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Tags: al-Qaeda

Islamists Fire Rocket at U.S. Embassy in Yemen



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Er . . . how is this not huge news?

How many Americans know Ansar al-Sharia fired a rocket at our embassy and injured some guards?

How many Americans know that last week the State Department urged all Americans to leave Yemen? How many people know that we’re pulling some of our embassy staff out of there?

On September 24, 2014, the Department of State ordered a reduction of U.S. government personnel from Yemen out of an abundance of caution due to the continued civil unrest and the potential for military escalation. The Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services may be limited. Embassy officers are restricted in their movements and cannot travel outside of Sana’a. In addition, movements within Sana’a are severely constrained and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.

The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high. The Embassy is subject to frequent unannounced closures. In May 2014, the Embassy was closed for almost five weeks because of heightened security threats.

Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and may quickly escalate and turn violent. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration.

Doesn’t that sound like the situation in Libya?

President Obama, September 10:

This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.

This is not the first time the U.S. media has largely ignored violent protests at American embassies. In 2012, incidents in Thailand, Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, as well as Greece, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Uganda, and Australiaafter the attacks on U.S. facilities in Cairo, Egypt, and Benghazi, Libya — didn’t generate much coverage in the U.S. media.

Tags: al-Qaeda , U.S. State Department , Embassies

Another Part of Our Recent History to Remember Today



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We remember how the 9/11 era began today, and the emotions are still fresh and strong, 13 years later.

But that was only one part of the story.

Take a good look, ISIS. You never know when the U.S. Navy SEALs are at your door.

Tags: ISIS , al-Qaeda , 9/11

Al-Qaeda Controls More Territory Than Ever Before



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The Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt features a great deal of discussion of Christie administration’s bridge scandal, and how the winners of 2009 — Christie and Bob McDonnell — have amounted to colossal disappointments for the Right. But there’s also this fairly important news from overseas . . . 

Ahem. Minor Bit of News: Al-Qaeda Controls More Territory Than Ever Before

Yet another foreign-policy triumph of the Obama administration, spotlighted by Peter Bergen:

From around Aleppo in western Syria to small areas of Falluja in central Iraq, al Qaeda now controls territory that stretches more than 400 miles across the heart of the Middle East, according to English and Arab language news accounts as well as accounts on jihadist websites.

Indeed, al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history.

And that’s not even counting the Taliban’s comeback in Afghanistan. That criticism from former defense secretary Robert Gates seems kind of important now, doesn’t it?

Gates writes that, unlike Bush, Obama lacked “passion, especially when it came to the two wars.”

“I worked for Obama longer than Bush and I never saw his eyes well up,” Gates writes. “The only military matter, apart from leaks, about which I ever sensed deep passion on his part was ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ ” the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military that Obama successfully pushed to repeal.

Remember, “Bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive”? Detroit is bankrupt and al-Qaeda now controls more territory than ever.

Tags: al-Qaeda , Bob Gates , Barack Obama , Terrorism

Massachusetts Voters May Have Big Fields in 2014 Governor’s Race



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The Fox affiliate in Boston takes a look at the Massachusetts gubernatorial possibilities for 2014:

On the Democratic side, State Treasurer Steve Grossman has said he is “leaning strongly” toward a run. Also, Congressman Michael Capuano could be eyeing the seat. Last week, he decided against running in a special election for Senate, if Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State Thursday.

Attorney General Martha Coakley also said to be considering a run. During an appearance at a breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coakley would say only that she is running for the position she currently holds. “I am running for Attorney General,” she told reporters. “Right now I’m really focused on all the great things we’re doing in the Attorney General’s office. I love the work. I love the office. That’s my focus at the moment.”

There are two other lesser known Democrats in the mix. Former Wellesley Selectman Dr. Joseph Avellone has said he is running for governor. Also, pediatrician and former Obama Administration official Dr. Donald Berwick, of Newton, is considering a run for the seat.

On the Republican side, former gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker is widely considered to be a candidate for governor in 2014. Also, former Senator Scott Brown could choose to run for governor instead of for Senate. If Brown does run for governor, he is not allowed to use any of the money he raised during his Senate campaign.

The Democratic field is a bit more open because Governor Deval Patrick is term-limited and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray recently declared, “I will not be a candidate for Governor in the 2014 election cycle. Nor will I be a candidate for any other statewide office in 2014.”

Baker lost to Patrick, 48 percent to 42 percent, in 2010.

