Editor’s Note – Not surprising the Obama Administration choose to release this information on Christmas Eve. In a Politico article, they report;
Thursday’s document dump, put out by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in compliance with a Freedom of Information request, includes correspondence sent from American intelligence officials in 2011 and 2012.
The emails — edited to conceal what is considered to be sensitive information — provide few new details about the lethal September 2012 terrorist attack on the diplomatic mission in Libya or American-born Al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki.
In the first email, only two of 17 lines of text were not blacked out.
Another email consists of the text “Attached it the final draft; we need comment/coordination by 1000, Friday (tomorrow) 19 October 2012,” followed completely by blacked-out text.
Other emails consist of the text of news clippings from Reuters, the Washington Post and other organizations.
We at SUA must ask, ‘At this point, what difference does it make?’ Answer; it makes a lot of difference, we want to know what is being hidden?
Obama Administration Delivers Benghazi Document Dump for Christmas
The Obama administration dumped 16 pages of emails related to Benghazi on Christmas Eve, but the documents are heavily edited to conceal what was considered as sensitive information, so few new details have been revealed about the Benghazi attacks or al-Qaida recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki.
The documents were released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, reports Politico, and include intelligence officials’ communications from 2011 and 2012.
But only a few lines are visible in some of the emails. In one, just two of 17 lines of text were not redacted and in another, just the text “Attached it the final draft; we need comment/coordination by 1000, Friday (tomorrow) 19 October 2012,” is visible.
Further emails share news clippings, one February email in 2011 was sent to respond to a State Department in regard to al-Awlaki’s passport being revoked.
Al-Awlaki was killed later that year, in September, during a drone strike in Yemen.
It wasn’t until the next year that it was reported that the State Department reported revoking his passport. There were also memos in Thursday’s dump that include details about using existing protocol to protect intelligence.
The Obama administration has also released such information during the holidays including in May, when it released a trove of 296 emails sent from Hillary Clinton’s private server.
Editor’s Note – As each day goes by since the December 2nd terror event in San Bernardino, California, the plot thickens and expands. The connections become more complicated and the fears that terrorists can get into America so easily has most frightened despite the President’s assurances. Of course, we think he is delusional, as is John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the United States from Pakistan. But none uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide — that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.
… Had the authorities found the posts years ago, they might have kept her out of the country. But immigration officials do not routinely review social media as part of their background checks, and there is a debate inside the Department of Homeland Security over whether it is even appropriate to do so.
How confidant are you that those being brought in will not include ISIS “moles”? How about the knowledge that Canada just admitted its first contingent of Syrian refugees yesterday with our very open northern border?
With such political correctness controlling decision makers in the DHS who are more worried about “appropriateness” than your safety, we think it is time to worry more, not less. We wonder what the pond in San Bernardino will reveal and what will arise from the fact that Enrique Martinez bragged to his friends about ‘sleeper cells’ and that he was paid to be in a sham marriage.
Islamic State Manifesto: Sleeper Cells Sent To Europe Posing As Refugees
The Islamic State claims it sent highly trained sleeper agents to Europe through Turkey posing as refugees as far back as 2012. A 99-page manifesto issued in January, “Black Flags from Rome,” also details the Islamic State (ISIS)’s desire to spark a Europe-wide Islamic insurgency using “Muslim No Go Zones” as bases of operations.
As an example, it claims that some Syrian refugees fled to Italy. “No doubt, some of these refugees were undercover fighters of Al Qa’idah and the Islamic State,” the manifesto says.
“They were quick to take the opportunity of entering into the different countries of Europe (most probably as early as 2012).
All this was happening under the nose of the European intelligence services whose job during this time (2012) was only to prevent European Muslims from entering Syria. (This shows how quick the Islamic groups were in planning ahead.
Years before Europe even knew where its Muslim citizens were going – experienced Islamic fighters had already found safety in Europe.)”
These highly trained fighters were instructed to form secret cells and wait until called on by the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. At that time they would “continue the Jihad and … seek revenge for the Western occupation of Muslim lands.
” “Black Flags From Rome” claims the sleeper agents were well-trained in urban combat tactics similar to this month’s Paris attacks. It proudly contrasts past Al-Qaida’s terrorists with its fighters, whom it describes as “untrained” and “vulnerable,” noting that Western intelligence agencies never faced professionally trained fighters with combat experience.”
