May 07 2010

Something’s Wrong Inside Obama Administration Concerning Terrorist Bombings

Updates Below

As we learn more and more about Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square Bomber who is also a naturalized American citizen, we also are seeing signs that something is going horribly wrong inside the classified halls of the Obama administration’s war on terrorists. As I noted in previous posts, news reports that emerged since the Ft Hood bombing and Christmas Day bombing attempt late least year show a pattern that indicates AG Holder (presumably with the backing of the President) began to roll back surveillance of suspects with potential terrorist ties. It was part and parcel of the debate to close GITMO and focus our national security efforts only on certain regions and people with established ties to terrorist groups. New leads were to be treated differently, and Bush era investigations were to be shut down.

The term ‘lone wolf’ was created to indicate the new rules for triggering surveillance, with higher levels of firm evidence required beyond simple communications. These would be applied to new suspects who wandered into the surveillance nets – those that stayed up. And American citizens appear to be designated off limits from any scrutiny – bringing us back to the barriers that allowed the 9-11 high jackers free reign once inside our borders.

The nexus of the last three attacks (Ft Hood, Christmas Day bomber and now Times Square bomber) appears to be American citizen turned traitor Anwar al Aulaqi. As the NY Times notes today, he is the common ‘red dot’ connecting all three incidents:

It is no surprise to counterterrorism officials to find that an accused terrorist had been influenced by Mr. Awlaki, 39, now hiding in Yemen, who has emerged as perhaps the most prominent English-speaking advocate of violent jihad against the United States.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration took the extraordinary step of authorizing the killing of Mr. Awlaki, making him the first American citizen on the Central Intelligence Agency’s hit list.

Mr. Awlaki’s English-language online lectures and writings have turned up in more than a dozen terrorism investigations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, counterterrorism experts have said. And in two recent United States cases, Mr. Awlaki communicated directly with the accused perpetrator.

Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, exchanged about 18 e-mail messages with Mr. Awlaki in the year before the shootings, asking among other things whether it would be permissible under Islam to kill American soldiers preparing to fight in Afghanistan. After the shootings, Mr. Awlaki praised Major Hasan as “a hero” on his Web site, which was taken offline by the Internet host company shortly after the posting.

In addition, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic airliner on Christmas Day, is believed to have met Mr. Awlaki during his training by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

It is unclear whether Mr. Shahzad ever directly communicated with Mr. Awlaki.

What is stunning about this whole story is how apparently the surveillance of people tied to al Aulaqi were shut down last year. To me that indicates it was really the monitoring of al Aulaqi that was shutdown, causing a cascade of blindness related to anyone (like Major Hasan) tied to him. This effected surveillance actions and investigations initiated during the Bush administration and apparently active when team Obama took office. It was a horrible blunder which we know killed 14 people at Ft Hood and injured dozens of others.

In the following timeline (click to enlarge) we see how the Joint Terrorism Task Force investigations of Major Hasan was shutdown around the time it would require a mandated 90 day application to continue, and during a period when far left liberal voices were establishing far reaching limitations on who was to be considered a suspected enemy combatant (original post here).

It now appears that this adjustment in who was considered a potential risk vs lone wolf left the Obama administration blind to Umar Farouk Abdumutallab – the Christmas Day bomber – and now Shahzad.

An indication of how badly the Obama administration has been caught off guard is the historic assassination order now on al Aulaqi. As an American citizen, al Aulaqi is due a trial before he can be executed. I actually find the kill order disturbing and unconstitutional without a guilty verdict from a federal court in hand. This seems to be a panic reaction from Team Obama, to stop something soon no matter what the cost. It is there attempt at a Jack Bauer moment.

ABC News outlines a list of terrorist who’s who possibly connected to Shahzad.

But according to these sources, Shahzad also had a web of jihadist contacts that included big names tied to terror attacks in the U.S. and abroad, including the figure who has emerged as a central figure in many recent domestic terror attempts – radical American-born Muslim cleric Anwar Awlaki.

Besides Awlaki, sources say Shahzad was also linked to a key figure in the Pakistani Taliban, its Emir Beitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a drone missile strike in 2009. The Mehsuds had been family friends of Shahzad, who is the son of a former high-ranking Pakistani military officer.

Sources told ABC News that Shahzad was childhood friends with one of the alleged masterminds of the Mumbai massacre of 2008, in which more than 170 people died.

The question is, if these connections pan out, how is it our national intelligence missed all this? How could someone who had been under a JTTF investigation from 2004 not have his background connections like this unknown?

Andy McCarthy discusses another sign of total disarray inside the Obama administration, as it broadcasts all kinds of sensitive data in an attempt to appear to be on top of things:

[W]hat hasn’t been apparent until now is how news coverage of this story fundamentally changed the investigation. Law enforcement officials usually say they can’t talk to reporters about an ongoing investigation, but there were leaks in this case from the beginning — partly because of the dynamic between two powerful law enforcement forces in New York City….

Details about the Times Square investigation were all over the local newspapers, even as authorities were still trying to puzzle out who was responsible. Any element of surprise that law enforcement might have had was evaporating.

I posted on another incident were too much was being reported and only helping our enemies to succeed the next time by explaining how they failed this last time. All the details involving the phone trail have done nothing but provide a tutorial on how to better avoid detection in the future.

So why all the missed signs? Why all the leaked details of the investigation? Why the kill order on al Aulaqi when it appears last year his Free Speech rights were sacred as he and Hasan were talking about Jihad? It seems to me the Obama administration screwed up so badly when they closed down investigations last year that they see a time coming when they will need every bit if evidence they can muster to show they tried to be vigilant.

Update: The Washington Post has a review of what investigators have been able to discover as they review Shahzad’s history, a history that includes an investigation by a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in 2004 – though what was known then is not clear. Some disturbing details:

Shahzad’s transition “was a gradual thing that started years ago,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official with access to interrogation reports from the probe. “It wasn’t suddenly, ‘I found God, and this is the right path.’ There is a combination of religion and anger.”

The official noted that Shahzad had made at least a dozen return trips to Pakistan since arriving in the United States in 1999 and that the CIA’s campaign of Predator strikes and Pakistan’s recent military operations are focused on a part of the country very close to where Shahzad grew up.

Sadly, years ago Shahzad was being monitored by federal agents.  So his actions are not a surprise, and if someone had remained vigilant they might have detected this supposedly slow transition.

“We have nothing that is contradictory to what he is telling us,” said a senior Obama administration official, adding that undisclosed new information from Shahzad’s interrogation “sheds some light” on his motivation.

The investigation has turned up tenuous links between Shahzad and high-profile figures of jihad. A U.S. official said Shahzad was associated with at least one individual who was in contact with Anwar al-Aulaqi, the American-born cleric in Yemen who has been tied to the suspect in the attempted Christmas bombing on a Detroit-bound plane as well as the man charged in last year’s fatal shootings at Fort Hood, Tex.

The Post then goes on to say there was no direct contact detected so far. But to know someone who is in contact with al Aulaqi seems quite disturbing in itself. Who would associate with that kind of traitor? It’s not like al Aulaqi’s beliefs are secret – he has tons of web videos out.

Investigators are examining the significance of large sums of money that Shahzad brought into the United States. Between 1999 and 2008, Shahzad declared $80,000 in cash when he returned from various trips overseas, said another law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.

Well, there clearly is nothing suspicious about that!  Look at how the WaPo tried to find some way to make this all look harmless:

“Terrorists know banks are being watched, so are they moving bulk cash to finance their operations?” The official added that it is not unusual for immigrants — particularly those like Shahzad who come from well-heeled families overseas — to travel to the United States with stacks of currency.

What a blatant and nonsensical contradiction! Well heeled families also understand the concept of bank transfers so their children don’t get robbed of massive amounts of cash. What kind of pretzel logic (or lame excuse) is this? All I see is a bunch of incompetence or badly crafted spin.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Something’s Wrong Inside Obama Administration Concerning Terrorist Bombings”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJ Strata. AJ Strata said: new: Something's Wrong Inside Obama Administration Concerning Terrorist Bombings http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/13301 [...]

  2. BarbaraS says:

    My theory is that the Obama administration has replaced agents in the FBI, CIA and other agencies with people loyal to him. The same is true of the Secret Service. Never mind if they have experience. The only experience they need is to obey orders without question like the Obots they are. I came to this conclusion when the news team found Shazad’s passpoprt along with other pertinent papers in the garbage that the FBI missed at his home. The news team called the FBI back to look again for documents. This theory has to be true because 1. It is probably the first thing Obama would do to consolidate his position. 2. The inepitude of the FBI lately is appalling. To not even go through the garbage is ridiculous. That is usuallly the first place investigators look.

