Betting National Security on a Theory

IPT News
February 24, 2015

1137The debate over whether it’s a good idea to use phrases like “Islamic extremism” in fighting global terrorism took center stage last week as the White House hosted a summit to discuss what it generically calls “violent extremism.”

In a speech last Thursday at the summit, President Obama explained his rationale for eschewing references to terrorist groups’ Islamist ideology.

“Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy,” he said. “They try to portray themselves as religious leaders — holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the ‘Islamic State.’ And they propagate the notion that America — and the West, generally — is at war with Islam. That’s how they recruit. That’s how they try to radicalize young people. We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders — they’re terrorists.”

So accurately describing their ideology, or calling the terrorists “jihadists” grants them undo legitimacy as true representatives of the faith, the argument goes. The current policy aims to deny them that mantle.

That’s a theory. But there’s a key question no one seems to be asking: Does it work?

This is a continuation of a policy instituted during President George W. Bush’s second term, meaning it has been in place for more than seven years. If it is indeed the right, best policy, advocates should be able to point to tangible evidence to show its value.

Arguably, the Islamist ideology has never been more popular, given the flood of foreign fighters making their way to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, or Boko Haram’s endless reign of terror in Nigeria. Hamas still enjoys strong support despite following policies which bring devastation to the people of Gaza.

And there is no mistaking the religious motivation driving these groups. Hamas is an acronym for the “Islamic Resistance Movement.” Boko Haram translates roughly to “Western education is sinful.” And the Islamic State has a whiff of religious affinity.

The Atlantic this month devoted 10,000 words to explaining the core Quranic ideology, with an emphasis on an apocalyptic prophecy, which drives the Islamic State’s brutality. It “follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior,” Graeme Wood explains.

That’s more challenging when that belief system is deliberately kept out of deliberations.

Jeffrey Bale, an associate professor who studies political and religious extremism at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program, called the continued emphasis on avoiding references to Islamic doctrine by Western leaders and pundits “absurd.”

The policy has “not had any discernably positive impact on dealing with the threats that such groups pose,” he said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “On the contrary. The simple fact is that it is the Islamists, not Muslim moderates, who are winning the struggle for ideological hegemony throughout much of the Muslim world, and that Obama’s efforts to positively ‘re-set’ relations with the Islamic world have completely failed … In short, there is no evidence that this constant pandering to Islamist activists, these embarrassing efforts to whitewash Islamic history and doctrines, and the foolish insistence that jihadist groups have ‘nothing to do with Islam’ have had any beneficial effects. They have mainly served to confuse Western citizens about the extent and nature of the Islamist threat.”

Maajid Nawaz, a former radical who now tries to combat the narrative which fuels Islamist terrorism, argues the avoidance policy could be making things worse for everyone, including Muslims. In recent social media and television appearances, Nawaz, a co-founder of the London-based Quilliam Institute, calls it the “Voldemort Effect.”

Islam is a religion, he writes. Islamism is the attempt to make the laws of the religion supreme over a society. That’s the ideology that must be defeated, but that “cannot happen if you refuse to recognise it exists,” he wrote in a social media post addressed to Obama that he signed “a constantly betrayed liberal Muslim.”

If we dare not say its name, in other words, it can become more frightening to its foes and more alluring to prospective recruits.

In a recent appearance on Fox News, Nawaz expressed concern that this self-censorship actually makes life more difficult for the overwhelming majority of Muslims who reject terrorist brutality displayed by the Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Qaida and others.

Non-Muslims in the West “they’re just petrified,” he said, “and that can lead to even more anti-Muslim hate crime. Because if they are unable to pinpoint specifically that we’re dealing with the Islamist ideology, in their ignorance they blame all Muslims. And of course then all Muslims face a backlash. So I think it’s better if we wish to protect mainstream Muslims from anti-Muslim hate crime to name the very specific ideology that we’re talking about, which is Islamism, and distinguish that from Islam the faith.

Nawaz is offering a theory, just like the people who advocate the policy embraced by the Obama administration. There’s a key distinction, however. As he describes in his autobiography, Nawaz helped recruit followers to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group which dreams of a global caliphate and has been called a “conveyor belt” for jihadist terror. He knows which messages worked and which did not.

Some American Islamists showed last week that the Obama message is not working. They have criticized the White House summit as hostile toward Muslims despite the verbal contortions invoked to avoid that very reaction.

If we’re going to focus on extremist violence, they argue, the bigger threat to America is from right-wing, anti-government movements. It turns out the Department of Homeland Security is concerned about violence from “sovereign citizen” movements who believe they are exempt from state and federal laws.

But it would be wrong to talk about that, Linda Sarsour and Deepa Iyak wrote Feb. 17 in The Guardian.

“One thing is clear: the federal government’s one-note approach to countering violent extremism fosters distrust and hostility towards Muslim communities while disregarding threats to Americans’ safety from racist hate groups in the country.”

There is a key distinction, however. For the most part, sovereign citizen attacks are smaller scale, often erupting in what should be routine encounters with law enforcement officers. CNN cites a 2012 example involving a Louisiana traffic stop that led to a shootout between police and a father and his son.

What Islamist terrorists want, what they urge followers to carry out, are mass casualty attacks that can target specific groups deemed to have offended Islam or simply any place where many people gather.

The United States has rigidly followed a policy, going at times to uncomfortable lengths, to avoid putting a religious label on terrorism clearly driven by a rabid adherence to centuries-old Islamic theology. The uninterrupted flow of new recruits to the Islamic State indicates that the policy has not had the desired effect.

“American policymakers do not yet understand Islamism or what persuades young Muslims to join Jihad: sincere religious devotion based on the core texts of Islam, in particular early Islam’s politicized and aggressive period in Medina (compared to Islam’s spiritual and ascetic period in Mecca),” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim, writesin Time magazine.

“How does one tackle misguided religious devotion of young Muslims? The answer lies in reforming Islam profoundly—not radical Islam, but mainstream Islam; its willingness to merge Mosque and State, religion, and politics; and its insistence that its elaborate system of Shariah law supersedes civil laws created by human legislators.”

For the West, the sanitized language and tap-dancing around the issue makes it impossible to fully understand the enemy’s motivation, writes Robert R. Reilly, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

“You cannot go into a war of ideas without understanding the ideas you are at war with. Yet, throughout the two speeches, [Obama] never mentions the substance of the enemy’s ideas once,” Reilly writes. “…This is like saying, in World War II, that we were fighting the Nazi ideology, but never mentioning the thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Rosenberg or Adolph Hitler. Or, during the Cold War, saying we are fighting the ideology of Communism, but never mentioning the ideas of Karl Marx, Lenin, or Stalin.”

Rather than continuing to do the same thing and hope for a better outcome, perhaps it is time to listen to the Muslim reformers asking for a more honest, tough love approach. Terrorists are committing acts of barbarism daily in the name of Islam. That doesn’t mean all, or even most, Muslim see the same commands in their faith.

It might delegitimize terrorists more to emphasize how most of their victims are fellow Muslims, and to clearly draw the lines between the terrorists and the hundreds of millions of Muslims who reject their savagery.

It’s a theory, anyhow.

NYT Profiles ‘Counter Extremists’ Who Are Actually Extremists

Facebook/Imam Mohamed Hag Magid

Facebook/Imam Mohamed Hag Magid

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Feb. 21, 2015:

A New York Times piece on Thursday prominently featured two imams with a long history of radicalism as profiles in courage who lead the movement to “counter violent extremism.”

In a piece titled “U.S. Muslims Take On ISIS’ Recruiting Machine,” The New York Times author Laurie Goodstein writes:

“Imam Mohamed Magid tries to stay in regular contact with the teenager who came to him a few months ago, at his family’s urging, to discuss how he was being wooed by online recruiters working for the Islamic State, the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

But the imam, a scholar bursting with charm and authority, has struggled to compete. Though he has successfully intervened in the cases of five other young men, persuading them to abandon plans to fight overseas, the Islamic State’s recruiting efforts have become even more disturbing, he said, and nonstop.

The problem with profiling the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) imam as a counterweight to the Islamic State, quite simply, is that Magid himself has deep ties to radicalism.

