Links for 3-28-2015

  • On Thursday the head of U.S. Central Command told Congress that the U.S. agreed to bomb ISIS targets in Tikrit on the condition that Shiite militias would not be participating in the final assault on the city. A Pentagon spokesman later clarified that most of the Shiite militias had withdrawn from Tikrit. One of the Shiite militias that remained – and therefore benefitted from the American airstrikes – was the Popular Mobilization Committee, which is not a nice bunch:

    The leadership of the Popular Mobilization Committee is closely tied to Iran and its commander is a designated terrorist. The unit, which was established in June 2014 after the Iraqi Army and police collapsed as the Islamic State advanced in multiple provinces the overarching command for all of the Shiite militias.

    The Popular Mobilization Committee is led by Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, a former commander in the Badr Organization who was listed by the US government as Specially Designated Global Terrorist in July 2009. The US government described Muhandis, whose real name is Jamal Jaafar Mohammed, as “an advisor to Qassem Soleimani,” the commander of the Qods Force, the external operations wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

  • It’s difficult to know exactly when Hillary Clinton deleted all of the email from her personal server, but it appears she did it after her email had been subpoenaed. That sort of action would get a prole into big trouble, but a Clinton…

  • ProPublica and Gawker went back through Sidney Blumenthal’s email (his account was hacked in 2013 and his emails were released) and it appears that Blumenthal was running an intelligence acquisition and analysis operation for Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. The reports issued by the operation were written by Tyler Drumheller, a former high-level CIA employee. Among the reports were accounts of the deteriorating situation in Libya, reports that were delivered to Clinton before the Benghazi attack.

  • The Arcus Foundation and the Ford Foundation have spent more than $3 million since 2013 on campaigns opposing religious freedom exemptions.

  • A coalition of jihadist groups claims they’ve gained control of Idlib, Syria. It was formerly controlled by Bashar al Assad’s government.

  • Al Shabaab attacked a hotel in Mogadishu that’s popular with government officials and foreigners. Somali special forces eventually killed the six attackers, but 18 people were killed and at least 28 were wounded.

  • Andrew Klavan’s “50 Shades of Barack Obama”: