Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 16, 2014

Not in my name

Filed under: Media,Radicalization,Social Media,Strategy,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on November 16, 2014

Early Sunday morning a web-based video claimed to show the dead body of Peter Kassig, age 26, a US citizen. The army veteran had started a small humanitarian not-for-profit operating in Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey providing basic medical services and supplies to refugees. In 2013 he was captured by Syrian insurgents. The group claiming responsibility for his execution is the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS).

If confirmed, this would be the fifth beheading of a Western captive by the group.  The Islamic State (or ISIL or ISIS or Da’ish) has become notorious for using an extensive toolkit of organized violence: beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions.  Thousands of Syrians and Iraqis have been killed using means clearly designed to engender fear and compliance.

The Kessig video is the longest IS production yet.  While it includes a warning to Western — especially US and British — leaders, the propaganda is designed mostly to advance the IS brand-strategy and to recruit young men. The beheadings are a hook to ensure Western media attention that will prompt the target audiences to seek out the videos (they are not that difficult to find) where the rest-of-the-story is persuasively pitched as an answer to their search for adventure and meaning.

It seems to be working.   Most recent intelligence estimates find at least 15,000 foreign fighters from up to 80 nations are currently attached to a variety of insurgent groups — not just IS — in the Syrian civil war and its overflow into Iraq. (Potentially an interesting comparison:  During the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 the total number of international volunteers serving with Republican forces is estimated have totaled 35,000.)

But it may also be emerging that even as IS is achieving some tactical success among a very small slice of disaffected — mostly — young people, it is prompting a blow-back by many others that could have significant strategic implications.

As was the case with David Haines and Alan Henning, British aid workers previously beheaded, the evidence seems overwhelming that Kessig was only involved in delivering compassionate care to those displaced by the Syrian civil war.  There is also no evidence that the two journalists who have been dramatically beheaded had any particular animus toward the Syrian insurgency.  The killings have not only been brutal.  They have, to most minds, been innately unjust.  For most Muslims this is a perversion of their faith.

The video above was developed — apparently independently — by a group of mostly young British Muslims following the execution of David Haines.  It crystalizes a movement that has spontaneously emerged  and is growing online very much contrary to the purposes of IS.

See more at  https://twitter.com/hashtag/notinmyname. Social media — not so much YouTube — is where most of the activity is taking place.

A shared revulsion to IS is also prompting others to perceive, conceive, and act in ways previously unseen.  On Friday, probably while the terrorists were putting finishing touches on their snuff video, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and others were gathering for an unprecedented Muslim prayer service hosted by the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington DC. The sermon by Ebrahim Rasool included, “We come to this cathedral with sensitivity and humility but keenly aware that it is not a time for platitudes, because mischief is threatening the world. The challenge for us today is to reconstitute a middle ground of good people… whose very existence threatens extremism.”

As the American experience with war has too often  demonstrated, tactical skill can seldom overcome a strategic deficit.  How ought our anti-IS strategy reflect the strategic vulnerability of our adversary?

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Comment by Christopher Tingus

November 16, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

Islam speaks again? Really? Let’s see how many Mosques and how many press releases globally we see with Muslims condemning such acts as well as this degradation of Islam itself by those who profess that such acts against humanity are rightfully acted upon and in the name of God. I don’t think so and such acts do Not bode well for humanity and promoting objective discourse despite apparent differences in culture and religious faith and teachings….

It is so disparaging that 1.6 billion Muslims fail to stand up and only enable such deeds of hell to besmirch the reality of Islam, the Peace and Love which Islam conveys and like billions of Christians prefer their choice in faith and do not manipulate or impose the teachings and beliefs of their respective faith on another….

Another beheading in this 21st century? Really? While the quest now centuries old between Christianity and Islam continues by those who wear their vestments, like so many generations past, those folks who do pray and have a belief in God choose to do so without such vile act and truly understand that Jerusalem is a city for all faiths, not for Muslim or Christian to control….the continued “generational stonewalls” have spewed enough hatred, bias and dysfunctional way as well as willing dastardly deed against another in in witness of the Lord.

Repent! Follow the laws afforded us and bestowed upon each of us whether adhering to the religions of Christianity or Islam. Anyone can behead another, however the Hebrew has found that reading and study and attaining an education lead to independence and freedom as well as a far better quality in Life than the obvious ignorant among us!

I will tell you that the way to put a real end of all this continued charade is for the US now energy independent is to flood the market with as much oil for two months and lower the price of oil and in a month or two, the Arabs will come to the table and begin to understand that civility and Respect for Life and all Blessings bestowed upon each of us as Muslims or Christians, Hindu or Hebrew, despite the bloody hands of Tehran and the fact that there are far many more subterfuges in Tehran that Starbucks throughout America and that Islam and Christianity understand that the forthcoming War, a global conflict like none other only 100 years since World War I is Not what God wants for all his children who seem to find more differences than in the reality that we are far more similar than different!

