4+ hours of TV news per day AFTER the news broke about the bombing in NYC. I kid you not!” while another joked, “We interrupt our story on the suicide bombing in NY subway to update the current tally on President Trump’s daily consumption of diet cokes! We now return you to our regular broadcasting!”

On Friday, CNN misreported a story regarding alleged Trump-Russia collusion that fell apart within hours after it was released.

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Trump labels North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, unleashing new sanctions

(National SentinelWar Drums: President Donald J. Trump announced on Monday he is designating North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism in an effort to apply maximum diplomatic pressure and sanctions on the Stalinist regime.

“We will be instituting a very critical step and that will start right now,” Trump told the media at the start of a Cabinet meeting. He did not take any questions during the meeting.

“Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Trump said, adding, “It should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago.”

Addressing reporters, Trump discussed what happened to Otto Warmbier, an American student who was imprisoned by Pyongyang and now allowed to return to the United States until he was nearly dead.

“As we take this action today, our thoughts to turn to Otto Warmbier, a wonderful young man, and the countless others so brutally affected by the North Korean oppression,” Trump said.

Warmbier, who as a tourist in January 2016, was arrested and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labor after being convicted for attempted theft of a propaganda poster from his hotel.

North Korea had already been on the State Department’s list of state-sponsored terrorist regimes but was removed by former President George W. Bush in 2008 in an attempt to get Pyongyang to end its nuclear development program.

During his interaction with reporters, Trump also discussed his recent trip to Asia and how it pertained to corralling North Korea, which is working to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

“One of the primary goals of our trip was to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump said.

“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil.”


Real-time global and domestic threat intelligence updated daily — Click here


Administration officials pointed to the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother in Malaysia in February, describing it as an act of terrorism.

The president said the sanctions would amount to “the highest level” possible. They will be announced by the Treasury Department on Tuesday.

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Ex-warden agrees with Trump: Send NYC terrorist to Gitmo

(National SentinelTerrorism: The former warden of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, agrees with President Donald J. Trump that the ISIS-inspired terrorist who mowed down residents in New York City this week ought to be treated as a enemy combatant, Breitbart News reports.

Col. Michael Bumgarner, formerly the commander of the guard force at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, urged the president to “immediately, within the next 24 hours” declare New York City terror attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov an enemy combatant and send him to Gitmo.

“If this attack had occurred in Syria it would have been very clear,” said Bumgarner. “It just happened to have occurred on our homeland. But he is at war with the United States and belongs in Guantanamo.

“I absolutely believe that he should be taken to Guantanamo as an enemy combatant,” Bumgarner continued. “And I believe this is the mindset that America needs to take. That these individuals are truly at war with the United States. This is not a law enforcement issue.”

Saipov killed eight and injured 11 others after he mowed them down with a rented truck. Vehicle attacks have become ISIS’ preferred method of terrorism; several incidents involving vehicle-borne attacks have occurred in Europe over the past year.

He noted that Saipov is reportedly talking to authorities, but added that there are also concerns he may be part of a larger terrorist network. As such, Bumgarner said Saipov ought to be subject to “enhanced interrogation” techniques at Gitmo.

“The prime reason (for shipping Saipov to Gitmo) is interrogation,” he said. “There it would be more in the intelligence hands of the defense department and the other national intelligence agencies. As opposed to working within the law enforcement channels of the United States where the FBI would be the dominant collector and there it would have a different slant.”

On Wednesday, Trump was asked by reporters whether he would consider sending Saipov to Gitmo. “I would certainly consider that,” Trump said. He added, “Send him to Gitmo — I would certainly consider that, yes.”

Trump added: “We also have to come up with punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. They’ll go through court for years. And at the end, they’ll be — who knows what happens.

“What we have right now is a joke and it’s a laughing stock,” Trump said.

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Ingraham: ‘We shouldn’t lose another American life because politicians won’t do the right thing’ to protect homeland

(National SentinelTerrorist Attack: Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized Congress Tuesday on her evening program following yesterday’s terrorist attack in New York City, saying that lawmakers refuse to do what is really necessary to keep Americans safer.

She attributed President Donald Trump’s election win a year ago to his “no-nonsense pragmatism” in this area and called on others in public office to follow suit.

“President Trump was elected in part, in large part, because voters appreciated his no-nonsense pragmatism on issues like homeland security and immigration. Although we can’t stop all terror attacks in the United States, the safety of the American people demand that we do what we can to stop those attacks that are preventable,” she said.

