Obama Threatens Veto of National Defense Bill denying Restitution for Victims of Iran Terrorism
American Victims of Iranian Terrorism
Screenshot, US Rep. Meeham Facebook
September 29, 2015
Thursday, October 1, 2015, Congress is scheduled to vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016. However, President Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA because one of the provisions would bar him from lifting Iranian sanctions under the JCPOA. Among several amendments incorporated in the NDAA that the President objects to is the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism H.R.3457 sponsored by Rep. Pat Meeham (R-PA) as HR and in the Senate by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill) , S 2086. As Ken Timmerman noted in his Threat Blog, the Act would:
Require the Islamic Republic of Iran to pay an estimated $43 billion to victims of terrorism before the U.S. government would unfreeze Iranian government assets under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal.”
Adam Kredo in a Washington Free Beaconarticle on the legislation noted the background and comments of Senator Kirk:
The $43 billion in damages to American terror victims were assessed as a result of some 50 U.S. court cases in recent years, according to official government estimates.
Iranian-backed terrorist groups, for example, have killed more than 700 Americans, including at least 290 in Lebanon over the past several decades. This accounts for the 241 U.S. service members murdered during the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which Iran sponsored.
Kirk said in the statement on the legislation:
Iran-sponsored terrorists have killed more Americans than the Islamic State. Families of Americans killed by Iranian-backed terrorism have used U.S. laws to take Iran to court and lawfully win approximately $43.5 billion in unsatisfied damages, so if the United States fails to ensure Iran fully pays these judgments before Iranian terror financiers get over $100 billion in sanctions relief, we risk emboldening Iran and other state sponsors of terror to continue targeting and killing more Americans.
One of those Americans was US Navy diver Chief Petty Officer Robert Stethem, was murdered by Hezbollah terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyah during the 1985 hijacking of Trans World Airlines Flight 847. Another was teenager Danny Wultz of Weston, Florida who was mortally wounded in a suicide bombing by an operative of Iranian - sponsored terror group, Palestine Islamic Jihad at a Tel Aviv outdoor café in 2006 while vacationing with his father,Tuly, who survived the blast.
Stethem’s brother Kenneth, a former Navy SEAL joined Rep. Meeham and other Members of Congress Wednesday to draw attention to tomorrow’s vote on the NDAA incorporating the Iran Victims Terror Act. The Washington Free Beaconcited Kenneth Stethem’s comments:
Terrorism has become something more and more frequent because we haven’t developed an effective policy against it and we need to do that. I really believe this bill is the first step in doing that. He added that the passage of the legislation would offer “closure” for families of terror victims. My brother can never be brought back, but the people who perpetrated these acts on my brother and hundreds of other victims can and should be held accountable.
Watch this You Tube video that Rep. Meehan used to introduce the Justice for Iran Victims Act in the House:
We’re putting our victims to the side if we enable these dollars to be returned to Iran without any attachment to them.
Look, these are Marines who died protecting our barracks, these are American citizens who were sitting in cafes in Israel, and these are people who were hijacked in planes and murdered in cold blood after being tortured. It’s some small measure of accountability that [Iran] should be required to pay [these families] before the very money we now have some influence over is returned.
Rep. Meeham is running a Twitter campaign in support of the legislation using the hashtag, #NotOneCent
Timmerman drew attention to the statement issued by the President’s Office of Management and Budget threatening a veto:
The Office of Management and Budget today issued a statement that it “strongly opposes” making Iran pay the terrorism claims, arguing that “obstructing implementation of the JCPOA would greatly undermine our national security interests.
President Obama will veto the bill if it makes it through to his desk, the OMB promised.
