Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Muslim politicians in the Western world come in two general varieties: those rare ones who are candid about their desire to transform the West in accordance with the dictates of their faith, and those, far greater in number, who prefer to disguise that ambition. The first category includes people like Abdirizak Waberi, a Swedish MP turned Islamic school principal who has actually admitted he believes in “banning music and dancing, prohibiting boys and girls from socializing, and allowing men to beat their four wives with sticks when they became disobedient,” and Brussels city councilman Redouane Ahrouch, who openly advocates for sharia government and recently called for a separation of the sexes on that city’s public transport.

In the second category are Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who while striving to pose as a progressive allows his mask to slip now and then (recently, he told an interviewer that “every Muslim is a bit of a salafist”), and London mayor Sadiq Khan, another faux liberal who has, in fact, ordered police to put less emphasis on monitoring potential terrorists and more emphasis on harassing Islam critics. And let’s not forget Minnesota’s (and the DNC’s) own Keith Ellison, who poses as a standard-issue Democrat but belonged for a decade to the Nation of Islam, speaks at CAIR events, and has ties to several pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic groups.

Also belonging to the latter category is Somali-born Bashe Musse, a Norwegian Labor Party politician who has been a member of the Oslo City Council since 2011. During the last couple of weeks he’s been making headlines because of a Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) report on “dumping.” What’s dumping? Like honor killing and female genital mutilation, it’s a common practice in Europe’s Muslims communities. Instead of sending their kids to regular neighborhood schools, many Muslim parents in Europe send their children off to madrasses – Koran schools – in the countries from which they, the parents, emigrated. The children stay in these schools for years at a time, memorizing the Islamic holy book while their agemates back in Europe learn math, science, and literature.

“Dumping” is eyebrow-raising for more than one reason. Many of these kids’ parents were allowed into Europe in the first place because they professed to be refugees from oppression in their homelands. The fact that they’re shipping their kids off to schools in those same countries gives the lie to those claims. The parents also often maintain that they’re proud to be French, Swedish, or whatever, and that they’re striving to assimilate into their adopted nations. But the whole point of sending these kids to madrasses in the Muslim world is to shield them from what the parents consider the baleful influence of Western civilization.

Last year, NRK produced, as noted, a report on Somali madrasses in which children from Norway have been enrolled. Many viewers considered the revelations eye-popping. In fact it was old news. In a 2004 study, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Norway’s Human Rights Service (HRS) documented, in extraordinary and devastating detail, the grim reality of daily life in these institutions, where the conditions are almost always primitive and where the atmosphere is less that of a First World school than of a Third World prison. NRK’s report, which contained interviews with children living in Norway who had attended the Somali madrasses, confirmed HRS’s findings: at those “schools,” the children had been tied up, whipped, beaten, and subjected to other sorts of brutal treatment that would ordinarily be considered torture.

Which brings us to Bashe Musse, who in addition to being an Oslo city councilman is also the official chief spokesperson for Norway’s Somali community, the largest non-Western immigrant group in the country. After NRK’s report aired last year, he claimed to be shocked by its contents. But on May 29 of this year, NRK reported that in an interview aired on Somali TV, Musse had dismissed the children’s testimony about the madrasses and regretted that such lies, as he called them, had been “sold to the Norwegian people” by the Norwegian media, which he characterized as “one-sided.”

When confronted by NRK with a transcript of his comments to Somali TV, Musse insisted that the person who had translated his words from Somali into Norwegian had fouled up, entirely misrepresenting his views. NRK thereupon engaged the services of another translator, whose product was essentially identical to that of the first translator. It then presented the transcript to various government officials. Frode Jacobsen, head of the Oslo Labor Party, said he was “surprised and shocked” by Musse’s “double communication,” which he described as “very unfortunate.” Norway’s Minister of Integration, Jan Tore Sanner, also expressed concern, but did not call for any action against Musse. The Progress Party’s immigration spokesman, Jon Helgheim, went quite a bit further, scorning Musse as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and urging that the Labour Party discipline him in some way. But as far as I have been able to determine, no one in a position of power has demanded Musse’s resignation or removal from the City Council.

