Posts Tagged ‘IPT’

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Steven Emerson: Combating Radical Islam

January 13, 2010

Steven Emerson: Combating Radical Islam
Defeating Jihadist Terrorism

by George Michael
Middle East Quarterly
Winter 2010, pp. 15-25

http://www.meforum.org/2578/steven-emerson-combating-radical-islam

On Christmas afternoon in 1992, Steven Emerson, then a staff reporter for CNN, noticed a large group of men in traditional Arab clothes congregating outside the Oklahoma City Convention Center. At first, he thought they were extras for a movie—until he remembered the date. So, he explored a bit; inside, he discovered a conference sponsored by the Muslim Arab Youth Association. The vitriol of the speakers, replete with hateful rhetoric against Jews, Israel, and America mixed with exhortations of violence toward these enemies, alarmed him. Spontaneous shouts of “Kill the Jews” and “Destroy the West” came from the audience throughout the event.[1]

Steven Emerson has emerged as a powerful independent force, working with U.S. security services while also carrying out investigations on his own in areas beyond their reach.

Worried by what he had witnessed, Emerson notified a contact in the FBI, only to be told that the agency knew nothing about the conference and also lacked a mandate to investigate it because no criminal activity had occurred or was imminent.[2] This experience indelibly impressed him, leaving a sense of government weakness and suggesting the need for a private agency to explore the threat of radical Islam within the United States.

On graduation from Brown University, Emerson (b. 1954) went to work as an analyst on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He served as an international investigator and helped shape the aid package to Israel and Egypt following the Camp David accords in 1978. He honed his skills while working for the committee until 1982, during which time he developed an abiding interest in Middle Eastern affairs.

In 1986, he joined U.S. News & World Report where he worked as a national security correspondent. During this time, he authored two books: Secret Warriors: Inside the Covert Military Operations of the Reagan Era[3] and The Fall of Pan Am 103: Inside the Lockerbie Investigation.[4] In Secret Warriors, Emerson argued that technical breakdowns, bureaucratic disarray, presidential interference, and professional jealousy contributed to the inertia of America’s elite forces.[5] This perception may have played a large role in convincing him that government alone is inadequate to the challenges of modern terrorism. In The Fall of Pan Am 103, he promoted the theory—then held by the U.S. government—that Iran was responsible for the bombing of the flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

Since that early experience in Oklahoma, Emerson has emerged as a powerful independent force who works with U.S. security services but carries out investigations on his own in areas beyond their reach. He does not take any funds from the government. In 1995, he established his own think tank, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), which has since conducted investigations into many Islamist and terrorist groups and individuals. The IPT has stirred up more hornets’ nests than many government agencies. Its acute focus has allowed it to hone in on targets that broader agencies missed. Emerson’s initiative has paid off handsomely.

New Nongovernmental Agencies Emerge

The Islamist campaign to implement Shari’a law presents a grave challenge to the United States and all Western countries. And while a security apparatus has arisen to defend against these threats, several nongovernmental bodies have emerged as critical adjuncts in the effort to identify those who work within the law to change the Western way of life.

Compared to Western Europe, the United States has an unusual approach to domestic political extremism. Since 1976, the FBI has officially conducted surveillance of extremist and potentially violent groups under the attorney general’s guidelines, established after revelations of misconduct and abuses arising from the COINTELPRO initiative, a secret program through which the FBI disrupted both far-left and far-right groups.[6] However, the extremely well-coordinated attacks of 9/11 exposed gaping holes in the area of human intelligence and impelled the government to reexamine and recalibrate this policy.[7]

In response, the FBI relaxed its guidelines for investigations of religious extremists, and the federal government now allows information to be shared between intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Moreover, to augment their investigatory functions, the authorities increasingly rely on recently created, private monitoring groups, including JihadWatch.com and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).[8] Their efforts are complemented by think tanks such as the Middle East Forum and publications such as the Middle East Review of International Affairs.

Operating in a decentralized fashion, private entities can be more flexible and effective than government agencies in providing time-sensitive and actionable intelligence resources. For example, MEMRI releases high-quality, up-to-date information and translations about radical organizations, frequently before such intelligence is processed by government.[9]

Emerson’s IPT has established itself as the most effective nongovernmental organization (NGO) monitoring Islamic radicalism. It is the only private entity in the United States that conducts undercover research into the activities of Islamist groups. To preserve its independence, IPT accepts no funds from the U.S. government or donors outside the United States.

Emerson’s IPT focuses primarily on U.S.-based Islamist groups, some working in legal ways to undermine American society, others with links to terrorist organizations overseas. Along the way, he has created an unparalleled undercover investigative apparatus. According to Rep. Sue Myrick (Republican of North Carolina), cofounder of the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, “The Investigative Project is the only one out there who is really doing substantial research into what is going on in the world and here in America. They are actually researching … they are verifying how these [jihadist] movements are taking place. … I don’t know of anyone else who is doing the same thing.”[10]

Emerson has returned the compliment: “Congressmen like Frank Wolf, Pete Hoekstra, and Sue Myrick have shown a backbone that is unparalleled in Congress in courageously tackling the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR [Council on American Islamic Relations], and other Islamist groups, and radical Islamic groups. So it shows there are brave Congressmen as well.”[11] Like Emerson, Myrick focuses less on outright terrorism than the infiltration of American institutions by Islamists.[12] Alliances like this lend strength to Emerson’s own efforts. The task of exposing and combating Islamist organizations and individuals takes place in a highly political context and requires high-level lobbying and juristic skills.

Exposing Islamists in America

Emerson undertook effective investigations on his own before he started the IPT. Most notable was his 1994 documentary Jihad in America, which raised awareness of the threat of radical Islam in the United States. The film focused on a Palestinian, Abdullah Azzam, who founded the Arab Fighters Service Bureau in Afghanistan to recruit and train thousands of mostly Arab jihadists. Osama bin Laden, a protégé of Azzam’s, cofounded the bureau and later transformed it into Al-Qaeda. The bureau’s North American office, the Al-Khifa Refugee Center in the Al-Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, soon became the hub of a network that included outposts in Atlanta, Chicago, Connecticut, and New Jersey.[13] Interestingly, while in Pakistan and Afghanistan for several months in 1993, shooting the documentary, Emerson befriended Azzam’s son Hodeyfa.

After Azzam’s assassination in Pakistan in 1989,[14] the blind Egyptian sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, emerged as the spiritual leader of the international jihadist wing of the bureau. In 1990, Abdel Rahman, who had been expelled from Egypt, was allowed to emigrate from Afghanistan to the United States despite having been named on the State Department’s terrorist watch list; he settled in the New York city area. Soon, a circle of Islamists congregated at his Al-Salaam Mosque in Jersey City. In 1990, one of his followers, Egyptian-born El Sayyid Nosair, assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane, the Israeli politician and founder of the Jewish Defense League.[15] A few years later, other Abdel Rahman followers linked up with Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six persons and wounded 1,042 others.[16] Emerson’s work in uncovering and exposing this network complemented the efforts of official agencies operating under greater constraints.

The Charity Networks

Since August 1994, Emerson has testified before or informally briefed the United States Congress hundreds of times.[17] His efforts appear to have had an influence on lawmakers. The videotape of his first documentary, Jihad in America, was distributed to all 535 members of Congress and, according to Rep. Chris Smith (Republican of New Jersey), it played a significant role in persuading them to pass the USA Patriot Act in the fall of 2001.[18] In 2002, he published a book entitled American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us,[19] in which he traced the development of radical Islam in the United States. He also testified before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission) in July 2003.[20]

In later testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on November 8, 2005, he charged that Saudi Arabia had funded a vast network of charities and religious organizations that had ties to terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda and Hamas.[21] This testimony prompted Treasury and National Security Council investigations into the labyrinth of radical Islamic charities operating in the United States. According to federal officials, these investigations led to an effort within the agencies to shut down some of the charities but nothing was done; the Clinton administration lacked the political will to close down the charities. Only after the 9-11 attacks did that will emerge and efforts to shut down the charitable fronts succeed.[22]

Emerson has focused primarily on the fundraising activities of mainstream Muslim groups and their links to the more radical organizations for which they serve as fronts. As he has observed, one of the most important activities carried out by Islamist groups in the United States has been the establishment of nonprofit, tax-deductible organizations to establish zones of legitimacy within which fundraising, recruitment, and even terrorist planning can occur.[23] Using a technique first developed in the Middle East, these groups often provide American Muslims with much-needed social services such as education, nutrition, and health care so as to win over and manipulate them.[24] This activity is usually justified by reference to the religious duty of paying zakat (the Islamic alms tax).[25] This practice creates substantial good will and much social capital for those Islamist groups who choose to employ it as a cover for collecting monies destined for jihadist groups.

According to one CIA study, one-fifth of all Islamic NGOs worldwide have been unwittingly infiltrated by Islamist terrorist groups.[26] As Emerson has pointed out, some of the religious and charitable organizations have mixed legitimate activities with illegitimate, thus betraying the true aims of the donations.[27] Investigators who seek to reveal this duplicity run a serious risk of being condemned as bigots who find wrongdoing in a meritorious religious activity that has close parallels to Jewish and Christian charities.

Hamas and Hezbollah Networks

Overall, the IPT, with its access to information and intelligence to which the government is not privy, has been instrumental in shutting down more than a dozen Islamic charitable terrorist and nonviolent front-groups since 2001.[28]

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, offers one notable example of an organization involved in both terrorism and social services. According to Emerson, Hamas developed the most sophisticated infrastructure of all the Islamist groups operating in the United States.[29] During the early 1990s, the group worked out of an office in Springfield, Virginia, opened by Musa Abu Marzouk. In 1981, Abu Marzouk helped create the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), which served as the primary voice for Hamas in the United States. IAP participants were later among the founding members of CAIR.[30] IAP’s primary activity consisted of annual conferences, which hosted various Islamist luminaries who often gave incendiary speeches.[31]

In 1980, Abu Marzouk became founding president of the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), which some sources indicate acted as the Hamas political command in the United States.[32] He went on to found additional groups in the United States, all of them closely associated with Hamas. For example, UASR and IAP were joined by the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which Abu Marzouk himself designated as the primary source of donations for charitable work in the Palestinian territories.[33] In 2001, Abu Marzouk voluntarily shut down his office after its director, Ahmed Yousef, was forced to flee the United States where he had resided illegally for twenty years. Yousef now serves as a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza.[34] Abu Marzouk also returned to Gaza where he is now the deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, but in 2004 he was indicted in his absence for coordinating and financing the work of Hamas.[35]

The FBI suspects that Hamas may also have established for-profit corporations in the United States. On September 5, 2001, it executed a search warrant against the InfoCom Corporation, an Internet service provider based in Richardson, Texas, suspected of ties to Hamas.[36] The authorities indicted its officials and subsequently convicted them of channeling funds to the Palestinian group.[37] Law enforcement officials commented on background that Emerson’s organization, with vast archives on the activities of Hamas front groups in the United States, had an instrumental role in prosecuting and convicting the Holy Land Foundation, a trial that resulted in sweeping convictions for all defendants in 2008.[38]

And the beat goes on: In 2007, the IPT broadcast video tapes on its website showing Esam Omeish railing against Israel and advocating jihad. As a result, Omeish was forced to resign from his appointment by Virginian governor Tim Kaine to the state’s Commission on Immigration.[39] In 2009, the IPT exposed the links between Viva Palestina USA and Hamas. Its report on the group laid bare its membership, activities, and motives and was provided to federal authorities for further investigation.[40]

Sami al-Arian and Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Emerson was the first investigator to link a former professor at the University of South Florida, Sami al-Arian, to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an organization designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.[41] He exposed Arian’s ties to the Islamic Jihad in his 1994 documentary Jihad in America and continued to write and testify about Arian’s links to the group throughout the rest of the decade. Arian has helped create several Islamist associations. One of these, the Islamic Concern Project (later called the Islamic Committee for Palestine), allegedly raised money for Palestinian Islamic Jihad and brought Islamist leaders to the United States.[42] In Jihad in America, Emerson called the Islamic Committee for Palestine the “primary support group in the United States for Islamic Jihad.”

Emerson revealed that Arian was running an organization that was in effect the American branch of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[43] In February 2003, federal law enforcement agents arrested Arian for alleged fundraising and material support activities on behalf of terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[44] In December 2005, Arian was acquitted of many serious charges against him, but the jury deadlocked on nine counts. He pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and agreed to be deported after serving the balance of a 57-month sentence.

According to Bill West, the supervisory special agent of the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Miami Special Investigations Section (and now a consultant to the IPT), Emerson’s “outstanding and continued original investigative journalism” of Arian and his PIJ connections “was the catalyst that resulted in the launching of the federal criminal investigation against Al-Arian and his cohorts.”[45]

CAIR, MPAC, and AMC

Emerson’s detailed investigations into CAIR have generated consequences for this Islamist group in Congress. For example, in December 2006, following an appeal by “CAIR Watch” founder Joe Kaufman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (Democrat of California) rescinded an award to CAIR official Basim Elkarra, stating that she was uncomfortable with many of CAIR’s positions.[46] Not long after, Emerson disclosed Rep. Bill Pascrell’s (Democrat of New Jersey) role in sponsoring a CAIR forum to be held in a Capitol facility. The Republican Party House Conference objected to this use by CAIR, whose members the Republican Party had labeled as “terror apologists.”[47] It was also Emerson who discerned that CAIR had effectively been founded by Hamas.[48]

He has long sought to expose CAIR’s leading officials who have previously expressed extremist views and been linked to militant activities. One of these is Ghassan Elashi, founder of the Texas branch of CAIR, who has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for numerous offences, including money-laundering for Hamas.[49] In 2007, CAIR was designated an un-indicted co-conspirator in the trial of the officials operating the Holy Land Foundation, who were accused and later convicted of laundering money for Hamas.[50] In the trial, FBI agent Lara Burns testified that CAIR serves as a front for Hamas. In January 2009, Emerson revealed that the FBI was severing its contacts with CAIR due to its ties with Hamas.[51]

Emerson has released documents and tapes showing that leaders of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) have defended Hezbollah, excused Hamas terror attacks, compared the United States to Al-Qaeda, urged Muslims not to cooperate if FBI agents approach them, and issued demonstrably anti-Semitic and anti-American statements.[52] In return, MPAC tried to demonize Emerson. At a conference held in late 2004, it displayed a poster called “The Faces that Are Always Talking about Terrorism,” which included pictures of Osama bin Laden, Daniel Pipes, Pat Robertson, Donald Rumsfeld, and Steven Emerson.[53] The implication was that Emerson, et al., were as nefarious as bin Laden.

In December 2004, MPAC again focused on Emerson in a report entitled Counterproductive Counterterrorism: How Anti-Islamic Rhetoric Is Impeding America’s Homeland Security. It pointed out that several key public officials, including former national security advisor, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, had praised the efforts of MPAC in working with government officials to combat terrorism in America.[54] Emerson countered, saying MPAC has deceived public officials into believing the group is “moderate” while at the same time defending Hezbollah and Hamas and rationalizing radical Islam.

The American Muslim Council (AMC) may have been Emerson’s most dramatic exposé so far. He took issue with an invitation that President Bill Clinton extended in 1996 to Abdurahman Alamoudi, a prominent Muslim-American leader and the executive director of the AMC. The meeting between the president and Alamoudi was to take place in the White House. Clinton administration officials, including Clinton himself, Vice President Al Gore and National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, met with Alamoudi along with twenty-three Muslim and Arab leaders.[55] According to Emerson, AMC had significant ties to Hamas and was a defender of Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk.[56] Because of the notoriety Alamoudi received from the exposure by Emerson, the Clintons and President Bush returned Alamoudi’s campaign contributions.[57] This is an excellent example of how someone coming from outside the compliant structures of government can make an impact in political circles.

But the matter went even further. Emerson recorded a speech in which Alamoudi voiced support for both Hezbollah and Hamas.[58] Emerson also obtained a recording of Alamoudi calling for bombings in the United States, a tape that was introduced at Alamoudi’s detention hearing and credited with the decision to keep him in jail rather than let him out on bail.[59] In October 2003, Alamoudi was then indicted on charges that he had illegally accepted $340,000 from the Libyan government for his efforts to persuade the U.S. government to lift sanctions against the Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi regime.[60] Then, in 2004, Alamoudi was arrested and convicted of conspiring with two Al-Qaeda members to assassinate King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.[61] In October, 2004, he pled guilty and was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison. Treasury documents list him as a longtime courier for Al-Qaeda and Hamas.[62]

The Investigative Project on Terrorism

Emerson founded the Investigative Project on Terrorism in 1995 and currently serves as its executive director; this think tank and archive maintains the world’s largest collection of nongovernmental data on radical Islamic groups, including more than four million documents, thousands of hours of clandestine video and audio recordings made at radical Islamic conferences, training sessions, fundraising activities, and assorted gatherings; and tens of thousands of original terrorist manuals and periodicals.[63] The IPT has also compiled a database of thousands of known or suspected terrorists as well as dossiers on radical groups.[64]

The IPT website offers a comprehensive counter-Islamist source of information, with government documents, proprietary information, and breaking stories.[65] The IPT also employs analysts to collect and interpret data and sends associates to listen to speeches by Islamist leaders. To inform interested parties of its work, it mails out daily updates. Emerson also contributes to the Counterterrorism Blog website, which posts articles and information relating to radical Islam, terrorism, and nonviolent Islamist threats.

The IPT receives information from a variety of sources, including many not available to government agencies. The archive holds the trial exhibits from the first World Trade Center bombing case, which include numerous records on Muslim terrorists in the Middle East and elsewhere. Emerson and his staff meticulously copied the documents, which were all publicly available and obtained from the court and prosecutors. After reviewing the records, Emerson concluded that these various Islamist groups were coordinating their activities in a worldwide network.[66]

The IPT, acting as a nongovernmental agency, assists, without fee, numerous government offices and agencies, in part because constitutional limitations tie the hands of federal and state security services. Due to a strong civil liberties tradition rooted in the First Amendment, the U.S. government lacks the authority to disband extremist groups or proscribe extremist speech. While the IPT does not possess any governmental powers or authority, it has the ability, like the media, to shine a light on the activities of Islamist groups, gatherings, and officials. Emerson often quotes Justice Louis Brandeis’s dictum that “sunshine is the law’s best disinfectant.”

The constraints imposed on government agencies investigating terrorist threats created space for Emerson’s Investigative Project. Since the mid-1970s, federal authorities have been hampered in their efforts to monitor political extremism, largely due to the legacy of the secret FBI project designated COINTELPRO.[67] Negative publicity surrounding that program led the Justice Department to change FBI law enforcement and investigative methods to de-politicize the FBI. The Levi guidelines, adopted in April 1976, require evidence of a criminal predicate or a reasonable suspicion before commencing investigation of a dissident group.[68] These changes had dramatic consequences, not least that the number of domestic intelligence cases dropped from 1,454 in 1975 to only 95 in 1977.[69] Nothing in the guidelines, however, precludes the FBI from opening an investigation based on information received from a private group. NGOs such as the IPT and individuals such as Shannen Rossmiller[70] have done much to fill the void. For its part, the IPT monitors not only radical Islamic groups in America advocating violent jihad but also those employing nonviolent or “stealth” jihad.

Conclusion

Emerson believes that the Islamist movement in the West continues to strengthen, in large part due to what he refers to as the “cultural jihad,” which provides a congenial environment in which Islamists can flourish. He cites survey data indicating that many Muslim communities in the West sympathize with aspects of the Islamist worldview. These cultural jihadists in turn give moral support to the terrorists.[71] In Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah, the French scholar Olivier Roy argues that Muslims in the West often experience a trauma of “deterritorialization” because they feel estranged from their native lands. To overcome anomie and alienation, young Muslims find solace in a new, purified Islam and attach themselves to a “virtual ummah [Islamic nation]” built by them on the Internet.[72] This pool of mostly young, alienated, Muslim men provides a reservoir from which Islamists can recruit in the West.

In Emerson’s opinion, the November 2, 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh by Mohammed Bouyeri[73] was a watershed event that inspired Europeans to reevaluate the viability of the multicultural model, seeing that it results not in peaceful coexistence but rather in separatism and cultural jihadism, threatening the social fabric of Western Europe. He warns that moderates have little influence in Muslim communities in the West.[74] Although the Muslim underclass in the United States is smaller than in Europe, Emerson finds substantial alienation in the Muslim-American community. He sees groups such as CAIR, MPAC, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim American Society as agents that exacerbate this tendency. What is more, he notes, Islamist schools in the United States are often funded by Wahhabi sources promoting an extremist variant of Islam.[75]

Emerson has not gone unnoticed by Al-Qaeda. In September 2006, a leading public representative of the organization—American-born Adam Gadahn, who has adopted the Muslim name of Azzam al-Amriki—mentioned Emerson and several other Americans in a public videotape.[76] The video begins with an introduction by bin Laden’s lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who refers to Gadahn as a “brother” and “a perceptive person who wants to lead his people out of darkness into the light.”[77] Then Gadahn invites Emerson and the others to Islam:

If the Zionist crusader missionaries of hate and counter-Islam consultants like Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Michael Scheuer, Steven Emerson, and yes, even the crusader-in-chief, George W. Bush were to abandon their unbelief and repent and enter into the light of Islam and turn their swords against the enemies of God, it would be accepted of them and they would be our brothers of Islam.[78]

Emerson and his colleagues remain unimpressed and continue their work.

George Michael is associate professor of political science and administration of justice at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He is the author most recently of Willis Carto and the American Far Right (University Press of Florida, 2008), and Theology of Hate: A History of the World Church of the Creator (University Press of Florida, 2009).

[1] Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (New York: The Free Press, 2002), p. 6.
[2] Ibid., pp. 5-25.
[3] New York: Putnam Adult, 1988.
[4] With Brian Duffy, New York: Penguin Group, 1990.
[5] See also Steven Emerson, “Stymied Warriors,” The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 13, 1988; Beau Grosscup, The Newest Explosions of Terrorism: Latest Sites of Terrorism in the 1990s and Beyond (Far Hills, N.J.: New Horizon Press, 1998), p. 405.
[6] James Kirkpatrick Davis, Spying on America: The FBI’s Domestic Counterintelligence Program (Westport: Praeger, 1992), pp. 25-159.
[7] Los Angeles Times, Dec. 1, 2001.
[8] See “Why Jihad Watch?” JihadWatch, accessed Oct. 1, 2009; “About Us,” Middle East Media Research Institute, accessed Oct. 1, 2009; “About the Project,” Terrorism Awareness Project, accessed Oct. 1, 2009.
[9] John Robb, Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2007), pp. 89-91.
[10]About the Investigative Project,” The Investigative Project on Terrorism, accessed Oct. 1, 2009.
[11] Jamie Glazov, “The-Islamist Lobby in the House: An Interview with Steven Emerson,” FrontPageMagazine.com, Aug. 4, 2009.
[12] Sue Myrick, “The War at Home: When Will We Open Our Eyes?” editorial, Feb, 5, 2008, accessed Nov. 29, 2009.
[13] Peter L. Bergen, Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 133.
[14]Who Killed Abdullah Azzam?” Time, Nov. 24, 1989.
[15] United States of America, Appellee, v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, New York, Aug. 16, 1999.
[16] Simon Reeve, The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism (Boston: Northeaster Press, 1999), p. 15.
[17]Testimony,” The Investigative Project, accessed Oct. 1, 2009.
[18] John Mintz, “The Man Who Gives Terrorism a Name,” The Washington Post, Nov. 14, 2001.
[19] New York: Free Press, 2003.
[20] The 9/11 Commission Report (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), p. 441.
[21] Steven Emerson, “Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe in the War on Terror,” testimony before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2005.
[22] E-mail correspondence with Steven Emerson, Nov. 19, 2009.
[23] Emerson, American Jihad, p. 37; Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 5.
[24] Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda, p. 6.
[25] See Raymond Ibrahim, “The Dark Side of Zakat: Muslim ‘Charity’ in Context,” Pajamas Media, Aug. 15, 2009.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Steven Emerson, “How to Really Fight Terrorism,” The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 24, 1998.
[28] WTHR- NBC (Indianapolis), Nov. 10, 2003.
[29] Emerson, American Jihad, p. 80.
[30] Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha, “CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment,” Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2006, pp. 3-20.
[31] Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 93-8; Harvey Kushner with Bart Davis, Holy War on the Home Front: The Secret Islamic Terror Network in the United States (New York: Sentinel, 2004), pp. 22-4.
[32] Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 84-5; Kushner, Holy War on the Home Front, pp. 109-12.
[33]HLF Officials Convicted on All Counts,” IPT News, The Investigative Project, Nov. 24, 2008.
[34] FrontPageMagazine.com, Feb. 9, 2008; The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 2, 2009.
[35] United States of America v. Mohammed Abu Marzook, et. al., United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, no. 03 CR 978.
[36] Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 103-4; The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 2007.
[37] Associated Press, Apr. 13, 2005.
[38] The New York Times, Nov. 24, 2008.
[39] Associated Press, Sept. 27, 2007.
[40]Viva Palestina: An IPT Investigative Report,” Investigative Project on Terrorism, accessed Nov. 17, 2009.
[41]Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., Apr. 8, 2008.
[42] Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 111-6; Kushner, Holy War on the Home Front, p. 52.
[43]Target Terrorism,” CBS 48 Hours, Jan. 30, 2002.
[44]ADL Commends Law Enforcement for Arrests of Suspected Terrorist Supporters,” Anti-Defamation League, Feb. 20, 2003.
[45] E-mail correspondence with Bill West, chief, Special Investigations Section, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Miami (Fla.) District Office, Nov. 19, 2009.
[46] Newsweek, Dec. 29, 2006.
[47] Steven Emerson, “One Muslim Advocacy Group’s Not-So-Secret Terrorist Ties,” The New Republic Online, Mar. 28, 2007.
[48] Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 197-203.
[49] Steven Emerson, “Kicking a CAIR Extremist off the Human Relations Commission,” FrontPageMagazine.com, Nov. 6, 2006.
[50] United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Appendix A, CR no. 3:04-CR-240-G.
[51] IPT News, Jan. 29, 2009; FoxNews.com, Jan. 20, 2009.
[52] Steven Emerson, “Threatened by the Jihad,” FrontPageMagazine.com, Mar. 14, 2007; Daniel Pipes, “MPAC, CAIR, and Praising Osama bin Laden,” FrontPageMagazine.com, June 1, 2007.
[53] Daniel Pipes, “MPAC on Steven Emerson and Me,” Daniel Pipes Blog, July 12, 2004.
[54] Counterproductive Counterterrorism: How Anti-Islamic Rhetoric Is Impeding America’s Homeland Security (Washington, D.C.: Muslim Public Affairs Council, 2004), p. 4.
[55]Profile: American Muslim Council (AMC),” Center for Grassroots Oversight, accessed July 7, 2009; Steven Emerson, “Friends of Hamas in the White House,” The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 13, 1996.
[56] Emerson, “Friends of Hamas in the White House.”
[57] The New York Times, Oct. 26, 2000.
[58]Target Terrorism,” CBS 48 Hours, Jan. 30, 2002.
[59]Declaration in Support of Detention,” United States of America v. Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, no. 03-1009M, Sept. 30, 2003.
[60] David Frum and Richard Perle, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror (New York: Random House, 2003), p. 83.
[61] The Washington Post, Oct. 16, 2004.
[62] United States of America v. Abdurahman Muhammad Alamoudi.
[63] Steven Emerson, Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2006), p. 15.
[64] Steven Emerson, “DOJ Oversight: Preserving Our Freedoms while Defending against Terrorism,” testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2001; idem, American Jihad, p. 14.
[65] The Investigative Project on Terrorism, accessed July 7, 2009.
[66] Emerson, American Jihad, pp. 20-1.
[67] Davis, Spying on America, pp. 25-159.
[68] “The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Compliance with the Attorney General’s Investigative Guidelines,” (Redacted), Special Report, Office of the Inspector General, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2005.
[69] Davis, Spying on America, p. 176.
[70] See Shannen Rossmiller, “My Cyber Counter-jihad,” Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2007, pp. 43-8.
[71] Steven Emerson, “Jihadism: Where Is It At in 2006?Sydney Papers, The Sydney (Aus.) Institute, Autumn 2006, pp. 63-71.
[72] Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), pp. 272-5.
[73] BBC News, Nov. 2, 2004; USA Today, Nov. 2, 2004; The New York Times, Nov. 10, 2004.
[74]Radical Islamism in Europe,” interview with Irshad Manji, Steven Emerson, and Gilles Kepel, Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2004.
[75]A Special Interview with Steve Emerson,” The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security International, June 2006; Roy, Globalized Islam, pp. 234-43; on U.K. schools and radicalism, see “Music, Chess, and Other Sins,” Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2009, pp. 78-82.
[76] Associated Press, May 27, 2004; Fox News, Oct. 29, 2004; Annette Stark, “Peace, Love, Death Metal,” Los Angeles City Beat, Sept. 9, 2004.
[77] Raffi Khatchadourian, “Azzam the American,” The New Yorker, Jan. 22, 2007.
[78] Beila Rabinowitz, “What Al Qaeda’s Call for Pipes, Spencer, Emerson, and Scheuer to Convert to Islam Means,” PipeLineNews.org, Sept. 19, 2006.

Related Topics: Counter-terrorismGeorge MichaelWinter 2010 MEQ receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free mef mailing list To receive the full, printed version of the Middle East Quarterly, please see details about an affordable subscription. This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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Should Airports Use “Smart Screening”?

January 4, 2010

Should Airports Use “Smart Screening”?

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Good Morning America
December 29, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1604/should-airports-use-smart-screening

Multimedia for this item

Video Recording

DAN HARRIS: Joining us now to debate whether we ought to be using profiling, former FBI agent Michael German who know works for the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. He is against profiling and Steven Emerson. He is the Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He is a former journalist who has been sounding alarms about Islamic radicalism for more than a decade now. He says profiling can be a useful tool. Welcome to both of you.

MICHAEL GERMAN: Thank you.

STEVEN EMERSON: Good morning.

HARRIS: Michael, let me start with you. Let me run something by you that was said by an Israeli counterterrorism expert to our chief justice correspondent, Peter Thomas. He said this. That all Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims. Given that logic, doesn’t it make sense to do some profiling at airports?

GERMAN: Ah, no because of course that’s not true. Terrorists come in all shapes and sizes; all nationalities, all different political and religious causes.

HARRIS: But the vast majority of attacks in recent years have been perpetrated by radical Muslims, no?

GERMAN: Actually, no. If you look around the country there have been any number of White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis sort of activities. A dirty bomb was found in Bangor, Maine December of last year. A chemical weapon was found in Noonday, Texas in 2004. Neither one of those events were covered much because they were White Supremacists and Right Wing militias rather than Muslim extremists, but that doesn’t mean that that threat doesn’t exist.

[Crosstalk]

HARRIS: Couldn’t we add them to the profile, though? Couldn’t we start profiling White Supremacists as well?

GERMAN: And now you’re profile includes everybody because of course there are Irish terrorists, there Puerto Rican national terrorists. There are South American drug courier terrorists. It’s simply an ineffective way. It’s unconstitutional, it’s ineffective and it’s actually counterproductive.

HARRIS: Steven. Let me jump in for a second. Steven, the argument against profiling is that it’s counterproductive as Michael just said; that it violates our values, which is exactly what the terrorists want us to do because it helps them recruit.

EMERSON: Look, I don’t buy it. The fact is, what I say is do smart screening. Ethnicity is one of the factors that should be included in the profile. After all, what is profiling? You’re extrapolating the common characteristics of the terrorist attacks. 100% of all the terrorist attacks against the United States last year were carried out by Muslim jihadists. So, if that’s the one common denominator, let’s include that in the mix. That at airports would trigger a secondary inspection in which case the bomber on Christmas Day this year, maybe have they found the bomb.

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IPT: The Threat of Homegrown Terrorism

December 1, 2009

The Threat of Homegrown Terrorism

by Interview with Steven Emerson
C-SPAN
November 29, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1540/the-threat-of-homegrown-terrorism

Multimedia for this item

Washington Journal continues.

ROBB HARLESTON [HOST]: Steve Emerson is the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and author of Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S. We’re going to talk about that a little bit more. We’ve got you in to talk about the threat of homegrown terrorism, so for the sake of this particular conversation, define homegrown terrorism for us.

STEVEN EMERSON: Well, interestingly enough, homegrown terrorism used to define right wing, neo-Nazi, KKK-type terrorism – indigenous terrorism. Now it is used as a euphemism for jihadist-type terrorism that grows up in the United States indigenously without external factors such as being directed by Al Qaeda or such as being imported from Al Qaeda, but rather American citizens who carry out attacks of terrorism here in the United States.

HARLESTON: And an example of that would be the case of the Somalis being written about in a lot of places as – and we’ve got the article here from the Wall Street Journal, the headline “Somali Case Highlights Specter of Radicalization” – tell us what they’re writing about.

EMERSON: They’re writing about a whole cluster of Somali-American kids whose parents had immigrated to the United States as refugees and who – the kids were born here. But unfortunately, because of radicalization, either through the mosque or through the internet or through videos or through CDs, they became radicalized to the point of joining the Al-Shabaab movement, which was an Al Qaeda subset in Somalia. And they were recruited to either carry out attacks in Somalia – one actually carried out a suicide bombing – or to carry out attacks in the United States. And they were all American-born.

HARLESTON: And how much of this threat – how big is this threat becoming? How is this growing here in the United States?

EMERSON: Well the Somali-American threat is growing. I can tell you there are at least six other American cities where they have young Somali-Americans who they believe belong to Al-Shabaab, and are deemed to be a national security threat. There is active recruitment in Kansas City, in Columbus, Ohio, in San Diego in California, and several other cities for Al-Shabaab. And that’s not the only group involved in terms of homegrown terrorism, but certainly one of the major groups.

HARLESTON: We’re talking with Steven Emerson about the threat of homegrown terrorism. If you want to get involved in the conversation, the number is (202) 737-0002 for Democrats. Republicans: (202) 737-0001. Independents: (202) 628-0205. So by this definition, would you categorize what happened at Fort Hood with Major Nidal Hasan as a case of homegrown terrorism?

EMERSON: Absolutely. I believe that was a case of homegrown jihadist terrorism. It wasn’t externally directed. It may have been influenced by a Yemeni cleric named Anwar al-Awlaki, who used to live in the United States, and with whom Major Hasan had had contact with. But he carried it out all by himself – he had procured the firearms, he let superiors know that infidels should have their throats slit, he became a full fledged jihadist here in the United States from seemingly not having a religious background.

HARLESTON: In this morning’s New York Post, their editorial “Fumbling Bureau of Incompetence,” they write, regarding the shooting at Fort Hood: “The gunman’s extremism was so obvious that the FBI had identified e-mails between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaqi, a radical Muslim cleric with apparent ties to Osama bin Laden – yet decided against a full investigation. While Army intelligence also didn’t follow up, the FBI’s the one with the track record of missteps going back years.” How much responsibility do you feel falls on the FBI and American intelligence for the growth of this homegrown terrorism – particularly the case of the Somalis or the case of the shooting at Fort Hood?

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Detecting Military Radicalism in the Wake of Fort Hood

November 23, 2009

Detecting Military Radicalism in the Wake of Fort Hood

IPT News
November 19, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1528/detecting-military-radicalism-in-the-wake-of-fort

The first congressional hearing in the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre took place Thursday morning, with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing from security experts, including a retired general and a former top White House advisor.

Lieberman wanted to hear from FBI officials about missed signals that Nidal Malik Hasan exhibited radical viewpoints and created concern among his colleagues. But the administration didn’t allow any current government witnesses, in deference to the ongoing criminal investigation.

According to the Washington Post, Lieberman said conversations with Attorney General Eric Holder and Defense Secretary Robert Gates left him optimistic that the committee would gain access to some of the information it is seeking soon.

Thursday, the committee heard testimony on how to better identify potential radicals in the armed forces and how to empower people to report their concerns up the chain of command, even when the concerns involved an officer like Hasan. Among the witnesses were retired Gen. John Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff; Frances Fragos Townsend, President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser, and terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins of the RAND Corp.

The New York Times reported that the Pentagon was initiating a review of the Hasan case that would have a similar focus. The Investigative Project on Terrorism covered the hearing and prepared a video summary below.

Transcript

SEN. LIEBERMAN: (Sounds gavel.) The hearing will come to order. This morning, our committee begins an investigation as serious and consequential as any it has ever undertaken. An American soldier, Nidal Hasan, has been charged with killing 12 of his fellow soldiers and one civilian on an American military base in Texas in what I believe, based on available evidence, was a terrorist attack.

The purpose of this committee’s investigation is to determine whether that attack could have been prevented, whether the federal agencies and employees involved missed signals or failed to connect dots in a way that enabled Nidal Hasan to carry out his deadly attack.

If we find such errors or negligence, we will make recommendations to guarantee as best we can that they never occur again. That’s our purpose here.

SEN. LIEBERMAN: Our staffs will be meeting with representatives of the Department of Justice and Defense very soon to try to work out ground rules for both investigations without interfering with each other.

But I can say that I’m encouraged and appreciative that Senator Collins and I and our staff — our top staff — have received one classified briefing on the Hasan case and will soon receive another and have been given access to some very relevant classified documents relating to this matter. So we’re off to a good cooperative start.

—-

GEN. KEANE: I suspect strongly that after we conduct these investigations, we will find that our policies will need revision again to account for the specific behavior and attitudes as expressed by radical Islamists or Jihadist extremists. It should not be an active of moral courage for a soldier to identify a fellow soldier who is displaying extremist behavior. It should be an obligation. And as such, the commanders needs specific guidelines as to what Jihadist extremists behavior is and re-emphasize how to use the many tools and options they have at their disposal to curb the behavior, to rehabilitate soldiers if possible, or to take legal or separation action.

Because Jihadist extremists are potentially linked to terrorist organizations that directly threaten the security of the United States, it is essential that our government agencies are sharing information about such individuals.

GEN. KEANE: Radical Islam and Jihadist extremism is the most transformational issue I have dealt with in my military service and continues to be so today. In my judgment, it is the most significant threat to the security of the American people that I have faced in my lifetime. We are a society that espouses tolerance and values diversity and our military reflects those values. But at the same time, we must know what a threat looks like and we must know what to do about it.

MS. TOWNSEND: To the extent that there would have been concern of infringing on Major Hasan’s either right to free speech or his freedom to practice his religion, there were other factors to which you could point beyond that, having nothing to do with his religion or his speech, that could have caused concern.

The repeated — while it’s not public, the content of those communications, certainly those communications, and now what we’re hearing from his other colleagues up at Walter Reed, any combination of those factors, as long as it was not based solely on his exercise of his constitutional freedom, could have formed the basis of further inquiry and investigation by the FBI.

SEN. COLLINS: So if we’re being told that one reason this was not aggressively pursued was concerns that it would violate the FISA restrictions or the attorney general’s guidelines, you would disagree with that decision, based on what you know?

MS. TOWNSEND: Based on what I know now, yes, I would disagree with that. And frankly, this is, Senator, why I mentioned my concern about political correctness. I think we have to ensure that our investigators feel sufficiently backed up, if you will, to follow the facts wherever they lead them. And if the facts lead them to an investigation of a senior member of the uniformed military, who happens to be a Muslim doctor, then that’s where they lead them. But they have to feel confident that they can pursue the facts wherever they take them, against whoever the target may be.
—-

MR. JENKINS: Now, at a glance, Major Hasan’s rampage at Fort Hood looks a lot like what used to be called “going postal,” a deepening sense of person grievance culminating in a homicidal rampage directed against co-workers, in this case, fellow soldiers. For Hasan, “going jihad” reflects the channeling of obvious personality problems into a deadly fanaticism.

We must wait, really, for a full inquiry to thoroughly understand Hasan’s motives, his preparations, his objectives. But on the basis of what has been reported in the news media, we clearly have a troubled man who engaged himself with extremist ideologies via the Internet that resonated with and reinforced his own anger leading him, at some point, to a decision to kill.

GEN. KEANE: [So what we are dealing with here now, in my view, dealing with jihadist extremist, potentially, certainly the preliminary evidence would suggest that,] [SEN. LIEBERMAN: Right…] — that those kind of guidelines, in terms of defining that and how to deal with that, as a specific case, and that behavior and that attitude and that rhetoric, are not in the hands of our commanders.

SEN. LIEBERMAN: Yeah. Okay, that’s a real — if our investigation finds that that’s true, and I suspect it is, that’s a real omission and an area for correction, particularly in light of the record that other witnesses have testified to of the way in which jihadists, or people who are actually being self-radicalized or radicalized over the Internet, are being exhorted to attack the American military on bases, not just abroad but here at home.

My time is up. Thank you, General.

Senator Collins.

Related Topics: Homegrown Terror

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IPT: Dar Al-Hijrah Official’s Deception on Awlaki

November 20, 2009

Dar Al-Hijrah Official’s Deception on Awlaki

IPT News
November 18, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1521/dar-al-hijrah-officials-deception-on-awlaki

When a former imam from his mosque praised Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan as a “hero,” Dar al-Hijrah outreach director Imam Johari Abdul Malik took to the airwaves to criticize the remarks and cast them as surprising:

“Let’s be clear when Anwar Al Awlaki was at Dar Al-Hijrah, he was articulating the same message that I articulate today in Dar Al-Hijrah, a very open, a very engaging, a very community wise and contemporary understanding of the faith within the framework of its traditionalism.”

But a look at Awlaki‘s statements and connections during his time at the northern Virginia mosque shows that, at best, Malik’s characterization was misinformed as to the facts. While at Dar Al-Hijrah, a mosque with a history of leadership tied to terrorists, Awlaki made statements that endorsed terrorism and defended the 9/11 hijackers.

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When “Zealous Advocacy” Crosses the Line

November 20, 2009

When “Zealous Advocacy” Crosses the Line

IPT News
November 17, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1520/when-zealous-advocacy-crosses-the-line

A federal appeals court has denied disbarred attorney Lynne Stewart’s challenge to her 2005 conviction for helping her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, relay messages from his prison cell to other terrorists.

The panel’s findings rejected Stewart’s claims across the board, including the length of her sentence, with the only dissent coming from a judge who felt the trial court’s “breathtakingly low sentence of 2 1/3 years … trivializes Stewart’s extremely serious conduct.”

Stewart’s client, the “Blind Sheikh,” considered the inspiration behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was convicted of a variety of terrorism-related crimes in October 1995. In prison, he was subjected to special restrictions that were “intended to prevent him from directing or facilitating yet more violent acts of terrorism from his prison cell.”

Those restrictions included the screening of all outgoing and incoming non-legal mail and allowing telephone contacts only with his attorneys and his wife. Such measures often are used in gang and terrorism related sentences to prevent further mayhem by the prisoner and typically are effective.

The court in Stewart’s appeal noted that restrictions rely on “the trust placed in the attorney.” In this case, Stewart repeatedly swore under oath that she would comply with the terms that had been put in place for communicating with her client.

Despite these promises, as Judge John M. Walker, Jr. observed, Stewart “executed a scheme of lies and deception against the government to keep the lines of communication open between Rahman and Egyptian jihadists” in al Gama’a al Islamiyya. Stewart served as a conduit between Rahman and the outside world for years, allowing him to exercise his influence over a cease-fire that had been declared by al-Gama’a.

Following his incarceration, a faction of al-Gama’a declared a unilateral cease-fire regarding its violent operations in Egypt. A rival faction of the organization, which did not support the move, sought the issuance of a fatwa – or religious edict – from Rahman, who was locked up in federal prison with no access to his followers. That’s when Stewart smuggled letters from and to the Blind Sheikh, including one in 2000 which stated:

“To those against whom war is made, permission is given to fight, because they are wronged (oppressed)—and verily God is most powerful for their aid….The latest thing published in the newspapers was about the Egyptian regime’s killing of four members of the group. This is…enough proof that the Egyptian regime does not have the intention to interact with this peaceful Initiative [i.e., the cease-fire] which aims at unification. I therefore demand that my brothers, the sons of [al Gama’a] do a comprehensive review of the Initiative and its results. I also demand that they consider themselves absolved from it.” [Emphasis added]

Believing that the written response was not forceful enough, Stewart continued to disregard the restrictions and spoke with a Reuters reporter based in Cairo, telling him that “Abdel Rahman was withdrawing his support for the ceasefire that currently exists.”

Although Stewart claimed these actions were simply “zealous advocacy” on behalf of her client, a jury in the Southern District of New York called them criminal. She was convicted of all counts arising from her unauthorized contacts with and behavior related to the Blind Sheikh.

The appellate court notes that Rahman was a key player in conspiracies to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak while he was visiting New York City; to attack military installations; bomb the World Trade Center in 1993; and a conspiracy to bomb bridges, tunnels, and the federal building containing the New York office of the FBI.

According to the government’s evidence at his trial:

“Abdel Rahman, a blind Islamic scholar and cleric, was the leader of [a] seditious conspiracy, the purpose of which was “jihad,” in the sense of a struggle against the enemies of Islam. Indicative of this purpose, in a speech to his followers Abdel Rahman instructed that they were to “do jihad with the sword, with the cannon, with the grenades, with the missile…. against God’s enemies.” Abdel Rahman’s role in the conspiracy was generally limited to overall supervision and direction of the membership, as he made efforts to remain a level about the details of individual operations. However, as a cleric and the group’s leader, Abdel Rahman was entitled to dispense fatwas, religious opinions on the holiness of an act, to members of the group sanctioning proposed courses of conduct and advising them whether the acts would be in furtherance of jihad.”

As the appellate court explained in denying Stewart’s challenges, “Abdel Rahman’s instrumental participation—indeed, his leadership—would…have been unavailable to the conspiracy without the active participation of Stewart.”

Despite the dissenting opinion, the court left open the chance for reconsideration of her two-year sentence. Consequently, the district court will have an opportunity to reconsider that sentence, taking into consideration additional facts, including that Stewart intentionally lied to investigators and attempted to hide her criminal conduct.

Whether or not the District Court enhances Stewart’s sentence, this ruling comes at an important time. As the Justice Department begins preparations for the criminal trial of Khaleed Sheikh Mohammad in the Southern District of New York, it must remain vigilant to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked by defense attorneys. While this case surely will be used as a prime example for why terrorists should not be tried in civilian courts, it is important to remember that Stewart was an anomaly. Her actions violated not only the Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorneys, but court orders and common sense.

A sentence reflecting the true nature of her crimes is not only consistent with the evidence presented at her trial but demanded by the law.

Related Topics: Omar Abdel Rahman, Prosecutions

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Who is Khalid Sheik Mohammed?

November 20, 2009

Who is Khalid Sheik Mohammed?

by Steven Emerson
Interview on MSNBC
November 15, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1515/who-is-khalid-sheik-mohammed

ALEX WITT: If it happens it will be a trial the whole world will be watching. A federal courtroom just blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood filled with the five – five, rather – of the co-conspirators of the September 11th attacks, including the self confessed mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Joining me now for some inside on the defendants is terrorism expert, Steve Emerson.

Good morning, Steve.

STEVE EMERSON: Good morning, Alex.

WITT: Before we get to the guys themselves, strategy-wise, let’s talk about that because legally speaking you think they might be looking to represent themselves where they try to use this trial as some sort of a platform for their extremist agenda; making a soapbox of all of this.

EMERSON: Well if they look towards Moussaoui, Zacarias Moussaoui who also defended himself and who made mincemeat out of the prosecution, they could easily play havoc with the prosecution, forcing state secrets into the open, forcing the government to clamp down on, or refuse to reveal information in evidence. They can really make a spectacle of this and it’s a high risk proposition by the Attorney General to make this decision so all eyes will be on this trial and you’re a 100% right. If they decide to represent themselves, they could make a circus out of this.

WITT: Let’s talk about Khalid Sheik Mohammed and we refer to him as KSM. During his 2007 military tribunal, Steve, here’s what he had to say quote, “Because war for sure, there will be victims. I said I’m not happy that 3,000 people been killed in America, I feel sorry for even. This is why the language of any war in the world is killing. I mean the language of the war is victims.” What do we know about Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his attitudes, his level of intelligence, his level to really organize what became 9/11 and anything thereafter?

EMERSON: Well he actually, under the Military Tribunals Act, Alex, he wanted to plead guilty and in fact he plead guilty but they refused to accept it.

WITT: Wait, Steve. Why would he do that? Was that so he could go down as a martyr?

EMERSON: Basically yes. He basically said after all of the interrogations that he had committed the act of 9/11. He had masterminded it, he took full responsibility for it and under the Military Tribunals Act he had plead guilty but it was rejected by his defense attorneys who were pro bono and were basically coming from New York City law firms who said “No you don’t have to plead guilty, you can plead innocent.” His guilty plea was essentially withdrawn but in fact he was ready to plead guilty and so the question arises as to why the President or the Attorney General at least, would want to bring these types of open charges in a courtroom where you cannot control the disposition of the outcome. Because face it, he was arrested without being Mirandized, without being read his rights. He was arrested without the evidence being collected by the FBI forensically. He was arrested without this regular courtroom-type of procedures so he has a lot of maneuverability in terms of squirming out of the crimes that he’s been charged of.

WITT: Who is this guy though? He speaks English, he was educated – didn’t he go to college in the US? I mean what do we know about him?

EMERSON: He went to college in North Carolina State University and he speaks English fluently, or almost fluently. But he revels in the fact that he actually carried out the largest masterminded plot in U.S. history of terrorism against U.S. civilians. It’s a perverse type of boasting but nevertheless this is the type of mentality that we are going to be presented with when he takes the stand and as you pointed out at the very beginning, the odds are he will represent himself. Maybe with some defense counsel but he will make demands of the prosecution that will force them to reveal state secrets which they would never want to reveal in an open court.

WITT: I want to quickly ask you about the waterboarding. The government’s own admission, 183 times, he was waterboarded. To what extent does that potentially dismiss all evidence, anything he may have said because they can say it was under duress of torture?

EMERSON: You raise a great question Alex. I mean clearly the waterboarding, a judge could rule that to be excessive, could be torture, even though it may not have been under the Military Tribunal’s Act and, therefore, all of the evidence that was collected pursuant to his admissions under the waterboarding after 183 times could be thrown out and that’s another one of those roadblocks that could easily rise up. There are so many roadblocks, Alex, that could rise up in this trial, that he could actually walk and if he walked then the question is does he become a free man in the United States?

WITT: That is a question that nobody wants to have answered in the affirmative. That’s for sure, Steve Emerson. Anyway, thank you very much for weighing in. We appreciate that.

EMERSON: You’re welcome.

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Who is Khalid Sheik Mohammed?

November 16, 2009
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IRAN: Treasury, Justice Target Iranian Regime Assets

November 16, 2009

Treasury, Justice Target Iranian Regime Assets

IPT News
November 13, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1513/treasury-justice-target-iranian-regime-assets

On November 12, 2009, the Justice Department dealt a major blow to Iranian nuclear ambitions and terrorist financing efforts. The announcement of an amended civil forfeiture complaint against the Alavi Foundation has the potential to cut off a significant source of funding to the Iranian government—funding which is absolutely essential as Iran continues to defy international efforts at curbing nuclear proliferation.

The amended complaint in United States v. ASSA Corp., now the largest civil forfeiture claim ever filed, is the latest in a series of moves taken by the United States government aimed at closing front companies funneling money to the Iranian government. The complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges, among other things, that the “Alavi Foundation has been providing numerous services to the Iranian Government,” including funneling money to Bank Melli, an institution which has been designated for its role in funding terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

Bank Melli was designated under ***Executive Order 13382—aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction—on October 25, 2007. At the time of its designation, the Treasury Department explained that:

Bank Melli provides financial services, including opening letters of credit and maintaining accounts, for Iranian front companies and entities engaged in proliferation activities. Further, Bank Melli has facilitated the purchase of sensitive materials utilized by Iran’s nuclear and missile industry, and has handled transactions for other designated Iranian entities, including Bank Sepa, Defense Industries Organization, and the Shahid Hammas Industrial Group.

Following the designation of Bank Melli, the Iranian government began setting up front companies to hide its identity and continue sponsoring terrorism. Through these layers of front companies Bank Melli provided banking services to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) and the Qods force, a branch of the IRGC that has been designated under Executive Order 13224 for providing support to terrorist groups including the Taliban, Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Among the companies set up to mask Iranian activities were the ASSA Corporation and the Alavi Foundation, the two defendants in the recently amended civil forfeiture proceeding.

Assa Corporation is owned by Assa Company Limited, a UK entity which is wholly owned and operated by Iranian citizens who represent the interests of Bank Melli. Shortly after ASSA’s creation, on December 17, 2008, the Treasury Department designated ASSA as a terrorist financier, and the Justice Department filed a civil forfeiture complaint over ASSAs financial interests in the United States. At the time, senior Treasury official, Stuart Levey, explained “this scheme to use a front company set up by Bank Melli—a known proliferator—to funnel money from the United States to Iran is yet another example of Iran’s duplicity.”

Similarly, the Alavi Foundation has served as a front for Iran’s financing of terrorism. It began as the Pahlavi Foundation, a non-profit organization operated by the Shah of Iran and was later renamed the Mostazafan Foundation of New York and then finally the Alavi Foundation. Through each of these incarnations, the company has been used by Bank Melli and the Iranian government to finance terror, as detailed in the complaint. Along with ASSA Corporation, the Alavi Foundation maintains control over substantial assets and property within the United States. All would be forfeited should the government prevail at the upcoming trial in Manhattan.

The government’s action, undertaken under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, seeks forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets, including:

With Iran continuing to move forward in its plans to develop nuclear weapons, the U.S. government must use every tool at its disposal to dry up funding. The steps taken by the Justice Department this week are a strong indication that they are doing so. By closing down and seeking forfeiture of the assets of front corporations working on behalf of Iran, the U.S. can effectively curb not only the regime’s nuclear weapons program but also its continued support for terrorist organizations.

—————–

In a related news item, the Alavi-owned Islamic Education Center of Houston has featured its own support for Iran. In a speech for the “Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution” of 1979, speaker Ghulam Hur Shabbiri prays for the victory of Islam all over the world:

This is just an opening. May Allah (swt) bless us all and forgive all sins of all life. And may Allah (swt) give Islami-Inqilab [Islamic Revolution] victory in [sic] all over the world. And may Allah give us UI that we may make this Inqilab [revolution] successful and we can join with the Imam of the age… to have a complete victory in the world and Islam, then Islam is going to be a ruling authority in the whole world and we can see the flag of Islam in the top places in this world.


VIEW THE VIDEO RECORDING @: http://www.investigativeproject.org/1513/treasury-justice-target-iranian-regime-assets#video

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Hasan and the Big Lie: U.S. “War” Against Islam

November 13, 2009

Hasan and the Big Lie: U.S. “War” Against Islam

IPT News
November 10, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1508/hasan-and-the-big-lie-us-war-against-islam

When an American-born radical Islamist cleric chose to praise last week’s Fort Hood shooting spree by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, part of the rationale was that no Muslim could faithfully serve the U.S. armed forces.

To Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, that’s because “The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam.”

A 2005 Canadian study of radicalism concluded that this theme is a potent tool in recruiting Muslims and turning them into violent extremists. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) report was on youth radicalism and Hasan is a 39-year old with advanced college degrees.

Associates are stepping forward with accounts showing that Hasan was frustrated by what he saw as an American war against his faith.

The Washington Post obtained a copy of Hasan’s June 2007 presentation at as part of his residency program at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Among the statements that disturbed his colleagues, Hasan declared that “It’s getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims.”

A student who took an environmental health class with Hasan at Uniformed Services of the Health Sciences in Bethesda describes him as someone who believed the United States was waging war against Islam. At the end of the class, all of the students had to give a presentation. Many wrote about course-related topics such as dry-cleaning chemicals and mold in homes, Lt. Col. Val Finnell said.

But Hasan (who told classmates he was “a Muslim first and an American second,”) chose instead to write about the wrongness of the war on terror. A former classmate told the New York Times that Hasan gave a PowerPoint presentation approximately one year ago entitled “Why the War on Terror is a War on Islam.”

Hasan has not been charged in the shootings which left 13 people dead. [ 14w/child] Sources have indicated he will face a military court martial for murder charges that could bring the death penalty.

According to the CSIS report, “the perception that Islam is under attack from the West” is the most important factor in persuading would-be jihadists that they must preemptively and violently defend Islam from these perceived enemies.

According to a summary of the report’s findings:

“A few will act on these events and support or carry out terrorism in an attempt to change Western foreign or military policy. These individuals take the violent defense of Islam as a personal goal and religious obligation.”

The idea that the United States is fighting a war against Islam has been advanced by Osama bin Laden, who has cited Western efforts to isolate Hamas and support for a peacekeeping force as evidence of a “Zionist-crusaders war on Islam.” Awlaki, a former spiritual leader at Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, works to encourage jihadist activity with online lectures from his home base in Yemen.

Awlaki, may have crossed paths with Hasan, who attended Dar al-Hijrah in 2001. U.S. officials knew Hasan sent 10 to 20 messages to Awlaki last year and this year, but counterterrorism officials said these were consistent with a research project Hasan was conducting on post-traumatic stress disorder.

In praising Hasan as a hero, Awlaki called him “a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people.”

While American Islamist organizations are quick to condemn the Fort Hood massacre and are desperately trying to cast it as a mere criminal act, they have fueled the U.S. “war on Islam” canard since 2001. It has been used to squelch serious debate over their behavior and to discredit virtually all U.S. government efforts to combat Islamist terror. It should come as no surprise, though, that some jihadists hear this and feel compelled to “respond” to the imaginary threat.

Leading the pack is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which routinely casts federal investigations and prosecutions involving alleged terrorists and financiers as a war on Islam.

For example:

  • After the U.S. government froze the assets of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in 2001, CAIR and other Muslim organizations issued a press release expressing concern that these charges “result from what appears to be a ‘war on Muslims’ rather than a ‘war on terror.’
  • Responding in June 2002 to a Justice Department initiative to locate suspected terrorists, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad asked: “What is next? Forcing American Muslims to wear a star and crescent as a means of identification for law enforcement authorities?”
  • In 2003, after U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) held hearings on Wahhabist influence in the United States, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper declared that Kyl and Schumer “are jumping on this issue in order to demonize all Muslim groups and all Muslims in America.”
  • In 2004, when FBI Director Robert Mueller asked Americans to be on the lookout for seven Muslim terror suspects, Hooper dismissed Mueller’s request as “part of the ’round up the usual suspects’ mentality.” Hooper added: “When you don’t have any other leads, you gather up the Muslims.”
  • “The new perception is that the United States has entered a war with Islam itself,” CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed said at the National Press Club in Washington in July 2007.

CAIR is by no means alone in this propaganda campaign. Officials with the Muslim Students Association, Islamic Society of North America and Muslim Public Affairs Council all have repeated the theme.

It’s a little ironic that counter-terror policy is viewed as an attack on Islam when CAIR and other Islamist groups immediately seek to remove religious motivations from terrorist attacks like Hasan’s, and others.

No one is saying people can’t disagree with U.S. policy and tactics in the fight against terrorists. At some point, though, the critics need to assess whether their approach does more harm than good. Few things have been more harmful than Hasan’s rampage.

Related Topics: Homegrown Terror

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Introspection, Not Rationalization, Needed in Wake of Fort Hood Slaughter

November 6, 2009

Introspection, Not Rationalization, Needed in Wake of Fort Hood Slaughter

IPT News
November 6, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1500/introspection-not-rationalization-needed-in-wake

A picture of Nidal Malik Hasan is emerging from the slaughter he carried out Thursday during a ceremony at a Fort Hood readiness center, leaving 13 people dead and another 30 wounded.

Born in Virginia, sent to medical school by the U.S. Army, the psychiatrist was chastised for proselytizing to his patients about Islam. Asked his nationality, he didn’t identify himself as an American but as a Palestinian. He appeared pleased by the shooting death of a Little Rock Army recruiter in June and reportedly was heard saying “maybe people should strap bombs on themselves and go to Times Square.”

In the fateful moment before he opened fire on his unarmed victims, he shouted “Allahu Akhbar.”

With each new disclosure, some media outlets and organized Islamist groups increasingly are trying to deflect attention away from Hasan’s religious motivation. In a statement condemning the attack, the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation referenced past shootings by soldiers on their bases and cited the suicide rate at Fort Hood.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a statement once the killer’s name was known condemning the attack and saying “No religious or political ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence.”

The condemnations are welcome and appropriate if not the only thing that could be done in response to the tragedy. As we have noted previously, such unequivocal statements are much harder to come by when arrests are made before the killings can be carried out or when the killers share the Islamists’ ideology.

Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee President Mary Rose Oakar issued a statement calling the Hasan attack “absolutely deplorable.” But she also emphasized that the violence “has nothing to do with any religion, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”

Friday morning, CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told radio interviewer John Hockenberry that Hasan’s motivation remains unknown:

“He could have just snapped from some kind of stress. The thing is when these things happen and the guy’s name is John Smith nobody says well what about his religious beliefs? But when it is a Muslim sounding name that automatically comes into it.”

Contrast that with blogger Shahed Amanullah’s willingness to address the matter with courage and honesty lacking among the American Muslim community’s self-anointed national spokesmen:

“Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was reportedly troubled by his impending deployment to Iraq. Mental instability and depression has resulted in violence within the armed forces before. But unless Hasan left an explicit message to that effect, a religiously-inspired political act of violence is, much as we’d be unwilling to admit it, entirely plausible. With that in mind, Muslims will have to ask themselves some difficult questions as to why there are still those among us who continue to find justification for acts such as this in their faith.”

Hasan’s murderous rampage is just the latest in a string of attempts to murder American soldiers at home. It’s a point Daniel Pipes made in 2003 after Hasan Akbar, a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division, rolled a grenade into a tent holding his fellow soldiers on the eve of the invasion of Iraq. Akbar was found legally sane, convicted and sentenced to death in 2005.

In June, Abdulhakim Muhammad killed an Army recruiter in Little Rock and wounded a second recruiter. He told investigators he would have killed more people if he had seen them.

Fortunately, other plots were broken up by law enforcement before anyone got hurt. But in those cases, the Islamist organizations have cast the FBI as engaging in a sinister effort to entrap people otherwise uninterested in violence or incapable of carrying it out.

Among the examples:

Fort Dix

On May 7, 2007, six individuals were arrested for plotting an attack on the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey. The goal of the attack, according to court documents, was to “kill as many soldiers as possible.” Following a jury trial, the plotters were found guilty on charges of conspiracy to harm U.S. military personnel on December 22, 2008. CAIR initially was supportive following the arrests saying, “we applaud the FBI for its efforts and repeat the American Muslim community’s condemnation and repudiation of all those who would plan or carry out acts of terror while falsely claiming their actions have religious justification.”

Later, CAIR also requested that media outlets and public officials refrain from linking this case to the faith of Islam. The council asked mosques and Islamic institutions in New Jersey and nationwide to report any incidents of anti-Muslim backlash.

Bronx Terror Plot

On May 20, 2009, James Cromitie and three others were arrested and indicted on charges arising from a plot to detonate explosives near a synagogue in the Bronx and to shoot down military planes at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY. Although they initially condemned the plotters and congratulated the FBI on its efforts, MPAC came to question the motives and methods of the FBI saying that “none of these cases that we’re talking about now involved in al Qaida cells. These were individuals who were either petty criminals or gullible people who were guilty of stupidity. They were not imminent threats to our country, as the FBI has stated.”

North Carolina Jihad

On July 27, 2009, Daniel Patrick Boyd and six others were indicted in North Carolina for planning to “advance violent Jihad including supporting and participating in terrorist activities abroad and committing acts of murder, kidnapping, or maiming persons abroad,” after three years of being under surveillance by the FBI. Among the allegations was that Boyd and his co-conspirators intended to attack the Quantico Marine base. Because a member of Boyd’s group cooperated with law enforcement, MPAC insinuated the FBI improperly investigated the case: “the arrests come at a time when questions have been raised about the use of FBI informants in mosques and tense relations between law enforcement and local communities.”

The same pattern has been applied in the past two weeks, since FBI agents shot and killed a Detroit imam who fired first. Luqman Abdullah had a long history of advocating an offensive jihad and using his mosque for training in martial arts and with weapons. Yet CAIR and other Islamist groups have argued his religious justifications should not be a part of the case and allege the FBI reacted with excessive force after Abdullah fired his weapon.

There’s obviously a lot more to Hasan’s attack still to be learned. He reportedly dreaded his pending deployment to Iraq and may have snapped. But to dismiss his statements about people “strap[ping] bombs on themselves” or that Muslims should rise up and fight the aggressors is irresponsible and counter productive.

This is no isolated incident and the sooner national groups face that fact, the sooner they might heed Amanullah’s challenge to engage in a genuine search for the causes and confront those who help foster such violent ideology.

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Steve Emerson: It’s Radical Islam, Stupid

November 3, 2009

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Book Exposes CAIR’s Exaggerations,

October 16, 2009


A new book claims to give readers an inside look at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), arguing everything from its claims of financial and political clout to its genuine agenda are rooted in deception.

Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America is based in large part on access to CAIR operations obtained by Chris Gaubatz, the son of co-author P. David Gaubatz. Using an alias, the younger Gaubatz spent six months as a CAIR intern in 2008.

Working under the name David Marshall, Chris Gaubatz worked closely with CAIR leadership including Executive Director Nihad Awad, Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, and Legislative Director Corey Saylor. Chris Gaubatz claims to have walked out with 12,000 pages of documents (most of which he had been instructed to shred) and 300 hours of clandestine video.

Among the findings from co-authors Gaubatz and Paul Sperry: that CAIR wildly exaggerates its membership numbers, that it is plagued by budget problems and dissension, and that it is financially dependent on a small network of wealthy Persian Gulf-based donors. In many cases, the book adds precision to general facts about CAIR that already are in the public domain.

For example, the Washington Times reported on CAIR’s dwindling membership rolls in 2007, only to have officials vehemently deny the story. According to Muslim Mafia, however, CAIR had just 5,133 members at that time, a far cry from its claim of 50,000 members and further still from its stated goal of 100,000 members set at a 2002 board meeting.

CAIR has sought to blame its membership and financial problems on the U.S. government’s decision to list it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-finance case. But its problems started well before the designation. Internal records from the 2002 meeting showed CAIR’s membership was just 9,211 nationwide – with 903 people in California, 1,219 in Virginia, 870 in Texas, 775 in Illinois and 768 in New York.

Those figures, the authors argue, challenge CAIR’s claim that it is a representative of the American Muslim community: “Using Pew Research’s survey estimate of 2.5 million American Muslims, CAIR’s current five thousand members represent just two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. Muslim population. Using CAIR’s inflated guesstimate of seven million American Muslims, CAIR represents an even smaller fraction of the Muslim community.”

Muslim Mafia claims that CAIR relies on two dozen wealthy supporters, many of them from Persian Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, for 60 percent of its $2.7 million annual operating budget, including one donor who contributes $600,000 a year.

The authors point to notes from a 2006 board meeting where Awad reported that the Washington public-relations firm Hill and Knowlton had put together a “business plan” to help CAIR raise money from other Gulf states. State Department records obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism show that that year, CAIR officials, with Hill and Knowlton in tow, sought huge donations from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, IRS tax filings show CAIR’s income from membership dues has been plummeting. In 2006, CAIR operated at a loss of more than $160,000 – more than triple the $50,000 deficit the group sustained in 2005. In 2004, by contrast, CAIR had a surplus of more than $338,000.

“Membership dues measures [sic] the organization’s success and base of support,” CAIR notes in a section of its report to the IRS explaining why it collects dues. But its IRS filings show dues plummeting from more than $700,000 in 2000 to just over $40,000 in 2006.

The bottom line, the authors say, is that “CAIR is unsupported by the broader Muslim population, which finds it more a liability than an asset. And given the anemic size of its member database, CAIR cannot possibly deliver on its threats to bring the weight of the Muslim community to bear against national politicians, CEOs, or advertisers for media personalities it doesn’t like.”

But even though CAIR is a paper tiger when it comes to mobilizing Muslim voters, the organization has had numerous successes in other areas – particularly in undermining law-enforcement efforts to secure Muslim cooperation in terrorism investigations.

In January, the Investigative Project on Terrorism broke the news that the FBI had cut off access to CAIR after evidence in the HLF trial showed CAIR founders were part of a Hamas-support network in the U.S. In a subsequent letter, an FBI official said questions about CAIR’s relationship to Hamas led to the conclusion the agency could “not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

Anecdotes in Muslim Mafia won’t help the organization return to the FBI’s good graces. It offers examples of CAIR’s efforts to impede federal investigations related to terrorism despite its claim to be a partner to law enforcement.

For example, Chapter Six details the way CAIR coached a mosque leader in Western Maryland not to cooperate with an FBI investigation of suspicious activity.

Likewise, a 2004 investigation was thwarted when the FBI raided the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America in Merrifield, Va. on suspicions of terrorist activity. But when the agents from the Bureau’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrived, the book claims, the building had been cleaned out because CAIR had warned institute officials of the raid.

Another chapter is devoted to the case of former Fairfax County,Va. Police Department Sergeant Mohammad Weiss Rasool, who pled guilty to illegally searching a federal database in order to tip off a terror suspect about an FBI investigation.

“He’s a habitual liar and a traitor,” a senior FCPD official said of Rasool. “He disgraced the uniform.” As CAIR’s representative on the police force, Rasool traveled into the District of Columbia to meet with CAIR Executive Director Awad. A CAIR visitor log published on p. 325 of the book, documents one of Rasool’s visits in 2005.

The log is among numerous examples of internal CAIR documents cited in the book. Among them is a 2007 letter thanking Awad and CAIR for “the additional contribution of $9,000 to be used for the legal expenses relative to Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s case.” [Emphasis added]

Al-Amin was convicted in 2002 of killing a Georgia police officer. CAIR and other Islamist groups have touted his case, but the book shows CAIR gave directly to his legal fund.

Other published documents indicate a dysfunctional working environment in CAIR’s Washington headquarters, including allegations Sunni Muslims are treated better than Shia. A September 2004 staff memo by senior official Khalid Iqbal expressed concern about “Lost productivity,” “Low employee moral [sic]”; and lack of advancement opportunities and high turnover, with more than 50 percent of CAIR National’s workforce leaving in the past year.

Pages 321-324 of the book feature a detailed letter by Tannaz Haddadi, an official in CAIR’s Washington office, alleging that she was demoted by Mr. Iqbal after he learned that she was a Shia. Haddadi details her efforts to get Awad to intervene without success.

Most of the attention Muslim Mafia has received thus far focuses on details of CAIR’s efforts to place interns in congressional offices, especially with members serving on committees covering Justice and Homeland Security. The authors publish a 2007 memo in which Saylor reports that he placed Samia Elshafie in a “Congressional Fellowship” in the office of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). The authors identify Elshafie as “the congresswoman’s office contact for human rights issues.”

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, who wrote the book’s foreword, was joined by three fellow Republicans in asking the House Sergeant at Arms to investigate whether CAIR infiltrated congressional offices – specifically judiciary, homeland security and intelligence committees. Additionally, the lawmakers are asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the legality of CAIR’s tax-exempt status.

CAIR still has its protectors in Congress, though, who stand by the organization despite repeated and harmful documented disclosures. U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-CA, has issued a statement denouncing Myrick and her colleagues for seeking an investigation of CAIR’s efforts to infiltrate Congress based on allegations contained in the book.

So far, CAIR has not challenged the veracity of the claims in Muslim Mafia. Instead, it has focused on the authors’ political backgrounds and minimized the findings. “All they can come up with is that we are political active?” Hooper asked in a Politico story. “The terror threat is that Muslims are politically active?”

That seems a deliberate attempt to misstate the issue, which is not whether Muslims should be employed on Capitol Hill or anywhere else. It is whether CAIR is an honest and reliable broker for American Muslims. The record, already long and detailed before Muslim Mafia‘s publication, shows CAIR habitually engages in deception about its activities. The book reinforces that conclusion with internal examples.

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Jasser Challenges Congressman on Reform’s Value

October 5, 2009

Jasser Challenges Congressman on Reform’s Value

IPT News
October 2, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1448/jasser-challenges-congressman-on-reforms-value

Multimedia for this item

Video Recording

At a Capitol Hill forum Thursday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) demonstrated how Islamists use slander and distortion in an effort to silence Muslim reformers. Ellison delivered a tirade in which he falsely accused Dr. Zuhdi Jasser – one of the United States’ most prominent Muslim reformers – of encouraging anti-Muslim bigotry and attempting to censor Islamists.

Jasser, a Phoenix, AZ doctor who heads the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, came to Washington to brief members of Congress and their staffs about the dangers posed by “political Islam” as practiced by groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He also invited Ellison to discuss the issue of Islamism after Ellison spoke at two recent CAIR fundraisers in Arizona and California. U.S. Rep. Trent Franks and other members of the Arizona congressional delegation wrote to Ellison urging him not to go to the CAIR function. The letter cited damning evidence linking CAIR’s founders to a Hamas-support network and the FBI’s decision to cut off communication with CAIR.

Franks then hosted the talk with Jasser and Ellison. In it, Jasser emphasized that Islamist terror cannot be defeated without addressing political Islam: “We’ve avoided talking about the fact that there is … a radical ideology behind a faith that I love” which “has been hijacked, exploited, used as a platform for radicalism.”

Criticizing policymakers in the White House and elsewhere who claim that “our enemy is simply Al Qaeda,” Jasser noted the falsity of that argument. A series of recent arrests and convictions of in terror-related cases in Colorado, North Carolina, New Jersey and elsewhere demonstrate that precisely the opposite is true.

“None of these individuals are related to Al Qaeda. The only unifying principle that we see them related to is violent jihadism or the concept of holy war that they pick up through the Internet, through communications in what has been demed the cyber-jihad,” he noted.

Islamist groups such as CAIR have repeatedly sought to obfuscate this by discrediting reports noting the connection between radical Salafism and support for jihad, Jasser said. The jihadists will not be defeated until Muslims “start to recognize” that they are on a “slippery slope” toward radicalism.

“The Islam my family taught me is one that that doesn’t say that ours is supreme to any other faith, that feels we are equal before God,” he said. “We separate mosque and state and do not feel that we have to impose unification as an ummah.”

But all too often, government policies appear to send a very different message — that organizations like CAIR speak for all American Muslims. And until Islam is brought through “an enlightenment, a reformation process just like Christianity separated the Church of England in Europe, we are not going to solve the problem of terrorism,” Jasser said. “The FBI and Homeland Security are going to continue chasing their tails for years so long as we do not separate mosque and state.”

“I think if Muslims want credibility and we want to be respected equally, we need to stand for reform within our faith of laws that are still in the 15th and 16th century,” Jasser said. “I think Muslims need to also stop collectivizing our community as one unit.”

Responding to Jasser’s call for reform, Ellison launched into a tirade. “I think you give people license for bigotry,” Ellison told Jasser. “I think people who want to engage in nothing less than Muslim-hating really love you a lot because you give them freedom to do that. You say, ‘yeah, go get after them.’ ”

Ellison all but called Jasser an Islamic “Uncle Tom.” Blacks, he said, are “familiar with people who would seek to ingratiate themselves with powerful people in the white community and would there turn them on the rest of us and give license to attack us all. Arguing ‘African-Americans are criminally inclined, they’re all in gangs, they’re all on welfare.’ Black people who say stuff like this. But what they’re really trying to do is win themselves individual benefit at the expense of everyone else.”

“I don’t know you well enough to know that’s what you’re doing,” Ellison told Jasser. “But I must admit that when I heard you speaking, that’s what I thought of.”

Muslims must “stand against” extremist members of their faith, Ellison said. But he seemed more threatened by Jasser. “Now is somebody going to snatch my 13-year-old daughter’s hijab off, call her a horrible name, spit on her because of something that you said, Dr. Jasser, I worry about that,” he added.

Pointing to the examples of Jewish terrorists like Baruch Goldstein, who massacred Palestinians in Hebron in 1994 and to Hindus who kill Muslims, Ellison claimed that Islam was no different from any other religion. He falsely accused Jasser of seeking to “suppress the way people believe in a country dedicated to the idea of freedom of expression.”

In response, Jasser said that Ellison is in denial about the level of violence being committed in the name of Islam. Muslims, he added should not be comparing an endemic problem in their community to “once in a decade” attacks committed by terrorists of other faiths.

Ellison had to leave for a vote on the House floor and wasn’t there to hear Jasser label the Congressman’s remarks as an “apologetic.”

“I’m tired of apologists speaking on behalf of our community,” Jasser said, adding that Ellison should travel to Egypt or Saudi Arabia to see for himself the mistreatment of women living under sharia. He called on Muslims to oppose persons like Muslim Brotherhood-linked cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi who says it is permissible to kill apostates and Jamal Badawi of the Islamic Society of North America who says apostates should be “punished.”

Jasser also criticized the Assembly of Muslim Jurists for posting on its website a paper by a student (since taken down) that Muslims should not recite the Pledge of Allegiance because it is only permissible to pledge allegiance to a caliph or God.

As repugnant as such Islamist speech is, Jasser said, the worst thing the government can do is to try to censor it. He attributed Europe’s more serious problems with hate crimes to the fact that most European nations have laws criminalizing such speech.

“The antidote for the speech you don’t like is not squashing the speech. It’s introducing your own perspective and letting the American people sort it out in the marketplace of ideas,” Jasser said. In the end, “religious freedom is intimately tied with freedom of speech. That’s why you have to separate mosque and state.”

Highlights of Jasser and Ellison’s remarks appear at the top of this story.

Related Topics: Outreach

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IPT: KindHearts

September 15, 2009
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Youssef Megahed – The Question is Why?

September 3, 2009

Youssef Megahed–The Question is Why?

by Dan Vara
for IPT News
August 25, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1393/youssef-megahed-the-question-is-why

Youssef Megahed, a permanent resident alien of the United States, was in immigration court in Miami last week. According to published reports, Megahed faced deportation based on terrorism charges stemming from much publicized arrest in South Carolina in 2007 along with his friend Ahmed Mohamed.

After a five-day hearing before Immigration Judge Kenneth Hurewitz, however, the deportation case against Mr. Megahed was terminated because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) failed to prove its case.

The question the American public should be asking is “Why?”

I don’t know if Mr. Megahed is a really a terrorist. I don’t know if, given the chance, he would have or will engage in conduct to harm the United States. But what I do know as a former federal immigration prosecutor is that even the publicly available information evidences that this case appears to have involved what could be characterized as a textbook case of terrorists in the making.

In fact, and on many levels, this case reminds me very much of the Imran Mandhai case in Miami that I was involved in a few years ago.

Both involved a group of young men who, on the surface, seemed to be law abiding residents of this country. Both, however, also involved young men who for a variety of reasons but for the specific reason that they disagree with the policies of this country in relation to the situation in the Middle East, made a decision to proceed into activities that, left unchecked, could have resulted in a lot of Americans being very unpleasantly affected.

Some of the similarities are eerie. Each of the cases involved the respective group going to gun ranges in search of firearms and firearms training. Both involved trips to various locations on what appeared to be innocuous trips but were later determined by authorities to be something far more nefarious. Both involved incriminating physical evidence that members in the group at first disavowed but later admitted were items related to planned terrorist activities. And, both initially involved adamant claims of innocence, outcries of injustice, and later admissions of guilt by all or some of the involved individuals.

The biggest difference in the two cases, however, was in how and when the groups were taken down by authorities.

In the Mandhai case, the FBI learned of the group’s activities, was able to proactively employ electronic surveillance in investigating the group, was able to put a covert operative in play, and was ultimately able to provide me with hours of recordings that demonstrated many overt acts; to include a chilling statement from the then 19-year old Mandhai to co-conspirators that bombing a hospital “full of poor people” was absolutely within the bounds of Jihad and that also included and equally chilling excerpt of Mandhai trying to buy automatic weapons, shoulder fired rockets, and explosives on the streets of Miami.

Though they never did manage to buy any weapons, he and his friends never got beyond the preliminary planning stages, and the group never did manage to carry out even one attack against this country, Mandhai and his friend are in now in prison. And, when he gets out, he will be deported.

Imagine, however, what we would have been faced with in the Mandhai case if, rather than having his own words about their terrorist target scouting mission, he and his friends had been stopped by local authorities for suspicious behavior and all that was found was the weapons shopping list that they had prepared. Imagine also what would have been the case if rather than have Mandhai gleefully laughing on videotape as he touches and describes the weapons, he had been stopped next to the van containing these items, arrested on suspicion of a conspiracy to violate federal firearms laws, and claimed ignorance of the contents of the van. Most of all, imagine if the FBI had been left to go back and seek to prove that what the group was doing in going to gun ranges, in trying to buy weapons at such gun ranges, and in meeting together as a group, was in fact activity in preparation for a planned terrorist attack.

In the Megahed case, the U.S. government was lucky, and then again, not so lucky. As published reports seem to establish, the FBI learned of Youssef Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed only after they were stopped and arrested by local police authorities in South Carolina. At the time of the arrest, Megahed and Mohamed were in a car which contained explosives materials, were in possession of a computer that contained a bomb-making training video intended for Jihadists and posted on You Tube just days before. After their arrest and while seated in a police car, Megahed and Mohamed engaged in a conversation about the materials in the trunk that, to me, evidences that they were worried about what authorities would make of the materials.

Missing in the Megahed case, however, was the ability of the FBI to covertly investigate the group. In short, what they got on that fateful day in 2006 was literally it. On that day, the group was on specific notice that the authorities were on to them. No more activities, no more videos, no more gun ranges, no more overt acts of any kind. Not when you have been “outed.” And certainly not when you are faced with the major impediment of being behind bars.

While the FBI did its best to go back in time and seek to explore the details of the group’s activities, it was left to discover only that which, without the actors own words to tell us what they intended, can be and was characterized as something less than precursor activity for a terrorist act.

But was it? Like the Mandhai group, the trips to the gun ranges could, if the FBI and DHS had the conversations of the group on tape, have been clear evidence of overt acts related to terrorism. The preparation and publication of the bomb-making video tape, if electronic surveillance had been available of Mr. Megahed and his friends discussing it, viewing it and taking specific actions to distribute it, could also have been evidence of Megahed’s involvement in terrorism. And, perhaps if the U.S. government had been able to make audio tapes of Megahed and Mohamed during their road trip from Florida north to S. Carolina and maybe, if they had not been arrested, points further north on I-95, we would all have heard a discussion of objectives, issues, plans, and even potential targets.

But, the federal government didn’t and doesn’t have any of that. All they had, at least from what they were allowed to use, was what was introduced at the criminal trial and immigration hearing.

What they had, however, was pretty good evidence of what was going on. Beyond all the physical evidence that they had as noted above, and beyond what the supplemental investigation revealed about Megahed’s other associations, they had one major thing. Mr. Megahed was in a car which contained explosives materials, a computer that showed a bomb-making video for Jihadists, and Ahmed Mohamed who, by his own later confession, was involved in terrorism.

This brings to mind another case that I handled. One involving solely circumstantial evidence. One involving a terrorist “sleeper.” The U.S. government had no usable evidence whatsoever of any overt act that showed that he was a terrorist. What we did have, though, was evidence of a series of business social encounters, business relationships, and business transactions, with one person after another, whom we absolutely knew were involved in terrorism; including some persons who have been publicly acknowledged as terrorists.

In cross-examination of this Respondent, I confronted him with each and every one of these matters. His answers? “I did not know.” “I wasn’t aware.” “That is a surprise to me.” And, indirectly, “I’m shocked.”

Drawing an objection, of course, I asked this person a question very much like this one, “Sir, given that most of your social and business encounters since you arrived in this country were with persons involved in terrorism, can you please tell us, are you a terrorist or are you the most unlucky person in America?”

The same question might apply to Mr. Megahed.

Yet, many more questions should also be asked of ICE.

At the outset, I must disclose that I personally know most of the reported federal legal actors in this latest ICE drama. Judge Hurewitz, before he became a judge, worked for me. So did the ICE prosecutors, Gina Garrett-Jackson and Loren Coy.

The first question, if anybody at ICE would talk, should be why they did not call Yousef Megahed to testify on his own behalf? While I was not there and thus don’t really know if Mr. Megahed testified, and while we won’t know for sure until we get the judge’s written decision, I have to presume that Mr. Megahed was not called to testify. I make that presumption from a very simple unanswered analytical inquiry—if he had been called, how would he have been able to explain away his statements in the police car in South Carolina, the assertions set forth in the FBI (search warrant) affidavit, and most importantly, his intimate friendship with confessed terrorist supporter Ahmed Mohamed?

I trained most if not all of the new federal immigration attorneys hired between 1992 and 2005 in my role as an INS and ICE National New Attorney Training program instructor on cross-examination techniques.

I also specifically trained all INS Miami SCLU attorneys in my role as the INS District Counsel in Miami.

As all of these attorneys were told, the first thing to be done in a case like this one is to call the Respondent, what aliens in deportation /removal proceedings are called, as a witness.

That would be especially so here since Mr. Megahed, having been acquitted of criminal charges related to the matter before the immigration court, had no 5th amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Mr. Megahed had no protection against self-incrimination because in the correct application of the Constitutional concept of “double-jeopardy,” having once been acquitted by a jury of his peers, his answers, as long as they were truthful, could not serve as a basis for the government to ever criminally prosecute him for the same conduct again.

Had he been called to testify, Mr. Megahed, unless he is the best witness ever to take the stand, would have had a very hard time. Especially at the hands of somebody as skilled and experienced as Ms. Garrett-Jackson.

#1

Imagine the impact of Mr. Megahed having to answer even this one question in relation to whether he knew about what was in the trunk of the car, “Isn’t true that, when you were arrested in South Carolina, you spoke to Ahmed Mohamed in the police car and asked him ‘Did you tell them about the benzene?’

If he said yes to this question, what impact would it have had on the Judge Hurewitz? How could Judge Hurewitz, who was once one of INS Miami District’s most accomplished criminal alien prosecutors, or any other judge, have found that Mr. Megahed was not involved in terrorism with Ahmed Mohamed, the now confessed and convicted terrorist supporter?

If Megahed answered “no,” and Ms. Garrett-Jackson later introduced the audio tapes of the conversation and a government certified translator to testify as to what was said, could any judge have found that Mr. Megahed was not perjuring himself and seeking to conceal his involvement in terrorism just like Mohamed initially did?

So, why wasn’t Youssef Megahed called to testify?

#2

A second question to be asked would be, why, as reported, was ICE limited to presenting only two witnesses? As my experience would tell me, and even if the inquiry were limited to only what has here-to-date been released publicly, there were many more officers and federal agents who participated in the government investigation of Mr. Megahed and Mr. Mohamed. Agents such as Daniel J. McTavish, who wrote the search warrant affidavit, agents from the Tampa JTTF who handled all of the background and extended investigation facets of the case, and the FBI Headquarters personnel who oversaw and directed the efforts of the involved FBI field offices.

So, why only two? And, of those two, why only one actual investigator and one forensics analyst?

I don’t know the answers to these questions and I don’t think that ICE Headquarters is likely to publicly provide them anytime soon, if ever. But what is clear, at least to me, is that somebody, somewhere, made the decision to limit what the Garrett-Jackson team could present.

This has to be the case because it would be almost impossible to believe that Judge Hurwitz, had additional factual witnesses been presented, would have prevented ICE from putting them on the stand or disallowed their testimony. And it would be absolutely impossible for me to believe that Gina Garrett-Jackson, having been allowed the opportunity, would have simply chosen not to present everything she had.

It is therefore a question that the public, in my opinion, should ask.

#3

A third question that should be posed is, what did all the other intelligence agencies say about Mr. Megahed and Mr. Mohamed, and was Ms. Garrett-Jackson given the ability to see whatever they may have had and to ask whether it could be declassified for use in the hearing? While this would be a very sensitive question that would likely get absolutely no response at all, unless it was asked by a Member of Congress, standard operating procedures would tell me that such evidence exists and that Ms. Garrett-Jackson, left with discretion to use her talents, would have used the hard-won professional relationships and credibility that she has with such agencies to get their cooperation in the deportation/removal effort.

Yet the same experience that tells me that such would have been the case suggests to me that Ms. Garrett-Jackson was not allowed to proceed with such an effort. For if she had been, and knowing the level of respect she enjoys in the community, I strongly believe that the case presented to Judge Hurewitz would have been much stronger and would have likely included, at the very least, a few more witnesses on behalf of the US government.

#4

A fourth, and probably the most vexing, set of related questions, are why did ICE agree to conditions of release and how did they do so as quickly as they did?

The decision to release Yousef Megahed and the manner in which it was determined is so far out of the realm of standard operating procedure for ICE that it has be considered as determinative evidence of the fact that something went awry in the management of the prosecution effort in the case.

While those who aren’t familiar with the inner-workings of ICE and the litigation of national security matters might not understand much less agree with this, the U.S. government would not have initiated this case unless it was truly believed that the evidence that they had against Mr. Megahed proved that he was involved in terrorism.

That is the way in all national security cases. Especially since those in the government well know that these types of cases will get the most scrutiny, the most media coverage, and, the most public attention.

The belief that evidence proves that someone has engaged in terrorism is not based on whim. It is based on vetting, after vetting, after vetting of the evidence, of the law, of the procedure and of the proposed litigation strategy at many levels of the federal bureaucracy, across many agencies, and before many very senior officials.

Where the disconnect occurs is when one of three things happen. The first is when operational developments interfere. The second is when politics kick in. And the last is when incompetence and fear take control.

Operational developments. They interfere, in general, when the analysis of and proposed effort in a pending action is materially affected by a related action elsewhere. One example is where developments in the case in litigation result in a determination that certain information that could come out in the litigation might compromise other national security efforts elsewhere.

Politics. Anyone involved in or who follows the subject of immigration in this country knows that politics are always part and parcel of the debate regarding the immigration issue of the moment.

Anyone involved in the prosecution of immigration national security matters knows that politics are at the forefront of the determinations made by those with the authority to make them.

What most people don’t realize, however, is that rather than encourage national security prosecutions, politics impede such efforts.

The simple reason for this is that those at the top of the Executive Branch are, for the most part, politicians. Some are elected and some are appointed. But most, if not all, of them look first, if they have to be involved, at what one of these efforts will mean for their political agenda, political party and political futures.

When the political factor is allowed to control, all bets are off. And, in most cases, you can rest assured that what could have been accomplished by taking the path with the shortest distance between point A and point B will now likely be a treacherous trek through an unknown and ever-changing universe.

Fear and incompetence. The most dangerous of the three. The most likely to be fatal.

Fear always surfaces when any one of the other two factors apply; when operational developments or politics jump in and change the game. And, fear always controls when incompetence is involved.

In the Megahed case, I will take a guess and suggest that operational factors alone did not likely materially change the course of the prosecution.

I will also guess that politics were not the only issue.

Instead, I will assert, as a guess based on my experience in such matters, that fear and incompetence resulting from some possible operational developments and absolutely resulting from political considerations, took hold.

How can I be so sure?

The Department of Homeland Security placed Megahed in removal proceedings because they believed he was involved in terrorism. When they made the decision to do that, they asserted that he was an alien described in the terrorism sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Even when they lost before the Immigration Judge, DHS/ICE had the legal ability to keep Mr. Megahed in custody pending an appeal. In fact, and as standard operating procedure should dictate, IF they really believed that he was a terrorist, the DHS/ICE plan should have been to keep Mr. Megahed in custody until and if the courts ordered otherwise. Instead, ICE agreed, on their own volition, to release him.

ICE did not wait for a judge to tell them that they had to. ICE did not wait until the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), on appeal, agreed with the judge. Instead, ICE simply made the decision to release Mr. Megahed on their own volition.

ICE did so in record time, and as reported, to the surprise of even Mr. Megahed’s lawyer.

What happened was pre-planned. In the world of federal immigration bureaucracy, such decisions are never made quickly. In fact, they are mostly never even made anywhere within the time that they should have been.

And being that the decision was what it was, I guarantee you that it was not made by Ms. Garrett-Jackson, by her boss, or even by his boss. It was made at a much higher level. In Washington, D.C. By a politician, for political reasons, and based on the agreement of lesser senior federal officials, by way of an exercise akin to the “Cowardly Lion before the Great Wizard of Oz,” whose continued federal careers are, if nowhere else but in their minds, in jeopardy if they even remotely think to protest.

Rather than a sudden revelation that Mr. Megahed was in fact not involved in terrorism, the pressure of public opinion, the call of those who cannot or will not understand or agree that a deportation action is a separate animal from a criminal prosecution, the whims of those in political power, and the fear and incompetence of those who might be able to change the result, in my opinion, led to the decision to release Mr. Megahed.

For these reasons, and because the American people really deserved to find out if Mr. Megahed, as previously asserted by ICE, really poses a danger to our community, I suggest that all of us should be asking: If he really is a terrorist, how could the federal government have presented its case without requiring Youssef Megahed to tell us all what he was doing with now convicted terrorist Ahmed Mohammed in South Carolina in a car with explosives and a computer that contained a bomb-making video for terrorists? How, could DHS prosecute its case against Youssef Megahed with the testimony of only one investigative witness and one forensics witness? How could ICE have failed to obtain and present whatever information could be released for use as evidence by the other agencies with information on Youssef Megahed? And, how could the federal government say one minute that it had evidence to arrest, charge and deport Youssef Megahed on terrorist grounds, and in the next say, on their own volition, that he could be released from custody?

Most importantly, however, we should be asking–Why?

The bottom line is that ICE lost this case at the trial level.

One of the reasons may have been because of the good luck that Megahed and Mohamed were arrested before anything bad could happen, if that is what they intended to do, and the bad luck of the FBI in not, because of the situation, having being afforded the opportunity to pro-actively and specifically investigate their activities.

Yet, from the looks of it, albeit from the outside looking in only at what is publicly available, they did so once again because of the very same factors that have caused them to lose similar cases.

So, and for the moment, the final question in this case should be, what is ICE going to do now to fix this?

The final question for the war on terrorism as it relates to immigration enforcement is, however, what should be done with ICE?

Dan Vara was the INS District Counsel in Miami, Florida from 1990 until 2003. He was also the Chief Counsel, ICE, in Orlando , Florida from 2003 until 2006. As the highest ranking federal immigration attorney in the State of Florida , he was at the forefront of many significant immigration enforcement matters involving counterterrorism and counterintelligence. He was also an instructor on such matters at INS, ICE and FBI conferences. He is now in private practice in South Florida .

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The Roots of Radical Islam in Prison

August 20, 2009
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Zogby’s Free Pass

August 20, 2009

ZOGBY’S FREE PASS

12 Aug. 09 – IPT

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1375

Attorney General Eric Holder made a curious selection for the closing speaker at a July 20 Justice Department conference marking the 45th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Rather than turning to a lion of the movement, or a figure whose success in life was made possible by the bill, Holder turned to Arab American Institute (AAI) President James Zogby. It’s a curious move because – despite his generally favorable public image – an examination of Zogby’s record shows he is an apologist for Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups like the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hizballah. On top of that, he is a strident foe of the federal government’s efforts to cut off funding for terrorist organizations, including efforts by Holder’s department.

Zogby’s address barely touched on the significance of the Civil Rights Act. Instead, Zogby used his speech to settle some partisan political scores and depict himself and other Arab-Americans as victims — of murder; death threats; “blacklisting” and “harassment;” “stereotypes;” “defamation;” and even harsh U.S. immigration laws that turned his father into an illegal alien.

Zogby attacked the Bush Administration for detaining Arab and Muslim immigrants and visitors right after the September 11 attacks (neglecting to mention the fact that the detainees were in the United States illegally.) He denounced former Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Michael Mukasey for attempting to delineate how ethnic/racial profiling might be used to prevent terrorist attacks.

Zogby’s speech included not a word about the sacrifices of Dr. Martin Luther King or other civil-rights workers who responded with non-violence in the face of jailings, vicious beatings and murder to make the 1964 legislation a reality. But it did include a note of self-praise for Zogby and others like him who worked in the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s failed 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns – which Zogby in turn used to promote his own organization, AAI. “It was out of that experience that our AAI was born as an empowerment project to continue our progress into the mainstream of American politics,” he boasted.

There is no evidence (at least on the public record) of anyone in government or the mainstream media questioning Zogby’s Justice Department speech, and that is par for the course. Despite a long history of radical comments, Zogby has cultivated the image of being a moderate and a scholar. As a result, he is treated with kid gloves in the media and is often cited as an authority on policy issues. (See recent examples here and here and here and here.)

But the substance of Zogby’s worldview – particularly when it comes to terrorism and other Middle East-related issues – is anything but moderate.

Although he is an Arab Christian, Zogby’s positions over the years often echo those of radical Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society, both rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood. On September 16, 2000, AAI joined CAIR in cosponsoring a rally in front of the White House in support of the Palestinian “right of return.” In October 2003, AAI and CAIR co-sponsored a “Civil Rights Conference” in Dallas to mobilize opposition to the Patriot Act. Like CAIR, Zogby sought to whitewash an Obama campaign official’s ties with the Muslim Brotherhood-linked MSA. Like CAIR and MAS, Zogby demands that Israel withdraw from the West Bank, but refuses to condemn anti-Israel terrorism and violence from Gaza, from which Israel unilaterally withdrew in 2005.

Since September 11, Zogby has repeatedly tried to discredit federal investigations of U.S.-based Muslim groups for supporting terror. One of his targets was Operation Green Quest (a multi-agency task force including the FBI, U.S. Customs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS, and the Treasury Department.)

In March 2002, Green Quest launched a series of raids against Northern Virginia-based organizations that were suspected of financing terrorism. The raids targeted sites affiliated with the SAAR Network, described by federal investigators as a network of up to 100 nonprofit and for-profit organizations that “are interrelated through corporate officers and holding companies – subsidiary relationships, to facilitate the funding of terrorist operations.” .” The groups were suspected of funding Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) – terror groups responsible for hundreds of deaths during the past two decades.

Within days of the raids, Zogby’s AAI moved to discredit law enforcement’s efforts to cut off the flow of money to terrorists. AAI issued an “Action Alert” entitled “Treasury Department Must Address Overzealous Raids,” which stated:

“Fear and confusion now prevail in our communities and many believe the government has plans to punish all Muslim organizations without clearly establishing a credible link to an ongoing criminal investigation. This is not acceptable.”

One of the groups raided was the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), described in an FBI affidavit as a front to support Hamas and the PIJ. When Zogby appeared on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” less than a week after the raids, Matthews asked him if IIIT is “a dangerous group or not.

“No, not at all,” Zogby replied dismissively. But federal investigators long have suspected that the IIIT housed some of the top Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. IIIT was included on a “list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends” in an internal Muslim Brotherhood memorandum about the group’s future in the United States:

“The Ikhwan [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad In eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, the current secretary-general of the PIJ, served as a director at the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a think tank and academic research center funded by IIIT.

Shallah, who headed WISE from 1991-1995 before emerging in Damascus as the head of the PIJ, wrote “that IIIT was the largest contributor to WISE.” In November 2001, the Justice Department stated that WISE was among “front organizations that raised funds for militant Islamic-Palestinian groups such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas.” During the early 1990s, WISE was home to four members of the PIJ’s governing board, including senior operative Sami Al-Arian. Despite clear evidence of PIJ leaders at WISE, and public videos showing Al-Arian’s extremism, Zogby’s AAI denounced Al-Arian’s 2003 arrest on conspiracy charges as an example of “profiling” and “specious charges.”

Likewise, Zogby defends the Saudi Arabian government despite its longstanding role in funding radical Islamist groups and terrorism. In a 2005 article, he asserted that “anti-Saudi propaganda has become a tool to smear critics and target efforts to build ties between Saudis and Americans.”

Furthermore, in 2004, when Palestinian organizations refused to sign a pledge stating that U.S. foreign aid would not be used to support terrorism, Zogby questioned the very concept of barring material support for terrorism. Requiring groups to do so “compromises the ability of the humanitarian organizations to function,” he claimed.

Additionally, Zogby has opposed efforts to prevent Americans from financially supporting the terrorist organization Hizballah. Interviewed by the Washington Post for a May 8, 2003 article, Zogby said: “By criminalizing attempts to send money to Hezbollah or to support it, the FBI is confusing and alienating people here who could be allies in the war on terrorism.”

Likewise, Zogby has defended other US-based supporters of Middle East terror groups. In October 2000, the Investigative Project on Terrorism videotaped Abdurrahman Alamoudi of the American Muslim Council at a rally across the street from the White House announcing his support for Hamas and Hizballah. When then-New York U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign announced it would return Alamoudi’s contribution, Zogby claimed Alamoudi was a victim of a “shameful hysteria campaign of McCarthyism.” Four years later, Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in prison for terror-related crimes which included participation in a Libyan plot to assassinate the then- Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

In August 2008, Mazen Asbahi, Sen. Barack Obama’s Muslim outreach coordinator, resigned from the Democrat’s presidential campaign following reports that he had been affiliated with various Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations, including the Muslim Students Association. In a blog posting on the Huffington Post website, Zogby claimed Asbahi had been a victim of “bigoted websites” and “fear and ignorance about all things Arab and Muslim.”

Zogby has also defended people who raise funds for Hamas. During a 1995 appearance on the PBS Television show “Firing Line,” Zogby criticized the idea of placing limits on “humanitarian activity” of groups with links to Hamas: “That is going to be hell to implement. It’s going to prove, I think, very detrimental to the civil liberties of people in this country.” Zogby also supported Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader, during his detention in the United States and called plans to extradite him to Israel “destructive.”

Zogby has objected to suicide bombings on grounds that they benefit Israel politically. Writing in the Muslim World Monitor in February 1995, Zogby complained that, “The bombing of New York’s World Trade Center in 1993 played right into the hands of Israel” by illustrating its concerns about Palestinian terrorism.

In a December 1995 article in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Zogby suggested that Arabs have suffered their own “holocaust” at the hands of the United States, Israel and European colonial powers. “Arabs may not have experienced the same holocaust [as the Jews in Europe], but if one adds up the Arab lives lost in digging the Suez Canal, the Libyans slaughtered by the Italians, the Algerians killed by the French, the Sudanese murdered by the British, and all the Palestinians butchered in this century – we’ve had our own holocaust, but it stretches over 100 years.”

For years, Zogby has staked out positions in line with Islamist groups which reflexively criticize U.S. anti-terror polices. Yet his personal charisma enables him to receive favorable coverage from the mainstream media and administration officials. Attorney General Holder did the Obama Administration no favors by selecting a terrorism apologist like Zogby instead of a genuine civil-rights hero to commemorate one of the seminal moments in our nation’s history.

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IPT: The Enemy of My Enemy

August 14, 2009

The Enemy of My Enemy

IPT News
August 7, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1369/the-enemy-of-my-enemy

There is an ancient Arab proverb that says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Its meaning is essentially self-explanatory. In the modern world, the phrase can describe the relationship among seemingly disparate people or groups who share a common adversary.

It is no surprise that Islamist organizations in the United States espouse support for foreign Islamic terrorist organizations and denounce virtually every US counter-terrorism effort. Such organizations viciously attack Israel and often Jews when issues related to Israeli defense measures against terror attacks come into play. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other Palestinian terror organizations can unleash lethal attacks against Israelis and Jews and nearly any Israeli response will be condemned as a “war crime” against the Palestinian people.

A disturbing trend is emerging in America. Those radical Islamists are finding new allies among a number of extreme leftist groups.

One example of this is the coalition found in “Viva Palestina USA.” Viva Palestina USA is an offshoot of British MP George Galloway’s anti-Zionist, pro-Hamas Viva Palestina convoy initiative that has conducted supposed humanitarian aid trips into Gaza, including last month’s trip with about 200 Americans as well as more than $1 million in aid for Palestinians in Gaza. Viva Palestina USA claims to be a humanitarian initiative desiring to help needy Palestinians. A previous report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows convoy organizers exhibiting clear anti-American, anti-Israel, revolutionary and pro-Hamas sentiments.

Viva Palestina USA is not (yet) an IRS-approved tax exempt non-profit organization. Its website solicits donations through an organization called the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations/Pastors for Peace (IFCO). The IFCO is a tax exempt non-profit organization based in New York City. The executive director of IFCO is Lucius Walker, Jr. Walker is a Baptist minister who was a founding director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace. IFCO and Walker are also involved with an organization called “Cuba Solidarity,” also known as the “National Network on Cuba (NNOC).” IFCO is listed as an affiliate organization on the Cuba Solidarity website. Cuba Solidarity and the NNOC are pro-communist Cuba and oppose US Government policies against Cuba. Walker has been involved in several “aid caravans” to Cuba in violation of the US trade embargo.

During a pre-convoy rally in New York July 3 for Viva Palestina USA, Walker made the following statements:

“…But we could not avoid being a part of this historic effort to give the people of the United States an opportunity to visibly demonstrate their opposition to our government’s policies, our government’s callousness and our government’s complicity with Israel’s efforts to destroy the hopes and the aspirations of the Palestinian people. And so we have been honored to be able to receive funds on behalf of this effort that we are here as a part of. So this is the second send-off that those of us connected with Pastors of Peace have been a part of for this week…” and “Fidel [Castro] was right, is right. A better world is possible. But that better world is not possible if we do not take bold and courageous and determined action.”

Also attending this Viva Palestina rally was New York City Councilman Charles Barron. Barron is a former Black Panther. At the rally, Barron recognized and welcomed members of the New Black Panther Party:

“I also want to say as we continue to struggle for liberation for people all over, and we are particularly concerned about Africa we want to thank the New Black Panther Party. Please y’all stand up…”

Anti-Israel, leftist Christian and pro-communist political groups are not the only ones aligning themselves with radical Islamists. There appears to be a growing movement among radical Latino and African-American groups to support jihadists.

The Aztlan movement, or “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan,” or “Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan” touts the supremacy of Latino culture and hopes to eventually return the southwest states of the US to Mexico, claiming those states were illegally procured from Mexico. This is, essentially, a Latino separatist and secessionist movement.

The “Aztlan Communications Network,” also known as “La Voz de Aztlan” (The Voice of Aztlan) claims it is a “totally independent news service.” This website, however, in its “Quest for Aztlan” section carries an emblem that is nearly identical to the emblem found on the official MEChA site. The “Historical Documents” section identifies “El Plan de Santa Barbara,” as does the MEChA site under its “Documentos” section. Also identified in this La Voz de Aztlan section are detailed references to MEChA.

La Voz de Aztlan features stories denouncing Israeli and US government counter-terrorism efforts. The site is blatantly pro-Islamist and there is a direct link to supporting Viva Palestina USA called “Lifeline from La Raza to Gaza.” This from the site:

“We were all moved to tears of grief and anger when Israel launched its murderous bombardment against the people of Gaza in December and January.”

“While the bombs were still showering down on what has been called the largest open-air prison in history…”

“The US has a chance right now to step into a more progressive role in the world. But Viva Palestina USA needs your help to make this venture successful and to get this aid through the siege that has been strangling the people of Gaza for three years.”

“1) Circulate this message among all friends, community and religious groups and other organizations in your network. Publish it on your website if possible. MEChA Chapters are encouraged to participate.”

“2) …Donations are being handled by the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization and should be made payable to Viva Palestina – IFCO. Please write on your donation “Aztlan Delegation.” For information on how to make a donation click Donate.

“3) Come as an Aztlan delegate to Gaza…”

“4) Hold a fundraiser in your city or community. We have films and other materials to assist you. E-mail Aztlan.Gaza.Delegation@aztlan.net for further information.”

“5) Contact your local and state media to tell them why you support the Viva Palestina USA convoy.”

“Together, we WILL break the siege, we WILL deliver much-needed aid to the people of Gaza, and we WILL help free Palestine! VIVA, VIVA PALESTINA!”

There is a link on this site to an article headlined:

Israel has now massacred over 300 Palestinian children in Gaza .

This article contains two pages of photos of injured and dead Palestinian children who were allegedly the victims of Israeli attacks. The lead paragraph of the article:

“According to United Nations reports, the Zionist state of Israel has now slaughtered over 900 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip since December 27, 2008 when the indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian homes, schools and mosques began. Most shocking is that more than 300 of these are babies, toddlers and young children (1500 injured). This war crime has got to be one of the most horrific in the history of humanity.”

A curious YouTube video posting also reflects the emerging paradigm of an extremist American affinity for the Islamist cause. The segment is a 4+ minute rap video slide show called “My Enemy’s Enemy” by something called M-Team. Prime repetitive wording in the rap is “My enemy’s enemy is my man, my man.” The slide show intersperses scenes from the Middle East with 1960s-era shots of armed Black Panthers and Black Liberation Army operatives as well as what appears to be some photo reference to the Nation of Islam and the capture of Latino illegal aliens by the US Border Patrol.

“My Enemy’s Enemy” was used to open the July 26 broadcast of “The Crescent Report,” a weekly program hosted by Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation officials Mahdi Bray and Ibrahim Ramey. MAS was created by the Muslim Brotherhood, which federal prosecutors describe as “a generally covert organization whose credo is ‘Allah is our goal: the Qur’an is our constitution: the Prophiet is our leader: Struggle is our way: and death in the path of Allah is our highest aspiration.'”

Bray introduced the song saying “I want the listeners to hear this, because I think it’s really appropriate.” Its lyrics include:

“We’re sharks in the water, we work for the man. My enemy’s enemy is my man, my man. You smuggle contraband or you cross the land, my enemy’s enemy is my man, my man. I’m a brother to the (unintelligible word) with stones in their hands, Palestinians fighting for their stolen land…Got brothers from the Vietnam. Not the red, white and blue, but the Viet Cong.”

Afterward, co-host Ibrahim Ramey even dedicated the song to a listener.

Islamists are garnering support from disparate sources. Radical non-Muslim ethnic groups and hard-core leftists seem to be jumping on the jihadist bandwagon. It’s an alliance that demands closer inquiry.

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IPT: THe Islamists Lobby in the House

August 14, 2009

The Islamist Lobby in the House
An interview with Steven Emerson

by Jamie Glazov
Front Page Magazine
August 4, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1344/the-islamist-lobby-in-the-house

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Steve Emerson, terrorism expert and founder of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

FP: Steve Emerson, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

There are some Congressional Democratic stooges operating on behalf of Islamist groups. Can you tell us what is going on?

Emerson: We obtained a letter sent on July 24 by seven House Democrats to Attorney General Holder on behalf of 9 radical Islamic front groups relaying the complaints of the groups about law enforcement techniques in terrorist cases, including the use of informants.

The Congressmen acted as virtual lobbyists for these militant groups, asking that the AG stop employing tried and proven counter-terrorist techniques and also echoed information that was blatantly false claiming the FBI was engaged in racial profiling. The Congressmen asked that the AG meet with these groups, which are almost all derivatives of the Muslim Brotherhood.

FP:CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) is one of the groups, yes? Tell us about CAIR.

Emerson: Yes, they included CAIR, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Hamas (Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development) funding trial last year in which an FBI agent labelled CAIR a front group for Hamas and ISNA, another un-indicted co-conspirator in the same case. CAIR has defended suicide bombings and ISNA has featured anti-Semitic speakers and terrorist supporters at its most recent conference a month ago in DC.

Another group represented by the Congressmen included the Muslim American Society (MAS) which is the defacto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US (by its own admission) and whose leaders have openly called for jihad and support for Hamas and Hezbollah.

FP: And we have members of Congress actually working on behalf of these terrorist-related groups? Who are these Congressmen?

Emerson: The letter was signed by California representatives Loretta Sanchez, Adam Schiff, Mike Honda and Lois Capps, along with Ohio representatives Mary Jo Kilroy and Dennis Kucinich. Northern Virginia Congressman James Moran joined the group. Moran serves on the House Appropriations Committee subcommittee on defense. Schiff and Honda serve on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. Kilroy sits on the House Homeland Security Committee.

These issues have been pushed by radical Islamist groups for months. The letter’s close tracking of the interest groups’ positions indicates that their officials dictated its terms for the members of Congress to sign. In fact, the nine entities all are listed in exactly the same sequence in this release from CAIR. The April 2009 release also cites two of the same issues as in the letter to Holder.

As I wrote in my piece, many of the representatives who signed this letter have a history of supporting CAIR. For example, Kucinich sent a video message praising the organization to the CAIR-Chicago 4th Annual Banquet on February 23, 2008:

“As the Council on American-Islamic Relations meets I want to pledge to you. I continue to pledge for your efforts to make sure that the powerful message of Islam, a message of peace and reconciliation reverberates. I want to make sure that you know that you have a friend in the United States Congress.”

Sanchez has repeatedly attended annual CAIR banquets in Anaheim. Likewise, Honda spoke at CAIR’s 2006 national banquet in Virginia, where called his hosts “the civil rights group that will speak on behalf of the community.” Capps is included on a page of laudatory statements about CAIR, saying “I applaud CAIR for its important role in advocating for civil liberties, enhancing the understanding of Islam, and condemning acts of terrorism.”

Moran is included on the same page, saying “It is through the activities of groups like CAIR that cooperation—rather than competition—between the various faiths can be achieved.” Honda is quoted saying “CAIR’s commitment to social justice and civil rights for all Americans will help our country to ensure that respect and tolerance exists for people of all religions and ethnicities.”

In their letter, the representatives accept the claims of defendants in two criminal cases unquestioningly, despite sworn testimony to the contrary.

FP: Well we obviously see the unholy alliance at work here, the Left and radical Islam holding hands in solidarity. Can you talk about that alliance a bit and how it is working?

Emerson: This phenomenon is part of the Grand Deception, when radical Islam wittingly and unwittingly convinces the American government and the media that radical Islamists have no other agenda than to play pluralist politics when the real (and demonstrably unconcealed goal) is to infiltrate the American government and media and ultimately take over. The documents released from the Holy Land Foundation trial were shockingly clear: the Muslim Brotherhood in this country secretly aspires to a “civilizational-jihadist process” in which the Islamist groups will infiltrate the institutions of power and American society. No one can argue with hundreds of such documents that were released at the HLF trial. They were shocking and had never been seen before.

Their aim is simple: infiltrate the corridors of power (Congress and the government), the media, Hollywood, the intelligentsia and even law enforcement. Eighteen years after the documents were written, we can see the Muslim Brotherhood game plan has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. Hollywood, for example the likes of Howard Gordon, executive producer of the series “24” has already been conned into legitimizing radical Islamic groups that espouse anti-Semitism, defend Hezbollah, denigrate the Holocaust, tell their members not to cooperate with the FBI, etc.

The Hollywood-based Writers Guild of America is about to hold a special seminar for CAIR, a front group for Hamas that has defended the killing of Jews and has sponsored as speakers Holocaust deniers. When was the last time the Writer’s Guild held a seminar for the KKK or, for that, matter evangelical Christians? That members of the Writer’s Guild are allowing this to happen is one of the most scandalous indicators of the pact between the left and the Islamic fascists. Where are the voices of the Guild protesting this outrageous seminar? Does the Guild endorse the notion of suicide bombers and also undermining the prosecution of Islamic terrorists? Does the Guild support Hezbollah and Hamas? Does the Guild support raw anti-Semitism? And the Muslim Public Affair Committee (MPAC), a radical group that has supported Hezbollah, claimed Israel was behind 9/11, and has made derogatory comments about the Holocaust. Now it has established a Hollywood liaison bureau where, believe it or not, studios submit their scripts in advance for approval.

The Left’s Faustian alliance with radical Islamists is a pact with the devil that will ultimately behead the same leaders of the Left. Melissa Etheridge, avowedly gay, played in a concert for an annual conference for the MPAC, a group that believes homosexuality is a sin and that has claimed that Islamic law protects women, when the undeniable truth is that Sharia treats women as cattle and second class citizens, not to mention how it treats Jews and Christians. What does that tell us about the sheer stupidity of Etheridge, willing to sacrifice her own bedrock principles for the sake of collaborating with a group that defends Hezbollah, the group that has killed the second largest number of Americans next to Al Qaeda? And what do you think will happen to gays like Melissa Etheridge when Sharia law is imposed? Why would she lend her support to a group that has made pro-terrorist comments, published anti-Semitic cartoons and supported Hezbollah, as well as condemned her own gay lifestyle as evil?

These are not the only groups and individuals that have signed up to work with radical Islamic organizations. Fairness for Accuracy in Reporting, FAIR, the ultra left wing group that defends Venezuala’s anti-Semitic President Hugo Chavez, works closely with CAIR. FAIR and CAIR share the public relations firm and work so closely that FAIR is considered by many to be an extension of the terrorist front group CAIR. FAIR is so much in the pocket of CAIR that the IRS should immediately launch an investigation into the financial and other ties between the two groups to determine their abuse of the tax laws governing non profits. I know with 100% certainty that CAIR has violated the tax laws for example.

J Street, the ultra left wing Jewish group, has also secretly worked with CAIR. The ACLU, founded on the notion of the need for separation of church and state, actually collaborates with CAIR—a group whose officials want to impose blasphemy laws in this country–to the point that it has appointed members of CAIR to local ACLU boards around the country. In terms of the media, NPR and PBS have actively colluded with CAIR and other radical Islamic groups to dishonestly portray them simply as “civil rights” or advocacy groups, when in fact these groups have actively championed terrorism. We have emails showing that CAIR actually “owns” reporters at various newspapers, which suggests the degree of penetration by CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood groups into the media is far more extensive and far more frightening than anyone has known to this point.

FP: And the Congressmen who signed the letter?

Emerson: Either they are thinking in terms of votes and donations or they actually believe the fascist propaganda put forth by the groups on whose behalf they signed the letter. But above all else, it demonstrates the frighteningly enormous political strides that radical Islamic groups—those that purposefully undermine the security of this great nation by attacking law enforcement’s prosecution of Islamic terrorists and also support violent jihad and who defend Hamas and Hezbollah—have succeed in getting the support of 7 Congressmen, 6 if you believe that Congressman Schiff actually made a “mistake” as he claims in signing the letter.

Finally and most disturbing is the fact that the seven congressmen actually accepted CAIR’s views of a particular Al Qaeda case in Irvine when in fact the reality is that CAIR actively colluded with the suspected terrorist to obstruct justice. When the alleged terrorist, a member of Al Qaeda, began to suspect he had been recorded by an informant calling for bombings in the US and for praising Osama bin Laden, the terrorist conspired with CAIR’s LA official Hussam Ayloush to deliberately lie and pin the blame for the terrorist rantings on the informant. This was such a blatant obstruction of justice by CAIR that Justice Department officials have considered charging CAIR’s Ayloush with obstruction of justice and lying to federal officials. But the seven Congressmen actually accepted Ayloush’s point of view and endorsed the notion that CAIR dutifully reported the informant as a terrorist suspect in the manner of a good citizen. That they accepted this version shows that the congressmen are in the pocket of CAIR.

All of this means that the secret Muslim Brotherhood plan to infiltrate the US has succeeded beyond the MB’s wildest dreams.

FP: One of the Congressman, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, is actually denying that he ever had a role in this. How can this be possible and what does it tell us about him?

Emerson: Something smells to high heaven here.

An aide to U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) contacted the Investigative Project on Terrorism to report that Schiff’s name and signature appear erroneously on the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. After reading about the letter in this story, Schiff wrote his own letter to Holder in which he said “I never saw or approved the letter and my signature should not have appeared on the correspondence.”

According to the aide, a staffer from U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s office brought the letter to Schiff’s office and said Schiff approved having his signature added to it. Schiff, the aide said, never agreed to that. The aide said he did not know whether Schiff participated in any earlier discussions about the letter and could not explain why Sanchez’s office had the impression that he was on board.

None of this makes any sense, suggesting that Congressman Schiff got embarrassed when his name was disclosed as one of the signatories and simply sought a way out of it. Our sources tell us that the Congressman actually read the letter and approved signing it personally, something his aides deny.

FP: What does this Schiff affair say about Schiff?

Emerson: Schiff is a Congressmen who has long befriended MPAC, a group whose anti-Semitic cartoons published in their magazine, the Minaret, make the Danish cartoons look like child’s play. Schiff has been befriending radical Islamic groups for years ever since his election. That he suddenly decided to concoct a story claiming that he signed on to the letter by mistake—without explaining how that mistake could have occurred—shows that some members of Congress are not exactly profiles in courage.

On the other hand, Congressmen like Frank Wolf, Pete Hoekstra and Sue Myrick have shown a backbone that is unparalleled in Congress in courageously tackling the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, and radical Islamic groups. So it shows there are brave Congressmen as well. The FBI should be noted for standing tall and courageous in making the decision last year to sever its relations with CAIR because of its ties to Hamas. Yet, various members of Congress—like the seven who signed the letter—have deliberately flouted the FBI intelligence and policies in such an egregious way that these Congressmen are actually endangering the security of the United States.

FP: So what lessons do we draw here?

Emerson: The chief lesson here is that the Islamist plan to infiltrate American society—Congress, law enforcement, the administration (the vast extent of Obama’s willing acceptance of radical Islamic groups and leaders into key positions into his government including CAIR which I have not yet divulged), think tanks, public relations firms, academia, et—has succeeded in ways that are truly endangering our security. Yet, the stealth jihad—which is what this is—has gone unreported by the mainstream media because of factors such as laziness, the “useful idiot” syndrome, and active collaboration between these groups and reporters as well as collaboration with other influential sectors of society.

In fact, the stealth jihad is in many ways more dangerous than acts of terrorism, which seems the only time that the American public and media wake up. The American public would be absolutely shocked to witness the degree of the radical Islamic deception perpetuated, wittingly and unwittingly, across society including law enforcement, journalism, Hollywood, Congress, think-tanks, the left, and the intelligentsia. I am not talking about an unproven conspiracy. This deception—what I call Militant Islam’s Grand Deception–is the subject of my upcoming documentary and book. It will shock viewers to their core.

FP: What can the average citizen do to counter-act these developments?

Emerson: They have to start bombarding Congress and the Obama administration with protests every day. They need to be protesting the one-sided coverage of these Islamic groups with their local newspapers who have been assiduously involved in a campaign to legitimize these groups and suppress the real evidence about them. Our organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, has been collecting intelligence on these groups for more than 15 years. I urge your readers to go to our site and learn about the secret Muslim Brotherhood plan to infiltrate and subvert this country, to find out more about the pro terrorist agenda of these so called “civil rights” groups. And yet, I fear that only when a violent attack occurs will the American public wake up. In his darkest hours before the war that he so courageously predicted, the great Winston Churchill said presciently that “Democracies only act when there is blood in the streets.” I fear he is right.

FP: Steve Emerson, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.


Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union and is the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. His new book is United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.


h1

The Islamist Lobby in the House

August 10, 2009

The Islamist Lobby in the House
An interview with Steven Emerson

by Jamie Glazov
Front Page Magazine
August 4, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1344/the-islamist-lobby-in-the-house

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Steve Emerson, terrorism expert and founder of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

FP: Steve Emerson, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

There are some Congressional Democratic stooges operating on behalf of Islamist groups. Can you tell us what is going on?

Emerson: We obtained a letter sent on July 24 by seven House Democrats to Attorney General Holder on behalf of 9 radical Islamic front groups relaying the complaints of the groups about law enforcement techniques in terrorist cases, including the use of informants.

The Congressmen acted as virtual lobbyists for these militant groups, asking that the AG stop employing tried and proven counter-terrorist techniques and also echoed information that was blatantly false claiming the FBI was engaged in racial profiling. The Congressmen asked that the AG meet with these groups, which are almost all derivatives of the Muslim Brotherhood.

FP:CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) is one of the groups, yes? Tell us about CAIR.

Emerson: Yes, they included CAIR, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Hamas (Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development) funding trial last year in which an FBI agent labelled CAIR a front group for Hamas and ISNA, another un-indicted co-conspirator in the same case. CAIR has defended suicide bombings and ISNA has featured anti-Semitic speakers and terrorist supporters at its most recent conference a month ago in DC.

Another group represented by the Congressmen included the Muslim American Society (MAS) which is the defacto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US (by its own admission) and whose leaders have openly called for jihad and support for Hamas and Hezbollah.

FP: And we have members of Congress actually working on behalf of these terrorist-related groups? Who are these Congressmen?

Emerson: The letter was signed by California representatives Loretta Sanchez, Adam Schiff, Mike Honda and Lois Capps, along with Ohio representatives Mary Jo Kilroy and Dennis Kucinich. Northern Virginia Congressman James Moran joined the group. Moran serves on the House Appropriations Committee subcommittee on defense. Schiff and Honda serve on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. Kilroy sits on the House Homeland Security Committee.

These issues have been pushed by radical Islamist groups for months. The letter’s close tracking of the interest groups’ positions indicates that their officials dictated its terms for the members of Congress to sign. In fact, the nine entities all are listed in exactly the same sequence in this release from CAIR. The April 2009 release also cites two of the same issues as in the letter to Holder.

As I wrote in my piece, many of the representatives who signed this letter have a history of supporting CAIR. For example, Kucinich sent a video message praising the organization to the CAIR-Chicago 4th Annual Banquet on February 23, 2008:

“As the Council on American-Islamic Relations meets I want to pledge to you. I continue to pledge for your efforts to make sure that the powerful message of Islam, a message of peace and reconciliation reverberates. I want to make sure that you know that you have a friend in the United States Congress.”

Sanchez has repeatedly attended annual CAIR banquets in Anaheim. Likewise, Honda spoke at CAIR’s 2006 national banquet in Virginia, where called his hosts “the civil rights group that will speak on behalf of the community.” Capps is included on a page of laudatory statements about CAIR, saying “I applaud CAIR for its important role in advocating for civil liberties, enhancing the understanding of Islam, and condemning acts of terrorism.”

Moran is included on the same page, saying “It is through the activities of groups like CAIR that cooperation—rather than competition—between the various faiths can be achieved.” Honda is quoted saying “CAIR’s commitment to social justice and civil rights for all Americans will help our country to ensure that respect and tolerance exists for people of all religions and ethnicities.”

In their letter, the representatives accept the claims of defendants in two criminal cases unquestioningly, despite sworn testimony to the contrary.

FP: Well we obviously see the unholy alliance at work here, the Left and radical Islam holding hands in solidarity. Can you talk about that alliance a bit and how it is working?

Emerson: This phenomenon is part of the Grand Deception, when radical Islam wittingly and unwittingly convinces the American government and the media that radical Islamists have no other agenda than to play pluralist politics when the real (and demonstrably unconcealed goal) is to infiltrate the American government and media and ultimately take over. The documents released from the Holy Land Foundation trial were shockingly clear: the Muslim Brotherhood in this country secretly aspires to a “civilizational-jihadist process” in which the Islamist groups will infiltrate the institutions of power and American society. No one can argue with hundreds of such documents that were released at the HLF trial. They were shocking and had never been seen before.

Their aim is simple: infiltrate the corridors of power (Congress and the government), the media, Hollywood, the intelligentsia and even law enforcement. Eighteen years after the documents were written, we can see the Muslim Brotherhood game plan has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. Hollywood, for example the likes of Howard Gordon, executive producer of the series “24” has already been conned into legitimizing radical Islamic groups that espouse anti-Semitism, defend Hezbollah, denigrate the Holocaust, tell their members not to cooperate with the FBI, etc.

The Hollywood-based Writers Guild of America is about to hold a special seminar for CAIR, a front group for Hamas that has defended the killing of Jews and has sponsored as speakers Holocaust deniers. When was the last time the Writer’s Guild held a seminar for the KKK or, for that, matter evangelical Christians? That members of the Writer’s Guild are allowing this to happen is one of the most scandalous indicators of the pact between the left and the Islamic fascists. Where are the voices of the Guild protesting this outrageous seminar? Does the Guild endorse the notion of suicide bombers and also undermining the prosecution of Islamic terrorists? Does the Guild support Hezbollah and Hamas? Does the Guild support raw anti-Semitism? And the Muslim Public Affair Committee (MPAC), a radical group that has supported Hezbollah, claimed Israel was behind 9/11, and has made derogatory comments about the Holocaust. Now it has established a Hollywood liaison bureau where, believe it or not, studios submit their scripts in advance for approval.

The Left’s Faustian alliance with radical Islamists is a pact with the devil that will ultimately behead the same leaders of the Left. Melissa Etheridge, avowedly gay, played in a concert for an annual conference for the MPAC, a group that believes homosexuality is a sin and that has claimed that Islamic law protects women, when the undeniable truth is that Sharia treats women as cattle and second class citizens, not to mention how it treats Jews and Christians. What does that tell us about the sheer stupidity of Etheridge, willing to sacrifice her own bedrock principles for the sake of collaborating with a group that defends Hezbollah, the group that has killed the second largest number of Americans next to Al Qaeda? And what do you think will happen to gays like Melissa Etheridge when Sharia law is imposed? Why would she lend her support to a group that has made pro-terrorist comments, published anti-Semitic cartoons and supported Hezbollah, as well as condemned her own gay lifestyle as evil?

These are not the only groups and individuals that have signed up to work with radical Islamic organizations. Fairness for Accuracy in Reporting, FAIR, the ultra left wing group that defends Venezuala’s anti-Semitic President Hugo Chavez, works closely with CAIR. FAIR and CAIR share the public relations firm and work so closely that FAIR is considered by many to be an extension of the terrorist front group CAIR. FAIR is so much in the pocket of CAIR that the IRS should immediately launch an investigation into the financial and other ties between the two groups to determine their abuse of the tax laws governing non profits. I know with 100% certainty that CAIR has violated the tax laws for example.

J Street, the ultra left wing Jewish group, has also secretly worked with CAIR. The ACLU, founded on the notion of the need for separation of church and state, actually collaborates with CAIR—a group whose officials want to impose blasphemy laws in this country–to the point that it has appointed members of CAIR to local ACLU boards around the country. In terms of the media, NPR and PBS have actively colluded with CAIR and other radical Islamic groups to dishonestly portray them simply as “civil rights” or advocacy groups, when in fact these groups have actively championed terrorism. We have emails showing that CAIR actually “owns” reporters at various newspapers, which suggests the degree of penetration by CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood groups into the media is far more extensive and far more frightening than anyone has known to this point.

FP: And the Congressmen who signed the letter?

Emerson: Either they are thinking in terms of votes and donations or they actually believe the fascist propaganda put forth by the groups on whose behalf they signed the letter. But above all else, it demonstrates the frighteningly enormous political strides that radical Islamic groups—those that purposefully undermine the security of this great nation by attacking law enforcement’s prosecution of Islamic terrorists and also support violent jihad and who defend Hamas and Hezbollah—have succeed in getting the support of 7 Congressmen, 6 if you believe that Congressman Schiff actually made a “mistake” as he claims in signing the letter.

Finally and most disturbing is the fact that the seven congressmen actually accepted CAIR’s views of a particular Al Qaeda case in Irvine when in fact the reality is that CAIR actively colluded with the suspected terrorist to obstruct justice. When the alleged terrorist, a member of Al Qaeda, began to suspect he had been recorded by an informant calling for bombings in the US and for praising Osama bin Laden, the terrorist conspired with CAIR’s LA official Hussam Ayloush to deliberately lie and pin the blame for the terrorist rantings on the informant. This was such a blatant obstruction of justice by CAIR that Justice Department officials have considered charging CAIR’s Ayloush with obstruction of justice and lying to federal officials. But the seven Congressmen actually accepted Ayloush’s point of view and endorsed the notion that CAIR dutifully reported the informant as a terrorist suspect in the manner of a good citizen. That they accepted this version shows that the congressmen are in the pocket of CAIR.

All of this means that the secret Muslim Brotherhood plan to infiltrate the US has succeeded beyond the MB’s wildest dreams.

FP: One of the Congressman, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, is actually denying that he ever had a role in this. How can this be possible and what does it tell us about him?

Emerson: Something smells to high heaven here.

An aide to U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) contacted the Investigative Project on Terrorism to report that Schiff’s name and signature appear erroneously on the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. After reading about the letter in this story, Schiff wrote his own letter to Holder in which he said “I never saw or approved the letter and my signature should not have appeared on the correspondence.”

According to the aide, a staffer from U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s office brought the letter to Schiff’s office and said Schiff approved having his signature added to it. Schiff, the aide said, never agreed to that. The aide said he did not know whether Schiff participated in any earlier discussions about the letter and could not explain why Sanchez’s office had the impression that he was on board.

None of this makes any sense, suggesting that Congressman Schiff got embarrassed when his name was disclosed as one of the signatories and simply sought a way out of it. Our sources tell us that the Congressman actually read the letter and approved signing it personally, something his aides deny.

FP: What does this Schiff affair say about Schiff?

Emerson: Schiff is a Congressmen who has long befriended MPAC, a group whose anti-Semitic cartoons published in their magazine, the Minaret, make the Danish cartoons look like child’s play. Schiff has been befriending radical Islamic groups for years ever since his election. That he suddenly decided to concoct a story claiming that he signed on to the letter by mistake—without explaining how that mistake could have occurred—shows that some members of Congress are not exactly profiles in courage.

On the other hand, Congressmen like Frank Wolf, Pete Hoekstra and Sue Myrick have shown a backbone that is unparalleled in Congress in courageously tackling the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, and radical Islamic groups. So it shows there are brave Congressmen as well. The FBI should be noted for standing tall and courageous in making the decision last year to sever its relations with CAIR because of its ties to Hamas. Yet, various members of Congress—like the seven who signed the letter—have deliberately flouted the FBI intelligence and policies in such an egregious way that these Congressmen are actually endangering the security of the United States.

FP: So what lessons do we draw here?

Emerson: The chief lesson here is that the Islamist plan to infiltrate American society—Congress, law enforcement, the administration (the vast extent of Obama’s willing acceptance of radical Islamic groups and leaders into key positions into his government including CAIR which I have not yet divulged), think tanks, public relations firms, academia, et—has succeeded in ways that are truly endangering our security. Yet, the stealth jihad—which is what this is—has gone unreported by the mainstream media because of factors such as laziness, the “useful idiot” syndrome, and active collaboration between these groups and reporters as well as collaboration with other influential sectors of society.

In fact, the stealth jihad is in many ways more dangerous than acts of terrorism, which seems the only time that the American public and media wake up. The American public would be absolutely shocked to witness the degree of the radical Islamic deception perpetuated, wittingly and unwittingly, across society including law enforcement, journalism, Hollywood, Congress, think-tanks, the left, and the intelligentsia. I am not talking about an unproven conspiracy. This deception—what I call Militant Islam’s Grand Deception–is the subject of my upcoming documentary and book. It will shock viewers to their core.

FP: What can the average citizen do to counter-act these developments?

Emerson: They have to start bombarding Congress and the Obama administration with protests every day. They need to be protesting the one-sided coverage of these Islamic groups with their local newspapers who have been assiduously involved in a campaign to legitimize these groups and suppress the real evidence about them. Our organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, has been collecting intelligence on these groups for more than 15 years. I urge your readers to go to our site and learn about the secret Muslim Brotherhood plan to infiltrate and subvert this country, to find out more about the pro terrorist agenda of these so called “civil rights” groups. And yet, I fear that only when a violent attack occurs will the American public wake up. In his darkest hours before the war that he so courageously predicted, the great Winston Churchill said presciently that “Democracies only act when there is blood in the streets.” I fear he is right.

FP: Steve Emerson, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

h1

ISNA’s Non-Apology Apology

July 14, 2009

ISNA’s Non-Apology Apology

IPT News
July 13, 2009

http://www.investigativeproject.org/1090/isnas-non-apology-apology

Send Comment RSS

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has rebuked anti-Semitic comments by a speaker at the group’s national convention July 4th weekend.

As the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported last week, Warith Deen Umar’s remarks during a “meet the authors” panel included claims that Jews controlled the world, used the Civil Rights movement for their own gain and suffered the Holocaust as a punishment for being “serially disobedient to Allah.”

In a statement, ISNA expressed “our complete rejection of all prejudicial views and bigoted stances toward the Jewish community and any other community of faith.” ISNA President Ingrid Mattson also was quoted in the statement:

“We pride ourselves in the many good relations we build with our interfaith partners for peace. There is no place for bigotry and intolerance in our organization and community.”

The statement was issued late Friday afternoon and is notable for what it doesn’t say as much as for what it does. It never identifies Umar as the speaker. While ISNA “rejects” his message, it never apologizes for facilitating them during a convention that featured a high-profile evangelical Christian leader and leaders of national Jewish movements.

And it seems to pass the buck when it comes to ISNA’s vetting process:

“These sessions are proposed by members of the community, and the proposal described a completely different content than what reportedly transpired. The title of the speaker’s presentation was ‘Jews for Salaam [Peace],’ and the presentation was described as a ‘… blue print for world peace. Christians, Jews and Muslims have common roots; focuses on the unique position Jewish people are in to move the world toward peace.'”

As our story pointed out, however, Umar’s radicalism and anti-Semitism were easily discoverable to anyone who bothered to look. A simple Google search for Umar and his book titles turns up this 2003 article on Umar’s opinion that the 9/11 hijackers were martyrs; this excerpt from his book Judaiology, which describes “the inordinacy of Jewish power” and calls Jews “an amazing people who can steal you blind as you watch; and this audio recording from a 2004 speech in which Umar endorses violence:

“Rise up and fight. And fight them until turmoil is no more and strike terror into their hearts.” You think there is no terror in Quran? It’s called [word unclear] read it in the 56th surah of the Quran. There’s no lack of translation, there’s no mistranslation There’s not one Sheikh says one thing, no, it’s very clear. “When you fight, you strike terror into the heart of the disbeliever.”

[ISN’T THIS HATE SPEECH?  IT WOULD BE IF JEWS AND CHRISTIANS USED THIS LANGUAGE.  DON]

The statement also ignores Umar’s rambling theory at the ISNA conference that Hurricane Katrina was a wrath of God punishment for homosexuality and his conclusion that there should be more jihad even if people are too afraid to agree.

Umar sold copies of Judaiology and his newest book, Jews for Salaam at a booth during the ISNA convention. ISNA’s pre-convention vendor statement demanded that all literature at its bazaar “must be pre-approved in writing by ISNA, in ISNA’s sole and absolute discretion. Book selling vendors must complete enclosed form providing inventory of the literature to be sold at ISNA.” [Emphasis added]

Whether that was an empty promise or someone signed off on Umar’s anti-Semitic books has not been explained.

Likewise, ISNA had nothing to say about a second speaker on the authors’ panel, who argued that Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist group second only to Al Qaeda in the number of Americans it has killed, serves as a protective force for Lebanon. Cathy Sultan’s remarks ignored Hezbollah’s role as an Iranian proxy and its campaign of violence that may have helped turn Lebanese voters against it last month:

“Hezbollah still serves a role. I think that Lebanon is still under constant threat from its southern neighbor. And I see nothing wrong, as long as Hezbollah abides by certain rules and regulations; I see no reason why Hezbollah should not remained armed.”

The speakers were not challenged on their assertions.

The disclosures come at a bad time for ISNA, which has been trying to build bridges with other religious communities and with law enforcement. Those efforts seem to be advancing despite the fact ISNA maintains ties to some of the same people who were part of its 1981 creation by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. The organization is included among unindicted co-conspirators in the Hamas-support prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. ISNA board member Jamal Badawi also was named as an unindicted co-conspirator, listed among people who raised money for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which then funneled money to charities controlled by Hamas.

The IPT has chronicled ISNA’s radical history and the incendiary rhetoric offered at previous conferences. Those examples fall well short of the hate speech Umar offered this year.

Yet ISNA’s statement takes no responsibility for his presence or the totality of his message. For another critique, see this from Daniel Pipes.

Listen to Umar’s comments at the ISNA convention here, here, here and here.

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Ramifications of a Possibly Armed Muslim Brotherhood

June 16, 2009

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Steve Emerson: Homegrown Terrorists

June 12, 2009
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Arkansas Shooter Studied Under Yemeni Radicals

June 4, 2009

Arkansas Shooter Studied Under Yemeni Radicals

IPT News
June 2, 2009

The investigation into the man accused of killing an Army recruiter and wounding a second soldier Monday in Little Rock, Ark. may lead to a Salafi preacher in Yemen’s tribal area, the Investigative Project on Terrorism has learned.

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a convert to Islam, is accused of killing William Long and wounding Quinton Ezeagwula outside an Army recruiting center. He is charged with one count of murder and 15 counts of committing terrorist acts. Police found several types of guns in Muhammad’s black Ford Sport Trac, including what is believed to be the murder weapon.

“Mr. Muhammad stated that he was mad at the U.S. Military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past,” the police report said. He fired on the two victims after seeing them outside the Army office smoking. He would have shot more people, he told police, if he had seen them. Some of his shots did go into the recruiting center, where 15 people were inside.

Police confiscated hundreds of rounds of ammunition, an SKS assault rifle and other guns from Muhammad’s truck.

ABC News reports that federal investigators “are engaged in an intense effort to reconstruct Muhammad’s path to extremism — and allegedly to murder — taking apart his life, examining his friendships, educational records, travel within the United States and possible contacts with extremists overseas.”

That path should lead to Dammaj, a tribal area of Yemen, and a madrassa run by a Salafi cleric named Yahya Hajuri, a knowledgeable source told the IPT. Muhammad wanted to study at Hajuri’s Al-Da’wah Center when he went to Yemen in early 2007.

He may have spent a couple of months in a Yemeni prison after being arrested for carrying a Somali passport and for overstaying his visa. In addition, Muhammad may have taken a Yemeni wife.

His arrest may have attracted FBI attention back home. ABC News also reported that Muhammad was the subject of a preliminary investigation following his return to the U.S.

Muhammad, 23, was born Carlos Bledsoe. He was a student at Tennessee State University in Nashville but dropped out of school after converting in 2004. He was urged by members of the local Muslim community to travel to Yemen, for more education. The Gulf nation is considered a hotbed for terrorists, and Muhammad may have been exposed to more radical ideas there.

Salafis strive to adhere to an austere form of Islam as it was practiced during the Prophet Muhammad’s time. Many Sunni terrorist movements, including Al Qaeda, are said to be Salafi influenced. Saudi Arabia’s Salafi ideology is better known as Wahhabism.

Hajuri was a protégé of Muqbil ibn Hadi, considered to be “a Salafi ideologue par excellence,” before his death in 2001, wrote Noorhaidi Hasan in his book Laskar Jihad. Ibn Hadi spent nearly 20 years studying in Saudi Arabia, but returned to Yemen after a prison term served after an attack on the Meccan sanctuary.

In 2000, Hasan wrote, ibn Hadi was among six clerics who issued a fatwa calling for jihad to protect Moluccan Island Muslims. Intense Muslim-Christian violence left thousands dead on both sides. It was compulsory for Indonesian Muslims to overthrow Christians on the islands, the fatwa said.

The Moluccan Muslim leadership was said to be close to the late Indonesian dictator Suharto.

Ibn Hadi left a will naming Hajuri as his successor.

Hajuri has an Arabic language website. In 2007, an Algerian reader asked about school children making the pledge of allegiance, singing the national anthem and saluting the flag in the morning. Such acts are prohibited in Islam, Hajuri wrote, because they are “polytheistic based on the statement of the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) ‘He who swears, shall swear to none save God.’ This abomination must be disavowed as far as one is able by tongue, or in his heart.”

Despite his confession, Muhammad entered a not guilty plea during an initial appearance in Little Rock court Tuesday.