Ted Poe

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

POE RESIGNS FROM HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS

2017/03/27

I have resigned from the House Freedom Caucus. In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward. Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective Member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead. Read More

Water

2017/03/23

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was World Water Day. When we are thirsty, we walk 3 feet to the nearest faucet or grab a bottle of water out of the refrigerator. Sadly, there are almost 800 million people who lack access to clean drinking water. It is unacceptable that in the year 2017 there are women who are still forced to walk miles to obtain water from polluted rivers. These rivers are not clear springs. Instead, they are rivers infected with waste, parasites, and other insects. Read More

TAKE YOUR CRIMINALS BACK OR LOSE VISAS

2017/03/22

Mr. Speaker, Florida Police Officer Andrew Widman was murdered, shot in the face while trying to resolve a dispute. His death was preventable, however. The murderer of Officer Widman was an illegal immigrant and convicted felon. He did not belong here. He should have been sent back home to his native country, Cuba, after he served his sentence, but Cuba would not take him back. Read More

RELEASE SANDY PHAN-GILLIS

2017/03/22

Mr. Speaker, China is illegally imprisoning an American citizen, Mrs. Sandy PhanGillis. March 19 marked the 2-year anniversary since Sandy illegally was incarcerated by the Chinese Government. Sandy is from Houston, Texas. She has lived there for almost 40 years. She worked tirelessly to improve U.S. relations with China. She believed that closer engagement would improve the lives of both Americans and the Chinese. As a member of the Houston Mayor’s International Trade and Development Council, Sandy traveled to China in March 2015 with Houston Mayor Pro Tem Ed Gonzalez. Their purpose was to help a trade mission to promote business between Houston, Texas, and China. It was on this trip when Sandy was unlawfully arrested by China’s State Security. The Chinese accused her of being a spy for the FBI. She was thrown into solitary confinement and subjected to torture and relentless questioning. Read More

Every American, Every Day is Impacted By Port Activities

2017/03/21

Whether it is the food we eat, the cars we drive, the light bulbs we use to light our homes, or the clothing we wear, every American household is impacted every single day by the activity of our ports. This activity accounts for over a quarter of our economy, generating trillions of dollars and bringing in over $300 billion in tax revenue each year. As Co-Chairs of the Congressional PORTS Caucus, it is our privilege and duty to be the voice of one of our nation’s top economic engines. Read More

KIM JONG-UN IS A TERRORIST

2017/03/21

Mr. Speaker, incorrigible little Kim and his minions are rattling their sabers once again. While U.S.-South Korean exercises were underway, North Korea launched four land-based missiles. The missiles traveled over 600 miles. North Korean Army bases are purposely positioned to strike U.S. bases in Japan and South Korea. It is time to put an end to North Korea’s mischiefmaking. The United States’ hopeless appeasement policy with North Korea has not worked. In 2008, the administration removed the warmonger from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list with little Kim’s promise to stop their nuclear weapons program. Well, guess what? Kim Jongun lied. We must return North Korea to where it belongs: the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Senator CRUZ and I have filed legislation to do just that. Then real sanctions and blocking of financial transactions are necessary. The United States cannot underestimate the war-prone lunacy of Kim Jong-un. He needs a clear message from America to leave us alone and leave our allies alone. And that is just the way it is. Read More

TAKING THE INNOCENCE OF A CHILD IS SHAMEFUL

2017/03/21

Mr. Speaker, a 14- year-old girl last week was kidnapped off the streets of Houston, Texas. After being held against her will for 5 days, she was taken to a motel, where she met a person named Denise Coronado. But Coronado was no friend. Instead, she threatened the girl. Coronado ground cigarettes into the girl’s body. She threatened everyone that the child loved. She published photographs of the girl on backpage.com, selling her on the marketplace of sex slavery. In a 1-week period, the young girl was forced to have sex with more than 20 men. Finally she escaped. Read More

Terrorism Update: March 20th- March 24th

2017/03/20

Monday (3.20.17)

  • An Afghan soldier opened fire on Sunday on US troops as they were training Afghan forces on a base in Helmand province. Three US soldiers were wounded in the first reported insider attack this year, where Afghan security personnel opened fire on their coalition counterparts. The aassault was carried out by an Afghan National Army officer from the 215 Maiwand Army Corps and US troops reportedly killed the Afghan soldier. The Taliban has not claimed credit for today’s shooting, but did acknowledge it. Zabihullah Mujahid, an official Taliban spokesman described the Afghan solider as “an Afghan with a sense of patriotism.”
  • Three suicide bombers killed four people and injured eight others in a village near the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a police spokesman said on Sunday. A man and two women blew themselves up when they were challenged by a member of the Civilian JTF, a government-approved militia group, just outside Maiduguri, the city worst hit by jihadist group Boko Haram's eight-year insurgency. The blasts, in the village of Umariri around 4 miles from the city, occurred on Saturday around 9 p.m. It is the latest in a string of attacks in the last few days to bear the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which has killed around 15,000 people and forced more than 2 million people to flee their homes in since 2009.
  • Iraqi army helicopters strafed and rocketed ISIS positions inside Mosul's Old City on Sunday as ground troops fought fierce street battles to close in on the strategic prize of the al-Nuri Mosque. An air strike by the U.S.-led coalition backing Iraq forces in their campaign to retake Mosul also killed six foreign militant commanders in the west, including a Russian who was a senior ISIS leader, Iraq's defense ministry said. Federal Police troops on Sunday advanced past the train station in western Mosul close to the mosque, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in July 2014.
  • Bangladesh police shot and killed a suspected terrorist who tried to cross a security checkpoint on a motorcycle armed with explosives early on Saturday, the latest in a string of security threats.
  • Police questioned and then released relatives of a man shot dead at a Paris airport, as investigators sought clues on why he attacked an army patrol in an incident that has pushed security to the forefront of France's election campaign. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said late on Saturday that the man, named as 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, had shouted he was there to "die for Allah" when he tried to seize a gun from a woman air force member on patrol at Orly airport. After throwing down a bag containing a can of petrol and putting an air pistol to the head of the soldier, he was shot three times by her colleagues.
  • The leader of Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), al Qaeda’s joint venture in Syria, has released a seven-plus minute message to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Syrian uprising. The video was uploaded online late on Friday and then disseminated via social media channels on Saturday. Abu Jaber (also known as Hashem al Sheikh), the former head of Ahrar al Sham, was selected as the overall leader of HTS (“Assembly for the Liberation of Syria,” or the Levant) in January. He has long advocated for a strategy of “popular jihad.”
  • A suicide bomber injured two Bangladeshi police officers on Friday when he attacked a base being built for the police anti-terrorist unit, officials said. Local media quoting the BBC Bangla service said ISIS had claimed responsibility for the rare attack on Bangladesh's security services.
  • ISIS’ Ninawa province has released a 30-plus minute video promoting the jihadists’ role in the battle for Mosul, Iraq. The propaganda production is intended to buttress perceptions of the group’s capabilities, even as it loses ground in and around the city. The video shows that ISIS has become especially adept at turning various makes and models of cars into vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). Armor is fixed to large and small vehicles alike in order to make it more difficult for Iraqi and American forces to destroy them before they reach their target.
  • Moroccan authorities said on Friday they had arrested 15 people suspected of ties with ISIS in the latest raid officials say targeted militant networks. The suspects had been active in Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangiers, and Agadir, among other cities, and were involved in inciting or threatening to carry out attacks.
  • A man purporting to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram denied in a video posted on Friday that 5,000 people held by the group had been freed by West African forces earlier in the week. On Wednesday, Cameroon said regional forces had rescued the hostages, who were held in villages by the jihadist group, in an operation along the Nigeria-Cameroon border. He also claimed responsibility for attacks earlier this week which included suicide bombings in the city of Maiduguri and a raid on the town of Magumeri, both of which are in the northeast Nigerian state of Borno.
  • Rocket alert sirens sounded in north eastern Israel Thursday night followed by news reports Friday morning which revealed that the Israel Air Force had carried out strikes against several targets in the city of Palmyra, the deepest such raid into Syrian territory since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. The rockets that fell in Israel appear to have been Syrian anti-air missiles – likely Russian-made SA-5s – fired at the returning Israeli jets. The target of the Israeli strikes looks to have been a weapons shipment to Hezbollah at Palmyra’s T-4 military base.