“9/11 should have made it obvious to everyone that Islam has a hideous radicalization problem. Donald Trump put the onus on Muslim leaders first foreign trip to put their houses in order and reform from within.

“Here at home, we should not lose one more American life because politicians don’t have the nerve or the will to do what’s necessary to secure the homeland. Our safety is their primary responsibility,” she added.

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Trump orders an increase in ‘extreme vetting’ in wake of Manhattan terror attack

(National SentinelTerrorism: President Donald J. Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up its “extreme vetting” after a terrorist mowed down scores of people in New York City Tuesday, killing eight and injuring 11.

“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!” he wrote on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/925534445393928199

The order comes after a man who authorities described as a “lone wolf” drove a rented “Home Depot” truck into a bike path on the West Side in lower Manhattan. It’s the first terrorist attack in New York City since 9/11, and took place only blocks away from the newly built World Trade Center.

When he exited his truck, the driver brandished a pair of fake guns, witnesses said, and according to video footage. In his wake was a trail of twisted bikes and mangled bodies.

During his attack he was heard yelling “Allahu Akbar,” or Arabic for “God is Great.”

A high-ranking police source told PIX11 News the suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov. He’s a resident of Tampa, Fla., who arrived in the United States in 2010 from Uzbekistan, sources told PIX11 News.

Trump’s four-month ban on refugees ended Oct. 24. It’s not clear yet if the president will reimpose it, and administration officials aren’t talking.

Using vehicles to conduct attacks is the new modus operandi of ISIS-linked terrorists, but officials have warned there is little they can do to stop such attacks other than identify individuals beforehand, which they admit is extremely difficult.

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Experts believe ISIS: Terror group doubles down on claim that Vegas shooter was a convert, as they say attack had all the hallmarks of ‘terrorism’

By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(National Sentinel) Within 24 hours of Stephen Paddock’s attack on 22,000 country music festival-goers at the Route 91 concert venue in Las Vegas Oct. 1, the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, claimed on social media that the 64-year-old former mailman had ‘pledged allegiance’ to the group in the weeks before his attack.

FO-banner-350x350While police and FBI agents working the case have yet to confirm anything, the group has nevertheless doubled down on its initial claim, repeating it later that week in its weekly report and saying that Paddock converted six months before the attack and identifying him by his Islamic name, “Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki.”

One private-sector intelligence firm, SITE Intelligence Group, says that ISIS has much to lose if the organization is lying about the claim.

While acknowledging that at the time investigators had not yet turned up any evidence that Paddock was a jihadist, SITE’s experts nevertheless pointed out that “ISIS is facing significant losses in Iraq and Syria, and may have seen value in capitalizing on an attack it didn’t commit to salvage morale amongst members and supporters.”

However:

Despite ISIS supporters’ blind faith, the group has a lot to lose if it is caught lying. ISIS is extremely invested projecting legitimacy as well-funded government agencies and organizations constantly work to discredit it. It knows that being caught in a major lie would only feed these entities’ counter narratives.

ISIS knows that respected journalists, analysts, and government officials—with necessary degrees of skepticism and caution—take its attack claims seriously. However, any definitive proof that Paddock had no connection to ISIS would be a severe fracture to how seriously the group’s statements are taken by such communities in the future.

Several other aspects of Paddock’s attack are also worth noting, if for nothing else than because they have all the hallmarks of an act of terrorism. (Related: EXCLUSIVE: Forensic acoustic analysis confirms existence (and range) of second Las Vegas shooter.)

card.comConsider also:

— The attack was meant to cause maximum mayhem and carnage, as well as outright terror and heart-stopping fear. Paddock didn’t use a bolt-action sniper rifle with a high-powered scope, he used automatic weapons, the sound of which are terrifying to the vast majority of Americans.

— Like the 9/11 attacks, who could have anticipated a gunman firing from the 32nd floor of an internationally-recognized hotel venue — the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort? The last thing people thought about (before Oct. 1) when they heard of or talked about the Mandalay Bay was that it could become a venue for terrorism.

— Was it just a coincidence that the city of Las Vegas — “Sin City,” as we ourselves have nicknamed it — was chosen? Islamic militant organizations are known to loathe Western (and especially American) decadence; killing large numbers of Americans in Sin City would be seen in the world of Islamic jihad as a direct assault on American indulgence.