Breaking News:

The Islamic State claims in a video that it has beheaded U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, otherwise known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig. (Sera / Handout/EPA)

By Adam Goldman November 16 at 6:27 AM

The Islamic State beheaded a Muslim convert and former U.S. Army Ranger who had traveled to Syria on a humanitarian mission, according to a purported video of the execution released Sunday.

The death of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, previously known as Peter, came weeks after the terrorist group said it would kill him because of the U.S. bombing campaign in Syria.

The video shows a militant with a British accent standing over the young man’s severed head and saying: “This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country. Peter, who fought against the Muslims in Iraq while serving as a soldier under the American army, doesn’t have much to say.”

The video doesn’t depict the militant beheading Kassig.

The militant appears to be the same one who carried out the previous beheadings. U.S. and British authorities have identified the man but have not released any information about him to the public.

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council said intelligence officials were trying to determine the authenticity of the video.

“If confirmed, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American aid worker and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” NSC’s Bernadette Meehan said.

Kassig, 26, is the fifth Western hostage whose apparent killing by the Islamic State has been announced in gruesome videos. The latest video was the longest in length, running more than 15 minutes and showed other men, apparently Syrian soldiers, being decapitated.

Kassig was detained Oct. 1, 2013, in eastern Syria while traveling in an ambulance.

In a statement Sunday, his family said, “We are aware of the news reports being circulated about our treasured son and are waiting for confirmation from the government as to the authenticity of these reports. We will have no other statement at this time and ask that you please respect our privacy.”

Kassig’s family had appealed to the Islamic State not to kill their son. The family also has tried to sway the group with its repeated statements about his conversion to Islam.

His family said Kassig, who was raised in Indiana, converted to Islam last year while sharing a cell with a devout Syrian Muslim. The family said the conversion process started before he was taken hostage.

Before he was killed, Kassig’s family released a letter he had written earlier this year that a released hostage had carried out. The family also received an audio recording of their son before the Islamic State revealed that it was holding him hostage.

“I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all,” Kassig wrote. “I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through. If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”

The Islamic State is also holding a 26-year-old American woman and another woman. The American woman was kidnapped while doing humanitarian work in Syria.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

November 16, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

Mr. Tingus: I am surprised and disappointed. This is unlike you. I have never known you to react disparagingly when people — especially young people — are standing up for the very values you so often advocate. Did you watch the video? Did you check the twitter feed? Did you notice the condemnation by the Council on American-Islamic Relations? Did you see the outcomes of last week’s Catholic-Muslim Forum? Did you read the English translation of the letter of condemnation sent to the IS “Caliph” by dozens of prominent Islamic jurists and scholars? I could list more and more and more and more. The barbarity of the Raqqa Rump is being summarily rejected by a wide-range of the Muslim community. Given the decentralized polity of Islam and the lack of attention to religious discussion by most Western media, these voices are often obscured. But the voices are not hard to find and hear. These are voices we should welcome and respect, rather than disparage.

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 17, 2014 @ 9:14 am

The President condemned the beheading as evil! I would argue midevil!

Comment by Philip J. Palin

November 17, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

Amy Davidson has written an essay — On the Mystery of Abdul-Rahman, or Peter Kassig — that is the best tribute to the man I have read so far.

Comment by Christopher Tingus

November 18, 2014 @ 5:57 am

Mr. Palin, for a moment, many of us here on “Main Street USA” choose to extend our – sincere condolences to the persian youth – the youth of Tehran who have lost a fellow 30 year old talented musician, Morteza Pashaei, an individual who will continue to stir up much wonderful emotion among the educated youth of Tehran and an individual even at 30 who utilized his individual talent and his melodious heart of notes to convey a spirit among the talented youth and now will be an inspiration to many youth to understand how individualism and attainment in such achievement can be utilized to promote harmony and goodness rather than such promotion of terror spewed by the self-serving leadership in Tehran. Highly educated, the population of Tehran and Iran, so saddened by this unfortunate 30 year old’s loss from a long challenge w/cancer will hopefully determine a better future for Tehran and Iran who we see as only sponsoring terrorism and much anguish among many, especially women and children around the world….God Bless this young man!

As to our present discussion and Homeland Security here in the US, well Mr. Palin, as always, thank you for sharing your post and perspective, however with more breaking news from Jerusalem this morning where a synagogue was attacked and innocent people were murdered so easily while they prayed, as I have clearly stated, especially East jerusalem is under siege and unless Muslims take the headlines and we see here on “Main Street USA” as well as the world sees how disgusted Muslims are with respect to this promotion of terror and so often in the name of Islam, well, as God has promised, not only will he rock our core, but the nations for He is not obviously too pleased with the deceitfulness of mankind, the dismissal of HIs laws and as we see from the White House, the corruptness in man made laws and we see divisiveness and self-serving ways and an America weakened from within which does not bode well for global security or stabilization….