Tuesday (3.21.17)

  • The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming to the United States from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terrorism threats. The Department of Homeland Security said passengers traveling from those airports could not bring devices larger than a cellphone, such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras, into the main cabin. Instead, they must be in checked baggage. The new restrictions were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets.
  • Moroccan authorities have arrested Kassim Tajideen, deemed by Washington a top financier of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, and plan to extradite him to the United States, a Moroccan security source close to the case said on Tuesday. Interpol's Washington office issues his arrest warrant for alleged fraud, money laundering and financing of terrorist activities.
  • ISIS fighters captured an Iraqi police colonel and eight other officers in western Mosul after they ran out of ammunition during fierce clashes early Monday morning, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. The officers were caught around 3 a.m. on Monday in Bab Jadid district in Mosul, where Iraqi forces are battling to oust ISIS after liberating the eastern half of the city, however it was unclear exactly where the officers were.
  • A U.S. drone airstrike in Afghanistan has killed a Pakistani terrorist accused of involvement in a deadly attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka's cricket team in 2009, Pakistani security sources and Islamist militants said. The U.S. unmanned aircraft struck a car carrying Qari Mohammad Yasin, also known as Ustad Aslam, on Sunday in the southwestern Afghan province of Paktika bordering Pakistan.
  • Jihadists, Islamists and rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched an offensive in the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital on Sunday. The sudden attack began in the Jobar district of Damascus and then spread into a nearby area. Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a joint venture led by al Qaeda’s arm in Syria, launched two suicide attacks with vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIEDs) at the beginning of the assault. HTS (“Assembly for the Liberation of Syria”) posted pictures of the two suicide bombers, as well as images glorifying the moment of their “martyrdom,” on its official Telegram channel. It appears that small drones were used to generate footage of the SVBIEDs from above. Like their rivals in the Islamic State, al Qaeda’s men in Syria have long used drones to capture the instant when one of their suicide bombers detonates.
  • The Taliban claimed that 67 “Mujahideen” have graduated from two training camps located in the northwestern Afghan province of Faryab. The group has publicized 12 training facilities throughout the country since late 2014. Forty of the fighters graduated on March 18th from “a military camp – Intiqam Giran-e-Quran – in the surroundings of Shirin Tagab district” in Faryab, according to the Taliban. The statement was released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official propaganda website.

Wednesday (3.22.17)

  • The U.S.-led coalition air-dropped U.S. and allied Syrian forces near Tabqa in Raqqa province, expanding a campaign by the Syrian Democratic Forces militias against ISIS, the SDF's Raqqa campaign said on Wednesday. The operation aims both to capture the strategic Tabqa area across the Euphrates from the SDF's other holdings and to curb Syrian government advances in that direction.
  • ISIS fighters shelled areas recaptured by Iraqi forces in western Mosul, hitting civilians fleeing the fighting early on Wednesday as troops edged their way through the narrow, dangerous streets of the Old City. Heavy mortar fire killed at least five civilians and wounded more than 20 in Mosul Jadida and Rifak districts - areas that the terrorists had recently lost to Federal Police and Rapid Response brigades, military officials said.
  • Foreign ministers from 68 countries meet in Washington on Wednesday to agree on the next steps to defeat ISIS, the first such gathering of the U.S-led military coalition since the election of President Donald Trump in November. The meeting will be hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump has vowed to make the fight against ISIS a priority and directed the Pentagon and other agencies in January to submit a plan for defeating the terrorist group.
  • Multiple blasts at camps for people who have fled the Islamist terrorists Boko Haram killed four and injured 18 in the northeastern Nigeria city of Maiduguri, the state police commissioner said on Wednesday. The attacks were the latest in a series in the past week. In a video circulated on Friday, a man claiming to be Boko Haram's leader claimed responsibility for bombings in Maiduguri and a raid in a nearby town last week. Bombings near the city killed four on Sunday.
  • At least four people were killed on Tuesday when a car bomb exploded at a checkpoint less than a kilometer away from the presidential compound in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, police said. Security officials at the checkpoint said it was rammed by a car bomb driven by a suicide attacker, causing a blast outside a theater. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the explosion, although in the past, al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab has taken responsibility for blasts and gun attacks in the capital.
  • A senior al Qaeda military commander who led numerous attacks in Pakistan has reportedly been killed in a US airstrike in eastern Afghanistan on March 19th. Qari Muhammad Yasin was listed by the Pakistani government as the 10th Most Wanted terrorist in the country in 2013. Yasin, who has been involved in jihadist operations in the region for at least two decades, was targeted along with a “trainer of suicide bombers” for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan known as Ameen Shah Mehsud and two taliban fighters. Neither the US military or al Qaeda or its jihadist allies have confirmed the death of Yasin or Mehsud, the Taliban trainer, although Yasin has previously been targeted by the US.
  • On Friday the US State Department announced the designation of two Bahraini nationals affiliated with Iran-backed militant group the al Ashtar Brigades as global terrorists. Their designation comes amidst repeated attempts by Tehran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to foment an insurgency against the rulers of the island, who have launched a widespread crackdown on all Shiite opposition. The State Department has so far divulged little details about Hasan Yusuf, a 31-year old “Iran-based senior member” of the group, and Alsayed Murtadha Majeed Ramadhan Alawi, a 33-year old “affiliate.”

Thursday (3.23.17)

