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February 2017

ISIS using kidnapped Yazidi children in suicide missions By Lisa Daftari

The Islamic State is using kidnapped Yazidi children to carry out suicide missions as the U.S.-led coalition forces continue their assault on the terror group’s remaining strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

In a video posted Tuesday, two young Yazidi boys seemingly brainwashed by the Islamic terror group talk about their departure from their Yazidi identity and their desire to carry out a suicide attack for the Islamic State.

The boys’ families, who confirmed their identities to The Foreign Desk, said they have had no information regarding their whereabouts, and this video is the first they have seen or heard from the boys since their abduction in 2014.

One of the boys, identifying himself in the video as Amjad, as-well-as by his Kunya, the noms de guerres frequently used by ISIS, “Abu Yusuf Sinjari,” describes how he left the ‘ignorance’ of his primitive Yazidi faith behind to join ISIS. He talks about studying sacred Islamic texts in the ‘sham’ (a historical name for Greater Syria) and choosing to carry out a suicide mission for the terror group.

“When we were in Sinjar, we worshipped the devil and we were without God… We were ignorant and not aware of concepts such as Halal and Haram,” he says looking into the camera.

A family source told The Foreign Desk the two brothers are Amjad and Asaad-Alyas Mahjo ages 11 and 12.

They were kidnapped when the Islamic State stormed the predominantly Yazidi town of Sinjar in August 2014, killing as many as 5000 Yazidi men in what has since become known as the Sinjar Massacre.

The father of the boys, along with four additional siblings, were also killed during the vicious massacre.

Following taped speeches showing the brothers brandishing their weapons and sporting shy smiles, the pair enter separate explosive-laden vehicles.

One of the boys sheepishly looks round to the camera filming from behind, peeking around as the camera captures a truck filled with explosives.

Islamic State video drones then capture the vehicle maneuvers and final moments of the kidnapped boys’ lives as they both carry out separate VBIED attacks.

Following the Sinjar Massacre, ISIS also rounded up thousands of Yazidi women and children, with many of the women being sold as sex slaves or given as concubines to Jihadis in exchange for battle victories.

A report last year claimed ISIS had created jihadi training camps for captured Yazidi children with estimates that up to 1,500 children, some as young as 6 were being forcibly converted to Islam for eventual use as child soldiers or to carry out suicide missions.


Deutschland is struggling with an invasion of migrants many of whom are criminals, the EU is splintering, and the arrogance of Trump hatred is appalling. The recent issue had the following headlines:
Trump’s AmericaDemocracy at the Tipping Point
‘America First’Trump and Bannon Pursue a Vision of Autocracy
Trump as Nero Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President
The Pain of a Donald Trump Presidency
Travel BanDonald Trump Better Watch Out!
Trump’s Attack on Germany and the Global Economy

And this column is the nastiest……
How America Lost Its Identity By Holger Stark
Reporter Holger Stark spent the past four years as DER SPIEGEL’s Washington correspondent during a time in which the country changed radically enough to elect Donald Trump as its president. What led this once mighty nation into decline?

On a frigid January evening one year ago, I was standing in a line of around 1,000 people in Burlington, Vermont, to see Donald Trump. I reported my very first story on the United States in 1991 and had been living in the country since 2013. I thought I knew the country well. But on that evening in January, I realized that I had been mistaken.

Burlington lay under a blanket of snow and next to me in line stood Mary and Tim Loyer, both wrapped in dark-blue parkas. Mary was unemployed and her son Tim had a job at a bar. Both told me they were Bernie Sanders supporters. Tim said he was particularly bothered by the power held by large companies, that the division of wealth was unfair and that people like him no longer had opportunities to improve their lives. It was the anthem of the working class.

When asked what he found attractive about Trump, Tim said: “Bernie and Trump are the only politicians who say what they’re thinking and do what they say,” as his mother Mary nodded along. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, is corrupt, he said. In an election pitting Trump against Clinton, Tim said he would not vote for Clinton. Again, Mary nodded.

At the entrance, security personnel patted us down and asked if we were planning on voting for Trump. Only those who said yes were allowed to proceed.

