Uncovered: Bin Laden Concerned About Reformist Muslims

Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro. June 2, 2015:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a list of declassified letters and open-source reading material found inside Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound. Among the items were documents that likely include the name of Clarion Project counter-terrorism analyst Ryan Mauro and other files indicating that the Al-Qaeda chief was concerned about modernist Muslim reformers.

Three of the 10 miscellaneous documents that were retrieved are from the 2007 Intelligence Summit held in St. Petersburg, Florida, specifically the conference advertising, exhibitor prospectus and participants map. As one of the featured speakers, Mauro’s name and biography would be in the material. The event was billed as the most prestigious intelligence conference in the country.

It is unclear why the event caught Bin Laden’s attention but it was likely the section of the event called the Secular Islam Summit, which featured anti-Islamist Muslims and former Muslims calling for a reformation in Islam in accordance with secular-democracy and modern human rights. The Summit unveiled the St. Petersburg Declaration rejecting Sharia governance and Islamism.

Muslim speakers at the event included Iranian activist Manda Zand Ervin who is featured in our film, Honor Diaries; Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a former associate of current Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri;  Tashbih Sayyed, editor-in-chief of Pakistan Today and The Muslim World Today; Hasan Mahmud of the Free Muslims Coalition, Jordanian writer Shaker al-Nabulsi and Iraqi politician Mithal al-Alusi.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and designated terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates, attacked the Secular Islam Summit.

CAIR board chairman Parvez Ahmed claimed it had no legitimacy and inaccurately characterized its speakers as entirely former Muslims and foes of Islam. CAIR criticized the event for drawing a connection between Islamic teachings and terrorism and accused it of promoting Islamophobia.

Genieve Abdo, a keynote speaker at a CAIR fundraiser, took CAIR’s stance in the Washington Post. She applauded CAIR for having “denounced any notion of a Reformation as another attempt by the West to impose its history and philosophy on the Islamic world.”

Abdo argued that CAIR is more representative of Muslims and so the Secular Islam Summit should be dismissed. She also cited another curious figure as a preferable source over the Summit’s: The radical imam of New York-based Masjid at-Taqwa, Siraj Wahhaj.

Abdo portrayed Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood as the future of Islam. She advised the West to accept that its “hopes for full integration by Muslims in the West are unlikely to be realized and that the future of the Islamic world will be much more Islamic than Western.”

“The political future of the Arab world is likely to consist of Islamic parties that are far less tolerant of what has historically been the U.S. foreign policy agenda in the region and that domestically are far more committed to implementing sharia law in varying degrees,” Abdo wrote.

Bin Laden’s bookshelf also included a RAND Corporation study titled Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources and Strategies by Cheryl Benard. It concluded that U.S. should support Muslim modernists first; support Muslim traditionalists against the fundamentalists; confront and oppose fundamentalists and selectively support secularists.

Bin Laden either requested these materials about Muslim movements against Islamism or his closest aides felt they would peak his interest. At the very least, he was not dismissive of their significance otherwise they would not have invested time to retrieve and presumably review them.

If the highest echelons of Al-Qaeda viewed anti-Islamist Muslim activists as worth paying attention to, then so should we.

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Here are the videos of the conference: (Playlist)

Secular Islam Summit – Press Conference PT1

Secular Islam Summit – Press Conference PT2

Secular Islam Summit Panel 1 Pt1

Secular Islam Summit Panel 1 Pt2

Secular Islam Summit Panel 2 Pt1

Secular Islam Summit Panel 2 Pt2

Secular Islam Summit Panel 2 Pt3

Secular Islam Summit Panel 3 Pt1

Secular Islam Summit Panel 3 Pt2

Secular Islam Summit Panel 4 pt 1

Secular Islam Summit Panel 4 pt 2

Secular Islam Summit Panel 4 pt 3

Secular Islam Summit – Panel 5 PT1

Secular Islam Summit – Panel 5 PT2

Secular Islam Summit – Panel 5 PT3

The Watchman Show: World on Fire

jihad 2Terrorism experts Erick Stakelbeck, Patrick Poole and Ryan Mauro to discuss Iran, ISIS, Yemen and Syria–and why it matters for Americans.

Russian System Should Be Treated As Part of Iran’s Nuke Program

S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at the Victory Parade, Red Square, 9 May 2009. (Wiki Commons / www.kremlin.ru)

S-300 anti-aircraft missile system at the Victory Parade, Red Square, 9 May 2009. (Wiki Commons / http://www.kremlin.ru)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, April 15, 2015:

The U.S., Germany and Israel condemned Russia’s announcement that it will change course and sell the advanced S-300 air and missile defense system to Iran. Anonymous officials are relaying feelings of near panic to various press outlets, saying the delivery of the system would essentially eliminate the military option to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Russia repeatedly threatened to sell the system to Iran and Syria since 2007 but relented under Western pressure. The Iranian regime even sued Russia for $4 billion for going back on its agreement to deliver the system. Russia’s formal announcement and request that Iran drop the lawsuit indicates Moscow is genuine in its stated intention to deliver the system.