  • Taliban fighters have captured the key district of Sangin in the southern Afghan province of Helmand after security forces pulled out, leaving the district center to the terrorists, officials said on Thursday. Helmand, which accounts for the bulk of Afghanistan's billion dollar opium crop, is already largely in the hands of the Taliban but the capture of Sangin, where U.S. and British forces suffered heavy casualties, underlines their growing strength in the south. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said Taliban fighters had captured police headquarters and a military base overnight, as well as quantities of military equipment after they were abandoned by retreating government forces.
  • Ten members of Egypt's security forces were killed when their vehicles were hit by two improvised bombs during a military operation against suspected terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said on Thursday. It said the security forces also killed 15 people and arrested seven others during the raid which it said targeted "highly dangerous terrorists" in the central Sinai area. Egypt is battling an Islamist terrorist group, that pledges allegiance to ISIS in 2014, in the rugged and thinly populated Northern Sinai, which gained pace after the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
  • Indonesian police killed a suspected radical and detained three on Thursday during a counter-terrorism operation in an industrial area just hours away from the capital Jakarta. Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population and has been on high alert over a recent resurgence in radicalism inspired by the extremist group ISIS.
  • A French national was kidnapped on Thursday in eastern Chad, a French military source and a Chadian security source said. "Everything is being done to get him freed," the military source said, adding that the civilian was taken south of the town of Abeche, about 800 kilometers to the east of the capital N'Djamena. Paris launched air strikes and sent hundreds of soldiers into Mali in 2012 to drive back al Qaeda-linked rebels it said could turn the West African country into a base for international attacks. Two other French nationals have been held overseas, including one in Mali, kidnapped in December by Islamist terrorists, while another was taken hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier in March.
  • Five people were killed and about 40 injured in London on Wednesday after a car plowed into pedestrians and a suspected Islamist-inspired attacker stabbed a policeman close to Britain's parliament. The attacker, who was shot dead, was British-born and was once investigated by MI5 intelligence agents over concerns about violent extremism. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued by its Amaq news agency. But it gave no name or other details and it was not clear whether the attacker was directly connected to the group. Police arrested eight people at six locations in London and Birmingham in the investigation into Wednesday's attack that Prime Minister May said was inspired by extremist Islamist ideology.
  • U.S.-led coalition aircraft dropped fighters for the first time into an area near the Syrian city of Raqqa to retake territory from ISIS in a mission that included Apache helicopters, U.S. Marine artillery and special operations troops, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. The air drop of Syrian Democratic Forces, a militia alliance including Arab and Kurdish fighters, took place near the town of Tabqa in northern Syria.
  • Hundreds of relatives of individuals killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have sued Saudi Arabia in U.S. court, seeking to take advantage of a law passed by Congress last year that allows victims of such terrorist attacks on U.S. soil to sue state sponsors. The lawsuit filed on Monday in federal court in Manhattan is the latest effort to hold Saudi Arabia liable for the al Qaeda attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Since the law as passed there have been seven lawsuits filed in New York against Saudi Arabia.
  • The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP) claimed that the US killed a senior commander from Pakistan’s tribal agency of North Waziristan in a drone strike near the “Pak-Afghan border” on March 18. Commander Yusuf Wazir, the slain Taliban leader, also lost a father and a brother in previous US drone strikes, according to the jihadist group. The US military has not confirmed that it carried out a drone strike that killed Wazir. Additionally, it is unclear if Wazir was killed in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Friday (3.24.17)

  • Iraqi forces are preparing a fresh push against ISIS using new tactics, but operations to drive the militants out of their last stronghold in the country are on hold, military officials said on Friday as fighting enters the narrow-alleyed Old City, and the terrorists have put up fierce resistance using car bombs, snipers and mortar fire against forces and residents.
  • Russian warplanes are taking part in air strikes against insurgents to help repel a major attack on Syrian government-held areas near the city of Hama, a Syrian military source said on Friday. Rebel groups spearheaded by jihadist insurgents launched the attack on Tuesday and have captured at least 11 villages and towns, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
  • One man was killed and three others injured in an explosion in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday. The man who was killed, a building guard who was cleaning the property's garden, found "an unidentified metallic object." Upon handling it, it exploded, resulting in his death and the injury of his wife and two children by shrapnel. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the government is taking on terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, where fighters loyal to ISIS are based.
  • According to aid workers terrified Iraqi families fleeing fierce fighting in Mosul are drugging their children with sedatives or taping their mouths shut to prevent their cries alerting ISIS fighters as they try to escape. Hala Jaber of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said men caught trying to leave would be shot while women were sometimes tied up and left outside in the cold as a warning.
  • On Friday British police said they had made two further significant arrests in the investigation into the attack on London's parliament and gave the birth name of the man behind the assault as Adrian Russell Ajao. Britain's top anti-terrorism officer Mark Rowley said police had nine people in custody after Wednesday’s fatal attack. Police said the man behind the attack was British-born Muslim covert Khalid Masood and that they were trying to establish if others had directed him.
  • A Bahraini court sentenced three Shi'ite Muslim men to death on Thursday after they were convicted on charges of terrorism and involvement in 2014 bomb attacks that injured a number of police officers. The High Criminal Court also sentenced 14 other people linked to the same case to prison terms ranging from 10 years to life in jail. The rulings come amid increased tensions in the Western-allied kingdom. Authorities have stepped up a crackdown on dissent by arresting activists, banning the main Shi'ite opposition al-Wefaq group and taking steps to dissolve a secular association earlier this month.
  • A teenager with dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship was arrested in Israel on Thursday on suspicion of making dozens of hoax bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The suspect’s identity remains sealed pursuant to a court order and it is unclear what the teenager’s motives were.
  • U.S. Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe said on Thursday that he had seen Russian influence on Afghan Taliban insurgents growing and raised the possibility that Moscow was helping supply the terrorists, whose reach is expanding in southern Afghanistan.
  • The Tehran-controlled Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba has announced its participation in a battle raging east of Damascus, joining pro-regime forces in the Jobar and Abbasin districts. Earlier this week, jihadists, Islamists and rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched a surprise offensive in the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital. The al Qaeda-led joint venture Haya’t Tahrir al Sham has a significant role in the insurgent assault and launched several suicide bombings early on in the battle.
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Congressman Poe Introduces Veterans Back to Work Act of 2017

2017/03/20

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Today, Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02) introduced H.R. 1600 the Veterans Back to Work Act of 2017. This legislation would make the veterans tax credit permanent and make it easier for employers to take advantage of it. There are nearly 495,000 veterans in this country who are unemployed. 5.7 percent of all Iraq Afghanistan veterans and 4.6 percent of all veterans are unemployed. This is simply unacceptable. Congress previously passed a veteran’s tax credit to help transition our nation’s warriors back into the workforce. While well intentioned, it was temporary, this bill makes it permanent. Read More

Father Trafficks Daughter

2017/03/17

Mr. Speaker, It is said that there is no need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. That’s a father’s job. But recently, a Texas father arrogantly ignored all of his responsibilities. Instead, he forcibly sex trafficked his teenage daughter. In the milky darkness of night, he would take her to truck stops and coerce her to have sex – so he could pocket the filthy lucre. Read More

IMPROVE THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

2017/03/16

Mr. Speaker, Original Pizza in Broomfield, Colorado, has been in business since the 1990s. Now they are being sued. The plaintiff claims they do not have ADA-accessible parking signage or proper insulation wrapped around the pipes under the restroom sink. Read More

REMEMBERING IRON BILL DOWLING

2017/03/16

Today, March 15, 2017 the last alarm will be sounded for one of Houston’s finest, Captain William “Iron Bill” Dowling. Although Iron Bill fought tirelessly these last few years, he went home with the good lord shortly before his 44th birthday: March 14, 1973- March 7, 2017. While we mourn the loss of this Houstonian Hero, we also remember his service to his city and country. On May 31, 2013, Houston Fire Department suffered its most tragic event in its history. A 5-alarm blaze at a hotel in southwest Houston claimed the lives of four firefighters and injured fourteen other firefighters when the roof collapsed--some critically. Read More

Terrorism Update: March 13th - March 17th

2017/03/13

Monday (3-13-17)