In 2002, federal officials raided ADAMS in an initiative called “Operation Green Quest,” where the mosque was suspected of supporting terrorist operations. Federal documents revealed that officials believed ADAMS was “suspected of providing support to terrorists, money laundering, and tax evasion.”

Magid is also the former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was established by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terror group that goes by the motto “Allah is our objective, the Koran is the constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, death for the sake of Allah is our wish.” In the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial, a federal judge found that “the [U.S.] government has produced ample evidence to establish” the association of ISNA “with Hamas,” the Palestinian terror group that rules the Gaza Strip.

Suhaib Webb, the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston, was also profiled as a trusted leader in the counter-extremism movement.

The New York Times piece reads:

“ISIS says: ‘Come here. We’ve got ripped warriors,’” said Imam Suhaib Webb, a popular Muslim leader who moved from Boston to the Washington area last month. “It’s a very simplistic response, but it’s somewhat effective.”

He said that in more than 15 years as an imam, he had encountered only five Muslims considering whether they should join violent militant groups, and that none of them had actually left the United States to fight. “They were all males,” said Imam Webb, and “they all had daddy issues.” He added, “They were not really drawn to this on theological grounds.”

Just two days before the September 11, 2001, attacks against America, Suhaib Webb infamously attended a fundraiser to solicit donations for the defense fund of a man who killed two police officers. It gets worse, though. Webb spoke at the fundraiser alongside al-Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki. The al-Qaeda cleric would eventually meet the business-end of a U.S. Hellfire missile in 2011 while he was conducting terror operations in Yemen.

FBI documents found that Webb and Awlaki were closely associated through the Muslim American Society, which many believe to be an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.

Webb also served as imam of the sister organization of the mosque attended by Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Before coming to Boston, Webb was the imam of the Islamic Society of Oklahoma City, which was home to Alton Nolen, the man who beheaded an innocent Oklahoma woman in September.

Twelve of Webb’s Islamic Society of Boston members “have either been killed, imprisoned, or declared fugitives due to their involvement in terrorist activity,” according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance.

“The fact that The New York Times chooses men like Magid and Webb to highlight as the best that ‘countering violent extremism’ has to offer shows how bankrupt the concept is. With their ties to Muslim Brotherhood organizations, Magid and Webb know more about radicalizing youth than they do de-radicalizing,” Kyle Shideler, director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, told Breitbart News.

Also see:

Muslim Leader Who Called Israel a ‘Suspect’ After 9/11 Meets with Biden at White House

Vice President Joe Biden at the White House's Countering Violent Extremism summit / AP

Vice President Joe Biden at the White House’s Countering Violent Extremism summit / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 18, 2015:

A controversial U.S. Muslim leader who has been highly critical of Israel and said that the Jewish state should be on the “suspect list” in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks participated on Tuesday in a White House summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) that featured Vice President Joe Biden.

Salam Al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), tweeted out a photo of himself at the White House with Biden and bragged, “We joined VP @JoeBiden for a discussion at the @WhiteHouse #CVESummit which kicked off today.”

Al-Marayati has been viewed as a controversial figure due to past statements characterized by his critics as anti-Israel and soft on terrorism.

The White House CVE Summit, a three-day forum focused on countering radical extremism, comes in the wake of multiple anti-Semitic attacks across the globe and pressure for an increased military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) released a detailed fact sheet that contained scores of controversial statements attributed to al-Marayati.

One of his more controversial proclamations came in the wake of 9/11, when al-Marayati pointed a finger at Israel.

“If we’re going to look at suspects [for 9/11], we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies,” he said in a radio interview shortly after the attacks in 2001, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Al-Marayati also caused controversy in 2012, when he was selected by the Obama administration to represent the United States government at a human rights conference sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Despite his past rhetoric, the State Department defended the selection of al-Marayati when contacted by the Free Beacon at the time.

Al-Marayati also has accused Israel of using the Holocaust to justify its security measures against the Palestinians.

“We’re against Holocaust denial, but we’re also against people who exploit that as a way of shoving this kind of war propaganda and dehumanization of the Arab peoples and the Muslim peoples as if they have to pay the price for what Nazi Germany did to the Jews back in the 20th century,” he said in a 2006 radio interview cited by the IPT in its fact sheet.

Following the deadly 2001 attack on a pizza shop in Jerusalem that killed 15 Israelis and wounded many others, al-Marayati’s MPAC group released a statement claiming that the act of terrorism was “the expected bitter result of the reckless policy of Israeli assassination that did not spare children and political figures.”

In 2012, he accused the United States of doing “dirty work” on Israel’s behalf, according to IPT.

“The other point here, which is very important historically, the United States has done a lot of dirty work that has served the interests of Israel,” al-Marayati said during a debate on the Russian-government controlled RT. “It destroyed Iraq. It supported the destruction and crippling of Egypt. It has crippled the Gulf.

“And now, it is looking to Iran as the next target for crippling and destroying,” he continued. “I think this is madness. Who is driving our foreign policy? President Obama or Prime Minister Netanyahu?”

He also has described attacks by the U.S.-designated terror group Hezbollah as a form of legitimate resistance.

“If the Lebanese people are resisting Israeli intransigence on Lebanese soil, then that is the right of resistance and they have the right to target Israeli soldiers in this conflict,” al-Marayati said during a 1999 interview on PBS. “That is not terrorism. That is a legitimate resistance.”

“That could be called liberation movement [sic], that could be called anything, but it’s not terrorism,” he added.

Al-Marayati’s group, MPAC, has been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for spreading blood libels about Israel harvesting the organs of Palestinians, according to past statements.

Spokesmen for the White House’s National Security Council (NSC) did not immediately respond to requests for comment on al-Marayati and why he was included in the CVE Summit.

“Al-Marayati’s presence at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit tells us everything we need to know about the failure of the Obama Administration to devise an effective counter-terrorism strategy,” said Kyle Shideler, director of The Threat Information Office (TIO) at the Center for Security Policy “Here’s a man who just days after 9/11 said we ought to be investigating whether the attack was carried out by Israel, and has a history of apologizing for terror.”

“If this is the kind of outreach partner that President Obama believes cities nationwide should be seeking out, then we’re better off not doing outreach at all, and returning to good old fashion police and intelligence work,” Shideler said.

When contacted for comment about MPAC’s participation in the summit, al-Marayati dismissed his critics and said they are harping on statements from more than a decade ago.

“That was 15 years ago,” he said by email. “Our [MPAC’s] track record is strong on anti terrorism. I work with local Jewish leaders including Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It’s time to move on and work together to counter ISIS.”

Al-Marayati and MPAC were asked to participate in the summit due to its work with a CVE initiative called Safe Spaces, “which has been lauded by local law enforcement in LA,” he said.

“LAPD first told me and asked that I attend because of the local work in LA,” he said. “I’m also working on preventing young people from becoming foreign fighters on a task force with the Homeland Security Advisory Council.”

Other al-Marayati critics, such as Patrick Poole, a national security reporter and terrorism expert, said that his presence at the summit “speaks to how much of a farce” it is.

“This is exactly why he [al-Marayati] was thrown off the Gore Terrorism Commission back in the late 1990s,” Poole said. “It speaks to how much a farce this White House summit is that in the face of an escalating global jihadist threat they rehabilitate a character like Marayati.”

Report: Anti-ISIS Propaganda Head Tied to Muslim Brotherhood

AP748496654624-640x480Breitbart, by EDWIN MORA, 17 Feb 2015:

The Obama administration is revamping its efforts to combat Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) propaganda. ISIS and its supporters produce “as many as 90,000 tweets and other social media responses every day,” reports The New York Times.

An empowered Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, currently a small component of the U.S. State Department, will spearhead the new campaign to fight the ISIS propaganda machine.

Rashad Hussain, a Muslim American with close ties to the White House, will replace Alberto Fernandez, the center’s director, according to The Times.

Hussain, who has reportedly participated in events linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, currently serves as Obama’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. He will take over when Fernandez retires in April.