Lying to infidels, of course, has a name in Arabic – taqiyya – and it is one of the chief weapons of Islam in its eternal conflict with non-believers. Among its more celebrated practitioners is “Euro-Islam” proponent, Oxford professor, accused serial rapist, and current jailbird Tariq Ramadan, who is known to routinely say one thing to Western audiences in French or English and another to Muslim audiences n Arabic. Indeed, Caroline Fourest’s book about him is entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan. To employ taqiyya, as Musse appears to have done, is to demonstrate definitively that one is not on the side of the West but that one is a double agent – a partisan, a person whose true loyalty lies, shall we say, elsewhere.

Within a few hours of being caught dead to rights on NRK as a practitioner of doublespeak, Musse made an announcement. Did he resign? Of course not. He declared that NRK had represented him to the Norwegian public as a liar and, what’s more, had painted an unflattering picture of Somalia.  Accordingly, he had contacted a lawyer, Arild Humlen, to ascertain what legal rights he had in the matter. 

What makes this story important, needless to say, is that Musse is not an outlier. Far from it. Increasingly, all over the West, Muslims hold elected positions, some of them at a very high level. It is considered to be racist, or at the very least to be in terribly bad taste, to question whether they can be loyal at once to their totalizing, all-encompassing religion and to their officially secular country and its (still) mostly non-Muslim inhabitants. Once those poiticians are caught engaging in taqiyya, of course, there is no further reason for doubt on this score.

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Here’s How ICE Sent Children Seeking Asylum to Adult Detention Centers

A group of young migrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas, in this photo from June 2014. One teen arrived in the United States in 2015 seeking asylum after his father was murdered in Somalia.

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Newly released Niger ambush video: American survivors sent final messages to loved ones

Seven Americans who survived a deadly ambush on a convoy in a remote part of Niger in October expected to die on the battlefield, according to new information released Thursday by the Pentagon.

More than an hour after their team of 11 American and 34 Nigerien troops was attacked just outside the village of Tongo Tongo in the West African nation, the American survivors – six Green Berets and an intelligence contractor – drafted final words to families and friends, a video narration of the ambush revealed. Four U.S. soldiers were killed by Islamic State fighters in the ambush.

“They wrote short messages to loved ones on personal devices, believing they would soon be overrun,” the video’s narrator states as dots representing the seven Americans and four Nigeriens take a defensive position in a swamp while enemy fighters pursued them.

The Pentagon on Thursday released the 23-minute video that it prepared for Congress, one week after Defense Department officials released an eight-page summary of a roughly 6,300-page investigation into the Oct. 4 incident that led to widespread scrutiny of the U.S. military’s mission in Africa. An abbreviated 11-minute version of the video was shown to reporters on May 10, but it was cut off just before the narrator mentioned the messages soldiers sent home.

Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, told reporters that they were not initially shown the video because of its length.

According to the newly released video, the ISIS fighters stopped pursuing the Americans and Nigeriens shortly after they drafted their messages when American drones and two French fighter jets arrived at the scene. After four shows of force by the French warplanes, the enemy forces eventually fled the area, though no bombs were dropped.

The deaths of four U.S. soldiers, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Sgt. La David Johnson, made the fight the deadliest on the African continent for American troops since the infamous Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia in 1993.

Black and Wright were Green Berets and Jeremiah Johnson and La David Johnson – who were not related – were support troops attached to 3rd Special Forces Group, which had deployed from Fort Bragg in North Carolina about a month before the attack.

Top AFRICOM officials, including Army Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, the AFRICOM chief of staff who led the probe into the incident, blamed systemic problems for the soldiers ending up in a fight where they were outmanned three-to-one and outgunned.