When Trump began speaking, a demonstrator stood up and yelled that Trump was a racist. The candidate paused, shook his fist and demanded that security throw the protester out. “Keep his coat. Confiscate his coat,” Trump said from the stage. It was 21 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius) outside. Trump snarled as his fans jumped to their feet hooting and jeering. One was reminded of a lynch mob.

I learned three things on that evening in Burlington: In the fatherland of capitalism, anger with the elite is so vast that even leftists would rather vote for a narcissist billionaire than a veteran of the political establishment. In a country that values freedom of opinion higher than almost any other country in the world, there were now attitude tests prior to admission to political rallies. And many Americans, who are otherwise so polite, lose all restraint when confronted by those who think differently.

Everything that I associated with America seemed no longer to apply on that evening in Burlington. What had happened to this once-proud country?

I found answers to this question on a journey through American society — to places like Vermont, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia. Those are just a few of the places I have visited in the last four years — places where those symptoms could be seen that together add up to the huge crisis that has gripped America. This self-confident country that has spent decades exporting its values with imperialist hubris has lost its identity. Democratic capitalism no longer works well enough to keep together a country of 325 million people and to guarantee domestic peace.

The United States is not alone in having been struck by this identity crisis: It has also hit the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other countries. But America, where capitalism flourishes to a greater degree than anywhere else, has been hit the hardest of all.

The secret to the country’s success was not just that societal cohesion was anchored by one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, but also by the promise of advancement inherent in the American Dream. The result was an extremely powerful country that seemed unlimited in its possibilities. It wasn’t always attractive, and sometimes it was downright ugly, but the U.S. was always the country that the rest of the world looked to. America proudly led the way.

The America of today has lost faith in its own superiority. It has become a regressive country that is turning its back on the world. If you leave Washington, D.C., behind and travel through the country, from Alabama to Alaska, you will find that the American Dream has been lost. The country is no longer proudly leading the way.

With his diabolical instinct for the country’s political mood, Trump captured this shift on campaign evenings like the one in Burlington, distilling it to a single maxim that warmed the hearts of many in the United States: “America First.” Trump epitomizes America’s desire for a new identity, he has lit a beacon of hope for the white majority that still makes up two-thirds of the country’s population. Many of them have come to feel like foreigners in their own country. More than anything, though, he has promised to return greatness and values to this unsettled and adrift slice of society. That he will “Make America Great Again.”


100 years after Balfour, why is there no State of Palestine?

100 years since Balfour, , 70 years since partition. Why is there no State of Palestine?

There is no State of Palestine because after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, when the League of Nations used the Mandate system to facilitate the creation of Nation States, the Arabs living in the British Mandate of Palestine didn’t want one.

There is no State of Palestine because in the 1920’s and 1930’s, when the Jewish people began to prepare for their own state, the Arabs chose to violently resist Jewish immigration rather than work towards the creation of their own state. There were massacres of ancient Jewish communities.

There is no State of Palestine because in 1937, when the British proposed one be created, the Arabs rejected it. This led to more violence, including a massacre of Jews in Tiberius

There is no State of Palestine because in 1947, when the United Nations suggested one be created, the Arabs rejected it. This led to civil war.

There is no State of Palestine because in 1948, when Israel declared independence, rather than doing the same, the Arabs chose to fight to destroy Israel. The Arabs lost. 6000+ Israelis lost their lives

There is no State of Palestine because between 1949 and 1967, when every inch of the West Bank and Gaza strip were in Arab hands, the Arabs chose not to create one. Choosing instead to focus on destroying Israel.

There is no State of Palestine because when peace was discussed directly between the Jews and Arabs, Islamic terrorists responded by murdering Israelis. Hundreds of Jews were murdered during the peace process.

There is no State of Palestine because the Arabs walked away from the negotiating table in 2000. Choosing instead to start the second intifada. Over 1000 Israelis were murdered

There is no State of Palestine because when Israel withdrew from Gaza and dismantled settlements, Hamas took control and launched rocket attacks. 1000’s of rockets have been fired at Israel.

There is no State of Palestine because in 2008, when Olmert, the Israeli PM, offered one to the Palestinian President, the Palestinians rejected it.