    The only other explanation is that Obama, who also went to Pakistan for several months in the 80s on a non-USA passport, is enabling these jihadists and is one of them. Either that or he is totally stupid.

    These terrorists are recruiting American citizens to do the dirty work. This Times Square bomber should never have been granted citizenship. How could our wonderful government have given citizenship to a son of a high ranking Pakistani army officer and who has friends with terrorist connections? I read that this guy got his citizenship in 2009. How could this be when he was being investigated during the Bush administration? This is just another screw-up by the Obama adnministration or a deliberate act of enablement.

  3. kathie says:

    This is a very important read……add Venezuela to the list of China, Iran, North Korea as well as Syria. It will be a hell of a war if these crazy Nations explode.

    Report: China, Iran, North Korea have formed strategic alliance
    May 7, 2010 9:22:59 PM MDT · by sonofstrangelove · 6 replies · 105+ views
    World Tribune ^ | 5/7/2010 | World Tribune
    China, Iran and North Korea have established a strategic alliance that focuses on missile and nuclear development, according to a new report. The report said that Beijing, Pyongyang and Teheran were helping each other in missile and nuclear programs. The report, titled “China, Iran and North Korea: A Triangular Strategic Alliance,” by Israel’s GLORIA Center said China and North Korea were the key suppliers of Scud-based ballistic missiles to Iran’s military, the target of Western sanctions. “This flurry of activities underscored the growing proliferation threats posed by DPRK [North Korea] assistance to Iran’s missile capabilities, which has also led to…

  4. penguin2 says:

    “The Obama’s administration’s war on terriorists” This is assuming a premise that the administration is as interested and strong on combating terror and terrorists, as let’s say George W. Bush. The evidence seems to say otherwise.

    Just looking at the removal of the concept of “War on Terror” shows a different mindset of this president and his administration. The obvious softening is a high risk venture, with potentially disastrous outcomes for the American people, but I believe that the pull-back and softening is deliberate. We are not just talking incompetence here, though that too, but these changes weaken our country. Didn’t Obama say something recently, about “unfortunately, still being “seen as a superpower?”

  5. BarbaraS,

    Some of Obama’s problems with the FBI & CIA as President are the same one’s Bush 43 had.

    When you reward loyalty over competence, you get neither.

    When you reward competence over loyalty, you get both.

    The reason is that it is far easier to pretend to be loyal than pretend to be competent.

    Those who are competent don’t have enough time in the day for the suck up games those pretending to be loyal do.

    Obama’s deepest sin here isn’t the same as Bush’s, though.

    Obama is also applying a left wing ideological filter test first, before rewarding loyalty, at the White House and Department of Justice levels over the FBI & CIA.

    That deadly combination was two faulty detonators away from killing and maiming hundreds of Americans here are home from foreign terrorists years after 9-11-2001.

  6. Frogg1 says:

    DOJ Tells Intel Community to Stonewall Members of Congress
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzAwYjUzZGNjZTQyNGI2ZjRiNGYxMmY0OTkzNTkyZTk=

    excerpt:

    It appears that the Department of Justice is playing politics with the Times Square bombing plot by refusing to brief Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. During a classified briefing on Thursday members of the intelligence community refused to answer one of Senator Bond’s questions, according to Bond “We called the agency of the intelligence community that should have that information, and they advised us that the Department of Justice is running it and they told us they should not share it with the Intelligence Committee.”

  7. [...] AJ Strata: Something’s Wrong Inside Obama Administration Concerning Terrorist Bombings [...]

  8. Frogg1

    The Eric Holder’s DoJ and National Intelligence Director’s lives will be filled with lots of testimony under oath in before a Republican controlled House Intelligence Committee in 2011, if they insist in playing those games now.

  9. [...] And if the above two pieces don’t have you questioning the sanity – and loyalty – of the O Adminstration, take a few extra minute to plow through this shovel-ready trail of facts that will amaze, confound and terrify. Or, at least, it should. http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/13301  [...]