AK-47s Awarded to Winners of Radio Contest in Somalia

Al-Shabab is a group fighting Somalia’s central government and African Union troops in Mogadishu. It controls large parts of southern Somalia where it has imposed its strict interpretation of Islam. It is estimated to have some 15,000 fighters.

Al-Shabab has claimed an affiliation with al-Qaeda since 2007, and its leaders are believed to have received training at al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. In February 2008, al-Shabab was added to the U.S. government’s list of foreign terrorist groups.

Al-Shabab’s members are very clear about their objective: to overthrow Somalia’s government and enact strict Shari’a law. The group has banned music, videos, shaving and even bras in the areas it controls and maintains control through often brutal methods. Women accused of adultery are publicly stoned to death; teenaged thieves have had their limbs severed; one Somali said his brother was killed simply for selling phone cards to Ethiopian troops.

Recruiting fighters for the civil war in Somalia is evidently becoming more difficult and Al-Shabab has been resorting to desperate measures to gain new recruits. A radio station operated by the Al-Shabab militant group ran a contest for children and youths earlier this month in which the main prize was an AK-47 assault rifle plus the equivalent of $700 and religious books. The second prize was an AK-47 plus $500 and religious literature. The third prize was two hand grenades and $400.

A very large ceremony was held in Mogadishu outskirts of Elasha, and was attended by senior officials of Al-Shabab group where they advised the children to go into ongoing fighting in Somalia and battle against Somalia government and the African Union troops in Mogadishu.

At the end of the ceremony Sheikh Moktar Robow abu Mansur, senior Al-Shabab leader and former spokesman of the group awarded three young teenagers who have won the contest.

“We want the children to fight for defending of their country and their religion.. just take these guns,” he said, “Children should have one hand on the Koran but the other on a rifle to defend Islam.”

ACORN-affiliated Group Gets $300,000 From Taxpayers via HUD

In early August, an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) received another $300,000 in taxpayer funding.
President Barack Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the $300,000 grant to the post-ACORN ally: The Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). The Obama administration awarded the money despite a 2010 law saying no taxpayer funds could be issued to ACORN “or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations.”

AHCOA was previously named “Acorn Housing Corporation,” a group that did a lot of business with ACORN. Acorn Housing changed its name to AHCOA in late 2009.

The way HUD and the Obama administration justify funding AHCOA is by saying it’s not “affiliated” or “allied” with ACORN. To make their case, the Obama officials rely on a September 29, 2010 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report arguing the case that AHCOA isn’t “affiliated” or “allied” with ACORN.

The GAO argument is that since AHCOA changed its name and cut off official financial ties with ACORN, it’s still legally allowed to receive taxpayer money, as AHCOA is not technically connected with ACORN when applying the legal definition of “affiliated” or “allied.”

This is one more example of the current administration choosing to ignore the laws of the nation and the will of the people.

The government should act immediately to recoup the money illegally obtained by this, and any other “formerly associated with ACORN” organizations which have simply changed their names. I would further suggest that any amount awarded to these organizations by HUD should also be deducted from HUD’s budget as a penalty for their brazen disregard for the law passed in 2010!

Hezbollah Expanding Operations – Coming to a Base in Cuba Soon!

According to a recent report in Italy’s respected Corriere della Sera newspaper, Cuba has allowed a group of Hezbollah operatives to establish a base for external terrorist operations in the region.

Three Hezbollah terrorists operating out of Mexico have left that country to establish a permanent ”bridgehead” to the communist island, calling their clandestine operation “The Caribbean Dossier.” Twenty-three other terrorists from the Iran-linked terror group are expected to join the operation, which has a startup budget of more than $500,000. Corriere reported that the mission in Cuba is to provide logistical support for upcoming terrorist attacks planned in the Western Hemisphere.

Safely ensconced with the Cuban government’s hospitality, Hezbollah’s operatives can carry out missions such as acquiring passports, recruiting informants and forging documents.

More disturbingly, they have been tasked to network with Hezbollah’s other terrorist cells in Venezuela, Paraguay and Mexico, all in need of logistical support for attacks.

The Italian newspaper reported that Hezbollah might be planning a major attack against Israeli targets in the Western Hemisphere in retaliation for Israel’s killing of Hezbollah’s chief assassin, Imad Mughniyeh, in Damascus in 2008. Mughniyeh was a Hezbollah terrorist leader implicated in the two huge attacks in Buenos Aires in the 1990s on Jewish targets — strikes that remain unpunished.