There is no State of Palestine because the Arabs are currently split into warring factions. The same type of divisions as we see exploding elsewhere in the Middle East.

There is no State of Palestine because too many Arabs (not all) simply do not accept, still will not accept, peaceful existence with Israel.

There is no State of Palestine because too many people, are invested in the conflict. This is especially true of the thousands of NGO’s who in a perverse symbiosis report on a conflict that would probably not exist without them.

100 years after Balfour, the UN are still kicking Israel as if somehow the Jewish State holds the key to the end of the conflict. You will not solve this conflict until you are honest about the cause.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: January 2017 by Soeren Kern

“If we are serious about the fight against Islamism and terrorism, then it must also be a cultural struggle.” — German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

German authorities issued 105,000 visas for so-called family reunifications in 2016, a 50% increase over the 70,000 visas issued in 2015, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The 105,000 visas for family members were in addition to the 280,000 new asylum seekers who arrived in Germany in 2016.

Police say Sudanese migrants, many of whom were allowed to enter Germany without having their fingerprints taken, have “created a business model” out of social security fraud. Local officials have been accused of covering up the fraud.

An employee at a social security office handed her boss a file with 30 cases of suspected fraud. After he refused to act, she contacted the police. She was fired for “overstepping her authority.”

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble revealed that the migrant crisis would cost German taxpayers €43 billion ($46 billion) during 2016 (€21.7 billion) and 2017 (€21.3 billion).

The Bishop of Regensburg, Rudolf Voderholzer, said there could be no reconciliation between Christians and Muslims. Islam is a “post-Christian phenomenon, with the claim to negate the core content of Christianity,” he said.

January 1. Some 2,000 “highly aggressive” migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East gathered at the central train station in Cologne and the square in front of the iconic Cologne Cathedral, where mass sexual assaults occurred on New Year’s Eve 2015. A massive police presence consisting of 1,700 officers deterred mayhem. Police reported three sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve 2016, compared to more than a thousand on the same day in 2015.

January 1. In Berlin, at least 22 women were sexually assaulted during New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate, despite the presence of 1,700 police officers. Police initially reported six assaults, but after inquiries from local media raised that number. In Hamburg, at least 14 women were sexually assaulted. Police arrested three Iraqis, three Syrians, two Afghans, one Eritrean and one German-Russian.

January 2. Greens Party Leader Simone Peter accused the Cologne Police Department of racial profiling after a tweet referred to North African migrants as “Nafris.” The head of the DPolG, Ernst Walter, explained that “Nafri” is not derogatory but rather a technical acronym used by the police to refer to “North African intensive offender” (nordafrikanische Intensivtäter). “If a North African person is suspected of committing a crime, he is a ‘Nafri,'” Walter said. Cologne Police Chief Jürgen Mathies added: “From the experiences of the past New Year’s Eve, from experience gained by police raids as a whole, a clear impression has emerged here about which persons are to be checked. They are not gray-haired older men or blond-haired young women.”

January 2. Police in Saarland arrested Hasan A., a 38-year-old asylum seeker from Syria who solicited €180,000 ($192,000) in funds from the Islamic State in order to carry out a high-casualty terrorist attack in Germany. The prosecutor’s office in Saarbrücken said the man asked the Islamic State for the money to purchase eight vehicles (€22,500 each) which would be camouflaged as police cars, loaded with 400-500 kilos of explosives, and exploded into a large crowd. Hasan said he wanted the money to support his family in Syria, not to carry out attacks in Germany.

January 3. Amnesty International called for an investigation of the police in Cologne for the alleged “racial profiling” of North African migrants who were suspected of promoting violence on New Year’s Eve.

The Vatican’s Relations with Islam by Lawrence A. Franklin

“They are driving us out of the Middle East,” declared Pope Francis on returning from Turkey.

“[I]t would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people.” — Pope Francis, counseling Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

While this welcoming stance is in keeping with the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith, the Pope as the “Good Shepherd” has an obligation to protect his flock from the militants among the refugees.

Within the Catholic Church, there also exists a sub-dominant counter-melody that warns about Islamic hostility to the values of Judeo-Christian civilization.

