February 28, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - According to numerous reports, including the usually reliable AlAfrica.com [see, Soni Daniel, Nigeria: Boko Haram Kingpin, Three Others Killed in Borno], Boko Haram has been dealt a serious blow as a result of action taken by an elite Nigerian anti-terror force. "...A top Boko Haram commander was Tuesday killed in a morning raid carried out by snipers deployed from the Joint Task Force..." Boko Haram, an al-Qaeda affiliate operating primarily in an around Nigeria, recently kidnapped a number of French nationals, including children and have taken them to an undisclosed location, where the groups awaits the results of its demands.
The terrorist group has been releasing its statements via YouTube. However the JTF has made the request that Boko Haram deal directly with it rather than use the popular internet video website.
February 19, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Boko Haram, one of Africa's many al-Qaeda affiliates [this one based out of oil-rich Nigeria] has stooped to a new low.
There are reports just coming in that 7 French nationals including 3 children were kidnapped Tuesday from their location in Nigeria's normally quiescent neighbor, Cameroon.
As today UK Telegraph reports:
"Francois Hollande, the French president, pointed the finger at al-Qaeda allied fundamentalist group Boko Haram, based in neighbouring Nigeria, blaming them for the kidnapping Tuesday.
The seven hostages were taken from Cameroon's far north close to the Waza National Park and Lake Chad, both attractions for tourists on adventure holidays. The semi-arid area lies alongside the border with Nigeria, and Islamist strongholds in towns there, including Maiduguri, are less than 100 miles to the west..." [source, Mike Pflanz, French children kidnapped 'by Boko Haram' in Cameroon]
For the record, the Telegraph is one of the few remaining credible legacy MSM news sources. In a day when news from Africa is spotty at best, unless one digs for it intentionally, the Tele actually maintains a West African desk - my guess is that Mr. Pflanz knows more about what is going on in Western Africa than does the entire State Dept. section combined.
The exact status of the adults and kids as we go to press is not clear, though one would hope that at least the children might be spared Boko Haram's gruesome slice-'em-and-dice-'em approach. Unfortunately we have learned from previous experience with African terrorism that no atrocity is out of bounds when it comes to these fanatical Islamic butchers.
We will of course keep our readers posted as to further developments when they are available.
February 18, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - While assurances are being made by members of Barack Obama's witless national security team that al-Qaeda no longer poses a threat, in the real world, al-Qaeda franchises are growing in strength and sophistication throughout the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa.
Most active are al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Shabaab and Boko Haram.
Instead of waning in influence after the death of bin-Laden, these Islamic terror groups have flourished, in no small part because their rapidly increasing influence has largely been ignored by this administration. Additonally, the ability of these generally weak central governments [such as they are in some cases] to deal with such a level of organized and well financed jihadist violence is limited.
The administration has made every attempt to define the threat as coming from a single entity, bin-Laden's original al-Qaeda group.
This allows Obama to avoid dealing with the underlying cause of the jihadistic violence - the revolutionary ideology of Islamism, thus allowing it to deal with these matters as if they were the concern of law enforcement.
If the foreign policy Einstein's in this administration had been correct then upon the death of Binny, the threat should have simply shriveled up and blown away, something which clearly didn't happen.
This is such a simplistic charade that it makes about as much sense as saying that because Ronald McDonald has been killed so have McDonalds 35,000 or so franchises.
Let's do a quick heads up on just a few details describing the current sit-rep.
