Sunday, December 28, 2014
A new issue of Inspire, the English-language online magazine produced by al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, is devoted to “jihad on America” and suggests targeting major American figures as well as Western commercial airliners, according to a report Wednesday by SITE Intelligence Group.
The issue is the 13th since Inspire was first published online in 2010. Its founder, Samir Zafar Khan, was born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents but grew up in New York state.
Khan, a blogger on jihadist themes who was well-known to U.S. intelligence, is believed to have traveled to Yemen and joined al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the year before the magazine’s debut issue.
Khan, an American citizen, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011, along with Anwar al-Awlaki, also an American, whom President Obama described as AQAP’s “operational commander.”
The most infamous article published by Inspire, a Khan-authored instructional guide titled“How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom,” was used by the Boston Marathon bombers in a pressure-cooker explosive they planted in their April 2013 attack, according to prosecutors in the case.
The cover of the new Inspire issue is of a commercial airliner whose undercarriage is being blown up. According to the SITE report, the magazine states that it is “committed to arm Muslim individuals — as well as Muslim groups.”
Also this month, the media wing of AQAP released a video providing guidance to militants on avoiding detection by drones, according to the Long War Journal, a news Web site.
The video notes that drones locate targets on the ground through visual and heat detection. It provides instructions on creating an “insulation cover” made from everyday materials such as a canvas sheet and aluminum foil. It suggests that the cover be painted to match the terrain and color of the surrounding environment.
To avoid possible drone attacks while driving, the video suggests traveling in “unknown cars” and making frequent stops to check for overhead monitoring. If drones are detected, it recommends stopping the car in a protected place, such as under trees or a roof, leaving the vehicle and shielding oneself with the “insulation cover.”
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
Ignorant Media Are Wrong to Gush Over Obama’s Foreign Policy
By Kim Holmeson Sun, 28 Dec 2014
It’s “historic.” A “landmark” breakthrough. By one stroke of the presidential pen, the tide of history has risen, never to recede again.
How many times has the press greeted a decision by President Obama with this breathless cry? It happened again last week when he reversed nearly 50 years of U.S. policytoward communist Cuba.
Columnist Eugene Robinson called the move a “historic opening.” But he and others should hold their applause until something positive happens in Cuba. For a presidential act to be truly historic, something besides U.S. policy has to change.
Case in point: Last year’s announcement that the U.S. would once again engage in direct nuclear talks with Iran met with great fanfare. George Stephanopoulos eagerly opened ABC’s “This Week” on Nov. 24, 2013, with: “Breaking overnight an historic deal a landmark path to freeze Iran’s nuclear program.” Yet there is still no breakthrough. The talks have been extended again so negotiators can keep talking. Meanwhile Iran continues to process nuclear fueland is closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon.
That’s not historic. It’s just more of the same.
Then there’s the 2013 deal with Russia on Syria’s chemical weapons. When announced, you’d have thought we’d reached a new Promised Land of arms control. CNN’s story led with this: “Russia and the United States, in their third day of talks in Switzerland, said Saturday they have reached a groundbreaking deal on a framework to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.”
In reality, Syria wound up getting rid of some old chemical stocks it apparently could spare. But the deal did nothing to stop the carnage in Syria. The Huffington Post recently reported that at least 67,000 people have perished in Syria this year. What appeared to be a historic breakthrough merely enabled Mr. Obama to climb down from his threat of bombing Syria.
What about \Obama’s promise to eliminate all nuclear weapons? On his first overseas trip just weeks after taking office, that’s what he pledged to do. After developing his famous “global zero” policy on nuclear weapons, in 2010 he signed the New START treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear arsenals. As if on cue, the press’s history-making machinery clicked into gear. Mr. Stephanopoulos and his “Good Morning America” co-host, Robin Roberts, called it “landmark” and “historic.” The “Today” show’s Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer hailed the “landmark treaty” as “a major move in [Obama’s] push for a nuclear-free world.”
What has happened since? The U.S. has indeed reduced the size of its nuclear arsenal, but Russia has modernized and grown its own. Moscow has openly violated the Reagan-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force agreement. And despite U.N. sanctions, North Korea, already a nuclear power, has conducted two additional nuclear tests and successfully launched a long-range ballistic missile. The world is still very far away from Obama’s — and Lauer’s — dream of a nuclear-free world.
Perhaps the best example of historical hype is the colossal failure of Obama’s 2009 “reset” policy with Russia, unveiled by Hillary Rodham Clinton with a mislabeled big red button. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine. The “reset” has quietly slipped into the memory hole the administration and the press reserve for the policy failures they had once welcomed as a World Historical Event.
Something larger than sycophancy is going on. The president came to Washington with a grand progressive vision of transforming America and the world. Every clack of the historical gear moved in a progressive ideological direction, regardless of the actual outcome, and thus was deemed “historic” before anything had actually happened.
The problem is this: Obama keeps knocking on history’s door but no one is answering. All the frontloaded credit he gets for his “bold” decisions covers up the fact that little or no positive change happens. If anything, we are slipping backwards.
That is not the “history” — excuse me, the “change” — Americans had hoped for.
Originally posted on the Washington Times.
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