— Reports on Wednesday quoted two law enforcement sources familiar with the Vegas shooting investigation as saying that Paddock, from his 32nd story perch, fired “incendiary rounds” — bullets meant to ignite what they hit — at massive jet fuel storage tanks near the McCarran International Airport, which is parallel to the highly trafficked and populated Vegas strip. The specialized rounds were found in Paddock’s hotel room and also near a fuel tank a short distance away from the airport. Additional reporting said that one round had actually penetrated a tank. Imagine for a moment if several gas storage tanks containing some 43,000 barrels of jet fuel had exploded; the airport and much of the surrounding area would have been demolished, deaths would have been in the tens of thousands, Las Vegas would have been essentially shut down for years — and that would have become the most spectacular and deadly terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil, dwarfing 9/11 in terms of casualties.

— The goal of terrorism is to use violence to affect a certain political outcome, and the more spectacular the attack, the better. What has begun in the aftermath of the attacks? A renewed political debate about guns and gun control — which, if Congress and President Trump implement strict new controls and outright bans that disarm more Americans, would dramatically improve the chances that more citizens down the road will be more vulnerable to attack, not less.

Think about it.

Early in the investigation, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said police were looking to see if Paddock had been “radicalized unbeknownst to us,” adding cryptically, “And we want to identify that source.”

This attack — in its meticulous planning, in its breadth, in its audacity, in its outrageousness, in its scope, and in its intentions — reeks of terrorism.

This story first appeared at NewsTarget.com.

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FBI Director Wray: Terrorists will bring drone warfare to U.S.

(National SentinelTerrorism: FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday that terrorists would soon be using drones in the United States to launch attacks.

“I think we do know that terrorist organizations have an interest in using drones,” he said, citing findings by the U.S. military and American intelligence agencies that ISIS and other terrorist-sponsoring organizations overseas are using cheap, off-the-shelf drone technology to launch attacks that have included bombings.

“We’ve seen that overseas already with growing frequency. I think the expectation is that it’s coming here imminently. I think they are relatively easy to acquire, relatively easy to operate, and quite difficult to disrupt and monitor,” he added.

Nicholas Rasmussen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, agreed with Wray.

“Two years ago this was not a problem. A year ago it was an emerging problem. Now it’s a real problem. So we’re quickly trying to up our game,” he said.

Asked what kind of tactics terrorists could employ, Rasmussen said: “That could be dropping small explosives the size of a grenade. It could be dispersal of toxins, potentially.”

Bottom line: Competing militias, terrorist groups, and other proxies fighting in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East have been experimenting with new and inventive ways to use drones for several years now, and their “research” is coming to fruition. It’s one thing to test techniques in a sterile, non-hostile environment; it’s quite another to do so in an actual war zone involving real-world conditions, the latter being the preferred method if you’re trying to figure out better ways to kill your opponent.

No doubt European intelligence and security officials are preparing for this eventuality as well, given the high number of ISIS-inspired attacks on that continent over the past few years.

This story was originally published at Forward Observer/Watchfloor.

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Trump says we need to ‘get nasty’ following latest terrorist attack in London

(National SentinelTerrorism: President Donald J. Trump responded to the latest terrorist bombing on a London subway in typical fashion, blasting the culprit as a “loser” and claiming that Scotland Yard had the guilty party in its sights.

Trump, on Twitter, also said it was time to “get nasty” with terrorists.

“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist,” Trump tweeted, as reported by the UK’s Daily Mail. “These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”

Trump added: “Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!”

British authorities, meanwhile, denied that their police and intelligence agencies were tracking the suspects.

“True or not – and I’m sure he doesn’t know – this is so unhelpful from leader of our ally and intelligence partner,’ wrote Nick Timothy on Twitter, a former advisor to British Prime Minister Teresa May.

Some worried that a new row between the UK and the U.S. was imminent regarding intelligence leaks that occurred after the May terrorist attack in Manchester, England, at an Ariana Grande concert.

Nevertheless, Trump also tweeted that his travel ban should be much more extensive in a world filled with terrorists.

“The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific – but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!” he wrote (and he’s right, of course).

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“We have made more progress in the last nine months against ISIS than the Obama Administration has made in 8 years. Must be proactive & nasty!”

Police in and around London are hunting for the “bucket bomber” who tried blow up a rush hour Tube train amid claims that he is armed and may have left other devices. Witnesses to the attack claimed that there was a loud bang and a flash, followed by a ball of flame that engulfed surrounding passengers.