While Mr. Palin, I do Not necessarily disagree with some of what you state, however here on “Main Street USA” and even in Europe, we see a biased and narrow minded eight year resident of the White House and a Congress and Senate so engrossed in their own doctrine that they fail to realize that the world is unraveling and the great America with more and more cuts to its military promised while Russia and China and India align and as terror further grips many more, these voices among the moderate Muslim are just not being heard and the Muslim community must take the headlines when it sees this morning that in Jerusalem, at least four are killed and others attacked as they pray in their synagogue. It must clearly set the toe that Islam and the Qur’an cannot be so easily manipulated to allow those w/sword in hand to besmirch a faith which some 1.6 billion, yes, 1.6 billion fellow human beings choose to follow and pray silently and without disturbance and imposing none of their values or faith on another as we see these ISIS hoods build their Army of young people with bravado and seeing America, falter so….

Muslims, whether moderate or Not, must stand and thwart those within the Muslim community who abuse the Islamic faith so and Christians especially led by the Vatican must as well put a halt on those who seek to further any divide between the two distinct faiths for all should be able to choose their own faith and pray accordingly without another imposing their values….

Kindly understand that East Jerusalem is under siege. While earthquakes will rock the core of this planet Earth more and more as God promised to shake up many nations and He is doing so with more and more instability as a result of his utter displeasure of humanity’s failure to repent and to adhere to His laws, not this “Chicago-Hollywood-Washington charade” inherent with deceit,

Those praying at a mosque, a synagogue, a church need not be watching over their shoulder when reading the teachings, the laws, God’s laws, not manmade where such despicable acts against Muslim, Hebrew, Christian take place and kindly understand and make no mistake, especially East Jerusalem is under siege….

While this eight year resident at the White House has been enabled to run to Cairo and throughout the Middle East and make – his apologies – for America and in his oath to his father, Hussein Obama and his American, anti-colonial and anti-Christian pals in Kenya and has made every effort to embarrass us and to even have the audacity to recently walk among the Chinese elders and chew gum portraying him to be what he is indeed, nothing more than a Chicago city street slicker hell bent from his days long before even Har’vd and his anti-US pals to promote divisiveness even domestically and shortly….

Ferguson is again to be revisited and another example of this eight year resident of the White House and his pal, the AG and good’ ol Al where the rule of law, not warped and biased prejudices, must be cast aside and “facts” and the rule of law adhered to, not emotion, but the “facts” as to whether a police officer was pummeled by this young man’s arrogance and criminal behavior “facts” showing the police officer acting in self-defense or a young man who we saw at a store steal and intimidate an elder store clerk and then as witnesses report, challenge traffic and then disobey an order to stop interfering with traffic….

It is the Black community there in Ferguson and throughout the country who should speak to the facts whatever the truth may be because we here on “Main Street USA” find little time for those promoting any time of harassment of another, any bias and any prejudice as this nation voted twice for pigment of skin rather than a candidate competent and a candidate whose WH stay these eight years has done little to help especially Black youth in attaining education and jobs and in fact, an administration which has cerated few jobs of any real consequence….a WH running to Cairo and to cambridge and to Ferguson to rally disharmony!

Again, if the facts in Ferguson point to a scuffle inside a police cruiser, the facts are the facts, however on the contrary, if this police officer is found guilty, then he will face criminal charges and so he should like anyone of us who may break the laws including those who have broken the law as illegal immigrants while others await a process to visa! We saw a young man walk into a shop prior to this incident and steal and intimidate an elder in this store and then heard reports of he and his pal walking in an arrogant gait challenging traffic and then eyewitnesses seeing him challenge a police officer so We here on “Main Street” and those in Ferguson who seek justice for whomever did wrong, we need no AG or WH resident to encourage divisiveness, but rather, to lead our country and stop promoting divisiveness and promoting education and jobs for Black youth especially who have seen little Hope and Change from this White House! How discouraging….

I reiterate, as in Cambridge, Barry Obama has shown his sprit and his willingness to encourage disunity and create disruption as we saw him in Cambridge w/his professor pal – Barry Obama has always sought to be anti-American since his youth! He has been allowed to diminish America and is so willing to circumvent our Constitution and the Will of the People, a harmony of diverse Americans who look to the 21st and 22nd century and beyond and do not see pigment of skin, but individuals who are far more similar than different….