“Hussain, a devout Muslim, has a history of participating in events connected with the Muslim Brotherhood,” reported Cal Thomas in an article published by Townhall.

Citing Egypt’s Rose El-Youssef magazine, The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported that Hussain “maintained close ties with people and groups that [the magazine] says comprise the Muslim Brotherhood network in America.”

Some critics describe Hussain as a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer. He is not a confirmed member of the group.

An added component called the Information Coordination Cell will be part of the newly revamped center.

It will be “staffed by intelligence and Pentagon analysts among others” and “will be responsible for the broader coordination functions.”

“Skeptics of the new [anti-propaganda] campaign voiced concerns that the program is an attempt by the White House to end a long-simmering turf war with the counterterrorism center’s director, Alberto Fernandez, and exercise more control over the kinds of messages that are produced and coordinated with domestic and international partners,” notes The Times.

“Other officials questioned whether even a newly empowered center at the State Department would be up to the task. Operating the center on a shoestring budget of about $5 million a year, Mr. Fernandez, a respected Middle East specialist and career Foreign Service officer, and his supporters have long complained that neither the State Department nor the White House fully supported or properly financed the center’s activities,” the article adds.

The Obama administration plans “to harness all the existing attempts at counter-messaging by much larger federal departments, including the Pentagon, Homeland Security and intelligence agencies,” explains The Times.

The Times added:

The center would also coordinate and amplify similar messaging by foreign allies and nongovernment agencies, as well as by prominent Muslim academics, community leaders and religious scholars who oppose the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, and who may have more credibility with ISIS’ target audience of young men and women than the American government.

About 80 people will staff the newly-empowered center.

“We’re getting beaten on volume, so the only way to compete is by aggregating, curating and amplifying existing content,” Richard A. Stengel, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, said on Monday, NYT reports.

He admitted that anti-ISIS propaganda efforts by the Obama administration “could have been better coordinated,” adds the article.

In its arsenal, the U.S. government has “more than 350 State Department Twitter accounts, combining embassies, consulates, media hubs, bureaus and individuals, as well as similar accounts operated by the Pentagon, the Homeland Security Department and foreign allies,” points out The Times.

The report points out that the details of the campaign are still in the works, but Obama officials are expected to reveal “broad outlines” of the effort during a summit sponsored by the White House.

Starting on Tuesday, the White House is hosting a three-day summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” to “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.”

The White House did not mention “Islamic extremism” in announcing the event. It has not fully revealed who will participate in the summit.

Hussain’s attendance to Muslim Brotherhood-linked events was defended by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross in an article that appeared in The Long War Journal.

Also see:

Countering Violent Deception Campaign

APT_WashTimes_FPOn February 10, 2015, Americans for Peace and Tolerance launched its “Countering Violent Deception” campaign with a full page ad and an opinion column in the Washington Times. The campaign’s purpose is to draw attention to concerns about the Obama administration’s “Countering Violent Extremism” initiative, announced in 2011 and fast tracked after the Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Casher kosher supermarket.  The White House’s announcement of a conference on “Countering Violent Extremism,” to take place on February 18th, names Boston as one of the pilot cities where law enforcement officials have developed partnerships with Muslim community leaders. Unfortunately, to counter “violent extremism,” Federal agencies in Boston are working with the Islamic Society of Boston and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, which both have links to many extremists who are either in jail, in flight from federal authorities, or have been killed during terrorist attacks. Indeed, as APT research has shown, both the ISB and the MAS are Muslim Brotherhood entities that indoctrinate their followers with radical Islamist ideology. Far from being a model, Boston should serve as a cautionary tale – about deception and denial.  To counter today’s “violent extremism” we need to deal with the root cause – the spread of Islamist ideology.  At the same time, instead of the administration’s extremist partners, we must embrace the true moderate Muslims who can defend America by proactively countering the radicalizing doctrines that reach into their communities.

wati article image

Washington Times Column: Countering Violent Deception

By Charles Jacobs and Ilya Feoktistov – – Tuesday, February 10, 2015

President Obama’s project to “combat violent extremism,” to be showcased in a Washington “summit” on Feb. 18, cites Boston as one of three model cities that can lead the way.

That will be a problem: The central Muslim institution that Boston law enforcement agencies are partnering with against extremism is itself extremist.

The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, seen as the go-to groups for civic and law enforcement partnerships, have links to many extremists who are either in jail, in flight from federal authorities, or have been killed during terrorist attacks.

In Boston, deception and self-deception have ruled: The first Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge was founded in 1982 by Abdulrahman Alamoudi, a man who convinced both Presidents Bush and Clinton that he was a moderate, but who turned out to be a Muslim Brotherhood operative. He is now serving a 23-year prison term for raising money for al Qaeda.

For decades, ISB radicals have cultivated Muslim students from Boston’s schools and campuses. Some became notorious jihadis. Aafia Siddiqui, a highly regarded ISB congregant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, raised money for al Qaeda at Boston mosques and, as “Lady al Qaeda,” became the most wanted woman in the world. Arrested in 2009 in Afghanistan with plans for a mass casualty attack on New York City, she opened fire on FBI agents and is now serving 86 years in prison for attempted murder.

Starting in 2000, with millions of Saudi dollars, the Islamic Society of Boston built its second mosque in Roxbury, the largest mosque on the Eastern Seaboard. When it emerged that Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was a founding trustee, the ISB told Boston officials that his name on their documents was “a clerical error.”

When informed that federal authorities labeled the Muslim American Society “an overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Boston officials again turned a blind eye. Qaradawi calls for the genocide of Jews and the murder of homosexuals. Interpol has a warrant for his arrest on charges of incitement to murder.

Meanwhile, several Boston Muslim youths, inculcated with the theology of jihadism, have acted upon their convictions. Tarek Mehanna, an Islamic Society of Boston congregant who planned a machine-gun jihad attack on a mall in Attleboro, Massachusetts, was convicted in 2011 of providing material support to al Qaeda and is now serving 17 years in federal prison. Ahmad Abousamra, indicted with Mehanna, fled to Syria in 2006 where he resurfaced as an Islamic State “social media guru.” Islamic Society of Boston congregant Rezwan Ferdaus, arrested in 2011 for planning to send remote-controlled airplane bombs into the U.S. Capitol, pleaded guilty and is serving 17 years in federal prison.

Several Islamic Society of Boston-Muslim American Society leaders themselves turned out to have been jihad supporters. Oussama Ziade, a major ISB donor indicted in 2009 for dealing with terrorist funds, is a fugitive living in Lebanon. According to The Times of India, Hafiz Masood, a Muslim American Society religious leader deported for immigration offenses, raised money and recruited people in Boston for his brother’s terrorist group, which committed the Mumbai massacre. Now in Pakistan, he is the terror group’s director of communications.

Then there are the Boston Marathon bombers. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, caught on surveillance tape placing a bomb, changed his persona, according to his ex-girlfriend, after joining the ISB: “One minute he was a normal guy, the next minute he is watching these crazy Muslim videos.” His brother Dzhokhar, who occasionally attended the Islamic Society of Boston, allegedly helped place and detonate the bombs that killed four and injured 264.

Some leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston-Muslim American Society, who are meant to partner with Boston law enforcement in Mr. Obama’s program, have defended Siddiqui, Mehanna and Masood as victims of a supposed American war on Muslims. All along, the Islamic Society of Boston has hosted speakers and programs that preach Islamic supremacism and hatred. The recently resigned Imam Suhaib Webb, who for years ran the Roxbury mosque, promotes a national program, called “Young Muslims of the Islamic Circle of North America,” which educates American Muslim youth in classical and modern jihad ideology.

Islamic Society of Boston leaders work with senior levels of Massachusetts law enforcement in order to advance their own agenda. In 2010, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office publicly accepted a $50,000 grant from ISB Imam Abdullah Faaruuq to establish Muslim “sensitivity training” for the police. Under the program’s guidelines, law enforcement officers are barred from studying radical Islamist ideology as a motive for the violent extremism that the president’s program is supposed to counter. Imam Faaruuq was later found on tape urging Boston Muslims to “pick up the gun and the sword to defend Aafia “Lady al Qaeda” Siddiqui, who was then on trial.

