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Tag: terrorism

Top FBI Counterterrorism Official: ‘We’re losing the battle’ with ISIS

Michael Steinbach

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s top counterterrorism official left no room for ambiguity about the frustrating battle to stop ISIS’ aggressive social media campaign: “We are losing the battle,” ABC News reports.

The terror group “has proven dangerously competent like no other group before it at employing [online] tools for its nefarious strategy,” the head of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, Assistant Director Michael Steinbach, told lawmakers.

Steinbach said the FBI’s “counter narrative” is drowned out by “the sheer volume” of ISIS messaging online.

ISIS is finding success in recruiting radicalized Americans who feel “frustrated” that they can’t leave the U.S.

“So what they’re doing is … saying, ‘Hey, if you can’t come to Syria, do something in the U.S. or Western countries,’” Steinbach said.

 

Katie Pavlich: Real Reason FBI Director Wasn’t Invited to Summit on Combating Extremism

By Katie Pavlich
The Hill

The much-anticipated White House summit on combating generic extremism is over, and outside of a handful of feel-good statements and speeches, little was accomplished.

A number of activists from various organizations were present for discussion, but one person was noticeably absent from the summit: FBI Director James Comey.

The FBI is one of first lines of defense in combating extremism — Islamic terror in particular — and keeping Americans at home and abroad safe. FBI input about root causes of terrorism at the White House summit would have been beneficial not only to its mission, but to ultimately defeating the enemy we face.
“It’s our top priority — protecting the U.S. from terrorist attacks,” the FBI website states. “Working closely with a range of partners, we use our growing suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities to neutralize terrorist cells and operatives here in the U.S., to help dismantle extremist networks worldwide, and to cut off financing and other forms of support provided by terrorist sympathizers.”

Comey wasn’t at the White House last week because he wasn’t invited. The reason why can be found by taking a look at the summit guest list, which included a variety of groups whose members have urged Muslims in America to shut the FBI out of their communities and to be non-cooperative with terrorism investigations.

To read more click here. 

FBI Arrests 3 Brooklyn Men For Allegedly Plotting To Join ISIS In Syria

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Wednesday arrested three Brooklyn men accused of planning to join ISIS and commit acts of terrorism, the bureau announced Wednesday.

If their plans with ISIS didn’t work out, two of them intended to launch terror attacks in New York, the federal government alleged in a complaint unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn.

The suspects were identified as Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov, and Abror Habibov. Saidakhmetov is a citizen of Kazakhstan, while the others are citizens of Uzbekistan.

“The flow of foreign fighters to Syria represents an evolving threat to our country and to our allies,” U.S. Attorney Lynch said in a statement. “As alleged in the complaint, two of the defendants in this case sought to travel to Syria to join ISIL but were also prepared to wage violent jihad here in the United States. A third defendant allegedly provided financial assistance and encouragement. We will vigorously prosecute those who attempt to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad on behalf of ISIL and those who support them. Anyone who threatens our citizens and our allies, here or abroad, will face the full force of American justice.”

FBI Arrests 3 Brooklyn Men Accused of Planning to Join ISIS

The FBI on Wednesday arrested three Brooklyn men accused of planning to join ISIS and commit acts of terrorism, the bureau announced Wednesday.

If their plans with ISIS didn’t work out, two of them intended to launch terror attacks in New York, the federal government alleged in a complaint unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn.

The suspects were identified as Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, Akhror Saidakhmetov, and Abror Habibov. Saidakhmetov is a citizen of Kazakhstan, while the others are citizens of Uzbekistan.

“The flow of foreign fighters to Syria represents an evolving threat to our country and to our allies,” U.S. Attorney Lynch said in a statement. “As alleged in the complaint, two of the defendants in this case sought to travel to Syria to join ISIL but were also prepared to wage violent jihad here in the United States. A third defendant allegedly provided financial assistance and encouragement. We will vigorously prosecute those who attempt to travel to Syria to wage violent jihad on behalf of ISIL and those who support them. Anyone who threatens our citizens and our allies, here or abroad, will face the full force of American justice.”

‘Jihadi John’ Identified As London Resident with Computer Programming Degree

Mohammed Emwazi is shown here before the beheading of American war reporter James Wright Foley.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

His face covered in a black balaclava, “Jihadi John” is the menacing figure seen in Islamic State videos beheading several foreign hostages.

The New York Times reports this morning that the man has been identified as British resident Mohammed Emwazi, a graduate of the University of Westminster with a degree in computer programming.

Emwazi first appeared on an ISIS video in August, when it appears he beheads American journalist James Foley.

He also showed up in videos of the beheadings of American journalist Steven J. Sotloff; the British aid worker David Cawthorne Haines; the British taxi driver Alan Henning; and the American aid worker Peter Kassig.

Authorities believe Emwazi was born in Kuwait and traveled in Syria in 2012.

Justice Department Threatens to Prosecute Supporters of ISIS on Social Media

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As ISIS turns more to social media to recruit future terrorists, the Justice Department made clear that it would prosecute people who help the extremists spread the message, The Daily Beast reports.

What remains unclear is where the government where draw the line between free speech and support of a terrorist group.

Intelligence experts say ISIS’ propaganda campaign, which includes posting beheading videos, has been at least partly effective.

John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security, said social media has provided “essentially a free form of communication that you can use to plot and plan.”

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Downplays Terror Group’s Calls for Attacks on Malls in U.S

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Homeland Security are downplaying a threat by a Somali-based terror group to attack shopping malls in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom, CNN reports.

U.S. officials said there are no credible threats of an attack, but still cautioned shoppers to be careful.

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today,”  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, “they’ve got to be particularly careful.”

The Minnesota mall was alluded to in a video by Al-Shabaab, which called for the attacks.

Mall of America said it is on the look out.

“We take any potential threat seriously and respond appropriately,” the Minnesota mall said in a statement. “We have implemented extra security precautions; some may be noticeable to guests, and others won’t be.”

 

 

White House Didn’t Invite FBI Director to Conference on Curbing Violent Extremists

Director James B. Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A three-day conference on quelling violent extremism this week did not include the nation’s most senior official tasked with preventing terrorist attacks – FBI Director James B. Comey.

The reason the White House didn’t invite him: The administration doesn’t want too much of the focus on law enforcement, The New York Times reports.

Oddly, the administration still invited Comey’s Russian counterpart, Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, the director of the Russian Federal Security Service, the post-Soviet K.G.B.

The meeting in Washington D.C. “has been criticized as ineffectual and irrelevant, and not focused on immediate and tangible solutions to stop terrorists,” The Times wrote.

An administration official defended the actions.

“While the F.B.I. works tirelessly to keep the country safe, this conference was not centered on federal law enforcement.”

So what was the focus?

Anti-terrorism efforts “are premised on the notion that local officials and communities can be an effective bulwark against violent extremism, and most of the participants — spanning community leaders, local, law enforcement, private sector innovators, and others — reflected this bottom-up approach.”

The FBI declined to comment.