The Russians will reportedly be paid $800 million by Iran for the system. Its advanced abilities include targeting 24 missiles or 30 aircraft simultaneously; a reach of 19 miles into the air and a distance of 155 miles. It can intercept aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Russia has already trained Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps personnel in how to use it.

Earlier, Israel strongly suggested delivery of the S-300 system to Syria was a red line and it would be attacked before it became operational. It is widely assumed the same standard would apply to Iran because a potential strike on its nuclear program is already a very complicated and hazardous scenario.

The Daily Beast’s headline declares the system “could make U.S. attacks on Iran nearly impossible.” If the system terrifies U.S. officials, then the fear of Israeli officials must be exponentially greater because of their government’s more limited military capabilities.

“[The S-300 is] a complete game changer for all fourth-gen[eration] aircraft. That thing is a beast and you don’t want to get near it,” a senior Marine Corps aviator told the publication.

A senior Air Force commander said it “essentially makes Iran attack-proof by Israel and almost any country” without fifth-generation aircraft like the F-35. The U.S. has sold the F-35 to Israel but those aircraft may not be able to destroy important targets buried deep underground like the Fordow site.

Read more

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Kyle Shideler on Fox News: Could Russia arms deal with Iran impact nuclear talks?

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Also see:

Virginia state senator cited by Islamic State’s magazine

Sen. Richard H. Black (Associated Press)

Sen. Richard H. Black (Associated Press)

 The Washington Times, April 8, 2015:

Virginia state Sen. Richard H. Black calls it a badge of honor to have been singled out as an enemy of the Islamic State in the current issue of its English-language magazine Dabiq, but the Loudoun County Republican says he feels for others targeted by the terrorist group.

“I’m more concerned about the Christians in the Middle East and the American soldiers and their families that have been put on the ISIS hit list,” Mr. Black told The Washington Times, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “I am deeply concerned about the fate of Christians in the Middle East.”

Mr. Black, who was made aware of his mention in the magazine’s eighth edition via a courtesy call by the Virginia Capitol Police, is just the latest politician or analyst to find himself singled out in Dabiq as a “crusader” trying to stop the ascent of the radical Muslim movement.

The new issue, distributed late last month, labels former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a potential 2016 presidential hopeful, as “the Catholic crusader,” and it dubs both Mr. Black and former CIA operative Gary Berntsen as “the American crusader.”

Previous issues have gone after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, journalists and military analysts — usually quoting them touting the dangers posed by the Islamic State as a way of stressing the group’s importance in international affairs.

Analysts say Dabiq is designed to be a recruiting tool for jihadists from the West. One issue contained an article justifying burning alive a Jordanian air force pilot who had been held captive by the group; other issues proclaimed military successes and jeered at far-flung nations, warning them not to get involved in the fight.

The objective of the “In the Words of the Enemy” section in which the men are featured is to boost the morale of supporters and recruit Islamists who don’t support the group, said Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for the Clarion Project, an educational group that studies Islamist extremism and catalogs the magazine.

“The last issue’s section had a tone of defensiveness,” Mr. Mauro said in an e-mail. “ISIS had just lost the battle in Kobani and the group could not claim victory there without losing all credibility, so they used the comments of enemies to point out its successes elsewhere and to minimize the setback without denying it.”

U.S. airstrikes and Kurdish troops in late January broke the Islamic State’s months-long siege of the Syrian town of Kobani near Turkey’s border. The terrorist group still controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq.

In the latest magazine, Mr. Black is quoted as saying he sees the fight in Syria as the “center of gravity for Western civilization.”

“If it falls, then we will begin to see a very rapid advance of Islam on Europe and I think ultimately, potentially, the collapse of all of Europe,” he said in a recent interview with the Russian news outlet RT.

Mr. Black said Tuesday that he sees his inclusion as confirmation that what he has said about the group is accurate.

“If we topple Syria, we create a dangerous vacuum for ISIS and al Qaeda to fill,” Mr. Black said. “And if the [dreaded] black-and-white flag flies over Damascus, then Jordan will fall and Lebanon will fall in fairly short order.”

Mr. Mauro said ISIS used Mr. Black’s statement “to argue that Syria should be the top priority of jihadists around the world because victory there would lead to the collapse of Europe and Western civilization.”