The soldiers did not spend enough time training together before deploying, did not properly prepared for their mission with Nigerien troops and were not properly equipped to fight a well-trained enemy, Cloutier determined in his investigation. The troops initially set out on a mission to capture or kill a leader of ISIS in the Greater Sahara without properly informing their chain of command, which thought the eight-vehicle convoy was on a mission to meet with village leaders. The American-Nigerien unit did not anticipate encountering such a large force of militants, which Cloutier said had never been observed operating in the area previously.

The new video also revealed other details about the efforts to rescue the American survivors and the four U.S. soldiers who were killed, including La David Johnson, whose body was not found for another two days after the attack.

The video shows a Nigerien force tasked with rescuing the survivors some five hours after the beginning of the ambush had opened fire for 48 seconds on the American-Nigerien unit with automatic weapons after “mistaking the team for enemy forces.”

“Fortunately, no one was injured further,” the video’s narrator said.

Drone footage included in the new video shows the recovery of La David Johnson’s body. Pentagon spokesmen asked the footage not be published out of consideration for Johnson’s loved ones.

The grainy, black and white footage shot from high in the air shows Nigerien troops recovering the soldier’s body from under a tree more than a half-mile from the ambush site and later shows American forces loading his remains into a helicopter.

Cloutier told reporters May 10, Johnson died at the location where his body was found and he had never been captured alive by enemy fighters, as some reports had indicated previously. ISIS militants stripped his body of his boots and his gear, but he was dead – shot more than 20 times, according to a defense official – before they reached him.

“He made his last stand, and he fought to the end,” Cloutier said.

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© 2018 Stars & Stripes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Here’s how ICE sent children seeking asylum to adult detention centers

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

This article originally appeared on Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

reveal-logo-black-on-white
One teen arrived in the United States in 2015 seeking asylum after his father was murdered in Somalia. Another fled Afghanistan last year after the Taliban killed his father and the Islamic State group killed his brother.

But instead of building new lives in the U.S., both ended up in adult detention centers based on the opinion of the same University of Texas dentist — who never met them or examined their teeth.

It’s the latest example of the Department of Homeland Security failing to abide by federal policies, laws and directives from both Congress and internal agency auditors about how to determine the age of unaccompanied immigrant youths, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

For more than a decade, the department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement has come under fire for its use of  dental and bone scans. Congressional committees twice have directed ICE to stop subjecting youths to the procedures. A federal audit questioned the scientific validity of bone and dental scans to determine age with much precision.

“Using radiographs of a person’s bones or teeth . . . cannot produce a specific age due to a range of factors affecting an individual’s growth,” the audit states. “These include normal biological variation, as well as cultural and ethnic differences.”

Mixing juveniles and adults in immigration detention centers violates a longstanding federal decree. But youths who arrive in the country unaccompanied often lack official documents such as birth certificates, and immigration authorities are legally required to make a determination on age within a few days.

On these two occasions, ICE held youths in adult detention centers based on analysis federal immigration authorities had conducted by Dr. David R. Senn, a dentist and clinical assistant professor with the dentistry school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

According to one of Senn’s reports obtained by Reveal, he determined in 2015 that a Somali youth, Billal I. Caroog, was between 17 and 23 years old. Caroog had fled Somalia after his father was murdered, according to court records.

“The empirical statistical probability of (Caroog) having attained 18 years of age is 92.55%,” Senn’s report states.

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman disagreed, ruling that the age determination process in Caroog’s case was unlawful. Her order notes that a 2009 trafficking victims law requires the Office of Refugee Resettlement to use “multiple forms of evidence” rather than relying exclusively on dental and bone scans.

“The procedures . . . here resulted in the exclusive use of dental radiographs to make an age determination,” states Pechman’s May 2016 order, which required Caroog to be released from an adult detention center near Seattle. The Department of Homeland Security was ordered to immediately transfer Caroog out of adult detention until he “reaches the age of 18 based on the birth date he reported to Department of Homeland Security officials at the time he applied for admission into the United States.”

