Egypt Bans Hamas, Shuts Down Hamas Offices

F120730ARK02Front Page, by Daniel Greenfield:

This is another of the judicial rulings stemming from charges against Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s rulers of Egypt who was overthrown by a popular uprising.

Egypt alleges that Morsi’s original jailbreak was aided by Hamas terrorists. Considering that Hamas is just the Muslim Brotherhood in 1967 Israel (the Muslim Brotherhood in 1948 Israel is known as the Islamic Movement and has members in Israel’s parliament) and that Morsi’s attack on the Egyptian military appeared to be coordinated with a Hamas strike on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, there are plenty of reasons for the Egyptian military to be mad at Hamas.

The Egyptian military has come to view Hamas as the foot soldiers of their domestic Muslim Brotherhood rivals who launched a coordinated military and political against them.

The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters has banned all activities in Egypt by Hamas pending a court verdict in an espionage case involving ousted president Mohamed Morsi and members of the Islamist Palestinian group.

The court also banned all “organisations or groups branching from, financed or supported by Hamas,” a judicial source told Ahram Online.

Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group by Egypt’s army-backed government and has faced a security crackdown since the military ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Morsi, from the presidency last July.

The court also ordered the closure of Hamas offices in Egypt, one of the judges overseeing the case told Reuters.

Egyptian officials have accused Hamas of providing support to Islamic militants who have increased their fatal attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsi’s ouster. Hamas has repeatedly denied any such involvement.

Egyptian authorities have also accused several Hamas members of undermining national security by involvement in a series of jailbreaks at the beginning of the Egyptian revolution in January 2011.

Authorities have also charged former president Morsi of espionage with Hamas officials.

When Morsi was in power, Hamas held its secretive internal elections in Egypt in 2012. A top Hamas official, Musa Abu Marzouk, lives in Cairo and may be at risk of arrest by the new court decision.

Hamas is funded by Iran. The link from Morsi to Hamas to Iran establishes an espionage case and terrorist case against Morsi.

Egypt’s judiciary is a complex and messy thing, standing is easy to come by and rulings like these are temporary and may be challenged, so this isn’t a final government decision. But the Egyptian judiciary felt just as threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood as the Egyptian military so look for more decisions like this one.

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The ruling did not directly declare the group a terrorist organization.

‘Golden days’ over for Hamas as cash flow from Iran, Qatar dries up

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

WorldTribune.com

TEL AVIV — The Hamas regime is said to have lost the financial support of its major Middle East backers.

Military sources said Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip no longer benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars from such allies as Iran and Qatar.

The sources said the two Middle East states have reduced their allocation and transferred much of it through the exiled Hamas leadership.

“The golden days of Islamic support for Hamas have ended, and despite promises, the money is much less than before,” a source said.

The sources said the peak of Iranian financial support for Hamas was in 2011, when Teheran was believed to have relayed up to $400 million to the Gaza Strip. Since then, Qatar promised and failed to replace Iran, which reduced funding to an estimated $100 million a year.

“Iran has told Hamas it has no money, but the underlying message is that Hamas must first carry out Teheran’s policy before funding returns to former levels,” the source said.

The sources said the sharp decline in Iranian funds was exacerbated
by the loss of the lucrative smuggling trade from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.
They said the Egyptian military has destroyed at least 90 percent of the
estimated 1,200 tunnels, reducing the flow of goods from Egypt to a trickle.

In a briefing on Jan. 30, an officer from the army’s Southern Command
said the annual smuggling trade overseen by Hamas reached $200 million by
2013. But over the last year, the senior officer said, the Egyptian blockade
reduced revenues to several million dollars.

“The goods from Gaza focused on weapons, but also included food and
fuel, priced much lower than those now obtained from Israel,” the officer
said.

Hamas has acknowledged the virtual end of the tunnel smuggling trade.
The Islamic regime, unable to pay full salaries to its nearly
50,000 civil servants for the fourth straight month, said the flow of goods
through the tunnels dropped by 95 percent in 2013.

Israeli military sources said Hamas has sought to reconcile with Iran,
which led to an increase in funding. But they said the amount of money
relayed by Teheran was much less than in its heyday.

The economic crisis in the Gaza Strip has sparked tension between Hamas
and Palestinian militias. The sources said the militias, particularly the
Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad, were firing rockets into Israel to provoke
a crisis.

“Jihad has received far more money while Hamas can’t pay its members,”
the source said. “We have to assume that any Jihad rocket fire comes upon
orders from Teheran.”

Also see:

New photos of Nasr City cell members published

Long War Journal, By THOMAS JOSCELYN:

New photos of members of the Nasr City cell have been published in the Egyptian press. [See below.] Many of the cell’s members, who are currently awaiting trial, were detained in late 2012.

The cell has multiple, direct ties to al Qaeda. In particular, Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, who has long served as a subordinate to Ayman al Zawahiri, is one of the cell’s leaders. Jamal founded his own al Qaeda network (conveniently referred to as the “Muhammad Jamal Network,” or MJN, in the West) after being released from prison in 2011. According to terrorist designations issued by both the US State Department and the United Nations, Jamal worked with al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The designations by the State Department and the UN confirmed previous reporting by The Long War Journal. We were the first to report, at least in the English-speaking press, that Jamal was in direct contact with Zawahiri in 2011 and 2012. Jamal’s letters to Zawahiri revealed his ties to AQAP and AQIM.

Some of Jamal’s fighters participated in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Jamal established training camps in both the Sinai and eastern Libya prior to the attack.

Here is one of the newly published photos of Jamal. It is almost as if he is trying to tell us something. According to my colleague Oren Adaki, the note Jamal is holding reads, “Al Qaeda is perched on the hearts of the believers.”

Jamal holding photo of bin Laden

Jamal brandishes the photo of bin Laden in other pictures as well. We previously published another photo of Jamal at The Long War Journal.

The Nasr City cell loves the picture of bin Laden. Below is a picture of Sheikh Adel Shehato, a founding member of the cell, holding up the image. Like Jamal, Shehato was a senior member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which was led by Ayman al Zawahiri and merged with bin Laden’s venture before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Shehato was also one of the key al Qaeda ideologues who helped instigate the protest in front of the US Embassy in Cairo on the morning of Sept. 11, 2012 — just hours before the US Mission and Annex in Benghazi were overrun.

Adel Shehato holding pic of OBL

The story of the Nasr City cell and the Muhammad Jamal Network is a fascinating one. It challenges so many of the widely-held assumptions about al Qaeda’s current operations. The MJN is a good example of how various al Qaeda organizations and parties are linked in a global network, with Jamal receiving cash and assistance from AQAP while he is also working with AQIM. The story also shows that Zawahiri is still very much in the game. Jamal’s letters to the al Qaeda master in 2011 and 2012 were fawning, and clearly showed that he was seeking Zawahiri’s permission for his operations.

But sometimes a picture, or pictures, are worth a thousand words. Jamal, Shehato, and the other Nasr City cell defendants are quite proud of their al Qaeda roles.

Also see:

Red Star Says It All: Egypt Makes Strategic Alliance with Russia

Sisi PutinBY RYAN MAURO:

Egyptian Defense Minister El-Sisi, whose power essentially makes him the head of state, made his first trip abroad. It wasn’t to the U.S., or even to Saudi Arabia. It was to Russia, where he was photographed wearing a jacket with a red star given to him by President Putin.

This single photograph sums up what has happened since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled from power in Egypt. The Egyptian government immediately turned to Russia after the U.S. criticized the toppling of the Brotherhood and the subsequent crackdown on the Islamist movement. Egypt’s Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are also moving towards Russia in response to U.S. policy towards Iran.

This change in relations was music to the ears of President Putin, who said in a national address that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the century. When Egypt embraced Russia, the Egyptian Foreign Minister said, “We want to give a new impetus to our relations and return them to the same high level that used to exist with the Soviet Union.”

Both parties have agreed that they want to return to the days of the Cold War. That agreement was on display when Putin gave El-Sisi the jacket bearing a red star and he publicly wore it.

