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As top officials warn ISIS will attempt “direct attacks” in U.S. homeland in 2016, ISIS launches chemical weapons attack in Iraq injuring 600. Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2016 at 8:49 am

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There is a real and growing and chilling concern among top intelligence officials that ISIS is steadily developing the ability to launch massive, genocidal attacks against its enemies using chemical weapons. Whether ISIS is planning such attacks inside the U.S., in Europe or only within the Middle East, is not yet clear.

Ghastly attacks of precisely this sort are the premise of my two most recent novels, The Third Target and The First Hostage. When I began researching and writing the series, however, there was no actual evidence that ISIS possessed — or had access to —  weapons of mass destruction. But the situation is changing for the worse.

Last month, CIA director John Brennan admitted on “60 Minutes” that he now fears chemical attacks by ISIS.

Also last month, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, told a security conference in Munich that ISIS has chemical weapons and wants to use them against the United States. “It is pretty clear that they [ISIS] have used this [chemical weapons] numerous times,” Clapper said. “It is very clear aspirationally they would like to do more and it is a concern to us in the United States because the indications are that they would like to use chemical weapons against us.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress that ISIS “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016.”

Now, just this week, we’ve learned that ISIS has just launched two attacks in the city of Kirkuk using chemical weapons. At least 600 Iraqis have been injured by the attacks. One little girl is dead. Hundreds of other Iraqis have fled for their lives. Iraq’s Prime Minister is vowing revenge for the attacks.

Recently, U.S. special forces captured ISIS’s chemical weapons chief. “Sleiman Daoud al-Afari was snatched close to a month ago in the town of Badoosh, north-west of the Isis stronghold of Mosul,” reported the UK Guardian. “A senior Iraqi official said he was an industrial engineer in former dictator Saddam Hussein’s military and had been a member of Isis throughout all its earlier incarnations.” This week, U.S. forces handed over the terrorist to the Iraqi government.

U.S., Iraqi and Kurdish forces have been attacking ISIS chemical weapons production facilities. It is likely that knowledge of these facilities came from intel provided by al-Afari.

But the risk is increasingly high that ISIS is planning “enormous and spectacular attacks” in Europe, the U.S., in Israel or in a Sunni Arab country, as a top British security official recently warned.

Excerpts from the Los Angeles Times story on this week’s chemical weapons attack in Iraq:

  • The Islamic State group has launched two chemical attacks near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing a 3-year-old girl, injuring some 600 people and causing hundreds more to flee, Iraqi officials said Saturday.
  • Security and hospital officials say the latest attack took place early Saturday in the small town of Taza, which was also struck by a barrage of rockets carrying chemicals three days earlier.
  • “There is fear and panic among the women and children,” said Adel Hussein, a local official in Taza. “They’re calling for the central government to save them.” Hussein said a German and an American forensics team arrived in the area to test for the presence of chemical agents.
  • The wounded are suffering from infected burns, suffocation and dehydration, said Helmi Hamdi, a nurse at the Taza hospital. He said eight people were transferred to Baghdad for treatment.
  • U.S. and Iraqi officials said U.S. special forces captured the head of the ISIS unit trying to develop chemical weapons in a raid last month in northern Iraq.
  • The U.S.-led coalition said the chemicals ISIS has so far used include chlorine and a low-grade sulfur mustard which is not very potent….
  • The coalition began targeting ISIS’ chemical weapons infrastructure with airstrikes and special operations raids two months ago, Iraqi intelligence officials and a Western security official in Baghdad told the AP.
  • Airstrikes are targeting laboratories and equipment, and further special forces raids targeting chemical weapons experts are planned, the officials said….

Congress to Obama: Label ISIS attacks against Christians “genocide.” Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2016 at 7:44 am

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“The evidence is in, and it’s chilling — the Islamic State is intentionally waging a war of genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria. The jihadists are systematically trying to exterminate the Christian population in both countries by forcing followers of Jesus Christ to convert to their brand of Apocalyptic Islam or enslaving them, murdering them, starving them, and/or driving them out of the region.”

