Al-Qaeda in the Caribbean, Sandy Berger, and today’s items

Via PJM, Al-Qaeda’s Inroads into the Caribbean

The Jammat al-Muslimeen (Muslim Group) is Trinidad and Tobago’s most notorious Muslim organization. Although Trinidad’s ethnically and religiously diverse population, split roughly between descendants of African slaves and indentured servants from India and a sizable “mixed” community, includes Sunni and Shi’a Muslim immigrants from South Asia and the Middle East, the Jammat is known almost exclusively as a Black Sunni Muslim organization comprised mainly of Afro-Trinidadian converts to Islam. The group is led by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, a former police officer who was born Lenox Philip. The Jammat is best known for its violent 1990 attempt to overthrow the Trinidadian government over grievances related to land ownership, social and economic inequality, and government corruption [5].

The Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (Islamic Front), headed by Omar Abdullah, himself a Black Muslim convert, has also been identified as a potential threat by U.S. intelligence and Trinidadian authorities. Like the Jammat al-Muslimeen, the Wajithatul Islamiyyah is comprised mostly of Afro-Trinidadian converts to Islam. Local sources allege that Abdullah harbors extremist leanings. The Waajihatul has been accused of publishing material expressing support for al-Qaeda, but Trinidadian authorities have not provided conclusive evidence of any direct links with the group. He is often outspoken in his criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the Trinidadian government’s policy towards Muslims. Trinidadian authorities also tie Abdullah to local crime and other illicit dealings [9].

The Jamaat al-Murabiteen (Almoravids, after the African Muslim dynasty that ruled Morocco and Spain in the 11th and 12th Century) and the related Jammat al-Islami al-Karibi (Caribbean Islamic Group) are associated with one time Jamaat al-Muslimeen chief of security Maulana Hasan Anyabwile, formerly Beville Marshall. He split with Abu Bakr in 2001 over what Trinidadian sources allege was a personal rift with the group’s leader. Anyabwile hosted a radio show where he was known to criticize Trinidadian Hindus, Indian Muslims, and his former Jamaat al-Muslimeen associates for their purported failure in improving the lot of Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago. Local sources also allege that he is an extremist [10].


Via Mike, Sandy Berger and the Clinton Cover-Up – Why It Matters

Berger had access to Archives documents that could be critical to understanding what information the Clinton Administration had, what options it considered, and what decisions it took on these sensitive subjects. In addition to primary documents, Berger had access to copies, and the only plausible reason for taking five copies of a single memo is that some had original notes on them from key officials, maybe from Berger or President Clinton.

For Berger to risk jail and disgrace, to then give up the right to practice his profession merely in order to avoid having to answer questions, he must be hiding something important. And if it is that important to him, it is also important to us.

The most likely explanation is that the material Berger destroyed points to a terrible mistake by Berger himself, by President Clinton, or by both. In dealing with al-Qaeda, did they overlook a critical piece of information or miss a chance to stop 9/11? Did the Administration’s failure to take a more aggressive posture encourage al-Qaeda’s later attacks?

When Fox News’ Chris Wallace raised the possibility that Clinton’s Administration might have done something more to prevent 9/11, Bill Clinton went into an inexplicable rage on national television. Wallace touched a nerve. So did the DC Bar.

Knowing what information Berger destroyed also might alter views of the current Bush Administration. Was the early support from both Bill and Hillary Clinton for going to war against Saddam based on something we don’t know yet that was available to insiders in the Clinton Administration? Was it something that could come back to haunt Hillary and ruin her chances of winning Bill’s third term?

Via Maria, Senators Rebuke Joe Wilson Claims

The committee found that internal intelligence community notes of meetings in which Valerie Plame participated “did not mark her name with a (C) as would be required to indicate that her association with the CIA was classified,” as both Plame and her husband have said. These aren’t the only instances where Wilson’s account did not square with the facts, the senators found.

Wilson has said in his book and in numerous public appearances that reports he reviewed from the U.S. ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, “indicated that there was nothing to the Niger-Iraq uranium story . . . This too is untrue,” the committee found. On the contrary, Owens-Kirkpatrick wrote a cable to the State Department which said that the initial CIA reporting of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal “provides sufficient details to warrant another hard look at Niger’s uranium sales.”

Although Nigerien officials insisted in meetings with the Americans that no uranium would be sold to rogue nations, “we should not dismiss out of hand the possibility that some scheme could be, or has been, underway to supply Iraq with yellowcake from here,” she wrote.

Perhaps the most damning conclusion of the Senate report has been known for nearly three years, but has remained classified until now. In the initial July 2004 report, the Senate committee reported that the intelligence community “used or cleared the Niger-Iraq uranium intelligence fifteen times before the President’s State of the Union address and four times after, saying in several papers that Iraq was ‘vigorously pursuing uranium from Africa.'”