Hillary Clinton and now Johnny Kerry, really? If you say that the Muslim community is peaking out against ISIS and terror, then at least from here on “Main Street USA” we hear little in such chants against such dastardly deeds – women and children are being enslaved, tortured and killed and a weakened America apologetic to the world – I ask for what? If it were not for America, I can assure you that oppressions and anguish would be far more prevalent in a world landscape already engaged in World War III which again began at Kosovo when we, the Americans were used as proxies by NATO and the Germans.

When I just read the following, my comment, Really? Really?

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the U.S. would not be “intimidated” by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), after the terror group released a video Sunday showing beheaded former U.S. Army Ranger Peter Kassig.

“ISIL’s leaders assume that the world would be too intimidated to oppose them,” Kerry told the Transformational Trends Strategic Forum, using an alternative name for the group. “Well, let us be clear: We are not intimidated.”

Kerry said the U.S. strategy against ISIS “is starting to gain traction.” He claimed military strikes are beginning to have “significant impact,” and that the U.S. is successfully soliciting “solidarity and help” from partner nations.

This charade in a supposed world response to the bravado and hormones of young folks leading ISIS who choose to disregard Not only man’s laws, but terrorize and murder women and children and God witness to such despicable acts and such dastardly deeds….America and this WH resident have failed blatantly to rally anyone other than those who spew divisiveness and anti-American sentiment….

We are at War Mr. Palin and it is time to truly hear in every media that moderate Muslims and the majority of the good Muslim people will not tolerate those among them that such dastardly acts upon mankind in the name of Islam will Not be tolerated and those who lead Christianity, You, too must out an end to this quest that both share to control Jerusalem, for Jerusalem is only God’s throne and no one else’s –

God Bless us all!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

November 18, 2014 @ 6:57 am

The text of Joshua 1:9, “I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified, or discouraged, for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.”

It is time for a renewed American nationalism and a strengthened America with no longer budget cuts to our military, but a strong arsenal and policies which do Not draw red lines and others are permitted to make us fool!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

November 18, 2014 @ 9:38 am

Churchill, “Mankind is unteachable” –

and this morning, news reports of now more barbarism and savagery….AQI and ISIS and interestingly, Zarqawi having possessed Iranian passports in his pocket! Tehran will not stop until is assures Iraq become a caliphate state and Barry Obama and his illustrious Rev Wright have given their nod of approval by their actions….as Tehran becomes more empowered and Iraq evolves spawning more terrorism in the region, awash with more oil and funds, power and weapons, again, not the weakened America Barry Obama has sought, however a Germany who will continue encircling Tehran and eventually dupe many….

After all, good ‘ol Barry (and Michelle) and their pals depend on degrading America and while not necessarily concurring with much of what Judge Bork wrote “In Slouching Towards Gommorrah”, I am convinced that they rely on promoting their dismemberment of America and wholeheartedly concur with Bork and base much of their intent on premise Bork presented, “It seems highly unlikely that a vigorous economy can be sustained in an enfeebled hedonistic culture” –

What is truly frightening and assures that War and billions to surely see a shock and awe never seen before in mankind’s history since the dinosaur age was extinguished by such a strong magnitude to alter the Earth, such devastation is directly ahead and such portrayal in such deceit in blatant lie is initiated by the White House and a government no longer trusted and a government who speaks of its populace as ignorant, stupids and to some extent is may be apparent that moral tolerance among the younger generation and leanings towards a more socially liberal perception of Life does Not bide well for America or humanity at large….

I shutter to think that maybe there is no time remaining and maybe Robert Bork’s book which portrayed his perspective of an American society as sickly hedonistic! I certainly hope that the mid-term election results which decimated the Democrats and now as an Independent voter who points to Scott Brown’s loss in NH because of his failure to show New hampshire residents why as a Senator he will make a difference…so now, let’s see if the Republican party will truly – make and difference and retake America and again regain through repentance and disciplined fortitude and protector of our Judeo-Christian values, step up to the plate!

Breaking News: In the name of Allah! Really? What outright murderers, criminals and Hamas supports such violence as another proxy to Tehran!

It is time after all this killing whether Hebrew or Palestinian, Christian or Muslim or whomever, all children of the Lord, enough is enough and IF you expect God to protect humanity from such dastardly deeds, the beasts that walk among us, the soldiers of Lucifer, then Hamas and those on the Jewish extremist side, must cease in this outright hatred. The world whether Muslim and Christian or Hindu or other is not extreme and folks choose their faith and understand that all must have a choice to live Life and Respect one another….

There is no need for such violence among men and t is the women who nurture Life apparently and men and their swords and knives and inability to listen to women and to one another and are so often ignorant, well folks, it is good to hear Palestinian outcry and from the Muslim global community condemning such horrific acts! East Jerusalem is a powder keg and it will soon explode and the world community is in much jeopardy, this I am certain and do kindly recall God’s dissatisfaction when he promises:


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