Readers of this blog may recall I wrote this in a January 23 column, “ISIS waging war of genocide against Christians in the Mideast. New UN report provides chilling details.”

To its shame, the Obama administration still refuses to name what ISIS is doing against Christians, Muslims and Yezidis genocide. The administration is legally mandated to make a determination by March 17th on whether what ISIS is doing is genocide, notes the U.K. Daily Mail.

To its credit, the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan resolution declaring it genocide. It passed 383 to zero.

“The House of Representatives on Monday unanimously passed a resolution labeling the ISIS atrocities against Christian groups in Syria and Iraq ‘genocide,’ a term the State Department been reluctant to use about the attacks and mass murders by the terror group,” reported CNN.

Let us pray that the Senate soon follows suit, and the President, as well. Let us also pray that the U.S. government will demonstrate bipartisan resolve to strengthen our alliance with Sunni Arab nations like Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates and intensify military action to crush ISIS and liberate northern Iraq.

As I portray in The Third Target and The First Hostage, the leaders of the Islamic State believe they are required by Allah to commit genocide to accelerate the coming of the Mahdi, the establishment of their Caliphate, and the End of Days. They must be stopped immediately before their savagery expands and they strike inside the U.S. homeland.

Here are excerpts from the Fox News story:

The House approved a resolution Monday that declares the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East — putting even more pressure on the Obama administration to do the same ahead of a deadline later this week.

The resolution passed the House with a unanimous vote of 383-0.

The resolution came to a vote just days after the release of a graphic new report by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians on ISIS’ atrocities. The report made the case that the terror campaign against Christians and other minorities in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East is, in fact, genocide.

“When ISIS systematically targets Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities for extermination, this is not only a grave injustice—it is a threat to civilization itself,” Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., said in a statement. “We must call the violence by its proper name: genocide.”

The resolution was voted on ahead of a congressionally mandated March 17 deadline for Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House to make a decision on whether to make such a declaration. The measure is an effort to force the administration’s hand on the issue, as the administration has so far declined to take an official position.

There is a similar measure in the Senate that has yet to be voted on.

“Christians, Yezidis, and other beleaguered minority groups can find new hope in this trans-partisan and ecumenical alliance against ISIS’ barbaric onslaught,” Fortenberry, who is co-chairman of the Religious Minorities of the Middle East Caucus and represents America’s largest Yezidi community, said in the statement.

The measure also received the backing of House Republican leadership, with Speaker Paul Ryan calling on the Obama administration to take action in light of recent attacks against Christians. “Last week, ISIS militants killed 16 people, including four Catholic nuns, at a retirement home in southern Yemen,” Ryan said in a statement Monday. “This is the latest in a string of brutal attacks committed by ISIS against Christian and other minorities. Yet the administration has still not called this what it is: A genocide.”…..

….In addition to the genocide resolution, the House also voted on a measure to create an international tribunal to try those associated with atrocities by the Assad regime, ISIS and related groups. The measure passed in a vote of 392 to 3. The no votes came from Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich, Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

At least three presidential candidates — Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz on the Republican side, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side — have called on the administration to designate ISIS atrocities against Christians as genocide…..

As VP Biden arrives in Israel, new wave of terror attacks unleashed leaving American tourist dead, many wounded. Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2016 at 9:00 am

MDA-emergencysceneUPDATED: (Central Israel) — An American tourist is dead, his wife is badly wounded, an Israeli man has been critically wounded, and many more have been injured in a fresh wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem, the port city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv, and the West Bank in the last 48 hours.

The American has been identified as Taylor Force, a 29 year old graduate student at Vanderbilt University, a U.S. Army veteran who graduated from West Point, and a native of Lubbock, Texas. Taylor’s wife, who was visiting Israel with him, was also reportedly severely wounded in the stabbing attack in Jaffa.

Please be praying for the Lord to restore calm and order, for healing and comfort for the victims and their families, and wisdom for Israeli and Arab leaders. Please also share this article with others and mobilize them to pray, as well.

