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Mark Caserta: Nation desperate in fight against terrorism

8 Jul

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

7.8.16

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There are too many major issues facing our nation, both domestically and internationally, for me to speculate which raises the most concern.

And frankly, the question is ambiguous to the point we should expect our nation’s leaders to be able to strategically address multiple issues simultaneously without compromising resources or victory.

However, capable execution at the executive level requires strong leadership, predisposed at fulfilling duty and obligation to the American people, with a servant’s heart and a lion’s will. And this president is dangerously wanting in this regard.

However, all things considered, survival is paramount. So, in my mind, the threat of radical Islamic terrorism poses the most imminent threat to the nation and now my neighbor.

Obama’s sympathetic decorum toward the Muslim faith has emboldened Islamic jihadists to bring the fight to our shores – and people are dying.

Team Obama continues to demonstrate a lack of conviction in standing against our enemy’s aggression and incredibly still does not have a plan to defeat ISIS or even understand their motivation.

For a case in point, look at Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who just last week told the world how she feels we should address terrorism.

“The good in this world far outweighs the evil,” Lynch said during a press conference in Orlando on Tuesday. “Our common humanity transcends our differences … our most effective response to terror and to hatred is compassion, it’s unity, and it’s love.”

So, is Lynch proposing we show compassion and love to the barbarous individuals who are burning, beheading and slaughtering innocent people?

It takes one “evil” person, amid hundreds of “good” people, to inflict death and destruction. But while her statement is both nave and foolish, it does embody the Obama narrative which indiscriminately coddles the Islamic faith.

But I believe we’re now dangerously close to a point of no return regarding domestic Islamic terrorism.

Multiple news sources, including a February 2015 “Breitbart” column by Edwin Mora, have reported FBI Director James Comey warning Americans that his agency is investigating suspected ISIS supporters residing in all 50 states.

“We have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states,” said Comey, adding, “This isn’t a New York phenomenon or a Washington phenomenon. This is all 50 states and in ways that are very hard to see.”

In Mora’s column, Comey describes the radicalization message being used in the U.S. via social media.

“Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here, fighting for our so-called caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.”

Understand, if ISIS is successful at establishing domestic terrorist cells in every state of the union, we could be facing a coordinated attack of immense proportion. And nothing short of martial law could be our remaining course of action, leaving our nation forever changed.

Our nation is in desperate need of competent leadership committed to protecting life over legacy.

And we need it now.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: American lives overrule political correctness

17 Jun

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot editor

6.17.16

San Bern

Simply put, political correctness and a liberal misrepresentation of Islamophobia in our nation are costing lives.

Last week we sustained the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history. An Islamic gunman, wielding an assault-style weapon and handgun, reportedly opened fire on hundreds of innocent people killing dozens and injuring many more.

While authorities are investigating whether the attack was an act of domestic or international terror, there is little doubt the shooter was influenced by his radical Islamic roots. CNN reported the afternoon following the attack that the attacker called 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers, according to a U.S. official.

Shortly following the attack, a friend asked me, “Mark, what do you think Obama will call this attack?”

Of course, my friend was alluding to Obama’s prior shameful reference to “workplace violence” as in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, or an act of violence committed by a “lone gunman,” as in the shooting deaths of four Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2015.

“Anything but an attack from radical Islam,” I replied.

And true to form, following the attack, multiple news agencies including USA Today, reported President Obama calling the mass shooting in Orlando “an act of terror” and “an act of hate.”

No mention of Islam.

Interestingly, however, while the president made no mention of the shooter’s Islamic background, he was sure to identify the victims as being part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender culture.

I wonder how long before he blames the assault rifle and/or conservative “homophobe mentality” for the brutal attack.

But liberal libel and intellectual dishonesty aren’t going to protect our families from the threat of Islamic terrorism. Obama’s persistent refusal to admit innocent blood is being shed in the name of Allah should be troubling to all Americans.

And we all should be reminded, Hillary Clinton plans to carry on Obama’s failed Islamic foreign policy if elected.

It’s naive and otherwise blatantly ignorant to believe that simply refusing to call these extremists “Islamic terrorists” is going to save lives or in any way help fortify our relationship with Muslims around the world.

In fact, quite the opposite is happening. Our enemy is emboldened and prepared to bring the fight within the borders of the United States, as it was in Orlando.

To make matters worse, the president seems determined to exacerbate the problem by bringing thousands of un-vetted Syrian refuges to the U.S. Obama’s own FBI director James Comey told a House Committee on Homeland Security in 2015 that the federal government simply does not have the resources to conduct thorough background checks on all of the 10,000 Syrian refugees and exclude ISIS penetration.

America needs leadership willing to deliver a message of “shock and awe” to radical Islamic extremists around the world. Obama has proven he isn’t even willing to rattle his saber against Islamic terrorists, much less defeat them.

And we have no need of a president who values protecting the tenets of Islam over protecting the lives of Americans.

