US to go it alone in Libya against ISIS?

GENERALS FEAR BENGHAZI 2 IN LIBYA

By F. Michael Maloof – WND

WASHINGTON – As Washington prepares to take “decisive military action” in Libya against the alarming growth of ISIS, retired generals have told G2 Bulletin they are concerned that the United States may go it alone, according to a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

They ask which allies, if any, will join a coalition and attempt to work with a Libyan government that barely exists.

The late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
The late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi

At a news conference last week, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. said the U.S. is “looking to take decisive military action” against ISIS in Libya and that a decision would be coming “in weeks” but “not hours.”

“It’s fair to say that we’re looking to take decisive military action against ISIS in conjunction with the political process” in Libya, Dunford said. “The president has made clear that we have the authority to use military force.”

ISIS is thought to have more than 3,000 fighters, with more flowing into Libya from Syria and Iraq, where the U.S., Russia and other countries have been carrying out intense airstrikes against the jihadist fighters.

Another ‘trillion-dollar failure’?

In October 2011, the U.S., France and Britain launched attacks that led to the overthrow of the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi. Since then, the country has not had a functional government. Warring factions of local jihadist groups are preoccupied fighting among themselves for dominance rather than taking on ISIS or coming together to form a government of national accord.

U.S. action in Libya, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney told G2Bulletin in an email, “is the last thing we need to do!”

“Why spend (a trillion dollars) for another COIN (counterinsurgency) failure?”

Retired U.S. Adm. James Lyons Jr., who served as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet from 1985-1987, told G2Bulletin that McInerney’s concern about the possibility of unilateral U.S. action is “Spot on!”

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely expressed similar concerns to G2Bulletin, concluding Dunford’s comments represent a military invasion by the Obama administration.

“I can’t even see Obama taking any offensive action anywhere like that,” Vallely said.

Vallely is chairman of the non-profit Stand Up America and the private Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, which is looking into the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.

He said that if there is to be any such military action, it needs to include Egypt, which bombed ISIS locations in Libya after the February 2015 beheading of some 21 Libyan Coptic Christians who were working in the country.

Vallely also thought the Russians could join, especially if asked by Egypt, since Moscow has just concluded a $2 billion military arms deal with Cairo that includes helicopters, fighter jets, Kornet anti-tank weapons, the anti-ballistic missile system Antey-2500 and the Buk-2 surface-to-air missile system.

Get the rest of this report, and others, at Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/01/generals-fear-benghazi-2-in-libya/#cg3TDbtqr1Rm6Guz.99

US Embassy in Jakarta Celebrates Independence Day in June

Editor’s Note – Once again, our government is catering to the most intolerant people on Earth. It has decided that this year, since Ramadan falls over the period of our Independence Day, July fourth, the US Embassy in Jakarta held its celebration a month early.

Since the Muslim world operates on a 354 day calendar, a cycle based on the moon, each year it backs up eleven days on our calendar. 2015 is also the year 1436 AH on the Hijra Calendar until October of this year. That calendar began in 622 AD.islamic-calender-520x245

Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar and begins with the hilal, the Arabic word for crescent or “new moon,” in the ninth month of each year.

But because the lunar cycle steadily moves backward compared to the Gregorian calendar, Ramadan falls earlier and earlier each year.

During the summer months, the days are much longer and hotter, making fasting more difficult. Late in the holy month, Muslims celebrate the Laylat al-Qadr, or Night of Power.

This is the anniversary of the night on which Allah first revealed the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad. While different traditions celebrate this night in the last 10 days of Ramadan, the 27th night is the most widely celebrated date, when the Koran says, “The grand night is better than a thousand months.”

Thank goodness this is not 1998, 1999, or 2000 or they would have had to postpone Christmas as well. In those three years, Ramadan coincided with December 25th. On second thought, though Christmas is a National Holiday, the likelihood that a Christmas party would be held in any government agency is remote at best.

What next, we have to change our calendar to suit the Muslim world? Tolerance of the intolerant. We wonder if they did the same thing last year because Ramadan began on June 29th; and then there is next year when it begins on June 7th.

US Embassy moves Fourth of July Celebration to June 4 ‘out of respect for Ramadan’

In a mind-boggling gesture of official US Government dhimmitude, the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia celebrated our sacred Independence Day holiday on June 4, so as to avoid any conflict with the month-long Ramadan celebration.