UPDATES:

“In all, twenty-nine Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October,” reported the Times of Israel. “Some 180 Palestinians have also been killed, around two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.”

After a severe wave of terror attacks across Israel and the West Bank last Fall, things have actually been noticeably quieter here in recent months. But these attacks have suddenly shattered the relative calm. See below for the latest developments.

The brutal attacks coincide with the arrival of Vice President Joe Biden in Israel on Tuesday afternoon in a bid to re-start peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The VP met with former Israeli President Shimon Peres late Tuesday afternoon, just blocks from where the attack on the American tourist was occurring. Today, the VP is meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Netanyahu and later with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Later today, Biden will head to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Tomorrow, Biden heads to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II. On Monday, the VP was in the United Arab Emirates.

THE FIRST ATTACK ON WEDNESDAY: “The first attack took place on Golda Meir Boulevard in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot where shots were fired on an Egged bus,” the Jerusalem Post reported. “Passengers reported seeing two men in a car who opened fire on the bus. A citizen, noticing the commotion, exited his car and ran towards the scene and fired his weapon. The terrorists fled the scene. Three people were lightly injured in the attack and were transferred to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Several people were treated for shock at the scene.”

THE SECOND ATTACK ON WEDNESDAY: “Shortly following the bus attack, an additional shooting attack was reported near the New Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City,” reported the Post. “MDA paramedics at the scene treated a man in his 50s who was listed in critical condition with bullet wounds to his upper body. The victim was evacuated to Hadassa University Medical Center on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus. Two terrorists were shot and killed by security forces.”

THE THIRD ATTACK ON WEDNESDAY: “In the third attack of the morning, a terrorist attempted to stab a soldier at the Salfit checkpoint near the settlement of Ariel in the West Bank according to the IDF spokesperson,” the Post added.

THE TERROR ATTACKS IN JAFFA ON TUESDAY: “An American tourist was killed and at least 10 people were injured Tuesday evening when a Palestinian man carried out a stabbing spree in Jaffa,” reported the Times of Israel. “Five of the injured were described as being in critical condition. The terrorist stabbed his victims in at least three locations in an attack that lasted some 20 minutes.”

“The American fatality was later identified as 29-year-old Taylor Force, from Lubbock, Texas, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University,” the Times reported.

“Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital said it received six victims, one in critical condition, two in moderate condition and two suffering from lighter wounds. The hospital’s medical director confirmed that one of the victims was a pregnant woman. Another of the victims was an Arab Israeli — Jaffa is a mixed city with a sizable Arab population — and one a Palestinian man who was residing in Israel illegally, police reported.”

“It was the third serious attack of the day, coming on the heels of a stabbing in Petah Tikva and a shooting in Jerusalem,” the Times noted, adding that “the Hamas terror group released a statement praising the attacks as ‘heroic operations’ and saying they prove that the wave of violence that began in October has not ended.”

“Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations, and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the intifada,” the group wrote on its website.

“Before Tuesday, twenty-nine Israelis and three foreign nationals had been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October,” reported the Times.

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ISIS planning “enormous and spectacular attacks,” UK anti-terror chief warns.

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm

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Islamic State want to inflict an ‘enormous and spectacular’ terrorist atrocity on Britain and may have people trained to a paramilitary level to carry out attacks,” reports The (UK) Guardian, based on comments by Britain’s anti-terror chief.

“Mark Rowley, a Metropolitan police assistant commissioner, said terrorists still wanted to kill soldiers or the police and now posed a real danger of attacking western lifestyle targets,” the Guardian reported. “Privately, counter-terrorism officials see no sign of ISIS’s internet propaganda campaign being thwarted by community and government efforts and believe the group still has the same ability to attract devotees.”

