Terrorism Still a Threat

Terrorism Still a Threat
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

New York City subway riders will hardly forget what happened on the morning of December 11, 2017. A bomb carried by an immigrant from Bangladesh prematurely exploded in a busy underground corridor linking two portions of the city’s subway system. It was a stroke of luck that only a small portion of the man’s bomb detonated, wounding him, and hurting three unlucky subway patrons walking alongside.

Inside a NYC subway car. Image from Wikimedia Commons by Devin Smith, CC BY 2.0.

Akayed Ullah intended to join the ranks of suicide bombers who have created havoc across the globe. He strapped his makeshift bomb to himself under his clothing and evidently didn’t follow all the instructions about how to build such a weapon. Where he obtained the bomb-making information could have come from a computerized messaging system known as Telegram that routinely disseminates propaganda for would-be jihadists. A few years ago, two brothers used pressure cooker bombs triggered by cell phones to create deadly mayhem at the Boston Marathon. The two learned how to construct their death-dealing devices from a magazine article detailing how to use a pressure cooker, electronic detonators, etc. If it’s that easy to become a terrorist bomber, we should expect more, not less terrorism.

Ullah entered the U.S. from Bangladesh in 2011 using an F-4 visa, the kind available only to those who have family members who are U.S. citizens. His status under existing immigration policy places him as a permanent U.S. resident. Questioned at his hospital bed soon after his terrorist attack failed to kill innocent subway patrons, Ullah admitted being inspired by ISIS. He sought to protest the U.S. attacks on ISIS targets in Syria and elsewhere with his grisly attack on innocent civilians. He regularly attended prayer sessions at a mosque near his residence in Brooklyn. The imam at that mosque credibly claimed to be opposed to any sort of jihadist activity.

Many reminders of Christmas throughout New York seemed also to have irritated the Muslim Bangladeshi immigrant. His determination to harm New Yorkers reminded city officials that, since the horror of 2001 when thousands died at the World Trade Center, more than two dozen similar plots had been identified and stopped before death-dealing jihadists had carried out their plans. Only weeks previously, a jihadist used a truck as his weapon to kill eight on a bicycle path in lower Manhattan.

The incident in the subway tunnel was not without its heroes. After Ullah’s bomb exploded, he was lying in pain on the floor with wires sticking out from his clothing. As he reached for his cell phone, three city policemen who had just rushed to the scene, saw what he was doing, and dove at him to successfully grab the phone. Heroism like that may be comforting, but it won’t stop similar attacks as potential jihadists respond to the defeated ISIS leaders who are urging such attacks on the West.

President Trump has widely been criticized for banning immigration from several Middle East and African countries. Included are Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as well as recent additions Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. (The Supreme Court approved this move as recently as December 4, 2017.) As sensible as such bans may be, they would never have stopped Akayed Ullah from traveling in and out of the U.S. There are surely many more who possess F-4 visas, and other permissive documents, and could become the next terrorist bombers. Both federal and local authorities know that real potential exists for previously docile immigrants to create their own homemade bombs, especially after being urged to do so by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other militantly determined foes of Western civilization.

More needs to be done to slow down and eventually terminate these terrorist attacks. Nibbling at the edges of a growing problem isn’t enough.

Want to learn more? Watch our video Exposing Terrorism.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Afghan War Now 15 Years Old

Afghan War Now 15 Years Old 

by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In a recent posting by the Ron Paul Institute, Dr. Paul pointed out that 15 years have now passed since American forces were first sent to Afghanistan. The operation has become “the longest war in U.S. history,” the former Texas congressman noted. He concluded that there were no victory parades because there is no victory.

American troops were first sent to Afghanistan after the devastating 9/11 attacks. Why has this mission become so lengthy? (image from Flickr)

American troops were first sent to Afghanistan after the devastating 9/11 attacks. Why has this mission become so lengthy? (Photo by Program Executive Office Soldier Flickr, some rights reserved).

Troops were first sent to Afghanistan a few weeks after the devastating 9/11 attacks on our nation. Their original mission called for apprehending Osama bin Laden. Thought to be hiding in Afghanistan, bin Laden was discovered years later in Pakistan where he was killed during a Navy Seal team raid. The main target of the U.S. forces from the beginning, however, was the Taliban, the militant Islamic group that had actually been supplied by the U.S. during the 1979-1989 Soviet invasion of the war-torn nation.

