Beltway Insider: Obama Hosts Counter-Terrorism Summit; ISIS Executes 21; Immigration Derailed

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President Barack Obama hosted, over the course of three days, ministerial leadership from more than 60 countries as nations came together to discuss, challenge, focus, and determine which course of action and ideas work best to combat violent extremism, in whole and in part.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, decreased three percentage points to 45% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased two percentage points to 50%. 

Counter Violence Extremism Summit

President Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Lisa O. Monoco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism,  over the course of three days, met with state and local leaders in a idea exchange summit as America turns the corner on a new era in counter terrorism.

“First, we must remain unwavering in our fight against terrorist organizations.  And in Afghanistan, our coalition is focused on training and assisting Afghan forces, and we’ll continue to conduct counter-terrorism missions against the remnants of Al-Qaeda in the tribal regions.  When necessary, the United States will continue to take action against aAl-Qaeda affiliates in places like Yemen and Somalia.  We will continue to work with partners to help them build up their security forces so that they can prevent ungoverned spaces where terrorists find safe haven, and so they can push back against groups like Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram,” the President said.

The last day of the three day summit included ministerial leadership from more than 60 countries as nations came together to discuss, challenge, focus, and determine which course of action and ideas work best to combat violence extremism, in whole and in part.

The CVE Summit, like most, begin with a general address to the participants, followed by smaller subject of interest topics. The White House Counter Violence Extremism Summit (CVE) followed the same pattern with some deviation. The first two days held to a domestic agenda, with Senior Level Department of Justice, Homeland, State and City leaders, in attendance.

The department of Homeland Security devoted time in agenda to present a three cities example on countering certain ideologies as America becomes more a nation of diversities and with that, while addresses may reflect American neighborhoods, ideals reflect cultures and customs of nations far from the shores of the United States.

In the wake of eruptions of global extremism, the subsequent global recruitment call which resulted in nearly 20,000 new terror recruits from 90 nations traveling to Syria answering the call with 3,400 from western culture where they are taught, trained, deemed loyal and sent out to kill.

The overwhelming response to these terrorist organizations has resulted in greater emphasis being placed, like any gang or cult, on proof of loyalty or allegiance which equates in the eyes of these hating organizations killing.

 The more extreme and increasingly violent nature of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al-Shabaab, the Nigerian terror organization with ties to the Somalia community in Twin Cities, Minnesota, the recent attacks on France’s Charlie Hebdo, and Copenhagen.

Prevention Frameworks

Countering extremist narratives, or determining the “sell,” the message and hook that persuades apparently normal, although possibly disenfranchised, clearly non-violent citizens into joining, embracing, the extremists’ viewpoint and lifestyle, followed by acting upon the initiatives presented, is a singular priority to dismantling the recruiting power.

Prevention frameworks have been developed with the assistance and law enforcement of densely populated and immigrant heavy communities. Building awareness and emphasizing community led initiative are also used in understanding the necessity of countering violent extremism.

Los Angeles, Greater Boston and the Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota were presented as case examples. It may seem obvious as to why Los Angeles and Greater Boston were designated example cities. Not so clear with Minneapolis’ Twin Cities.

The Twin cities are often scoffed at when presented and, surprisingly there are two large groups of watched populations. The first a growing community of Somali citizens and it has one of the largest concentrations of Latin American gang affiliates in the country.

To underscore the need for Counter-terrorism and cultural understanding, not sensitivity, but devotion through generational indoctrination, ideas and ideologies passed down from generation to generation, immigrants need to be acclimated to legal customs and cultural practices.

Al-Shabaab, the Nigerian terror group has issued a call to Somalis living in the Twin Cities area to untie and bomb the Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The credible threat also name two others including West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Oxford Street shopping area in London.

Al-Shabaab is the same terror group responsible for the four day siege on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya that killed more than 60 and wounded dozens.

Educating the public on the methods used by specific groups such as the siege, a mass take over with a militia, suicide bombers or a World Trade Center type large scale suicide bombing will be the key to minimal causalities.

It is doubtful a WTC scale attack could be successful or even implemented. The more viable options would be to implement plans of attack that have proven successful in similar attacks.

Social Media and Social Engagement

The CVE Summit also produced an initiative on the use of Social Media, speaking the first language of the youth, the world’s most susceptible, the use of various forms of social engagement designed to counter the message and platforms propagated by the recruitment practices of these extreme organizations.

Noting ISIS and other terrorist organizations intentionally prey on Muslims or those who adhere to the precepts and practices of Islam, and are sincere hearted and are now confused due to the double messaging propagated by the extremists who used religion and the sincerity of one’s beliefs to lure them into actions or behaviors meant to enslave or worse lead to death.

 “I know in some of the discussions these voices have been raised: “I witnessed horrible crimes committed by ISIS.”  “It’s not a revolution or jihad…it’s a slaughter…I was shocked by what I did.”  “This isn't what we came for, to kill other Muslims.”  “I’m 28 -- is this the only future I’m able to imagine?”  That's the voice of so many who were temporarily radicalized and then saw the truth.  And they've warned other young people not to make the same mistakes as they did.  “Do not run after illusions.”  “Do not be deceived.”  “Do not give up your life for nothing.”  We need to lift up those voices,” the President said.