  • A car bomb near a hotel on a busy street in the Somali capital killed at least 13 people on Monday, police and the emergency medical services said, hours after a man was killed by a blast as he tried to ram through a checkpoint. A spokesman for Somali Islamist terrorists group, al Shabaab claimed the attack. Earlier on Monday, police shot at a minibus, also in Mogadishu, when the driver refused to stop as it approached a checkpoint. The minibus exploded, wounding two bystanders and killing the driver.
  • Malaysian police said on Monday they had arrested seven people, including five Filipinos, for suspected links to the ISIS terrorist group. A Philippine suspect with permanent residency in Malaysia was detained on suspicion of raising funds and channeling them to Mahmud Ahmad and Mohamad Joraimee Awang Raimee, two Malaysians who had joined up with ISIS in the southern Philippines. One Philippine man was planning to travel to Syria to join up with ISIS there, while another was found to have pledged allegiance to Isnilon Hapilon, the Philippines' most-wanted man and leader of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.
  • Afghan special forces have freed up to 32 people, including four policemen, imprisoned by Taliban insurgents in the southern province of Helmand, the defense ministry said on Monday. Swathes of Helmand are controlled by Taliban fighting to overthrow the United States-backed government in the capital, Kabul, and install a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Late on Sunday night, special forces launched the raid in a village in the district of Nad Ali, after gathering intelligence that the Taliban were holding dozens of civilians and security personnel, security officials in Helmand said.
  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Sunday that a Tunisian man wanted in his homeland for his possible involvement in a deadly attack on a Tunis museum in 2015 can be deported. The man was arrested last month on suspicion of planning an Islamist terrorist attack in Germany.
  • Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a group formed by al Qaeda’s branch in Syria and several other organizations, has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Damascus on Saturday. Dozens were killed and many more wounded when the bombers struck Shiite pilgrims visiting holy sites in the Syrian capital. Many of the victims were from neighboring Iraq. HTS portrays the attacks as a retaliatory strike against Iranian-backed Shiite militias, which fight Sunnis in both Iraq and Syria. In its statement, HTS claims that one of the bombers struck “Iranian militias” and the second hit Assad’s forces. The statement could be read as an attempt to draw a distinction between civilians and supposedly legitimate military targets.
  • Gunmen attacked a military air base in the eastern Afghan province of Khost, officials said on Saturday. Khost police spokesman Faizullah Ghairat said that three militants had attacked the base, close to the border with Pakistan. One had been killed, while two others were still holding out, he said. There was no immediate comment from the headquarters of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul.
  • Indonesian police arrested nine suspected terrorists on the island of Sulawesi, a police spokesman said on Saturday, in an operation that media reported had targeted a group with affiliations to ISIS. With investigations continuing, police spokesman Martinus Sitompul declined to give further details, but media reported police had also seized bomb-making materials meant for use in attacks on police and official buildings. The suspects were all members of Mujahidin Indonesia Timur, a group that had been controlled until last year by one of the first Indonesian militants to pledge loyalty to ISIS.
  • Iraqi special forces are engaged in a punishing and paranoid close-quarters battle against ISIS in western Mosul as they seek to drive the jihadists out of their last urban bastion in Iraq and deal a major blow to their self-styled caliphate. Mosul is divided by the Tigris river that runs through it, north to south. Iraqi forces, supported by a U.S.-led coalition, pushed into the western side of the city last month after recapturing the east in an offensive that began late last year. The urban warfare is now more intense than ever, both because ISIS fighters have been backed into one half of the city and because the west - home to the old city and city center - is more densely populated.
  • The remains of hundreds of mainly Shi'ite inmates killed by ISIS when they overran a prison in northern Iraq more than two years ago have been unearthed by forces retaking the area from the group, a spokesman said. An Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary group made the discovery after driving the terrorists from the Badush area where the prison is located, as part of a wider U.S.-backed campaign to dislodge Islamic State from the city of Mosul.

Tuesday (3-14-17)

  • Iraqi government forces killed Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary, the ISIS commander of Mosul's Old City, during operations on Tuesday to clear Bab al-Tob district as the battle for the terrorists’ last stronghold in Iraq focused on a bridge crossing the Tigris River. ISIS snipers were slowing the advance of Interior Ministry Rapid Response units on the Iron Bridge linking western and eastern Mosul but the elite forces were still inching forward, officers said. Government forces also pushed into areas of western Mosul, ISIS’ last redoubt in the city.
  • A blast on a bus in Syria's Homs on Tuesday killed one person and injured two others. The explosion follows a coordinated attack by jihadist insurgents in Homs city center last month that killed scores including a senior security official. The attack in Homs on Feb. 25 was carried out by Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance whose main group is Fateh al-Sham, an al Qaeda offshoot in Syria.
  • German authorities on Tuesday raided apartments linked to a mosque in the city of Hildesheim visited by Tunisian failed asylum seeker Anis Amri, who drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in December and killed 12 people. The local state interior ministry said more than 300 police searched the apartments of eight people and shut down the mosque and the association which ran it, saying it recruited young Muslims to join ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria.
  • Russian-led peace talks on Syria were derailed on Tuesday as rebels backed by Turkey boycotted a third round of meetings in Kazakhstan and the Kremlin indicated there were international divisions over the process. Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally, said the rebels' reasons for staying away were unconvincing and their decision came as a surprise. While, the rebels said they would not attend the talks, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, because of what they called Russia's unwillingness to end air strikes on rebel-held areas and its failure to get the Syrian army and Iranian-backed militia to abide by a ceasefire.
  • Malaysia and Australia will share intelligence on terrorists in Southeast Asia, a senior Malaysian minister said on Tuesday, as the two allies brace for the possible return of ISIS fighters from Iraq. Iraqi forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition have taken 30 percent of west Mosul from ISIS in an operation launched in October to drive the group out of its last major stronghold. Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the success of the Mosul operation would drive hundreds of ISIS members and sympathizers from Southeast Asia back to their home countries.
  • Authorities in China's western region of Xinjiang on Tuesday offered leniency to "separatists, terrorists and religious extremists" who turn themselves in, the latest in a string of recent security measures in the violence-prone region. China says militants have stirred up tension in Xinjiang, where hundreds of people have been killed in recent years in unrest between mostly Muslim ethnic Uighurs and majority Han Chinese. Many rights groups and exiles doubt the existence of a coherent militant group in Xinjiang and say Uighur anger at repressive Chinese policies is more to blame for the unrest. Late last month, Uighurs purportedly fighting with ISIS released a video threatening China and vowing to shed Chinese blood.
  • An explosion in the center of the Afghan capital Kabul destroyed a bus carrying employees of one of the country's biggest telecoms firms on Monday, killing at least one person and wounding eight, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. A security official said earlier the blast was caused by a suicide bomber on foot, but Sediqqi said it appeared to have been caused by a roadside bomb. The explosion, as people were leaving work in a well-to-do area of the city, came less than a week after dozens of people were killed and wounded in an attack on the country's largest military hospital by gunmen dressed in medical uniforms.
  • Fierce clashes resumed on Monday at a tower block complex in southwest Benghazi where forces loyal to Libya's eastern government have been battling for weeks to dislodge rival fighters, a security official said. A spokesman for the special forces of the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), Milad al-Zwai, said jets had bombed the buildings and three special forces soldiers had been killed and three wounded in clashes. Over the past year the LNA has made major gains in Libya's second city, securing several districts and pushing back fighters linked to ISIS and al Qaeda. However, they still face pockets of resistance, including in the tower blocks between the districts of Ganfouda and Bosnaib.
  • Unknown gunmen killed Farhad Hossain Chowdhury, 55, a Sufi minority spiritual leader, and his house help in northern Bangladesh on Monday, police said, amid a surge in attacks on liberal activists, minority sects and other religious groups in the Sunni Muslim-majority country. No one claimed responsibility for the killing but the South Asian country of 160 million people has seen a string of deadly attacks in the past years. In the past both al Qaeda and ISIS have made competing claims for a series of killings but the government has blamed domestic militant groups.
  • On Saturday, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) sources revealed to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida that the IRGC has built weapons factories for Hezbollah in Lebanon and handed them over to the Shiite group that is a designated foreign terrorist organization. This comes one week after Iranian Defense Minister Hussein Dehqan declared that Hezbollah “now possesses the capabilities to build and produce any projectile or missile” capable of reaching any location in Israel. However, it remains unclear how Hezbollah is acquiring the materials and domestically producing the sophisticated components necessary to manufacture such advanced weapons when the Iranians themselves experience difficulty in doing so at home.

Wednesday (3-15-17)

  • Four female teenage suicide bombers killed two people and injured 16 others in a residential area in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a disaster agency spokesman said on Wednesday. The girls knocked on the door of a house and then detonated their devices, demonstrating a new tactic of focusing on individual homes. The number of attacks or attempted attacks bearing the hallmarks of Boko Haram in crowded areas, such as markets and refugee camps, has escalated since the end of the rainy season in late 2016.
  • Iraqi government forces battling ISIS for Mosul took control of a main bridge over the Tigris river on Wednesday and advanced towards the mosque where the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in 2014, federal police said. The seizure of the Iron Bridge, linking eastern Mosul with the terrorist-held Old City on the west side, means the government holds three of the five bridges over the Tigris and bolsters Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's assertion that the battle is reaching its final stages. The gains were made in heavy fighting in which troops fought street-by-street against an enemy using suicide car bombs, mortar and sniper fire, and grenade-dropping drones to defend what was once their main stronghold.
  • Afghan authorities have detained 24 people in connection with what appears to have been an insider attack on a military hospital in Kabul last week, including some of the staff, officials said on Wednesday. However they stonewalled a growing chorus of questions about how it was possible for gunmen to get into Afghanistan's largest military hospital, just a stone's throw from the heavily fortified U.S. embassy in the heart of the capital. The attack was claimed by Islamic State, although some officials say the group, based mainly in eastern Afghanistan, was unlikely to have been capable of mounting such a sophisticated operation without help from more experienced groups, such as the feared Haqqani network.
  • Islamist terrorists group, Boko Haram on Tuesday released a video purporting to show the execution of three men the group accused of being Nigerian military spies. The seven-minute clip, the first online video posted in two years of an execution said to be by Boko Haram, showed three men wearing orange jumpsuits. One is decapitated by masked men while the other two are shot. The masked men criticize President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria's military campaign against Boko Haram's eight-year long insurgency in the northeast of the country. The militant group has killed more than 15,000 people and forced more than 2 million to flee their homes.
  • The US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday its first ever extradition request to try a Hamas terrorist who murdered Americans during the Second Intifada. Prior to US President Donald Trump taking office, the only legal proceedings against such terrorists have been criminal proceedings in Israeli courts or civil wrongful death proceedings brought by the families of victim, not by the US government, in US courts. The request is addressed to Jordan to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, who was in Israeli jails for multiple murders.
  • The US Treasury Department announced yesterday that Muhammad Hadi al-`Anizi, who is “based in Kuwait,” has been designated as a terrorist. Al-`Anizi, a “terrorist facilitator and financier,” has “provided extensive material and financial support” for both al Qaeda and its arm in Syria. This designation is the latest in a series targeting al Qaeda’s support network inside Kuwait.

Thursday (3-16-170

  • Three suspected members of an Islamist terrorist group blamed for a deadly cafe attack in Bangladesh last July were killed on Thursday when their suicide vests exploded during a police raid on their hideout, a police official said. Police said a woman was also among the four dead, who belonged to a faction of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh group, known as New JMB, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS.
  • Heavy rain slowed Iraqi government forces battling ISIS on Thursday around Mosul's Old City, where militants holed up in narrow alleyways and homes resisted with sniper fire, suicide attacks and car bombs. Troops from the federal police and elite Rapid Response units were about 500 yds from the al-Nuri Mosque from where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria in 2014.
  • The violent anti-establishment Greek group Conspiracy of Fire Cells has claimed responsibility for a parcel bomb mailed to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, police said on Thursday. The parcel was mailed to Schaeuble from a post office branch in Athens but was intercepted by the German finance ministry's mail department. The militant group has previously claimed responsibility for a wave of parcel bombs sent to foreign embassies in Athens in 2010.
  • Two suicide bomb attacks killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens more in Damascus on Wednesday, in the second such spate of bombings in the Syrian capital in five days. The first suicide bomber targeted the Palace of Justice, the main courthouse in central Damascus near the Old City where Justice Minister Najem al-Ahmad told reporters the initial death toll was 31, mostly civilians. The second suicide blast struck a popular restaurant in the al-Rabweh area of Damascus to the west of the first attack causing several casualties. Analysts who follow Syria have predicted that as jihadist rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad suffer military reverses, they will increasingly turn to guerrilla attacks. Just this past weekend former al Qaeda leader in Syria, Abu Mohammad al Golani, vowed more attacks after claiming multiple suicide attacks in the city of Homs last month.
  • Suspected members of Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram attacked a town in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Wednesday, shooting indiscriminately and forcing locals to flee their homes, witnesses said. Residents who fled Magumeri, a town around 31 miles from state capital Maiduguri, said the attackers burned down buildings and opened fire after arriving around 5:00 p.m.
  • Eight people were killed and more than 50 wounded when a car bomb exploded in a crowded street in the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday, a local official said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing although ISIS has carried out similar actions as it battles against a government offensive on its former stronghold in Mosul, 125 miles north of Tikrit.
  • West African forces freed 5,000 people being held in villages by Boko Haram, in an operation that killed more than 60 fighters and destroyed the terrorist group's hideout along the Nigeria-Cameroon border, Cameroon said on Wednesday.
  • A Saudi soldier was killed by gunmen late on Tuesday in the Eastern city of Qatif, in an incident the interior ministry said was carried out by "terrorist elements". There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack although Shi'ite militants angry at what they say is repression of their community have attacked security forces in Eastern province in the past.

Friday (3.17.17) 

  • A suicide car bomb detonated near an army base in the eastern Afghan province of Khost on Friday, killing one soldier and wounding several before the army repelled at attack on the base by four gunmen, the district chief said. The blast, 50 yards from the base, was heard several miles away and damaged several shops, homes and a school. In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had caused heavy casualties however; the terrorist group often exaggerates casualties caused by its operations.
  • Iraqi forces battling ISIS in Mosul advanced into the Old City and around the al Nuri mosque on Friday trying to seal off a main road to prevent terrorists sending in suicide bombers. Troops are meeting fierce resistance as terrorists retreat into the Old City, where street fighting is expected in the narrow alleyways and around the mosque where ISIS declared its caliphate nearly three years ago.
  • The Israeli military said it shot down one of numerous anti-aircraft missiles launched on Friday at its air force which was operating in Syria, in a rare such incident that spilled over into neighboring countries. The Syrian army said it had shot down an Israeli jet during the operation. Israel denied this, saying that all its aircraft had returned unscathed.
  • A Saudi Arabia-born man was convicted on Thursday of participating in a 2003 attack in Afghanistan that killed two U.S. servicemen and plotting to bomb a U.S. embassy in West Africa, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said. A jury found Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, known by the nom de guerre Spin Ghul, guilty of all counts after only two hours of deliberations. The al Qaeda operative faces life in prison at his sentencing.
  • A female employee of the International Monetary Fund suffered injuries to her face and arms on Thursday when a letter bomb mailed from Greece and addressed to the world lender's European representative blew up as she opened it, officials said. Paris anti-terrorism prosecutors opened an investigation and although a terrorist Greek group, Conspiracy of Fire Cells, claimed responsibility for a parcel bomb mailed to Germany’s Finance Minister on Wednesday, but there was no immediate claim for the Paris attack.
  • The Somali terrorist group, al Shabaab, is letting civilians in drought-hit regions under their control move with relative freedom to find food, the group and a U.N. official said on Thursday, but they are continuing to restrict the access of international aid groups. Somalia, struggling to recover from more than 25 years of civil war and an ongoing battle between its U.N.-backed government and Islamist insurgents, could sink into famine if the April rains fail.
  • Warplanes struck a mosque in the rebel-held village of al-Jina, in northwest Syria, killing at least 42 people and wounding dozens, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said on Thursday.
  • An air strike carried out by U.S. forces on Thursday in Idlib, Syria, killed several al Qaeda militants, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. "Idlib has been a significant safe haven for al Qaeda in recent years," the statement said, making no mention of civilian casualties.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis met with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday and they discussed U.S.-Saudi military cooperation in the fight against ISIS, the Pentagon said in a statement. Mattis and Prince Mohammed, who is the kingdom's defense minister, also discussed "confronting Iran's destabilizing regional activities."
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Time for a Radical Reset with Pakistan