Despite that finding, Democrats led by Michigan Sen. Carl Levin blasted President Bush for the “16 words” in the January 2003 speech that described Iraq’s efforts to acquire uranium from Africa, calling them an effort to “cherry-pick” intelligence and to “mislead” the country and the world in a “rush to war.”

In fact, the U.S. intelligence community continued to believe in the veracity of the Niger uranium story for many months after the speech, and didn’t call back its original reporting until June 2003 — well after the liberation of Iraq.

Meanwhile, via Larwyn, Plame To Sue CIA – The Irony And The (Near) Ectasy


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The writing on the wall

Today Tony Blankley asks, Is There Writing on the Wall? (emphasis added)

It would appear that the great divide in both public opinion and between politicians is not Republican-Democrat, liberal-conservative, pro or anti-Bush, or even pro or anti-war (or, in Europe: pro-or anti-American). Rather, the great divide is between those, such as me, who believe that the rise of radical Islam poses an existential threat to Western Civilization; and those who believe it is a nuisance, if, episodically, a very dangerous nuisance.

Blankley concludes,

Thus, while others and I will continue to make our case in public, it seems probably inevitable that the correctness or incorrectness of our views will only become persuasive to the multitude when history teaches its cruel, unavoidable lessons. It was ever thus, which is why history is strewed with broken nations and civilizations that couldn’t read the writing on the wall. Of course, it is also strewed with sad hulks of false predictors of doom.

Dr. Sanity has been exploring these issues at her blog. In today’s post, Symptom or adaptation? she asks

Now ask yourself, is the ubiquitous, almost casual, antisemitism of the Islamic world a healthy, adaptive response to some injustices perpetrated by Jews that muslims have to deal with in the real world; or is it a projection that is symptomatic of some serious psychopathology within the muslim culture?


In the Muslim mind, where there is no cause and effect, everything occurs at the whim of Allah. Such a world risks becoming a frightening place filled with seemingly unpredictable events and when bad things happen it is because Allah wanted them to happen. A tsunami is then evidence that Allah is displeased with his people…unless, you can find a suitable entity, an almost God, who caused the grief. After the Indonesian tsunami, rumors and conspiracy theories were rampant int he Muslim world that the Israelis (and sometimes the Americans) had caused the tsunami. No longer was Allah angry at his people; now there was an explanation that allowed the Muslim world to avoid looking int he mirror and asking the obvious question: When the Arab world is awash with oil money, how is it that they could not spare a tiny amount for their co-religionists and build a tsunami warning system? (Actually, they would have had to buy a tsunami waring system, a related issue.) If Israel and/or America had caused the tsunami, such a warning system was not only unnecessary but foolhardy. Instead of looking inward, fro one’s own shortcomings that have facilitated or caused disasters, one can look outward, focus one’s wrath on the feared and hated demi-God, and please Allah at the same time. No longer is a disaster a sign of Allah’s displeasure, but an opportunity to gain even more of his approval by attacking his enemies.

In a similar vein, the home grow[n] despair of failed societies, which in other nations has been redirected and used to build modern societies around the world, has no internal outlet; it must be directed outward so that the societies of the Muslim world can pretend to stay unchanged and unquestioned.

This week Sigmund, Carl and Alfred has a series of most interesting posts on the subject which you must read in their entirety since abridging will do them no justice. But one particular sentence stood out in yesterday’s post,

In any event, in the Arab world, any expression of western ideas, ideologies or beliefs are deemed ‘satanic.’ The choice of imagery and words are no accident.

Last week SC&A posted on Crime and terror, which brought to mind the Dem’s former policy of treating “terrorism as a nuisance”, as if it were a criminal matter. One of Siggy’s commenters linked to The Myth of the Invincible Terrorist (emphasis added)

Relativists do not understand the depths of their error when they pronounce that “terrorism is just a word for violence we don’t like,” or “terrorism is a Westerners’ epithet.” Terrorists are living, breathing men and women using vile but calculated means to make political gains, and it is vital that politicians and academics and police chiefs continue pointing that out. Terror is ugly, making terrorists morally ugly; this ugliness is weakness in the struggle for public opinion. More must be made of that, in the service of truth and of counterterrorism. Another lesson flows from the facts above: Groups and their leaders may well be vulnerable to psychological operations. As circumstances allow, counterterrorism can play up rivals around the leaders, or create fissures between working partners, or throw doubt over loyalties of old comrades.

So, as Tony Blankley stated, there are those who see an existential threat from a group of terrorists who have demonized all that is good in our lives and culture and are willing to drag us all to hell. And there are those who just want to ignore that threat and believe it’s such a simple nuisance that, in their grab for power, they are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq.

They are, indeed fighting on the wrong side of the psychological war. Each of their words, each of their actions, is and will continue to be repeated by our enemies, and will embolden them and motivate them to do more evil.

Note to Harry: “Your words are killing us” now, and will continue to kill us.

And those are no “sad hulks of false predictors of doom”.


(Note: The writing on the wall refers to Daniel 5 in the Old Testament.)