Putin signaled to the Egyptian delegation that his meeting with El-Sisi isn’t just about selling arms. It’s strategic positioning. He told them, “Egypt is the center of stability in the Middle East.”

The language of the Russian government is clearly designed to contradict that of the U.S. Putin zeroed in on the points of friction between the U.S. and Egypt.

The U.S. opposed the Egyptian military’s toppling of the Brotherhood and almost certainly opposes his inevitable presidential bid. Putin, on the other hand, came as close to endorsing El-Sisi’s candidacy as a foreign head of state can.

Read more at Clarion Project

Georgetown Panel Sides with Muslim Brotherhood

jkFront Page, by :

Egyptians are “literally split in half” on President Mohammed Morsi’s 2013 downfall, former Obama Administration adviser Dahlia Mogahed stated recently in citing polling data at Georgetown University.  Yet the pro-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) bias of the January 29, 2014, conference at which Mogahed spoke did little justice to the “deep division” facing Egypt, notwithstanding her calls for “pluralism” to overcome the country’s “huge polarization.”

Mogahed addressed the day-long conference “Egypt & the Struggle for Democracy” presented by Georgetown’s Prince Awaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU).  Originally scheduled for December 5, 2013, the conference made headlines even before opening.  Ramy Jan, one of the rare Egyptian Christians opposing Morsi’s removal, lost his ACMCU conference invitation after his past involvement in Egypt’s neo-Nazi party became known.

Conference participants universally mourned a “new born democracy …assassinated” in Egypt before completing a necessary “trial and error” process, as described by activist Nahla Nasser of Egyptians Abroad for Democracy (EAD).  A late conference addition, Nasser described visiting Rabia al-Adawiya Square before its bloody clearing by Egyptian forces on August 14, 2013.  Nasser found the pro-MB demonstrators there to be the “most respectful people I have ever met in my entire life.”

Making the questionable assertion that revolutionary change is “often from bad to good,” Middle East scholars like Maryam Jamshidi praised a post-Hosni Mubarak “burgeoning of the public square.”  Dalia Fahmy saw emerging during this time “political pluralism within political Islam.”  The MB-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) “ultimately played by the rules of the game,” Maha Azzam said, only to have the Egyptian military stop the “emergence of moderate Islamist parties.”

Under Morsi, “democracy mattered to” Egypt’s common people for the first time, assessed law professor Mohammed Fadel.  Egyptians “lived a very good year” under Morsi because of a “sense of belonging” after democracy replaced dictatorship, concurred Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery.  “We were sure that our votes meant a lot,” the former Egyptian FJP parliamentarian said.  Egyptians should “respect the process and not change the rules of the game” in contrast to the military overthrow of Morsi, the self-proclaimed supporter of sharia argued.

By comparison, the Georgetown panelists only saw no justification for the military’s intervention against Morsi.  Egyptian security institutions’ “vested interests” in matters such as state-owned businesses were the explanation for Morsi’s deposing given by Wael Haddara, a former Morsi adviser.  The Egyptian military expressed an attitude of Egypt “returned to its proper owners,” the former MB youth leader Mohamed Abbas stated via translation by ACMCU faculty member Jonathan Brown.

“Hysterical coverage” in the media was a significant cause of Morsi’s downfall, according to the Egyptian media scholar Mohamad Elmasry. “Many journalists perceive themselves to be activists” in Egypt, Elmasry criticized.  That “Morsi was fundamentally incompetent” and was “Brotherhoodizing the state” in the name of a “mini-caliphate” were common media themes during Morsi’s presidency described as “myth” by Elmasry.  Although Egypt’s “state-run press” is “historically a mouthpiece of the government,” under Morsi this press was “not the typical mouthpiece.”  While 81% of Al Ahram articles in 2008 were favorable to Mubarak, they were mostly neutral to Morsi when in power, according to Elmasry’s coding.