Cardinal Sarah targets what he refers to as “Islam’s pseudo-family values which legitimize polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery, and child marriage.”

At some point, the Catholic Church might raise the issue of persecution of Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries at international fora such as the United Nations. The Church also could publicly ask Muslims of good will to express their solidarity with the persecuted and request international organizations to intervene to protect Christians.

Given the centuries of hostility between Christendom and dar-al-Islam (the World of Islam), the Vatican’s caution may be understandable, but is ill-advised and no longer tenable.

Perhaps, in the light of the harm dhimmitude can do to both civic life and faith, the Catholic Church might re-assess its stance toward Islam from one of friendly engagement to cautionary disengagement. As radical jihadists continue to martyr Christians throughout the world, such a re-evaluation of Islam by the Vatican seems appropriate.

These hate crimes against Christians are occurring against a backdrop of fifteen centuries of hostile, relations between Christianity and Islam — from the Islamic takeover of Persia, the great Christian Byzantine Empire in Turkey, North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Greece and Southern Spain.

As Catholics comprise more than half of the globe’s two billion Christians, a sober reassessment of Islam by Rome could be of great import and attract more people to Christianity when, as with Brexit, they see that the Church is aligned with a reality they see every day with their eyes.

A decision by the Vatican to distance itself from trying to please Muslims, many of whom would presumably only be pleased by converting Christians to Islam, might even evolve into a more realistic understanding of the Islamic faith by the Catholic hierarchy. If the Church, on the other hand, is hoping to convert Muslims to Christianity, then we have two proselytizing religions, each trying to convert the other, but by different means.

Report: Senior White House Officials Favor John Bolton for National Security Adviser By Debra Heine

On Sunday President Donald Trump plans to interview four candidates to replace ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn: acting adviser Keith Kellogg, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, and Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

The president said that he expects to make a decision in the “next couple of days.”

Ambassador John Bolton has emerged as the favorite among senior White House officials and members of the National Security Council, according to The Washington Free Beacon:

Among Bolton’s most vocal supporters are senior administration officials loyal to Flynn and who are upset at the general’s firing. Multiple sources described an effort by these Flynn loyalists to ensure that Bolton is selected as his replacement.

The selection of Bolton as the next national security adviser would empower Flynn’s allies still in the White House and send a message that his national security vision is represented within the Trump administration. Bolton is also favored by White House staffers who are opposed to the selection of any candidate who criticized President Trump during the 2016 campaign.

President Donald Trump has not settled on a final selection yet and is also eyeing retired Army Gen. Keith Kellogg, who has been acting national security adviser since Flynn’s departure, as well as other candidates.

“There’s a strong inclination in the NSC towards the kind of experienced leadership Bolton would represent,” said one current official, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the situation. “He knows the ins and outs of D.C. but he’s not an establishment, Never Trump type. There’s also a lot of respect for General Kellogg and KT McFarland, both of whom have really stepped up under challenging circumstances.”

Bolton, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration, is seen to have the experience necessary to give the White House credibility at a time when the administration is facing intense criticism from the media and subversion from Obama holdovers in the State Department.
Bolton: ‘I Don’t See How’ Trump Can Break Up Russia-Iran Alliance

“The one thing that makes Bolton more qualified than anyone else for the Trump era is that he has a veteran genius-level understanding of the organizational structure of our nation’s diplomatic and intelligence apparatus,” a veteran foreign policy insider told the Free Beacon.

According to multiple sources, Bolton would be able to “help root out Obama administration holdovers still working in the government.

Bolton: ‘I Don’t See How’ Trump Can Break Up Russia-Iran Alliance By Nicholas Ballasy (video)

WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who is reportedly on President Trump’s consideration list for the next national security advisor, said he does not think the Trump administration will be able to break up Russia and Iran’s alliance.

“I don’t see how. They both are and have been strong supporters of the Assad regime. Russia is not going to back away from that regime,” Bolton said after his recent speech at a United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) Capitol Hill briefing about the future of Iran policy.