Here are more excerpts from the story:

  • Police have stepped up their planning for a marauding gun attack since the Paris attacks in November, in which concertgoers, diners and other revellers were killed.
  • Rowley, who leads on counter-terrorism for Scotland Yard, told a media briefing on Monday that the nature of the threat from ISIS, which he calls Daesh, was changing.
  • “In recent months we’ve seen a broadening of that, much more plans to attack western lifestyle. Going from that narrow focus on police and military as symbols of the state to something much broader. And you see a terrorist group which has big ambitions for enormous and spectacular attacks, not just the types that we’ve seen foiled to date.”
  • Previously, ISIS had been thought to be trying to incite individuals to stage small-scale attacks, possibly using knives or vehicles. It had been hoped that tougher laws had made the planning and execution of larger-scale “spectaculars” next to impossible.
  • But after the Paris attack and alleged plotting in Europe, Rowley and other counter-terrorism chiefs fear that Isis has the capability and intent to stage a mass-casualty attack in the west….
  • There were a record 339 arrests under counter-terrorism laws in 2015, 77% of which were British nationals, 14% were female and 13% were aged 20 and under….

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BREAKING NEWS: In 11-hour battle, Jordanian forces destroy ISIS sleeper cell planning major terror attacks to destabilize the kingdom. Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Jordan-securityforces2In the most-sweeping anti-terrorist operation inside Jordan’s borders in years, government security forces have uncovered, attacked and destroyed an ISIS cell in the northern city of Irbid. The evidence strongly suggests the cell was planning major terrorists attacks against government and civilian targets to destabilize the kingdom.

Jordanian intelligence operatives were reportedly watching the cell for the past two weeks. Officials ordered a preemptive strike on the jihadists late Tuesday night before the cell could carry out its plans.

It was another reminder that ISIS leaders are, in fact, plotting to attack Jordan and overthrow King Abdullah II — as I write about in my two recent novels — and that as Christians we need to be actively, faithfully, consistently praying for the people and leaders of Jordan, including the King.

The Apostle Paul commands us, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:1-4)

Let us, therefore, pray for the Lord to grant security and stability of this moderate Arab nation and protect them from the savagery of the Islamic State and other jihadists. Let’s pray for the Lord to show His grace and mercy to every citizen of Jordan and the many refugees who have fled there from the Syrian and Iraqi wars, seeking a safe haven in a time of great darkness and a region on fire. Let’s also pray for the Christians in Jordan, as they seek to be a blessing to their nation in every possible way, including as a faithful witnesses of the hope and forgiveness and good news found in Christ Jesus.

Reports indicate the ISIS fighters put up fierce resistance when cornered. “The terrorists refused to surrender and put up strong resistance using automatic weapons,” a spokesman for the General Intelligence Directorate told the BBC, adding “those killed were wearing explosive belts.”

The BBC also reported that “weapons, ammunition, explosives and detonators were also found at the scene.”

The battle in Irbid — which is close to the Syrian border and about 50 miles north of the capital city of Amman — reportedly lasted eleven hours.

The attack on the ISIS sleeper cell took place just days after Jordan’s King Abdullah II met in Washington with President Obama, which I wrote about yesterday. During his meetings, the King warned of the steadily rising threat that the Islamic State poses to the Hashemite Kingdom and the fact that ISIS is trying to recruit jihadists from among the 1.3 million-plus Syrian refugees now residing in Jordan.

Eight ISIS terrorists were killed. Twenty-two more were immediately arrested. This provided intelligence that led to at least 13 other ISIS terrorists being arrested in short order in different parts of the country.

One Jordanian soldier was killed during the intense operation. At least three others were wounded.

“Nearly 4,000 Jordanians belong to jihadists groups,” mostly the Islamic State, reported Agence France Presse.

“More than 400 Jordanians have been killed fighting in jihadist ranks in Syria and Iraq since 2011,” added the AFP report.

I have a special place in my heart for the people and leaders of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I’ve been there at least a half dozen times and have dear friends in Jordan.

So much of Bible history took place on East side of the Jordan River. The Scriptures teach us that Moses and the children of Israel lived there and traveled through there. The Hebrew prophet Elijah was born and raised on the East side of the river, and went back to heaven there in a chariot of fire. The prophet Elisha was given the mantle of ministry on the East side of the river. John the Baptist lived and ministered there. The Lord Jesus was likely baptized on the East side.