Far from being a model, Boston should serve as a cautionary tale — about deception and denial. To counter today’s “violent extremism” we need to deal with the root cause — the spread of Islamist ideology. Those who promote and enable Islamist ideology should not be able to do so in secret. How many more Muslim children will be poisoned and turned into terrorists, and how may American lives will be lost before we demand to know what is being taught in America’s Islamic communities and who is doing the teaching? We must embrace the true moderate Muslims who can defend America by proactively countering the radicalizing doctrines that reach into their communities.

Charles Jacobs is president and Ilya Feoktistov is research director of Americans For Peace and Tolerance.

“Call it Jihad: ‘Terrorism’ Just Doesn’t Define This Threat”

2423016604CSP, By Clare Lopez, Oct. 28, 2014:

2014’s spate of Islamic terror attacks against Western targets leaves observers grasping for words to describe what’s happening. President Obama doesn’t want to deal with it at all, so after a Muslim convert beheaded a woman in Oklahoma, he thought it appropriate to send the beheader’s mosque (the Islamic Center of Greater Oklahoma City) warm greetings about “shared peace” and “a sense of justice.” (The occasion was the Muslim feast of Eid Ul-Adh, but the timing was awful.) U.S. national security agencies are no help either—under the tutelage of the Muslim Brotherhood, they were purged long ago of any vocabulary useful for dealing with jihad. “Lone wolf” gets a lot of play with the media, but as Michael Ledeen, Andrew McCarthy, and Patrick Poole (here, here, and here) have all pointed out, there’s nothing ‘lone’ about Muslim warriors, self-selected or otherwise, engaging in fard ‘ayn (individual jihad) in obedience to the doctrine of their shared faith.

Nor are these attacks simply “terrorism” in any way that is uniquely descriptive. As Ledeen noted, the Unabomber was a domestic terrorist. The FBI calls the ELF (Earth Liberation Front) terrorist. The Black Liberation Army was accused of murdering more than a dozen police officers in its day. But none of these operates today in obedience to a 1400-year-old ideology that claims a divine commandment to conquer the earth. Nor is any of these other ‘domestic terrorists’ the 21st century embodiment of a force that already has overrun many powerful civilizations, including the Buddhist, Byzantine, Middle East Christian, Hindu, and Persian ones.

It’s time to call this what it is: Jihad.

Jihad is a unique descriptor: it is motivated solely by one ideology—an Islamic one. It encompasses any and all tactics of war, be they the kinetic violence of terrorism, the stealthy influence operations of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian intelligence agencies, or funding, speaking, teaching, and writing. Importantly, the term ‘jihad’ is the one used by its own practitioners—the clerics, scholars, and warriors of Islam. Arguably the most valid qualification of all is that Islamic Law (shariah) defines jihad as “warfare to spread the religion [Islam].” Warfare encompasses many things, though, and not all of them are violent.

Katharine Gorka, President of The Council on Global Security, has an astute new essay entitled “The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy” in which she skewers the Obama administration’s misguided policy it calls “Countering Violent Extremism.” She explains how America’s counter-terrorism ‘experts’ have tried haplessly to apply Social Movement Theory to what actually is a totalitarian ideology cloaked loosely in a handful of religious practices. A decade or more of attempting to apply the language of grievance, poverty, and unemployment laid at the door of Western colonialism or secular modernity has achieved little but the neutering of America’s national security defenses. Yet, even this dead-on analysis doesn’t quite get us where we need to be.

Just as Obama’s bland “violent extremism,” deliberately devoid of meaning identifies neither the enemy nor the ideology that animates him, so in its way, ‘terrorism” likewise falls short. For if “terrorist” can and does mean anyone from a nut job like Ted Kaczynsky to assorted tree huggers, neo-Nazi skinheads, as well as Islamic warriors committing atrocities in the name of Allah, then its scope is just too broad to define precisely the paramount threat to global stability in the 21stcentury: jihad.

The magnitude of the jihad threat demands its own category. Neither Kaczynsky nor animal and environmental activists nor neo-Nazis could threaten the very existence of our Republic. Certain 20th century totalitarian ideologies arguably did, though, and that’s why the U.S. marshaled every resource at its disposal to fight them to defeat. Islamic totalitarianism is such an ideology, albeit one that has survived cyclical periods of defeat and resurgence for many centuries. We constrain ourselves both conceptually and legally, however, when the only way to label an act of violence ‘terrorism’ is when it is carried out against civilians for a political purpose and the perpetrator(s) can be tied to a designated terrorist organization, with no consideration for the ideology that so many of them—and others not on such lists—share.

Islamic terror attacks of recent decades typically involved identifiable Islamic terror groups such as al-Qa’eda, Ansar al-Shariah, HAMAS, Hizballah, and the PLO, but were often funded and supported by jihadist nation states such as Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. As Katharine Gorka described in her white paper, though, the Obama administration’s willfully amorphous term, “violent extremism,” ensured that no enemy threat doctrine called ‘jihad’ that unifies these diverse yet similarly-motivated actors and that actually may threaten the Republic, was ever permitted to be articulated—or confronted.

Now, after the overwhelming post-9/11 Western retaliatory offensives, both al-Qa’eda and more recently, the Islamic State, increasingly have called for acts of ‘individual jihad’ (fard ‘ayn, according to Islamic doctrine). Such attacks by Islamic true believers against armed service members, civilians, and law enforcement officers as well as ordinary citizens duly are proliferating across the West, but the U.S. national security establishment grasps for any term—lone wolf, violent extremist, workplace violence—to avoid saying either ‘terrorism’ or ‘jihadist.’ Granted, as Daniel Pipes noted in his 24 October 2014 essay, “Terrorism Defies Definition,” there are legal consequences under the U.S. Legal Code for “formally certifying an act of violence as terrorist.” But as we see, it’s more than that – and it’s why we need to use “jihad” more often and “terrorism” less.

To properly identify individual jihad attacks is to acknowledge that there is an established ideology behind them that derives its inspiration from Islamic doctrine, law, and scripture. To acknowledge that would mean the threat actually is existential, at a minimum in its objective: universal conquest and enforcement of shariah. Until and unless the entire American citizenry, federal bureaucracy, Intelligence Community, law enforcement, and the U.S. military understand that failing to acknowledge, confront, and defeat the forces of Islamic jihad and shariah indeed do endanger the very existence of our Republic as we know it, and mobilize to meet this challenge, the inexorable advance of shariah will continue. As Pipes notes with some understatement, the current “lack of clarity presents a significant public policy challenge.

The term “terrorism” will continue to provide useful applications in security categories and lists. But it is much too inclusive and yet restrictive to offer a precise definition of the Islamic threat. The forces of Islamic jihad and shariah are mounting a whole of civilization assault against liberal, modern, representative, secular civil society. Nation states, sub-national terror organizations, transnational alliances, academics and scholars, media conglomerates, networks of mosques and Islamic Centers, so-called ‘charitable foundations’ and their donors, battlefield fighters, and too many individual Muslims are united in a jihad that is not only violent but insidious, inexorable, and sophisticated. Unless we learn to resist in the same way—a whole of civilization way—that list of subjugated civilizations may yet include one more: ours.

Boko Haram and the Failure of Obama’s Counter-terrorism Strategy

hillary_obama_glare_reuters Breitbart, By Katie Gorka, May 10, 2014:

During Hillary Clinton’s tenure, the State Department failed to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization, in spite of the fact that Boko Haram had become second only to the Taliban as the deadliest terrorist organization. Clinton will rightly have to bear blame for that, but the lack of a designation also reflects the much deeper problem of the Obama administration’s overall approach to Islamic extremism. It is an approach that has led to bad policies, not only with regard to Boko Haram, but also to Iran, the Syrian rebels, Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Benghazi.

