In June, the Obama administration published its National Strategy for Counterterrorism with the principal objective of providing the means for ensuring the safety and security of all Americans. While it gives only passing reference to many potentially serious threats to our national security, it declares that the pre-eminent security threat to the United States continues to be from al Qaeda and its affiliates and adherents. This narrow focus on al Qaeda fails to address the threats posed by other terrorist groups as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and their front organizations operating in the United States.
According to the group's own documents, the Muslim Brotherhood's mission in the United States is "a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western Civilization from within, sabotaging its miserable house ... so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
The fact that this threat by the Brotherhood is not even mentioned in the administration's strategy document should sound "caution alarms" at all levels regarding the success of the group's deception and propaganda efforts, led by their agents in and around our government institutions. The fact that the Obama administration is now reaching out to the Brotherhood is another indication of its influence. Clearly, one could conclude that the administration's "Muslim outreach partners" have had a significant influence in the writing of its counterterrorism strategy. Further, it fails to address the larger security issues facing the United States that are represented by Shariah-compliant Islamic states, including Iran.
By its very nature, Shariah is totally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and our principles of freedom and democracy. Nonetheless, we have written Shariah-compliant constitutions for Iraq and Afghanistan, which made no sense when our proposed objective is to spread freedom and democracy.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had it right when he stated that to deal with al Qaeda, you have to deal with the bigger picture that includes Iran. The fact that three former 9/11 commission staff members have stated that there is "clear and convincing" evidence that the Islamic Republic of Iran was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks means Iran can no longer be ignored. None of these revelations should be surprising. As far back as 1998, the Clinton administration concluded that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda had forged alliances with Iran and its proxy terrorist group, Hezbollah, for the purpose of working together against their common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. There is convincing evidence that the Iranian agent Imad Mughniyeh, a Lebanese Shiite and top commander in Hezbollah, was the main liaison between Iran's leadership and al Qaeda. Furthermore, Mr. Mughniyeh played an active role in planning the Sept. 11 attack.
Iran's history of being the world's leader in state-sponsored terrorism using proxies and elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is well documented. Iran has continued its open acts of aggression against the United States for more than 30 years and continues to this day in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those acts have cost thousands of American lives, both military and civilian. There is no ideological daylight between al Qaeda and Iran and for that matter, the Muslim Brotherhood.
While it is clear al Qaeda represents a serious terrorist threat that has cost thousands of American lives, elevating it to a position of pre-eminent threat to our national security confers an undeserved status that could blind us to real threats. An aggressive China or Russia, or an apocalyptic regime led by Iran armed with intercontinental nuclear missiles rate as serious national security threats.
For the National Strategy for Counterterrorism to be effective in achieving its objective of protecting all Americans, its scope must be expanded to include the larger security threat posed by Iran and Shariah-compliant Islamic states, as well as Muslim Brotherhood front organizations that are working to undermine our Constitution from within. To do anything less is a dereliction of duty.
Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.
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