Image: Daily Mail

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Trump: U.S. will ‘fight to win’ in Afghanistan

(National SentinelAfghanistan Strategy In a reversal of prior-held positions, President Donald J. Trump told Americans Monday evening in his first prime-time national address as commander-in-chief the United States would remain committed to battle in Afghanistan.

Pledging the nation would “fight to win,” Trump pointedly did not reveal how many more U.S. troops would be heading to the failed state, or even if more troops would be sent.

As reported by The Associated Press:

In a prime-time address to unveil his new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said Monday the U.S. would shift away from a “time-based” approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others. He insisted it would be a “regional” strategy that addressed the roles played by other South Asian nations – especially Pakistan’s harboring of elements of the Taliban.

“America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress,” Trump said. “However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check.”

Trump did not provide many details on how success would be measured going forward, much to the chagrin, even, of many supporters who are frankly tired of expending American blood and treasure in a shithole country where victory has been as elusive as Democratic Party honesty.

Still, the president appears to have accepted — and rightly so — the prevailing Pentagon view that “victory” cannot be measured in traditional military terms, since the terrorist “enemy” we are fighting is unconventional. If that terrorist enemy is building forces in Afghanistan (or anywhere else), that’s where the American military should be.

AP:

Although Trump insisted he would “not talk about numbers of troops” or telegraph military moves in advance, he hinted that he’d embraced the Pentagon’s proposal to boost troop numbers by nearly 4,000, augmenting the roughly 8,400 Americans there now. …

On one point – the definition of victory – Trump was unequivocal. He said American troops would “fight to win” by attacking enemies, “crushing” al-Qaida, preventing terror attacks against Americans and “obliterating” the Islamic State group, whose affiliate has gained a foothold in Afghanistan as the U.S. squeezes the extremists in Syria and Iraq.

“We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy, with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. We are confident they will,” Trump said in comments echoed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The Afghan government, at least, was pleased.

“We heard exactly what we needed to,” Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, the Afghan envoy to Washington, said in a phone interview. “The focus on the numbers has taken away the real focus on what should have been: what conditions are required and what kind of support is necessary.” He gave Trump’s speech a “10 out of 10.”

“I share the America people’s frustration,” Trump said. But he insisted, “In the end, we will win.”

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Terrorist drone attacks are coming to a city near you

(National SentinelTerrorism: When a small, $400 remote-controlled quadcopter drone landed on the grounds of the White House in February 2015, Obama administration officials were in full freak-out mode. Just 10 days before that incident, officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. military, and the FAA huddled for a “summit” regarding a danger that they had been contemplating for years: Terrorists’ use of weaponized drones for attacks or assassination.

As reported by Wired, while the conference was open to the public it was not open to the press, but one attendee told the online tech magazine it was an eye-opening experience:

The officials played videos of low-cost drones firing semi-automatic weapons, revealed that Syrian rebels are importing consumer-grade drones to launch attacks, and flashed photos from an exercise that pitted $5,000 worth of drones against a convoy of armored vehicles. (The drones won).

However, the attendee noted, the most impactful visual aide was sitting on a display table outside the auditorium among a collection of other low-cost drones that had been converted to carry explosives. “One quadcopter, strapped to 3 pounds of inert explosive, was a DJI Phantom 2, a newer version of the very drone that would land at the White House the next week.”

Scary.

As it turns out, the quadcopter that landed on White House grounds simply got away from its owner, who was goofing around with it in the wee hours of the morning. But the fact that it landed there at all, coupled with mounting evidence that groups around the world are increasingly weaponizing drones of all shapes and sizes, is alarming.

In April, Fox News reported that the use of weaponized drones has caught the U.S. off guard, even though the CIA was the first to use a weaponized Predator drone to kill six al Qaeda suspects in Yemen in 2002:

Over the last six months, ISIS has increased its use of weaponized and surveillance drones against Iraqi and U.S. forces. U.S. Central Command told Fox News coalition troops have as many as 30 encounters a week with unmanned aerial vehicles. These drones are inexpensive ones modified to drop grenades or to surveil troop movements.

In those preceding months, the U.S. military reported destroying at least five ISIS drone facilities — one factory and four storage areas. This new emerging threat has led some experts to question aloud whether the U.S. is prepared to adequately defend against weaponized drones.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re ready right now,” Michael Waltz, a former commander of U.S. Army Special Forces, told Fox News. “We don’t have the technology — both the detection technology and the counter-measure technology — in place yet.”

