The Front Page Cover
 The Events of the Week -- Featuring: 
Terrorists in Plain Sight
by Paul Jacob
 
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 Top Headlines 
A new era! As the 115th Congress opens its session today, the GOP's majority mandate starts with ending liar-nObamaCare. (Fox News)
 
Governors lead a Republican renaissance in New England. (The Washington Post)
 
Trump names Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative. (The Washington Times)
 
New Years' Eve injunction blocks the federal redefinition of the word "sex." (Washington Examiner)
 
Fed wastes $412K on study "How to Make Glaciers Feminist." (Newsmax)
 
Fake news: The great hacking of Vermont's electrical grid that never happened. (National Review)
 
Then there are actual threats to national security. Edward Snowden and Chelsea Bradley Manning want pardons from liar-nObama. (New York Post)
 
Democrat Poverty Plantation update: liar-nObama's hometown of Chicago ends 2016 with 762 homicides, up 57%, a 20-year high, and more than New York and LA combined. (Chicago Tribune)
 
liar-nObama names Utah, Nevada monuments despite GOP opposition. He celebrated by tweeting pics of the wrong park. (Associated Press)
 
Policy: How to worry about "climate change." (National Affairs)
 
Policy: Correcting the course of future defense spending. (Real Clear Defense)
 
Dave Barry's Year in Review: 2016 — What the ... ? (Miami Herald~The Patriot Post
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Hamas's Fatah and the No-State Solution
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Hamas permitted thousands of Fatah gunmen to hold a
military parade in the Gaza Strip this week
{gatestoneinstitute.org} ~ During a celebration in Ramallah marking the 52nd anniversary of the founding of his Fatah faction, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas declared that 2017 will be the "year of international recognition of the State of Palestine."... Hailing the recent anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution 2334, Abbas said he was prepared to work with the new administration of Donald Trump "to achieve peace in the region." But while Abbas and his lieutenants were celebrating in Ramallah, at least 11 Palestinians were wounded in a scuffle that erupted between rival Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip. According to sources in the Gaza Strip, the fight broke out between Abbas loyalists and supporters of estranged Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan. The confrontation, which was the most violent between the two sides in many years, is yet another sign of increasing schism in Fatah. Moreover, it is an indication of how Abbas's control over his own faction is slipping through his hands. Hamas policemen who were at the scene did not interfere to break up the fight between the warring Fatah activists... https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9707/hamas-fatah
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Trump's Day One Agenda Revealed -
liar-nObama is PISSED!
by Rusty
{thepoliticalinsider.com} ~ Newly minted incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Donald Trump has an agenda in place for day one in office, and it involves repealing a good chunk of President Barack liar-nObama’s executive actions... Spicer told ABC News’s This Week that President-elect Trump “on day one” will “sign a series of executive orders.” Those executive orders will “repeal a lot of the regulations and actions that have been taken by this administration over the last eight years that have hampered both economic growth and job creation.”...
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Beyond ISIS: Europe's Salafists Nurturing Jihad
by Abigail R. Esman
{investigativeproject.org} ~ Before there was the Islamic State, before YouTube videos that seduce Europe's Muslims to join in the jihad, before Twitter and Tumblr and the many tools of recruitment on the Internet, there was the local mosque... There still is. With all the emphasis now on ISIS and its various affiliates, and on the dangers they pose against the West, we have largely forgotten the forces that were radicalizing Muslim youth in Europe long before ISIS came along. Worse, we have failed to notice they still do. And yet these largely Saudi-backed, Salafist institutions – mosques and schools and Islamic community centers – arguably pose the greatest threat to Western culture, both in terms of their potential for inspiring terrorism and the sociopolitical influence they exert...
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Megyn Kelly, A Wayward Bird Takes
Shelter As NBC Peacock
by Rick Wells
{rickwells.us} ~ It’s a fitting conclusion that the self-absorbed peacock at Fox News would end up at the home of fake news, where the peacocks roam free, mirrors held high, to the point of being their network mascot... Megyn Kelly is going to NBC. There was no word as to whether the little peahen Shepard Smith might be joining her. That’s probably too much to hope for. Then again, who really cares. Many of us began selectively watching Fox during the campaign and have, aside from loyalty to or interest in Hannity, Judge Jeanine or Tucker Carlson or whatever other program might attract a passing interest they still claim O’Reilly is the king, largely given up on them...  http://rickwells.us/megyn-kelly-wayward-bird-takes-shelternbc-peacock/
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Trump Wall Team Concerned Possible
DHS Cover Up, Document Fraud
by Rick Wells
{rickwells.us} ~ The Trump transition team is preparing for a return to border security and perhaps, to boldly go where no US administration has gone before... That would appear to be the case in both the nature of the structures being considered as well as their locations, to possibly include hundreds of miles on the Canadian border as well. One thing seems certain, the change many of us were praying for is in the works. Reuters reports that in a December 5th meeting, President-elect Trump’s transition team asked their open borders predecessors currently controlling DHS for a wide-ranging list of documents and analysis. Included in that were their determinations as to all assets available for border wall and barrier construction. U.S. Customs and Border Protection staff identified over 400 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, and roughly an equal distance along the U.S.-Canada border...  http://rickwells.us/trump-wall-team-concerned-possible-dhs-cover-document-fraud/
 
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Terrorists in Plain Sight
by Paul Jacob
{townhall.com} ~ It’s a new year. Let’s focus. Especially as a new president takes office, inheriting the awesome responsibility of keeping us safe and secure.

