Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

I’m way behind reviewing the books I’ve read this summer so I’m posting this earlier before our usual Leisure Weekend Reading Review…because Pastors need a break sometimes from heavy theological reading!

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.  Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against International Terrorism’s Money Masters. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, November 7th 2017. 304 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book on Israel’s fight against terror.  The preface opens up with the story of the US war on terror of going after key ISIS figures but then Segway to the fact that the US adopted some of the method of the war on Terror from Israel’s own covert war against international terrorism.  But this book isn’t primarily focused on military operations (though it has that in the book) but the side of the war that focuses on defeating terrorist networks by going after its funding.  This work is a fascinating read!


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The other day I saw that Twitter was trending with the hashtag #BoycottDelta.  It was about how supposedly Delta Airlines was racist and bigoted in kicking out a Muslim name Adam Saleh for speaking Arabic.

It’s ironic that the left spends so much time talking about censoring fake news…would be the very ones falling for (you guessed it) fake news.

So to those on the left: If you were guillby trending and think is something on the right, you might be part of the problem.

Here’s David Wood exposing Adam Saleh.  David Wood responded really well and cogently and gives examples to consider just how problematic Adam Saleh’s attempt to get attention is.

Share this with others for the sake of the truth because the truth matters.


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The Looming Tower Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York, NY: Borzoi Book, August 8th 2006. 373 pp.

I knew I had to read this book after seeing many other books on counter-terrorism and radical Islam referenced this work.  There’s a reason why this book is cited often and mentioned in bibliographies: it is a well-researched book on the origins of Al Qaeda leading up to their attack on September 11th.  The author spent five years researching for the book which led the author to travel all over the world.


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not racism

Ryan Grim is the Washington Bureau Chief for the left leaning The Huffington Post.

He has a piece out today titled “Dear Islamophobes: Your Racism Is Putting Us All In Danger.”

Several times in Grim’s article he charged Islamophobes for being racists:

The challenge for the U.S., which Obama attempted to address in his speech on Sunday, will be how to put the racist genie back in the bottle.


Even if deep in your gut you harbor deep fear or suspicion of people you think might be Muslim, do the rest of us this favor: Keep it to yourself. Don’t spread that fear and discrimination in the name of patriotism, if only because it is guaranteed to backfire. Your racism is putting all of us in danger.

I agree with the writer that we should not lash out violently against Muslims and we must be responsible for unnecessary heated rhetorics.  But if you are looking for careful nuance thought in the whole piece from Ryan Grim, chances of that is rather grim.


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My heart goes out to the loved ones of the four Marines who were killed yesterday during the Chattanooga Shooting.  I imagine Liberals and Democrats would want to take advantage of this unfortunate incident to cry for more gun control such as restriction on more weapons that could be purchased and also more areas that are legally gun free zone.

While I do think most gun-control activists are sincere I think many are mistaken at a fundamental level of understanding human nature.  One wonders if they understand the extent of man’s depravity.  I think “Gun Free Zone” that is not enforced with people who are armed is quite a naive concept; in fact it is dangerous and irresponsible on the part of lawmakers and bureaucrats who come up with such a thing.  The biggest problem I think is that it neglect to account for the reality of human depravity, that those who are wicked and sinful and want to carry out sinful terrorist acts are not going to stop when you merely have a sticker that says “No guns.”

Sadly yesterday’s shooting is a case in point:


Original picture SOURCE

Having a picture and a sign that says no guns is just as persuasive to a depraved gunman as an “Obama ’08” bumper sticker is for a Republican in 2015.  It’s “irrelevant” to a simple criminal let alone a committed Muslim extremist.  Actually it is relevant for such gunman: it allows them to face lesser resistance to their wicked schemes.


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13 Hours Bengazi

Purchase: Amazon

This is an account of what some of the men went through during the attack on the United States Consulate and CIA Annex in Bengazi, Libya.  I think the author did a masterful job retelling the story from the perspective of several former military men working for the CIA’s Global Response Staff (GRS) and yet supplemented them with other sources of information in order to clear up some of the “fog of war.”  The author realizes how politically charged the Bengazi affair has been and he tells the readers that those involved in the battle do not necessarily want what happened to become merely political points for or against a political party but for the battle to be respected for its own right.  The book takes more of the perspective of the guys on the ground doing their job that is typical of many military accounts that focus more on the heroism of the warriors involved rather than the political aspect of the battle.  I appreciated this although one can’t help but to feel angry at the incompetence of higher ups while reading the book ranging from the CIA “non-shooters,” the State Department and the Obama administration.  This story also clarified some of the misunderstanding I had of the whole controversy such as how did Ambassador Stevens was separated from everybody else and why was the Ambassador in Bengazi when he was based in the capital of Libya.  Readers will appreciate the bravery of the men of the GRS who despite facing numerically superior forces, willingly went out of the way to save other fellow Americans and kept doing even when they were hurt or low on ammunition.  I recommend this book, lest we forget what happened that day in Bengazi.

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In the Presence of my Enemies Gracia Burnham

 Available on Amazon

As we see the increase of Islamic terrorism worldwide, this story needs to be heard more than ever. It is a powerful story of forgiveness and of God’s grace and mercy. The book is an account of Martin and Gracia Burnham, who were missionaries in the Philippines that were captured by Muslim radicals in 2001 and held as hostages in the jungle for over a year. The story is told by Gracia, who survived the ordeal. Her husband was killed during the raid by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that finally freed (and for some, killed) the hostages. Between the time of her capture and the final liberation by the military, the Burnham has gone through seventeen firefights and countless other artillery shelling and terrible ordeals with the jungle. I was drawn by Gracia’s honesty of her shortcomings and struggle during her journey. She was honest in the book of how she felt, including her feeling that God has betrayed her and how she finally coped with the kidnapping. She was also honest about how she felt about the terrorist, and quite understandably. But perhaps most disturbing was her honest portrayal of what drove Abu Sayyaf, the terrorist group that kidnapped her and her husband. It is a frightening ideology of hate and readers but this will come at no surprise for those familiar with the ideology of Al Qaeda and jihad. Although the topic is sobering, the book is by no means hopeless, for as the book progresses you will see the faith of Martin and Gracia grow and being lived out of what it means to bless your enemies. The book also manages to have some funny moments with Gracia’s sense of humor coming out in the book and at times her sarcasm towards the irony around her. You will laugh—and you will cry. Readers will likely be tearful of the moment in the book when her husband is killed—and her final rescue. The book also has a lengthy account of her time after the hostage situation, and how the Lord has worked through this event. An excellent book that I totally recommend, a beautiful testimony of the Gospel applied and a moving account of what it means to be a Christian—even in the presence of one’s enemy.

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