In the midst of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s Pentagon press conference over the controversial Russian bombing of Syrian targets, a thoughtful reporter, why the Administration would veto the NDAA incorporating the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act. Watch this C-Span video excerpt of Secretary Carter’s response:
[This is an excerpt from the last chapter of The Black Flag of Jihad stalks la République, scheduled for release on December 10th]
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A Solution for Muslim Refugees Clamoring to Enter Europe?
by Norman Berdichevsky (October 2015)
Every night on a dozen or more West European television channels, (Americans, by and large are still unaware of this chaos because of the geographic separation of a continent and an ocean), the news programs bring into people’s homes, heart wrenching pictures of tens of thousands of destitute refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other regions in Africa, about 98% of whom are Muslims, clamoring to enter Europe. In July alone, an estimated 100,000 refugees from the Middle East and North Africa entered European territory. more>>>
Father Gabriel Naddaf, an Arab-Israeli Christian, blamed “Palestinian extremists” for burning down the church.
“I condemn with all my heart the laxness of the Palestinian Authority in protecting Christian holy places it controls. I also hope that all the Christian leaders who demonstrated when the Church of Bread and Fishes near Tiberias was burned down will also demonstrate against this terrible act,” Naddaf wrote on Facebook. Naddaf called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to handle the matter with the same “seriousness and severity” that the Palestinians appear to demonstrate when investigating incidents that occur inside of the State of Israel.
Christian leaders in Bethlehem joined Naddaf in condemning the Palestinian Authority—who blamed the fire on an “electrical malfunction.”
“The [Palestinian Authority] tries to sweep these incidents under the rug but it never condemns these acts, which interfere with freedom of religion,” An unidentified Christian leader told Israel National News.
Emilie Koenig, designated as a global terrorist this week by the United States, grew up the daughter of a French gendarme in windswept Brittany before her metamorphosis into a radical Islamist. Koenig, 31, is now a key member of France's jihadist movement fighting in Syria where she is involved in recruiting and spreading propaganda.
"She is an important member of the jihadist community, she is very active on social media. We know her very well," a high-ranking French anti-terrorism official told AFP. Her assets have been frozen in France since 2012, when she left for Syria to join her husband who was already fighting alongside IS, making her one of the first of hundreds of French citizens to join the group.
She was born in 1984 in the port town of Lorient in northwestern France, the youngest in a family of four. She had an outwardly normal life until she met her first husband. It was while married to the man of Algerian origin, who had been imprisoned on drug charges, that she converted to Islam, learned Arabic and began to call herself Samra. She began wearing the full-face niqab veil and came into contact with Forsane Alizza, a local Islamist group also called the "knights of pride" which gained attention for its protests against France's 2010 decision to ban full-face veils in public.
Several former members of the group have since been linked to jihadist acts, such as Yassin Salhi who in June beheaded his boss and displayed the severed head on the fence of a gas plant, surrounded by Islamic flags.
In 2010, while wearing the niqab, Koenig was discovered handing out leaflets calling for jihad near a mosque in Lorient. She was also often seen at the forefront of protests in Paris, fully veiled. In 2012, when summoned to court for her actions, she refused to remove her veil, prompting an altercation with a security guard that she filmed and posted on YouTube.
After Forsane Alizza was disbanded in 2012 by the government, which called it a "private militia", Koenig opened several Facebook accounts calling for a holy war. It was around the same time that she left the country for Syria.
Like many other women who have left to join the militants, she is not allowed to fight, but often appears in propaganda videos. In one of them, posted in 2013, she appears training with a shotgun in Syria. In another she addressed propaganda messages to her two sons who still live in France with their grandmother.
"Don't forget that you are Muslim," she told the boys. "Jihad will not end as long as there are enemies to vanquish."
According to the UN watchlist, she often calls contacts in France from Syria, encouraging them to commit violent actions against designated targets such as French institutions or the wives of French soldiers. A source close to the case, speaking on condition of anonymity, described Koenig as "highly strung" and said she had declared herself willing to carry out a suicide attack.
Koenig was one of three French nationals named on the list of 35 people from a variety of countries who were hit with sanctions or terror designations for their affiliation with the Islamic State group.Maxime Hauchard, who has appeared in grisly Isis execution videos, and Peter Cherif, a member of Al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate AQAP, were also named.However it was the number of women on the list that was striking as Isis increasingly targets young Western women who play key roles in recruiting jihadists.