“It wasn’t because of the Tartus [Syria] base. It’s now not because of Latakia [Syria]. And for Iran, keeping Assad in power and keeping it linked with Hezbollah and, you know, destroying ISIS so they can link up the Baghdad government, this is their arch of power through all four countries, so the odds of splitting them over that and the many other ties they have developed in terms of military sales and so on, I just see it as remote,” he added.

The State Department has designated Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. Bolton, who served in the Bush administration, was asked if President Trump’s rhetoric on working with Russia could impede efforts to combat the Iran regime’s nuclear program and its other conduct.

“I look forward to the day he has a conversation with Putin about Iran and I think a lot of things may change at that point, because the confluence of Russian and Iranian influence has been noteworthy for 15 years and it’s not in the U.S interest. It’s just not,” Bolton replied.

Publishers now hiring ‘sensitivity readers’ to ensure political correctness By Rick Moran

If you ever worried about what the student snowflakes at American universities would be qualified to do after graduation, this is the perfect job for them.

Publishers are hiring “sensitivity readers” to check book manuscripts to make sure they adhere to politically correct standards.

From the Washington Post:

These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as “dealing with terminal illness,” “racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families” or “transgender issues.”

“The industry recognizes this is a real concern,” said Cheryl Klein, a children’s and young adult book editor and author of “The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults.” Klein, who works at the publisher Lee & Low, said that she has seen the casual use of specialized readers for many years but that the process has become more standardized and more of a priority, especially in books for young readers.

Sensitivity readers have emerged in a climate – fueled in part by social media – in which writers are under increased scrutiny for their portrayals of people from marginalized groups, especially when the author is not a part of that group.

Last year, for instance, J.K. Rowling was strongly criticized by Native American readers and scholars for her portrayal of Navajo traditions in the 2016 story “History of Magic in North America.” Young-adult author Keira Drake was forced to revise her fantasy novel “The Continent” after an online uproar over its portrayal of people of color and Native backgrounds. More recently, author Veronica Roth – of “Divergent” fame – came under fire for her new novel, “Carve the Mark.” In addition to being called racist, the book was criticized for its portrayal of chronic pain in its main character.

This potential for offense has some writers scared. Young-adult author Susan Dennard recently hired a fan to review her portrayal of a transgender character in her “Truthwitch” series.

“I was nervous to write a character like this to begin with, because what if I get it wrong? I could do some major damage,” Dennard said. But, she added, she felt the voice of the character was an important one that wasn’t often portrayed, so she hired a fan, who is a transgender man, just to be sure she did it right.

“Just to be sure she did it right”? By whose standards? Using what criteria? Self-censorship is still censorship and represents a threat to free speech. Certainly, portraying a black person as a shuffling, lazy character who eats fried chicken and watermelon is inappropriate. But beyond avoiding racial stereotypes, what responsibility does the author have to “marginalized” groups?

Can he portray a black man as a villain? Can he portray a woman as an airhead? Portraying “marginalized” characters as anything except heroic, smart, and beautiful is where “sensitivity readers” are driving the publishing industry.

The Palestinians Don’t Deserve a State By Dan Calic

For decades the two-state solution has been repeatedly floated as the preferred goal of peace between Israel and the Arabs (‘Palestinians’). Yet it has never been realized. Accusations have been tossed around by various voices laying blame on both sides for the failure of the two-state solution to be implemented.

In light of the recent summit between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump, it would appear the longstanding positon of the U.S. supporting the two-state solution is fizzling out. In my opinion, this is long overdue.

Simply put, the so-called ‘Palestinians’ don’t deserve a state.

The concept of a two-state solution has already been attempted with the 1947 UN partition of two states, one Arab, one Jewish. It failed. Why? The Arab nations rejected and ignored the resolution, attacking the fledgling Jewish state one day after it declared independence in 1948. Six decades and seven wars later (three with Hamas) what has changed?

A dramatic shift took place in 1967, when Yasser Arafat decided the Arabs who were displaced from the 1948 and 1967 wars deserved to have their own unique identity. So he renamed them “Palestinians.” For the record, before 1967 the term “Palestinians” referred to Jews. Walid Shoebat, an Arab who was living in Jericho during the ’67 war, said “On June 4 I went to sleep as an Arab. The next day, without moving anywhere I am suddenly called a “Palestinian.”