He said the terrorists cited a quote from Mr. Santorum about the group’s strength to argue that ISIS is getting stronger and more popular, and that their quoting Mr. Berntsen as saying the group is the most successful Sunni terrorist group in history was used “to imply Allah’s favor and to encourage supporters of other groups like al Qaeda to unite behind them.”

Mr. Black, as a state senator, does not have the authority to directly influence U.S. foreign policy, but he attracted attention last year when he wrote a thank you letter to Syrian President Bashar Assad for his army’s liberating and defending Christians in the area.

Mr. Santorum, for his part, said he was named by the group because he “told the truth about them.”

“I went and used their own words, very clearly stated what their intention is, laid it right out there for the American public,” Mr. Santorum said this week on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” “Most Americans know who they are. It’s just we have an administration that refuses to identify them, and the problem with that is they’re developing policies based on a false premise. And that means that as I said in that article, they’re gonna get stronger, not weaker, because we’re not doing what’s necessary to defeat them.”

The magazine quotes Mr. Santorum from a February appearance on Fox News in which he said the Islamic State is “dead serious” about expanding its “caliphate.”

“As long as they hold ground and continue to expand that ground, more and more will come,” Mr. Santorum said then. “The fact that we are delaying means that the caliphate continues to exist. They’re not losing ground. They’re not being discredited in the eyes of the Muslim world. They will get stronger.”

Presidential Race 2016 Candidate Profile – Rand Paul, Republican

Presidential-Profile-Rand-Paul-HPClarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, April 8, 2015:

The Presidential race for 2016 is gearing up and candidates are preparing themselves for the upcoming campaign. On April 7, 2015, Senator Rand Paul became the second candidate to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He follows Ted Cruz, whose profile by Clarion Project can be viewed by clicking here.

As each candidate announces their intention to run, Clarion Project will provide a summary of each candidate’s positions on issues relating to Islamic extremism, in order to help our readers make the most informed possible choice come voting day. Should there be any significant changes, we intend to update our readers on the positions of any given candidate.

As Clarion is a bipartisan organization, we will not be endorsing any party or any candidate. All information provided is intended as informative only and should not be taken as evidence of Clarion’s preference for any given candidate.

Relevant Experience

Single-term Republican Senator from Kentucky (2011-Current). Serves on Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Homeland Security Committee

 Son of Rep. Ron Paul, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012. (Ron Paul was known for characterizing Islamic extremism as a response to U.S. foreign policy and hostility towards Israel. He opposed the raid in Pakistan that killed Osama Bin Laden. He recently suggested that the U.S. government knew Bin Laden’s location and did not take action because it needed an “excuse” for “invading various countries.”)

Record on Islamic Extremism

 There is a “worldwide war on Christianity” by a “fanatical element of Islam.”

 “Radical Islam will only end when Islam begins to police Islam” and an Islamic enlightenment happens.

 Islamic extremism is a product of  both anger over U.S. foreign policy and radical ideology.

 “We must understand that a hatred of our values exists,and acknowledge that interventions in foreign countries may well exacerbate this hatred,” he says.

 “Some anger is blowback, but some anger originates in an aberrant and intolerant distortion of religion that wages war against all infidels. We can’t be sentimental about neutralizing that threat, but we also can’t be blind to the fact that drone strikes that inadvertently kill civilians may create more jihadists than we eliminate.”

Iran

 Stated in a 2007 interview on the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones Show that, “it’s ridiculous to think they [the Iranian regime] are a threat to our national security” or to Israel’s. He urged activism to stop military action against Iran.

 Blocked bipartisan legislation to sanction Iran in 2012 because he wanted an amendment that spelled out that it shall not be interpreted as authority for using military force. He later voted for sanctions on Iran.

 Voted against a Senate resolution ruling out a policy of containment towards a nuclear-armed Iran. However, he said the U.S. should have a plan to contain a nuclear Iran, but it should remain private:

“I think it’s not a good idea to announce that in advance. Should I announce to Iran, well, we don’t want you to, but we’ll live with it? No that’s a dumb idea to say that you’re going to live with it. However, the opposite’s a dumb idea, too.”

He later clarified that he opposes a containment policy, but that the option should not be ruled out.

 Opposes implementing new sanctions on Iran during nuclear negotiations. He said he’d support new sanctions if a deal is not reached.

 It is “imperative” that the U.S. and Iran engage diplomatically to reach a deal for “limiting” its uranium enrichment.

 Favors cultural engagement with Iran as an alternative to military action.

“Iran has a large undercurrent of people who like the West. They like our music, our culture, out literature, and so I think we can influence people in those ways. I’d rather do that than go to war with Iran.”

Iraq and ISIS

 Opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime, which he blames for the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS).

