09/1/20

AMP Leader Abuirshaid Gushes Over Latest Meeting with Hamas-Supporting Erdogan

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

He’s a saber-rattling authoritarian who jails journalists and opponentsthreatens neighbors, and wants to rebuild an Islamist empire.

But to Osama Abuirshaid, executive director of the anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine, Turkey’s president is “a leader in the meaning of the word and a legitimate ruler, and he is above this and is humble in manners.”

Abuirshaid raced onto Facebook Monday with Ed Grimley-like excitement to tell the Arabic-speaking world about his latest meeting with his newest, bestest pal, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan keeps a busy social calendar. Two days earlier, he hosted a Hamas delegation which included the group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

That prompted a rebuke from the U.S. State Department against the head of its NATO ally.

“President Erdogan’s continued outreach to this terrorist organization only serves to isolate Turkey from the international community, harms the interests of the Palestinian people, and undercuts global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks launched from Gaza,” the State Department said. “We continue to raise our concerns about the Turkish government’s relationship with Hamas at the highest levels. This is the second time President Erdogan has welcomed Hamas leadership to Turkey this year with the first meeting occurring February 1.”

Erdogan’s support for Hamas, however, runs much deeper than a meeting.

“Turkey has given passports to a dozen Hamas members in Istanbul,” Reuters reported Wednesday, citing a senior Israeli diplomat.

“These are not foot soldiers but the most senior Hamas operatives outside of Gaza,” an unnamed source told the Telegraph earlier this month. “[They] are actively raising funds and directing operatives to carry out attacks in the present day.”

Those tasks are made easier for Hamas operatives carrying Turkish passports, who can travel more freely throughout the world.

And that support might help explain Abuirshaid’s giddiness about meeting with Erdogan. A dossier published last month by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) chronicled Erdogan’s connections to two groups which were part of a U.S.-based Hamas support network, and how his organization, AMP continues to engage in similar fundraising, propaganda and lobbying today.

Abuirshaid’s embrace of Erdogan’s Turkey dates back years. In 2016, for example, he posted a picture of himself shaking Erdogan’s hand. Erdogan’s foes, Abuirshaid wrote, “hate him because he stands with the ambitions of Arab peoples with freedom and dignity…They hate him because he said no to Israel and stepped on decades of Turkey’s collusion with the time of ′secularists′ rule …”

Last February, Abuirshaid spoke in Istanbul at the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad. “America,” he said, “represents the umbilical cord to the existence of that state [Israel] and the endurance of its power and to remain the dominant power in the region, which enjoys all of the American support that practically made it the number one power in the entire region.”

And a related IPT video shows Abuirshaid blaming Israel for virtually all Middle East turmoil.

When tearing down Israel is your life, face time with a stalwart Hamas supporter like Erdogan does seem like a big deal.

Monday’s meeting wasn’t planned, Abuirshaid explained. He was among a group U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) members en route to Lebanon to see the damage done by the Aug. 4 ammonium nitrate explosion at Beirut’s port – a flight that stops in Istanbul – so they thought, ‘Why not see if Tayyip is around?’

Okay, we’re embellishing. Abuirshaid didn’t write it like that. But he did note that they received an immediate response and the meeting was on. But our snark is justified as the following extended excerpt of Abuirshaid’s fawning post, translated by the IPT, shows:

I was asked to read a certain topic, and I was honored. I addressed him: ′′Mr. President,” and he addressed me with ′′Osama,” “Mr. Osama,” and sometimes he addresses us all with ′′my brothers.”

After we finished he gave us a group of gifts of high symbolic value, one of which is his vision for new Turkey, and the book below is signed in my name.

Don’t blame people for their love of Erdogan, as he is the maker of the renaissance of his country, and the supporter of many oppressed people, in Palestine, Syria, Libya… etc.

Some will claim that he only cares about Turkey’s interests, although this is half the truth, he also cares about the pride of Muslims, I reply by saying, I wish many of our leaders would be like him and also care about their country’s interests.

Abuirshaid posted this image from the autographed book Erdogan gave him.

Turkey’s economy has suffered greatly under Erdogan and may be on the brink of collapse. He has fighters in Libya, Syria, and Iraq and is widely believed to harbor aspirations to be seen as the leader of the Sunni world. But he’s hostile toward Israel and supportive of Hamas. To Abuirshaid, that’s all that matters.

Research Analyst Teri Blumenfeld contributed to this report.

This column was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

08/31/20

Maoists Burn Kenosha

By: Trevor Loudon | The Epoch Times

A man on a bike rides past a city truck on fire outside the Kenosha County Courthouse during riots following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 23, 2020. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY via Reuters)

The rioters who attacked police officers with Molotov cocktails and fireworks and torched numerous buildings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for about a week included members of the same pro-China communist group that “sparked” the May riots in Minneapolis after the police-involved killing of George Floyd.

Maoist activists from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) can take most, if not all, of the credit for inciting the recent rioting in Kenosha. The town of 100,000 people has been torn apart, businesses and cars have been razed, multiple people have been arrested, and two people have died—yet no one seems to want to call out the real culprits.

FRSO is based in the Midwest. It has maintained a strong presence in Chicago and Minneapolis for decades. The subversive organization has expanded in recent years into Milwaukee and the smaller university towns of Oshkosh and Kenosha, where new cadre are recruited through campus branches of FRSO’s youth wing: New Students for a Democratic Society.

On Feb. 20, 2017, the day President Donald Trump was inaugurated, FRSO political secretary Steff Yorek declared to a crowd of Washington protesters: “We need to stay in the streets the entire four years opposing Trump and making the country ungovernable.”

In November 2019, FRSO convened a conference in Chicago to form a new nationwide front organization: the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).

More accurately, it was a re-founding of an old Communist Party USA-front of the 1970s of the same name. The original NAARPR was set up to free iconic communist Angela Davis, who was then under arrest for alleged complicity in the murder of a California judge. Davis was eventually acquitted of the murder charge in 1972, and she even came to Chicago to confer her blessing on the new organization.

Headed by FRSO Central Committee member Frank Chapman, the new NAARPR is clearly designed to confront police about alleged issues of racism and police brutality. Chapman told FightBack! News:

“Black and brown communities are over-patrolled and under-protected and must confront police harassment, racial profiling, torture, and murder on a daily basis. This is not happening in just Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles; this happening throughout the nation.

“We believe the enormity of the problem of police tyranny has created a mass demand for community control of the police. We believe this problem can best be confronted by a national movement organized by a refounding of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR).”

The NAARPR quickly established branches and alliances all over the country—all affiliated with FRSO or sympathetic communist groups.

It was the Minneapolis affiliate of the NAARPR—the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar—headed by FRSO comrades Jess Sundin and Lorraine VanPelt that is credited with sparking the Minneapolis riots.

When protesters gathered in downtown Kenosha after the Aug. 23 police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, three banners were clearly visible at the head of the several-hundred-strong crowd: the bright red FRSO banner, the green banner of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the smaller black flag of New Students for a Democratic Society—probably the local University of Wisconsin—Parkside branch.

Just before the march, a young woman led the crowd in a chant of “long live the revolution” directly in front of the signature FRSO banner. FRSO Facebook pages (both Wisconsin and national) contain extensive coverage of the protests and riots—as does the FRSO-affiliated website FightBack! News.

The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Facebook page issued a call to free arrested protester Adelana Akindes—a leader of the UW–Parkside New Students for a Democratic Society.

The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is led by FRSO member Lauryn Cross.

A Wisconsin FRSO Facebook page post on Aug. 25 features a quote from Mao over a picture of the Kenosha protest and the hashtags #Justice4JacobBlake #NationalLiberation and #Kenosha.