“These young Europeans had been professionally trained, and given training most specific to the context of the war they would battle within Europe,” the manifesto says.
ISIS training included instruction on buying and firing weapons and making improvised explosives. Such training could explain the sophistication of the Paris attacks and the attackers’ competence in making suicide vests, which experts say takes weeks of training.
“Their locations were unknown, and police raids wouldn’t even have the same impact as unarmed lone wolf terrorists’ (sic), because these young men were armed and able to shoot back in groups. There were small armies of the Islamic State within every country of Europe by late 2014, and the intelligence agencies didn’t even know about it!” the manifesto says.
ISIS propagandists based in Syria were quick to take responsibility for the attacks. An updated edition titled “Black Flags From the Islamic State,” written in the past week,calls them “one of the first organised attacks done by the Islamic State in Europe which involved a Network of Cells working together in an organized way.”
Police described the Paris attackers as “seasoned fighters by the looks of it and perfectly trained, with witnesses describing them as quite young and cool-headed,” the London Daily Telegraph reports.
Furthermore, during the attacks, a mid-level Syrian Islamic State leader known as @Jazrawi_Oooud tweeted during the attacks: “… Syrian refugees sent by Islamic state carried out today’s offensive names battle of Paris. More to come.”
This statement came out a day before the media or French authorities mentioned any possibility that people who might have infiltrated the wave of refugees from Syria could have been responsible for the attacks. A fake Syrian passport bearing the name “Ahmad alMohammad” was found next to a suicide bomber who blew himself up at the soccer stadium. Two other stadium bombers arrived on Oct. 3, blending in with scores of refugees on the Greek island of Leros.
Several of the Paris attackers fought for ISIS in Syria and their leader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, freely traveled to and from Europe. The Islamic State claims it selected Abaaoud to lead the mission and trained him in insurgency skills before sending him to France to create clandestine cells with the aim of starting a jihad in France. Abaaoud hid among the flow of refugees from Syria, and travelled to Turkey and Greece before making his way to France, according to “Black Flags From the Islamic State.”
If what “Black Flags From Rome” and “Black Flags From the Islamic State” say is true, it could influence subsequent debate over the flood of refugees from Syria and Iraq into Europe and possibly America.
It could mean that the attacks in Paris weren’t just a sign of a wounded Islamic State lashing out at Europe in retaliation for lost territory in Iraq as some suggest.
“Once the media attention dies down, the Islamic State will tell another “sleeper Cell” (secret Cell which has not yet activated) to do another attack again,” Black Flags From the Islamic State says..
Rome’s Apocalyptic Prophecy
The manifesto’s title, “Black Flags From Rome,” draws from the Islamic State’s apocalyptic theology. Islamic prophecy states that Rome will be conquered by Muslims before the appearance of Islam’s Antichrist, the dajjal, appears. ISIS hopes to help that along.
“You will attack Arabia and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack Persia and He would make you to conquer it. Then you would attack Rome and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you would attack the Dajjal and Allah will enable you to conquer him. Nafi’ said: Jabir, we thought that the Dajjal would appear after Rome (Syrian territory) would be conquered.”
The Islamic State, however, interprets this hadith as referring to Rome, Italy, rather than a region controlled by the Roman Empire in Muhammad’s day.
The dream of conquering Rome appears in other Islamic State propaganda such as issue four of, which shows an Islamic State flag fluttering atop the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square.
“We have to defend our communities in Europe, and buy time for the Armageddon in Syria to finish and for the Roman invaders to be defeated. The day these Roman (NATO) armies set off with their 960,000 soldiers to fight the Muslims in Dabiq (Syria), they should realise half the prophecy has already come into effect. The 2nd half of the prophecy is that they will lose, and Muslims will take over Rome … The next stop? The Anti-Christ (al-Dajjal) in Israel,” a subsequent manifesto published in July, “Muslim Gangs: The Future of Muslims In The West,” states.
Both “Muslim Gangs” and “Black Flags” urge exploiting anti-Muslim sentiment to radicalize European Muslims to build an army to fulfill this prophecy. The authors of “Muslim Gangs” advise using propaganda to unite Muslims around local humanitarian efforts.
“The Propaganda Arm is using soft power techniques to build a united Muslim community which appreciates self-defence, a community which can support fellow believers in (future) times of difficulty and war,” “Muslim Gangs” advises.
It urges Islamic propagandists to claim that aspects of Islam are being criminalized, and to frame police as enemies of the Muslims. This, it says, helps to build a sense of alienation:
“Tell them stories of how we feel unsafe and how they make it a crime for us to morally support Muslims around the world, and they do not even let us leave the West if we want to. Tell them that they should not talk openly with the police, or else they could be taken away from their parents. These are realities Muslims face everyday, we need to make them aware. “This will make the young generation stay distant from the police. They will hate it. The police will try to come to their schools to win their hearts and minds, but tell the kids: ‘Who do you trust more? Your fellow Muslim brothers, or the ones who imprison Muslims?'”
It urges establishing “no-go zones” and creating a culture of hostility to the police where lawlessness reigns and the jihadists can flourish.
“Al Qa’idah, the Islamic State and many Mujahideen groups thrived in areas where there was lawlessness because they could buy smuggled goods from the blackmarket and train without fear of police. If police did come, the people in the area would inform everyone because this was a no-go zone for the police,” “Muslim Gangs” states.
Abaaoud and his fellow Paris attackers used such a place in the Brussels, Belgium suburb of Molenbeek, which has been the source of the highest concentrations of jihadi foreign fighters who have left to fight in Iraq and Syria. Belgian authorities admit they have lost control of the suburb.
Other tactics include aligning with left-wing activists to fight neo-Nazis and using them to do undercover work for Muslims to “pave the way for the conquest of Rome.” It suggests that Muslims can use leftists to fight and sabotage the “financial elite.”
“War: right now you can do lone wolf attacks, but the West is not fertile for a full on war yet. Rather, the increasing amount of attacks from both sides will gradually create a state of war,” “Muslim Gangs” states.
White Muslim converts are seen as the Islamic State’s “secret weapon” because they can blend in more easily.
Additionally, the Islamic State wants followers to infiltrate gangs to learn how they operate, then develop into larger militias by using fear as a tactic to intimidate enemies and inspire recruits, which observers call “jihadi cool.”
“Black Flags” suggests using mosques as operating bases and exploiting attacks by neo-Nazi groups. It predicts that Muslims and neo-Nazis will launch reprisals against each other.
Early stages of the proposed Islamic insurgency would use primitive weapons like Molotov cocktails, pellet guns and slingshots against neo-Nazi gangs. It suggests copying tactics used during the early stages of Syria’s civil war, such as making attacks using homemade weapons and capturing more advanced weapons.
Recruits are obtained by “showing the glamorous nature of Jihad” and emphasizing great spiritual rewards for those who engage in jihadi attacks. Video recordings of“spectacular attacks” can put potential recruits in awe of jihad, “Muslim Gangs” says. It also suggests using such recordings to fundraise among Muslims who “might be willing to donate” to defending Muslim neighborhoods.
In the process, “Black Flags” suggests forming militias that would take over buildings, roads and weapons depots.
“As the Islamic militias begin to arm themselves and train each other, they will be able to fight more battles … This will make them even richer and more financially independent, buy even more advanced weaponry from the black market and cause even more damage to the enemies,” “Black Flags” says.
Muslim gangs are urged to fight to seize territory outside Muslim neighborhoods and build alliances with other gangs with the goal of creating a large army.
“Muslim fighters from all European countries will continue the fight, breaking borders until they can reach; Northern Rome,” “Black Flags” says.
“President Obama is a threat to our country,” Donald Trump told me in a recent interview.
He’s right. Mr. Obama now poses a clear and present danger to America.
His stubborn insistence on resettling so-called “refugees” from Syria threatens to Balkanize our country and subvert it from within. The president is willing to potentially sacrifice countless Americans on the altar of liberal multiculturalism. He is gambling with our lives.
Obama’s resettlement plan is replete with lies and progressive propaganda. At first, the administration said it only wanted 10,000 refugees to enter the country. Now, the White House is openly talking about allowing 250,000 per year.
In fact, the president recently announced that his goal is an “open-ended” refugee resettlement effort — meaning millions could be allowed to flood our country.
Moreover, who are these refugees? The answer is simple: They are predominantly young Muslim men. In Europe, nearly 80 percent of the migrants pouring into countries, such as Germany, Sweden and France, are Muslim males in their teens and 20s. In other words, they are the very profile of potential Islamic Jihadists.