If you think any Islamic countries – there are 57 of them (not counting ISIS) that count themselves officially Islamic – will move their DC embassy’s celebration of Ramadan to accommodate our Independence holiday, I have some bridges to sell you.

The Jakarta Post (hat tips: Pamela Geller and Jihad Watch) writes:

“US Embassy celebrates 4th of July earlier out of respect for Ramadhan,” by Dylan Amirio

The United States Embassy enjoyed its annual 4th of July celebration on Thursday, June 4, one month early, in order to respect the upcoming Ramadhan month, which will begin on June 17 and last for one month.

JakartaEmbassy
Embassy staff present on the Innovative and Sustainable Design of the New U.S. Embassy Jakarta

US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert O. Blake and US Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian presided over the festivities, which involved brass band renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner and the Indonesian national anthem, Indonesia Raya.

Blake explained that the theme of the event leaned toward “green” development, which supported the US’ focus on building and promoting a green economy and more environmentally sustainable development.

He also praised Indonesia’s performance as a fully functioning democracy, aiming for further collaboration between the two countries in the years to come.

“The US will continue to support Indonesia in the future through its democratic achievements. Democracy is an American value which we have championed since [the country’s birth in] 1776,” Blake told the crowd during the festivities at his residence near Taman Suropati, Central Jakarta, on Thursday.

He added that moving the 4th of July celebrations to June 4 was one done out of respect for the upcoming Ramadhan month, which will last from June 17 to July 17.

The event also showcased a number of American products and businesses, including the Zero FX Electric Motorcycles, which Blake explained were an environmentally friendly vehicle used by the California Highway Patrol.

Officially, embassies are the national territory of the country being represented, not of the host country. So there is no need to accommodate local sensibilities in celebrating our most sacred national holiday. Perhaps the pipe dream of peddling electric motorcycles to one of the world’s biggest petroleum exporters that happens to have a pretty large conventional motorcycle industry of its own took precedence over our national dignity?

It is a bedrock of Islamic scripture that infidels must bow down in submission to Islam and Muslims, being tolerated so long as they endure humiliations and pay a special tax. Muslims have no obligations at all to infidels, which is why you will never see [any] counterpart to the submission just demonstrated by the US Embassy in Jakarta.

This is a moment of national dhimmitude and deep shame. I hope someone will ask Marie Harf to explain if any Muslim countries plan on moving their embassy’s Ramadan celebrations to accommodate our Independence Day. That would allow for some great Harfing.

Saudi King Spurns Summit, US Before US Human Rights Body

Editor’s Note – The ‘chickens are coming home to roost’ because of the collective failures of the Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy failures. Putin is flexing Russia’s muscles and he is now cozy with China, and the entire Middle East is in complete disarray.

Perhaps an example of how bad it is, now the Obama Administration is laying prostrate before the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the new Saudi king has spurned Obama’s invitation to attend the big Camp David Summit with Arab Leaders and a one-on-one with Obama himself:

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, escort President Barack Obama to his meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 28, 2014. Rawdat Khuraim is a green oasis located 62 miles northwest of the capital city of Riyadh and King Abdullah's private desert encampment is located within Rawdat Khuraim. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, escort President Barack Obama to his meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia. The meeting did not happen.

In a statement, al-Jubeir said the summit Thursday coincides with a humanitarian cease-fire in the conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Shiite rebels known as Houthis. He said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also interior minister, would lead the Saudi delegation and the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is defense minister, will also attend.

President Barack Obama had planned to meet Salman one-on-one a day before the gathering of leaders at the presidential retreat but the White House did not take his decision to skip the summit as a sign of any substantial disagreement with the U.S.

The king, who took power in January after his brother King Abdullah died, has not traveled abroad since his ascension to the throne.

At the summit, leaders of Gulf nations will be looking for assurance that Obama has their support when the region feels under siege from Islamic extremists and Syria, Iraq and Yemen are in various states of chaos. Arab allies also feel threatened by Iran’s rising influence and worry the nuclear pact taking shape with the U.S., Iran and other nations may embolden Tehran to intrude more aggressively in countries of the region. (From the AP in Riyadh.)