“The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.” — Mao Zedong

The Facebook post then highlights “our comrades on the frontlines down in Kenosha tonight.”

FRSO’s FightBack! News declared:

“Members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and Freedom Road Socialist Organization are participating in the protests.”

The morning after the first riots, FightBack! News described the previous night’s chaos as an “Uprising underway in Kenosha:”

“Riot police assembled at the scene of the shooting as the crowd began to gather, including members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Those assembled quickly grew restless in their anger. Squad cars were smashed and Molotovs were thrown. The people chased the cops away and then set off on a march to the Kenosha Police Department (KPD) downtown.

“When protesters arrived at the KPD building, they rallied in the front parking lot. As the crowd swelled, SWAT trucks and riot cops rolled onto the scene. Tear gas was deployed, but not enough to disperse the crowd. The riot police formed a line and attempted to push the crowd away from the building and out of the parking lot. The people met them with linked arms and prevented their advance. Holding strong, the people chanted ‘No justice, no peace!’ and ‘Jacob Blake!’

“Eventually, the riot police began to retreat into the police station. People from the crowd threw fireworks behind the row of cops. Then the second wave of tear gas was fired into the line of protesters, this time in a more substantial quantity, forcing them to break up. In spite of these efforts, people would not quit. More cop cars were smashed and other vehicles used by KPD to block roads were set on fire.”

The language is similar to that used in the wake of the Minneapolis riots. During an interview with the Green Flame podcast (that has since been removed from their website), Minneapolis FRSO comrade and protest organizer Sundin said:

“The first two weeks after George Floyd was killed saw an intensely high level of organizing all day and all night every day. During the day we would have marches and rallies and at night the focus was often at the Third Precinct. Which is the police station where George Floyd’s killers were working out of … I can’t tell you the joy it brought all of us to see the Third Precinct destroyed.”

Speaking to a crowd in Milwaukee two days before Blake was gravely wounded in Kenosha, prominent Wisconsin FRSO leader Ryan Hamann publicly praised the arson of Minneapolis’ Third Precinct police station:

“On May 28, thousands more in that city organized and marched and forced the police into a full retreat from the Third Precinct police station and it was righteously burned.”

The FRSO follows the Chinese Communist Party line. Their connections to the riots in Minneapolis, Kenosha, and more than a dozen other cities across the United States aren’t hard to find.

Are authorities loathe to point out that China’s loyal American comrades are burning American cities?

How many more cities have to be destroyed before authorities are willing to act?

Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics. He is best known for his book “Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” and his similarly-themed documentary film “Enemies Within.” His recently published book is “White House Reds: Communists, Socialists & Security Risks Running for U.S. President, 2020.”

08/21/20

Hamas Resumes Arson Attacks to Coerce Concessions

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

Tensions are on the rise between Israel and Hamas after the terrorist group recently resumed its arson terrorism campaign, encouraging Palestinians to launch incendiary balloons and kites into Israeli territory.

Israeli aircraft and tanks targeted several terrorist sites in Gaza Thursday morning following a sustained campaign of arson attacks over the past week which ignited more than 80 fires in Israel.

Residents of Sderot, an Israeli city bordering Gaza, this week reported hearing explosions from these airborne weapons. Suspected explosive devices mounted to balloons were also recently found in other neighboring Israeli communities.

Two years since adopting the tactic, Hamas continues to deploy incendiary devices to agitate Israel and impose heavy costs on the Jewish state. However, the most recent escalation is mainly driven by a desire to coerce Israel into adhering to Hamas’ demands – including open border crossings and financial transfers.

Hamas told Egyptian and Qatari mediators that it is prepared to escalate violence for what it sees as Israel’s failure to adhere to understandings in a 2018 ceasefire, a Hamas official told to Al-Monitor. The Hamas official acknowledged that the latest arson terror campaign is aimed to force Israel into offering further concessions.

Hamas started to plan and encourage arson terrorist attacks in March 2018 with the onset of riots on the Israel-Gaza border.

The terrorist group initially used arson terrorism as a pretext to provoke Israeli retaliation on Hamas targets in Gaza. Following Israeli reprisals, Hamas could then claim that the group was justified in launching barrages of rockets and missiles at Israel.

By fueling arson terrorism and violent demonstrations on Israel’s border, Hamas was seeking to establish new “rules of engagement” with Israel, framed as a legitimate tit-for-tat confrontation.

Hamas leaders also openly acknowledged the group’s role in stoking violence on Israel’s border as a means to distract the Palestinian population from internal political problems.

Considerable evidence, including statements from its own leaders, confirm that Hamas controls the tempo of these types of attacks despite being previously framed as popular or sporadic responses from ordinary Palestinians.

Over the past two years, many of these incendiary devices landed on Israeli territory, sparking destructive fires that burn thousands of acres of crops and natural forest areas. Containing the fires is a major strain on Israel’s resources and significantly disrupts civilians’ lives.

Despite facing a growing financial and political crisis in Gaza, Hamas continues to prioritize its terrorist campaign against Israel to provoke retaliation and coerce further concessions.

But Hamas’s strategy may be backfiring. Israel restricted non-essential goods from entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing on Monday and cut Gaza’s fishing zone from 15 to eight nautical miles in response to the latest cross-border terrorist campaign.

Following more terrorist attacks, Israel prohibited fuel imports to Gaza on Thursday.

Despite these measures, Israel continues to work towards improving Gaza’s deteriorating economic situation. Mossad head Yossi Cohen reportedly asked Qatari officials to continue sending money to Gaza to alleviate the economic situation in the Palestinian enclave.

Qatar’s financial transfers to Gaza are set to expire in September.

But financial transfers and humanitarian projects will not fix Gaza’s financial and governance crisis as long as a terrorist organization continues to prioritize fighting Israel over the well-being of its population.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh recently told Qatar’s daily Lusail that Hamas rejected a $15 billion deal to build major economic projects in Gaza in return for disarming its military wing, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported.

While this agreement would benefit the people of Gaza, Haniyeh acknowledged that Hamas’ main priority is to enhance its terrorist infrastructure and facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state “from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river” – a common call for the destruction of Israel in any form.

Haniyeh’s response mirrored comments by another Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who previously stated that “most of Hamas’ funds and efforts are invested in the resistance and military preparations.”

Despite ongoing ceasefire negotiations with Israel, Hamas has no interest in implementing a long-term peace agreement. It only seeks to exploit a potential ceasefire to buy time and strengthen its terrorist capabilities.

Since firmly taking control of Gaza in 2007, Hamas has continuously diverted international aid and financial transfers meant for civilian reconstruction efforts to build its military capabilities — including upgrading its missile arsenal, expanding its offensive tunnel infrastructure, and developing elite units meant to infiltrate Israel.

Provocation, diversion, and coercion are just some of the reasons Hamas uses violence against Israeli civilians to remain in power and ensure a constant stream of financial assistance from abroad.

This strategy may help prevent Gaza from imminent collapse.

But it will not lead to a sustainable resolution to Gaza’s woes.

This column was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

08/13/20

Seizure of Three Terror Finance Cyber-Enabled Campaigns

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The Justice Department today announced the dismantling of three terrorist financing cyber-enabled campaigns, involving the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).  This coordinated operation is detailed in three forfeiture complaints and a criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia.  These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context.

These three terror finance campaigns all relied on sophisticated cyber-tools, including the solicitation of cryptocurrency donations from around the world.  The action demonstrates how different terrorist groups have similarly adapted their terror finance activities to the cyber age.  Each group used cryptocurrency and social media to garner attention and raise funds for their terror campaigns.  Pursuant to judicially-authorized warrants, U.S. authorities seized millions of dollars, over 300 cryptocurrency accounts, four websites, and four Facebook pages all related to the criminal enterprise.