Arafat’s campaign included more than just an identity change for these newly renamed Palestinians. He demanded an independent state, and laid claim to the entire area west of the Jordan River which Israel captured during the 1967 war. As far as Arafat was concerned all this land was ‘Palestinian land.’ In 1964 he founded the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) with a specific goal of liberating “Palestine,” which included every inch of land of Israel.

International law affirms any land captured during a defensive war belongs to the victor, which was Israel.

Omar Abdel Rahman, the ‘Blind Sheikh,’ Is Dead Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, was responsible for much of the last quarter century of terrorism. By Andrew C. McCarthy

Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious “Blind Sheikh” who died on Friday night while serving his life sentence in federal prison, was never shy about being a terrorist. As he put it:

What kind of name is this? Why are we afraid of it? Why do we fear the word terrorist? If the terrorist is the person who defends his right, so we are terrorists. And if the terrorist is the one who struggles for the sake of God, then we are terrorists. We . . . have been ordered with terrorism because we must prepare what power we can to terrorize the enemy of Allah and your enemy. The Koran says “to strike terror.” Therefore, we don’t fear to be described with “terrorism.” . . . They may say, “He is a terrorist, he uses violence, he uses force.” Let them say that. We are ordered to prepare whatever we can of power to terrorize the enemies of Islam.

Before there was an al-Qaeda or an ISIS, there was the Blind Sheikh, known to his worldwide following as “the emir of jihad.” And he bears much of the responsibility — he would think of it as the credit — for what followed him. Indeed, bin Laden credited Sheikh Abdel Rahman with the fatwa (the sharia-law edict) that approved the 9/11 jihadist attacks in which nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered. Abdel Rahman had indeed issued such a fatwa:

Muslims everywhere to dismember their nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, provoke their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, . . . shoot down their planes, [and] kill them on land, at sea, and in the air. Kill them wherever you find them.

Having been the lead prosecutor in the trial at which he was convicted, I find that barely a day goes by that I don’t ruefully think about this. For all the praise we received for a job well done — and I am immensely proud of the work we did — we only managed to imprison him. We did not stop him.

Abdel Rahman was the central character in a memoir I wrote about the case nearly a decade ago, Willful Blindness. The title has become something of catch phrase describing the wayward American approach to counterterrorism. I meant it as something more than that — a contrast: the steely determination that underlay Abdel Rahman’s clarity of purpose that the world be ruled by Islamic law, versus our own conscious avoidance of the sharia-supremacist ideology that drives the jihadist threat, and diffidence about whether our own liberty culture is worth defending.

He was raised in the tiny Nile Delta town of al-Gamalia, where he lost his sight to juvenile diabetes in 1942, at the age of four. The sickly boy was a prodigy, memorizing the Koran at an early age and developing into a renowned scholar of Islamic jurisprudence — the discipline in which he earned a doctorate, with distinction, at storied al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning since the tenth century. Abdel Rahman was deeply influenced by Ibn Taymiyyah, the 14th-century docent who had come of age in a soul-searching time for Islamic fundamentalism: after invading Mongols routed the Abbasid Caliphate, laying Baghdad to waste. Taymiyyah championed a return to basics: a literalist interpretation of scripture and the notion that the original Islamic communities forged by the prophet Mohammed were the ideal to which all humanity must aspire.

Abdel Rahman was also affected by contemporary followers of Taymiyyah. Interestingly, one was the Shiite jihadist icon, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Notwithstanding their theological differences, Abdel Rahman perceived in Khomeini the possibilities of Islamic revolution and the exploitation of what he saw as American weakness — particularly by Hezbollah, Khomeini’s forward jihadist militia that, among other atrocities, killed 241 U.S. Marines in their Beirut barracks in 1983. “If Muslim battalions were to do five or six operations to the Americans in surprise attacks like the one that was done against them in Lebanon,” the Blind Sheikh urged, “the Americans would have exited [the Persian Gulf] and gathered their armies and gone back . . . to their country.” It was a recruitment speech he delivered hundreds of times.