Thursday, March 28, 2019

Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch: "Five jihadis freed from Guantanamo in exchange for Bergdahl now face US as Taliban reps at peace talks"

Five jihadis freed from Guantanamo in exchange for Bergdahl now face US as Taliban reps at peace talks

Those who warned that these men would return to the jihad were mocked and vilified as “Islamophobes.”
“Once Jailed in Guantánamo, 5 Taliban Now Face U.S. at Peace Talks,” by Mujib Mashal, New York Times, March 26, 2019:
DOHA, Qatar — When the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and toppled the Taliban government, even those who surrendered were treated as terrorists: handcuffed, hooded and shipped to the American detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Now, in a stark demonstration of the twists and contradictions of the long American involvement in Afghanistan, five of those men are sitting across a negotiating table from their former captors, part of the Taliban team discussing the terms of an American troop withdrawal.
“During our time in Guantánamo, the feeling was with us that we had been brought there unjustly and that we would be freed,” said one of the former detainees, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa. “But it never occurred to me that one day there would be negotiations with them, and I would be sitting there with them on one side and us on the other.”
The five senior Taliban officials were held at Guantánamo for 13 years before catching a lucky break in 2014. They were exchanged for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American service member to be held by the insurgents as a prisoner of war.
In recent months, as the American and militants took up intense negotiations to try to end the conflict in Afghanistan, the Taliban leadership made a point of including the former prisoners. Each day during the recent round of talks in Doha, Qatar, the five men sat face to face with American diplomats and generals.
During days of slow and at times frustrated discussions at the most recent session, which ended on March 12, it was the Taliban side that was often more emotional. Some gave impassioned speeches about how vital it was that the Americans completely leave Afghanistan in as little as six months….
The five former Guantánamo detainees had varying roles during the Taliban government. Mullah Khairkhwa served as a governor and acting minister of interior. Abdul Haq Wasiq was deputy minister of intelligence.
Perhaps the most infamous figure in the group is Mullah Fazel Mazloom, a front-line commander who was also chief of the Taliban army. While accusations of human rights abuses by the others have generally remained vague, there seems to be considerably more evidence against Mullah Mazloom, who is accused of mass killings and scorched-earth brutality….

ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is the author of nineteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (Regnery Publishing) and The Truth About Muhammad (Regnery Publishing) and the bestselling The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS (Bombardier Books). Forthcoming in 2019 is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process (Bombardier Books).
Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry.
Spencer is a weekly columnist for PJ Media and FrontPage Magazine, and has written many hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning NewsFox News OpinionNational ReviewThe FederalistThe Hill, the Detroit NewsTownHall.comReal Clear Religion, the Daily Caller, the New Criterion, the Journal of International Security Affairs, the UK’s Guardian, Canada’s National PostMiddle East QuarterlyWorldNet DailyFirst ThingsInsight in the NewsAleteia, and many other journals. For nearly ten years Spencer wrote the weekly Jihad Watch column at Human Events. He has also served as a consultant to the Center for Security Policy, a contributing writer to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and as an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.
Spencer (MA, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has been studying Islamic theology, law, and history in depth since 1980. His work has aroused the ire of the foes of freedom and their dupes: in October 2011, Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups wrote to Homeland Security Advisor (and current CIA director) John Brennan, demanding that Spencer be removed as a trainer for the FBI and military groups, which he taught about the belief system of Islamic jihadists; Brennan immediately complied as counter-terror training materials were scrubbed of all mention of Islam and jihad. Spencer has been banned by the British government from entering the United Kingdom for pointing out accurately that Islam has doctrines of violence against unbelievers. He has been invited by name to convert to Islam by a senior member of al-Qaeda.
What They’re Saying About Robert Spencer
“My comrade-in-arms, my pal, my buddy.” — Oriana Fallaci
“A hero of our times and one of the bravest defenders of liberty that I have ever met.” — Geert Wilders
“No one has upset the Islamophobia cabal more than Robert Spencer. First, he knows more about Islamic doctrine than they do. Next, he has outed all the tricks they use in their taqiyyah bag to disinform the public. Finally, and most importantly, Robert will not be cowed.” — Ayaan Hirsi Ali
“One of the top two or three experts in the world on this great war…against fundamental Islam.” — Stephen K. Bannon, former Trump Administration Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor
“A brave crusader against the dopier multiculti illusions.” — Mark Steyn
“I highly recommend that you listen to this guy.” — Glenn Beck
“One of the most acclaimed counter-jihad scholars.” — Asian Tribune
“J’apprécie beaucoup ce que vous écrivez sur l’Islam.” — Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., internationally renowned Islamic scholar
“Robert Spencer incarnates intellectual courage when, all over the world, governments, intellectuals, churches, universities and media crawl under a hegemonic Universal Caliphate’s New Order. His achievement in the battle for the survival of free speech and dignity of man will remain as a fundamental monument to the love of, and the self-sacrifice for, liberty.” — Bat Ye’or
“A leader in this war for over a decade, documenting not just what is happening but explaining why.” — PJ Media
“Perhaps the foremost Catholic expert on Islam in our country.” — Fr. C. John McCloskey, National Catholic Register
“You simply cannot seriously argue about the question of the conflict between Islam and modernity if you have not carefully read his work.” — Standpoint Magazine
“One of the most insightful and learned scholars of Islam.” — Catholic Insight
“Robert Spencer is indefatigable. He is keeping up the good fight long after many have already given up. I do not know what we would do without him. I appreciate all the intelligence and courage it takes to keep going despite the appeasement of the West.” — Ibn Warraq
“A top American analyst of Islam….A serious scholar…I learn from him.” — Daniel Pipes
“Recognized worldwide as an authority on Islam.” — Phyllis Schlafly
“America’s most informed, fearless, and compelling voice on modern jihadism.” — Andrew C. McCarthy, Senior Fellow at National Review Institute
“The consummate Islam critic and expert….A serious and cogent American critic of Islam.” — Bruce Bawer
“Over the years, we have become friends, and I have received his assistance on several pieces of legislation I proposed.” — Former Congressman Tom Tancredo
“Few people are capable of applying scholarship, analytical reasoning, and objectivity to their topic — while simultaneously being readable and witty — as can Robert Spencer.” — Raymond Ibrahim
“A national treasure…The acclaimed scholar of Islam. Robert Spencer is arguably the most knowledgeable, authoritative and prolific of American infidels with respect to sharia and jihad.” — Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy
“I am indeed honored to call him my friend.” — Brad Thor
“A courageous, fearless warrior…a voice in the wilderness.” — Monica Crowley
“A brilliant scholar and writer.” — Douglas Murray
“Robert Spencer is an Islamic scholar. He knows the Qur’an better than most imams.” — Pat Condell
“One of my best teachers.” — Ashraf Ramelah, Voice of the Copts
“Thank God there’s at least one man with balls left in the West.” — Kathy Shaidle, Five Feet of Fury
“I read people like [Mark Steyn] and Bob Spencer and the rest of them, and I say, ‘Boortz, you’re pretending you’re an author. These people really are. They really write some entertaining, some standup stuff.’” — Neal Boortz
“Robert Spencer is the leading voice of scholarship and reason in a world gone mad. If the West is to be saved, we will owe Robert Spencer an incalculable debt.” — Pamela Geller
“Armed with facts and fearlessness, Spencer stands up for Western civilization.” — Michelle Malkin
“Widely read in conservative foreign policy circles.” — New York Times
“Widely read in many quarters in Washington.” — Washington Post
“A canny operative who likely has the inside track on the State Department’s Middle East affairs desk should the tea party win the White House.” — New York Magazine
“A hero of the American right.” — Karen Armstrong
“Spencer’s comprehensive understanding of his Christian faith and Islam along with lucidly insightful writing give the lie to his international notoriety as a bigoted ‘Islamophobe.'” — Institute on Religion & Democracy
“A renowned anti-Islam scholar.” — PolicyMic
“The leading anti-Islamic intellectual in the United States….The go-to Islam expert for the right wing.” — Salon Magazine
“Darling of the Fox News Network who runs the popular website ‘Jihadwatch’ and who is quoted almost every day by other prominent conservative commentators.” — Huffington Post
“Robert Spencer is an Edward Said turned upside down.” — Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
“Robert Spencer looks like an anti-Semitic parody cartoon.” — Richard B. Spencer, white supremacist
“One of the nation’s most notorious Islamophobes.” — Hamas-linked CAIR
“Grand pooh-bah of the legion of American Islamophobes.” — Kecia Ali, associate professor of religion, Boston University
“An extremist, right-wing anti-Muslim rabble rouser.” — Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation magazine
“Geller and Spencer are probably the most important propagandizing Islamophobes in the world. These people’s voices speak very loudly — not just here in the United States but overseas.” — Heidi Beirach, Southern Poverty Law Center
“Satanic ignoramus.” — Khaleel Mohammed
“The Likud anti-Christ.” — Dar al-Hayat newspaper (Saudi Arabia)
“Zionist Crusader, missionary of hate, counter-Islam consultant.” — Al-Qaeda’s Adam Gadahn, “Azzam the American”