Boko Haram - The group has nearly brought the Nigerian economy to its knees, in the North which accounts for much of the country's economic activity, and in the country's rich oil fields which are under constant predation:
Commercial activities in the northern trade hub of Kano are down by half since 2010 because of the campaign of violence waged by militant group Boko Haram and government efforts to curb it, says the Kano traders’ union. "The north is losing heavily due to the violence. When you destabilize Kano, which is the commercial nerve centre of the north, you are threatening the socioeconomic well-being of the north," Nigeria's Information Minister Labaran Maku told reporters in February 2012. [source, Boko Haram attacks cripple northern Nigeria's economy, IRIN, a service provided by one of the UN's many departments]
Boko Haram has also been responsible for a wave of kidnappings in Nigeria, primarily of foreign aid and oil field workers. In a recent case the group beheaded 3 North Korean doctors, certainly an intimidating action. [fore further information please refer to Boko Haram offshoot claims responsibility in Nigeria kidnapping]
Al-Shabaab - As we detailed in a September 12, 2012 piece Islamic Violence In Mombasa Escalates, Imams Call For Boycott Of Upcoming Elections, this group has been very active in Kenya, a primarily Christian nation.
Church bombings, random killings and constant agitation have become commonplace:
By WILLIAM MAYER
February 13, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - This evening, the highly regarded foreign policy think tank, Center for Security Policy [CSP], threw the gauntlet down over the rapidly approaching Hagel/DOD Senate confirmation vote, stating:
"Sen. Hagel has a highly troubling record on critical matters of national security which we believe should disqualify him from serving as Secretary of Defense, including 1) his support for U.S. nuclear disarmament, demonstrated by his co-authorship of the 2012 “Global Zero” report; 2) his assertion after passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which already cut defense spending by $487 billion over ten years, that the Department of Defense is “bloated” and needs to be “paired down”; 3) his demonstrated hostility towards the State of Israel, our most reliable ally in the Middle East; and 4) his failure to appreciate the threat posed by Iran, as demonstrated by his past lack of support for sanctions and his public statement that military action against Iran was not a “viable, feasible, or responsible option.”
The editorial staff of PipeLineNews entirely and without reservation supports the CSP's position on this matter. Mr. Hagel appears to be an unsuitable candidate with potentially very troubling ties to funding sources which are suspect - according to knowledgeable sources - from a national security perspective. These allegation must be given a thorough and fair hearing by the entire Senate.
We believe that if Mr. Hagel wishes to serve his country, and we have no reason to believe this is not his intent, his best course of action would be to gracefully withdraw his name from contention. If after dealing with these matters it becomes apparent that Mr. Hagel is indeed suitable, then he can be given a fair hearing by the entire Senate, followed quickly by an "up" or "down." vote.
By CHERYL GATESWORTH
February 12, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a few weeks ago that a settlement has been reached with the Southern California city of Lomita regarding its dispute with the Islamic Center of South Bay. The dispute revolved around the refusal of the City Council of Lomita to grant a rebuilding permit to the Center which was so expansive in scope it would have allowed the Center to build a two story place of worship to replace the present allegedly antiquated structures.
While the matter awaits a hearing by the U. S. District Court in Los Angeles, for now, the Islamists are cheering.
Thus we revisit a familiar formula:
Refusal to grant an Islamist group its request + Eric Holder's Dept. of Justice intervention = Islamists win suit + jizya.1
Some background is in order.
In March of 2010 the Islamic Center of South Bay applied to the City Council for a rebuilding permit in order to replace their present antiquated (as they were termed) structures. The five person council voted 4 to 0 (there was one abstention) to reject the request based on the adverse traffic situation that it was felt would result. Actually a study by the city had indicated that there would not be an adverse traffic effect. However a group of neighbors in Lomita, living near the Center, opposed the issuance of the rebuilding permit and took issue with the study, claiming that there would be an adverse traffic effect. Their spokesperson insisted that the original traffic study was flawed and failed to take into account two factors: first that not all cars would have multiple passengers, thereby making parking more of a problem than the study acknowledged and that the new structure with its multiple purposes would accommodate more than worshippers, thereby increasing the number of people who would visit the proposed Islamic Center.
The Islamic Center immediately charged "Islamophobia," asserting that there was an undercurrent of disdain for Muslims that permeated the City Council and resulted in its refusal to grant the rebuilding permit.
By EMERSON VERMAAT, PLN European Editor
February 11, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Dozens of young Muslim jihadists from Holland are currently fighting in Syria and have joined radical jihadist movements there. In recent months, the number of jihadists from the Netherlands who are now fighting in Syria even exceeds the total number of Dutch jihadists who traveled to Syria in the year 2011. This warning was issued by Rob Bertholee, the head of the Netherlands Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), in the daily TV program “Nieuwsuur.”