 In 2008, accused the U.S. government of dishonestly invading Iraq in order to enrich the multinational corporation Halliburton. He said that “9/11 became an excuse for a war they already wanted in Iraq.” The depiction of the U.S. government as waging war for money is a common Islamist theme.

 Supports U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He supports a limited role for U.S. ground troops in Iraq for securing diplomatic facilities, advising, intelligence-gathering and operations against high-value targets. However, says direct combat with the Islamic State should be done by Arabs and not American soldiers.

 U.S. should involve Turkey and the Syrian and Iranian regimes in fighting the Islamic State.

 U.S. should create an independent Kurdistan to encourage them to “fight like hell” against the Islamic State. Paul explicitly said, “I would go one step further: I would draw new lines for Kurdistan [in Iraq], and I would promise them a country.”

Muslim Brotherhood & Egypt

 Opposed U.S. military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt and tried to stop the sale of F-16s.

 Advocated the complete severing of U.S. aid to Egypt in response to the popularly-supported overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. He criticized the Obama Administration for not calling it a “coup,” which would require the stopping of aid. Paul described the new Egyptian government as a “military junta.”

Afghanistan

 In a 2011 op-ed, he criticized President Obama for not withdrawing from Afghanistan quickly enough. He said that combat troops should be removed by 2013, not 2014.

Syria

 Opposed U.S. support for Syrian rebels and favors neutrality in the Syrian civil war because “there is no clear U.S. national interest in Syria.”

 U.S. policy should be to pursue a negotiated settlement that involves the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad but retaining parts of the regime so Islamist rebels cannot threaten the Christian minority.

 Opposed potential U.S. airstrikes on the Syrian regime in retaliation for using chemical weapons.

Libya

 Opposed the U.S.-led military intervention in Libya that led to the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, saying that it created a safe haven for Islamist terrorists.

Saudi Arabia

 Wants Americans to boycott Saudi Arabia, but not the U.S. government. He said the country should be treated like apartheid South Africa.

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.

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Also see:

VA ISIS Suspect Linked to Islamist Clothing Shop; Jihadis in Iran

jihadist-shirts-IPBy Ryan Mauro:

A teenage supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS) has been arrested in Virginia for acting as a liaison between ISIS members in the Middle East and sympathizers outside the region, but research into the individual’s associations indicate he was part of a larger terrorist network.

He is described as a “brilliant kid” who was a freelance writer covering digital currencies, but he’s also linked to a jihadist clothing shop with a phone number in the northern Virginia area. This shop appears to be directly connected to a Balochi terrorist group in Iran.

The suspect is unnamed because he is 17-years old and a juvenile. The Clarion Project is likewise withholding his name. Authorities are hoping to try him as an adult.

The student maintained contact with ISIS members and is known to have arranged for another individual to join the terrorist group in Syria. No information about that individual has been disclosed, including whether he or she is an American.

Authorities also looked into another student at his school, Osbourn Park High School, but found he was only a “minor player.” No further details have been given about this second student.

Associates of the suspect described him as a loner who was “pretty quiet” and did not leave the house much. There is no evidence yet that he expressed his Islamist extremism to fellow students, friends or his work supervisor.

His LinkedIn page said he supports two Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups accused of also being tied to Hamas: The Council on American-Islamic Relations  and Islamic Relief Worldwide, which has an American branch headquartered in Virginia. He was specifically supportive of CAIR’s New York chapter whose leadership is exceptionally supportive of Hamas.

Both groups are banned by the Muslim country of the United Arab Emirates as terrorist entities. Israel banned Islamic Relief Worldwide last summer for allegedly financing Hamas.

The Virginia student was radicalized as early as August 2013. A piece he authored has been discovered that was written for an Islamist extremist clothing shop. It is unknown if he wore the attire to school but if he did then this could be another example of citizen negligence.

Affiliation with Islamist Clothing Shop

The article was written for a now-defunct website named Islamica Online that sells “Sharia-compliant” clothing for websites. The attire is militant in nature with slogans about jihad and images of AK-47s. Its multiple social media pages repeatedly and enthusiastically distributed his pieces.

A saved image of the website shows that it is based in South Africa but it has a contact number with an area code in the northern Virginia area. It also had a number for Europe/Middle East and Africa/Asia.

The suspect’s viewpoint was that Islam justifies slavery and it is a better alternative to execution or isolation:

“Upon careful analysis of slavery in Islam, one can clearly see that it is intended as a method of peacefully reintegrating former belligerents into a society. Instead of executing enemy forces, or their women and children, they are made as slaves and given human rights whereupon they will learn to except [sic] the Muslims who defeated them, and learn the kindness of Muslim culture and Islam.