American lives matter.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: America is primary target for jihadists

1 Apr

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

4.1.16

More than once last week, I heard the analogy “Nero played while Rome burned” to describe the antics of President Obama in the wake of the brutal Islamic terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium.

Following the attack, despite promptings to return from Cuba to the United States in a presidential display of leadership and support for the Belgium people, Obama chose to stay and attend an exhibition baseball game hours after the attack. The following evening he chose to dance the tango and sip champagne at a state dinner with his wife, Michelle.

Reportedly, at least 31 people were killed and hundreds injured in the attack.

In January 2014, Obama likened ISIS to the “J.V.” team.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a J.V. team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told David Remnick of The New Yorker.

In a February 2015 interview with Vox’s Exra Klein and Matthew Yglesias, Obama charged the media with “absolutely” overstating the threat of “terrorism” compared to the threat of “climate change.”

During the exchange, Obama was asked “if the media sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism” as opposed to the problem of climate change.

“What’s the famous saying about local newscasts, right? If it bleeds, it leads, right?” Obama said. “You show crime stories and you show fires, because that’s what folks watch, and it’s all about ratings.”

Obama said stories relative to climate change just aren’t “sexy” enough for the media.

Nearly a year-and-a-half after the United States and its allies began confronting the Islamic State, Obama still didn’t have a strategy to defeat them. A June 2015 New York Times column written by Julie Davis and Michael Shear reported Obama acknowledging the fact at a news conference following the G7 Summit in Germany.

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“We don’t have, yet, a complete strategy, because it requires commitments on the part of Iraqis as well,” Mr. Obama said. “The details are not worked out.”

In February 2015, FBI Director James Comey warned that his agency was investigating suspected supporters of ISIS “in various stages of radicalizing” in every state across the U.S.

Failed leadership and an anemic response to the threat are enabling the return of the Islamic Caliphate and the rise of ISIS. Innocent people around the world are paying the price with their lives.

We know America is a primary target for radical jihadists. One has to wonder when a coordinated array of ISIS attacks will begin in the U.S.

And what our president is doing to prevent it.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: US must ramp up campaign against ISIS

20 Jun

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot editor

Jun. 18, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

The world has now sustained months of unrelenting atrocities by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). We’ve witnessed barbaric beheadings, victims burned alive and a strategic cleansing of Christians refusing to embrace the Muslim religion. Yet, the president of the United States still lacks a strategy to defeat them.

Last week, in a news conference following the Group of 7 summit meeting in Germany, Obama admitted to the world that “we don’t have, yet, a complete strategy” for addressing the threat posed by ISIS. He claims that after nearly a year and a half of the United States and its allies grappling with this group of Islamic terrorists, “the details are not worked out.”

The president’s failure to recognize ISIS as a grave threat early on certainly hampered strategies to squelch their advances. Some may recall that in January 2014 Obama compared ISIS to a “junior varsity basketball team,” playing down the strengths of ISIS, compared with Al Qaeda.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a J.V. team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Mr. Obama told David Remnick of The New Yorker. That same month, ISIS seized Fallujah, a city in Anbar Province, Iraq, and parts of Ramadi, the province’s capital.

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A few months later, as the military prowess of the group became known, the president was questioned about his strategy for addressing the threat that he dramatically understated. Yet he still lacked urgency.

The president has been clear as to what his strategy won’t be!

“I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,” Obama told reporters. “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no military solution to the larger crisis there.”

So, the president claims he can defeat ISIS with coalition air power. But a recent Wall Street Journal article reveals the Obama coalition’s air campaign against ISIS pales in comparison to strategic air campaigns waged by presidents since the end of the Cold War, which were deemed successful.

During the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition planes flew 48,224 strike sorties, or roughly 1,100 a day. 12 years later, the 31-day Iraqi Freedom campaign averaged more than 800 sorties a day. But the Obama “campaign” against ISIS, now approaching nine months, has only averaged about seven sorties a day! With ISIS now in control of an area around 50,000 square miles, it’s easy to see why these efforts haven’t been effective.

If indeed, Obama plans to decimate ISIS with coalition air power, he should take the lead in increasing the number of strikes commensurate with prior successful air campaigns.

And despite how much we dislike the thought, we must have sufficient ground troops to facilitate coordinated surgical strikes against the enemy.

Protecting America must take precedent over protecting Obama’s legacy.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: Islamic terrorism looms on our American soil

14 May

ISIS IS HERE

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Mark Caserta, Free State Patriot Editor

May. 14, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

Last September, the Islamic group of terrorists known as ISIS called for a wave of random attacks to begin in the United States. Emboldened by a “weak at the knees” Obama administration, it was now time to advance their threat of terror into the most powerful nation in the West. There would be no greater victory than to die advancing the cause of the caliphate in America.

At the time, a spokesperson for the group specifically called for lone-wolf attacks and provided instructions on how to attack U.S. citizens. “Rig the roads with explosives for them. Attack their bases. Raid their homes. Cut off their heads. Do not let them feel secure. Hunt them wherever they may be. Turn their worldly life into fear and fire. Remove their families from their homes and thereafter blow up their homes.”