Less than two weeks ago, a Tunisian man drove a semi-trailer truck carrying 25 tons of steel into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing 12 people and wounding 56 more. Human beings are resourceful, even terrorists — or perhaps, especially terrorists.

It’s fortunate that few folks desire to be terrorists. But it is unfortunate that intelligence and police agencies don’t keep a better eye on those whom they already have reason to suspect of involvement in terrorism.

This latest terrorist attack in Berlin fits a noteworthy and troubling pattern. Anis Amri, who commandeered the vehicle by murdering the Polish driver, was well known to German authorities. Their intelligence agencies had surveilled him for six months — in fact, determining that Amri indeed had “links with Islamic extremists.”

Amri was first wanted in Tunisia for “hijacking a van.” Yet, the Tunisian government would not take him back after Italian authorities sought to deport him — subsequent to his arrest in Italy for arson and a “violent assault at his migrant reception center.”

All this was known, or certainly easily knowable, before Amri took the wheel of that tractor-trailer rig and mowed down so many innocent people. Yet, German authorities still couldn’t prevent the attack. Or stop the terrorist from escaping nearly 650 miles south to Milan, Italy, where four days later he was killed in a shootout with Italian police.

Fourteen months ago, the attacks in Paris killed 129 people and wounded more than 400. European authorities had three of the six attackers already on their radar; four were on U.S. terrorism watch lists. The London Telegraph reported that French police ignored warnings about Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, both from Mostefaï’s friends and Turkish authorities, prior to his participation in slaughtering concert-goers at the Bataclan club in Paris.

The two brothers who massacred 12 staff members of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French publication that had mocked the Prophet Muhammad along with nearly every other religious or political figure, were both well known to French intelligence.

Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein shot two dead and wounded five in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2015, two weeks after being released from prison, having served time for stabbing a teenager on a train. During his incarceration, prison officials filed a report warning the PET, Danish intelligence, that El-Hussein had been radicalized.

Two years ago, Man Haron Monis, an Australian of Iranian descent, took hostages in a Sydney café, killing two and wounding four. The terrorist had come to the attention of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization by mailing a letter to the attorney general asking about the legality of communicating with the Islamic State just two months before the café siege. Monis had also reportedly written hateful letters to the families of slain Australian soldiers and even pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, on his website.

It’s not just an overseas phenomenon, either.

Consider Omar Mateen, this country’s worst mass shooter, having gunned down 49 people in cold blood at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. For ten months, the FBI had looked into Mateen.

Years before the Boston Marathon bombing, both the FBI and CIA tracked Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the bombers, due to a tip from Russian intelligence. But two years before he and his brother carried out that vicious attack, both the FBI and CIA had cleared Tsarnaev of “any ties to violent extremism.”

Likewise, the FBI had investigated the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan. (Remember that “workplace violence” incident?)

The same is true of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (formerly Carlos Bledsoe), who was under the active eye of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force from his return from Yemen until he opened fire on a Little Rock, Arkansas, recruiting station — killing one soldier and wounding another. Ditto Ahmad Khan Rahami, thankfully a far less effective terrorist. Rahami was captured last September after planting explosive devices in New York City and New Jersey, which injured 31 people.

“In case after case . . . authorities have come forward after the fact to say that they had enough cause to place the suspect under surveillance well before the violence,” the Washington Post recently noted. “This has been true of the majority of lone-wolf terrorism plots over the past several years.”

“If any lesson can be learned from studying the perpetrators of recent attacks,” an analysis in The Intercept concluded, “it is that there needs to be a greater investment in conducting targeted surveillance of known terror suspects and a move away from the constant knee-jerk expansion of dragnet surveillance . . .”

Yet, U.S. intelligence agencies are still gobbling up massive portions of our metadata in violation of the Fourth Amendment. That needs to stop. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Moreover, for all the data collected, we have little to show for it. In terms of actually thwarting terrorism.

Asked about the Patriot Act and the NSA’s mass surveillance programs during the campaign, President-Elect Donald J. Trump was not definitive, but said he would “err on the side of security.” But on which side — for or against mass surveillance — would that put Mr. Trump?

The fact that our massive security apparatus, having access to mass surveillance, has consistently failed to stop threats by seemingly ignoring identified terrorist suspects suggests that curtailing mass surveillance won’t hurt our security. It may actually improve it.

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