American Elephants

No, This Isn’t a Particularly Scary Thriller — It’s Quite Real! by The Elephant's Child

Investors is reporting today on Islamist militias seizure of eleven airliners at the Tripoli airport in Libya last month, so it is apparently true, although the State Dept. has “no confirmation.” So we have eleven airliners in the hands of terrorists, and should they not need them immediately, they can take advanced courses in flight in the United States, and maintenance too. We’re just a wide open welcoming country.

We may not have a strategy for dealing with militant Islam, but they have plans for dealing with us. It includes recruiting those who live here, or have passports to get here, or who have enough funds to pay a coyote to escort them across the border.

ISIS has posted photos on social media of its flag and a hand-written message in Arabic taken in front of the White House and in front of Chicago’s Old Republic Building on Michigan Avenue with the warning:

“We are in your state, we are in your cities, and we are in your streets.”

Foreign Policy reported on a laptop captured near the Turkish border in a fight with ISIS.

The laptop’s contents turn out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organizations — and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State’s deadly campaigns. They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihadi hot spot to another.

The owner was a Tunisian national who joined ISIS in Syria and who studied chemistry and physics at two Tunisian universities. Among others was a 19 page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize bubonic plague from infected animals. And how to deliver them to the West.

Use small grenades with the virus, and throw them in closed areas like metros, soccer stadiums, or entertainment centers,” the 19-page document on biological weapons advises. “Best to do it next to the air-conditioning. It also can be used during suicide operations.”

May 2, 2011 — the raid on the Abbottabad compound of Osama bin Laden resulted not just in the death of bin Laden, but in a secondary mission of gathering up as much intelligence as possible. The haul, according to the Weekly Standard, was immense: 10 hard drives, 100 thumb drives, a dozen cell phones, data cards, DVDs, audiotapes, paper files, magazines and newspapers. A senior official described it as material that could fill a small college library. Another called it the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever more than a million documents “detailing al Qaeda’s funding, training, personnel, and future plans.” all of great intelligence value for an “understanding of the enemy we have fought for over a decade at the cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of  American lives.”

What has the government done with this treasure trove? Not much. Not anything close to a full exploitation — maybe 10 percent. The CIA was in charge and blocked access by other agencies. The narrative was simple: “Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.” And al Qaeda has been decimated” and “al Qaeda is on the run.”

“The administration chose to portray short-term tactical successes as long-term strategic victories.” And it gets worse. The administration planned a release of handpicked documents on the anniversary of the raid. One which detailed the close relations between al Qaeda and the Taliban was withheld because the administration had started secret negotiations with the Taliban, and the release might have complicated the negotiations.

This is a long article — “special from the forthcoming issue of the Weekly Standard.” but not one you want to miss by Stephen F. Hayes, who is an outstanding reporter.

This is an administration focused more on their own public persona than on any actual facts. They had a lot riding on the claim that al Qaeda was dead along with bin Laden (Obama’s triumph), and would not rise again, and not only that,  but had no connection to other terrorist groups that might pop up. As Investors said:

A former Pentagon official told Fox News that Obama received specific intelligence in daily briefings about the Islamic State’s rise. The information was said to be “granular” in detail, laying out IS’ intentions and capabilities for at least a year before it seized big chunks of Iraqi territory and started beheading Americans.

Obama’s indifference to the briefings was an issue during the 2012 campaign, when former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen observed that Obama personally attended only 44% of them. Obama’s perceived lack of interest in a terror war, which he claimed was won prior to the Benghazi attack, mirrors his reported lack of interest in the rise of the Islamic State.


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