Compassion International

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Amazing, Spot-on Response to the "Peaceful Islam" Argument

YouTube Link

This is an amazing monologue that every American needs to hear.

But I'd like to add an important point:

The statistic Brigitte cites for radicalized Islam is commonly quoted and terribly misleading. 15-25% of Muslims are radicalized by many intelligence accounts. More politically correct polls reduce that figure to 7%. But neither estimate accounts for a much larger percentage that favors the actions of those radical Muslims.

The number that quietly and intellectually supports the radicals is significantly harder to quantify. Certainly it depends on what exactly constitutes "radicalized" and what questions you ask in a poll.

This excellent article on WikiIslam compiles some of the data, showing that the figure of supporters of radical Islam can range from 40% to almost 90% depending on the poll and on the country you're in. For instance, polling indicates that 87% of Pakistanis believe that Muslims who convert to another religion should be killed.

To use the words that a wise individual once said to me, "Saying that only 15% of Muslims are radical because only that number actively participates in radical activities is like saying only 15% of Americans support abortion because only 15% are active abortion lobbyists or work for Planned Partenthood."

God Bless,
James R. Hannibal

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Burned out vehicle at site of Hamas attack on 12 June
No, the title is not sensationalism. 

It is not overstatement. It is not semantics. 

It is absolute truth.

The United States is now an official sponsor of one of the world's most famous terrorist organizations—Hamas.

Consider the following scenarios:

Masked gunmen open fire on a family in the West Bank, murdering the father and wounding his wife and child. A rocket attack launched from Gaza kills a four-year old boy and his grandfather as they play together in a park. An SUV stuffed with high-grade explosives detonates next to the Israeli Consulate in New York, ending dozens of American lives. All three attacks are funded with US taxpayer dollars. 

This is the future that lies ahead. 

It is already coming true.

There is an alarming trend in Washington D.C.—a willful, almost pathological pattern of sending U.S. dollars on a winding, circuitous path toward terrorist organizations. Until a few days ago, this support was always indirect and arguably unintentional. 

However, with the completion of the new unity government in the Palestinian Authority, the United States is now funneling hundreds of millions of dollars directly into the hands of terrorists—and the State Department worked hard to make it happen.

The Set-up:

On 23 April, Hamas and Fatah announced a deal to form a unity government for the Palestinian Authority, which was set to be finalized in June. Hamas is a bonafide, active terrorist organization that plays a prominent role in the State Department’s own annual report on terrorism, released in April.

This impending Palestinian Authority/Hamas government raised all kinds of flags and alarms in the international community, yet the Obama administration offered almost no response. A State Department spokesperson called the timing “troubling” and the announcement “disappointing.” That’s it.

At the time, Secretary Kerry offered no overt indication as to what will happen to the $440 million in US foreign aid that the Palestinian Authority is projected to receive this year. The only mention came in the form of a backchannel push to Reuters through an anonymous State Department official noting that, “Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to non-violence [and] recognition of the state of Israel.”

Thus the Obama administration's favorite game began again—the game of semantics. The anonymous official tactically avoided the word “terrorist” or the name “Hamas,” much like the administration tactically avoided the word “coup” when faced with a challenge to its aid to Egypt last year. In truth, that leak to Reuters was not meant for the public at all. It was an offer for Hamas, a demonstration that the State Department was willing to give Hamas and the Palestinian Authority a verbal out. The subtext was clear, “Change your words, not your actions, and we can keep sending you money.”

We should expect nothing less. Money is the Obama administration’s primary foreign policy tool, with foreign aid expenditures increasing by 28% in the president’s first term alone.

The Execution:

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority got the message loud and clear. They wasted no time in taking up the State Department's thinly-veiled offer. 

AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed
According to the Washington Post, Hamas accepted State Department help in crafting a government that excludes Hamas officials from key ministry positions, therefore meeting the dubious semantic qualification of not bearing "undue influence" from Hamas.


Whether or not the most important government officials were taken from Hamas leaders, Hamas is now part of the Palestinian Authority government and will be receiving funds through US aid that it can apply to all its activities—the horrific indoctrination of youth to produce "martyrs," the direct rocket attacks from Gaza, the kidnappings, and all the rest. And certainly it will, because the State Department's crafty solution eliminated the need for Hamas to commit to non-violence.

In fact, in a tragically seamless transition to legitimacy under US
sponsorship, Hamas did not take a break from terrorism at all. Ten days after the formation of the new government, three teens were kidnapped during a violent attack in the West Bank. According to Haaretz, Israeli intelligence and forensic teams have linked Hamas political leaders to the attack—members of the new unity government.

The Future:

Of course, US backing has made kidnappings and rockets small potatoes. With hundreds of millions of US tax dollars flowing directly into their hands, Hamas will finally be able to act out broader threats.

The scenarios that opened this article are based in reality. The first two are based on attacks praised or claimed by Hamas in recent months. The last, most devastating scenario is based on a call for violence issued last July by a Hamas official—now a lower-ranking member of the unity government—that called for Hamas followers to begin attacks on Israeli allies worldwide. 

