Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Hillary Has Hacking Cough But Still Cannot Cough Up Truth. Lots of Experience At Lying Now Counts As Successes? Only Four Dies But Many Lied. Numbers Count!


I will be away til late Saturday. Flying back on 9/11.  Hope no radial Muslim on our plane is in search of virgins.
Meanwhile, Hillary has developed a serious hacking cough but still is unable to cough up the truth about what she did with all those emails.  Obviously her amnesia from the fall, while Sec. of State, is why she cannot remember anything .  She does remember that Trump has not revealed his income tax returns because he must have something to hide.  Hillary, of course, has nothing to hide because she either revealed or destroyed it.  The lady has chutzpah.  Got to give her that.

The one who really has abdicated his responsibility to the American People is FBI Director Comey. 

Finally, we are told Hillary has a lot of experience but no successes unless failures and lying now count as successes.. (See 1 and 1a below.)
Evaluating our ageing candidates.  (See 2 below.)
Liberal Americans agree with Hillary.  Benghazi  all a right wing conspiracy thing. Four died, a whole bunch lied so the odds favor numbers. (See 3 below.)
Netanyahu visits The Netherlands and unlike the greeting Obama received from the leader of The Philippines, Bibi seemed to have been welcomed. (See 4 below.)
You don't hear much about ISIS these days because the media and press are busy trying to elect Hillary and though ISIS, and related terrorists, continue to kill all over the world nothing close to home has happened.

This is about ISIS and India. (See 5 below.)
Syria used chlorine according to this report. Perhaps they were trying to erase all signs of Obama's red line. (See 6 below.)
1) FBI notes undercut Clinton's biggest selling point

Hillary Clinton, a candidate without a message or platform to stand on, has just had her legs knocked out from underneath her. On the Friday before a long Labor Day weekend, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released its investigation summary and interview notes with Clinton. The damning revelations undercut her biggest selling point to voters: Her ability to lead.

Since the Republican and Democratic conventions, Clinton has sought to label Donald Trump as lacking the judgement and temperament to serve as commander in chief. In polling, voters have largely seen her as the more reliable candidate. But recent revelations from the FBI, coupled with Trump's recent message discipline, could completely alter the course of the election.

Whether it is gross incompetence, forced amnesia, deep seated corruption or a combination of all three, the released summary and notes from the FBI demonstrate that Clinton does not have the judgement or temperament to be commander in chief. Rather than show leadership, her attempt to cover up for her private email server makes her look more like a clumsy criminal than someone who can be trusted with classified information.
Among the damning revelations was the fact that Clinton did not wipe her private email server clean until the New York Times broke the news. A Clinton aide also admitted that on at least two occasions phones Clinton used were smashed with a hammer to destroy them. It was also revealed that Clinton used eight blackberries that were never reviewed by the FBI because they cannot be located.
Despite being privy to our nation's top secrets and her desire to oversee the world's largest nuclear arsenal and superpower as president of the United States, Clinton claimed to the FBI that she could not recount one example of how information becomes classified. She also said she thought the "C" marking classified information as "confidential" had to do with alphabetizing. Even though her private server was less secure than Gmail and contained national security information, Clinton
emailed President Obama from it while in foreign countries. She incompetently told the FBI that the classification of future drone strikes depended on the context. Unsurprisingly, her unsecure email was subject to phishing scams, and she opened at least one link that "contained a potentially malicious link."

The information published by the FBI also highlights the discrepancies between what she told voters and what she told investigators. Hillary Clinton initially claimed the convenience of one device as her reason for using a private email server and address for work and her personal life, but she had 13 mobile devices and five iPads. Clinton promised voters she turned over all of her work-related emails, but there were 17,488 that she never gave to the State Department inspector general. She also promised that she used safeguards to protect her private server but told the FBI there was no security.

Even more troubling is the fact Clinton and her aides told the FBI and Judicial Watch 378 times that they could not recall the details of private server and setup. Clinton alleged she could not recall any conversations regarding the creation of her email account. Her account was conveniently echoed by Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin, and Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy.
With 61 days left until the Nov. 8 election, Hillary Clinton has lost her biggest asset. After repeatedly lying to the American people, maliciously deleting evidence and idiotically claiming she doesn't understand classified information, Clinton lacks the ability to be commander in chief.
Lisa Boothe is a contributing columnist for The Washington Examiner and president of High Noon Strategies.