Khaled El Azibi, Naji El Maarfi and Mohammed Abdalsalam carried out the attacks while stationed at Bassingbourn Barracks, near Royston, last October.
A police spokesman told the News: "All we can say is all three men have been released from prison into a secure immigration unit and they are now seeking asylum."
A lawyer for one of their three victims said the woman was "dismayed".
Specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer, of Slater and Gordon, which is representing a woman who was sexually assaulted by Libyan cadets, said: "She is dismayed by this news and feels it would be an insult if they were to be granted asylum.
"These men committed very serious crimes while being trained by the British Army at the Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridge. Their actions have had a devastating impact on their victims. For these victims to learn that their attackers are now seeking asylum, and could remain in the country, risks setting back their attempts to rebuild their lives and move on from their ordeal. If you have to do that in the knowledge that that person has now come to this country and is trying to build a life here, I think that is very, very, very difficult to deal with, and completely wrong and unacceptable. I think it's a breach of their human rights and really we can't allow this to happen."
Indeed. The human rights of the victims should be a priority.
The incidents prompted the Ministry of Defence to send the soldiers back to their home country early, ending an agreement to put 2,000 soldiers through basic infantry and junior command training in an attempt to help rebuild the troubled nation. Prime Minister David Cameron previously insisted that no Libyan soldiers involved in the programme should be granted asylum after a "very small handful" made applications to stay in the UK.
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Wilders’ PVV Vaults to Top Party in Latest Dutch Public TV Poll
France’s Marine Le Pen of National Front and Geert Wilders of Dutch Freedom Party (PVV)
The great wave of largely Muslim immigration flooding the EU and the Netherlands is vaulting Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party to the largest party in the Netherlands in polls taken by Dutch public TV. The result is the PVV now tops the Rutte ruling coalition in a hypothetical Hague Parliament snap election.
According to De Stemming, the monthly political poll of EenVandaag (Dutch public television), conducted by research bureau GfK, the PVV gains seven seats this month and is now virtually the biggest party in the country.
Never before has the party of Geert Wilders had as many seats as this month. Coalition parties VVD and PvdA each lose one seat and respectively have 23 and 11 seats now. As a result, the PVV is now as large as both coalition parties combined.
If we look at the electorate that did not vote PVV last month and does so now, it is clear that the movement in the direction of Wilders’ party has one single cause: the flow of refugees heading for Europe and the Netherlands, and the problems resulting from this. The participants of the poll indicate that they are very worried by this and they refer to incidents in the past weeks surrounding centers for asylum seekers and municipalities where refugees are housed. Three months ago, the voters who now flock to PVV were supporting other parties: VVD, but also SP, PvdD, 50plus and CDA lose voters to Wilders.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte Haarlem Emergency Center September 21, 2015
The Dutch Police Union NPB is concerned about increasing violence among asylum seekers as police forces are having to bolster their efforts to maintain peace around refugee reception centers, the union told newspaper AD. They advocate splitting up refugees into groups based on religion, and perhaps also nationality or ethnicity to help calm the situation down.
President of the NPB Han Busker is asking the Central Organization for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) to take into careful consideration the makeup of residents at reception centers. It is in everybody’s interests, and not just those of the asylum seekers, for safer and more peaceful operations, he added.
Fighting last week at reception centers in both Utrecht and Almelo required a massive police turnout to control the situations. Although it is not clear if ethnic or religious tension were the main cause of the unrest, Gert van der Kamp of another police union, APB, also echoed his colleague’s sentiment. He intends to raise the issue with the Dutch cabinet.
A spokesperson from the COA told AD that separating people of different religions and ethnicities is a policy from decades past, and that modern experience has shown that desegregating the refugee population is more sustainable and manageable.
However, Peter Wijninga from The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies highlights that the reports of abuses from the German asylum centers should be a warning of the frictions that arise when all ethnic groups are lumped together.
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