Tags: Charlie Baker , Martha Coakley , al-Qaeda , Scott Brown , Steve Grossman

Massachusetts Democrats, Debating Who Will Kerry the Torch



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Up in Massachusetts, Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe updates his scorecard on the Senate seat that will open up when John Kerry departs to become secretary of state:

  • Representative Ed Markey has lined up support from several big names, like Kerry and the Kennedy clan. For now, Markey’s usual campaign website is the barest of bones, announcing his Senate bid and asking for donations.
  • Markey has two potential big-name rivals still in the mix. Representative Stephen Lynch is working the phones to gauge support for a bid, and Representative Michael Capuano is not ruling out a campaign.
  • Perhaps the most intriguing indicator in Johnson’s roundup involves soon-to-depart Senator Scott Brown, who “is trying to engineer the selection of his deputy campaign finance director as the new chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, which would give him de facto control of over $700,000 in a party joint victory account — plenty to seed a special election campaign.”
  • The only other potential Republican Senate candidate mentioned is former governor William F. Weld.
  • While no one knows who Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, will appoint as the interim senator, his desire for a loyalist has some mentioning the name of his “outgoing Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez.”

Tags: Deval Patrick , Ed Markey , al-Qaeda , Scott Brown , Stephen Lynch , Presidential Debates

A Likely List of Thursday’s Debate Topics



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For much of today, there has been some grumbling on the right about Martha Raddatz, the ABC News senior correspondent who is moderating the vice-presidential debate. In 1991, Barack Obama attended her wedding. This is rather weak tea as far as evidence of bias; she has since divorced and remarried. (Wonder what Obama got her as a gift . . . a cassette tape of his speeches?) If anything, this story coming up might make her a little more determined to appear to be playing it down the middle.

But take a look at her recent work, and we may have a good sense of the likely topics:

Martha Raddatz was named Senior Foreign Affairs correspondent for ABC News in November 2008, after serving as White House correspondent during the last term of President George W. Bush’s administration. In addition to covering the day-to-day foreign and domestic stories from the White House, Raddatz has traveled from Haiti to Yemen to the Mideast and through south Asia.

Raddatz has traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan dozens of times, and to Iraq 21 times to cover the ongoing conflict. She was on the last convoy out of Iraq and is the only television reporter allowed to cover a combat mission over Afghanistan in an F15 fighter jet, spending nearly 10 hours in the air on two separate missions. In the early hours of June 8, 2006, she was the first correspondent to report that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, had been killed in a U.S. air strike north of Baghdad. In 2011 she reported exclusive details on the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. That same year she had an exclusive interview on the USS Kearsage off the coast of Libya with the Marines who helped rescue two American pilots who had gone down in Libya. In 2012, Raddatz was on a USS destroyer as it made its way through the Strait of Hormuz.

Libya’s a certainty, and some related or separate question on the status of al-Qaeda and U.S. efforts against that group. Afghanistan and our draw-down of troops is also almost certain. Expect at least one question on Iran and its nuclear program. Sequestration and its impact on the defense budget is another very likely topic.

The format is “nine 10-minute segments, each candidate will have two minutes to respond to an opening question. The moderator will then lead a discussion.” Libya, al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran, and sequestration would make five topics; the remaining four would be on domestic policy and would probably focus heavily on the economy. With Ryan on stage, the debt and his budgetary proposals are almost certain to get their own segment.

Tags: al-Qaeda , Debates , Joe Biden , Libya , Paul Ryan

Four Cases of Administration Untruths About
al-Qaeda Terrorism



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Notice the strange pattern when this administration discusses the issue of terrorism with the American people:

In the attempted bombings of the Detroit flight and Times Square:

On December 28, 2009, three days after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate explosives in his underwear aboard an airliner over Detroit, President Obama told the country that the incident was the work of “an isolated extremist.” It wasn’t. Abdulmutallab was trained, directed, and financed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a fact he shared with investigators early in his interrogation.

The same thing happened less than six months later, after Faisal Shahzad attempted to blow up his Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square. Two days following the botched attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano took to the Sunday shows to dismiss reports of a conspiracy and insisted that the attempted bombing was just a “one-off” by a single attacker. It wasn’t. A week later, after much of the information had leaked, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that the United States had “evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack. We know that they helped facilitate it, we know that they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction.”

In the Fort Hood shooting, Obama’s comments the following morning:

This morning I met with FBI Director Mueller and the relevant agencies to discuss their ongoing investigation into what caused one individual to turn his gun on fellow servicemen and women. We don’t have all the answers yet. I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.

The government’s later assessment Fort Hood shooting:

Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation’s Armed Forces at home.

During a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, the Maine Republican referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood shootings as workplace violence. She criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam.

“The documents attached illustrate how the Department is dealing with the threat of violent Islamist extremism in the context of a broader threat of workplace violence,” read the letter, which was obtained by Fox News.

Despite Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan’s e-mail conversations with al-Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki, the FBI did not classify the shooting as terrorism.

Now, in the administration’s accounts of the deadly attack on our consulate in Benghazi:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”

Four attacks by radical Islamists against Americans, and four statements from the administration mischaracterizing the nature and scope of the threat. It is harder and harder to believe this is just a series of innocent mistakes.

Tags: al-Qaeda , Barack Obama , Terrorism

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