1a) FBI Data Dump Shows Clinton Is Criminal and Clueless

Hillary is either dishonest or dumb—there is no third choice

Today, on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released documents on its investigation of Hillary Clinton and her mishandling of email while she was secretary of state. The Friday afternoon data dump is a venerable Washington cliché, a shady way to bury a story that the bureaucracy doesn’t want covered in depth, but even by Beltway standards this was a shocker.
Nobody expected much from the FBI here, given the Bureau’s recent punting on its formal inquiry into Hillary’s dubious activities with her “unclassified” email of bathroom server infamy. I’ve been covering the EmailGate story for over a year, from the beginning, and I too didn’t expect the FBI to reveal much about what Hillary did that was unwise and perhaps criminal.
To be fair, a good amount of today’s release has been redacted. The original documents were classified at the Secret/Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals level, and to make it Unclassified about a third of the text has been cut out.
But what’s there is awful enough for Team Clinton. Although the FBI’s press releaseis terse, the documents themselves indelibly portray the Democratic presidential nominee as dishonest, entitled, and thoroughly incompetent.
Considering that Hillary has been accused of mishandling classified information on an almost industrial scale, what shines through is that Clinton is utterly clueless about classification matters, betraying an ignorance that is shocking when encountered in a former top official of our government—and one who wants to be our next commander-in-chief.
Our Federal classification system isn’t particularly complicated, the basics can be explained in a quarter-hour, and there are courses of instruction that exist precisely to explain how to identify classified information and properly handle it. In fact, they’re mandatory. Since Hillary blew off those courses, even though they are required for government workers at all levels, it’s not surprising that she has no idea what she’s talking about.
There are three basic classification levels (with a bunch of handling caveats that can be added):  Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. These are abbreviated in classified documents as C, S, and TS, respectively (for a quick primer on how this works in the real world, read this).
Since Hillary had been accused of mishandling a lot of classified information, in her July 2 interview with the FBI, agents understandably asked her about this, only to discover that America’s former top diplomat doesn’t have the smallest clue how classification works.
When asked, “Clinton could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined,” the FBI recorded. Hillary could not explain what the (C)—for Confidential—classification marking at the beginning of a paragraph was. She thought it perhaps had something to do with alphabetical order.
This tragicomedy continued with the FBI pressing Hillary on specific examples of classified information that wound up in her “Unclassified” emails. She explained her position concisely. As the FBI noted, “Clinton stated that she did not pay attention to the ‘level’ of classified information.”
We can safely assume that the FBI agents present gasped at that one, since classification is all about the level. Simply put, compromising Confidential information will get you a letter of reprimand, while compromising Top Secret information can easily get you a trip to the Federal penitentiary. Not to mention that brave Americans have died to protect Top Secret information.
The Clinton follies continued, with Hillary’s lawerly position clear: “Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system,” the FBI recorded. She even stood her ground when asked about emails regarding drone strikes—a subject that the CIA and the Pentagon consider to be highly classified. Indeed, it’s Top Secret and part of a super-sensitive Special Access Program or SAP.
Not to Hillary. Such SAP information wound up in her “Unclassified” emails but Clinton would have none of it. As the FBI noted, “Clinton stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification.” This would be stunning news to the thousands of American military and intelligence personnel who have to treat such Top Secret SAP information according to the strict rules and regulations that apply to anybody not named Clinton.
Here Hillary has confirmed what many have long suspected—that there’s one set of laws for Clintons and Friends, and a very different set for the rest of us. Classes on how to handle classified materials—much less actually following those rules on pain of arrest and prosecution—are for Little People, not for Clintons and their charmed retinue.
The FBI inquiry descended into farce. The Bureau’s investigation determined that hundreds of the emails containing classified information had been sent by Hillary while she was out of the United States—including in Russia. Since these were sent on Clinton’s ubiquitous Blackberry, all of those should now be assumed to be in the hands of foreign intelligence agencies—particularly the security service of whatever country Hillary was in when she clicked “open” or “send.”
The FBI could not find evidence of cyber-tampering with Hillary’s Blackberry, but that’s irrelevant here. As someone who used to do these things for a living when I worked for NSA, let me state that it’s easy for any marginally competent intelligence service to intercept unencrypted (or lightly encrypted) messages sent to or from a Blackberry. No “hacking” is required. Such routine intercepts would leave few, if any, traces for the FBI to find.
Not that Hillary and her staff took even the most rudimentary security precautions. They emailed each other everywhere, all the time, even in high-threat countries like Russia and China. Anybody who doesn’t understand that Moscow and Beijing—and probably many others—have those emails (and worse, may have used them to crack into other, even more sensitive U.S. Government systems) is uninformed about 21stcentury espionage.
In perhaps the most laughable of the FBI’s revelations, we learned that Hillary had a bad habit of losing her personal electronic devices. As many as thirteen of them went missing—including ones that possibly had classified emails on them. In a couple cases, Clinton staffers disposed of old devices by smashing them with a hammer. Which does nothing to render whatever classified information may have been on them unreadable to any competent spy service.
There are strict rules about how to destroy classified information systems that are no longer needed. Of course, Hillary followed those rules no more than she did any of the dozens if not hundreds of other security regulations she ignored altogether when she was secretary of state.
Saddest of all in this sordid saga is that Hillary had no excuse for any of it. It’s ok not to be a whiz at the nuances of classification. Cabinet secretaries are busy people. When you’re the secretary of state, you’ve got seasoned security personnel on call, 24/7, anywhere in the world, to answer questions and resolve security dilemmas like how to handle classified materials. Calling them apparently would have been too much trouble for Hillary and her inner circle.
It beggars belief that Hillary Clinton is really as clueless as she came across in her interview with the FBI. I’ve given classified briefings to cabinet officials. None of them were ever this out of it. Perhaps, accompanied by her lawyers, the Democratic nominee decided to play dumb to dodge possible prosecution. If that’s the case, Hillary repeatedly flat-out lied to the FBI—which, yet again, is something normal Americans go to prison for doing.
If Hillary actually is as dumb as she appears in these FBI documents—utterly clueless about basic classification matters even after years of Federal service at the highest levels—she is nowhere near smart enough to be our commander-in-chief.
In my time with NSA I worked in counterintelligence and I investigated people who mishandled classified information. It was rarely a pretty story and it seldom ended well. Let me state with 100 percent confidence, having now seen at least some of what the FBI discovered about Hillary and her emails, that anybody not named Clinton who did these things would be facing severe criminal charges and potentially years in prison. Democrats need to seriously ask themselves if this is the kind of person they want to represent them on November 8.
John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++2) The Decrepit Candidate