Among the organizations that the jihadists from Holland have joined is a movement called Jabath Al-Nusra, recently placed by the U.S. on the international terrorist organizations list. Al-Nusra is believed to be a front organization of the notorious Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) terror group.
The AIVD fears that these Dutch jihadists are now becoming experienced “holy warriors” and religious fanatics who will someday return to the Netherlands and then stage terror attacks there. Most of the jihadists from Holland are second generation Muslim immigrants. Three potential jihadists have already been arrested in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in November 2012. They planned to join the jihad in Syria but their leader suddenly decided to marry a Moroccan woman in Utrecht and stage a terror attack in Belgium instead of going to Syria. A Somali imam in Rotterdam performed the Islamic marriage.
Young radical Muslims from other European countries are also traveling to Syria. A French police source quoted by Radio France Internationale (RFI) recently claimed that “several dozen French nationals had traveled to Syria to fight in the conflict there, sometimes in groups linked to Al-Qaeda.”
Syrian jihadists pose a serious security threat to Europe. They are extremely well organized and capable of forming dangerous terror cells in European countries. Former Syrian president Hafez Al-Assad, the father of the current president Bashar Al-Assad, cracked down on the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s. Many radical Muslims from Syria fled to Europe. One of them was Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas (“Abu Dahdah”) who arrived in Spain in 1986. Yaskas would later join Al-Qaeda and play an important role in the preparations of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.A. He personally knew Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 “operation.” Before visiting Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan Atta studied in the German city of Hamburg where he met Mohammed Haydar Zammar, another Al-Qaeda operative and a successful recruiter as well. Zammar was born in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
By WILLIAM MAYER
February 7, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - In an angry response to the U.S. bid to "re-open" talks with the Iranian Mullocracy, today Ayatollah Khamenei belligerently rejected the entire idea as a "deceptive move."
As if the issue required further clarification, Khamenei continued on in a tone of barely contained anger, starting with the assertion [as if it's actually news] that he is a "revolutionary."
“I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary and speak frankly, honestly, and firmly. An offer of talks makes sense only when the side [that makes the offer] shows its goodwill...Negotiation is meaningful when the two sides talk with goodwill, under equal conditions and without seeking to deceive each other. Therefore, ‘negotiation for the sake of negotiation’, ‘tactical negotiation’ and negotiation offer in order to sell a superpower's gesture to the world is a deceptive move." [source, Iranian official news agency, Press TV, Ayatollah Khamenei rejects talks with the U.S. under pressure]
The Ayatollah was really stating the obvious, that Iran's nuclear program will never be subject to negotiation. This point was well made - albeit in an insulting manner - by the Iranian representatives at the hasty and embarrassing conclusion of the last round of such talks.
As we noted in an October 15, 2012 piece "As summer approached, the Obama administration found itself being sandbagged by the Iranians - again - pursuing pointless multilateral "negotiations," partnering with Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia [with the U.S., called the P5+1] in a vain effort to halt the country's well advanced nuclear weapons program.
Of note, China and Russia have been particularly unhelpful in reining in the Iranians, blocking key UN votes and dealing directly with them in providing missile and nuclear technology as well as engineering support. It's difficult to imagine what positive contribution these two rogue powers would make to such an effort.
Predictably the process ended in failure, breaking down after Iran publicly humiliated the U.S. team, chastising the P5+1 proposal as unrealistic and insisting that the country would always consider its program of enrichment to be an "inalienable right," hence the major point of contention would never be negotiable.
Sitting across a table and exchanging diplomatic pabulum has never proven to be an effective formula for even slowing down Grand Ayatollah, Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei's fanatical pursuit of an Iranian bomb. The country's leadership has on numerous occasions promised to destroy the state of Israel, while threatening its other "enemies" including the "Great Satan," the United States. The only weapon capable of backing up such a threat would be a nuclear arsenal..." [source, William Mayer, Is Team Obama Secretly Negotiating With Iran In Ploy To Influence Election?, PipeLineNews.org].