The excuse sounds valid, but the King could be much more productive for his country and the Yemen/Iran issues by attending the summit – so the excuse to us is basically a snub; an insult! This is not the first time King Salman spurned Obama. Back in March when Obama was in Saudi Arabia, a meeting was supposed to be held on the 28th; it never happened.

The bigger insult, among many others, is having to explain our ‘policing’ issues here in the USA to the U.N. human rights body. When we see who sits in that body, the insult grows ever larger. Recently a statement about how best to hide your human rights abuses is to sit on that body. Hide in plain sight.

This is also the second time the US has been reviewed since 2010 – during the tenure of the man who had the best position in US history to advance race relations in this country. Instead, it is now ‘open season’ on our police, Guantanamo is still open, and Obama still bows everywhere. Embarrassing!

US Defends Record Before Top UN Human Rights Body

BY GEIR MOULSON – ASSOCIATED PRESS, Berlin, Germany

The United States heard widespread concern Monday over excessive use of force by law-enforcement officials against minorities as it faced the U.N.’s main human rights body for a review of its record.

Washington also faced calls to work toward abolishing the death penalty, push ahead with closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center and ensure effective safeguards against abuses of Internet surveillance. Its appearance before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva is the second review of the U.S. rights record, following the first in 2010.

AP Photo/Alexander ZemlianichenkoRussian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping watching the Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe.
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko – Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping watching the Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe.

A string of countries ranging from Malaysia to Mexico pressed the U.S. to redouble efforts to prevent police using excessive force against minorities.

“We must rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our civil-rights laws live up to their promise,” Justice Department official James Cadogan told delegates, adding that that is particularly important in the area of police practices and pointing to recent high-profile cases of officers killing unarmed black residents.

“These events challenge us to do better and to work harder for progress through both dialogue and action,” he said at the session’s opening. He added that the government has the authority to prosecute officials who “wilfully use excessive force,” and that criminal charges have been brought against more than 400 law-enforcement officials in the past six years.

Several countries, including Brazil and Kenya, voiced concern over the extent of U.S. surveillance in the light of reports about the National Security Agency’s activities.

David Bitkower, a deputy assistant attorney general, responded that “U.S. intelligence collection programs and activities are subject to stringent and multilayered oversight mechanisms.” He added that the country doesn’t collect intelligence to suppress dissent or to give U.S. businesses a competitive advantage, and that there is “extensive and effective oversight to prevent abuse.”

Faced with widespread calls for a moratorium on executions and a move to scrap the death penalty, Bitkower noted that it is an issue of “extensive debate and controversy” within the U.S. He pointed to “heightened procedural safeguards” for defendants prosecuted for capital offenses.

Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, the legal counsel to the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, told the council that President Barack Obama has said closing Guantanamo – in which he has been thwarted by Congress – is “a national imperative.” The remaining detainees are detained lawfully, he said.

The so-called Universal Periodic Reviews of U.N. member nations’ human rights records started in 2008. Each country’s record is reviewed roughly every four years.

Terror in Texas – Attack on Free Speech, FBI Knew Suspect

Editor’s Note – Once again, Jihadist types escaped previous law enforcement efforts because our laws, as interpreted by a judge gave sanctuary to would-be terror assassins to later wreak havoc in the name of Allah. Two suspects are dead Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson, both Jihadi sympathisers and would be members of terror groups of ISIS and Boko Haram.

It is terribly ironic that violence in the name of their prophet and in support of Allah is allowed, yet drawing or depicting Muhammad or his successors in any manner is forbidden for all. This defines the so-called ‘Religion of Peace,’ which truly is neither, as the barbaric cancer on society the world is finally coming to understand.

Islam does NOT mean peace, it means submission; have no doubt therefore what their true intentions are and have always been. You must submit to their barbaric, stone-age mind set in their belief system and you have no rights other than what Shariah laws mandate.

The problem is, over these past many years, as politicians invited so many from Muslim lands to live here in America, and the lure of being “Jihad Cool” is overtaking the minds of many of our youth, no one is safe anywhere, anymore, in America from these types. The frequency of these types of terror will only rise, as will the death toll and blood letting.

Our hats are tipped to the Garland, Texas police for anticipating such acts and prevented what could have been far worse than what happened in Paris to the ‘Charlie Hebdos’ staff and the other terror events in recent months in European cities.