A lot has been written about the state of Hillary Clinton's health, and less about Donald Trump's health (as he has no apparent health issues), but short of viewing the complete medical records of both candidates, neither of which has yet been released, it is mostly speculation. I, too, have seen the videos of Hillary's "seizures" "blanking out" and coughing periods, but I think they can equally be explained by the circumstances of the events, so they prove nothing. Suspicion, yes; proof, no. But there does exist enough visible, believable evidence from which we can draw conclusions about the candidates' overall health.

I can tell you (from personal experience) that as the "average" person reaches his or her late 60s and then 70s, the body does start to "crap out" from simple wear and tear. Joints become less flexible, the skin is less resilient, fat replaces muscle, and the overall energy level is lower as primary hormone levels (testosterone in men, estrogen in women) decline. In your mid-70s, when a third of your high-school classmates and half of your friends are already dead, it becomes painfully obvious that, statistically speaking, people age and die at different rates -- rates largely determined by genetics, then altered by lifestyle choices (diet, smoking, exercise, etc.).

And this genetically-programmed slow deterioration of the body is clearly visible to the naked eye. That's primarily how we can tell that somebody's old -- they look "old". Now the presidential candidates campaign fully clothed, so we can't see the sagging chest or breasts, the flabby buttocks, the folds of skin on the thighs, the varicose veins in the legs, the moles and "age spots" on the arms, the circulatory-system issues, the decrepit feet, which you might see if the candidates were dressed in T-shirts and shorts or (ugh!) wore bathing suits at the beach. Our visual judgment of "old" for the candidates is confined to their exposed parts -- the face, and to a lesser extent, the hands.

So, thank you Google search, I went looking for close-up photos of Clinton and Trump -- photos with enough resolution (pixels) that I could blow them up to the areas of interest -- the mouth and the eyes -- where age tells. This was not as easy as I thought it would be; most of the photos of the candidates on the Web are low resolution (generally under 60K bytes). I also needed (where possible) photos taken in harsh light so all of the defects/wrinkles/scars/whatever would stand out. I did find a few, and here they are:
The first is this photo of Hillary from June of this year (source: Chicago Defender, June 30, 2016, "Hillary Up Close"), which I did not have to blow up at all to see the areas of interest. Note the "age lines" extending from the nose and chin into the lips; also, the wrinkles in the cheeks and around the eyes.
Above is a close-up of the mouth area from another, two-year-old photo (source: Huffington Post, October 3, 2013, "Hillary Clinton Pushes for Early Education in Campaign"), showing more clearly those "age lines". (Note the two moles at the right corner of her mouth, one with hair growing out of it. Hillary would probably like to have those removed, but likely won't while she's on the campaign trail.)
I have only one really good close-up photo, from 2015, of Donald Trump (source: Entertainment [], June 29, 2015, "NBC Dumps Donald Trump") from which I have selected the mouth-to-eyes area:
Note the absence of "age lines" in the mouth area. The wrinkles around the eyes appear to be about the same number as Hillary's, but not as severe.
For direct comparison, below is Donald's mouth:
Another sign of aging to look for is "turkey-gullet throat", loose and sagging skin under the chin. Here is the best picture I could find of Hillary's throat when she 
looks relaxed (source: Vox, April 12, 2016, "Joe Biden thinks Hillary Clinton isn’t 'held to a higher standard' as a woman. Bless his heart."). Note the loose skin under the chin.
With chin pulled back, the effect is exaggerated (source: National Enquirer, August 29, 2016, "Hillary Clinton — Secret Health Crisis Behind Violent Rages"):
Below is the clearest picture I have for Donald's throat (source:, August 12, 2015, "'Screw You, Yeats', Another Classy Poem By Donald Trump"). He's a bit flabby below the chin, but there's no loose, wrinkly skin.
I have only one "hands" photo, one where the hand(s) are (mostly) in focus, and it is of Hillary's right hand (source: Politico, February 9, 2016, "What Clinton said in her paid speeches"):
But since I don’t have any Donald-hand photos, I can't make a comparison.
In searching for these photos I came across numerous, shall we say, "unflattering" ones, including cartoon images and Trump-as-Hitler. But the one that really stuck in my mind is below:
On the left you see what I think is a reasonable representation of Hillary on the campaign trail. On the right -- is that really Hillary in there? Whoever produced this severely-digitally-damaged picture must really, really hate Hillary. (Source: The Political Insider.)