In September, ICE echoed that ruling in its own internal handbook, whichstates that dental and bone scans must be used only as “a last resort,” once all other avenues of verifying a young person’s purported age have been exhausted.

When reached by phone today, Senn declined to talk to Reveal on the record.

Attorney Matt Adams with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project represented Caroog in the case. In an interview with Reveal on Wednesday, Adams repeatedly called Senn’s dental analysis “pseudoscience.” He said Senn “keeps his hands clean and does it all on paper without ever even seeing the kids, using some kind of template formula that has the most drastic consequences on children.”

When Caroog’s X-rays were taken, Adams said he wasn’t aware they could be used as evidence against the youth. The X-rays, along with mug-shot-style photos of Caroog, were sent by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in Oregon to Senn’s office. Senn’s report states the X-rays were “provided by client” but doesn’t list who the client is.

In making the determination that ICE used to take Caroog into adult detention, Senn did not meet Caroog or physically examine his teeth.

Once ICE determined he was an adult, Caroog was taken from his foster family in handcuffs and placed in the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, where he was held for nearly six months until the federal judge ordered his release.

In a more recent case, Senn produced a dental analysis in December for another youth. The youth, H.S., fled Afghanistan after his father was killed by the Taliban and his brother was killed by the Islamic State group, according his attorney, Mariel Villarreal, who works with Pangea Legal Services in San Francisco. Reveal is using the youth’s initials because he is a minor and faces great risk if identified.

Senn’s report on H.S.’s dental scans contains much of the same language as the age estimation he made in Caroog’s case.

With H.S., Senn found the “range of possible ages for such a male is 16.56 to 23.18 years,” a span of nearly seven years. He concluded there was a 79.5 percent chance that H.S. was older than 18. Last week, a California immigration judge disagreed.

“The respondent’s birth certificate and consistent assertions of being under eighteen outweigh the dental age test,” Judge Patrick O’Brien wrote in an April 23 ruling. He directed ICE and attorneys for H.S. “to take appropriate actions consistent with the court’s finding.”

However, as of today, ICE continued to hold H.S. at the Mesa Verde Detention Facility, an adult detention center in Bakersfield, California — 10 days after O’Brien’s ruling. Attorneys for ICE submitted a motion to reconsider based on evidence obtained after the immigration judge’s order.

ICE did not respond to a request for comment about either case. Following a Reveal story last week, the agency declined to say how many times in the past year medical age assessment procedures were used to determine age. The Office of Refugee Resettlement said it was unable to respond to a request for comment by deadline.  

Congressional committees in 2007 and2008 directed ICE to halt the practice of obtaining dental and bone scans, calling the practice “insensitive and inappropriate.”

But ICE continued to use the scans, and the following year, an audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General criticized ICE’s reliance on them. The audit found that ICE failed to keep data on the practice, including how many minors had been subjected to bone and dental scans and how many had been commingled with adults as a result.

One problem with using dental and bone scans in immigration cases is that research was largely based on studies of  “ethnically homogenous populations,” the audit states.

In 2009, a new federal law called the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act required the Department of Homeland Security to develop age determination procedures that take “multiple forms of evidence” into account, including “non-exclusive use” of radiographs.

Dubbed the dental detective, Dr. Michael Bowers, a lawyer and dentist who writes about dental forensics, told Reveal that dental exams can be useful but should never be used as the sole evidence to make a medical age determination.

“You’ve got to use skeletal evidence,” he said, explaining that there is more data available on skeletal development than on dental development.

The Washington Post’s Radley Balkohas chronicled challenges to a bite-mark analysis championed by Senn. In 2016, Texas Monthly wrote that the Texas Forensic Science Commission was examining use of bite-mark evidence in criminal cases and gathering input from experts, including Senn, who insisted that bite-mark analysis was based on science.