Our first amendment right to the freedom of speech trumps any religion, and those who question Pam Geller and the event organizers should be ashamed of themselves.

The Daily Mail of the UK has done a great job of capturing the many aspects of last night’s tragic attack, but the real tragedy is willful blindness to Islam, even by so-called moderates, here in the west.

What next; Christian churches burned, Synagogues torched, or non-Muslim religious classes attacked? That is the logical next step for people like these terrorists because that is exactly what is happening outside our borders.

Attacks in Canada, France, Libya, Australia, Egypt, Israel… the list goes on and on – it is going to get much worse. We applaud Pam Geller and Geert Wilders and others for standing up for us all; now it is time for all non-Muslims to stand beside then!

Former terror suspect well known to the FBI is named as one of two gunmen shot dead by cops after attack on anti-Islam ‘draw Muhammad’ art contest near Dallas

  • Two suspects were gunned down after shooting a guard in the leg outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland
  • The FBI has named one of the gunmen as Elton Simpson, who was convicted of lying to federal agents about traveling to Africa five years ago – but a judge ruled it could not be proved that he was going to join a terror group
  • Simpson’s Phoenix, Arizona home has been surrounded and a bomb squad is carrying out a search 
  • The American Freedom Defense Initiative event had offered a $10,000 prize for the best caricature of the prophet; local residents had expressed their concerns about the event but organizers said they were exercising free speech
  • The security guard who was shot, Bruce Joiner, was taken to hospital in stable condition and has been released 
  • One traffic officer shot both men dead and has been praised by cops for potentially saving many lives 
  • ISIS fighter claimed on Twitter that the shooting was carried out by two pro-ISIS individuals 

By Wills Robinson and Ted Thornhill and Lydia Warren For Dailymail.com

A former terror suspect has been named as one of the gunmen shot dead by police after the two attackers blasted an unarmed security guard in the ankle during an anti-Islam art contest in Texas on Sunday night.

Elton Simpson, who was previously the subject of a terror investigation, and his roommate were armed with assault rifles when they were killed by a quick-thinking traffic officer after opening fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Dallas, at around 7pm.

The shooting unfolded as the American Freedom Defense Initiative held an event inside the building where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were being displayed. Followers of Islam deem that any physical depiction of the prophet – even a positive one – is blasphemous.

Simpson, identified in court papers as an American Muslim, had been convicted of lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Somalia five years ago, but a judge ultimately ruled it could not be proved that he was heading there to join a terror group. He was placed on probation.

The second gunman has not been named but KPNX-TV reported that the two shared an apartment at the Autumn Ridge complex in Phoenix.

On Monday morning, FBI agents and investigators could be seen cordoning off and searching the apartment, as well as a white van believed to belong to Simpson. Investigators are also reviewing computer records from materials found at the home.

Investigators also searched the car that the two gunmen drove to the scene and found luggage and further ammunition inside. Some of the belongings were destroyed as a precaution but no explosives were found inside the vehicle, Garland Police Officer Joe Harn said on Monday.

On Monday, Simpson’s father said that he believes his son, who had worked in a dentist’s office, ‘made a bad choice’.

‘We are Americans and we believe in America,’ Dunston Simpson told ABC News. ‘What my son did reflects very badly on my family.’

Ahead of the attack on Sunday evening, several Twitter messages were sent out, and authorities believe Simpson was behind them. The last one was shared just half an hour before the shooting.

Followers of ISIS had been calling for an attack online for more than a week after learning that the competition in Garland would feature a ‘draw Muhammad’ art contest, with a prize of $10,000 for the best caricature.

After the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group reported that an Islamic State fighter claimed on Twitter that the shooting was carried out by two pro-Isis individuals.

In a series of tweets and links, a jihadist named as Abu Hussain AlBritani, which SITE said was British IS fighter Junaid Hussain, claimed that ‘2 of our brothers just opened fire’ at the Prophet Muhammad exhibition in Texas.

‘They Thought They Was Safe In Texas From The Soldiers of The Islamic State,’ added the tweet.

Other ISIS supporters claimed on Twitter that one of the gunmen was a man calling himself Shariah Is Light on the social media site, using the now-suspended account name @atawaakul, according to New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi.