“As a practical and beneficial alternative to long-lasting social and cultural strife, this practice immediately brings the conquered soldiers closer to the Muslims and eases any kind of animosity they once harbored. It is a method of getting these individuals ready for a new society, and providing them with the resources to succeed in preparation for integrating them into it, and eventually making them average citizens. This is a system far superior to simply executing captured enemy soldiers or allowing societal rifts to persist.”

ISIS openly engages in slavery but it also executes captives. The suspect is not opposed to executing enemies, but he feels slavery is a better alternative. This apparently was a negligible disagreement for the suspect.

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The Lessons

Islamica’s advertising emphasizes that you can be Sharia-compliant and sylish all at once. This is yet another example of how ISIS is presenting itself as the “cool” jihadists to reach the next generation. This arrest is a microcosm of a larger strategy.

This could also be a teaching moment for civilians. It is very possible that he wore this clothing to school and shared his articles on social media accounts. It has become a pattern to find that terrorists expressed their sympathies online and apparently no one says anything about it.

The very nature of radicalism makes it difficult for Islamist extremists to keep their mouths shut and their social media cleansed. If you’re so dedicated to something that you’re willing to die or go to jail for it, then it’ll be hard not to talk about it. In fact, radicals may feel an obligation to promote their beliefs as part of dawaah (Islam’s required proselytizing).

The Department of Homeland Security’s campaign for citizen awareness is “If you see something, say something.” The website’s explanation focuses on very vague actions that could indicate planning for an attack; not statements revealing dangerous intentions.

This student’s essay on the positive attributes of Islamic slavery or possible wearing of jihadist clothing with AK-47s would slip right under the radar. Even a declaration of support for ISIS wouldn’t necessarily qualify. It’s no surprise that Islamist radicalism often goes unreported when civilians have no idea what to look for and no idea what to say.

The third lesson is that we need to stop distinguishing between Islamist extremists. It is easy to dismiss one’s connection to a Balochi extremist group. It’s not Al-Qaeda. It’s not ISIS. And the Iranian Balochi are primary concerned with the Iranian regime and we’re preoccupied, so focus elsewhere.

This stems from seeing the common Islamist extremist bond between all these groups. It doesn’t much matter where the primary enemy is Iran because the jihadist is in Balochistan or Bashar Assad because the jihadist happens to reside in Syria or Israel because the jihadist lives in Gaza.

The threat is the ideology common to all of them. If you’re involved in a caliphate-promoting, jihad-preaching, anti-Western group like Ansar al-Furqan, it isn’t too far of a step to join a caliphate-promoting, jihad-preaching, anti-Western group like ISIS.

There is still much to learn about this Virginia student’s path to radicalization but it looks like Ansar al-Furqan formed the ideological foundation for him to join ISIS.

The State Department needs to recognize the interconnectedness of the Islamist terrorist threat and designate Ansar al-Furqan and its two component groups as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. And more importantly, we need a broader ideological strategy against Islamism instead of chasing its many manifestations independently.

Read more at Clarion Project

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Published on Mar 6, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Feds warn about American teens wanting to join ISIS. What law enforcement needs to look out for

Also see:

Prevention: A Role for Everyone

Radicalization and prevention is a community issue that will more and more involve social media and the need for users and responsible corporate partners to do their part. As we are seeing the police simply do not have the resources to do it all. If we had endless budgets and resources we could follow and monitor individuals around the clock but that isn’t realistic nor sustainable. If we tackle the issue from a medical model it will mean delivering prevention techniques to those individuals at risk earlier in order to prevent the scenes that we saw recently in Ottawa and Sydney. Everyone has a role in prevention and governments at all levels will need to do more to empower the community, religious organizations and parents to recognize what radicalization looks like and methods for preventing it. At a corporate level, with respect to terrorist’s use of social media, with corporations boasting record profits and share prices the argument that they are ill equipped to deal with the problem seems like a weak one to me. It’s time they start engaging with the experts and thinking out of the box on tackling the issues and doing their part.

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Good resources —>

Sleeper Cell Documentary: Radical Islamic Camps in America

Published on Feb 28, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

This Blaze TV episode of “For the Record” aired February 19, 2014 and is largely based on the research of Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project. It exposes the network of Muslims of the Americas, a branch of the Pakistani group Jamaat ul-Fuqra, across the U.S. It is headquartered at “Islamberg,” New York.

Read about Mauro’s identification of an ul-Fuqra jihadist enclave in Texas:

The discovery led a dozen North American Muslim groups and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to call on the State Department to list ul-Fuqra as a Foreign Terrorist Organization:

Death of Saudi King & Coup in Yemen: Signs in Iranian Prophecy

Foreground: Iranian Revolutionary Guards, banner in background: the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Foreground: Iranian Revolutionary Guards, banner in background: the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

By Ryan Mauro:

The coup in Yemen by Iranian proxies and the death of Saudi King Abdullah must be seen through the eyes of Iranian regime elements focused on the “end-of-times” prophecies. These huge developments are seen not only as strategic opportunities by the Iranian regime; they are seen as fulfillments of prophecy signaling the imminent appearance of the Mahdi to bring final victory over the enemies of Islam.