In making his case to the commission, The Dallas Morning News reported that Senn invoked the need to keep children safe. Bite-mark analysis, for instance, has been used in child abuse cases.

“If this committee decides to declare a moratorium on bite-mark analysis, children will suffer,” he said.

But today, X-ray dental reports by Senn and other medical professionals working with ICE can end up sending minors to adult detention centers, which may not be safe for them.

“This practice has led to the erroneous placement of children in facilities commingled with adults who may seek to prey upon young children,” the House Appropriations Committee stated in its 2008 funding bill. “The Committee directs the Department to cease immediately its reliance on fallible forensic evidence as determinative of a child’s age, and provides no funding for this activity.”

Adams, whose client was released from an adult detention center despite Senn’s age estimation, said he believes dental and bone scan analyses are “basically giving rubber stamps to ICE to strip children of the protections they should receive.”

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Rand Paul: Congress Moves to Give the President Unlimited War Powers

In the near future, Congress will debate a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). I use the word “debate” lightly. So far, no hearings have been scheduled, and no testimony is likely to be heard unless something changes. That’s a shame, because this is a serious matter, and this is a deeply flawed AUMF.

For some time now, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to declare war. The status quo is that we are at war anywhere and anytime the president says so.

So Congress—in a very Congress way of doing things—has a “solution.” Instead of reclaiming its constitutional authority, it instead intends to codify the unacceptable, unconstitutional status quo.

It is clear upon reading the AUMF, put forward by Senators Tim Kaine and Bob Corker, that it gives nearly unlimited power to this or any other president to be at war whenever he or she wants, with minimal justification and no prior specific authority.

That isn’t an AUMF. That isn’t Congress reclaiming its constitutional duties. That’s a complete rewriting of the role of the executive and of the constitutional separation of powers.

The new Kaine/Corker AUMF declares war on at least the following places and people: the Taliban, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, ISIS anywhere, al-Shabaab in Somalia and elsewhere, al-Qaeda in Syria, al-Nusra in Syria, the Haqqani network in Pakistan and Afghanistan, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in Niger, Algeria, Libya, and Nigeria, and associated forces (as defined by the president) around the globe.

That is simply breathtaking. Previous AUMFs have never included “associated forces,” and with good reason. Yet the Kaine/Corker AUMF not only codifies military action against those associated forces, but by conservative estimates authorizes war in over 20 nations.

Should Congress declare war? Absolutely. Are there places we will need to be at war? Yes. Should we be having this debate at this time? Yes, we should. But we must have a full debate, with all sides considered, and with the constitutional power of every branch of government clearly in mind.

It is indisputably clear that the authority given to the executive under the AUMF passed after 9/11 has become too broad and needs updating. But this Kaine/Corker AUMF is not the answer. Simply put, it provides even more expansive war-making authority to the executive branch than the status quo.

If this AUMF is passed, Congress will have chosen to make itself irrelevant on the issue of war.

Currently, use of force without congressional authority is limited by the War Powers Act to national emergency or imminent attack. No more, under this AUMF.

Kaine/Corker would forever allow the executive unlimited latitude in determining war, and would leave Congress debating such action after forces have already been committed.

Under this bill, Congress could only disapprove of war, turning the Constitution on its head. Even worse, any resolution of disapproval could be vetoed, meaning two thirds of Congress would need to disapprove of a war, rather than a majority to approve of one. That’s a huge, unwise, and unconstitutional change.

The Founders left the power to make war in the legislature on purpose and with good reason. They recognized that the executive branch is most prone to war. The Kaine/Corker AUMF would completely abdicate Congress’s power under Article I.

Handing war-making power from Congress to the executive branch is not an exercise in congressional power. It is the final and full abandonment of that power. It is wrong, it is unconstitutional, and it should be stopped.

Rand Paul is the junior U.S. senator from Kentucky and a Republican.

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