He had posted a message earlier that said ‘the bro with me and myself have given bay’ah [oath] to Amirul Mu’mineen [ISIS leader Al Baghdadi]. May Allah accept us as mujahideen #texasattack’.

The contest was just minutes from finishing when multiple gunshots were heard.

The two suspects had pulled up in a vehicle before getting out and firing at a security officer, 57-year-old Bruce Joiner, who was employed by the independent school district. He was later taken to hospital in a stable condition and was released on Sunday evening.

As the gunmen got out of their car with their weapons, one police officer – a tenured traffic cop – shot both men dead, Garland Police officer Joe Harn said at a press conference on Monday. The officer used his service pistol to shoot the men, who were carrying assault weapons.

‘With what he was faced with and his reaction and his shooting with a pistol, he did a good job,’ Harn said of the officer.

‘He did what he was trained to do, and under the fire that he was put under, he did a very good job and probably saved lives. We think their strategy was to get into the events center and they were not able to get past that outer perimeter.’

Randy Potts, a contributor for The Daily Beast, recalled how he was watching the speeches wrap up when a man wearing camouflage shouted: ‘Get inside the conference room now!’

‘The room was oddly quiet,’ he said. ‘A hush fell over the crowd of about 150, as if we were listening for something outside. Then a camo-clad security guard with a rifle got up on stage and announced that a cop and two suspects had been shot.’

He described how security surrounding the event was evident even as he drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center. The parking lot was surrounded by yellow tape and his ID was checked twice before he was allowed to enter.

Johnny Roby of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, had also been attending the conference. He said he was outside the building when he heard around 20 shots that appeared to be coming from the direction of a passing car.

Roby said he then heard two single shots before officers yelled that they had the car before he was sent inside the building.

The building, which had about 100 people inside, and surrounding areas were placed on lockdown by SWAT teams.

FBI bomb squad robots were then sent in to check the suspects’ vehicle, as the two bodies of the gunmen lay on the road beside it. The bodies were not immediately taken from the scene because they were too close to the car, which police feared had incendiary devices inside.

Shortly before midnight, police alerted media that a strong electronic pulse would be activated near the scene, presumably as part of the bomb squad’s work, and a loud boom was heard moments later, though police did not comment further on what was carried out.

The art event had been condemned by critics as an attack on Islam, but the organizers insisted they were exercising free speech.

Some Twitter users began posting about the shooting using a #JeSuisGarland hashtag, mirroring the #JesuisCharlie hashtag that became popular after January’s jihadist attacks in France. In that incident, gunmen killed 12 people in the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in revenge for its cartoons of the prophet.

After the gunfire in Garland, those inside the building started to sing patriotic songs, including the national anthem and God Bless America, and said a prayer for the injured security guard after one woman pulled out an American flag from her bag.

Garland Police officer Joe Harn said on Sunday evening they had been monitoring the build-up to the event and had not received any credible threats.

During a press conference, he described how the shootout lasted only seconds. A large area around the Center remained blocked off late into the night.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the incident as a ‘senseless attack’ and praised the ‘swift action’ of Garland law enforcement.

The attack unfolded shortly after Dutch member of parliament and leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, had delivered his keynote speech. There had been calls by members of Congress for him to be stopped at the border so he would not be able to speak.

‘We are here in defiance of Islam to stand for our rights and freedom of speech,’ he said during his speech shortly before the building was shut down. ‘That is our duty… Our message today is very simple: we will never allow barbarism, never allow Islam, to rob us of our freedom of speech.’

His remarks were met with a standing ovation. He then told the audience that most terrorists are Muslims, and ‘the less Islam the better’.

In 2009, he sparked controversy for showing a controversial film which linked the Koran to terrorism and has previously said the Netherlands is being taken over by a ‘tsunami of Islamisation’.

Pamela Geller, the organizer of the event and the leader of Stop Islamisation of America, wrote on her personal website after the attack: ‘This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?’

In a post in late March, she insisted that the event was necessary to fight back against what she described as ‘the jihad against freedom’.

It was set up by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and had been described by opponents as an attack on Islam. They booked the center a little more than a week after Islamic militants in France killed 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The Garland Independent School district, who own the cultural center, allowed the event to go ahead despite criticism from residents and local Muslims that it was a risk to public safety.