Funds successfully forfeited with a connection to a state sponsor of terrorism may in whole or in part be directed to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (http://www.usvsst.com/) after the conclusion of the case.

“It should not surprise anyone that our enemies use modern technology, social media platforms and cryptocurrency to facilitate their evil and violent agendas,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.   “The Department of Justice will employ all available resources to protect the lives and safety of the American public from terrorist groups.  We will prosecute their money laundering, terrorist financing and violent illegal activities wherever we find them.  And, as announced today, we will seize the funds and the instrumentalities that provide a lifeline for their operations whenever possible.  I want to thank the investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the prosecutors from the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office and National Security Division for their hard and innovative work in attacking the networks that allow these terrorists to recruit for and fund their dangerous actions.”

“Terrorist networks have adapted to technology, conducting complex financial transactions in the digital world, including through cryptocurrencies. IRS-CI special agents in the DC cybercrimes unit work diligently to unravel these financial networks,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.  “Today’s actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to holding malign actors accountable for their crimes.”

“The Department of Homeland Security was born after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and, nearly 20 years later, we remain steadfast in executing our critical mission to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf.  “Today’s announcement detailing these enforcement actions targeting foreign terrorist organizations is yet another example of the Department’s commitment to our mission. After launching investigations that identified suspected online payments being funneled to and in support of terrorist networks, Homeland Security Investigations skillfully leveraged their cyber, financial, and trade investigative expertise to disrupt and dismantle cyber-criminal networks that sought to fund acts of terrorism against the United States and our allies.  Together with our federal law enforcement partners, the Department will utilize every resource available to ensure that our Homeland is and remains secure.”

“These important cases reflect the resolve of the D.C. United States Attorney’s Office to target and dismantle these sophisticated cyber-terrorism and money laundering actors across the globe,” stated Acting United States Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.  “While these individuals believe they operate anonymously in the digital space, we have the skill and resolve to find, fix and prosecute these actors under the full extent of the law.”

“IRS-CI’s ability to trace funds used by terrorist groups to their source and dismantle these radical group’s communication and financial networks directly prevents them from wreaking havoc throughout the world,” said Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation.  “Today the world is a safer place.”

“As the primary law enforcement agency charged with defeating terrorism, the FBI will continue to combat illicit terrorist financing regardless of platform or method employed by our adversaries,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “As demonstrated by this recent operation, the FBI remains committed to cutting off the financial lifeblood of these organizations that seek to harm Americans at home and abroad.”

“Homeland Security Investigations continues to demonstrate their investigative expertise with these enforcement actions,” said ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Matthew T. Albence.  “Together with law enforcement partners, HSI has utilized their unique authorities to bring to justice those cyber-criminal networks who would do us harm.”

Al-Qassam Brigades Campaign

The first action involves the al-Qassam Brigades and its online cryptocurrency fundraising efforts.  In the beginning of 2019, the al-Qassam Brigades posted a call on its social media page for bitcoin donations to fund its campaign of terror.  The al-Qassam Brigades then moved this request to its official websites, alqassam.net, alqassam.ps, and qassam.ps.

The al-Qassam Brigades boasted that bitcoin donations were untraceable and would be used for violent causes.  Their websites offered video instruction on how to anonymously make donations, in part by using unique bitcoin addresses generated for each individual donor.

However, such donations were not anonymous.  Working together, IRS, HSI, and FBI agents tracked and seized all 150 cryptocurrency accounts that laundered funds to and from the al-Qassam Brigades’ accounts.  Simultaneously, law enforcement executed criminal search warrants relating to United States-based subjects who donated to the terrorist campaign.

With judicial authorization, law enforcement seized the infrastructure of the al-Qassam Brigades websites and subsequently covertly operated alqassam.net.   During that covert operation, the website received funds from persons seeking to provide material support to the terrorist organization, however, they instead donated the funds bitcoin wallets controlled by the United States.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia also unsealed criminal charges for two Turkish individuals, Mehmet Akti and Hüsamettin Karataş, who acted as related money launderers while operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Al-Qaeda Campaign

The second cyber-enabled terror finance campaign involves a scheme by al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, largely based out of Syria.  As the forfeiture complaint details, these terrorist organizations operated a bitcoin money laundering network using Telegram channels and other social media platforms to solicit cryptocurrency donations to further their terrorist goals.  In some instances, they purported to act as charities when, in fact, they were openly and explicitly soliciting funds for violent terrorist attacks.  For example, one post from a charity sought donations to equip terrorists in Syria with weapons:

Undercover HSI agents communicated with the administrator of Reminder for Syria, a related charity that was seeking to finance terrorism via bitcoin donations.  The administrator stated that he hoped for the destruction of the United States, discussed the price for funding surface-to air missles, and warned about possible criminal consequences from carrying out a jihad in the United States.

Posts from another Syrian charity similarly explicitly referenced weapons and extremist activities:

Al-Qaeda and the affiliated terrorist groups together created these posts and used complicated obfuscation techniques, uncovered by law enforcement, to layer their transactions so to conceal their actions.  Today’s complaint seeks forfeiture of the 155 virtual currency assets tied to this terrorist campaign.

ISIS Campaign

The final complaint combines the Department’s initiatives of combatting COVID-19 related fraud with combatting terrorism financing.  The complaint highlights a scheme by Murat Cakar, an ISIS facilitator who is responsible for managing select ISIS hacking operations, to sell fake personal protective equipment via FaceMaskCenter.com (displayed below)

The website claimed to sell FDA approved N95 respirator masks, when in fact the items were not FDA approved.  Site administrators claimed to have near unlimited supplies of the masks, in spite of such items being officially-designated as scarce.  The site administrators offered to sell these items to customers across the globe, including a customer in the United States who sought to purchase N95 masks and other protective equipment for hospitals, nursing homes, and fire departments.

The unsealed forfeiture complaint seized Cakar’s website as well as four related Facebook pages used to facilitate the scheme.  With this third action, the United States has averted the further victimization of those seeking COVID-19 protective gear, and disrupted the continued funding of ISIS.

The claims made in these three complaints are only allegations and do not constitute a determination of liability.  The burden to prove forfeitability in a civil forfeiture proceeding is upon the government.  Further, charges contained in criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

IRS-CI Cyber Crimes Unit (Washington, D.C.), HSI’s Philadelphia Office, and FBI’s Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles field offices are investigating the case. Assistant U.S Attorneys Jessi Camille Brooks and Zia M. Faruqui, and National Security Division Trial Attorneys Danielle Rosborough and Alexandra Hughes are litigating the case, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Brian Rickers and Bria Cunningham, and Legal Assistant Jessica McCormick.  Additional assistance has been provided by Chainalysis and Excygent.

08/7/20

The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Forgotten Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across America

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

America’s “The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across AmericaThe Book of Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun. And while many have spoken of the “unprecedented” nature of the rioting in the early summer of 2020, it is actually quite precedented.

The Long, Hot Summer of 1967 was the peak of urban unrest and rioting in the United States in the lead up to the 1968 election. While there are certainly a number of key differences, there are also a number of striking parallels that make the topic worthy of discussion and examination.

The long-term impact of the urban unrest of the summer of 2020 is unclear, but the long-term impact of the Long, Hot Summer of 1967 and related urban rioting was a victory for Richard Nixon in 1968 and landslide re-election in 1972. One must resist the temptation to make mechanistic comparisons between the two, and we will refrain from doing so here. But the reader is encouraged to look for connections between these events and more recent ones.

Prologue: The Ghetto Riots

The riot wave in America’s urban ghettos might have peaked in the summer of 1967, but it certainly didn’t begin there. 1964 is generally thought to be the beginning, with a riot that began in Harlem after the shooting of a 15-year-old black teenager named James Powell.

