Hamstringing the Fight Against Islamic Jihad

The deadly Obama policies preventing US intelligence agencies from protecting Americans.

The Obama administration, bowing to the wishes of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups in the United States, has handcuffed our intelligence and law enforcement agencies from doing their job to protect the American people. 

Barack Obama promised the Muslim world in his June 2009 speech in Cairo that he would use his presidency to “to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” True to his word, his administration conducted what amounted to a censorship campaign within the government of anything deemed critical of Islam. For example, an anti-terrorism conference scheduled for August 10-12, 2011 hosted by the CIA’s Threat Management Unit was cancelled after Islamic groups protested the content of several presentations and the speakers. 

Beginning in the fall of 2011, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties undertook a campaign to purge any critical references to Islamic ideology and beliefs from intelligence and law enforcement training materials. 

“Don’t use programs that venture too deep into the weeds of religious doctrine and history,” the Homeland Security unit warned in a set of guidelines it issued to other federal agencies. Don’t listen to “self-professed ‘Muslim reformers’,” the unit’s guidelines advised. The guidelines also called for rejecting the inclusion in the training materials of the fact, documented by a Muslim Brotherhood memo outlining its own strategic plan for America, that Islamists were intent on using our own democratic institutions and laws to subvert our system from within. 

Here is what the Muslim Brotherhood memo said about its own strategic objective:

“The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…”

Driven by political correctness rather than trying to understand the strategic objectives of the enemy we are fighting, the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security has turned a blind eye to the Islamic jihad threat we continue to face. It literally brought into the process of developing the guidelines and reviewing training materials the very individuals who should have been under constant surveillance. One of these individuals, for example, was Mohamed Elibiary, who tweeted that it was “inevitable that ‘Caliphate’ returns.” He also tweeted “I do consider the United States of America an Islamic country with an Islamically compliant constitution. Move On!”

The Obama administration put the proverbial wolf right in the middle of the henhouse. Although Elibiary finally left his position with the Department of Homeland Security after his radical views were publicized, he had been given ample opportunity to subvert our security protections from within. And Elibiary was part of a wolf pack of individuals connected with the Muslim Brotherhood whom the Obama administration has invited into its inner circle of advisers with open arms. Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Tom McInerney, formerly the assistant vice chief of staff and commander in chief of U.S. Air Forces Europe, laid out the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in stark terms more than two years ago: “We’ve got Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. government today.”

President Obama and his top officials continue to deny that Islamic ideology has anything to do with the enemy we are fighting. They insist that guns, poverty and alienation are driving “violent extremism” by a bunch of “thugs.” To support the Obama administration’s version of alternative reality, Attorney General Loretta Lynch went so far as to initially direct the redacting of audio portions of the Orlando jihadist killer’s discussion with law enforcement agencies pertaining to his pledge of allegiance to ISIS.  She said “we are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance,” before finally yielding to public pressure to include the pledge in the audio version.

The FBI has also imposed on itself a policy to build a wall between community outreach and intelligence gathering. A directive on community outreach in field offices, which the FBI issued in December 2010, states the objective of the revised policy to “maintain an appropriate separation between outreach activities conducted to build trust and confidence, and those conducted with a specific operational or intelligence purpose.” Preventing the free flow of communications among government offices to identify potential terrorists before they strike represents pre-911 thinking.

A former senior official with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed that he was ordered to purge records he had accumulated in a database that tied potential jihadists with various radical Islamic groups. “After leaving my 15-year career at DHS, I can no longer be silent about the dangerous state of America’s counter-terror strategy, our leaders’ willingness to compromise the security of citizens for the ideological rigidity of political correctness – and, consequently, our vulnerability to devastating, mass-casualty attack,” charged the former DHS official, Patrick Haney.   

We are now seeing the harmful consequences – hamstrung intelligence and law enforcement officers who are afraid to conduct the kind of probing investigations that could save countless lives. They are being overly cautious for fear of being accused of engaging in some sort of perceived negative stereotyping of Islam that President Obama has been so determined to eliminate at all cost.

For example, neither the CIA nor the FBI followed up on warnings from Russian officials about the elder Boston Marathon bomber brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Islamic radicalization. Reportedly, the Russians predicted that he would try to change his name as part of this process, which is exactly what he did in seeking to use the name “Muaz” in honor of an early Islamic scholar when applying for U.S. citizenship. In fact, he reportedly refused to sign the portion of the citizenship application pledging allegiance to the United States, instead printing the name “Muaz.’’ He and his younger brother co-conspirator attended a mosque with ties to radical Islamic individuals and organizations. Evidently, however, paying attention to such indicators of growing Islamic radicalization might have been regarded as negative stereotyping of Islam rather than simply following the evidence.

Similarly, the female San Bernardino shooter, Tashfeen Malik, slipped through the visa approval process even though she had advocated jihad in messages on social media. The Department of Homeland Security has displayed more concern for the privacy and civil liberties of visa applicants, even from areas beset by Islamic terrorism, than the safety of the American people. 

The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, left a trail of clues as to his radical Islamic leanings.  For one thing, he attended the same mosque, described by local law enforcement officials as a “breeding ground” for terrorists, which the first American to carry out a suicide attack in Syria, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, had also attended. While the FBI undertook an investigation of a possible link, the result was inconclusive. There is no indication that the FBI or other law enforcement agencies kept the mosque under regular surveillance. 

Mateen had also made terrorist threats to his co-workers. Yet the FBI, after interviewing him and concluding that his alleged threats were simply his way of responding to perceived Islamophobia, chose not to keep him under regular surveillance.

Now the Obama administration is accelerating the pace of admitting Syrian refugees without a robust vetting process in place. Obama continues to warn against stereotyping of Muslims seeking to enter the country while his own CIA director John Brennan said on June 16th that ISIS “is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West, including in refugee flows, smuggling routes, and legitimate methods of travel.”

The increased sexual violence that has accompanied the flood of refugees into Europe is also starting to appear in this country. In early June, for example, three young Syrian refugees, aged 8, 10 and 13, reportedly raped a 13 year old girl at knifepoint.

The FBI is already overwhelmed with possible would-be jihadists waiting for the right time to launch their own attacks. They don’t have the resources to keep up with the mounting threats. At the same time, the Obama administration is adding to the burden by opening the spigot of refugees and other migrants from areas of Islamic-inspired conflicts. Even with more money, active surveillance of mosques and other gathering places for potential jihadists is losing out to the Obama administration’s phobia over supposed Islamophobia.