The group spent $10,000 on 40 additional security officers, aware of potential threats they may attract, while Garland Police officers were fully prepared to deal with any issues that arose.

Before the event, the New York-based organisation made the headlines for its sponsorship of anti-Islamic adverts which it paid to run on transit systems in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and San Francisco.

A picture taken from inside the event just before the attack showed Geller giving a check for $12,500 to Bosch Fawtin who won the event.

He told the Dallas Morning News he believed there would be no danger because of the high levels of security surrounding the event.

‘I had known it would be secure, but seeing it is a whole new thing,’ he said before the shootings.

Locals in Garland said they were upset with the exhibit being held in their town, and tried to convince the city council to intervene.

One resident, Dorothy Brooks, said that the event was like shouting ‘fire!’ in a theater – an oft-cited example of freedom of speech taken too far.

She continued: ‘I understand that participants have a right to express themselves with cartoons, but I regret that this will be happening in our city.’

Another, Lena Griffin, asked at a city council meeting: ‘Do we want to be involved with this type of rhetoric?’ It is not an issue of free speech but clearly one of public safety.’

The event had already been the subject of disapproval from further afield, according to ForeignPolicy.com.

The site obtained a letter from congressmen Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and André Carson (D-Indiana) sent to John Kerry and Homeland Security asking them to bar a speaker for the event from entering the United States.

Caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed have triggered violent protests in the past, including when the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published 12 satirical cartoons in 2005, triggering deadly protests in some Muslim countries.

In January, just weeks after the Paris attacks, an event called Stand with the Prophet was held in the same center. Muslim leaders from across the world gathered to try and combat ‘Islamophobes in America’ who had turned Muhammad into an ‘object of hate’.

Geller spearheaded about 1,000 picketers at the event. One chanted: ‘Go back to your own countries! We don’t want you here!’ Others held signs with messages such as, ‘Insult those who behead others,’ an apparent reference to recent beheadings by the militant group Islamic State.

Mr Abbott said state officials are investigating, and Dallas FBI spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont said that the agency is providing investigative and bomb technician assistance.

The Charlie Hebdo attack was followed by another a month later in Europe. A masked gunman sprayed bullets into a Copenhagen meeting in February attended by a Swedish artist who had been threatened with death for his cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

A civilian was killed and three police officers were injured in the attack, aimed at artist Lars Vilks, who stirred controversy in 2007 with published drawings depicting the Prophet Mohammad as a dog.

Denmark itself became a target 10 years ago after the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad. The images led to sometimes fatal protests in the Muslim world.


CONTROVERSIAL CARICATURES: WHY DEPICTING THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD IS BANNED BY MUSLIMS 

It’s not mentioned in Islam’s holy book, the Quran, but the religion’s ban on depicting the Prophet Muhammad — even favorably — has run firm through the centuries.

Religious traditions built over the years have prohibited such depictions out of respect for Muhammad and to discourage idolatry, according to Muslim scholars and clerics. The ban is further rooted in a wider prohibition against images or statues of human beings.

There have been exceptions. A rich tradition of depicting Muhammad emerged in miniatures and illustrations for manuscripts from around 1200 to 1700. The art is mainly from Turkey and Iran, where pictorial traditions were stronger than in the Arab world. The paintings often show traditional stories from Muhammad’s life, such as his journey to heaven, though in some the prophet’s face is obscured by a veil or a plume of flame.

Shiites also differ from Sunnis by depicting Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali, revered by Shiites who see him as the prophet’s rightful successor. His image — and those of his sons Hassan and Hussein — are plentiful among Shiites, adorning posters, banners, jewelry and even keychains. For Sunnis, the ban on depictions extends beyond the prophet to his close companions and wives.

‘The Prophet Muhammad enjoys sublime and supreme status among Muslims and it is impossible to let a normal person depict or act the role of the prophet,’ said Iraqi Shiite cleric Fadhil al-Saadi. ‘There is no confirmed information about the shape or the features of the Prophet … So nobody should come up with a painting or an image of him. That would represent an insult to the status of the prophet.’

With no explicit text against depictions — or against images of humans in general — the prohibition comes from deduction by Muslim scholars and interpreters over the centuries from the collections of Hadeeth, or sayings and actions of Muhammad.