The story of how this happened is familiar to anyone who read the news in the summer of 2020: The superintendent of a building in a predominantly white working-class neighborhood turned a hose on black students who had been congregating on the stoops of his buildings. The black students alleged that he used racist language with them, a charge that he denied. It is worth noting how often alleged racial slurs are invoked as an excuse for violence. In any case, no one disagrees that the students then began throwing garbage can lids and bottles at him. He retreated into his building where he was pursued by three of the students, one of them being James Powell.

A white off-duty police officer, Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan, arrived on the scene and fired three shots at Powell. One of these was a warning shot, but the other two connected with Powell’s forearm and abdomen. Lieutenant Gilligan claimed that Powell had a knife, raised it, and then he fired first a warning shot, then a shot into the forearm to disarm him before firing the third shot. Gilligan had an impeccable record with the New York Police Department. Powell had a few interactions with the law: twice for boarding a subway car without paying, once for breaking the window of a vehicle and once for an attempted robbery (he was cleared of the robbery).

The result was a week of rioting that left one dead, 118 injured and 465 arrested.

Between the Harlem Riot of 1964 and the Long, Hot Summer of 1967, there were riots in Rochester, New York, Dixmoor, IllinoisPhiladelphia, Watts, Chicago, Cleveland, Waukegan, Illinois, San Francisco and Benton Harbor, Michigan. But the Long, Hot Summer was when things really picked up.

Chapter One: The Long, Hot Summer of 1967

America’s “The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across AmericaIt would be impossible to cover all of the riotings that occurred throughout the summer of 1967. All told, there were 159 riots that summer. The worst of these was in Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan. The riots left over 85 dead, over 2,100 injured and over 11,000 arrested. They also caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage.

The first of these riots was the Cincinnati riot of that year, which began in the Avondale region of the city, in response to the conviction of “Cincinnati Strangler” Posteal Laskey Jr. for a series of rapes and murders. Laskey’s cousin, Peter Frakes, protested the decision and was arrested for blocking the sidewalk, in stark contrast to the protesters of today who are allowed to block off highways. The next day there was a protest in support of Frakes that spiraled out of control, quickly becoming an orgy of violence, destruction, and looting that spread throughout the city.

Resulting in one death, 63 injured, 404 arrested, and $2 million in property damage (over $15 million in 2020 dollars), the riot was only quelled when the National Guard was deployed.

Cincinnati was the first, but the two biggest riots were in Newark and Detroit.

Newark was one of the earliest and most extreme examples of white flight in the nation. Its manufacturing base had largely abandoned the city by the time that the riots began. The city had been on edge for a while, but things began to boil over in July 1967, after Newark white police officers John DeSimone and Vito Pontrelli beat black cab driver John William Smith, who they claimed assaulted them. A rumor began to spread that Smith was beaten to death and a crowd formed outside of the police station. Witnesses disagree as to what happened first – the crowd throwing things or the police emerging with hard hats and clubs.

The crowd demanded that Smith be moved to Beth Israel Hospital, a request granted by the police. That night there was a march to protest police brutality, during which an unidentified female smashed the windows of the police precinct with metal bars. Looting and firebombing of local businesses began soon after, with the looting of liquor stores being a predominant feature of the rioting.

Six days of rioting left 16 civilians, eight suspects, a police officer, and a firefighter dead. There were 727 injuries (including 67 police officers, 55 firefighters, and 38 military personnel) and $10 million in property damage (roughly $77 million in 2020 dollars). Many believe that the city never fully recovered from the riots even to this day.

The riots in Detroit took place from July 23 to 28. At around 3:45 a.m., Detroit police broke up a party at a “blind pig” (unlicensed private drinking club). They expected to find only a few but instead were greeted by an 82-person strong celebration of the return of two GIs from Vietnam. The police made the decision to arrest everyone there. A crowd began to gather to watch the raid. William Walter Scott III, the doorman, and son of the organizer of the blind pig, later admitted to starting the riot by throwing a bottle at a police officer in his memoirs.

The next afternoon, the first fire was set at a grocery store. The local media tried simply ignoring the riots in an attempt to maintain calm. Tigers left fielder Willie Horton, who was born in Virginia but lived in and grew up in Detroit, drove to the center of the rioting, and stood on his car in uniform, passionately imploring the crowd to stop the violence, but failed to do so.

Chaos began on the second day of rioting. There were 483 fires, with 231 incidents reported every hour and a whopping 1,800 arrests in a single day. Hardy’s drug store, a black-owned business known to fill prescriptions on credit, was one of the first to be burned to the ground. Indeed, the black business district was not spared. Firefighters were shot at as they attempted to put out fires. U.S. Representative John Conyers tried to address the rioters via loudspeaker out of his car but had rocks and bottles thrown at him.

All told, there were at least 23 deaths and 696 wounded, with property damage pegged somewhere between $40 million to $45 million (between $300 and $350 million in 2020 dollars). Among those dead were 4-year-old Tanya Blanding.

The final riot in the Long, Hot Summer of 1967 was the Milwaukee riot, which left four dead, 100 injured and 1,740 arrested. This began after two police showed up to break up a fight between two black women, around which a crowd of 350 had gathered. The property damage was relatively scant because it was mostly confined to broken windows: it came in at around $200,000 at the time.

Chapter Two: The King Assassination Riots of 1968

The next wave of rioting took place following the assassination of Martin Luther King in the spring of 1968. This wave of riots engulfed the nation’s capital, Chicago, BaltimoreKansas City, Detroit, New York, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Trenton, Wilmington, and Louisville. New York’s riots were quickly quelled by mayor John Lindsay, who went directly to Harlem and gave a speech about addressing poverty. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is largely credited with saving Indianapolis, with his speech there following King’s assassination. A James Brown concert in Boston is similarly credited with keeping the peace there. Memorials were held in Los Angeles that averted a repeat of the 1965 Watts riots.

Washington, D.C. was the first to experience rioting, beginning on the day of King’s assassination, April 4. Ironically, the rioting here was started by a mob following Stokely Carmichael of the Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who quickly began breaking windows. The riots devastated the black business district of the city, which had an incredibly difficult time finding investment to rebuild after the riots were over. Some areas of the city remained little more than piles of rubble until 1999.

Riots in Chicago came next, starting the day after King’s assassination. The damage here was over $10 million (over $77 million in 2020 dollars), with 11 dead, 500 injured, and 2,150 arrested. Baltimore was next, two days later. The swift and sharp response of Governor Spiro T. Agnew (thousands of National Guard and 500 Maryland State Police were deployed the very day that unrest began) was likely what attracted then-candidate Richard Nixon to choose him as his running mate.

The riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. were comparatively minor when contrasted with the Long, Hot Summer of 1967. However, it is worth noting that they happened as part of a more general pattern of lawlessness and urban unrest in the United States in the late 1960s.

It is now generally agreed that the wave of rioting in 1968 helped to sweep Richard Nixon into the White House. The riots outside of the Democratic National Convention in 1968 likewise didn’t help matters. However, whether or not the 2020 election will be a replay of the 1968 election (which also took place during a pandemic that left over 100,000 Americans dead) remains to be seen. At the very least, the Democrats are going to spare themselves unrest by holding their convention virtually.

Epilogue: The Hard Hat Riot

America’s “The Long, Hot Summer of 1967: A Season of Riots and Urban Unrest Across AmericaFor every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This might be a law of physics, but it often holds in politics as well. The reaction to urban rioting and leftist violence in general that plagued the late 60s and early 70s is a little-known incident in American history known as the Hard Hat Riot.