Imagine that someone you love is tragically killed in a Hamas attack on US soil. Now imagine that you paid for that attack with your own money. 

This will soon become a twisted reality for many Americans.


One of the teens kidnapped on 12 June is a U.S. citizen—16-year-old Naftali Frankel. 

In a wildly paradoxical move, Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned  the kidnappings. The State Department also agrees with the IDF assessment that Hamas is behind them. At this point 100 arrests have been made, including numerous Hamas officials. Yet there is still no mention from the US administration of ceasing funding to a unity government backed by the same terrorist group.

Who will explain to Naftali's mother that the United States is both condemning and funding her son's tormentors? 

James R. Hannibal earned a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy and has spent more than 1,000 combat hours hunting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of SHADOW CATCHER and SHADOW MAKER from Berkley Books and Brilliance Audio.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Bobby Fischer of Terror: Of Chess, Dominoes, and Wanton Destruction

"What do dominoes and chess have to do with it?" you might ask.
"Terrorism is no game."
Oh, but it is.

To take the Devil's side for a moment, terrorism is all about the game.
  • There is an end goal
    • Instead of a finish line or a high score, the terrorist seeks the drama of a high level of gore.
  • There is the thrill of outsmarting an opponent. 
    • Taking multiple airliners, the Boston Marathon, a US Embassy—all good targets have defenses to overcome, and therein lies both the challenge and the victory. To see your opponents' patterns, predict their movements, and defeat them on their own ground is inordinately satisfying no matter who you are.
  • And, of course, there is the prize. 
    • Where the successful soccer team takes home the trophy, the successful terrorist cell wins notoriety and fear. 
    • Even better, the well-planned act of terrorism has a domino finally. It tips the first of many, sending trails of outcomes spreading out in all directions like so many little black and white tiles. The terrorist can sit back and watch the fear ripple through the public, watch the alphabet soup of government organizations rush to create new procedures and spend taxpayer money, and watch the cheers in the West Bank and the copycat strikes in Europe.
Good times.

How good are today's terrorists at this game? What will happen the next time we have to face down a superior player? These questions weighed heavily on my mind while I composed SHADOW MAKER

If a terrorist leader on the level of Usama Bin Laden plays his game with the forethought of a chess
master. How many more of him can there be?

That is actually something we can quantify. With disturbing results.

There are approximately 6000 World Chess Federation (FIDE) masters worldwide. That's approximately 1 chess master per 1,200,000 people. 1 in 1,200,000. That number isn't too alarming. But only a tiny fraction of people with the intellect to be chess masters choose to play in the FIDE system, so we're not getting the full story.

Instead, we have to look at IQ. 

I'd call UBL a chess master, but not a grandmaster 

A FIDE chess master has an IQ of around 130 based on a study by J. Levitt. A 130 IQ is not terribly rare. In fact, approximately 1 in every 50 people meet that criteria. For a counter-terrorism guy, that number is kind of frightening. 1 in 50 worldwide is a mighty big pool from which to draw the next terrorist mastermind.

But it isn't too frightening, is it? We've dealt with a terrorist chess master. UBL is dead, and in the last decade our counter-terrorism networks and techniques have matured a hundred-fold.

So let's look at the worst case: What about a terrorist grandmaster? There are less than 600 FIDE grandmasters. How many people in the world can possibly be that smart?

Far too many.

A grandmaster will usually have an IQ above 145. That's 1 person in every 800.  

Again, 1 in every 800 people has the intellect to become a grandmaster.

Oh dear.

Applying the ratio of 1 in 800 to the pool of current active terrorists is... well... terrifying.

According to a Rand report, the high estimate of active Salafi-jihadist fighters worldwide is over 100,000 and growing, referring to Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda-like groups. That's 100,000 fanatics in the active pursuit of killing the infidel right this very moment—a figure that ignores their support systems, financial backers, etc. Apply 1 in 800 to 100,000 and you get 125 potential grandmasters.

125 angry, gun-toting, misogynistic, blood-lusting grandmaster Salafi fanatics. Right now. Worldwide. 

And the pool is growing. Rand's 100,000 is up from less than 5000 in the late '80s, the period when UBL came into his own. The pool of potential grandmaster killers is up by 2000%, with the lion's share of the increase coming in the last five years.

Nervous yet? I am. UBL was just a chess master intellect, remember? 20 years ago there were only 100 chess master potentials in the whole terrorist pool. Today we have 125 potential grandmasters.

The Bobby Fischer of the terrorist world is already out there. He's going to make UBL look like the local high school chess champ who bombed out at the state competition. 

And if he's that good, then he's not just going to just sit back and watch the dominoes fall after the big attack. He's going to make them fall, setting them in motion with pure purpose, predicting outcomes like Nostradamus never dreamed.

This is how Shadow Maker started in my brain.

1 in every 800 is a Bobby Fischer.

This is a future that is far too deep inside the realm of possibility to ignore.