THE END-OF-TIMES WORLDVIEW

The Iranian regime’s view of the world is centered around the appearance of the Mahdi, also known as the Hidden 12th Imam in Shia Islam. It also explains its strategy in the context of prophecies surrounding the Mahdi’s arrival on the scene, including issues related to Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Former President Ahmadinejad famously displayed his belief that the Mahdi’s return is very near to the point that other regime elements derided him and his clique as “deviant” for believing that the Mahdi is directly guiding them.

Ahmadinejad was not doing this for domestic political reasons. If anything, it hurt him politically. He’s continued the rhetoric even after leaving the office. In April, he said the Iranian regime will “provide the setting for the Hidden Imam’s world revolution” and it’s the “prime goal” to facilitate the “beginnings of the emergence of the Hidden Imam.”

Supreme Leader Khamenei’s beliefs are not different. He likewise preaches that the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran is the fulfillment of prophecy to set the stage for the Mahdi to defeat Iran’s enemies.

Like Ahamdinejad, Khamenei believes Iran has a responsibility to consciously fulfill prophecy in order to trigger this event. His representative in the Revolutionary Guards said in June that Iran needs to shape the necessary “regional preparedness” for it to happen.

In July 2010, a senior Iranian cleric said that Khamenei told his inner circle that he had met with the Mahdi, who promised to “reappear” during his lifetime. A sermon by a top cleric in Qom and shown on state television claimed that Khamenei said “May Ali protect you” the second he was born.

The most vivid explanation of the end-of-times prophecy in the Iranian regime’s calculations came in 2011 when a terrifying videowas leaked titled, “The Coming is Upon Us.” It was obtained by Reza Kahlili, a former CIA spy within the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Iranian regime did not contest its authenticity.

The basis of the video was that the Iranian regime is fulfilling specific prophecies to trigger the appearance of the Hidden 12th Imam. Supreme Leader Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah are depicted as the incarnations of figures foretold in prophecy.

Kahlili said the production of the film was overseen by President Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff and it ends with a list of endorsements from clerics. A portion was shown on the regime-controlled media.

The blowback was fierce even from within the regime. A major seminary in Qom even condemned the comparison of Ahmadinejad to the military commander who will lead the final war. Significantly, it did not condemn the comparison of Khamenei to the political leader who will ally with the Mahdi known as “Seyed Khorasani.”

The regime tried to distance itself from the video, but the filmmakers said it was shown to Khamenei and Ahmadinejad for approval. They also pointed out that prominent clerics and Revolutionary Guards commanders call him “Seyed Khorasani” to his face. Khamenei’s representative in the Guards told a state newspaper on April 12, 2011 that ayatollahs agreed that Khamenei is Khorasani.

The Iranian regime’s foreign policy is based on a fusion of these strategic and ideological goals. It rationally pursues these extremist objectives. The mistake that many Western analysts make is conflating the two. The regime appears Soviet-like in its strategic calculations, but they are made for a highly ideological end.

DEATH OF SAUDI KING & COUP IN YEMEN

The full significance of the death of Saudi King Abdullah can only be understood through the Iranian prophetic framework.

Read more at Clarion Project

Egypt Warns of Muslim Brotherhood Organizations in U.S.

Egypt warns of Brotherhood groups like CAIR. Nihad Awad (C), Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Ibrahim Hooper (L), National Committee Director of CAIR during a press conference in Washington. Photo © Reuters

Egypt warns of Brotherhood groups like CAIR. Nihad Awad (C), Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Ibrahim Hooper (L), National Committee Director of CAIR during a press conference in Washington. Photo © Reuters

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Jan. 15, 2015:

An Egyptian government website features a warning that the Muslim Brotherhood has a lobby in the U.S. disguised as civil society organizations. The United Arab Emirates has made similar statements and the U.S. Justice Department has confirmed the existence of a Muslim Brotherhood branch in America.

The Egyptian government’s State Information Service has an entire section devoted to documenting the violence and terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is furious with the U.S. for its stance on the Brotherhood. President El-Sisi told the Washington Post in December 2013, then as Defense Minister, that the U.S. has turned its back on Egypt and is misunderstanding the Islamist group.

The documentation includes a timeline  of violence perpetrated by Brotherhood members since July 2014, a statement from the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood condemning the Brotherhood’s exploitation of children, and  many videos documenting the Brotherhood’s extremism and the justifications for overthrowing it and banning it.

Most importantly, the section prominently features an article about the Muslim Brotherhood operating in America and influencing U.S. policy through various fronts. It cites a study done by the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, a highly-respected organization in Cairo.

“She [Center executive director Dalia Zeyadah] warned that the MB has a network based in the US and operating through civil society organizations engaged in community service domains there. These organizations, she also warned, aim to spread the MB’s extremist ideologies in the US,” the Egyptian government website says.

The article from June 2014 states that the Brotherhood is moving to Turkey to set up the “nucleus of its European headquarters which would be operating under the cover of charity work to carry out terrorist acts across the region.”

The Cairo Post reported in February 2014 that the Ibn Khaldoun Center director Dalia Zeyadah “[asserted] that the Brotherhood are still trying to impact decisions of the White House, noting that campaigns against Brotherhood ‘terrorism’ must continue.”

The Egyptian government often talks about the International Muslim Brotherhood to emphasize that it is not just an Egyptian organization. In his interview with the Washington Post, El-Sisi said it operates in 60 countries and that Hamas is one of its branches. He warned that the group is “based on restoring the Islamic religious empire.”

The Clairon Project’s research into the Brotherhood sympathies of a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was covered in the Egyptian media in 2013, specifically by the Al-Nahartelevision network.

The U.S. government confirmed the existence of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood with a network a fronts under different names during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, one such trial.

The Justice Department’s list of unindicted co-conspirators in that trial includes a list a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities and members. The list includes the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The lattermost organization was listed as an entity of the U.S. Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, a sub-section set up to support Hamas.

The United Arab Emirates caused a stir recently when it banned the Brotherhood and some of its most powerful affiliates in the U.S. and Europe, including CAIR, the Muslim American Society and Islamic Relief.

The UAE justified its designation of the U.S-based groups as terrorist organizations despite the immense backlash. The Foreign Minister of the country said it was based on the group’s incitement and funding of terrorism.

Another UAE official said the objective is “putting a cordon around all subversive entities.” And UAE State Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash said the backlash was being orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood lobby in the West.

“The noise (by) some Western organizations over the UAE’s terrorism list originates in groups that are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and many of them work on incitement and creating an environment of extremism,” Gargash tweeted.

The U.S. Justice Department, countless terrorism experts and the governments of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed the existence of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The U.S. Brotherhood’s own documents are even publicly available.

Yet, those who point this out are ridiculed by these Islamist groups and their allies as bigoted “Islamophobes.” The accusation is even nonsensically made about Muslims who point this out.

The refusal of the U.S. government to recognize the toxic ideology of the Brotherhood is undermining America’s ability to have a frank discussion about the issue of Islamism.

Muslim governments are providing verifiable evidence about the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, but their warnings are ignored or rejected. Americans (Muslim and non-Muslim) who voice these same concerns are personally attacked.

Terms like Islamism and Political Islam are used regularly in the Muslm world and even on the Brotherhood’s own website, but the U.S. Brotherhood and its apologists say we can’t.  CAIR has waged a campaign to make the media stop using the “Islamist” term.

America is in the middle of a heated debate about the defining the threat. We should listen to our Muslim allies and let the facts speak for themselves, instead of letting Islamists and their apologists edit our vocabularies.

Ryan Mauro on O’Reilly Factor: 5 Islamist Groups in America

Published on Jan 15, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro talks to Bill O’Reilly about five Islamist radical groups in America: Muslims of the Americas; Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center; the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); Masjid at-Taqwa led by Siraj Wahhaj and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Ryan Mauro: 22 Islamist Enclaves in 9 States & Train to Fight

Published on Jan 11, 2015

Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro discusses the existence of 22 “Islamic villages” in nine states run by Muslims of the Americas, a group led by a radical cleric in Pakistan. Mauro shares footage of guerilla training at its “Islamberg” headquarters in New York.

Read about the identification of an enclave in Texas in 2014:
http://www.clarionproject.org/analysi…

A dozen North American Muslim groups have endorsed Clarion Project’s call to ban the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization:
http://www.clarionproject.org/news/mu…

Ryan Mauro: Radicalization Includes “Nazi-Like Anti-Semitism”

Published on Jan 10, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro discusses some of the common themes of jihadist radicalization, such as a Nazi-like anti-Semitism, the belief in Islam/Sharia as a governance system, a belief that Muslims cannot truly belong to the West, and the roles of close associates and mentors.

Ryan Mauro on Fox News: Al-Qaeda, ISIS in “Jihadist Olympics”

Published on Jan 9, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro appears on FOX News Channel to discuss the Paris attacks and British intelligence warnings about Al-Qaeda plans for attacks in the West.

Missing Plane Pilot Supporter of MB-Linked Politician

MH370 path

It is significant that the Malaysian pilot was a fervent supporter of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked politician, but questions still remain.

By Ryan Mauro:

The most popular theory now about the hijacking of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 is that it is retaliation by one of the pilots for the imprisonment of an opposition leader linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. There is increasing suspicion that he landed or sought to land the aircraft. This theory is certainly plausible, but there are multiple reasons for skepticism.

The most likely scenario is that whoever controlled the flight sought to strike a target. It is most probable that at least two operatives were involved because someone would need to handle the flight controls while the second pilot was neutralized. The pilots did not ask to fly together, making it less likely that both were involved. If a group was involved, it points in the direction of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and/or Jemaah Islamiyaa.

There is a near-consensus that one of the pilots was involved, with most attention being given to Zaharie Ahmad Shah. He had a flight simulator in his house and was an “obsessive” supporter of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. His family moved out of his house shortly before the disappearance of the plane.

Less is known about his co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid. He spoke the last communication to air traffic control about 30 minutes after the data recorder was disabled and 10 minutes after the transponder was shut down.  He planned to marry his girlfriend. He also invited young women to the cockpit and smoked cigarettes there.

photo of Shah wearing a shirt with the words, “Democracy is dead” is receiving due attention. He told friends that he was going to attend the March 7 trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who had been acquitted of sodomy charges in January 2012. The acquittal was overturned and the airliner flown by Shah disappeared only hours later.

Read more at Clarion Project with video

Missing Malaysian Flight 370 – Five Theories

cockpit

The latest information about the mysterious disappearance of Flight 370 and five scenarios, the most likely one being terrorism.

BY RYAN MAURO:

***

Now, the media has learned that the aircraft’s data reporting system was shut down at 1:07AM. The transponder was then turned off at 1:21AM. U.S. officials can only see “manual intervention” as the cause. It then flew four or five more hours. The only plausible explanation is that whoever controlled the cockpit did not want the flight to be monitored. A senior U.S. official says there is a “significant likelihood” it then crashed in the Indian Ocean, an area that was outside of the search zone until now.

If a mechanical failure is responsible, it will have to be one that no credible expert has theorized. The circumstances point very strongly in the direction of terrorism and more information is pointing in the direction of the groups we pinpointed earlier.

We now know from the court testimony of an Al-Qaeda terrorist named Sajjid Badat that Al-Qaeda previously planned to use a cell in Malaysia that included a pilot to hijack an airliner in December 2001. Badat even provided the shoe-bomb that would blast open the cockpit door. It is also known that Al-Qaeda held high-level meetings to plan the 9/11 attacks in Kuala Lumpur, where Flight 370 departed.

On February 19, the Department of Homeland Security told the aviation industry that it has credible but non-specific information about a shoe-bomb plot against an airliner. Anonymous officials say it was prompted by “very recent intelligence.”

On February 24, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIP), also known as the Turkestan Islamic Party, released a video of one of its clerics threatening attacks on Chinese Buddhists. The group is linkedto Al-Qaeda and wants China’s largely-Muslim Xinjiang Province to gain independence. The Turkic population there is called Uighurs.

On March 1, seven days before the Flight 370 disappearance, a vicious knife attack took place that killed 29 Chinese civilians. ETIP is almost certainly the culprit.

On March 3, China Airlines issued an alert about a “significant risk of terrorist attacks and military actions against aviation.”

On March 4, the China Airlines branch in Taiwan receives an anonymous phone call in French. He says he tried to call the Beijing airport but did not get through. The caller claims to be part of a counter-terrorism group but speaks in his native Chinese when he isn’t understood. He says that Beijing’s airport and subway system will soon come under attack.

On March 8, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappears. The majority of the passengers are Chinese.

On March 9, a previously-unknown group called the Chinese Martyrs’ Brigade claims credit. Although Islamist terrorist groups sometimes use different names, the statement includes no supporting details to lend it credibility. The separatists also do not usually refer to themselves as being Chinese.

On March 13, it was reported that a 35-year old Chinese Uighur passenger with flight simulation training is being looked into as a possible suspect.

It was also reported that several homes belonging to flight crew members were being searched, though one Malaysian official denies it. The family of the chief pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was reportedly interviewed. No public evidence points to Shah being an extremist at this stage.

The reported name of the Uighur is Maimaitijiang Abula. He is from Kashgar in Xinjiang Province, a town near the borders of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. An online resume states he was an assistant professor at a university in Turkey. From 2004-2005, he was a researcher for a training and simulation center in Sweden. One report says he received flight simulation training there.

Read more at Clarion Project including the FIVE THEORIES for possible scenarios