Weekly Review, May 18-23, 2015

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 @ 9:59PM

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Left: iSIS destroying historical sites in Iraq, AP  — 

ISIS: Why Does Obama Sit on His Hands?Rachel Ehrenfeld – Is President Obama kept on the dark by his intelligence briefers about ISIS’s rapid advance in Iraq and Syria? Why does he think there is time to now begin training more Iraqi and some Syrian self-declared “opposition” groups? What does he perceive the fall of Ramadi and the capture of Palmyra as a minor setback? The thousands of new operatives from more ninety countries that are joining ISIS every month receive minimal training, sophisticated American and Russian weapons, machetes, and lots of indoctrination on killing, raping, pillaging, and destroying everything in their path. Every dead ISIS fighter becomes a celebrated martyr with many new volunteers lining up to take his place. …more

In Memory of Dr. John (Jack) Templeton, Jr., RIPRachel Ehrenfeld – Dr. John (Jack) Templeton, whose innovative thinking, energy and compassion matched the breadth of his interests and generous philanthropy, died on Saturday, May 16, at the age of 75….Unlike many, he early on understood the threat of lawfare to our freedom of speech and generously supported our efforts to fight Libel Tourism. Indeed, without his support, American writers and the media would still be intimidated by the threat of foreign libel lawsuits. The passage of the SPEECH Act of 2010, which now protects Americans from the enforcement of foreign libel judgments, is a testimony to his efforts to protect the First Amendmentmore

Obama’s “Serious Global Threat”Rachel Ehrenfeld – The Islamic State’s territorial gains in Iraq and Syria and growing propaganda and recruitment in the West, is being downplayed by the Obama administration. The White House describes ISIS capture of Ramadi and its rapid advance towards Bagdad, merely as a “setback.”  Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, snapped at reporters questioning the White House ISIS strategy: “Are we going to light our hair on fire every time that there is a setback?”  No, we do not expect the White House to light anything on fire. You see, that  would be seen by the Obama administration as contributing to global warming, which according to the president, is the most serious threat to national and global security.…more

Obama, ISIS, the Pope and the PalestiniansRachel Ehrenfeld – While  cache of computers, cell phones, and documents that was captured during the raid will provide important information about ISIS financial operations in Iraq and Syria and possibly on its support of its branches in North Africa, South-East Asia and beyond. But this will not stop ISIS.  What would?….The physical destruction of ISIS’s operatives would contribute to discrediting their declared mission, i.e., creating a Caliphate.  But to stop the growing influence and radicalization of ISIS affiliates and other Sunni and Shi’ite jihadi groups, an urgent reform, i.e. separating the mosque from the government is needed, as called for repeatedly by Egypt¹s President Fatah el-Sisi …more

CyberSecurity Promises. AgainRachel Ehrenfeld – Concluding the Camp David Gulf Cooperation summit, President Obama promised to help secure the Gulf States from cyber attacks by Iran and ISIS.  He announced that a working group will be formed to “consider methods to better secure their military and critical infrastructure networks “against potential terrorist-launched cyberattacks.”… His concern  may sound reassuring only if one was unaware that the U.S. government is failing to counter ISIS social media campaigns at home, and more troubling is the failure to adequately secure its own military, critical infrastructure, communication, transportation and financial institutions from cyberattacks…. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…warned… “We’re hemorrhaging information at a dizzying rate, evidenced by the uncanny similarity of some of our potential adversaries’ new platforms to those we’ve been developing.” …more

Stopping the Next TsarnaevRachel Ehrenfeld – The news of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s death sentence made headlines in the American and other Western nation’s media. However, more than two hours later, Abu-Dhabi’s main English-language publication, The National, has not mentioned this at all. Instead, its news page included  stories on four teenagers suspected of stealing penguin babies in Norway, Johnny Depp’s dogs to flee Australia amid death threat, and Obama’s pledges of deeper security cooperation with the GCC. Iran’s semi-official Fars news also kept mum, as did the Egyptian al Ahram. This silence calls into question the sincerity of statements made recently by Arab Sunni leaders to fight Islamist terrorism. …more