The Hard Hat Riot took place on May 8, 1970, in New York City of all places. It’s worth remembering that in 1970, most of New York was a lot more like blue-collar forklift operator Archie Bunker of All in the Family rather than Lena Dunham – Bunker lived in Astoria, Queens, which is a much different place today than it was at the time of the Hard Hat Riot.

Unlike the hippies and college students of America, blue-collar workers tended to support Nixon and his Vietnam War policies. Peter J. Brennan, who was the head of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, was one of the most vocal supporters of Nixon and the Vietnam War.

The Hard Hat Riot started as a counter-protest to a protest against the killing of four students at Kent State by the National Guard. It started with a few hundred college and high school students but quickly ballooned to over 1,000. They were soon met by about 200 construction workers carrying American flags and patriotic signs. Their numbers doubled when people working in the surrounding area joined the construction workers. The construction workers began beating anyone with long hair in the vicinity of their counter-protest.

After this, the construction workers stormed city hall and raised the flag, which had been at half-mast for the Kent State students, back to full mast. They were joined by city workers, including a postal worker who raised an American flag on the roof of City Hall. Most of the rioters were Catholic and turned their attention to the nearby Episcopal church in the neighborhood.

Six rioters were arrested and Mayor John Lindsay denounced the rioters, as well as the police for their lack of action. A massive influx of phone calls to local union offices was 20 to 1 in support of the rioters. On May 11 and May 16, there were additional protests denouncing Mayor Lindsay as a “commie” and a “rat.” It’s worth noting that “rat” is a term approximating “scab” in the building trades. On May 20, 150,000 pro-war demonstrators marched through the city without opposition. Many workers who were on the job showered the demonstration with ticker tape.

Peter J. Brennan met with Nixon and 22 other labor leaders on May 26, presenting the president with a hard hat. Brennan later met privately with the president on Labor Day. He is considered instrumental in securing a second term in the White House for President Nixon and was rewarded for his efforts with the Secretary of Labor position.

What all of these have in common is a template for community unrest in advance of an election year. While not a direct reaction to the urban riots, the Hard Hat Riots were largely the urban white working-class saying “enough” to the racialized and political violence that had plagued the country for the last several years.

While 2020 saw the merger of racialized and political violence running rampant in the early summer, it has yet to see any kind of organized – and we use that term loosely – pushback of the order of the Hard Hat Riots. Americans are a tolerant and patient people, but their tolerance and patience have a limit. Whether or not there will be an analog to the Hard Hat Riots in the future is anyone’s guess, but if history repeats (or even, as Mark Twain once said, rhymes) we will be seeing something not unlike the Hard Hat Riots in the near future.

08/7/20

Extortion 17 – AUG. 6, 2011 – When Biden’s Loose Lips Killed SEAL Team 6

By: Daniel John Sobieski

Former Benghazi liar and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has seemingly risen to the top of Joe Biden’s VP list which would make a unique pairing of someone who can’t tell the truth and someone who can’t remember the truth. Thie pick will no doubt be finalized after “Bunker Biden” sniffs the hair of the potential picks.

One of the chief unmaskers of Trump officials caught up in deep state surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign and an architect of the attempted coup against Trump, Rice recently lied again by pushing the false claim that Trump ignored reports of Russian bounties for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and was doing Putin’s bidding by callously letting American soldiers get killed. As reported by Axios:

Former national security adviser Susan Rice says President Trump sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin following news that Russia allegedly offered bounties for those who targeted American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Rice said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday: 

“And now we learn that even when it comes to the blood of American service members, this president picks Putin over our troops.”

This was, as Trump says, fake news, The Russians have little money to throw around and the Taliban is trying to kill our troops anyway, for free… troops Trump is bringing home. Yet the woman who went on five talk shows to spread the lie that an Internet video got four Americans killed, including a U.S. Ambassador, at a Benghazi compound that Obama/Biden/Rice left unprotected and refused to send help to, has the chutzpah to express concern about the safety of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Of course, she has said she wants to see Joe Biden elected and would willingly be his VP. She would be Biden’s Rasputin, pulling his strings, completing the fundamental transformation of America begun by Barack Hussein Obama. So she ignores Biden’s culpability for Benghazi, as she ignores her own, and ignores Biden’s key role in getting Navy Seal Team 6, the unit that killed Bin Laden, slaughtered in a revenge ambush in Afghanistan.

Biden is not above exploiting the sacrifice of our young men and women who put themselve3s in harm’s way on our behalf. He’s done it before and has gotten them killed in the process. Biden should not be trusted with the nation’s security or the lives of its heroes.

Yet while critics of President Trump’s foreign policy accuse him of a degree of recklessness and immaturity that place the nation’s security at risk, Biden’s service in an administration that gave us the criminal negligence and incompetence of Benghazi provides us with an example of why he should not be trusted with the nation’s security or the lives of its heroes. That example is the tragedy of an operation known as Extortion 17.

As author and attorney David Shestoksas points out in his review of  Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, Biden betrayed the heroes that killed Ben Laden to further his political ambitions:

On May 1, 2011, Aaron Carson Vaughn, member of America’s elite special operations force, Seal Team VI, called his father, Billy Vaughn and exclaimed:

“Dad, we got him!”

 The elder Vaughn asked:  “Got who, son?”

Aaron Vaughn replied:  “Who do you think? Go turn on the TV.”[1]

On television shortly thereafter, President Obama declared to the nation that Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the deadly attacks of September 11, 2001, was dead.

Vice-President Biden Applauds and Endangers the Seals

Vice-President Joe Biden, at an awards banquet on May 3, 2001,[2] remarked:

“Admiral James Stavridis … can tell you more about … the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday… I’d be remiss also if I didn’t say an extra word about the incredible events, extraordinary events of this past Sunday.  As Vice President of the United States, as an American, I was in absolute awe of the capacity and dedication of the entire team, both the intelligence community, the CIA, the SEALs.” (emphasis added)

Less than a day after Biden’s remarks Aaron Vaughn called his mother Karen:

“There’s chatter and all of our lives are in danger including yours, Mom.”

Three Months Later A Deadly Attack on Seal Team VI

On August 6, 2011, in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan, Aaron Vaughn and 30 other Americans,[3] including 15 members of SEAL Team VI[4] were killed when their fifty-year-old helicopter, designated Extortion 17, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Leon Panetta is one who has taken President Trump to task for his alleged “loose lips.” Panetta himself, it would seem, was also one who needed to be surrounded by adults to keep his loose lips in check, having put the lives of those who took out Osama bin Laden at risk. As Breitbart reported:

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta, for example, told CNN on Tuesday that Trump “cannot just say whatever the hell he wants and expect it doesn’t carry consequences.”

Panetta should know because it was his loose talk after the Osama bin Laden raid that exposed a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, who helped locate the Al Qaeda leader.  As a result, Afridi was imprisoned on fabricated charges and will live under the fear of assassination for the rest of his life.

As Breitbart News noted in 2013, a Pakistani report on Dr. Afridi reportedly concluded “Dr. Afridi was implicated by a ‘statement by the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was the CIA Director when May 2 happened, confirming the role of Dr. Afridi in making the U.S. assassination mission a success.’”

Panetta did not reveal that critical intelligence in a private meeting with a foreign emissary, but to the entire world, on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.

Then there is Joe Biden, whose loose lips got members of SEAL Team 6 targeted for revenge and killed in an Afghan mission known as Extortion 17: As Investor’s Business Daily recounted on May 28, 2013:

Extortion 17 was the call sign of a special operations mission in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011, that responded to an Army Ranger unit engaged in a firefight with the Taliban and in need of backup.

The Chinook helicopter carrying the rescue team was shot down by a Taliban-owned rocket-propelled grenade over the Wardak Province on Aug. 6, 2011, killing 38, including 30 Americans and 15 members of Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden just three months prior.