What’s more, there are many — and sobering — prophecies in the Bible about the future of the country we now call Jordan in the “last days.”

I hope, therefore, that you’ll join me in praying regularly and faithfully for the Jordanians. God loves them dearly. Shouldn’t we?

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As Jordan’s King warns of “civil war” inside Islam & says Jordan has reached “the boiling point,” President Obama finally makes time to meet with him. Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2016 at 12:37 pm

KingAbdullah-Obama-OvalOffice-Feb2016For months now, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has been urgently warning Western leaders in blunt and stark language that the tidal wave of Syrian refugees into his country and the barbaric violence of the Islamic State poses a clear and present danger to his kingdom. He needs significantly more military and financial assistance than he is currently getting, and he needs it quickly.

ISIS is engaged in “a third world war” against the West and moderate Sunni Arab governments like his own, says the 54 year old monarch.

Jordan has reached “the boiling point,” he adds. “Jordanians are suffering….and sooner or later I think the dam is going to burst.”

“We need the rest of the world to work with us,” the King insists. “This is why I say it [must be] Muslims, Christians, Jews, other religions, all of us fighting this global fight together. It is a war inside of Islam, it is our civil war, but we cannot do it by ourselves.”

The King has taken his message to U.S. and European reporters, news anchors and conferences of world leaders. So far, he hasn’t seen much response. And the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Jordan has welcomed in more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees. Its spending a quarter of its annual budget on people who aren’t Jordanian citizens. They are at the breaking point. Yet last year, the international community provided only about 35% of the financial aid they had promised to the Hashemite Kingdom. What’s more, thus far the U.S. and international military effort against ISIS has been half-hearted. Today, the influence of ISIS is steadily growing. Its leaders are emboldened. And they are looking to hit new targets, like Jordan.

Adding insult to injury, in January — as readers of this column will recall — President Obama said he was too busy to meet when the King went to Washington on official business. In the end, the President carved out five minutes for the West’s most faithful Sunni Arab ally. That was shameful.

Fortunately, the President made more time for Jordan’s King last week — finally. The two leaders met at the White House on Wednesday for an extended discussion of the current state of the fight against the Islamic State, the state of the Syrian civil war, the enormous financial pressures Jordan is facing, and other critical regional issues.

The meeting seemed to go well. The President praised the monarch as “one of our most stalwart allies in the world” and rightly noted that “Jordan is a country that punches above its weight when it comes to the fight against ISIL.” 

The King, in return, graciously thanked the President, Congress and the American people for their generous military and financial aid to his kingdom. “We are so grateful for the support that you’ve shown me and our people, our country,” he said. “Truly, no country other than the United States has given us so much support — whether it’s to the economy so that we can take the challenge of refugees to our country, but also to the military and security so that we can defend our borders, but also secure our people.”

“I’m actually leaving Washington very optimistic about the level of support from the United States,” the King added.

I’m glad the meeting happened. I’m glad the President has increased U.S. aid to Jordan in recent years. But I am not as optimistic as the king about the future. I believe Jordan is in grave danger from ISIS terrorism — including chemical attacks — and from the mass of Syrian refugees who I fear could be incited to launch an uprising in the hopes of trying to topple the kingdom. Thus, I believe the U.S. should be doing far more to help our Jordanian friends.

We need to pull out all the stops in our campaign to defeat ISIS, starting with liberating Mosul and all of northern Iraq from the ISIS scourge. At the same time we should be pressing our European allies and the rich Sunni Arab states to provide more financial aid to Jordan. And we should be working far more closely to build a strong alliance between Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states not just against ISIS but against the threat of a nuclear Iran, as well.

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Seven more reasons a Trump presidency would be a catastrophe. Trump must be stopped.

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm

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Today is Super Tuesday. Barring a miracle, Donald J. Trump will win decisive victories across the nation. Despite saying some of the most despicable things I’ve ever heard any  presidential candidate in either party say, Trump continues rising in the polls. Many analysts believe he’s well on the road to winning the Republican nomination for president.

