Al-Qaeda in Iraq Returns with a Vengeance

Frank Crimi in FrontPage Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), is making a viscous return to terror prominence as it launches a bloody offensive against the Iraqi government, joins the fight in Syria, and threatens to commit terrorist strikes inside the United States. In a recording posted July 22 on a jihadist website, the ISI announced its official return atop the terrorist totem pole when it unveiled its new strategic terror plan, “Destroying the Walls,” one whose overarching aim is to reestablish the group’s power in Iraq by retaking the territory it had lost during the war. To achieve that end, ISI leader Abu Bakr El-Baghdadi promised a violent campaign against the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government, one focused on bombing military installations and police posts, assassinating Iraqi judges and prosecutors, and breaking Islamist prisoners out of Iraqi jails The following day, the promised jihadist blitzkrieg began in earnest as the ISI launched a coordinated series of roadside and car bomb attacks in 19 cities throughout Iraq, a deadly assault which killed over 110 people and wounded more than

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Islamists vs. the Quest to Eradicate Polio

Frank Crimi in FrontPage The Pakistani Taliban has banned UN health workers from administering polio vaccine to almost 250,000 children living in South and North Waziristan, the Taliban-controlled region along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Despite the near eradication of polio worldwide — having been reduced from over 350,000 cases in 1988 to less than 700 in 2011 — Pakistan remains one of three countries, where the disease still remains endemic. Yet, when the government of Pakistan recently launched a national three-day polio vaccination campaign targeting 34 million Pakistani children, its efforts to reach a quarter million children living in South and North Waziristan were rebuffed by the Taliban. According to Taliban leaders, the UN vaccinators from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF were really not health workers on a mission to protect vulnerable children from the dreaded viral disease, but rather US spies trying to locate new Taliban targets for American drone strikes. Despite the absurdity of that charge, it should be noted that the Taliban view of vaccination campaigns of any kind had become somewhat jaundiced after it learned the United States

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Fleeing Public Schools

Frank Crimi in FrontPage Sharply declining enrollment in half the nation’s largest public school districts spells bad news for the union-dominated monopoly of government-run public schools. School districts in longtime economically stagnant cities like Detroit and Cleveland hemorrhaged the most students, losing 32.1 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively. However, economic stagnation is but one of many reasons for declining student enrollment; factors that also include the collapse of the housing market, declining birthrates, migration from the cities, and increased school violence. In that latter case, for example, Philadelphia, which saw a 10.2 percent drop in enrollment, reported that over the past five years in Philadelphia’s 268 public schools, 4,000 students, teachers, or other staff members were “beaten, robbed, sexually assaulted, or victims of other violent crimes.” In Chicago Public Schools, twenty-four students were fatally shot during the 2011-12 school year, with the overall shooting toll at 319, the highest in four years and a nearly 22 percent increase from the previous school year. Yet, for some school districts, the most compelling reason for student flight was increased competition from charter

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Illegal Aliens Get Their Wings

Frank Crimi in FrontPage A new report by the Government Accountability Office shows that eleven years after 9/11, the US government is allowing illegal foreign nationals to train at American flight schools. The GAO’s findings were delivered before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security in a hearing that focused on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) inability to thoroughly screen potential foreign security threats from receiving flight training at American schools. In particular, the security failure was laid at the doorstep of the TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP), a screening program created after 9/11 for non-citizens or permanent residents attempting to enroll at American flight schools. To that end, foreign applicants undergo a “security threat assessment” to determine whether they pose a known or suspected threat to “transportation or national security; airline or passenger security; or civil aviation security.” Once applicants are cleared for flight training by AFSP, they can then obtain a pilot’s license or certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration, which relies on the TSA for conducting criminal and immigration background checks on foreign national student

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Border Patrol’s New “Run-and-Hide” Strategy

Frank Crimi in FrontPage Now in a case of life imitating comedic art, the Obama administration is instructing Border Patrol agents to “run away and hide” when confronted by an “active shooter,” an armed individual opening fire in public places. The new “run-and-hide” directive for agents in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the form of a mandatory computer training course on the proper protocol to be used when confronted by active shooters. That appropriate conduct, outlined in an hour-long video entitled “IS-907- Active Shooter: What You Can Do,” consists of three specific options available to Border Patrol agents: Evacuate, Hide Out, and, if that fails, Take Action. Unfortunately, the DHS definition of “taking action,” according to Border Patrol union officials, is to “act aggressively and throw things at the shooter,” a plan that could prove unworkable given that the DHS did not specify what thrown objects would prove adequate in stopping a hail of gunfire. Nevertheless, if the gunman is not subdued by an avalanche of tossed shoes, belts,

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The Unending War on Afghan Women

Frank Crimi in FrontPage The “honor beheading” of an Afghan woman and her two children is but the latest act of barbarism in the escalating and seemingly never-ending violence being levied upon Afghanistan’s women and girls. The latest victims of the Afghan war on women were a 30-year-old woman named Serata and her eight-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter, all of whom had their heads cleaved from their bodies by Serata’s divorced husband, Mohammad Arif. While Serata appeared to be the sole target of Arif’s revenge, according to Afghan police, after her children saw their father burst into their home in Ghazni province and “take their mother’s head off, he killed them too.” Serata and her children’s horrific deaths were prompted because she had apparently “dishonored” Arif’s familial reputation by divorcing him last year after suffering through a decade of abuse, a stain so great that it necessitated Arif’s act of bloody vengeance. Sadly, this horrific crime appears to be only the latest in a rapidly growing wave of “honor killings” plaguing Afghan women and girls, a swell that saw 17

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The Jihadi Threat Within

Frank Crimi in FrontPage The FBI’s investigation of over 100 suspected Islamists serving within the US military highlights the growing threat these undercover jihadists pose to American troops, their families and their military communities. The FBI’s investigation of over 100 suspected Islamists serving within the US military highlights the growing threat these undercover jihadists pose to American troops, their families and their military communities. That growing Islamist danger, according to the FBI, comes from an array of active and reserve military personnel as well as individuals who have work or dependent access to military facilities, such as family members and civilian employees. Moreover, of the 100 investigative cases, the FBI disclosed that a dozen of them are grave enough to be deemed “insider threats,” which it defines as someone planning a terrorist attack on a military base or is in contact with outside individuals who are exhorting them to wage jihad. The news of the FBI investigations, which has only now become public, was first revealed in a closed session of a House-Senate Committee hearing in December 2011, a hearing that

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