The heart of the problem is that President Barack Obama and many of his top counter-terrorism advisers see Islamic extremism from the leftist perspective of social movement theory. Originating in the socialist labor movements of the 1800s and revived with the protest movements of the 1960s, social movement theory seeks to understand collective action. Academics concerned with what they saw as the relationship between “cultural imperialism” and “Islamic movements” began looking at Islamist extremism through the lens of social movement theory around 1984. It might have remained an obscure academic pursuit but for the fact that Obama elevated one of its principle proponents, Quintan Wiktorowicz, to the position of Senior Director for Global Engagement at the National Security Staff, where he became an architect of Obama’s counter-extremism strategy.

The singular impact of Wiktorowicz was to shift the focus away from the ideology driving Islamic extremism and to recast it as “Islamic activism.” He argued that Islamist violence is not a function of the call to jihad found in the Qu‘ran or in various contemporary fatwas, but is rather a calculated and rational response to state oppression:

In contrast to popular views of Islamic radicals as fanatics engaged in irrational, deviant, unpredictable violence, we argue that violent contention is the result of tactical considerations informed by the realities of repressive contexts. Islamists engage in a rational calculus about tactical efficacy and choose modes of contention they believe will facilitate objectives or protect their organizational and political gains. Violence is only one of myriad possibilities in repertoires of contention and becomes more likely where regimes attempt to crush Islamic activism through broad repressive measures that leave few alternatives. …From this perspective, violent Islamist contention is produced not by ideational factors or unstable psychological mentalities but rather by exogenous contingencies created through state policy concerning Islamists.

Thus, terrorism becomes “a mode of contention,” and terrorists are not to blame for their violence; “exogenous contingencies” are at fault. Sources in the Koran, Islamic jurisprudence, or even contemporary calls to jihad are not to blame; state policy is. Dr. Mohammed M. Hafez, an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School who also influenced U.S. policy, echoes this perspective in his book Why Muslims Rebel:

Muslims rebel because of an ill-fated combination of institutional exclusion, on the one hand, and on the other, reactive and indiscriminate repression that threatens the organizational resources and personal lives of Islamists. Exclusionary and repressive political environments force Islamists to undergo a near universal process of radicalization.

Radical Islamists, therefore, bear no personal responsibility for their acts of terrorism or disruption. Rather, they are forced by a political environment that excludes or represses them to undergo an inevitable process of radicalization.

For the Obama administration, Islamist extremism (except for Al Qaeda) is not a categorical evil which stands opposed to America’s good; it is, rather, an extreme expression—among a range of expressions—of protest against legitimate grievances. Islamic radicals such as Boko Haram are not responsible for their actions; they are forced to radicalism by their circumstances. And it definitely has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, not even a distorted version of Islam.

On the very day that the U.S. announced the designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that “Boko Haram’s activities call our attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria.” The State Department’s 2012 report on human rights in Nigeria spends far more time on abuses by Nigeria’s security forces than it does on Boko Haram’s violence. The report states, “The population’s grievances regarding poverty, government and security force corruption, and police impunity and brutality created a fertile ground for recruiting Boko Haram members.” By all accounts, police brutality and incompetence in Nigeria were on an epic scale, but as Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) famously said at a hearing on Boko Haram, to blame terrorism on poverty is a disservice to the millions of poor people across the globe who never turn to violence.

Because of the Muslim-extremist-as-victim meme, the administration generally, and the State Department particularly, have repeatedly portrayed Muslims as the principle victims of groups such as Boko Haram, with Christians only a minor side note. The State Department has repeatedly said that Boko Haram is not religiously motivated and is more destructive to Muslims than to Christians. On the day Boko Haram was designated an FTO, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said that Boko Haram “had killed numerous Christians and an even greater number of Muslims,” in spite of the fact that attacks on Christians represented 46% and on Muslims only 3%, according to Jubilee Campaign.

The argument currently being put forth by the mainstream media is that the United States has been poised and ready to help Nigeria, but that Nigeria has been slow to ask, and that is a message likely coming directly from the White House. Now that the world has woken up to the evil being perpetrated by Boko Haram, President Obama is trying to portray himself as caring deeply about this issue. He told ABC News that he hoped the event would help “to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that’s perpetrated such a terrible crime.” And Michelle Obama tweeted a photo of herself holding a sign that read: “#BringBackOurGirls.”

But members of the Obama administration—from the President himself to his National Security Staff to his Secretary of State and to his undersecretaries and their staffs—have all, until this episode, downplayed Boko Haram’s truly evil nature and prevented steps from being taken much earlier that could have prevented this tragedy, and those 276 abducted girls, instead of being held hostage, could still be sitting at their desks doing their schoolwork.

While social movement theory might provide insights into the formation and operation of Islamic activists, it cannot provide a foundation for American counter-terrorism policy. To do so is both detrimental to U.S. national security and to the security of numerous nations who are in a life-or-death struggle with the threat. The United States must stop the misguided narrative that terrorism and extremism have nothing to do with Islam. As Dr. Sebastian Gorka said in testimony to members of Congress, “We need to bankrupt transnational jihadist terrorism as its most powerful point: its narrative of global religious war.” Until the U.S. begins to acknowledge and address the ideology, we will not be able to challenge its ability to recruit, motivate, and inspire those who would abduct innocent schoolgirls.

Katie Gorka is the president of the Council on Global Security. She is the coeditor of Fighting the Ideological War: Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism.

State Department adviser on “extremism” urges U.S. to “befriend” al Qaeda

By Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch, Jan 30 :

DoranMcCantsWatts-300x104

Establishment “experts” on foreign policy and Islamic jihad terror generally suffer from willful ignorance about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and traffic in comforting politically correct fictions about Islam being a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists — a fiction that has led the U.S. into numerous disastrous, indeed catastrophic — foreign policy errors. This is one of the more egregious manifestations of the self-defeating, futile courses of action they advocate: three members of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (Michael Doran, Will McCants, and Clint Watts, pictured above left to right in that order), including a former State Department Senior Adviser (McCants), advocate that we befriend an al Qaeda group that they think is “moderate” in order to wean it away from “extremism.”

This strategy has been followed again and again, and never accomplished anything but the loss of American lives and the waste of American money and materiel. For months now numerous people have claimed that if we didn’t aid the Syrian “moderates,” they would have nowhere to turn but to the “extremists.” We aided them, although not as much as some people would have liked (including Barack Obama and John Kerry), and they turned to the “extremists” anyway.

It is not surprising that the puerile and silly Will McCants is fronting this notion. He is one of the learned analysts who are essentially children in adult’s clothing, babbling on like fifth graders about “bad guys” and ideas that are “crazy pants.” McCants also harbors a Reza Aslan-like fondness for contemptuous Twitter abuse of those who dare to suggest that Islamic texts and teachings may sometimes incite believers to violence.

This is the kind of boy who sets State Department policy these days. No wonder we’re in the fix we’re in.

“State Department Adviser on Extremism Urges US to ‘Befriend’ Al Qaeda,” by Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage, January 29:

Officially there are no more terrorist attacks, just man-caused disasters brought about by offensive YouTube videos. Also there are no more terrorists. Just Violent Extremists. And there’s no more counter-terrorism, just experts on Countering Violent Extremism.

William McCants was a U.S. State Department senior adviser for countering violent extremism and is a director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings liberal think tank.

At the CFR’s Foreign AffairsMcCants joined together with two others to argue that Ahrar al-Sham is, and I quote, “an al Qaeda–Linked Group Worth Befriending.”

With the collapse of the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front is now the only game in town for the people who insist that we should counter Al Qaeda by supporting Al Qaeda.

The article begins by defending Obama’s stupid jayvee crack, denounces the “political rights” and argues that, “The al Qaeda of yesterday is gone. What is left is a collection of many different splinter organizations, some of which have their own — and profoundly local — agendas.”

That line is a bit misleading. The Al Qaeda of yesterday is not  gone, it’s overshadowed by local organizations, meaning that Al Qaeda has accomplished its goal of serving as a vanguard for a global movement of terrorist groups committed to its worldview.

The “jayvees” have overshadowed the Lakers because they have more people, more weapons and more territory. While the Lakers are content to sit and watch the expansion of new franchises around the world.

“Today, two different al Qaeda affiliates, the al-Nusra front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are battling each other in Syria’s Raqqa province. Perhaps Oliver North might argue that it is incumbent on the United States to take out both groups. But a more nuanced take would lead the president to ask key questions before taking precipitate action.”

