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al-Qaeda's Secret Ties with Iran

New Docs Reveal Osama bin Laden's Secret Ties With Iran

Thomas Joscelyn

This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.

More than 1 million documents and files were captured by the Navy Seals who raided bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. One year later, in May 2012, the Obama administration released just 17 of them.

While there is some overlap between the files introduced as evidence in Brooklyn and those that were previously made public in 2012, much of what is in the trial exhibits had never been made public before.

The files do not support the view, promoted by some in the Obama administration, that bin Laden was in “comfortable retirement,” “sidelined,” or “a lion in winter” in the months leading up to his death. On the contrary, bin Laden is asked to give his order on a host of issues, ranging from the handling of money to the movement of terrorist operatives.

Some of the key revelations in the newly-released bin Laden files relate to al Qaeda’s dealings with Iran and presence in Afghanistan.

For the rest of this story please click here--


Obama’s Failure

Stephen F. Hayes

Barack Obama wants us all to simmer down about Iran. He wants Senator Bob Menendez, a fellow Democrat, and the donors he represents to butt out of the sanctions debate. He wants Republicans to quit crying wolf about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He wants the media to stop hyping terror threats. He wants the American people in the dark about the secret correspondence he’s had for years with Iran’s supreme leader. He wants John Boehner to be mindful of protocol. And most of all, he wants Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop questioning his accommodationist approach to Tehran. 

With the breezy confidence that is his trademark, the president has repeatedly delivered a reassuring message on Iran to the country and the world: Trust me.

With respect, Mr. President: No.

From the earliest moments of his first term, Obama sought to convince the country that threats from our erstwhile enemies were overblown. He forged an approach to jihadist attacks and rogue regimes meant to be a stark contrast from that of his predecessor. He ended the war on terror, quietly sought rapprochement with radical Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban, and ostentatiously undertook a more conciliatory approach to terror-sponsoring regimes like Syria and Iran.

Notwithstanding periodic drone strikes on bad guys, Obama has demonstrated repeatedly that his instinct is to ignore, dismiss, or downplay threats to the United States and its interests and allies. The record over six years is a long list of mistaken judgments, awkward euphemisms, and false assurances.

To read the rest of this story please click here--

And you probably read this months ago, but 

Al Qaeda Wasn’t ‘on the Run’
Why haven’t we seen the documents retrieved in the bin Laden raid?

Steve Hayes

The initial scrub took several weeks. It was never meant to be comprehensive. “It was more data-mining than analysis,” says one intelligence official with knowledge of the project. Researchers and analysts searched the documents for key names, phone numbers, and addresses that could be used by U.S. troops to target senior al Qaeda leaders. In subsequent congressional testimony, James Clapper, director of national intelligence, reported that there were “over 400 intelligence reports that were issued in the initial aftermath immediately after the raid.”

Then the document exploitation stopped. According to sources with detailed knowledge of the handling of the documents, the CIA did little to build on the project after the initial burst of intelligence reports. 

Officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency and CENTCOM responsible for providing analysis to U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan wanted to study the documents. But the CIA had “executive authority” over the collection and blocked any outside access to them. 

The ensuing bureaucratic fight, reminiscent of the intragovernment battles that led to the reorganization of the intelligence community after 9/11, unfolded over the spring and fall of 2011. It was resolved, at least temporarily, when then-CIA director David Petraeus weighed in on behalf of the team from CENTCOM and the DIA, a move that did little to improve his standing with the CIA bureaucracy. Petraeus was angry when he learned that the CIA hadn’t been actively exploiting the documents, and as the former head of CENTCOM, he was sympathetic to the pleas from military intelligence. The dispute made its way to Clapper, who met with representatives of the warring agencies and agreed that DIA and CENTCOM should be allowed to study the documents.

For the rest of this story please click here-- 


In the news

DHS Funding Fight: As the clock ticks down to Friday night's DHS funding deadline, the standoff on Capitol Hill has taken a turn for the weird as Senate Republicans announced they'd put forth a clean DHS funding bill as long as Dems would agree to allow a vote on a standalone immigration bill. Despite the fact that plan is exactly what Senate Dems have said they've wanted, Sen Reid indicated his caucus would object to consideration of a clean bill unless they get assurances from Speaker Boehner that the House would consider and pass a clean funding bill. Republicans argue that's tantamount to moving the goalposts while Dems say the ball is in Boehner's court.

FCC Internet Regulation: A day before the FCC will vote on substantial new internet regulations, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing into the relationship between the FCC and the White House.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the committee, has made it clear that he and other Republican lawmakers are unhappy with the FCC's proposed so-called "net neutrality" rules that will add an additional layer of regulations for broadband providers, and they want to know what role the president is playing in influencing FCC policy and rulemaking.

State Department Official Arrested: Daniel Rosen, a senior State Department official in charge of federal counterterrorism programs was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor. Police say Rosen was arrested by a county detective about noon at his Washington, D.C. home and transported to the DC Jail. Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said late Tuesday, "We are aware that a State Department employee has been arrested and charges have been issued. For issues related to Department personnel and for privacy reasons, we are not able to confirm the identity of the individual or specific charges. His security clearance will be suspended and he will be put on administrative leave while this proceeds to its end through any judicial process. We are following standard procedure in this case." Mr. Rosen awaits extradition to Fairfax County, expected this morning.