This would be an utter disaster. The threat Trump poses to the health and well-being of the American people and her republic cannot be overstated. Trump must be stopped.

On January 31st, I published a column laying out “32 reasons a Trump presidency would be a catastrophe for America.” I provided links to one direct quote after by Donald Trump himself demonstrating how unprepared he would be for the presidency. I also provided evidence that he is trying to hoodwink Evangelical Christians into thinking he is one of us, and and that he is trying to hijack the conservative moment by claiming to support conservative policies today that have not been his positions for the rest of his decades in the public spotlight.

But every few days, we learn more about this man that shows how completely disqualified he is from serving as President, and how dangerous he would be as Commander-in-Chief.

What follows are seven more reasons. Study them carefully. They are chilling. The former head of the Ku Klux Klan is actively supporting Trump. This former KKK Grand Wizard is urging his supporters to do everything possible to elect Trump. White supremacists all over the country are supporting Trump. Trump is happily re-Tweeting their praise of him. When Trump has been asked to condemn the KKK and its leaders and all white supremacists and reject their votes, he repeatedly refuses to do so.

But that’s not all. Trump has repeatedly praised Chinese and North Korean communist leaders for how they violently suppress pro-democracy dissenters in their countries. Trump has criticized past Soviet leadership for not using more violence to suppress the pro-democracy in the USSR. What’s more, Trump repeatedly calls for violence against those who disagree with him and those who protest him at his campaign rallies.

I strongly urge you to carefully read through these examples. Click on the links and read the articles carefully. Share this material with family and friends. There are many more example, but these are important to focus on right now.

If you are in one of the Super Tuesday states, please go vote today for a serious, sound conservative. Vote for a candidate who has a realistic, serious chance of stopping Trump, winning the nomination, and putting a conservative in the White House next January. At this point, that would be either Sen. Marco Rubio or Sen. Ted Cruz. Yes, both have flaws and weaknesses. But both are born again Christians. Both believe in the Constitution. Either would be vastly better than Mr. Trump.

Even though Lynn and I are living overseas with our sons, we are still American citizens, and gladly so. We deeply love the United States. We are deeply burdened by how dangerous this moment is, that the GOP could end up nominating a man like Trump. We are horrified that many Evangelical Christians are either actively helping Trump, or making excuses for him, or not registering or turning out to vote against him and for someone who really is qualified to be President.

We are proud legal residents of Virginia. Thus, we have voted by Absentee Ballot. We are not going to say who we voted for you. Prayerfully make your own decision. But we definitely voted against Trump.

Have you voted yet? The stakes for America are incredibly high. Do your civic duty. And pray faithfully, earnestly, and consistently throughout today — and the days ahead — that the Lord would block Mr. Trump and have mercy on the country.

  1. Last month, David Duke, a white supremacist who was once Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, announced he was supporting Trump, and urged his followers to do all they could to help Trump get elected. “Voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” Duke said on the David Duke Radio Program Wednesday. “I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do.”
  2. Trump was asked three times on CNN to “unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists?” and three times he refused to do so. [See also, Donald Trump Refuses to Condemn KKK, Disavow David Duke Endorsement, a story in Time magazine.]
  3. Last week, 62% of the messages Trump re-Tweeted were from white supremacists. “Is Trump riling up the white nationalists by lending them his 5-million-follower megaphone whenever they praise him?” asked one reporter. “Or are racists, who love Trump for his anti-immigration polemics, just more likely than others to send [him]…the kind of praise he likes to retweet? ” {See also this article in the New York Times, “Donald Trump’s Message Resonates With White Supremacists”; and a press release from the Anti-Defamation League, “ADL to Donald Trump: Distance Yourself from White Supremacists and Disavow Their Ideology.“]
  4. David Duke told Fox News, “Do whatever you need to get elected.”
  5. Trump has praised the ruthless dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, for how he “wipes out” his political opponents. “You’ve got to give him credit,” Mr Trump said. “How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden — you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that?…[H]e goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss. It’s incredible….He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. This guy doesn’t play games and we can’t play games with him. Because he really does have missiles and he really does have nukes.”
  6. Trump has praised the Chinese communists for the way they brutalized pro-democracy protestors in Tianamen Square in 1989 and has said he thinks the Communist government in the Soviet Union weren’t brutal enough suppressing dissent. “Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it,” Trump told a reporter in 1990. “That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.” His interviewer asked, “You mean firm hand as in China?” Trump answered, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world.”
  7. Trump often talks about wanting to engage in violence, particularly against those who disagree with him. Last November, Trump directed his private security detail to an African American protestor, saying, “Get him the hell out of here, will you, please? Get him out of here. Throw him out!” His supporters proceeded to punch and kick the man. Later, Trump defended his supporters, telling Fox News, “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” At a campaign rally in early February, Trump urged his supporters to “beat the crap” out of people who might disrupt the event by throwing tomatoes — and then promised to pay their legal fees if they got in trouble. “So if you see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ‘em. Would you? Seriously. Ok? Just knock the hell—I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.” Later that month at another campaign rally, security removed an unruly protester, but Trump said he wished stronger action could be taken. “The guards are being very gentle with him,” Trump said. “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you that.”
This man cannot be allowed to become the President of the United States. God have mercy on each of us, and on this great country.
[This column is based on my personal beliefs and opinions. I share them in my personal capacity as an American citizen and an author. They do not reflect the views of The Joshua Fund, which is a non-profit organization and takes no political or legislative positions.]

 

U.S. losing ground against Islamic extremism, says former CENTCOM commander

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2016 at 11:32 am

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Despite the insistence of President Obama and his senior advisors that the Islamic State and the violent jihadist movement worldwide is losing ground, the former head of U.S. Central Commander says the exact opposite is true.

“The U.S. has lost ground in the fight against Islamic extremism, the former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said in a recent interview,” according to an article in The Hill, a Washington based newspaper that covers Congressional affairs.

The following are excerpts from this important story:

  • “Unfortunately, we have lost ground over time,” said retired Gen. John P. Abizaid, former commander of U.S. Central Command in an interview published in this month’s West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s magazine.
  • “The scope of the ideological movement, the geographic dispersion of Islamic extremism, the number of terror attacks, the number of people swearing allegiance, and the ground they hold have all increased,” said Abizaid.
  • “Groups like the Islamic State have now taken on state-like forms and features that are unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. So on balance we are in a worse position strategically with regard to the growth of international terrorism, Islamic terrorism in particular, than we were after September 2001,” he said.
  • The dire assessment highlights the difficulty the Obama administration faces as it tries to accelerate the campaign against ISIS in its remaining 10 months in office….
  • The administration says the primary focus will remain on Iraq and Syria, but that it will also strike ISIS in other places, such as Afghanistan and Libya, if an opportunity arises.
  • However, with only 10 months remaining in the administration, there is little time for doing significantly more, and the administration has sidestepped questions into whether there will be a more robust effort to go after ISIS in Libya.
  • “I’m not going to look ahead into the future. We’re going to continue to respond to the ISIL threat as it develops. We are carrying out a significant campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and we are prepared — as we have demonstrated in the last 24 hours — to strike ISIL in other parts of the world, as they pose a threat,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Friday, using another acronym for ISIS.
  • Abizaid also said the U.S. was making a mistake by not acknowledging that modern-day borders of the Middle East are falling apart.
  • The U.S. is aiming for political solutions in Iraq and Syria that would keep the countries together, instead of broken up along sectarian lines.
  • “I do not think you solve the problem by trying to reinforce the status quo that existed before September 11, 2001,” he said.
  • “I think the international community and the leaders in the region have got to decide how best to reshape the Middle East and redraw the boundaries to establish stability and a more peaceful structure,” he said.
  • “Nations that are trying to put the status quo back on the map are only going to prolong the conflict and stoke greater violence,” he added. “I do not believe we are capable of putting this all back together again. That strategy is bound to fail.”
  • One thing the U.S. can do, he recommended, is to put more effort into organizing and leading the international community to do more to take on ISIS.
  • “I’m talking about a raiding strategy where we destroy capability over time in a joint force, which is an integrated international air, ground, and naval effort,” he said.
  • “Without American leadership, we’re not going to move in a direction that’s going to produce effective results,” he said.
  • “That doesn’t mean we only employ American assets, but it does mean there has to be American commitment to lead the effort and guarantee our partners that there will be some long lasting measures that take place,” he said.