Once in Afghanistan, U.S. troops found themselves battling against an enemy using left over U.S.-supplied weaponry. The casualty totals show that our nation has suffered the loss of more than 2,300 killed and almost 23,000 wounded in the 15-year struggle. And the Taliban now controls more of the country than it did when the U.S. forces arrived in 2001 under the label “Operation Enduring Freedom.”

The U.S. media never discusses the little-publicized influence of the United Nations in this ongoing debacle. That is key to understanding the disappointing results of this lengthy mission. In December 2001, the UN Security Council created the International Security Assistance Force to aid the Afghan government. The U.S. supplied most of the troops to carry out this mission. So, from the very beginning of the operation, the UN has had a major role in the effort. Fewer than two years later (September 2003), the task of aiding the Afghan government was formally turned over to NATO. But NATO is a UN “Regional Alliance” formed under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. America’s participation in this skirmish has been directed by the UN throughout the entire 15 years.

The Taliban now controls more of Afghanistan than it did when U.S. forces entered the country 15 years ago. The various tasks given to U.S. troops have included destroying the country’s opium production, engaging in reconstruction of war-torn infrastructure, and training local forces. Some of those local forces have turned their guns on their U.S. trainers with deadly consequences.

If the UN’s NATO weren’t managing this curious war, America’s forces would likely have cleared the country of Taliban dominance years ago. Obviously that’s not what the UN wants. Governments, even the UN, always grow and become more influential during a war. America’s leaders, both political and military, who put up with this are betraying their oaths and putting good men (and some good women) in impossible circumstances.

There are many solid reasons why the U.S. should withdraw completely from the United Nations. The experience already suffered in Afghanistan certainly provides one. Members of Congress should be proclaiming loudly and clearly the slogan, “Get US out! of the United Nations.” Members of the House should be persuaded to co-sponsor H.R. 1205, the bill calling for U.S. withdrawal from the world body. U.S. forces should never be sent into a battle without victory being the goal. Anything less is a betrayal of the troops and even of the nation.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The “28 Pages” Still Shielding Answers

The “28 Pages” Still Shielding Answers
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

It was 15 years ago that sensational attacks by Islamic militants in hijacked commercial airliners crashed into New York’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Thousands perished and investigations were launched but many unanswered questions remain.

On July 15, Congress finally released the 28 classified pages of the famous 9/11 Commission Report, but will it help those seeking answers? (Image cleanup by Andrew_pmk; straightened and cropped by Holek [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

In late June of this year, the New York Times published a front-page article written by two of its reporters about some of those unanswered queries. Specifically, were the 19 hijackers aided in their plot by the Saudi Arabian government? The Times article focused on 28 classified pages from the 2002 congressional findings that have been declared secret and kept from public scrutiny. The 28 pages have recently been brought to light, but what have they shared?

What we do know about two of the hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, is that they arrived in the United States on January 15, 2000. Neither spoke English or had any appreciation of America’s ways. They were taken care of via arrangements seemingly made by Fahad al Thumairy, a Saudi consular official stationed in Los Angeles who also served as an Imam at a mosque where the two men were seen. Another man on the Saudi government’s payroll, Omar al-Bayoumi, arranged for housing and provided for other needs of the two.

Bayoumi helped the two hijackers settle in San Diego where the local imam was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American who had become an extreme radical with ties to Al Qaeda. Awlaki eventually fled to Yemen where he became heavily involved as an Al Qaeda recruiter, continually inciting Muslims within the U.S. to engage in Jihad. He was later killed in a drone attack at his base of operations in Yemen.

Questioned about Hazmi and Mihdhar, former San Diego-based FBI official Richard Lambert stated, “I have to believe something was planned for the care and nurturing of those guys after they arrived. They needed help getting settled and making preparations [for their deadly hijacking attack].”  Thumairy lost his visa after giving unsatisfactory responses to questions about the two men and about his role as an imam. He returned to Saudi Arabia in 2003. And was questioned by American authorities in 2004. Unsurprisingly, Thumairy insisted that his assignment at the Los Angeles consulate had been routine. But he also denied knowing Bayoumi despite the fact that 21 telephone calls between the two over a two-year period had been discovered.