The prohibition against depicting humans and other living beings, which emerged from scholars as early as the 9th century, came from reported sayings of Muhammad, in some of which he refused to enter a room with such depictions or challenged their creators to breathe life into them. The presumption was that such art would suggest man can emulate God’s powers of creation — and there were worries that statues in particular could encourage idolatry.

Islamic tradition is full of written descriptions of Muhammad and his qualities — describing him as the ideal human being. But clerics have generally agreed that trying to depict that ideal is forbidden. That puts satirical — and obscene — depictions like those in the French magazing Charlie Hebdo far beyond the pale.

While no one knows Muhammad’s true appearance, followers of the relatively modern, ultraconservative Salafi movement in Islam seek to emulate him as closely as possible — including in what they believe to be his physical features and dress. Hardcore Salafis wear a beard without a moustache, let their hair grow long, line their eyes with kohl or wear robes stopping around mid-shin, contending that was the prophet’s manner.

The ban also extends to his wives, daughters, sons-in-law, the first caliphs who succeeded him and his closest companions. In fact, Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque, the Sunni world’s foremost seat of religious learning, has complained when ‘Mohammed, Messenger of God,’ an epic 1970s Hollywood production, depicted the prophet’s camel.

There is a thriving production of religious TV series in the Arab world depicting the times of the prophet. But Muhammad and his companions are never themselves shown. At times, a white light stands in for Muhammad in the films or in movie posters — and when they are meant to be addressing Muhammad, the actors usually speak into the camera.


TAPES OF A TERROR SUSPECT: RECORDINGS SHOW SIMPSON’S INTENTIONS TO WAGE A WAR

Elton Simpson was well known to the FBI. In 2010, he was convicted of lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Somalia – although a judge ultimately ruled it could not be proved that he was heading there to join a terror group.

During the investigation, an FBI informant recorded their conversations, which showed Simpson talking about his intentions to fight for the Muslim way of life.

Court documents state: ‘Mr. Simpson said that the reward is high because “If you get shot, or you get killed, it’s [heaven] straight away”…. “[Heaven] that’s what we here for…so why not take that route?”‘

He added that in countries, such as Palestine, Iraq and Somalia, ‘they trying to bring democracy over there man, they’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not by Allah’s laws’.

He went on: ‘That’s why they get fought. You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.’

In a recording from 2009, he told the informant that it was time they went to Somalia.

‘It’s time,’ he said. ‘I’m tellin’ you man. We gonna make it to the battlefield… It’s time to roll…

‘People fighting and killing your kids, and dropping bombs on people that have nothing to do with nothing. You got to fight back you can’t be just sitting down… smiling at each other…’

Senate To Probe Possible Obama Intrusion Of Israeli Election

Editor’s Note – With the election in Israel due this week; with Netanyahu facing a vote that seems to have turned from his favor, were the efforts by “One Voice” and associated groups successful in their efforts to unseat Netanyahu?

We will find out, but right now some in the Senate think so and they want to know if American tax dollars were used to sway the election in israel and if Obama is culpable if so:

Source: Senate panel probing ‎possible Obama administration ties to anti-Netanyahu effort

By  – Fox News

A powerful U.S. Senate investigatory committee has launched a bipartisan probe into an American nonprofit’s funding of efforts to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Obama administration’s State Department gave the nonprofit taxpayer-funded grants, a source with knowledge of the panel’s activities told FoxNews.com.

The fact that both Democratic and Republican sides of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations have signed off on the probe could be seen as a rebuke to President Obama, who has had a well-documented adversarial relationship with the Israeli leader.

The development comes as Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel Two television station this week that there were “governments” that wanted to help with the “Just Not Bibi” campaigning — Bibi being the Israeli leader’s nickname.

OneVoice.Palestine

It also follows a FoxNews.com report on claims the Obama administration has been meddling in the Israeli election on behalf of groups hostile to Netanyahu. A spokesperson for Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican and chairman of the committee, declined comment, and aides to ranking Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, did not immediately return calls.

The Senate subcommittee, which has subpoena power, is the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ chief investigative body with jurisdiction over all branches of government operations and compliance with laws.

“The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations does not comment on ongoing investigations,” Portman spokeswoman Caitlin Conant told Foxnews.com.