2017/03/09

For years and, we would say, for decades, the United States has acquiesced in a toxic relationship with Pakistan, putting up with this nominal ally whose military and security leaders play a lethal double game. Most dangerously, the “game,” if one can call it that, involves headlong nuclear-weapons production and exporting Islamist terrorism. Successive U.S. administrations haven’t found a way out of this, playing instead the theater of “shared interests” with Islamabad, even when Pakistan’s links with insurgents imperil American lives in Afghanistan while feeding wider instability in central Asia. Read More

CHAIRMAN POE INTRODUCES PAKISTAN STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM ACT OF 2017

2017/03/09

Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism introduced H.R. 1449, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act of 2015. The bill requires the President to issue a report within 90 days detailing whether Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism. Thirty days after that, the Secretary of State is required to a submit a follow-up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism or a detailed justification as to why it does not meet the legal criteria for such a designation. “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years. From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s. It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a State Sponsor of Terrorism.” ### Read More

PAKISTAN IS NOT ON OUR SIDE

2017/03/09

Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise Pakistan is not the friend they portray themselves to be. They are a devious, deceptive, and disloyal ally. For years they have supported the Taliban by providing them cover, cash, and weapons. However, this Benedict Arnold ally is among the leading recipients of U.S. foreign assistance for the last 14 years. Read More

HONORING CHIEF ALAN BRAGG: 45 YEARS IN EDUCATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

2017/03/08

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to my friend, Chief Alan Bragg, who is retiring after serving a distinguished 45 years in educational law enforcement. He is a lifetime member of what I referred to as the Poe-leece. It is an informal organization made up of long-time friends in Texas’ law enforcement community. It is an honor to pay tribute to Chief Bragg as he retires on June 30, 2017 as Chief of Police at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Police Department. Alan Bragg was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, and was destined to become a Texas Lawman. He attended Midwestern State University and worked for the university’s police department at the beginning of his career. In 1981, Chief Bragg moved to Houston to take a position with the Houston Independent School District Police Department. Read More

The Federal Governments Peeping Tomcrats

2017/03/07

Mr. Speaker, The census counts the population every ten years.But the Census Bureau also sends out a mandatory, intrusive, personal and more time consuming 28-page document called the American Community Survey. The survey asks invasive questions like how many toilets does a person have in their house? What time does a person leave and return from work? Does any person in the household have poor eyesight, difficulty dressing or mental issues? If this Orwellian survey is ignored, the government will come after the citizen. First the phone calls start: weekly then daily. Then Uncle Sam sends his snoops to lurk around homes, forcing citizens to comply. Read More

Terrorism Update: March 6th- March 10th

2017/03/06

Monday (3-6-17)

  • Suspected U.S. drones fired missiles at al Qaeda targets in two separate attacks in Yemen on Monday, residents said, extending several days of U.S. strikes against the terrorists. Residents said an air strike hit the home of an al Qaeda suspect in the village of Noufan in central al-Bayda province, and another struck a mountainous area believed to house a training camp in al-Saeed in southern Shabwa province. There were no immediate reports on casualties in the raids, which took place in areas controlled by al Qaeda fighters.
  • U.S.-backed Iraqi forces on Monday captured Mosul's al-Hurriya bridge, which leads to the Islamic State-held old city center from the south. The al-Hurriya bridge is the second to be secured by the Iraqi forces in the city, after securing one located further south, in the offensive that started on the western part of Mosul on February 19th.
  • U.S.-backed Syrian militias cut the last main road out of ISIS-held Raqqa on Monday, severing the highway between the group's de facto capital and its stronghold of Deir al-Zor province, a militia spokesman said. The development, confirmed by a British-based organization that monitors Syria's war, marks a major blow against the Islamic State group that is under intense military pressure in both Syria and Iraq. It is losing ground to three separate campaigns in northern Syria by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias, the Russian-backed Syrian army, and Turkey and allied Syrian rebels.
  • An accused al Qaeda operative charged with engaging in attacks on U.S. forces that killed at least two American servicemen in Afghanistan is set to face trial on Monday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, also known by the nom de guerre Spin Ghul, or White Rose in the Pashto language, is accused of conspiring to kill Americans and providing support to a terrorist group, among other charges. An anonymous jury will hear the case, which is not uncommon in national security trials. Harun, 47, is not expected to be in court. Since his extradition from Italy in October 2012, the Saudi-born defendant has insisted he is a "warrior" who should face a military tribunal rather than criminal proceedings and has registered his dissent through increasingly aggressive courtroom behavior.
  • Five Pakistani soldiers were killed in attacks on northwestern border checkpoints launched by dozens of terrorists based in Afghanistan, Pakistan's military said on Monday, as officials demanded that the neighboring country rein in such violence. Relations between the two countries are tense, and each routinely accuses the other of doing too little to prevent Taliban fighters and other terrorists from operating in its territory. "Dozens" of militants from across the border stormed security posts ‎in Pakistan's Mohmand Agency on Sunday night, said senior security officials based in the region. Pakistan's military said 10 terrorists were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire and asked Afghan authorities to strengthen surveillance in border areas.
  • Suspected al Qaeda fighters opened fired on a Yemeni military checkpoint in the southern province of Abyan on Sunday, a security official and residents said, killing six troops and a civilian.
  • Bahrain's top government advisory body passed a constitutional amendment allowing suspected terrorists to be tried in military courts on Sunday, state news agency BNA reported, in a move criticized by activists. Bahrain's Shura Council approved the amendment on the grounds that it would protect the Gulf island kingdom from militant attacks, and the justice minister said that those perpetrating attacks had forfeited access to civilian courts.
  • Malaysia has arrested six foreigners and one Malaysian for suspected links to terrorist groups including ISIS, the police chief said on Sunday. The Southeast Asian nation has been on high alert since suicide bombers and gunmen linked to ISIS launched multiple attacks in Jakarta, the capital of neighboring Indonesia, in January 2016.
  • Jordan executed 15 people on Saturday, including 10 convicted on terrorism charges ranging from an attack a decade ago on Western tourists to the slaying of a writer in the largest mass execution in the country's recent history. Government spokesman Mohammad al Momani told state media those executed included one man who was convicted of an attack last year on an intelligence compound near a Palestinian camp that killed five security personnel. Another five were involved in an assault by security forces on a terrorist hideout by suspected ISIS fighters in Irbid city in the same year that led to the death of seven militants and one police officer. The rest related to separate incidents that go back as far as 2003.
  • ISIS has severely damaged a major Roman monument in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, an antiquities official said after visiting the site on Saturday. Under heavy Russian air cover, the Syrian army and allied militias drove the jihadist group out of the UNESCO world heritage site on Thursday, two months after it had seized it in a surprise advance. It was the second time the city had been recaptured from the militants in the course of Syria's six-year war.
  • The US military has launched more than 30 airstrikes against al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen in three separate provinces last week. Such a large number of strikes is unprecedented in Yemen and indicates a changing US approach to attacking al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, possibly acting on new intelligence gained from a controversial raid by US special operations forces in late January. It is unknown how many AQAP fighters were killed during the operation. AQAP has not announced the death of any senior leaders.