After the Times article appeared, 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser released further details bearing on the secreted 28 pages and the connections of the hijackers. Working with four other 9/11 widows who are collectively known as the “Jersey Girls,” Breitweiser told of a terrorist summit held in Malaysia in January 2000 attended by Hazmi and Mihdhar and leaders of Al Qaeda from several countries.

The leading “Jersey Girl” claims that Bayoumi shared his phone with Hazmi and Mihdhar. She unearthed information showing 32 calls to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, 37 calls to the Saudi Cultural Mission in Washington, and 24 calls to the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles by “someone” who had used this particular telephone. All of these calls were placed during the first five months of 2000.

So questions remain about Saudi Arabia’s connections with some of the hijackers. And, there are many more unanswered questions about the 9/11 attacks and the radical Islamists who conducted them.

Will the newly released 28 pages of secreted information provide some answers – even possibly showing that the Saudi Arabian government had a hand in caring for some of the 9/11 hijackers as they plotted their deadly attack?

However, cover ups have become a regular feature of the U.S. government’s conduct. In this case, it seems that the beneficiary is the Saudi Arabian government. Why their possible involvement in a sensational crime should be shielded is a question that needs to be answered.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Is the US Capitulating to an Enemy Within?

Is the US Capitulating to an Enemy Within?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Former House member Michele Bachmann represented Minnesota’s 6th district during the years 2007-2015. Conservatives generally call her record “admirable.” But she declined to run for reelection in 2014 even while insisting that she would continue involvement in the political arena.

New book “exposes a federal government capitulating to an enemy within and punishing those who reject its narrative” (WND image).

During her last four years in office, she won appointment to the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, the congressional panel assigned to delve into terrorism within our nation. In that work, she found herself frequently dismayed by testimony given by federal investigators. In comments recently provided to Art Moore of World Net Daily, she explained why she deplored what she and her colleagues heard from the government’s high-level sleuths.

They don’t want problems to be exposed; they want to look good. Our job is to find out what the truth is, what’s going on in the area of intelligence. We deal with America’s classified secrets and, in particular, our focus was on terrorism. This is an extremely important job we have in Congress – to keep the American people safe.

After concluding that the federal officials before her weren’t providing needed information, she looked elsewhere. At the recommendation of an aide, Bachmann started listening to Philip Haney, a federal investigator who eventually lost his job because he was pointing credible fingers at terrorists and their motivations. Haney had led a group within the Department of Homeland Security tasked with uncovering Islamic terrorist networks. But his work was shut down by the Obama administration because it was deemed to be “profiling.”

Bachmann realizes that the FBI had investigated Orlando killer Omar Mateen on three separate occasions before his killing spree. “He had all sorts of red flags, really blaring billboards, about what his intentions were. And we couldn’t stop him.” After newer discussions with Haney, she pointed to his belief that a connection existed between the Orlando massacre and the similar carnage carried out in San Bernardino in December 2015. She wonders if Mateen might have been constrained before he killed 49 people.

Anxious to get Haney’s story into the hands of more Americans, the former Minnesota congresswoman has enthusiastically recommended his book “See Something, Say Nothing” published by World Net Daily. The book’s title, a twist on the oft-cited plea that citizens actually say something when they note suspicious activity, also contains the revealing subtitle, “A homeland security officer exposes the government’s submission to Jihad.”

While promoting the Haney book, Bachmann accused the federal officials of deliberately concealing the motivations for Islamic terrorism. “The bottom line,” she claimed, “is an administration decision that Islamic ideology has nothing to do with terrorism. Well, if you listen to the terrorists themselves, it’s just the opposite.”

Haney has appeared as a guest on numerous television interview programs. Always agreeing that the vast majority of Muslims in America pose no threat, he nevertheless insists that some of Islam’s followers are indeed dangerous, and our own government has refused to admit this and take appropriate action.

Bachmann sought the GOP nomination for President in 2012. Dropping out early, she became the target of the House Ethics Committee and the Federal Elections Commission over alleged campaign violations. When she announced her intention to leave Congress, those investigations were cancelled.

Credit Bachmann for helping to bring Philip Haney’s story to the American people. And credit Haney for his whistleblowing efforts. Millions should read his book.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Orlando Was Not a Senseless Crime

Orlando Was Not a Senseless Crime
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Headlines and electronic media have been full of the gory details surrounding the horrendous crime in Orlando. At least 50 are dead (one being the killer) and more are wounded. But many reporters and commentators have claimed that the rampage was a “senseless” crime. That assessment is itself senseless.