Yet, while Europeans are waking up to the civilizational invasion taking place, our morally arrogant liberal elites continue to peddle the fiction that only “widows and orphans” will be allowed to enter.
The administration also claims that the Muslim Syrian refugees are the “most thoroughly screened and vetted category of travelers” who can come into the United States.
That is another lie. For the Obama regime and its media allies are deliberately leaving out one salient fact: We do not pick the asylum-seekers, the United Nations does. In particular, it is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Antonio Guterres, in coordination with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that selects which refugees can be settled within our country.
It is not the State Department, Homeland Security or even the White House that chooses the refugees, but an anti-American leftist bureaucrat and a global Islamist organization.
Mr. Guterres is a self-described “socialist,” who champions open borders and repopulating First World nations with Third World peoples as part of a radical internationalist agenda to redistribute wealth. From 1999 until 2005, he was the president of Socialist International, a global network of over 160 Marxist and far-left-wing parties active in about 100 countries. Their goal: “one-world government” through unlimited immigration.
The OIC is an international Islamic body that consists of 57 Muslim nations. It has deep links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Based in Saudi Arabia, the OIC’s founding charter openly espouses the expansion of Sharia Law and defends what it calls “legitimate Jihad.” In other words, it is an Islamist front group.
Think about this: Obama is entrusting the security of Americans — enabling the very “refugees” who could be coming to a town or community near you — to U.N. leftist globalists and radical Islamists. His policy is not only irresponsible and reckless; it borders on the criminal.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has already boasted it has infiltrated the waves of Muslim migrants with thousands of Jihadists.
In the Paris attacks, which killed 130 and wounded over 350 persons, ISIL made good on its threats: One of the terrorists managed to enter France posing as a “refugee” with a fake Syrian passport.
As Investor’s Business Daily reports, what Islamists are engaging in is what they call “hijra” — immigration Jihad. The aim of radical Muslims is to invade and conquer Western lands through mass migration.
“Muhammad told his followers to migrate and spread Islam in order to dominate all the lands of the world,” Ann Corcoran, the author of “Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America,” said in an interview with IBD.
“He said they were obliged to do so — and that’s exactly what they are doing now with the help and support of the U.N.”
The Boston Marathon terrorist bombings should have taught Americans the folly of welcoming “refugees” from Muslim hotspots. The Tsarnaevs were from Chechnya. They were allegedly “screened” and “vetted.”
Yet, this did not stop them from blowing up pressure cooker bombs at the finish line, murdering four innocent civilians and wounding over 260 — dozens of them maimed and crippled.
Their massacre was part of a larger war against the West to establish a global Islamic caliphate.
We are about to drink from a poisoned chalice. Obama is deliberately — and dangerously — bringing in an army of Muslim migrants. Like the Tsarnaevs and in France, some of them are bound to be Islamist butchers.
It is collective suicide masquerading as compassion. Americans must block his Trojan horse before it’s too late.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at WorldTribune.com and the host of “The Kuhner Report” weekdays 12-3 pm EST on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.
While France remains in a state of shock over the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, they are also most likely confused and disappointed over President Obama’s declaration that there will be no fundamental change to his current policy and strategy to “now contain and defeat ISIS.”
During his Nov. 12 remarks in Antalya, Turkey, Mr. Obama appeared to be petulant and arrogant when responding to legitimate reporter’s questions, perhaps a “crack” in the carefully constructed veneer that has concealed his true character and now has been exposed.
However, on Nov. 17, The New York Times editorial board quickly came to the rescue by declaring that Mr. Obama “hit the right tone” in his remarks.
But his remarks should leave no doubt that he has a far-reaching strategy. That strategy is embedded in his declaration to fundamentally transform America. Actually, the way we are restricting our operations in the Middle East today has its roots in America’s transformation.
Those who say the administration is incompetent — are wrong. With the complicity of our congressional leadership and the mainstream media, the administration has executed their strategy brilliantly.
In order to understand Mr. Obama’s strategy, you first have to understand the threat that has been deliberately distorted. When President Erdogan of Turkey was prime minister, he said it best — Islam is Islam. There are no modifiers, such as violent extremism.