After appearances, the next place to look for a body that's "crapping out" is in the candidates' known recent medical history. Donald's released medical history indicates no medical traumas (falls, injuries, strokes, blackouts, cancer, surgeries, etc,) and he is on preventive medication -- a baby aspirin for blood-clot prevention, and a statin to lower his cholesterol levels.

Hillary has a more extensive released medical history. She had a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) behind her right knee in 1998 (age 50), at which point she started taking the short-acting blood thinner Lovenox when she was flying; and another leg clot in 2009 (age 61). In 2009 she fell and fractured her right elbow while walking to her car, and needed repair surgery. In 2011 (age 63) she fell while boarding a plane to Oman, without injury. In late 2012 (age 65) she had a stomach virus, became dehydrated, fainted, and fell on her head (concussion). This was followed by a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis (blood clot between the skull and the brain, near the right ear), which is life-threatening if not discovered and treated right away.

The concussion caused Hillary to have double vision for awhile, for which she wore Fresnel-prism corrective glasses for about two months, and occasionally thereafter. She was last seen wearing them in public in February 2016 (age 69). She also took a month off from work to recover from the effects of the concussion. She was put on Coumadin to (successfully) dissolve the 2012 blood clot, replacing the as-needed Lovenox; and she continues to take Coumadin, probably for life. (Coumadin is a tricky drug, requiring monitoring of the patient, which Hillary gets. In much larger doses it is known a Warfarin, a rat poison, which kills the varmints by bleeding them to death.)

Hillary also has hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), not uncommon in older women, for which she takes Armour Thyroid. Her doctor, Lisa Bardack, says Hillary has seasonal allergies and also takes a vitamin B-12 supplement. She has no cancer, blood-clotting disorders or cardiac problems (as of age 68), and her exams and lab tests are normal.

A third test for the candidates' health is their energy levels. I don't know if #HidingHillary is a campaign strategy -- ride out the clock until the election -- or if Hillary truly does not have the stamina to pursue an aggressive campaign schedule. But it's clear that Donald does; he's the Energizer Bunny of politics, as we have seen in the primary campaign and are now seeing in the November election campaign.

Select Committee on Benghazi Releases Final Report, Urges Obama Administration to Declassify as Much Information as Possible

New Material from Depositions Released in Accordance with House Rules
Washington, D.C. – Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi Majority – Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04), Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05), Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04), Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04), Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02), Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06), and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03) – released the following statement after the committee voted 7-4 to make its proposed report final:
“It has been a great privilege and honor to follow the facts and seek the truth on behalf of the American people, but especially for the families and friends of the four brave men killed in the Benghazi terrorist attacks: Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Their service to our country, and the selfless actions of other Americans on the ground that night who were wounded but survived, must never be forgotten. Our thorough, fact-centered investigation was conducted in a manner worthy of their memory, and the value and fairness of our investigation is now abundantly clear to everyone who chooses to read the report for themselves.
“We urge the Obama administration to clear for public release all of the supporting evidence and documents referenced in the more than 2,100 footnotes in the report, including all of the transcripts of the committee’s witness interviews and all of the video footage from the drones operating over Benghazi during the attacks. The administration should do this as fast as possible so the American people can see all of the evidence for themselves.”
Chairman Gowdy reiterated his longstanding intention for the committee to release all cleared transcripts and supporting documents as soon as possible, once the administration completes the review process. According to H. Res. 567, “The Select Committee shall cease to exist 30 days after filing the final report” in the House, during which time the committee will archive records.
The portions of the report based on the deposition of Sidney Blumenthal and the deposition of Diplomatic Security Agent #3 are now unredacted.
The final version of the report is available at All four Committee Democrats who were present voted against releasing the report to the American people.
The widow of Benghazi hero Tyrone Woods, Dr. Dorothy Woods, recently thanked Committee Republicans for “doing their job,” and said the report has “given me closure.” She said critics of the committee have “been dismissive. The committee’s been ridiculed. The committee has been, they’ve been criticized. And for them to sincerely do the right thing, to care about Americans, that’s what’s important.”
“I am thankful for Congressman Gowdy and his committee for remembering that they are in fact servants of the people of the United States, and they took the time to answer questions that weren’t answered.”
Democrats’ so-called “report” mentioned “Woods” only six times – the same amount as “McCarthy.” It mentioned “Trump” 23 times, and “Clinton” 334 times in just 339 pages. In contrast, the Republican report mentioned “Clinton” only 193 times in over 800 pages.
PM Netanyahu Remarks When Met with Dutch PM Rutte