The shoot-down was described at the time as a “lucky shot,” but the families of the dead SEALs believe that, like Benghazi, it was a pre-planned operation of revenge facilitated by a government that put them in harm’s way without adequate support and with a bulls-eye painted on their backs.

At a Pentagon briefing on Monday, May 2, 2011, a senior defense official was asked if it was a Navy SEAL team that found and killed the world’s most wanted man. The terse and proper response was: “Not going to comment on units or numbers.”

Then on May 3, Vice President Joe Biden got up to speak at a dinner at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel marking the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Council to spill the beans about Adm. James Stavridis and “the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.”

From that moment, the families believe, the Taliban looked for an opportunity for revenge, and a government more concerned with politically correct rules of engagement than victory helped them get it.

Biden skated on the leak that got SEAL Team 6 targeted for revenge. Panetta and Biden, like Hillary Clinton on Benghazi, put lives in jeopardy and got men killed.

The deaths of more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that took out Osama bin Laden is connected to a loose-lipped Vice President who likes to sometimes pose as a presidential action figure.

To be a politician takes more chutzpah than courage. The chattering class, as the mainstream media is sometimes called, was more worried about how the successful Bin Laden raid by Navy SEALs might affect President Obama’s reelection chances in 2012. So did administration officials, as the leaks and chest-thumping began almost immediately.

SEAL missions depend on bravery, courage, skill, daring – and secrecy. Initially, when President Barack Obama announced that “a small team of Americans” had killed Osama bin Laden, he did not identify it was the SEALs.

Karen Vaughn, the mother of slain SEAL Aaron Vaughn blames Joe Biden for her son’s ambush and death:

On May 3, at an event in Washington, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. did the unthinkable: He publicly revealed the identity of the special-operations unit responsible for bin Laden’s killing. His reckless action put at risk the lives of every member of SEAL Team 6. The Taliban and other jihadists eager to avenge bin Laden now knew which unit to target. Stunned and shocked, SEAL members immediately realized they were going to be hunted by al Qaeda sympathizers.

Karen Vaughn, the mother of slain SEAL Aaron Vaughn, says that within hours after Mr. Biden’s comments, her son called to tell her to wipe away every piece of information regarding the family on social media, Facebook and Twitter. “I never heard Aaron that afraid in his life,” Mrs. Vaughn said in an interview. “He told me: ‘Mom, we’re picking up chatter. We’re not safe. You’re not safe. Delete everything.’”

According to Mrs. Vaughn, Mr. Biden essentially placed a bulls-eye on her son’s back — and that of all the other SEALs. He leaked classified information. SEAL Team 6 is a covert unit, which is supposed to operate in the shadows. This is how they are able to conduct deadly raids on terrorist groups. Their reward, however, for killing the world’s foremost terrorist mastermind was to be outed by their own government.

In a damning video speech, Charles Strange, the father of Navy SEAL Michael Strange, also lays the ambush of Extortion 17 right at the feet of Joe Biden.

The RPG that felled the SEALs could have just been a random act of war. The Taliban could have just gotten lucky. Or they could have been plotting and waiting for revenge, looking for helicopters that might be carrying more SEALs on another mission, a big bulls-eye painted on their backs by a Vice President who forgo that loose lips can sink ships, and they can also get Navy SEALs killed.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

08/7/20

Refugee Hong Kong Virologist Links COVID-19 to Chinese Military Laboratory

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

Stunning new evidence from a Chinese defector supports the notion that the origins of COVID-19 were man-made, and that the Chinese Communist Party covered it up.

There have been persistent rumors circulating the internet among scientists studying the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic that, RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by China as the closest relative of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the disease, is a fake used to divert attention away from how SARS-CoV-2 was artificially constructed.

In fact, reports suggest that, if RaTG13 ever existed as a fully sequenced bat coronavirus, there are no samples of it remaining.

Now, in a detailed interview, Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist who says she fled the country after receiving threats due to her concerns about the origins of COVID-19 and accuses the Chinese Communist Party of a cover-up, claims that the novel coronavirus originated in a military laboratory overseen by the People’s Liberation Army.

According to Dr. Li-Meng Yan, instead of RaTG13, which allegedly was found in bat samples from Yunnan Province, the bat coronavirus that provided the “backbone” for the artificial construction of SARS-CoV-2 by the Chinese military originated in Zhoushan in about 2018.

The information provided by Dr. Li-Meng Yan provides a direct link with the 2018 scientific article “Genomic characterization and infectivity of a novel SARS-like coronavirus in Chinese bats,” published by scientists from China’s Third Military Medical University in Chongqing.

The two bat coronaviruses isolated in that study, ZC45 and ZXC21, are remarkably similar to SARS-CoV-2, being, overall, 95% identical. The envelope protein is 100% identical, the membrane protein is 98.6% identical, the nucleocapsid is 94% identical and the S2 portion of the spike protein is 95% identical.

In striking contrast to those similarities, the S1 section of the spike protein of ZC45 and ZXC21 is only 69% similar to SARS-CoV-2, indicating that ZC45 and ZXC21 would probably not bind to human receptors with nearly the same effectiveness as SARS-CoV-2.

Furthermore, it is extremely unlikely, through random mutation, that SARS-CoV-2 would so tightly conserve the sequences of ZC45 and ZXC21, but have an S1 component so drastically different.

In addition, SARS-CoV-2 has a furin polybasic cleavage site not found in ZC45 and ZXC21 or any of the close SARS-CoV-2 relatives yet identified.

The only conceivable way ZC45 or ZXC21 might evolve into SARS-CoV-2 is by either natural or artificial recombination.

The chances of a natural recombination of bat coronaviruses, ZC45 and ZXC21, simultaneously acquiring the unique human-infecting S1 section of the spike protein AND the furin polybasic cleavage site are virtually impossible, thus strongly indicating genetic manipulation.

For the same reasons, RaTG13 could not have naturally evolved into SAR-CoV-2.

The only conclusion one can draw from all the available scientific evidence is that SARS-CoV-2 originated as a bat coronavirus “backbone” onto which new segments were inserted.

Then, as Dr. Li-Meng Yan mentions in her interview, the new artificial coronavirus can be more adapted for human infection by multiple passages through genetically-engineered mouse models containing humanized receptors previously developed by China.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected].

08/6/20

The Libya Chaos: A Middle East Wake-Up Call

By: Yoram Ettinger | CCNS

Fighters of Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government gather as they advance against Islamic State holdouts in Ghiza Bahriya district in Sirte, Libya December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny – RC11D1200620

Western misreading yields devastating consequences

The Libyan turmoil is, mostly, the outcome of the 2011 reckless toppling of the Qaddafi regime by a US-led NATO offensive. The offensive was launched despite the fact that the ruthless Qaddafi had become a fervent warrior against Islamic terrorism in Libya, North, and Central Africa. Moreover, the offensive was initiated in spite of Qaddafi’s dismantling of the Libyan nuclear, chemical, biological and long-range ballistic missile infrastructures.

The stated goal of the US-led NATO onslaught was to stop the Libyan civil war, minimize the loss of civilian lives, and promote democracy and peace, as was stated during the 2003 war against Saddam Hussein…. However, the authority vacuum created by the demise of the Qaddafi regime has intensified the intrinsic fragmentation and disintegration of Libya, tribally, geographically, ideologically, and religiously.

The demise of Qaddafi yielded systematic eruptions of volcanic civil wars in Libya, intensified by a heightened presence of Islamic terror organizations, which operate globally, from Central Asia, through the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, with sleeper cells in the US.

