March 1, 2017

USA: Study Proves Judges Wrong — 72 Convicted Islamic Terrorists Have Come From Travel-Ban Countries

The Daily Caller, USA
written by Peter Hasson, Reporter, Associate Editor
February 11, 2017

At least 72 convicted terrorists since 9/11 have come from the seven countries affected by the Trump administration’s travel ban, according to a new study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which reviewed information compiled by a Senate subcommittee in 2016.


“A review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting executive order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks,” writes CIS researcher Jessica Vaughn.

“These facts stand in stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth Circuit judges who have blocked the president’s order on the basis that there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in.”

As pointed out by The Daily Caller’s Alex Pfeiffer, judges ruling on President Trump’s travel ban have consistently butchered the truth about convicted terrorists coming from countries affected by the travel ban.

At least three of the 72 individuals were convicted of using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). At least 17 of those convicted arrived in the country as refugees, and at least 25 of them eventually became U.S. citizens.

The report does not include more recent terrorists like Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee in 2013.

Artan was shot dead last November after plowing his car into a crowd of pedestrians at Ohio State University before attacking students at random with a butcher knife.

Somalia had the highest number of terrorists since 9/11, with 20 of the 72 coming from the African country. Yemen and Iraq were next with 19 each, followed by Syria (seven), Iran (four), Libya (two) and Sudan (one).
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Jihad Watch
At least 140 Somali refugees settled in US after court suspends ban
written and shared by Robert Spencer
February 18, 2017

What could possibly go wrong? In 2016, Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Israeli Arab Christian; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant, in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming “Allahu akbar”; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant, in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University. In Minnesota, a gang of about 30 Somali Muslim “refugees” paraded through an upscale community, threatening residents with rape. Also in Minneapolis, a Somali Muslim raped a woman on a bus. Somali Muslims in Minnesota recruited for the Islamic State. And Minnesota leads the nation in Muslims trying to join the Islamic State; these are Somali migrants or their children.

But yeah, President Trump is a racist; that’s all this is about, right?

“140 Somali refugees settled in US after court suspends ban,” by Tom Odula, Associated Press, February 18, 2017:

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Fellow refugees say at least 140 Somalis have been settled in the United States after being blocked for days by President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The refugees spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns about their safety. They remain at the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, which hosts more than 200,000 Somalis.

The group of 140 which had been vetted by U.S. authorities had been on the brink of traveling to the United States, but Trump’s ban left them in limbo at a transit camp in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. They then were sent back to refugee camps….

al-Shabaab flag
Muslim Brotherhood flag

[source: National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC.gov)]

BACKGROUND

The Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin—commonly known as al-Shabaab—was the militant wing of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts that took over most of southern Somalia in the second half of 2006. Despite the group’s defeat by Somali and Ethiopian forces in 2007, al-Shabaab—a clan-based insurgent and terrorist group—has continued its violent insurgency in southern and central Somalia. The group has exerted temporary and, at times, sustained control over strategic locations in those areas by recruiting, sometimes forcibly, regional sub-clans and their militias, using guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics against the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers, and nongovernmental aid organizations. Since 2011, however, pressure from AMISOM and Ethiopian forces has largely degraded al-Shabaab’s control, especially in Mogadishu but also in other key regions of the country, and conflict among senior leaders has exacerbated fractures within the group. In 2013 al-Shabaab rivalries culminated in a major purge of opponents of now-deceased group leader Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed.

As evidenced by the constant levels of infighting among leadership, al-Shabaab is not centralized or monolithic in its agenda or goals. Its rank-and-file members come from disparate clans, and the group is susceptible to clan politics, internal divisions, and shifting alliances. Most of its fighters are predominantly interested in the nationalistic battle against the FGS and not supportive of global jihad. Al-Shabaab’s senior leaders remain affiliated with al-Qa‘ida. The merger of the two groups was publicly announced in February 2012 by the amir of al-Shabaab and Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qa‘ida. The group, however, has lost four senior figures—including Abdi—since September 2014, which may have hampered its communications with al-Qa‘ida leadership.

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for many bombings—including various types of suicide attacks—in Mogadishu and in central and northern Somalia, typically targeting Somali government officials, AMISOM, and perceived allies of the FGS. Since 2013 al-Shabaab has launched high-profile operations in neighboring countries, most notably the September 2013 Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, the May 2014 attack against a restaurant in Djibouti popular with Westerners, and the April 2015 massacre of university students in Garissa, Kenya. The Westgate attack killed 67 Kenyan and non-Kenyan nationals, and a siege continued at the mall for several days. The Garissa attack killed some 150 mainly Christian students.

Al-Shabaab is responsible for the assassination of Somali peace activists, international aid workers, numerous civil society figures, and journalists, and for blocking the delivery of aid from some Western relief agencies during the 2011 famine that killed tens of thousands of Somalis. In 2008, the US Government designated al-Shabaab as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as amended) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 (as amended). In 2012, the Rewards for Justice program added several al-Shabaab leaders to its site, offering large rewards for information leading to their capture.

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The Telegraph, UK
written by Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg
January 12, 2016

Isil and al-Qaeda are fighting a tug-of-war for the allegiance of al-Shabaab in a battle which could hasten the demise of Somalia’s jihadist movement, according to researchers.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have released another video - purportedly filmed in Libya - urging the "brothers" in al-Shabaab in Somalia to join their struggle.