But a source familiar with the matter confirmed for FoxNews.com that the probe — undisclosed until now — was both underway and bipartisan in nature.

According to the source, the probe is looking into “funding” by OneVoice Movement – a Washington-based group that has received $350,000 in recent State Department grants, and until last November was headed by a veteran diplomat from the Clinton administrations.

A subsidiary of OneVoice is the Israel-based Victory 15 campaign, itself guided by top operatives of Obama’s White House runs, which seeks to “replace the government” of Israel.netanyahu_obama

“It’s confirmed that there is a bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee inquiry into OneVoice’s funding of V15,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity about the American group, which bills itself as working for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his television interview, Netanyahu said the coalition seeking to oust him is generously funded by foreign donors who are also encouraging a high voter turnout among Israel’s Arab and left-wing voters in a bid to replace the existing leadership.

He characterized the campaign against him as “unprecedented.” While Netanyahu pointed the finger at “European countries and left-wing people abroad,” some observers note that he held back from openly criticizing Obama during his recent trip to the U.S. to address Congress on problems his government sees with administration-backed efforts to reach a nuclear weapons inspection deal with Iran.

“We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel,” Netanyahu told lawmakers — while Obama refused to meet with the Israeli leader, and later criticized his speech as “nothing new.”

No direct link has been confirmed between Obama and the anti-Netanyahu campaign in Israel, but polls have shown that a large majority of Israelis believe the administration has been interfering in the election, set for March 17.

One expert told FoxNews.com earlier this month the State Department grants constituted indirect administration funding of the anti-Netanyahu campaign by providing OneVoice with the $350,000 — even though State Department officials said the funding stopped in November, ahead of the announcement of the Israeli election.

Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of NGO Monitor, which tracks money flows to unmask non-governmental organizations that deviate from their stated human rights or humanitarian agendas, said even ostensibly unrelated grants keep an organization going during periods it is not engaged in political activity.

Indeed, by January, OneVoice – whose focus on Israel’s 1967 borders as a negotiating starting point reflects Obama’s thinking but is counter to Netanyahu’s – had announced its partnership with V15.

Around the same time, Jeremy Bird, who served as Obama’s deputy national campaign director in 2008, and his national campaign director in 2012, arrived in Israel to help direct V15. Bird took with him additional former Obama campaign operatives to help V15 achieve its goal of knocking on one million doors to make the case for a change in Israel’s leadership.

OneVoice is barred from directly targeting Netanyahu by U.S. law regulating its tax-exempt status, and doing so would threaten that status.

One Voice spokesman Payton Knox denied claims the group is working with the administration in the upcoming Israeli election.

“OneVoice is eager to cooperate with any inquiry,” he said Saturday. “And after a fair examination, we are confident no wrong doing will be found.”

But the recent FoxNews.com investigation showed that the nonprofit, in its 2014 Annual Report, said its Israel branch would be “embarking on a groundbreaking campaign around the Israeli elections.” In partnering with V15, the two groups have operated from adjacent offices in Tel Aviv.

In addition to McCaskill, other Democrats on the subcommittee are Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Republican subcommittee members, who form the majority, are Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, in addition to Portman.

State Department documents say the grants to OneVoice were meant for the group’s work in encouraging both Palestinian grass-roots civic activism and Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The State Department itself, meanwhile, denied any of the funds had been used for election campaign activities despite OneVoice’s backing of V15.

Launched in 2002 by snack bar mogul Daniel Lubetzky and boasting the star power of such celebrities as Brad Pitt, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman and Sir Paul McCartney among its honorary advisors, OneVoice was headed until November by Marc Ginsberg, who advised President Carter on Middle East policy and served as President Clinton’s ambassador to Morocco.

Ginsberg, who has described the administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “window of opportunity,” is now serving OneVoice as “special advisor” after resigning as CEO at a time that turned out to be just ahead of the early December announcement of the Israeli election.

“I resigned on November 11, 2014, because I had only committed to serve as CEO for one year and my resignation was effective December 19, 2014,” he wrote in an email to FoxNews.com. “I agreed to be available after that as a Senior Adviser on an occasional basis to the organization…along with many others, but have had ZERO decision-making authority over personnel, budgets, programs, etc. That responsibility was transferred to the Executive Director of the OneVoice Europe organization after I resigned.”