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President Obama will meet with Jordan’s King today. Do Obama & the leading presidential candidates truly understand the magnitude of the threat ISIS poses to Jordan?

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2016 at 8:14 am

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On Wednesday, President Obama is scheduled to meet at the White House with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Let’s hope things go better than last month.

In January, Mr. Obama snubbed the Hashemite monarch on his visit to Washington. The White House initially said the President was too busy to meet with the King. In the end, the President spent a mere five minutes with His Majesty at Andrews Air Force Base before departing on a political trip.

Administration officials insisted that no slight was intended. It was just a busy week. But the damage had already been done. The President had made time to be interviewed by NBC’s Matt Lauer and welcome the TODAY Show on a tour of the White House. But he had refused to a serious, substantive meeting with the West’s most important and faithful Sunni Arab ally a priority, and America’s allies and enemies were watching.

Perhaps paying the closest attention was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. For even as Baghdadi and his fellow jihadists seek to topple the governments of Iraq and Syria and expand his emerging caliphate, make no mistake: the leaders of the Islamic State are gunning for King Abdullah II and determined to seize the land of Jordan for themselves. And now we know from CIA Director Brennan that ISIS is testing chemical weapons on the battlefield.

As readers of The Third Target and The First Hostage know, these are some of the central premises of my new thriller series. Let us be faithful in praying such scenarios never come to pass.

The critical question now is this: How seriously does President Obama take the U.S.-Jordanian alliance and what will he do tangibly to strengthen it at this critical juncture as the King and his people face an existential threat from the Islamic State?

Do the leading presidential candidates in both parties truly understand the threat to Jordan and the importance of strengthening our alliance with the King?

Let us hope that the American leader listens carefully to the King’s assessment of the threats he’s facing, and is ready to increase aid and military cooperation with the Hashemite Kingdom immediately.

Jordan is our most faithful Arab Sunni ally in the fight against the Islamic State. The assassination of the King, and/or a major ISIS attack on Jordan or a coup d’état — God forbid — would be catastrophic. It must be prevented at all costs.

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“The First Hostage” hits #1 on best-seller list one day after CIA director warns ISIS using chemical weapons.

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2016 at 3:11 pm

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On the day after CIA Director John Brennan told the CBS News program “60 Minutes” that the Islamic State is using chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq, a novel about ISIS using chemical weapons against its enemies in the Middle East has hit #1 on a national best-seller list.

I’m pleased to report that The First Hostage has just become the nation’s #1 best-selling novel in the North American Christian book market, according to the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association. It is also the #7 of all Christian best-sellers, both fiction and non-fiction, this month.

In January, The First Hostage spent four weeks on the Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best-sellers list. It also hit the USA Today list, though it did not hit the New York Times list.

This is the second in a series of thrillers about J.B. Collins, a fictional foreign correspondent tracking the threat posed by ISIS to the U.S., Israel, Jordan, and a group of other Mideast countries. The previous novel, The Third Target, was released in January 2015.

They are both the first — and, thus far, the only — novels in the world about the threat of the Islamic State.

On behalf of my wife and me — and the entire Tyndale House Publishing team — please let me say thank you so much for your enthusiastic support of this thriller, and The Third Target before it, which hit all the general market lists when it released last year and was also a #1 best-seller in the Christian market. We deeply appreciate how so many of you are blogging and Tweeting and writing on Facebook about both novels, and writing so many positive reviews on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, and other book sites.

Since many of you keep asking, please rest assured that I am hard at work right now on the third novel in this J.B. Collins series. We expect this next one to release in January 2017 and I’ll certainly keep you posted on my progress along the way.

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