So far, two senior al-Shabaab commanders have pledged allegiance to ISIL (ISIS).

But this has split a movement which once controlled almost all of southern Somalia.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia’s president, said the defections from al-Shabaab were "symptomatic of a group that has lost its way", and warned that Somalis "do not need a new brand of horror and repression". He called on disillusioned al-Shabaab fighters to take advantage of a government amnesty.

Experts believe that winning over al-Shabaab, a formidable terrorist group which has carried out attacks in Kenya and Uganda as well as Somalia, would represent “a massive scalp” for Isil.

Africa’s other key terrorist organisation, Boko Haram in Nigeria, pledged allegiance to Isil in March this year. In return its fighters are purportedly being sent to Isil camps for training.

Isil hailed Boko Haram’s pledge, with a spokesman saying in a recording posted online that it allowed “the expansion of the caliphate to west Africa”.

Senior al-Shabaab leaders are however said to be reluctant to break away from al-Qaeda, which provided financing, training and logistical support after the struggling group pledged allegiance to the late Osama bin Laden’s movement in 2012.

Others believe al-Shabaab should not be distracted from its domestic, nationalistic aims by the more ambitious plans of Isil. Some of the same militants reportedly objected to the alliance with al-Qaeda for the same reason.

Successive heads of the movement have repeated their allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, its current leader, and the group’s official media, while praising Isil commanders, continues to speak “respectfully” of the al-Qaeda chief, one commentator said.

Al-Zawahiri is himself said to have suggested in a recent propaganda message that al-Shabaab’s leadership disapproved of Isil's methodology, including its bloodthirsty displays such as the filmed beheading of hostages.

Ryan Cummings, chief Africa analyst for Red24, a crisis management firm, said the allegiance debate was largely generational.

“The senior leadership of al-Shabaab has remained quite loyal to al-Qaeda – the younger guys who don’t hold the purse strings might be more drawn to Isil,” he said.

“Al-Shabaab is still very rooted in local Somali dynamics rather than something that’s more indicative of an ideology.”

Al-Qaeda also has an established network in Africa to deliver funding and logistical support while Isil networks are not yet thought to be well-established, he added.

“It’s not clear yet what swearing allegiance to Isil would translate into tangible benefits,” he said.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, the head of research at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, at Kings College London, said younger militants would be more drawn by Isil’s successes in Syria, compared to the steady shrinking of al-Shabaab’s territory through a combined onslaught by local troops and Amisom, the African Union force.

“In the long run, al-Shabaab are purely fighting a losing battle so Isil is more attractive, even though in the long term, it will be too,” he said.

Among those to have defected to Isil is Abd al-Qadir Mu’min, an influential preacher with a distinctive fluorescent orange beard from al-Shabaab’s Puntland branch.

Abd Mu’min, who returned to Somalia from London in 2010 and helped the group shore up the loyalty of local community leaders and religious scholars, declared his change of allegiance, along with those of his local fighters, in a poor quality MP3 recording that was posted online last month.

Meleagrou-Hitchens said that al-Shabaab’s fierce Amniyat internal police would likely to be working overtime to suppress too many defections from within the group.

This week, Abu Abdalla, a senior al-Shabaab commander, was quoted as saying that disunity would be punishable by death.

"If anyone says he belongs to another Islamic movement, kill him on the spot," he said in a radio broadcast on Monday. "We will cut the throat of anyone if they undermine unity."

Mr Meleagrou-Hitchens added that al-Shabaab’s recruitment drive might suffer as east African jihadists opted to skip the local terror branch and head straight to Isil camps.

Among those recently known to have tried to join Isil from the region was Abdirahim Abdullahi, a law graduate and Kenyan councillor’s son who was one of four gunmen to kill 142 students in an attack on Garissa University in April.

Mr Abdullahi was said to have been turned back at the Kenyan border because he had no passport and joined al-Shabaab instead in 2013.

Dr Meleagrou-Hitchens said that al-Shabaab could still draw on a deep pool of impoverished and marginalised Kenyans and Somalis but for those with the means to travel, Isil was now the more attractive option.

“There are a number of cases now of Kenyan middle class students going to Isil,” Dr Meleagrou-Hitchens said.

He said al-Shabaab was supportive of Isil’s aims but preferred to work alongside it, rather than formally pledge allegiance.

But for Isil and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Ryan Cummings said, the formal pledge was key, taking it one step closer to its declared aim of toppling secular governments and creating a global caliphate.

“They want to create this perception that they are continually growing - Isil is all about the PR,” he said.

“Al-Shabaab is probably the largest and most sophisticated jihadi group in Africa. It would be a massive scalp for Isil and would loosen al-Qaeda’s stranglehold in Africa, one of its last bastions.”
The Isil campaign could however backfire spectacularly if the trickle of al-Shabaab commanders switching loyalties increases to a flood, according to Christopher Anzalone, a commentator on terrorist groups based at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University in Montréal.

“If discord grows within al-Shabaab’s ranks, it may also enable the Somali government and AMISOM to woo away fighters disillusioned with internal infighting and violence,” he said.

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