The CVE Summit also resulted in an expanding Department of Homeland Security to include a full-time Senior level CVE director, partnership with the City of Los Angeles and due to the success of its model, additional cities will be given access to the prevention and intervention frameworks to implement similar models within other cities.

Amplify Peaceful Resolution

The ideas generated at this summit were developed in association with world leaders and although it hasn't been discussed presenting the talking points and ideas to those leaders of tomorrow including foreign leaders of a similar generation could possibly bring a fuller picture as to why the younger generation are, without questioning, flocking to ISIS and other terror organizations.

“As we go forward, we need to find new ways to amplify the voices of peace and tolerance and inclusion -- and we especially need to do it online.  We also need to lift up the voices of those who know the hypocrisy of groups like ISIL firsthand, including former extremists,” the President said.

Employment or the global unemployment crisis for youth, teenagers and younger workers especially in Europe was not mentioned, and unfortunately while it may be a factor is not something an immediate solution committee could end.

ISIS Executes 20

As if perpetuated to dominate President Obama’s presentation of both a domestic and international agenda to stop the spread, growth, and manifestation of extremism, ISIS, countered with the beheading of twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians, in a barbaric display of evil.

The videotape, at just over five minutes, has been called deeply disturbing, heinous, and extremely brutal and while no government leader or news agency disputes the prisoners are dead, some media have gone public disputing elements of the tape.

“This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL [ISIS],” ,” said White House Press Secretary John Earnest.

Specifically, the elongation of the black robed ISIS loyalists have been, psychologically, interpreted as first alter images and secondly for the purpose of creating the impression of dominance, of giants, of power.

The loyalty killings are chilling reminders of the price most cults demand of the underlings who desire to belong. The need to feel attached to something larger than oneself is common, and yet the manifestation in this case, and the delusion of grandeur or greatness is not only seen in the troubling displays coming out of Iraq and also in the facts surrounding the limited dominance ISIS, and all cults, have.  

When you have continued unanswered murder of citizens of the world by a single growing hate group, when you have countries, allies, concerned about invasion and take over, it’s time to explain to the American people, as we are wondering why our President is slow to take action, that we will be sending "boots on the ground."

The root of ISIS, the insidious cancer, the core of hate, with loyalties to former Al-Qaida leader Osama bin laden must be stopped permanently and finally. Allowing the organization continued growth, and apparent victories, until the mass murders take on the similarities of other evil regimes which has been the case, particularly with the response of the United States and ally Great Britain.

Criticized for not acting sooner or doing enough, the two nations, have stood and allowed American and British citizen to be executed without concentrated response. Without the capture and killing of the Jihad John or a recognized ISIS leader, the nations of which are joined in the coalition, appear to be acting cavalierly and without concern.

The immediate response of the Egyptian government as with the Jordanian government was to pummel the Iraq and the area determined to be the nucleus. Additionally,  after the proclamation of murder by ISIS, both Jordan and Egypt agreed to participate in President Obama Counter Violet Extremism Summit.

“This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL.  We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat,” said White House Press Secretary John Earnest.

Injunction Ends Immigration Plans

President Obama’s Immigration Reform package, suffered a setback this week as a ruling on an action filed by the State of Texas along with 25 other states, who claimed undue financial hardship associated with the care, processing and maintenance of the possible one million undocumented workers hoping to gain residency under the new agenda.

The action, State of Texas v. United States of America, Judge Andrew S. Hanen, of Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Brownsville, ruled in favor of Texas and 25 other states supporting a challenge to the president broad and sweeping immigration reforms.

Largely in place due to Executive Orders announced during the annual State of the Union Address, the potential of upwards of one million currently undocumented workers who meet the requirements outlined in the President’s action would be immediately eligible for all benefits associated with residency including income sensitive and public assistance.

Beyond the first tier level of processing the undocumented worker, the trickle-down effect will greatly tax an already overburdened public assistance system. The Immigration reform package deemed undue hardship would be placed on states to manage the influx of immigrates who stand to benefit from President Obama plan.

The Obama White House has vowed to appeal the decision, and has stopped accepting and will not accept any more application from undocumented workers until the court case has been settled. If there is anything slower in the United States than change it is the judicial system which deems the challenge could takes years.

Citing the heart wrenching and agonizing cases of children being ripped away from parents and other emotionally charged situations, President Obama though his Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, has made pleas to Republican senators and while the two parties finger point and assess blame for the failure or setback of a broad reaching immigration reform package

The legal challenge is based in the broad but limited powers the constitution affords the president. While Executive Actions are part of the power the office holds, the constitutional powers of the president limit even the executive actions. Basically a checks and balance system to prevent totalitarianism or authoritarian, a single person rule, dominance.

“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and the district court in Washington, D.C. have determined that the President’s actions are well within his legal authority. Top law enforcement officials, along with state and local leaders across the country, have emphasized that these policies will also benefit the economy and help keep communities safe. The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision,” Earnest said.

For more information on President Barack Obama:


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