ACD in the News

Ehrenfeld on Hacking into Airplanes ControlsAdam Kredo – Washington Free Beacon – …“Law enforcement officials are downplaying reports that a U.S. hacker infiltrated a commercial airliner Wi-Fi network mid-flight and assumed control of the craft’s controls, according to one source who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon. The FBI is currently investigating U.S. hacker Chris Roberts, who claims he illicitly seized a commercial airline’s flight controls by hacking into it via the in-flight entertainment system, according to a recent affidavit filed by the FBI in federal court. Cyber experts have warned that the Wi-Fi on commercial flights provides a back door to would-be terrorists and other hackers seeking to assume control of a flight while in the air from their seat…. Rachel Ehrenfeld, founder and CEO of the American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute, noted in December that terrorists could exploit these vulnerabilities.…more

News & Analysis

Cyber-Attack Warning: Could Hackers Bring Down a Plane? [Yes] Der Spiegel

Updated NASA Data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat  James Taylor, Forbes

Dutch govt approves partial ban on face-covering veil in public placesRT

UN envoy ‘sickened’ by rampant IS sexual violence…militants have institutionalized rape, sexual slavery as a terror tactic in Iraq and Syria: ‘I never saw anything like this’Times of Israel Staff

Cotton: Obama ‘Not Providing the Resources’ to Defeat ISIS. Calls for more troops, defends NSA surveillance programMichael Warren

Emanuele Ottolenghi: The President Blinked — The Ayatollah Didn’tEmanuele Ottolenghi

US blocks nuclear disarmament move over Israel concerns. Washington thwarts UN NPT meeting’s final document, accuses Egypt and others of manipulating process to single out Jewish state AP & Times of Israel Staff

Hezbollah shows off ‘advanced tunnel network’ on Israeli border. Terror group has built a sophisticated underground infrastructure from which to strike in future conflict, Lebanese paper reportsItamar Sharon & AP

Good news America: Saudi vies for Great Satan status in IranRoula Khalaf, FT

Everything is Awesome, Mideast Edition. It takes a special innocence to imagine that the chaos unfolding in the Middle East can be put right.Bret Stephens

Behind the lines: A tremor is felt in Iranian Kurdistan. Netanyahu: I support Kurdish independence. Syrian insurgents kidnap then release 300 Kurds. Israel’s road from Lausanne to Kurdistan. Unrest among Kurds in Iran is a reminder that the mullahs rule over a country fraught with ethnic tensionsJerusalem Post

BDS vs. Israel – The True “Islamophobia”Steve Schwartz

Internet Ushering In a New Middle Ages in Russia and Elsewhere, Klishin Says Paul Goble

Capitol Hill


The Future of U.S.-Hungary Relations Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats

Egypt Two Years After Morsi: Part I Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa 

Developments in RwandaForeign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations 


United States Policy in Iraq and Syria Armed Services Committee 

U.S. Cuban Relations – The Way ForwardForeign Relations Committee 

GAO Reports

Nuclear Weapons Council: Enhancing Interagency Collaboration Could Help with Implementation of Expanded Responsibilities – GAO-15-446

Army Force Structure:  Observations about Aviation Restructuring and Other Relevant Force Structure Challenges – May 20, 2015

Afghanistan: Embassy Construction Cost and Schedule Have Increased, and Further Facilities Planning Is Needed – GAO-15-410

Aviation Security: Proposals to Enhance Aircraft Tracking and Flight Data Recovery May Aid Accident Investigation, but Challenges Remain – GAO-15-443

CRS Reports

Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization in Brief – Edward C. Liu, Legislative Attorney; Charles Doyle. Senior Specialist in American Public Law 

Memorandum, May 19, 2015 To: House Judiciary Committee Subject: Sunset of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001

Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs

Legal Sidebar Freedom of Navigation and Territorial Seas, May 18, 2015

Categories: ACD/EWI Blog, Afghanistan, Airplane Hacking, Aviation Security, BDS, China, Christian, Cuba, Cyber, Cyber security, CyberAttacks, Egypt, El Sisi, EU, European Union, Hacking, Hezbollah, incitment, Iran, Iran deal, Iraq, ISIS, ISIS/IS, Islamist, Jack Templeton, Jihad, Jihadist, Korea, Kurdistan, Kurds, Latest News, Libel Tourism, Libya, Lone Wolf, Middle East Conflicts, Morsi, Nuclear Iran, Obama, Obama Administration, Putin, Radicalization, Russia, Russia and East Europe, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, Supporting Free Speech, Syria, Terrorism, Tsarnaev, U.S., U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S. Policy, UN, Xi Jinping, Yemen

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