Omar Mateen (Photo by Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Omar Mateen: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

Omar Mateen, an American citizen, was born in New York City into a Muslim family. In 2006, he earned an associate degree in criminal justice technology. After a few years of bouncing from one job to another, he found steady employment as a security guard. In 2009, he got married and bought a home. But the marriage ended in divorce after, according to his wife, he had abused her. By 2013, co-workers reported suspicions that he possessed ties to terrorism. The FBI investigated him twice but found no reason to act on the worries of the co-workers.

In an interview with ABC News, his ex-wife and his father claim that he was not radicalized, yet when the ex-wife was interviewed by federal authorities, she said he was radicalized within the last year.

During his deadly rampage, Mateen shouted “Allahu Akbar,” a phrase regularly used by Muslims at the start of prayers and other occasions. Among several meanings, the most popular is “God (or Allah) is great!” He called 911 during the shooting and stated allegiance to ISIS, a revealing fact confirmed by California Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

What motivated this man to kill so many others? Why did he commit his crime when he certainly could expect to be gunned down himself?

President Obama termed Mateen’s horrific deed “an act of terror and an act of hate.” But he carefully avoided what else the crime was – the act of a radical Islamic terrorist. Marine Corps University instructor Sebastian Gorka said it amounted to “individual jihad.” Security Policy Analyst Clare Lopez said Mateen’s crime was not the act of a “lone wolf,” but that of a deliberate individual concretely carrying out his obligations of Sharia.

According to the Telegraph, Syed Shafeeq Rahman, the imam of Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, where the gunman prayed four days a week, said his moque’s teaching is “peaceful and moderate.” Regarding radicalization, he said, “This is nothing that the Mosque is teaching them. They get it from the Internet.”

He continued, “It is not written in the religion that you go and kill 50 people in the middle of the night. So if he blames religion for it, he has to explain it- where do you get it from?”

The article states another young man who occasionally visited the mosque became America’s first suicide bomber in Syria in 2014.

Fox News reported that the gunman was enrolled in the online Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary run by Marcus Dwayne Robertson. Here is an excerpt from the article explaining more about Robertson:

FoxNews.com has reported extensively on Robertson, a former U.S. Marine who served as a bodyguard to the Blind Sheik involved in the 1993 World Trade Center Attack and led a gang of New York bank robbers called “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” before resurfacing in Orlando, where he started an Islamic seminary.

The school, recently renamed the Timbuktu Seminary, is operated by Robertson, a 47-year-old firebrand known to his thousands of followers as Abu Taubah.

Robertson, who recently spent four years in prison in Florida on illegal weapons and tax fraud charges before being released by a Florida judge one year ago, has openly and enthusiastically preached against homosexuality.

Robertson is reportedly being questioned by federal authorities.

In 2006, Pentagon-based U.S. intelligence analysts issued a document entitled Motivations of Muslim Suicide Bombers. It concluded that “most Muslim suicide bombers are in fact students of the Quran who are motivated by its violent commands.” The analysts noted: “The selfless sacrifice by the individual Muslim to destroy Islam’s enemies becomes a suitable, feasible and acceptable course of action.”

Vast numbers of Muslims want to be left alone to raise their families and live in peace. They do not become jihadists. But even if a minuscule amount of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims become radicalized, the non-Muslim world must be on guard.

Omar Mateen’s rampage wasn’t “senseless.” Nor could the murders and mayhem committed by the San Bernardino pair, the Boston bombers, the Fort Hood killer, and so many other criminals be deemed “senseless.” These were deliberate deeds carried out by deliberate individuals. It is senseless, and potentially even suicidal, to conclude otherwise.

Editor’s Note: Keep up with The New American’s coverage of this as a more comprehensive profile takes shape of who exactly was Omar Mateen, from an alleged homosexual to a security guard working as a Department of Homeland Security contractor.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


House Votes To Keep Syrians From Entering U. S.

House Votes To Keep Syrians From Entering U. S.
by JBS President John F. McManus

On November 19th, the House of Representatives voted 289 to 137 to block Syrians seeking entry into the U.S. The bill requires that the FBI chief, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, and the national intelligence director confirm that any Syrian seeking entry is no threat to our country or its citizens. Approximately 50 Democrats supported the measure despite the President’s strong opposition.