Morsi’s overthrow, meanwhile, resulted in returning “military rule with a vengeance,” according to Azzam.  While “power was defuse” under Morsi, according to Jamshidi, now it was “concentrated” again under the new post-Morsi constitution approved in a January 14-15, 2014, referendum.  This constitution strengthened “already powerful” state institutions and a “custodial status” to the military in particular, complained Fahmy.  After an expected presidential elections sweep, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the officer who brought down Morsi, will influence parliamentary elections and create a “rubber stamp” legislature helpless against the constitution’s executive predominance.

An “anti-Ikwhan [MB] fever” incited by a repressive military meant that “there is now no real civil society” in Egypt, stated former MB member Islam Lotfy Shalaby via Brown’s translation.  The military had closed numerous MB social service institutions serving thousands such as 80% of the schools in Egypt and the country’s largest hospital founded in 1924.  Seized MB assets amounted to ten billion Egyptian pounds (about $1.3 billion).

MB suppression also occurred in the media, leaving “essentially a singular voice” in Elmasry words that constantly condemned MB as, for example, a terrorist organization.  This served “to dehumanize the Brotherhood” and “to justify the massacres,” as manifested in a television show on the Rabia clearing with theRocky soundtrack.  Narratives of MB as terrorist and disloyal to Egypt were “extremely effective” in winning Sisi support according to Jamshidi.

Popular anti-MB sentiment meant that the “line between citizen and state repression has been blurred,” Jamshidi added.  “Popularly sanctioned state violence” stemming from “demonization” of certain Egyptians as “literally subhuman” manifested for Mogahed a “moral and spiritual crisis.”  Fadel, meanwhile, rather unconvincingly discussed how the political Rabia crackdown was religious persecution of Muslims under Article 7 in the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court.

Yet even the Georgetown panelists could not hide conflicting evidence.  While the anti-Mubarak protests beginning on January 25, 2011, were “very Egyptian,” the anti-Morsi protests beginning on June 30, 2013, were “very sectarian” in Dardery’s estimation.  “Egyptians united” characterized January 25 (82% of Egyptians desired Mubarak’s removal in a March 2011 poll noted by Mogahed) as opposed to “Egyptians divided” on June 30, concurred Shahin.  Egyptian confidence in their military, though, has stayed high at around 95% of those surveyed throughout two years of various upheavals following Mubarak’s resignation.

A “failure to build consensus” thus appeared to the Carnegie Endowment’s Michelle Dunne as causing the post-Mubarak revolution’s failure.  “We knew what we were against, but we did not know what we were for,” concurred Dardery with Dunne in discussing the anti-Mubarak “breadth of social consensus” described by Middle East scholar Nathan Brown.  Yet a “basic failure in Egyptian life” noted by Brown is that widely diverse Egyptians are unable “to deal with each other.”  While Dardery spoke of an “Islamic belief” that “Muslim and Christians are brothers,” Brown countered that “you have a got a problem in your camp” concerning sectarianism.

By overlooking key facts in Egypt’s complicated politics, the Georgetown conference if anything hindered developing Egyptian consensus across diversity.  Sisi’s authoritarianism aside, Amnesty International actually judges the 2014 constitution an “improvement over the 2012 version” passed under Morsi with its various Islamist rights restrictions.  Egypt’s “strong contrast with Tunisia” in social cohesion noted by Dunne occurred precisely in part because of Islamist renunciation of sharia in the new Tunisian constitution overwhelming adopted on January 26, 2014.

The Egyptian people might agree as well despite repression muzzling constitution opponents in the 2014 referendum.  Voting for the new constitution was 98.1% of the 38.6% of the electorate voting, about 20 million in absolute numbers.  This was eight million more than the 63% of roughly a third of the electorate voting for the 2012 constitution under Morsi and six million more than for voted for his presidency that year.  Any criticism of Sisi as a “modern day pharaoh,” moreover, ignores the insight of longtime Egypt resident and scholar Raymond Stock that this “land…has known largely that kind of rule for the past five millennia.”  As ACMCU’s John Voll noted in introducing the conference, many of its themes such as the compatibility of Islam and democracy remained unchanged from Voll’s 1961 graduate student days.