Democracy is the train we ride to achieve our ultimate objective, Mr. Erdogan implied, which is world domination. It must be understood that Islam is a political movement masquerading as a religion. The Islamic movement will seize power as soon as it is able.
No matter how many times “progressives” try to rationalize or accommodate perceived Muslim grievances, the fact remains that Islam has been involved in a struggle for world domination for over 1,400 years.
What the world witnessed in Paris, and certainly here in America on Sept. 11, 2001, was a continuing clash of civilizations between Islam and the Judeo-Christian values of the West.
As the noted historian Samuel P. Huntington implied, Islam is fundamentally incompatible with Western values and cultures.
There can be no peace or co-existence between Islam and non-Islamic societies or their political institutions. Clearly, there must be a reformation of Islam.
Once the Islamic threat has been exposed and understood, then any thinking American should be able to grasp Mr. Obama’s strategy. It is anti-American; anti-Western; but pro-Islamic; pro-Iranian; and pro-Muslim Brotherhood.
This raises the question: Why would an American president with his country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, who professes to be a Christian, embrace Islam? Or for that matter, why would an American president embrace Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, which has been at war with the United States for over 35 years? They have caused the loss of thousands of American civilians and military lives.
Also, why would an American president embrace the Muslim Brotherhood, whose creed is to destroy America from within by our own miserable hands, and replace our Constitution with seventh century Shariah law? They have been able to penetrate all our national security and intelligence agencies. Consequently, they have had a major impact on our foreign and domestic policies as well as the way our military is restricted on fighting our wars.
It is not possible to list all of President Obama’s executive orders and policies that have imposed undue restraints on our military forces and first responders, but illustrative of those are the following:
The unilateral disarmament of our military forces. This makes no sense when we are being challenged throughout the world.
Compounding the unilateral disarmament issue is the social engineering that has been forced on our military to satisfy an ill-advised domestic agenda. It has adversely impacted the military’s moral fiber, unit cohesiveness, integrity and most importantly the “will to win.”
The purging of all our military training manuals that links Islam with terrorism. Our forces are being denied key information that properly defines the threat.
Emasculation of our military capabilities by imposing highly restricted Rules of Engagement. It makes our military look ineffective.
Curtailment of Christianity and its symbols in our military, e.g., restricting the display of the Bible.
Making our military forces in the Middle East either ignore or submit to the atrocities authorized by Shariah law, tribal customs and traditions, e.g. wife beating, stoning, sodomizing young boys.
Unfettered immigration with open borders, plus seeding Muslim immigrants throughout the country.
Shifting sides in the Global War on Terror by supporting al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood militias, and facilitating the removal of all vestiges of secular rulers who were in fact our allies in the war on terror.
When President Obama gave his June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University, co-hosted by Al-Azhar University, the center of Sunni doctrine for over 1,000 years, he stated, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” that said it all.
Again, when he spoke at the U.N. on Sept. 25, 2012, after the Benghazi tragedy and stated that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” — case closed. Andy McCarthy, author and National Review columnist, made a compelling case for Mr. Obama’s impeachment in his book, “Faithless Execution.”
Clearly, the president has exposed where he stands when the issue is Islam versus our Judeo-Christian heritage. Certainly, the case is there to be made for his removal from office for his illegal, unconstitutional and treasonous acts.
James A. Lyons, a U.S. Navy retired admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.
Legitimate Fears in US Over Da’esh Attacks Possibly Here Next
By Scott W. Winchell
John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and Bernie Sanders live in an alternate universe – it is no longer in doubt. If it were not so sad and dangerous, one would have to laugh.
Talk about delusional people, it’s time we re-examine that old r/K selection theory again to understand people who cannot face adversity with the words necessary, yet they spout inanities and scold us when we do not agree.
Why didn’t Kerry and/or Obama show up for the unity parade in Paris last winter after the Charlie Hebdo attack while Mr. Kerry did say that the attackers had “legitimacy” and then immediately realize he had to correct himself now? Why, because that was what you really meant, delusional:
“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that,” Kerry said. “There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, ‘Okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.’ This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate.” (Read the rest here at the Daily Caller.)
Benjamin Netanyahu showed up, and dared to march arm-in-arm despite very serious threats to his well-being, while we get our own President once again complaining about our Republican candidates and anyone who just wants to keep their families safe here while he is on foreign soil.