In defiance of the architects of the assault on Qaddafi, Libya has joined Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen as a leading epicenter of international Islamic terrorism. The Libyan pandemonium has stimulated Islamic terrorism in Europe, as well as in neighboring Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria, and Tunisia, in addition to Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

Contrary to the expectations by the US and NATO national security establishments, there has been substantial military and financial intervention by foreign countries, which conduct proxy wars in post-Qaddafi Libya. Thus, Turkey, Qatar, Italy and the UN support Prime Minister al-Sarraj’s Tripoli-centered Government of National Accord (which controls some parts of Western Libya), while Russia, France, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Jordan back General Haftar’s Benghazi and Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (which controls most of Libya, especially the eastern and southern areas and most of the oil and natural gas fields and refineries).

Foreign involvement in Libya

The mounting foreign involvement reflects the geostrategic potential of Libya, economically and militarily. For instance, Libya is a 680,000 square-mile-country (2.6 times the area of Texas!), located between the Mediterranean and Central Africa, possessing a 1,000 mile-long-coast along the Mediterranean, between Egypt and Tunisia and across from Turkey, Crete, Greece, Malta, Italy, and Sicily. Libya’s oil and natural gas reserves rank 8th and 21st respectively in the world, which has attracted major energy companies, such as Italy’s ENI (since 1959) and France’s Total (since 1954).

Turkey’s Erdogan considers Libya an effective springboard to assert his national security independence; to defy the US, NATO, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the international community; to bolster his military and energy footprint in the Mediterranean basin; to gain natural gas, oil and construction opportunities; and to advance his grand vision: the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire.

Russia seeks to expand its air and ground military presence in the Mediterranean region and Africa; it sends a determined message to the US, NATO and allies of the US in the Middle East and Africa, it aims to neutralize Erdogan’s megalomaniacal ambitions, it pursues oil deals, and it wishes to enhance its position during future international negotiations on the fate of Libya.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia consider Libya – and Turkey’s and Qatar’s involvement in Libya – a threatening tailwind for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Islamic terrorist organization, and a clear and present lethal threat to every pro-US Arab regime. Their wish to neutralize Erdogan, whom they consider a top lethal threat to the Arab World, along with Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt and Libya have always shared adversarial relations: economically poor, demographically large (100 million people), and militarily strong Egypt versus economically endowed, demographically meager (7 million people) and militarily weak Libya. Therefore, an Egyptian military intervention in eastern Libya – leveraging tribal ties – has always been a viable option, in order to secure the western border of Egypt, resume suspended oil projects in Libya, and enhance Egypt’s geostrategic stature. Also, Egypt is concerned about the adverse effect of the Libyan chaos on its war against Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, which has been a domestic fixture since the 1928 establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Cairo is increasingly concerned about Turkey’s deepening engagement in Libya – on top of its military presence in Qatar, Somali, and Sudan – due to Erdogan’s close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, while demonstrating hostility toward the Sisi regime, which toppled an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood regime.

The real Middle East vs. Western conventional wisdom

The Libya mayhem, which erupted during the initial stage of the “Arab Spring,” has exposed a major Western misperception of the Middle East. Hence, the West has sacrificed the reality of “the Arab Tsunami” on the altar of an imagined “Arab Spring” – touting “From Lawlessness to Democracy and Peace” – while the Arab countries have rejected civic liberties and intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence.

The Libyan turmoil, which has raged since February 2011, encapsulates many of the 1,400-year-old explosive features of the Middle East, which have impacted the entire world.

For example:

*Rarity of national identity/loyalty (e.g., Tripolitania western Libya vs. Cyrenaica in the east vs. Fezzan in the southwest);

*Fragmented societies underline local-over-national allegiance (e.g., a 9-tribe-coalition in the Benghazi region, fighting other tribes, while fighting among themselves);

*Violent intolerance religiously, geographically, ideologically, culturally, economically;

*Absence of intra-Arab and intra-Muslim peaceful-coexistence, domestically and regionally, including pan-Arabism vs. pan-Islamism;

*Minority, repressive, tenuous regimes, policies and accords (e.g., Libya’s King Idris deposed in 1969, Qaddafi executed in 2011, succeeded by two warring non-democratic regimes);

*One-bullet-regimes seizing power via the military;

*Centrality of subversion and terrorism, domestically and regionally;

*Shifty allegiance, alliances, and policies;

*Intense complexity, instability, and unpredictability;

*Domination of fundamental Islamic precepts (e.g., the subservient “infidel”);

Has the Western debacle in Libya awakened the Western national security establishment to Middle East reality?

Will the costly Libyan lesson free the West from submission to the utopian “Arab Spring” state of mind, when confronting the litany of tectonic eruptions, which will be triggered by the Arab Tsunami, with regional and global ripple effects?

Will the Libyan chaos advance Western comprehension of the need for extra geographic-topographic security, required by the sole and small “infidel” democracy in the Middle East?

This column was originally published at The Ettinger Report.

08/6/20

California Census Partners with CAIR Radical

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

07/31/20

America’s “Days of Rage”: The Extensive Left-Wing Bombings & Domestic Terrorism of the 1970s

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

America’s “Days of Rage”: The Extensive Left-Wing Bombings & Domestic Terrorism of the 1970sAs the summer of 2020 dawned, left-wing radical groups began rioting and taking over parts of America’s cities. While this specific form of left-wing violence is new, left-wing violence itself is far from new in the United States. Indeed, one of the most hidden and concealed parts of recent American history is the extensive left-wing violence that began in the late 1960s and continued into the 1980s.

At first, one might think that these were isolated incidents of small-scale “protest” or even minor violence. However, upon even a brief examination, we find out that the outpouring of leftist violence over this time period was anything but minor. The most likely explanation for why you have never heard of this until now is that the events of these years have been consciously buried by those who would prefer that you not know about them.

As the left once again ratchets up both its rhetoric and its physical violence, it’s time to re-explore this period of American history. What started as a non-violent student movement quickly escalated into a campaign of terrorism against the American people. And while the similarities may not be terribly striking yet, astute readers of this article will quickly see the world in which we live more and more closely resembling the Days of Rage.

The Days of Rage

The Days of Rage were in fact a short and discrete period of time – three days of demonstrations that took place on October 8 through 11, 1969. Throughout this article, we will discuss events that took place both before and after the Days of Rage but consider this period a sort of “coming out” party for the Weathermen, also known as the Weather Underground.

The Weathermen started out as a faction within Students for a Democratic Society. Without getting too much into the weeds, much of what happens during this period of leftist terrorism in the United States has its genesis in a faction fight between the Weathermen, who controlled the national SDS organization, and the rest of their faction (known as the Revolutionary Youth Movement II or RYM II), who was in opposition to the more classically Maoist Worker Student Alliance.

Tensions ran high because the stakes were high – nothing less than total control of the largest student radical organization in America and all of the spoils that came along with that. Many within the Weathermen faction of RYM II believed that they were fighting literal fascism coming to America in the form of President Richard Nixon.

Sound familiar yet? It’s about to sound a lot more so.

On October 6, 1969, a statue memorializing a police officer killed during the 1886 Haymarket riots was blown up. No one ever figured out who committed this act of iconoclasm, but the tangible effect of the act of political terrorism was the final isolation of the Weather Underground from the rest of the SDS.

The Weathermen then shifted their activity to the Days of Rage, a protest rally with the slogans “Bring The War Home!” Many wielded lead pipes and were clad in football helmets, ready for a confrontation with the police.

Turnout was disappointing. The Weathermen expected a massive turnout, but only got about 800, who stared down 2,000 Chicago police likely itching for another fight after the 1968 Democratic Convention. By the first night, about 500 had deserted the protest, with about half of the remaining 300 being Weathermen from around the country.

