Tags: Donald Trump | Immigration | Gorka | Travel Ban | Jihadists

Gorka Says Travel Ban Is Defense Against 'Global Jihadist Movement'

Image: Gorka Says Travel Ban Is Defense Against 'Global Jihadist Movement'

 Sebastian Gorka

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 11:01 AM

Sebastian Gorka, a terrorism researcher, aide to President Donald Trump and part of a small group of people who reviewed the travel ban for Trump, defended the order as a defense against hotbeds of "jihadi activity," The Wall Street Journal reported.

"I'm not going to comment on whose hand was holding the pen. I was asked to look at the executive order before it was signed by the president," Gorka said in an interview, declining to address whether he helped write it, the Journal reported.

The seven countries in the ban "represent the hotbed of primary jihadi activity today," Gorka said.

Gorka, part of Trump's Strategic Initiatives Group, has focused on jihadist activity in a career of more than two decades, and has described a theory about terrorism called the "global jihadist movement." He has said that the Quran shapes the movement.

Critics say Gorka is focused on Islam as the sole motivator for terrorism.

"I don’t see him in the mainstream of counterterrorism scholars, and he would also make himself out not to be in the mainstream," Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow Clinton Watts told the Journal.

Criticism from Watts and other experts, Gorka combines the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah as a single threat, although those groups often work at cross-purposes to each other.

"He basically tries to lump things together into one big problem instead of distinguishing among doctrines," Republican counterterrorism specialist Michael S. Smith II said.

Then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote in 2008 that position was dangerous.

"Collapsing all terrorist organizations into a single enemy feeds the narrative that al Qaeda represents Muslims worldwide," Chertoff wrote.

However, Gorka has also earned praise for his focus on religion as the root of the terrorists’ motivation.

"What he does focus on, which is 180 degrees from the last administration, is the war of ideas," Heritage Foundation security expert James Carafano told the Journal.
"I think the notion that we can fight the ideology without discussing and referencing the religion is kind of ridiculous. It's like combating communism without discussing Karl Marx."

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Sebastian Gorka, a terrorism researcher, aide to President Donald Trump and part of a small group of people who reviewed the travel ban for Trump, defended the order as a defense against hotbeds of "jihadi activity," The Wall Street Journal reported....
Gorka, Travel Ban, Jihadists
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2017-01-21
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 11:01 AM
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