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Tuesday, 6 September
2016), met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, at the latter's official
residence in the Hague. They held a private meeting and an expanded lunch.
Following their meeting, the two held a joint press conference:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

"Prime Minister Rutte, Mark, it’s a pleasure to be back here in the
Netherlands. You are a great friend of Israel, a great personal friend and I
think a great champion of peace.

There is a fateful battle that is raging today in the entire world, between
the forces of peace and the forces of terror, between the forces of
democracy and the force of tyranny, between modernity and medievalism.
Israel and the Netherlands stand together for peace, democracy and
modernity. We stand together against terror tyranny and medievalism.

Radical Islamist terrorist are spreading murder and misery across the Middle
East and now deep into Europe as well. The epicenter of the slaughter is in
Syria and Iraq where some 50 million people have been subjected to
unimaginable misery. Half a million have already been butchered, countless
others have been made homeless and of these, millions are streaming into
Europe. If militant Islam is not stopped at the Middle East, the refugee
crisis will only get worse.

So all civilized nations must band together to defeat this scourge in Syria
and Iraq. But if we don’t also band together to defeat militant Islam in
other parts of the Middle East, more will die, and millions more will flee
their homes. Where will they go? One place – Europe.

So defeating militant Islam everywhere in the Middle East is critical for
the security of our region, of Europe, of the world. And I know, Mark, that
the Netherlands is doing its share in this effort, but let me say here very
clearly, so is Israel, in the most volatile and dangerous region in the
world – the Middle East, the democracy of Israel is a powerful force of
stability and security. And many countries in our region have come to
understand this.

I know that many in Europe are beginning to understand this as well – that
Israel is not only defending itself, Israel is also helping to defend
Europe. We share with you, our dear friends, our experience, our technology,
and other capabilities. In the fight against Islamist terror, the
Netherlands has no greater friend than Israel.

We are holding each other’s hands, as Israel and the Netherlands confront
the terrorists who want to drag our world back to the dark ages. But at the
same time, we also embrace together a bright future. This is a future that
belongs to those who innovate. Israel and the Netherlands are two innovation
nations. We may be small in size, but our people are blessed with giant
talents, creativity, enterprise, ingenuity. And this is changing the shape
of the world.

We’re both at the cutting edge of today’s technological revolution. We
admire the great achievements that the Dutch people have made in water
management – you invented it – in biotech and electronics, and I have to
say in many other fields, in beer and football. Everywhere.

Israel too is a world leader in innovation. We’re known, as many of you
probably know, we’re known as the startup nation. And I want to give you one
example: Last year, Israel, a country of eight million people, received an
enormous share of the global private investment in cyber security – at least
100 times, probably closer to 200 times, our size relative to the world’s

Everybody will need cyber security. Now the internet of things, there’s a
few billion connections, soon trillions of connections. They all have to be
protected. Our cars, our airplanes, our power stations, everything. This is
part of the future. And time after time in our history, leading from the
past into the present into the future, the people of Israel and the people
of the Netherlands have proved that small nations can do great things.

But I think that by cooperating with each other, we can do even greater

Today we discussed exactly how to do that in all the areas that you
mentioned and in one other area. Mark, I want to express my appreciation for
your willingness to help us advance peace with our Palestinian neighbors by
improving their quality of life.

Today we discussed a number of important steps to that end. First –
improving the supply of energy and water to Gaza. We have no battle, no
qualms, with the people of Gaza, only with the band of terrorist thugs who
have taken them blackmail, so we fight the terrorists, but we want to have
the population. And the first step is to improve the supply of energy of
water and energy to Gaza, including laying a gas pipeline.

You asked, are we ready to do it? I’m telling you here, today, we have made
a decision in our cabinet to do it, and I appreciate your help in realizing
this project.

Second, we want to insure that Dutch funded scanners at the crossing points
along the Jordan River and into Gaza are fully operational. We want them
used as effectively as possible, so that we can enable the speedy passage of
goods for the population, while preventing the smuggling of weapons to the
terrorist organizations. This is something that you have been helping with.
It’s vital, it’s deeply appreciated.

In addition, Mark, you offered to host a meeting of Dutch, Israeli and
Palestinian experts to find new ways of cooperating on such matters as
economic development, water, infrastructure and more. I think this is
important for all of us. I think this is important for peace. I gladly
accept your offer. I think this is something that gives hope, it gives a
direction and improves the lives of people, and that is something that we
are committed to. And I think this is a bulwark of peace.

So I appreciate deeply your generous support for all these efforts, and I
appreciate too that you receive us with such warm hospitality and that you
make the close relations between our countries and our peoples even closer.

I look forward to seeing you in Israel. Soon."

ISIS – The Threat To The Indian Subcontinent

By: Dr. Adil Rasheed*
On August 2, 2016, Indian State Minister for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir sought to assure the Lok Sabha, India's lower house of parliament, that the international terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS) has attracted "very few" youths from the country.[1] This statement caused many to wonder whether the government is fully alive to the threat posed by ISIS.