But the targets might not all be Latin American. With Hezbollah ordered to meet with, presumably in Havana, Mexico’s cartel traffickers that control illegal alien routes into the U.S., it’s likely terrorist attacks are in the works for America, too.

“Once you create the networks, the guerrillas will be held ready for their missions,” Corriere reported of Hezbollah’s orders.

A 2007 investigation by Telemundo and NBC News uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah based in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier.

The operation funnels large sums of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South American officials.

At the time, it was reported that U.S. officials feared that poorly patrolled borders and rampant corruption in the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah terrorists to infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection, to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico simply by posing as tourists. Then Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Hezbollah militiamen would raise no suspicions because they have Latin American passports, speak Spanish and look like Hispanic tourists.

The CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, in a 2004 threat paper, singled out the Mexican border as an especially inviting target for Hezbollah operatives. “Many alien smuggling networks that facilitate the movement of non-Mexicans have established links to Muslim communities in Mexico.”

According to a 2010 internal memo from the Tucson Police Department, Islamic terrorist groups are setting up shop in Mexico and forming alarming ties with the country’s brutal drug cartels. The memo warns that Hezbollah has established operations — and a large arms stockpile — in Mexico.

The memo also warns that consequences of partnerships between Hezbollah and Mexico’s drug partnerships could be disastrous for Mexico’s drug war, given Hezbollah’s advanced weapons capabilities — specifically their expertise with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It notes that some Mexican criminal organizations have started using small IEDs and car bombs, a marked change in tactics that indicates a relationship with Islamic militants.

Partnerships between Mexican organized crime and Islamic militants are mutually beneficial — and therefore terrifying. The cartels are able to gain smuggling and weapons expertise, as well as access to cheap heroin from Afghanistan and Iran. The terrorists benefit from Mexico’s drug war lawlessness and its porous border with their primary target: The United States.

Perhaps, this scenario being played out in our back yard could be a reason that some call for the U.S. to secure its borders. It might not have anything to do with racism as is so often reported!

President Obama’s Plan to Cut National Debt or Campaign Tactic

This morning, while watching Morning Joe on MSNBC, I was treated to the fact that President Obama would be speaking from the White House Rose Garden later today to announce his plan to cut the national debt.

Even co-host Mika Brzezinski and regular guests Mark Halperin and Jon Meacham questioned whether President Obama is serious or whether it is a positioning tactic for re-election.

They discussed highlights of the president’s proposals which include a $3 trillion in savings in addition to the approximately $1 trillion in cuts already called for under the debt ceiling deal enacted in August.

The proposed savings over the next 10 years would include:

$1.5 trillion in tax increases, primarily on the wealthy, through a combination of closing loopholes and limiting the amount that high earners can deduct.

Just over $1 trillion in war savings coming from ending the combat mission in Iraq and withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Also $580 billion in cuts to mandatory spending which includes approximately $250 billion from Medicare and $80 billion from Medicaid. White House officials say the Medicare cuts will not come from raising the retirement age, but may include some means testing.

The White House is calling the new program the “Buffet Rule”, named after billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, who has frequently argued that the rich aren’t taxed enough.

What they didn’t say out loud, but scrolling on the bottom of the screen was a statement that a reduction of military retirement benefits would also take place.

All of what I was seeing on MSNBC brought a number of questions to my mind.

First, is this proposed cut to Medicare that President Obama is going to suggest going to be in addition to the $818 billion cut to Medicare Part A and the cuts to Medicare Part B which would bring the total Obama administration cuts to Medicare to $1.05 trillion in the first ten years and $4 trillion over the first 20 years?

Secondly, the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq? I thought the President and his handlers took the credit multiple times for the withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq when the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division crossed the border into Kuwait in August of 2010.

Thirdly, it strikes me as odd when I hear a proposal to raise taxes on the rich by closing loopholes and restricting deductions, but stretching it over ten years, by the same people who reject suggestions to completely change tax system because it would take too much time. Would it take longer than ten years?

And lastly, the “Buffet Rule?” Really? We are talking about the same CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, aren’t we? You know, Berkshire Hathaway, the company who still owes back taxes for years 2002 through 2004 and 2005 through 2009. An administration that would use that name for a new proposal that includes tax increases would hire someone who hasn’t paid his taxes to be Secretary of the Treasury!

What the President is doing today, is making a statement that will be followed in a couple of days with speeches criticizing the Republicans for blocking “progress.”

Obama-speak. Washington-speak. Why don’t we try something new and refreshing…truth and openness.