It is just amazing how Obama bad-mouths Americans for wanting to be safe when 53% indicated they do not want any refugees here after what happened. Embarrassing displays both – again. Are you watching the same planet we are Mr. Obama?
“Widows and children,” really Mr. Obama? Where was Kerry and Obama when Al Assad was barrel-bombing women and children, or gassing them with chlorine in Syria?
The worst thing is the manner in which Obama spoke in yesterday, his delivery, the facial expressions, body language – he is a very petty man, just embarrassing, and so reprehensible. He scolds a very large swath of his own countrymen, no wonder Josh Earnest and the White House were walking their statements back today.
Remember, this was followed up by the Russian admission that their plane was blown up in the air and Da’esh even showed us a similar version of the bomb they used in their Da’biq magazine.
What happens when a real bomb goes off on a plane in someone’s luggage over Kansas, or Ohio like it did over the Sinai? With TSA failing test after test, what’s to say another Sharm-el-Sheikh moment does not visit us here?
Da’esh has proven they can strike anywhere, are we next? Just now we learn that another video came out with threats to New York City and Las Vegas.
But Obama scolds us over the refusal of so many governors and American citizens for taking Syrian refugees in and Kerry says the attacks last January were legitimate. All while Sanders and Hillary can’t utter the words “Islamic Terror” in the Debate last Saturday night like Obama and Kerry.
What would the state of fears be if Da’esh or any terror group pulled off something as the busiest flying days approach next week or a football stadium has to be cleared on Thanksgiving Day or any other day on national television like what Germany had to do last night in Hannover? Will we be allowed to express our fears then?
America may have “bought crazy” in 2008 and 2012, but we ain’t buying anymore on this street corner – go sell crazy somewhere else Mr. Obama, Mr. Kerry, Mrs. Clinton, and Mr. Sanders.
It would be insane to accept refugees now so take your strawman arguments somewhere else as well – in our universe, our citizens’ safety comes first. We are just insulted and embarrassed.
White House on defense over Kerry, Obama comments on terror threat
The White House was on the defense Wednesday morning for statements made by President Obama — who labeled Friday’s Paris massacre that left 129 dead a “setback” — and Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that the terrorists who in January attacked Charlie Hebdo had a “rationale.”
Asked about the comments during a contentious interview on Fox News, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested too much attention was being paid to officials’ words.
“I would encourage you to spend just as much time focusing on the president’s actions as you do his words,” Earnest said on “Fox & Friends.”
Earnest noted that Obama, speaking in Turkey on Monday, also called the attacks “sickening.” Plus he said Obama called the French president to offer support — while strategizing with his own security advisers on the U.S. response.
Earnest said the president is consulting on “what sort of military steps we could take to ramp up our efforts inside of Syria and make sure we can support our French allies.”
But the words of both Obama and Kerry have stirred concerns about the gravity with which the administration is treating the threat.
Kerry discussed the Charlie Hebdo attack — an Al Qaeda affiliate attack against employees at a satirical publication that had published Prophet Muhammad cartoons — during remarks on Tuesday to U.S. Embassy employees in Paris.
He at first suggested there was “legitimacy” to those attacks but then corrected himself and said they had a “rationale.”
He said: “There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that.
There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.
This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people.”
Afterward, State Department spokesman John Kirby defended the secretary’s remarks.
The administration’s comments on the terror threat, though, have even started to draw some Democratic criticism.
After Obama said, in an interview shortly before Friday’s attacks, that ISIS is “contained,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told MSNBC that “ISIL is not contained.”
“Obama’s tone in addressing the Paris atrocity was all wrong,” he wrote. “At times he was patronizing, at other times he seemed annoyed and almost dismissive.
The president said, essentially, that he had considered all the options and decided that even a large-scale terrorist attack in the heart of a major European capital was not enough to make him reconsider his policy.”
Meanwhile, Earnest continued to defend the military strategy and stand by plans to bring Syrian refugees into the U.S.
“That is still the plan,” Earnest said of the refugee plan. “The reason for that is quite simple. The first thing that people should understand, refugees who are admitted to the United States undergo more rigorous screening than anybody else who tries to enter the country.
Typically, it takes between 18 and 24 months for people to be cleared. … These are the victims of ISIL. These are the victims of that terrible war inside of Syria.”
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