Indian State Minister for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir addressing the Lok Sabha (Image:
The "Very Few" ISIS Suspects
In reply to a question, the minister admitted that the number of these "very few" ISIS suspects stood at 54, and that this included only those misled youths against whom the country's National Investigation Agency, as well as the police in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, have filed cases. The minister then deftly introduced an addendum by mentioning nine other cases of "persons [who] have been reported missing from some parts of Kerala, who are suspected to have joined terrorist outfits like ISIS, but whose links [to these organizations] have not yet been established." According to some observers, the minister's response seems to have conspicuously overlooked the possibility of ISIS recruitment in the troubled Jammu and Kashmir region and in several other riot-prone states in north India.[2]
But even the "very few" cases divulged by the government point to a steady increase in the number of individuals suspected to have been caught in the ISIS radicalization snare, compared to the much smaller number of cases that had been registered by government agencies until late last year.[3]
ISIS's Doctrinal Offensive
The trend is particularly disconcerting in light of ISIS-related terrorist activities in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, and more importantly in the context of the deliberate ideological campaign that Salafis have been waging in the Urdu and Bangla blogosphere against the Hanafi Deobandi and Barelvi adherents of Sunni Islam in the subcontinent. This intra-Sunni doctrinal debate has been launched so that globalist Salafi-jihadist ideas find greater resonance among non-Salafi Muslims in the subcontinent.
Thus, the blogosphere in the subcontinent is abuzz these days with literature against the "muqallid" (jurisprudential conformism) doctrine of the more moderate Deobandis and Barelvi Muslims in the region, a hitherto unknown phenomenon. It should be noted that ISIS follows the "ghair muqallid" brand of Islam, which rejects adherence to the four orthodox Sunni jurisprudential schools – Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki and Hanbali– in spite of its Hanbali leanings.[4]
This doctrinal dissonance has turned into a turf war, with ISIS trying to unseat the Deobandi Taliban from its position of influence in the AfPak region by weaning away its splinter groups. In the wake of this tug-of-war, the Afghan Taliban sent a direct message to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi last year, warning him that his fighters should refrain from encroaching upon the Taliban's insurgent operation.[5] In August that year, the Taliban denounced a video showing ISIS fighters blowing up blindfolded Afghan prisoners with explosives, describing them as "horrific."[6]
As a matter of fact, the clash between the Salafi Al-Qaeda/ISIS ideologues and the Deobandi jihadists in the subcontinent is not a recent phenomenon. Its signs were evident even during the Afghan-Arab war against the Soviets in the 1980s. According to Al-Qaeda's most prolific writer, Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri, in the late 1970s the Sunni jihadist movement was "a mixture of Qutbist organizational ideology, the Salafist creed and the Wahhabi call."[7] In his book Call to Global Islamic Resistance, Al-Suri notes with consternation that, in the 1990s, the growing influence of Salafi hardline ideologues within the jihadist fold  bred "partisan fanaticism" and led to "bloodshed, conspiracies and internecine fighting." He describes the Arab-Afghan jihadists as being derisive of the "muqallid" doctrinal beliefs of the Taliban and dismissive of Mullah Omar's claim of having established an "Islamic emirate" in Afghanistan. According to Al-Suri, many of the Arab jihadists regarded the Taliban as no more than a "safe haven" from which they could operate freely, and did not regard the so-called Taliban "emirate" as a suitable starting point for launching their cherished dream of a future Islamic Caliphate. He states (pp. 844-845): "One of the astonishing things... is a statement made by one of those extremist Salafi-jihadists. He told me in one of our conversations that jihad must be under the Salafist banner; its leadership, program and religious rulings must also be Salafist... If we accept that non-Salafists participate with us in jihad, we only do so because we need them. However, they should not have any leadership role at all. We should lead them like a herd of cows to perform their duty of jihad."[8]
Although Al-Qaeda's top leadership (Bin Laden and now Al-Zawahiri) has always sought to downplay the doctrinal differences within the organization, the emergence of ISIS has brought the internal dissonance to the fore like never before.[9] With the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, ISIS has gained more ground and influence in the region, which poses a new set of challenges for countries in the subcontinent.
Recent Increase In ISIS Attacks In Subcontinent
Not surprisingly, the increasing influence of the Salafist brand of Islam has triggered a spurt in terrorist activity in the subcontinent. ISIS is said to have already developed close ties with the Salafi Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in Pakistan and Jamaatul Mujahideen in Bangladesh. In late July 2016, the Afghanistan government accused former LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed of directing ISIS attacks in Afghanistan. In the beginning of the month, ISIS gunmen entered an upscale restaurant in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka and held dozens of people hostage for hours, eventually killing 20 of them. In fact, that country has been rattled by a major wave of Islamist violence with a number of targeted killings of secularists, atheists and foreigners since 2013.[10] Then, on July 8, 2016, two policemen and a woman were killed in a terrorist attack on an Eid prayer gathering in the country. [11]
Demonstration in wake of terror wave in Bangladesh (Image:, July 18, 2016)
In issue 13 of ISIS's online English-language magazine Dabiq, released in January 2016, the head of ISIS in Bangladesh, Sheikh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hanif, claimed that the group is currently training fighters in Bangladesh and Pakistan to launch simultaneous attacks from the western and eastern borders of India, in order to create chaos in this country. The mouthpiece also said that Kashmir would soon be overrun by ISIS. Indian jihadi groups like the Indian Mujahideen (IM) also have links to the group, with many of their members having joined the ranks of ISIS in Syria and Iraq and some planning their return to India, to enlist more recruits. In fact, the Ansar-ut Tawhid fi Bilad al-Hind (AuT), formed in 2013 by members of IM, ISIS and a Taliban faction, pledged their allegiance to ISIS in September of that year.[12]
The Looming ISIS Threat
With the number of suspected ISIS members in India and the subcontinent on the rise, as reflected even by the tentative data released by the authorities, the dreadful specter of this insidious monstrosity quickly getting out of control is a clear and present danger to the entire region. First, trained terror recruits returning from ISIS-held territories pose the close-term threat of perpetrating major terrorist operations, as well as the medium-to-long-term danger of establishing clandestine sleeper cells for sustained terrorist campaigns. Meanwhile, there is also the looming specter of home-grown terrorism, wherein jihadist websites provide inspiration and training for non-affiliated individuals or small groups to carry out lone-wolf attacks. ISIS has developed an intricate social media network (as exposed in the Mehdi Biswas aka Shami Witness case in 2014) and has posted guidebooks and manuals for concocting destructive explosives from household materials (as exemplified in the Boston bombings of 2013) and for using readily available means, such as vehicles, as lethal weapons (as manifest in the Nice terror attack this year).
In addition, there are many religious organizations and seminaries in the region that continue to be indoctrinated by extremist Salafi-Wahhabi ideologues and to receive funding from extremist donors in the Middle East. There are also millions of South Asian expatriates in Gulf states, who may bring back to their native countries the radical and extremist ideologies currently rampant in that part of the world.
Fighting Jihadism And Its Agenda
In light of the above, it is important for governments in South Asia to take serious note of the fact that jihadists are increasingly gaining a foothold in their respective countries and devise effective measures to combat the growing menace.
In the formulation of any counter-terrorism policy, it is necessary to take into account the collusion and competition between various Deobandi and Salafi jihadist organizations in the Indian subcontinent, as well as the growing Salafi-jihadist subversion by foreign elements of the moderate Sufi Islam practiced by the hitherto peaceable Muslims of the Kashmir valley.
The Darul Uloom of Deoband in India (the headquarters of the Deobandi school) should be urged to exhort all renegade Deobandi jihadi organizations in Pakistan to renounce the practice of terrorism, which is condemned by all schools of Islamic jurisprudence. In fact, Darul Uloom Deoband should revive the stance of one of its greatest scholars and spiritual leaders, Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, who in his celebrated book Al-Shahab Al-Shaqab denounced the Wahhabi doctrine as a "false belief" (aqaid-i-batil), particularly for its use of violence and takfir (the practice of accusing other Muslims of heresy). This Islamic school and its affiliate organizations should also make sure that they do not receive any financial or ideological support for their mosques and seminaries from countries or private patrons espousing Salafi-Wahhabi beliefs.
It should be noted here that the Hanafi Darul Uloom of Deoband in India has since its inception worked toward greater communal peace and amity. It voted in favor of a united India at the time of partition and against Pakistan's creation, and in 2009 issued a historic fatwa calling India dar al-aman (a land of peace where jihad is forbidden).[13]
*Dr. Adil Rasheed is a distinguished research fellow at the United Service Institution of India, and is the author of the book ISIS: Race to Armageddon.
[1] August 2, 2016.
[2] August 2, 2016; August 4, 2016.
[3], December 9, 2015.
[4], August 7, 2015.
[5], June 16, 2015.
[6], August 12, 2016.
[7], December 15, 2007.
[8] Full Text of Call to Global Islamic Resistance,
[9], February 16, 2016.
[10], June 11, 2016.
[11], July 8, 2016.
[12], July 2016.
[13], March 6, 2009.
6) Syria Used Chlorine in Bombs Against Civilians, Report Says