One might think that Iran's ploy of luring the U.S. into "negotiating" and then angrily breaking the talks off would no longer play, even with this administration. Mr. Obama must certainly know how these sessions will eventually end, yet Team Obama continues to pursue this failed strategy.
By CAMILLE GIGLIO
February 7, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - So far there are about 70 newly submitted California health and education bills that could evolve into something important to track. Right now I would call your attention to the following items:
ACA 5, Shannon Grove, (R-Bakersfield) Abortion: Parental Notification.
Proposes a state Constitutional Parental Notification Amendment which would prohibit a physician and surgeon from performing an abortion on an un-emancipated minor without first notifying at least one parent. This is identical to the Parental Notification initiative that came close to passing a couple of years ago.
You may recall that there has always been two ways to get an initiative on a ballot in any election; through voter signature gathering and by being placed there by the legislature. Last term Gov. Brown signed a bill requiring that initiatives may only appear on general election ballots, not primary ballots also.
Putting a bill on the ballot in the manner of a resolution as is ACA (Assembly Constitutional Amendment) 5, through the legislative process, does away with expensive signature gathering, but does require a 2/3rds vote of each legislative house.
68% of Californians, according to a recent California Public Policy Institute survey, favor parental notification including about 50% of self labeled pro choice people.
A legislative hearing date or committee assignment is still pending.
AB 154, Toni Atkins, (D-San Diego) Healing Arts: Reproductive Health Care.
This is a return of last term’s AB 1338, of the same name, authorizing lower level health care employees to be trained and to perform early abortions. No stipulation as to where they may be performed. Could be a Planned Parenthood clinic. Could be a school based clinic. Who knows?
No committee assignment yet or hearing dates. This will require continual contact of one’s legislators by citizen lobbyists urging a NO vote. Last term the California Nurses Assn opposed the bill. This year they may not.
February 6, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Although U.S. Naval spokesman George Little tried to downplay the significance of having only one aircraft carrier group assigned to the Persian Gulf, the fact is that the US carrier force in the region has been axed, in short course leaving only the USS John C Stennis remaining on duty and ready for action in this tinderbox area.
The Pentagon is blaming the halving of our basic offensive air capacity in the area on budgetary worries - code words designed to invoke fear over the specter of a sequestration plan which will automatically go into effect should Congress fail to deal with the budget by March 1.
At that point an automatic across the board $1.2 trillion cut would be imposed.
As that date quickly approaches Team Obama is ratcheting up its campaign of deception by suggesting all manner of nightmare scenarios in order to steam roll Congress into allowing the spending spree to continue ad infinitum.
Actually this is a ridiculous but deadly serious game of chicken in which the president is suggesting that any cuts to the federal budget will reduce grandma and grandpa to eating cat food, will destroy education and render hollow our defense posture.
Congress of course must share in the blame here, they put themselves in this position because neither side wanted to fight the budget battle before the November election. Therefore they agreed [along with Mr. Obama] that the best way to get a reasonable deal was to use the mechanism of sequestration - in which budget cuts are automatically triggered without any respect to their potential effect - as a sort of Sword of Damocles to force the parties to the negotiating table.
The purported reason for this action is to stem the rising tide of sexual harassment/violence against women which has accompanied the "Arab Spring." "...The move is part of its efforts to curb sexual harassment, which is rampant across the country. According to state-run daily newspaper Al Ahram, the No. 909 train connecting Cairo and Alexandria departing at 9am will host the first women’s car..."
Segregation of the sexes has always been an integral component of the Shari'a and the fact that it is now going to be enforced, at least on the country's major rail lines, should not be surprising given the ascendance of the hard-line Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis.
In numerous public statements, mostly in Arabic, Egyptian president Morsi has repeatedly maintained that it is his intent to govern within a fully Shari'a compliant framework - so such a move would be fully consistent with his views.