Tuesday (3-7-17)

  • Iraqi government forces fighting to drive ISIS from western Mosul on Tuesday recaptured the main government building, the central bank branch and the museum where three years ago the terrorists had smashed statues and artifacts. The government buildings had been destroyed and were not used by ISIS, but their capture still represented a symbolic victory in the battle over the militants' last major stronghold in Iraq. An elite Rapid Response team stormed the Nineveh governorate building and government complex in an overnight raid, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Amir al-Mohammadawi said. They also seized a building that housed Islamic State's main court of justice, known for its harsh sentences, including stonings, throwing people off building roofs and chopping off hands, reflecting ISIS’ extreme ideology.
  • U.S.-backed Syrian militias will tighten the chokehold on ISIS’ base in Raqqa, after cutting the last main road out of the city, a spokesman said on Tuesday. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) severed the highway between Raqqa and the jihadists' stronghold of Deir al-Zor province on Monday, dealing a major blow to ISIS which is under intense military pressure in both Syria and Iraq. ISIS is losing ground to three separate campaigns in northern Syria - by the SDF militias, by the Russian-backed Syrian army, and by Turkey and allied Syrian rebels. The SDF advance means all main roads out of Raqqa are now cut. The U.S.-backed militias now plan to capture surrounding rural areas and advance towards the city to isolate it completely.
  • The U.S. military has deployed a small number of forces in and around the Syrian city of Manbij as part of a new role to ensure that the different parties in the area do not attack each other, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday. Captain Jeff Davis said the forces were stationed inside and to the west of Manbij starting last week to be a "visible sign of deterrence and reassurance." While U.S forces have carried out training and advising missions in Manbij, this is the first time they have been deployed to make sure that Turkey- and U.S.-backed forces do not attack each other and focus on fighting ISIS.
  • Suspected U.S. drones killed two suspected al Qaeda terrorists in a missile strike in southern Yemen, tribal sources and residents said on Monday, keeping up pressure on the Islamist group after a push that began last week. U.S. officials in Washington said the United States carried out at least one new air strike on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) overnight on Monday and has waged several strikes since Saturday, but gave no further details. Residents and tribal sources said a drone had fired a missile at a car traveling in Wadi Yashbum on Monday afternoon, destroying it completely. They said the bodies of two local men believed to be members of al Qaeda were found charred beyond recognition.
  • Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that a former Guantanamo detainee known as Yasir al Silmi was killed in an airstrike in Yemen on March 2. Al Silmi is identified as Muhammad Yasir Ahmed Taher in declassified and leaked files prepared by Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO). The Obama administration transferred Taher to Yemen in December 2009.

Wednesday (3-8-17)

  • Gunmen dressed as medics stormed a hospital in the Afghan capital on Wednesday and battled security forces for hours, killing more than 30 people and wounding dozens in an attack claimed by ISIS. A suicide bomber blew himself up at the rear of the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital, across the road from the heavily fortified U.S. embassy, and three attackers with automatic weapons and hand grenades entered the complex, security officials said. Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said the attack was suppressed by mid-afternoon, with all three gunmen killed.

  • Iraqi forces saw off an overnight ISIS counter-attack near Mosul's main government building hours after they recaptured it, a military official said on Wednesday, and troops sought to push the terrorists further back. According Major General Ali Kadhem al-Lami of the Federal Police's Fifth Division, ISIS fighters used car bombs in the today they are working on clearing the area which was liberated.
  • Saudi security forces killed a suspected ISIS fighter when he pulled a gun on a patrol in the capital Riyadh, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. The patrol was trying to check a complaint on Tuesday evening that a resident of a flat in the capital's al-Rayyan district had joined the terror organization.
  • Iraq will continue to hit ISIS targets in Syria, as well as in neighboring countries if they give their approval, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday. "I respect the sovereignty of states, and I have secured the approval of Syria to strike positions (on its territory)," he told a conference in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya.
  • U.S. and Iraqi officials believe the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has left operational commanders behind with diehard followers to fight the battle of Mosul, and is now hiding out in the desert, focusing mainly on his own survival. It is impossible to confirm the whereabouts of the "caliph", who declared himself the ruler of all Muslims from Mosul's Great Mosque in 2014 , but U.S. and Iraqi intelligence sources say an absence of official communication from the group's leadership and the loss of territory in Mosul suggest he has abandoned the city. Baghdadi has proved to be an elusive target, rarely using communication that can be monitored, and moving constantly, often multiple times in one 24-hour cycle, the sources say. From their efforts to track him, they believe he hides mostly among sympathetic civilians in familiar desert villages, rather than with fighters in their barracks in urban areas where combat has been under way.
  • The Syrian army and its allies have captured the main water pumping station that supplies Aleppo in a sweeping advance against ISIS that has brought them to the bank of the Euphrates, a group that monitors the conflict said on Tuesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army and allied forces made rapid gains east of Aleppo city, as Syrian and Russian planes pounded the rural areas. They recaptured the al-Khafsa area on the western bank of the Euphrates River, where the water treatment and pumping plants are located, after the jihadist group withdrew.

Thursday (3.9.17)

  • Air strikes pounded a town in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor on Thursday, killing seven civilians and injuring more than 70 others, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based war monitoring group said two warplanes, believed to be Russian, dropped nearly two dozen bombs on al-Mayadin in ISIS stronghold of Deir al-Zor.
  • A U.S. Marines artillery unit has deployed to Syria in recent days to help local forces speed up efforts to defeat ISIS in Raqqa and the campaign to isolate the city is going "very, very well", the U.S.-led coalition said on Thursday. Coalition spokesman U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian said the additional U.S. forces would be working with local partners in Syria - the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian Arab Coalition - and would not have a front line role. The additional deployment comprises a total of 400 U.S. forces - both Marines and Army Rangers. It adds to around 500 U.S. military personnel already in Syria, Dorrian said.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday pleaded for help from mayors in Muslim parts of the south to deal with Islamist terrorists, and threatened to impose martial law there if the problem is not tackled. The largely Roman Catholic Philippines has been struggling to thwart two small but violent ISIS-linked groups behind kidnappings, piracy, bombings and the recent beheading of a German captive.
  • Pakistan has indefinitely closed two border crossings with Afghanistan after opening them for two days to let through Afghans with visas, officials said on Thursday. The official border crossings were abruptly ordered closed last month after a series of attacks Pakistan blames on terrorists sheltered in Afghanistan, heightening tension between the neighbors.
  • A twin suicide bombing struck a village wedding north of Baghdad as the wedding party gathered in the evening hours, killing at least 26 people and wounding dozens, a government spokesman said Thursday. The attack, which took place late Wednesday, began when one suicide bomber wearing an explosives-laden belt walked into the wedding party assembled in an open area in Hajaj, near the city of Tikrit, about 80 miles from Baghdad. The bomber detonated his explosives, only to be followed by the second attacker who blew himself up when people had gathered to help the victims of the first explosion. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but suspicion is likely to fall on ISIS, which has staged similar attacks in the past.
  • The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, on Thursday confirmed that the leader of the terrorist group al-Shabaab has surrendered to government forces in Baidoa town in southern Somalia. The AU mission confirmed that Hussein Mukhtar surrendered to the Somali National Army (SNA) on Tuesday following a government amnesty offer for terrorists to surrender.
  • The death toll from an ISIS attack on a military hospital in Kabul by gunmen dressed as medics has risen to 49 with dozens wounded, a senior health official said on Thursday. Salim Rassouli, director of Kabul hospitals, said 49 people had been killed in the attack on the Sardar Mohammad Khan military hospital on Wednesday, with at least 63 wounded.
  • The United States is considering deploying up to 1,000 soldiers to Kuwait as a reserve force in the fight against ISIS in the region. Those in favor of the move said having the reserve force located in Kuwait would provide the U.S. a greater capacity to respond to battlefield challenges. Officials reportedly said the decision will be part of the U.S.’s strategy review to defeat the terrorists in Iraq and Syria. The report said that there are about 6,000 troops serving mainly as advisers in the area.