Obama Advisor Comments on Netanyahu Address: Susan Rice, President Obama's national security advisor, said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's acceptance of an invitation to address Congress next month is "destructive of the fabric of the relationship" between Israel and the United States. Many House and Senate Democrats have said they will not be in attendance for the speech.



Bret answers viewer questions

2016 Contenders: Senator Rick Santorum

A few of the questions and answers you didn't get to hear on the show--

Train Derailment Renews Calls for Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline

This week's fiery accident involving oil tanker cars derailing in West Virginia is renewing the call for what proponents claim would be a safer, more reliable method of transportation -- the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.
Correspondent Leland Vittert reports--

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Article by Graeme Wood of The Atlantic

Control of territory is an essential precondition for the Islamic State’s authority in the eyes of its supporters. This map, adapted from the work of the Institute for the Study of War, shows the territory under the caliphate’s control as of January 15, along with areas it has attacked. Where it holds power, the state collects taxes, regulates prices, operates courts, and administers services ranging from health care and education to telecommunications

Viewer Photos: Snow Day!

Thank you for sending in your snow photos-- we received a lot of great shots, but these are a few of our favorites. Enjoy the snow day if you have one and be safe--for all of our viewers in warm weather today we would like to say ENJOY!

Photo 1 from @MMetcalfSC: The snow and ice in Greer, SC

Photo 2 from @FortPeckLake: Tommy being a good boy and not chasing the deer

Photo 3 from @DylanCasteel6 : 6 inches of snow in Evansville, IN

Photo 4 from @DoogantheBoxer: Fun in the snow in Harford County, MD

Photo 5 from @kgunderm: Can't make it to a tropical place so making due in Northern Maine

Photo 6 from @haleymsmith15: An inch or so in Overland Park, KS

Court Shakes Up Amnesty Fight on Hill

By Bret Baier /Fox News First 

As is so often the case, states lead the way. A lawsuit filed by 26 states against President Obama's executive actions on immigration, took a big step forward. On Monday, a federal judge blocked the president’s actions granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's decision puts a freeze on the president’s plan, the first phase of which was supposed to begin Wednesday.

While the administration will no doubt appeal the ruling, this decision could provide a legislative opening for the Homeland Security funding bill that is stalled in the Senate. The bill is being blocked by Democrats and would also be certainly vetoed by the President should it pass.

So what is the way out of the standoff?  The Republican argument may be to ask how they could fund anything that has been blocked by the courts and go full steam ahead on offense. Or, Republicans may be so encouraged about the chance for legal remedy that the looming showdown is drained of some of its urgency and move toward compromise.

We’ll see what they choose.

AP Releases Comprehensive Report on Fatalities in Gaza Home Strikes

By Ford Fischer, Special Report College Associate

A new report released by the Associated Press details the outcome of this summer’s conflict between Israelis and Palestinians along the Gaza strip.

At least 844 Palestinians were killed as a result of the airstrikes on homes this summer. Of those, only 92 were confirmed or suspected militants. The AP report explained that these airstrikes made up only 247 of the 5,000 airstrikes launched by Israel during the conflict.

The report found that approximately one third of the dead were children, and 60% were women, children, or older men. The other 240 were males aged 18-59 with no known connection to militant groups.

Gaza militants fired 4,300 rockets at Israel, who conducted a total of 5,000 airstrikes. While the number of rockets fired is relatively equal, only five Israeli civilians were killed, along with 67 soldiers.

Palestinians largely feel that Israel is specifically targeting citizens. "Either they have the worst army in the world that constantly misses targets and hits civilians, or they are deliberately killing civilians," said Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian spokeswoman said to the AP. If most of those killed are civilians, "you cannot call them collateral damage."

In January, Palestinians joined the International Criminal Court. While it seemed unlikely before, this creates the possibility of Israel being investigated for war crimes.

Israeli leaders maintain that the strikes, even when citizens were killed, were justified. They explain that Hamas has strategically placed weapons and fighters in civilian areas. "Our position is very clear. Israel did not commit war crimes," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

Palestinian leaders feel that this doesn’t hold up, given that only 89% of those killed in strikes on civilian areas were not suspected or confirm militants.

U.N. investigators do note, however, that Hamas is not entirely faultless either. While their tactics have been mostly ineffective, they are also under suspicion of war crimes for indiscriminately firing rockets over the border, which could hit civilians.

Overall, 1,483 Palestinian civilians were killed in the war -- 66 percent of the overall death toll of 2,205. Only 6% of the Israeli death toll (which totals 72) has been civilians. Both sides have been in a ceasefire since August.



Coming Up

A House Oversight hearing on the IRS revealed that 32,000 Lois Lerner emails have been found in backup tapes at the IRS facility in Martinsburg, WVA.

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