As drone technology improves and people begin to figure out new ways to make them deadly, Waltz says the U.S. government will need to figure out how to secure its critical infrastructure — military bases, nuclear plants, standard power plants, dams, air traffic control, water treatment facilities, and the financial sector.

“I do think it’s just a matter of when,” Waltz said when discussing the future possibility of attacks on the U.S. homeland. (Related: A British defense firm has developed a weapon that can disable micro-drones.)

“A nightmare scenario could be 20 to 25 of these drones that you could buy over the counter that have been weaponized with explosives that you can put on a timer with GPS coordinates to a military base or a nuclear facility or Capitol building that could attack in a swarm-like fashion,” Waltz told Fox News.

Drone makers like Phantom are taking voluntary steps to prevent their products from becoming weaponized. For instance, Wired noted, the China-based company began adding a “mandatory firmware update” for its Phantom 2 that prevents the drone from flying within a 15.5-mile radius of the White House.

But clearly, U.S. officials are concerned that terrorist use of weaponized drones is not just a concept but a practice being used more and more — in and out of conflict zones.

It’s just a matter of time before they come to our cities and towns.

This story originally appeared at Bugout.news.

Another Florida sheriff touts Second Amendment right to bear arms: ‘If you’re not afraid of a gun, get one’

(National SentinelSelf-defense: At a time when Americans are growing more concerned about terrorism, another sheriff in Florida is telling his citizens to arm up so they can defend themselves.

“The armed assailant doesn’t plan on you fighting back,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, as reported by Fox News.  “He plans on having a gun, doing all the shooting, and you’re just a sitting duck. Well, the ducks need to shoot back.”

Further:

Judd says citizens should have a concealed weapons permit and carry their gun with them whenever they can. He also says gun owners should keep their skills sharp.

And if a gun is not your thing, he says, you might consider another kind of weapon, like pepper spray or a Taser.

“If you’re not afraid of a gun, get one,” said the sheriff. “And if you need to shoot somebody, shoot ‘em a lot.”

Earlier this month, Brevard, Fla. County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, in a Facebook video that wen viral, also encouraged citizens to arm themselves in this rising age of terrorism.

“Terrorists and active shooters are using every weapon available to target citizens. Guns, knives, trucks, hammers, and even explosives have all become the weapon of choice for murderers who only have one goal–killing innocent and law-abiding citizens,” he said. “It seems that almost everyday we hear of another attack taking place at a concert, tourist destination, church, business, or anywhere else in the world where they can strike fear in the hearts of citizens.”

He added: “Let me be perfectly clear, doing nothing or just hoping it won’t happen to you is not going to save your life.”

Image: Fox13

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Patriot Fla. sheriff urges Americans to be armed: ‘Let terrorists defend THEIR lives’ for a change

(National SentinelAnti-terrorism: A Florida sheriff has a simple message for Americans increasingly concerned about terrorism on their own soil: Be armed and don’t give terrorists any quarter.

chief-organics-msmIn a video posted to his Facebook page, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey is urging Americans to arm themselves, train themselves and be mentally prepared to defend themselves as the best way to meet any terrorist threat head-on, in reaction to the continued terrorist attacks in London and throughout Europe:

Terrorists and active shooters are using every weapon available to target citizens. Guns, knives, trucks, hammers, and even explosives have all become the weapon of choice for murderers who only have one goal–killing innocent and law-abiding citizens. It seems that almost everyday we hear of another attack taking place at a concert, tourist destination, church, business, or anywhere else in the world where they can strike fear in the hearts of citizens.

He said Americans should take their safety very seriously and become the nation’s “first line of defense.” He added: “Let me be perfectly clear, doing nothing or just hoping it won’t happen to you is not going to save your life.”

He said terrorists are perfectly aware that Americans, by and large, are being taught to run and hide, then “patiently wait” for help during attacks. That’s exactly the wrong thing to do, he noted.

“What they don’t count on is being attacked themselves,” he said. By counterattacking, terrorists will be forced to defend themselves.

“No matter who you are or what your position is on guns, there is no denying the fact that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun–or a knife–is an armed and well-prepared citizen or law enforcement officer. There is no doubt that as soon as 911 is called law enforcement is on the way, however, until they arrive it is up to you and those with you to neutralize or eliminate the threat,” he said.

 

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