Friday (3-10-17)

  • Al Shabaab said its fighters have assaulted an airport in the southern town of Bardere, located in Gedo region on Thursday morning, killing a number of African Union Mission in Somalia soldiers. The Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group has announced on its affiliated online media outlets that it killed several soldiers from Ethiopian forces stationed at the city's airport. Local residents said there has been a heavy exchange of gunfire between the attackers and Ethiopian troops serving under AMISOM. AMISOM, however did not comment on the airport, which is housing hundreds of Ethiopian troops.
  • The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Thursday the arrest of a suspected Palestinian Hezbollah operative who was allegedly instructed to carry out terror attacks against Israelis as well as kidnap Israeli civilians. The suspect, Yusef Yasser Suylam, a 23-year-old based in the Palestinian West Bank town of Qalqiliya, was recently arrested in a joint Shin Bet, Israel Police and IDF operation. Following his arrest, the Shin Bet interrogated Suylam and discovered that Hezbollah had recruited him through social media, luring the young man to join their ranks through a Facebook profile the Shi'ite terror organization regularly uses to track potential recruits.
  • A new U.S. strategy to break a stalemate in Afghanistan will require additional American troops, the head of the U.S. Central Command said on Thursday." I do believe it will involve additional forces to ensure that we can make the advise and assist mission more effective," Army General Joseph Votel said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Vogel also said as many as 12 civilians died in a raid against al Qaeda in Yemen in late January, the head of the U.S. military's Central Command said on Thursday.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host a 68-nation meeting in Washington this month to discuss the next moves by a coalition fighting ISIS, the State Department said on Thursday. The March 22-23 meeting of coalition foreign ministers aimed "to accelerate international efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates, and networks," the State Department said in a statement.
  • Iraqi forces aim to dislodge ISIS fighters from west Mosul within a month, despite grueling urban combat in densely populated terrain, the head of the elite Counter Terrorism Service said on Thursday. As Iraqi forces advance deeper into west Mosul, they are facing increasingly stiff resistance from ISIS using suicide car bombs and snipers to defend their last major stronghold in Iraq.
  • Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney urged Iraq and the world’s nations on Thursday not to let ISIS “get away with genocide.” Clooney, who represents victims of ISIS rapes and kidnappings, told a U.N. meeting that what’s “shocking” is not just the group’s brutality but the “passive” response by the world’s nations to the campaign to investigate its crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. She urged Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send a letter to the U.N. Security Council so it can vote to set up an investigation into crimes by the group in Iraq where ISIS once controlled about 40 percent of the country’s territory.
  • Yemen's local al Qaeda wing appealed for help on Thursday to fend off an offensive by the armed Houthi movement in central Yemen, and accused the United States of coordinating attacks with the Iran-aligned group, according to an online statement. Residents say tribesmen in Ansar al-Sharia, the local wing of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and other Islamists known as salafists are the main force holding back the Houthis in Qifa in al-Bayda province, where President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's internationally-recognized government has little control. Ansar al-Sharia referred in the statement on its Telegram channel to repeated air strikes by the United States in recent days. Washington has acknowledged it has stepped up operations against militants in Yemen in the past couple of weeks.
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Fighting For You

2017/03/06

Dear Neighbor,


With Congress in session today and for the next few weeks, I'm writing to give you a quick update on what I've been working on here in Washington. Last week, I participated in two hearings covering two very different, yet equally important issues. One focused on protecting victims of crime; the other highlighted the government's violation of your fourth amendment rights.


I testified before the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee to defend two important programs to our community and nation: The Crime Victims Fund and VAWA. Congress established, and President Reagan, signed into law the Victims of Crime Act, which created the Crime Victims Fund. The money in this fund comes solely from criminal fines, forfeitures and other penalties. There are no taxpayer dollars involved. This Fund is so important because it allows criminals to pay for the harm they've caused their victims, covering the costs of important services they would not be able to afford on their own. The money belongs to victims. It should not be used as a slush fund by Congress for any other purpose.


Congress should also safeguard VAWA - or the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA helps to pay for domestic violence shelters, sexual assault services, and rape crisis centers. VAWA is a needed investment in our communities that helps to save lives, rebuild families, and even prevent future crimes.Click here to hear my testimony:

As a strong constitutionalist, I firmly believe that the Bill of Rights cannot be trampled on, even in the name of "national security". Currently, the National Security Agency is using a loophole in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Americans--without a warrant. Under Section 702 of FISA, government agents may seize information from databases on suspected foreign terrorists. But, in the process of seizing this information, the NSA also seizes data on American citizens without a warrant - data that includes emails, texts, and voice communications.  Often, these databases are searched for information regarding American citizens. That is wrong. And, that violates the Constitution and amounts to an abuse of power by our government. I've introduced legislation, the End Warrantless Surveillance of Americans Act, to prevent this type of government snooping from happening. Click the video below to hear more of my thoughts from a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week on this issue:


I also held a telephone town hall to over 75,000 homes in our district. I answered questions about what's happening in Washington and heard what's on your mind. The topics ranged from the upcoming debates on Obamacare repeal and replacement, border security, tax reform, and flood insurance to the investigations in Russia's activity. Remember if you have a question, be sure to email it to me.


It's great to see neighbors visiting the Capitol. Here are a few photos from my meetings last week.

GOD and TEXAS,

TED POE
Member of Congress
TEXAS
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Contact Information

2412 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6565
Fax 202-225-5547
poe.house.gov

Texas Congressman Ted Poe is a leading advocate in Washington for limited government, free markets, low taxes and individual liberty.

Prior to serving in Congress, Ted Poe served for 22 years as a criminal court judge in Houston where he garnered national media attention for his innovative sentences – dubbed “Poetic Justice.” Prior to that, he served for 8 years in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where he became the chief felony prosecutor and never lost a jury trial.

Congressman Ted Poe serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. An outspoken advocate on border security, he travels regularly to the southern border to meet directly with local law enforcement and residents. He also often visits our troops in Afghanistan and around the world. Congressman Ted Poe established the bipartisan Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC) to advocate on behalf of victims in our nation’s capital. A strong constitutionalist, Congressman Poe stands firmly in the belief of “we the people” not “we the subjects.”


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Jodey Arrington

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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