The article conveniently avoids answering the question while taking the time to sneer at Oliver North. But as the experts know full well, the old Al Qaeda had its share of violent conflicts.

The outcome of such a conflict is responsible for Zawahiri’s current position.

Then the article argues that Ahrar al-Sham and the rest of the Islamic Front are the best hope for defeating Al Qaeda in Iraq. That may or may not be so, but the article fails to qualify why we should care which flavor of Al Qaeda emerges victorious in the battle to lose to Assad.

“Second, designating Ahrar al-Sham as a terrorist group would destroy what little chance the United States has of building relationships with the other militias in the Islamic Front. Those relationships will be important for ensuring that the Front treats Syrian civilians well during the war and after, should Assad ever be toppled. Making a direct enemy of Ahrar al-Sham would also make it extremely difficult for U.S. nongovernmental organizations to move aid through territory controlled by it and the Islamic Front, because U.S. law prohibits working with terrorist organizations.”

Which would be a good thing, because we could finally stop providing aid to terrorists.

Are we supposed to collaborate with Al Qaeda in the hopes that it will treat civilians and NGOs well when it takes over? Does that sound like the behavior of any Al Qaeda linked group?

“Finally, Ahrar al-Sham’s leader, Hassan Abboud, has never endorsed bin Laden’s vision of a global jihad. His struggle is limited to Syria. Designating his group as a terrorist organization might backfire by pushing it completely into al Qaeda’s camp.”

And this is where it gets truly stupid.

The vision of a global Jihad wasn’t something that Bin Laden came up with, it was something that Islam came up with. A group that believes in the primacy of Islamic law and rule in Syria also believes that this state of affairs should exist worldwide.

Furthermore Al’Suri was Al Qaeda’s representative in Syria all along and was a co-founder of Ahrar al-Sham. That means a direct Al Qaeda involvement in setting up this flavor of Al Qaeda.

The article clings to the idea that we shouldn’t push an Al Qaeda linked group all the way into Al Qaeda’s camp by designating it as a terrorist group.

How exactly is this appeasement supposed to turn back time?

Pro-Brotherhood DHS advisor creates lawfare blind spot

Mohamed Elibiary

Mohamed Elibiary

By Ryan Mauro:

Under revised Department of Homeland Security guidelines, crafted with the input of senior adviser Mohamed Elibiary, counter-terrorism personnel will be left uneducated about a favorite non-violent tactic of the Islamists: lawfare.

Mohamed Elibiary is the subject of a new 37-page report by the Center for Security Policy and Institute on Religion and Democracy. Consisting mostly of an interview I conducted with Elibiary, this senior Department of Homeland Security adviser’s pro-Islamist sentiment is laid out for all to see. The Clarion Project has a list of 15 unsettling facts from the report, which include: personal connections to and praise of the Muslim Brotherhood; associations with the Assembly of Muslim Jurists, a “hardline Islamist group” that calls for the establishment of sharia law in America, marital rape, and jihad against Israel; admission to actively helping U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups avoid prosecution; accusations that the West “routinely insults Muslim dignity.” Elibiary has also voiced support for Shukri Abu Baker, CEO of the now defunct Holy Land Foundation, who was convicted in the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history.

As a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Committee, Elibiary is in a position to impact policy with his beliefs. He was promoted last month to Senior Fellow. He was a member of the DHS Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), the subject of Elibiary’s focus.

Elibiary says he was instrumental in crafting the DHS policy on CVE.

“The area that has earned me the most amount of anti-Islamist media criticism has been my role assisting DHS and the broader administration craft a framework and later a strategy for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). I helped write parts of the initial [CVE] document President Barack Hussein Obama was briefed on in the Oval Office,” Elibiary said in our interview.

In 2011, the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties released a document titled, “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Training Do’s and Don’ts.” Produced by the DHS and the National Counterterrorism Center, it contains a list of specific recommendations for federal, state and local government officials “organizing CVE, cultural awareness, counter-radicalization or counter-terrorism training.” In other words, the “Do’s and Don’ts” targets anyone involved in learning about militant Islam.

The guidelines aim to prevent instruction about non-violent Islamists and their tactics, right in line with the policies advocated by Elibiary in our interview.

One of the suggested regulations is to prohibit training about “lawfare,” the abuse of Western laws and judicial systems to achieve strategic military or political ends. Lawfare is particularly manifested in the United States in the form of frivolous lawsuits filed to intimidate members of the counter-terrorism community with the threat of bankruptcy and vilification for exercising their free speech rights to educate Americans on issues of national security and public concern, such as the imminent threat of Islamist terrorism.

The DHS guidelines instruct agencies to stay away from “training premised on theories with little or no evidence to support them. One theory the DHS wants discarded posits that “Muslim Americans are using democratic processes, like litigation and free speech, to subvert democracy and install Sharia law.”

Brooke Goldstein, director of The Lawfare Project, says, “There is a plethora of evidence indicating lawfare as the newest, most visible and increasingly emergent form of asymmetric warfare, which must be countered both tactically and strategically. It is undeniable that Muslim Brotherhood front groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations have filed lawsuits aimed at silencing and punishing anyone who expose their connections to designated terrorist organizations or say things that are ‘offensive’ to Islam. DHS guidelines that not only delegitimize this very real threat but also deny its existence leave American counterterrorism personnel open to attack by, amongst other things, failing to brief them on legitimate ways to protect themselves and undermining those in the counterterrorism and legal communities who are working to protect this country.”

Read more at Daily Caller

Debating the Muslim Brotherhood in America Part V: US Policy

600x668xme-600x668.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.OLmPVV4k0TJuicy Ecumenism, by  (@RyanMauro)

The Center for Security Policy Occasional Paper Series

DEBATING THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN AMERICA

An Interview with DHS Advisor Mohamed Elibiary

Ryan Mauro,  The Clarion Project

Made possible through the Institute for Religion & Democracy

 Part V: US Policy

The core disagreement presented here is about whether Islamists are adversaries of the West or suitable allies. If one believes that Islamists and their ideology is not a problem, then one will be dismissive of any facts about the influence of the US Muslim Brotherhood. For this camp, the threat is from irreconcilable violent Islamists like al-Qaeda and the solution is from reconciliation with supposedly non-violent Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood. This camp feels that the root cause of terrorism and Islamic extremism is not the Islamist ideology, but legitimate gripes against Western policy.

In our opinion, it is better to look to the public words of Islamists, like those shown in our documentaries, and the declaration of the 1991 US Muslim Brotherhood memo that its “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

Mauro: Why don’t you support the marginalization of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated groups?

Elibiary: President Obama has certainly expressed publicly the importance of strategic engagement for our national interest in multiple speeches, and to a lesser extent, so has Senator McCain, whom I endorsed on FOX News early in the 2008 election as a Texas Republican state convention delegate. So this is an area where I think our government’s policy is ahead of where the national political discourse is in the conservative media.

Having served for more than a decade in various Republican Party of Texas positions, as well as with Dallas-based roots in the conservative movement going back two decades, I clearly see that Christian social conservatives as well as Jewish conservatives concerned about Israel’s future are simply fearful to the point of psychological paranoia on how to deal with the rising Islamic movements across the globe.

It’s my hope that interviews like this will help address concerns and help elevate our national political discourse around these topics to catch up with national realities.

The most important part of this section is Mr. Elibiary’s influence as a Republican Party official and member of the Secretary’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. This is why we felt it was important to publish a comprehensive dialogue with him. Elibiary states that he was a Texas Republican state convention delegate in 2008 and has served the Republican Party of Texas for over a decade in various capacities. The Dept. of Homeland Security Council that he serves on has made over 100 recommendations and, by his estimate, about 90% have been implemented or are being implemented.

Mauro: As a member of the DHS Secretary’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, what recommendations have you made?

Elibiary (cont’d): The Secretary’s Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) has approved over 100 official recommendations during the past four years and about 90% have either been already implemented or are in the process of implementation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As a member of the HSAC, I voted along with my colleagues to pass on all those recommendations to Secretary Napolitano for consideration. The Secretary then signs off on what she agrees with and orders its implementation.