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Since then, ISIS has leveraged social media for the recruitment and training of individuals willing and able to carry out these attacks in the name of “Allah.” ISIS’ morbidly alluring propaganda has included “shock and awe” videos of beheadings and victims being burned alive.

And up until now, the U.S. had yet to experience the fruition of such threats on our soil.

But earlier this month, outside a “Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest” sponsored by a free speech movement in Garland, Texas, two ISIS soldiers opened fire on a group of participants. Armed with assault rifles and body armor, the gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, wounded a security guard before a policeman, armed with only a handgun, shot and killed them.

In a broadcast on its official radio channel, ISIS claimed the gunmen were affiliated with their terror organization. Calling the men “Al Khilafa soldiers,” the ISIS radio announcer also referred to Simpson and Soofi as the group’s “brothers.” The announcement included this warning to infidels:

“We say to the defenders of the cross, the U.S., that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of God. The future is just around the corner.”

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A recent grim internet warning from a self-described American jihadist warned of ISIS having scores of “trained soldiers” positioned in 15 states, awaiting orders to carry out more operations like the one in Garland.

“Out of the 71 trained soldiers, 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, we are increasing in number,” read the warning. “Of the 15 states, 5 we will name: Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan.”

Due to the escalating number of threats on the U.S., security at all U.S. military bases was raised this past weekend, according to CBS News.

To date, the Islamic State has given us no reason to question their resolve or barbarism, and have made it clear they intend to follow through with their mission. And they will gladly die for their cause.

But even with the enemy threat now on American soil, President Obama still hasn’t displayed the will or courage to defeat them.

How many will die before he takes action?

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

White House sets delayed anti-extremism summit

11 Jan

How about ‘first’ admitting there’s such a thing as Islamic terrorism…just saying…

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In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, the White House has scheduled an anti-extremism conference that was originally set for last October but was postponed without explanation.

In a statement issued as many world leaders gathered in the French capital Sunday to express solidarity with France and to vow renewed efforts to fight violent Islamic radicalism, the White House announced that its summit on the issue of homegrown terrorism will take place next month.

“On February 18, 2015, the White House will host a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence, efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson first announced the summit in September, as concern was growing about the threat posed by the Islamic State movement and by that group’s recruitment of fighters in the West. Johnson said the high-level meeting would take place the following month.

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However, it did not. In the lead-up to the midterm elections, White House spokesmen repeatedly refused to discuss the reason for the delay or even to confirm on the record that it had been postponed.

Last week’s shooting rampage at a satirical French weekly and hostage-takings at two other sites in Paris refocused attention on the danger of so-called homegrown extremists carrying out attacks far from the places in the Middle East and Africa where such violence is more common.

Earnest said Sunday that the conference would address efforts being taken in the U.S., as well as promoting cooperation with similar work abroad.

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“Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts rely heavily on well-informed and resilient local communities.  Boston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St. Paul have taken the lead in building pilot frameworks integrating a range of social service providers, including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders, with law enforcement agencies to address violent extremism as part of the broader mandate of community safety and crime prevention,” he said.

“At the same time, our partners around the world are actively implementing programs to prevent violent extremism and foreign terrorist fighter recruitment.  The summit will include representatives from a number of partner nations, focusing on the themes of community engagement, religious leader engagement, and the role of the private sector and tech community,” the White House spokesman added.

Al-Qaeda warns of more lone wolves

28 Dec

Jihadist magazine hails recent atrocities, predicts more lone wolves and gives new bomb-making recipe

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 Glossy Jihadist magazine hails recent atrocities predicts more lone wolves and gives new bomb making recipe

Nasr bin Ali al-Ansi, a top commander for Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula Photo: AFP/Getty/Site

Gloating over a wave of recent atrocities, Sheikh Nasr Al Ansi said more were to come in an interview with a glossy Jihadist magazine, Inspire.

Slickly produced and chilling in its content, the magazine not only hails the work of the lone wolf, but also provides the recipe for another bomb which, it claims, will be undetectable at many airports.

Western intelligence experts have voiced fears at the threat posed by individual jihadists without obvious connections to Islamist militants.

Their fears appear to be well-founded, according to the interview.

“Because some deaths are caused by a thousand cuts. And a small blood clot paralyses the whole body.”

He adds: “Allah the Almighty has facilitated for them capabilities that are absent to other Muslims: reaching the heart of the enemy’s land and other targets.”

Advice for the lone wolf ranges from how to produce a bomb to how to handle the publicity from the atrocity.

Written in the style of a commercial cookbook, the “AQ chef”, describes how commercially available ingredients can be used to make a device.

The devices can be made in a kitchen, the magazine adds.

“If a Mujahid can prepare a bomb from materials used in the kitchen instead of lab material and instead of lab materials use cooking utensils, then we have a double success and we have overcome the security hurdle.

“Generally we are trying as much as possible to move the lone Mujahid from the lab to the pharmacy and the pharmacy to the kitchen.”

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