Category Archives: Syria

SYRIAN IN SOUTH CAROLINA BUSTED IN 2ND ISLAMIC TERROR PLOT

If at first you don’t succeed, the authorities will let you try, try again.

A South Carolina teenager plead guilty to gun charges after officials say he plotted to attack a US military base in hopes of joining ISIS.

“It wasn’t like some fantasy he was acting out and then was nothing to bear out,” says 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett. “This was a legitimate and sincere desire and effort on his part to accomplish these things.”

The 16-year-old boy, whose name is not being released, lived in York County but his family is originally from Syria.

Authorities said the investigation shows he was involved in “some radical Islamic activities” and associated with people in “radical Islamic groups.” They say the teen had expressed some of these thoughts publicly for a while, but no one came forward.

Of course they didn’t. It’s the Great Green Wall of Silence of Islam.

He was sentenced to be held by the Department of Juvenile Justice and was to attend counseling.

Brackett says the teen, in court, said he had changed his ways and no long believed the ideas he held before, but Brackett is skeptical. He says the teen appeared to hold the ideas fairly closely when he was first interviewed about them.

You can guess the sequel to the story two years later.

Brackett said Abdin told the court he was troubled, that his father had died, and swore this was an isolated incident, adding he had just been confused. He promised they wouldn’t hear from him again, Brackett said.

The judge sentenced Abdin to the maximum punishment, an indeterminate sentence that would keep him behind bars until his 21st birthday, Brackett said.

Abdin served time at the juvenile justice facility in Columbia but was paroled a few months ago, Brackett said. He said he and York Police Chief Andy Robinson had strong objections to Abdin’s parole.

“Given nature of allegations and the incident here, and evidence I saw in 2015, I’m not terribly surprised. I always thought these beliefs were much more deeply rooted,” Brackett said. “I’m grateful that the federal authorities were keeping close tabs on him and able to intervene before anyone got hurt.”

And he’s back…

An 18-year-old Ladson man appeared in federal court Friday following his arrest on charges he intended to join ISIS.

Zakaryia Abdin was arrested at the Charleston International Airport Thursday night, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick. Abdin was arrested by special agents of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force before he boarded an outbound flight.

He and his family should have been kept in Syria. It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.

Extremely vetted Syria refugee had unvetted contacts with Islamic State

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The liberal media like to say over and over that refugees from the Middle East are already subject to extreme vetting.  The most extreme!  The bureaucratic equivalent of waterboarding!  Why, they sat down refugees and actually asked them questions!  How much more thorough could they be than that?

Apparently, they missed something, because they let in at least one ISIS operative.

Federal agents are reinvestigating the backgrounds of dozens of Syrian refugees already in the United States after discovering a lapse in vetting that allowed some who had potentially negative information in their files to enter the country, two U.S. law enforcement officials said.

Do you appreciate the minimalist way this was written?  There’s nothing to worry about – merely “potentially negative information in their files.”  Doesn’t sound very serious, does it?

The refugees whose cases are under review include one who failed a polygraph test when he applied to work at a U.S. military installation overseas and another who may have been in communication with an Islamic State leader, according to the officials

I would say communicating with an Islamic State leader would be very “potentially negative information” in a refugee’s file.  Wouldn’t you?

President Obama ramped up the acceptance of Syrians last year to address the humanitarian crisis in that country, admitting 15,479 Syrian refugees, a 606% increase over the 2,192 admitted in 2015. Since the civil war started, the U.S. has accepted more than 18,000 Syrians seeking asylum, according to the State Department.

The vast majority pose no threat, officials say.

So what’s the problem?  If 60% or 70% or even 80% pose no threat, is there any reason to be concerned about Syrian refugees?

The 21-step screening process for Syrian refugees is among the most rigorous for anyone seeking to enter the United States.

The most rigorous!

Typically, the refugees are first screened by the United Nations and then referred to the State Department and other countries for potential resettlement.

Good to know we can rely on the U.N.!

As they review the applications, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials check the names and identities against databases.

What databases? When someone comes from a regime with no central government, what database is there to check against?  What do they do, a keyword search for ISIS on LinkedIn?

The vetting gap stemmed from a technological issue that for a period of time limited how agents searched CIA databases during the background check process, the officials said. As U.S. intelligence agents cross-checked refugees’ names and biographical information against CIA databases, the computer systems were not initially set up to automatically inspect data contained in “attachments” to the records, the officials said.

I have complete confidence in extreme vetting, don’t you?

Refugee applications have been rescreened before. In 2011, the files of more than 58,000 Iraqi refugees already living in the U.S. were vetted after the FBI learned that an Iraqi man living in Kentucky had participated in roadside bomb attacks in Iraq before he was granted asylum. He and another Iraqi refugee were arrested by the FBI and pleaded guilty in 2013 to trying to send explosives and missiles to the group known as Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Did they forget to check their email attachments?

Maybe they’re not doing the right keyword searches.  Or maybe there’s a problem with their spreadsheets.  Or maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t let an incompetent bureaucracy let any of these people in.  One of the great things Donald Trump is doing is stopping immigration from Syria, on a temporary basis.  It should be made permanent.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

U.S. Navy ship targeted in failed missile attack from Yemen

By Phil Stewart | WASHINGTON

A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer was targeted on Sunday in a failed missile attack from territory in Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, a U.S. military spokesman told Reuters, saying neither of the two missiles hit the ship.

The attempted strike on the USS Mason, which was first reported by Reuters, came just a week after a United Arab Emirates vessel came under attack from Houthis and suggests growing risks to the U.S. military from Yemen’s conflict.

The U.S. government, which has become increasingly vocal about civilian casualties in the war, this weekend announced a review of its support to a Saudi Arabia-led coalition battling the Houthis after a strike on mourners in the capital Sanaa that killed up to 140 people.

The failed missile attack on the USS Mason began around 7 p.m. local time, when the ship detected two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period in the Red Sea off Yemen’s coast, the U.S. military said.

“Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said. “There were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship.”

Saudi Arabia and the United States blame Shi’ite Iran for supplying weapons to the Houthis. Tehran views the Houthis, who are from a Shi’ite sect, as the legitimate authority in Yemen but denies it supplies them with weapons.

A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the first missile triggered counter-measures from the USS Mason. It was not immediately clear whether those defenses may have helped prevent a direct hit on the ship.

The USS Mason did not return fire, the official said, adding that the incident took place just north of the Bab al-Mandab strait off Yemen’s southern coast.

Last week’s attack on the UAE vessel also took place around the Bab al-Mandab strait, in what the UAE branded an “act of terrorism.”

In 2013, more than 3.4 million barrels of oil passed through the 20 km (12 mile)-wide Bab al-Mandab each day, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says.

It was unclear what actions the U.S. military might take, but Davis stressed a commitment to defend freedom of navigation and protect U.S. forces.

“We will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our ships and our servicemembers,” he said.

The attack also came the same day that Yemen’s powerful former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, a key Houthi ally, called for an escalation of attacks against Saudi Arabia, demanding “battle readiness at the fronts on the (Saudi) border”.

An estimated 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s war. The United Nations blames Saudi-led coalition strikes for 60 percent of some 3,800 civilian deaths since they began in March 2015.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Paul Tait)