Those recommendations cover many areas that DHS works in from counter-terrorism to cyber-security, from immigration enforcement by ICE to disaster resiliency by FEMA, from border enforcement by CBP to Infrastructure Protection by NPPD. An example of a direct recommendation the HSAC offered and the Secretary approved was the cancellation of the post-9/11 color-coded terrorism alert system we used to see everywhere and its replacement with a more effective National Terrorism Advisory System.

Elibiary’s influence is apparent in the Countering Violent Extremism training guidelines issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security. The Clarion Project published an analysis of those guidelines in May, pointing out how the guidelines warn against training related to the US Muslim Brotherhood and non-violent Islamist tactics. The guidelines were apparently crafted under the guidance of Elibiary, the President of the Islamic Society of North America, and other supporters of the US Muslim Brotherhood network.

To summarize, the Dept. of Homeland Security basically relied upon Islamist-friendly advisors to draft training guidelines and these guidelines inevitably ended up Islamist-friendly. Remarkably, the President of ISNA had a hand in developing standards that would leave counter-terrorism personnel ignorant of his own organization’s Brotherhood origins.

Elibiary (cont’d): The area that has earned me the most amount of anti-Islamist media criticism has been my role assisting DHS and the broader administration craft a framework and later a strategy for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). I helped write parts of the initial HSAC-CVE document President Barack Hussein Obama was briefed on in the Oval Office, and some in the anti-Islamist media were upset with the approach we took.

Honestly speaking, these CVE recommendations have enjoyed mainstream professional support across the law enforcement and intelligence communities, not least because they enhance homeland security’s effectiveness in a constitutionally-compliant manner as I explained in my post-Boston marathon attack op-ed in the Washington Post. While there is still more work to do across the Homeland Security Enterprise to improve CVE coordination, like many practitioners in the field, I am happy with the progress achieved thus far.

Mauro: Do you have any concluding statements?

Elibiary (cont’d): Rising to become the youngest American to ever serve on a prestigious body like the Secretary’s Homeland Security Advisory Council is frankly a testament to the strength and resilience of our nation’s meritocracy. With too many luminaries and nationally prominent policymakers to list here, including Governor Mitt Romney himself, having served or continuing to serve on the Council; I’m naturally humbled at having been given the opportunity to serve and interact with some of our nation’s top national security officials the past few years.

Personally I hold no hatred towards any conservative, anti-Islamist or pro-Israel activists who’ve attacked me over the past few years as somehow a subversive threat to our country’s national security. I’ve generously given hundreds of media interviews, testified before Congress and met with many national security officials from both the Bush and Obama Administrations. So at this point I’m about as security and bi-partisan politically vetted as anyone can become.

I’ve often hoped that a day would come when an honest and frank conversation can begin between conservatives concerned about Islamism/Political Islam and Muslims concerned about anti-Muslim bigotry (i.e. Islamophobia). It is my sincere hope that this interview helps conservatives concerned about these issues reciprocate by opening the door for a civil dialog with mainstream American Muslims to move our country forward and close the door on the HLF related past.

Focusing on the behavioral indicators of ideologically-motivated violent extremism, as I have advocated, is an opportunity for the conservative movement to broaden its base, safeguard the US Constitution, advance effective national security policy and counter the scourge of bigotry. Now that it is clear to all those who have monitored the HLF-related investigations and trials, that the issue of the unindicted co-conspirators is now a CLOSED matter and there will NOT be an HLF 2.0 trial, perhaps now is the time for us, especially conservatives, to consider launching that long-delayed constructive public dialogue about where our nation goes from here in 2013.

The question readers must ask themselves is this: Is it appropriate for the DHS to have a pro-Muslim Brotherhood official who has close ties to identified US Muslim Brotherhood entities?

In this series, he stands by his opposition to the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, a US Muslim Brotherhood entity that was led by his long-time friend. Furthermore, he admits to having helped “safeguard” these US Muslim Brotherhood entities. During Elibiary’s tenture at DHS, the Department has issued training guidelines that protect these entities from scrutiny and eliminate education about the non-violent, legal tactics they use to promote their Islamist agenda. The counter-terrorism personnel instructed under these guidelines will often serve for decades.

On a broader level, this series isn’t just about Elibiary. It’s about the wisdom of embracing the Muslim Brotherhood as a “moderate” partner overseas or the US Muslim Brotherhood at home as expert advisors.

I want to thank Mr. Elibiary for the great deal of time and effort he put into this dialogue. In today’s news environment, it is a rarity to find such a truly substantive discussion of a contentious topic. Now, with both sides presented, it is up to the reader to decide the validity of our opposing views.

Part I: The Holy Land Foundation

Part II: Elibiary & the Muslim Brotherhood

Part III: Elibiary’s Relationship with American Islamists

Part IV: “Islamophobia”

Obama’s War of Word Games

obama33By Daniel Greenfield:

One of the biggest questions about fighting terrorism is whether we intend to fight it on the military level or on the ideological level.

Wars have ideological components. Propaganda likely predated the written word. Undermining an enemy’s morale can be a very effective means of turning the tide of battle. But in warfare, the ideology is there to further military aims, while in an ideological war the military is a tool for achieving ideological victories over the enemy.

It’s a fundamental distinction that cuts deep into the question of what we are doing in places like Afghanistan.

The dichotomy between words and bullets could occasionally be ambiguous during the Bush Administration, but there was an understanding that we were out to kill terrorists and their allies. If by killing them, we could discredit their ideology and dissuade fellow terrorists from following in their footsteps, so much the better.

The Obama Administration has shifted the primacy of the conflict to the ideological sphere. Like the rest of the left, it would rather fight ideological wars, which are its strength, than military conflicts, which aren’t.

The left believes it understands ideas, but is much weaker when it comes to military affairs. The left doesn’t really understand ideas, but it does understand word games. To alter language is to alter the consensual reality of a subject population. The Oceanian reality of the media may not do anything to the reality in Afghanistan, but it certainly shifts the reality in America.

One of the first word games that Obama’s national security team pulled was to retire “terrorism” from the vocabulary to avoid any questions about why they were failing to deal with a problem… that suddenly no longer existed.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that, motivated by a touch of nuance, she was moving away from the word “terrorism” to ‘”man-caused disasters.”

Napolitano’s explanation for this clumsy word game was that she wanted “to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur”; as long as the risk was kept as undefined as possible.

The “man-caused disaster” was ridiculed off the scene even by the left, but that didn’t end the word games.

Islamic terrorism receded into the distance. The great challenge was CVE or Countering Violent Extremism.

Violent extremism was a little more specific than man-caused disasters, but not by that much. The shift however was a more significant one. We were no longer fighting a war, but working to counter attitudes and ideas. And that would be achieved in ways that included everything from sponsoring Muslim rappers to dispatching the NASA chief on a new mission to seek out Muslim self-esteem.

The Department of Homeland Security’s three broad CVE objectives were understanding violent extremism, partnering with local Muslim communities and with local law enforcement. The first objective, understanding violent extremism, did not mention Islam, demonstrating that this understanding was actually going to be a very deliberate misunderstanding.

Avoiding any mention of Islam had always been the first objective of the ideological component of the war and it was the area where the ideological component of fighting terrorism most blatantly clashed with the practical component.

Since September 11, the evolving tactic of the ideological war was to minimize the effectiveness of terrorism by mentioning it as little as possible and denying its Islamic cred by refusing to associate it with Islam. Meanwhile the practical side of the war required informing as many people as possible of the threat and taking swift and decisive action against a defined enemy.

During the Bush Administration, the ideological component blunted the military component, but did not overshadow it. Under Obama, the military component receded into the ideological war with new barometers of success that did not depend on winning battles, but winning hearts and minds.

There was no reason to believe that the ideological program of denial was in any way effective. The vast majority of Muslims did not get their news from America. Nor were they likely to be fooled by politically correct distortions of news events.

Whether a State Department spokesman chose to call Bin Laden an Islamic terrorist, a violent extremist or an extremely naughty boy would have no impact on the Muslim world. It would only have an impact on Americans.