U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (Photo by United States Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

The Senate will consider the matter in early December where it faces more opposition among those loyal to President Obama. Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told fellow Democrats, “Don’t worry. It won’t get passed.” He appeared more concerned about defending President Obama’s oft-repeated desire to open the gates to 10,000 Syrians than he is concerned that any might be terrorists who would do harm to Americans.

The President has repeatedly stated his desire to welcome as many as 10,000 refugees even though the vetting process for incoming refugees is questionable. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed that the President would veto the bill if it ever reached his desk.

In a televised interview, Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Intelligence committee, forcefully declared, “There is no vetting as a practical matter. What the President is telling us is not true. We can’t vet the refugees. Unless we know who they are, we cannot allow them in.” Even while travelling in Asia, President Obama took to Twitter to repeat to his 5.1 million followers his determination to “provide refuge to at least 10,000” who are fleeing the war in Syria.

Meanwhile, the governors of more than half of the United States have declared that they would not admit Syrian refugees. They have expressed a lack of confidence in the screening system, saying it would not sufficiently detect and bar entry to potential terrorists. Their defiance could end up as a struggle between the growing power of the President and the shrinking power of states rights.

While the matter is high on the list of concerns facing Congress, officials in Honduras arrested five Syrian men who had arrived in their capital city via a commercial airline. The five possessed bogus Greek passports. The Honduran officials noted that these men intended to enter the United States through our country’s porous border.

While the U.S. continues its military offensive of “spreading democracy” across the world, the threat of terrorism continues. And with the threat comes the opportunity for the federal government to take away further freedom from its citizens in what Benjamin Franklin called trading liberty for temporary security.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Leaving Afghanistan After Its Enormous Costs

Leaving Afghanistan After Its Enormous Costs
By JBS President John F. McManus

President Obama’s announcement that U.S. forces will be pulled out of Afghanistan must have stimulated many somber memories among the families and friends of the 2,300 Americans who died there and the 19,770 who brought home wounds. Same for British families whose losses included 1,100 dead along with a smaller number from Germany and Italy. The U.S. sent forces into this war-torn country in November 2001, only two months after the 9/11 terrorist attack. At the peak of our nation’s commitment, 100,000 were on duty and 32,000 remain today. It is the longest war ever fought by our nation’s forces.

The president’s new plan calls for withdrawing half of the 32,000 by the end of 2014, drawing down to 9,800 by the end of 2015, and removing all but enough to guard our embassy by the end of 2016. Why not bring all but the embassy detail home immediately is a question few seem willing to ask.

The Obama timetable will allow the president to keep his promise to end the war by the time he leaves office in January 2017. If that’s his goal, he deserves utter contempt for having a personal political goal while continuing to jeopardize the lives of those still on station. If, instead, national security interests form his motivation, the slow withdrawal makes no sense because whatever threat remains will still be there for several additional years. His announced plan also counters sound military doctrine which has always held that a combatant should never signal an exit date to his enemy.

Unaddressed by the president, members of Congress, and our nation’s media is the role NATO has played in the decision to withdraw. The overall direction of the military effort in Afghanistan has been the prerogative of NATO for many years, and NATO is a United Nations subsidiary. The UN Charter mandates that all actions taken by NATO must be cleared by the UN.

Will pulling out from Afghanistan lead to the same type of chaos that Iraq has experienced since troops were withdrawn from that nation? Will the plan to continue training Afghan forces during the next two years lead to more trainees turning on their trainers, with deadly results for our troops? Why do forces from America and other nations have to spend lives and treasure keeping peace among the Afghans who have long been mired in tribal or religious wars? Will the overall mission change again as it has so often during the past 13 years – from chasing Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, to pacification of villages, to destroying poppy fields, to combatting the Taliban?

Immediately after 9/11, Congressman Ron Paul recommended that Congress use its constitutionally authorized power to issue letters of marque (seize) and reprisal (destroy) aimed at those who were responsible for the terrorist attacks. But President George W. Bush decided instead to go to war without the required congressional declaration of war – and Congress allowed him to proceed.

Now that the end of the Afghan tragedy is in sight, it would be comforting to see that those who arranged such a fiasco might be brought to account for what has long been a monumental tragedy.

To learn more about how terrorism is used as a tool to grow the federal government and the security state, visit our Terrorism issues page.