Abbie Hoffman and John Froines, two members of the Chicago Seven, showed up but declined to speak and left. The remaining hardcore of Weathermen and their supporters shifted the goalposts to simply fighting the police as constituting victory.

At 10:25 p.m., Jeff Jones, one of the leaders of the Weathermen, gave the signal and chaos erupted. The crowd moved through the city, smashing windows of ordinary cars and middle-class homes throughout Chicago, as well as small businesses such as barbershops.

The next day, October 9, a “Women’s Militia” comprised of about 70 female Weathermen planned to attack a draft board office, but were prevented from doing so by the Chicago Police Department. The governor called up 2,500 National Guard members to protect Chicago, and protests for later in the day were canceled. The Black Panther Party’s local leadership attempted to distance themselves from the Weathermen, describing the group as “anarchistic, opportunistic, adventuristic, and Custeristic.”

The next day was the last day of the Days of Rage proper, centered around a march of 2,000 through a Spanish-speaking area of Chicago. The next day, October 11, the Weathermen attempted to reignite the protests but were quickly sealed off by Chicago’s finest. Approximately half of the crowd were arrested in 15 minutes.

It was after the events of the Days of Rage that the Weathermen became the Weather Underground and began moving underground as the name would imply. At a meeting known as the Flint War Council, which was attended by Barack Obama advisor William Ayers, taking place between December 27 and 31, 1969, the Weathermen dissolved their version of SDS, changed their name to the Weather Underground and declared that they would engage in guerilla warfare against the United States government.

Before continuing with the laundry list of terrorist actions carried out by the Weather Underground, it is worth briefly explaining their ideology. The Weather Underground was not a classically Marxist nor, strictly speaking, a Maoist group. Their cues came more from the American New Left. Thus, much like the radicals creating chaos in American cities in the 2020s, they were far more focused on opposition to the American state, “white privilege” and “white supremacy” than they were in creating bonds across the working class.

In this regard, they differed both from the Maoism of the Progressive Labor Party (made up of former members of the Communist Party, USA, who supported Mao against Kruschev and thus had very real ties to the American labor movement) and the so-called “New Communist Movement” (comprised of younger student activists sympathetic toward Maoism and Third Worldism, but without organic ties to the existing Communist left and the labor movement). They did not, as some other groups in both Maoism proper and the New Communist Movement did, seek either ties with the American working class (which they largely considered “bought off by imperialism”) or the official sanction of Beijing (a long-term goal of both Maoists and New Communists).

There are three important takeaways from all of this inside baseball:

  • The Weather Underground considered the American government to be fascist.
  • They believed that American military and civil government institutions should be treated in an identical manner to how the Viet Cong would treat the American military.
  • The American working class, in particular the white American working class, was considered apathetic and useless at best, but generally more considered an active opponent of revolution – thoroughly reactionary and thus, the enemy.

The Weathermen After the Days of Rage

In the first year after the Flint War Council, the Weather Underground engaged in a series of over a dozen bombings or attempted bombings throughout the United States. While supporters of the Weather Underground generally attempt to downplay the significance of the bombings, the group attacked courthouses, the New York Police Headquarters, the Pentagon and the headquarters of the National Guard. Additionally, police found multiple bomb factories designed to aid the guerilla efforts of the group. While 1970 was a highwater year for the group, there were other years of increased activity and the Weather Underground did not disband until 1977.

There were dozens of terrorist attacks carried out in the years between 1970 and 1977. It would be impossible to talk about them all in detail without writing an entire book on the subject. However, some of them are worth pulling out from the pack to discuss individually:

  • New York City Arson Attacks: The home of New York Supreme Court Justice John M. Murtagh was attacked with Molotov cocktails. Judge Murtagh was the presiding judge of pretrial hearings for 21 Black Panthers accused of planning a bombing campaign against the city. There were additional attacks against Columbia University’s International Law Library, Army and Navy recruiting booths, and a parked police car in the city.
  • Timothy Leary Jailbreak: Acting as hired mercenaries for The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a psychedelic drug distribution enterprise, the Weather Underground broke Timothy Leary out of jail for $20,000.
  • The United States Capitol Bombing: On March 1, 1971, the Weather Underground detonated a bomb at the United States Capitol.
  • Pentagon Bombing: On March 19, 1972, the Weather Underground blew up the women’s bathroom of the Air Force wing of the Pentagon in commemoration of Ho Chi Minh’s birthday and in retaliation for the bombing of Hanoi.

In October 1973, the federal government dropped most of the charges against the Weather Underground because new restrictions on electronic surveillance (without a court order handed down from the Supreme Court) meant that the charges likely would not stick. A more complete – and voluminous – list of Weather Underground terrorist attacks can be found here.

Black Liberation Army

The Black Liberation Army was formed in 1970, by members of the Black Panther Party who operated as members of both groups concurrently. Between 1970 and 1976, the group was involved in over 70 acts of violence, including the murders of 13 police officers. Some of their attacks included:

May 19th Communist Organization

The May 19th Communist Organization was a reorganized version of the Weather Underground that emerged after the latter began to fall apart. It included members of the Black Liberation Army, the Black Panthers and the Republic of New Afrika, as well as the Weather Underground.

The M19CO was more classically Marxist-Leninist, but no less eager to engage in terrorism. They broke Assata Shakur, convicted of the murder of a state trooper, out of prison, and spirited her to Cuba. They were also involved in the robbery of a Brinks truck in 1981, along with the Black Liberation Army, as well as several bombings, including those of the National War College, the United States Senate, the Washington Navy Yard Computer Center, the South African consulate and the Policemen’s Benevolent Association.

Symbionese Liberation Army

Most people know of the Symbionese Liberation Army, if at all, as the group who kidnapped and brainwashed Patty Hearst. Beyond this, they are an excellent example of how a small, but committed cadre of left-wing activists can wreak havoc far and beyond their numbers, which never exceeded 22.

Their first major action was the assassination of Oakland, CA superintendent of schools Marcus Foster and badly wounding his deputy Robert Blackburn. The pair were attacked with cyanide-packed hollow point rounds as they left a school committee meeting. Foster, the first black superintendent of schools in Oakland, was assassinated because the SLA believed he was going to introduce identity cards in the school system, which they considered “fascist” and which he, in fact, opposed.

Their most famous action was the kidnapping of Hearst publishing heiress Patty Hearst in 1974. She was held by the group for 19 months before she was apprehended by authorities. At first, the SLA demanded the release of Foster’s assassins, but when this proved impossible, they demanded the Hearst family distribute $70 worth of food to every needy person in California. The Hearst family took out a loan to do so, which would have cost $400 million, but the operation descended into chaos and the SLA refused to free her. The group sometimes restricted Hearst to a dark closet for weeks at a time. She was raped both by leader Donald DeFreeze (“Cinque”) and Willie Wolfe (“Kahjoh”).

When recovered, Hearst had an IQ of 112, as compared to 130 before her abduction. She chain-smoked, had a flattened affect, and had trouble remembering significant parts of her pre-SLA life. She weighed 87 pounds when apprehended.

The group committed a number of bank robberies both before and after Hearst’s kidnapping.

The Lost History of American Leftist Terrorism

Most Americans have never heard of these acts of terrorism from leftist groups that were so numerous throughout the 1970s. But this is a prime example of “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The urban unrest, which has rocked America in the early 2020s, is nothing new. The 1960s saw both race riots and left-wing terrorist groups looking to exploit animosity between racial groups in America.

The question is what are we going to do about it? The answer so far from our elected officials is “not much.” If leftist terrorist cells were willing to go this far when they had active opposition from the government and corporate figures alike, what are they going to do when confronted with apathy or encouragement from elected officials and the business sector?

The answer remains to be seen, but will certainly be some variant of “nothing good.”