And that was not accidental.

Where the military campaign was aimed at Muslim terrorists, the ideological campaign was aimed at altering the American understanding of Islam to be more harmonious with liberal foreign policy. And once the ideological campaign succeeded in changing American attitudes, it was assumed that the Muslim world would react differently to this new America.

Read more at Front Page

 

Seems Like a Natural To Me

 

!cid_part1_08030805_08060206@earthlinkNRO, By Andrew McCarthy:

Janet Napolitano is stepping down from her cabinet post as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to take over as president of the University of California. During Secretary Napolitano’s tenure, the DHS became a haven for Islamist advisers and cleared Egyptian terrorist organization members andsupporters for visits to the White House.

While he was a student at the University of California, Mohamed Morsi joined the Muslim Brotherhood. He later became the president of Egypt, establishing a close working relationship with President Obama. During his recently abbreviated term, President Morsi released some terrorist organization members from jail and, courtesy of Secretary Napolitano, sent others to Washington for visits to the White House. Mr. Morsi is now . . . er . . . between jobs.

President Obama’s policy holds that securing our homeland requires partnering with Islamist leaders and taking their “subject matter expert” guidance on what homeland security agents should learn about Islam.

So we have a clear mission, an open slot, and a guy who needs a new gig . . .

 

Janet Napolitano, Looking for “Violent Extremists”

630x300x-209284613.png.pagespeed.ic.Lly5pDRRfNCenter For Security Policy:

As Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano oversaw a hyper-partisan leveling of her department’s awareness of the domestic terrorist threats we face, scandalously equating Tea Party conservatives and returning veterans with Islamists intent on advancing shariah in this country.

Under her watch, DHS came in line with the Obama administration’s failed and highly ideological approach to counter-terrorism; its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy wiped clean any attempts to identify the enemy we face. The imperative of Napolitano’s CVE, in fact, was less to adequately prevent homegrown Islamist terror attacks but to prevent any association of terrorism with Islam, no matter the cost.

Replacing accurate analysis of Islamic jihad with the meaningless “violent extremism” was part of an administration-wide effort to understand and reflect the grievances of local Muslim communities. Community engagement became more important than counter-terror policing, as career subject matter experts who correctly identified the nexus between jihad and acts of terror were silenced and purged. With the makeup of Napolitano’s CVE Advisory Board—including a who’s-who of Muslim Brotherhood-linked individuals—this strategy is unsurprising.

The Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of 9/11 to unify efforts to combat terrorism against Americans. The Center for Security Policy urges President Obama to nominate a replacement for Napolitano that takes into account, especially, the failures of her counter-terror strategy.

Muslim advocates urge reduced FBI anti-jihad role

Islamic Center of Boston

Islamic Center of Boston

By Neil Munro:

Politically influential Muslim activists are pushing to reduce the FBI’s role in countering Islamic terrorism and are seeking greater federal reliance on hard-line orthodox Imams.

The White House’s “Countering Violent Extremism” program “did not produce the results a lot of us were hopeful … [and] kind of collapsed towards the end of last year,” complained Mohamed Elibiary, a Texas-based advocate who was appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

“I don’t know where it is today … [but] it presents us with the opportunity to look at the question of [whether] it is right to house it within the FBI,” he said at an May 28 event in D.C. staged by the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

The controversial CVE program was boosted in 2011, when President Barack Obama directed the FBI to work with Muslim political and community groups to suppress jihadi attacks, which are dubbed as non-Islamic “violent extremism.”

But, said Elibiary, “we spun our wheels for the last two years [and] we never got the national CVE policy across all 56 [FBI field] offices.”

Instead, said panelists, the FBI has continued its traditional policy of investigating  jihadis for subsequent trial and convictions.

In contrast, the Department of Homeland Security, Elibiary said, has done much good by trying to work with Islamic groups.

The CVE program has been slammed by critics for giving too large an intermediary role to small Islamic political groups such as MPAC, which portray themselves as representatives of American Muslims. The groups try to foster the growth of distinct Islamic communities.

The CVE training has also been criticized for obscuring the many orthodox Islamic strictures that spur Muslims’ violence against non-Muslims.

Elibiary’s new call for reduced policing of Islamic communities, such as Boston’s immigrant Muslims, was echoed by other speakers at the panel, which was hosted by the progressive New American Foundation in Washington D.C.

“Imams and counselors need to be given some leeway” by police,  said Suhaib Webb, Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center.

Webb’s cultural center is affiliated with the mosque attended by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the ethnic Chechen Muslim who along with his brother Dzhokhar  killed three Americans with two bombs at the Boston Marathon. Tsarnaev also killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer after Boston police broadcast his photo on TV. The police did not contact the main Boston mosque for help in identifying Tsarnaev’s image, which was captured  by videos of the explosion and its aftermath.

Webb, who was disinvited from the state’s April 18 memorial service by Governor Deval Patrick,  said he can persuade young men to stay away from violence. But “I need to be able to sit down with someone and not be subpoenaed or be called as a witness” in a later terrorism investigation, he said.

To succeed, government anti-terror agencies should keep their distance from such outreach to angry youth, he said. “We don’t need to be too close to each other, because that undermines our [Imams’] street credibility,” said Webb.

In fact, he added, his influence was recently reduced when he was labelled as a “moderate.” That “undermined my ability” to persuade youths, Webb said.

Read more at The Daily Caller

How to Defeat Terrorism In America Without Firing A Shot

20130528_OBAMA_MUSLIM_BROTHERHOODby ALAN KORNMAN:

The Muslim Brotherhoods top spiritual leader Youssef Qaradawi has been banned from entering the United States since 1999.  Qaradawi called for attacks on US troops and civilians,  death to all Jews, and for the collapse of the United States.  Hatred of America is the spiritual core of The Muslim Brotherhood as articulated by its spiritual leader.  When someone says they wish to cause you harm — believe them.

How To Cripple Terrorism In America Without Firing A Shot

If the American people want our elected officials and law enforcement to cripple Islamic terrorism without having to fire a shot, it can be done in three easy steps.

Step 1:  Declare The Muslim Brotherhood a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)

Step 2:  Publicly name all The Muslim Brotherhood affiliates operating in the United States,  based on evidence submitted during The Holy Land Foundation terrorist funding trial.

Step 3:  The FTO designation will trigger a provision of law allowing theTreasury Department and FBI to shut down all Muslim Brotherhood sub groups operating in the United States, confiscate their records, assets, real estate, freeze bank accounts, then jail and/or deport all individuals associated with The Muslim Brotherhood.

Designation of  Foreign Terrorist Organizations

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, are authorized to designate an organization as a foreign terrorist organization in accordance with:

(A) the organization is a foreign organization;

(B)     the organization engages in terrorist activity (as defined in section 1182 (a)(3)(B) of this title or terrorism (as defined in section 2656f (d)(2) of title 22), or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism)  [1] ; and

(C) the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organization threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.

The Case For The Muslim Brotherhood’s FTO Status

Muslim Brotherhood Motto

“Allah is our objective, the Prophet our leader, the Quran our Constitution, jihad our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu Akbar.”

The United States became the victim of high profile Islamic terrorism on February 26, 1993 with the bombing of the World Trade Center.  The mastermind of this attack on America was Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman aka The Blind Sheikh.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi has proclaimed repeatedly he wishes to gain the release of Muslim Brotherhood operative Omar Abdel Rahman.  Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi’s support for the blind Sheikh ties the Brotherhood directly to Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (GIA) aka Armed Islamic Group, designated a FTO on 10/8/1997 yet mysteriously delisted on 10/15/2010.

On December 15, 2010 Secretary of State Clinton delisted the GIA under mysterious circumstances, as the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak by The Muslim Brotherhood was in play.

The GIA is the military wing of The Muslim Brotherhood and The Blind Sheikh is its leader. Second in charge of the MB military wing was Ayman al-Zawahiri who later became Al-Qaeda’s #2 behind Osama Bin Laden.  John Guandolo would call this a clue  The Muslim Brotherhood poses a national security risk to the United States of America.

Read more: Family Security Matters