Abu Anas was wounded last year when an artillery shell containing mustard gas, fired by ISIS, hit his family’s home in the Syrian village of al-Marea, in the Aleppo countryside.Credit Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Syrian military helicopters dropped bombs containing chlorine on civilians in at least two attacks over the past two years, a special joint investigation of the United Nations and an international chemical weapons monitor said on Wednesday in a confidential report.

The report also found that militants of the Islamic State in Syria had been responsible for an attack last year using poisonous sulfur mustard, which, like chlorine, is banned as a weapon under an international treaty.

The 95-page report, based on a yearlong investigation, represents the first time the United Nations has blamed specific antagonists in the Syrian conflict for the use of chemical weapons, which is a war crime. Previous inquiries have determined that chemical weapons were used, but did not specify by whom.

A panel of investigators from the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons submitted the report on Wednesday to members of the United Nations Security Council. It was not made public, but a copy was viewed by The New York Times.

The panel’s findings further damaged the credibility of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who, under international pressure, signed a treaty banning chemical weapons nearly three years ago after a horrific attack in which the nerve agent sarin killed hundreds in a Damascus suburb.

The United States has accused Mr. Assad’s forces of responsibility for that attack. Mr. Assad and his subordinates have consistently denied government forces have used chemical weapons in the conflict.

Mr. Assad’s compliance with commitments made by signing the chemical weapons treaty have long been suspect. Although all of Syria’s declared stockpile of dangerous ingredients to make chemical weapons was exported and destroyed, that operation took far longer than expected and raised questions about whether all had been accounted for. The director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has complained in an internal report about misleading statements from Syria and potentially undeclared “chemical-weapons-related activities” there, Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday, citing what it described as a confidential two-page summary of the report.

The organization’s public affairs office declined to comment.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government on the findings in the report submitted to the Security Council on Wednesday. But they could set up a new confrontation at the Security Council between Russia and the United States over whether to impose new penalties on Syria.

A civilian breathes through an oxygen mask after a hospital and a civil defense group said a gas, which they believed to have been chlorine, was dropped alongside barrel bombs on a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, on Aug. 11. Credit Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

The Russians, Mr. Assad’s most important ally, have blocked previous moves by the Security Council to penalize Mr. Assad for brutalities committed since the conflict in Syria began more than five years ago.

Yet under a Security Council resolution passed when Syria signed the treaty banning chemical weapons in 2013, the council vowed to impose punishments in the event of noncompliance, “including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone.”

The investigators looked at nine attacks over the past few years and were able to determine who was responsible in three of them. The findings, gathered in four visits to Syria, were based on information that included 8,500 pages of documents, 950 photos and 450 videos.

There was sufficient information, the report said, to conclude that the Syrian Air Force had used “makeshift weapons deployed from helicopters” that contained chlorine on the town of Talmenes in April 2014 and the town of Sarmin in March 2015. Both are in the northern province of Idlib.

The report also concluded that the Islamic State was the only entity that could have carried out an attack using sulfur mustard on the town of Marea, north of the city of Aleppo, in August of last year.

The United States and other Western powers, which have long pressed for accountability over the use of chemical weapons in Syria, welcomed the panel’s findings on the three attacks and said they expected the panel to continue work on determining who committed the others.

Samantha Power, the United States’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement that “it is essential that members of the Security Council come together to ensure consequences for those who have used chemical weapons in Syria.”
She called the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons, as described in the report, “the greatest challenge to the legitimacy” of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which more than 190 nations have signed.

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