No conciliation was forthcoming from the panelists to their absent opponents.  Support for Sisi’s regime due to Islamist fears by Egyptian democracy organizations “disqualifies them as true and valid organizations” in Nasser’s eyes, for example.  The “political and religious despotism” under Morsi leading to a “Sunni theocracy similar to the Iranian model” denounced by various Egyptian human rights organizations on June 27, 2013, apparently did not concern Nasser.  Nor did Nasser heed the call of many of these same organizations on August 15, 2013, that MB “accept the political outcome of the June 30 uprising” and “return to peaceful politics” rather than spur the country toward a civil war.”  Contrasting with concern for the Rabia dead, meanwhile, ACMCU’sYvonne Haddad referenced a “quote/unquote massacre of the Copts.”

Dardery wore on his lapel the yellow and black R4BIA symbol in memory of Rabia, the same symbol featured by the twitter profiles of Haddara and Nasser.  The symbol’s website celebrates the “great Egyptian scholar and thinker Professor Sayyid Qutb” of MB executed in Egypt in 1966.  The website also proclaims that “R4BIA is…the grandchildren of [MB founder] Hasan Al Banna…against rotten Western values…the end of capitalists…the end of Zionists,” and “smiling martyrdom,” among other things.

Such sentiments ominously shade the pro-MB militancy expressed at Georgetown.  Azzam described a “generation in Egypt…not willing to take this lying down,” a generation that “would rather die” in Haddara’s words rather than accept Sisi’s new order.  “I am optimistic that the coup will not stand,” he concluded, “people will fight to bring it down.”

U.S. Still Declares Support for Muslim Brotherhood

Harf assuring world that there’s nothing to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood

Harf assuring world that there’s nothing to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood

by :

During a press conference in Washington, D.C. this last Wednesday, Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department Marie Harf said that “The United Sates does not rank the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.”

This despite the fact that those who support the Brotherhood often employ terrorism, including al-Qaeda and other jihadi organizations; this despite the fact that, since the ousting of the Brotherhood and Morsi, Egypt has been engulfed in terrorism; this despite the fact that the Brotherhood and their supporters targeted Egypt’s Christians, destroying around 80 churches in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Sisi, the man who ousted the Brotherhood to massive praise in Egypt, just went to Russia to meet with President Putin, as the U.S. continues losing one of the Mideast’s most strategic nations.

In Russia, the Muslim Brotherhood is a banned organization.

Even the UK’s former prime minister, Tony Blair recently declared “This is what I say to my colleagues in the west.  The fact is, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to take the country away from its basic values of hope and progress. The army have intervened, at the will of the people…”

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt; and many fellow Egyptians — both Muslim and Christian — know that it is involved in terrorism.  Russia and many other nations also know this.

But apparently not the United States.

The other possibility is that the U.S. government does know of the “nefarious” nature of the Brotherhood, but is allied to it anyway.  During the same conference, Harf said that contact between the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the Brotherhood is ongoing.

Much of this was revealed in the context of Ahmed Eleba, an employee of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo currently arrested for, among other things, his close ties to the Brotherhood, including Khairat al-Shater.

Currently imprisoned, al-Shater is the deputy leader of the Brotherhood; along with Morsi and other top Brotherhood leaders, he is being tried for, among other things, direct ties to terrorism.

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Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney:

Islamists Inside the Wire

Egyptian authorities last month arrested a local employee with the U.S. embassy in Cairo. It turns out he was actively involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that has properly been declared a terrorist organization in Egypt.

Incredibly, he was also reportedly in charge of the embassy’s “political Islam” portfolio. Is it any wonder that the Obama administration has been so supportive of this Islamist group, which is sworn to our destruction?

Ten influential national security professionals yesterday warned of a similar problem with Muslim Brotherhood penetration and influence operations – not overseas, but here, within the conservative movement and Republican Party. These leaders have called on the American Conservative Union to take corrective action.

And Team Obama must do the same, by ending its ties to and support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Go here to see the report

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Salafi insurgency fermenting in northern Sinai

100053125-least-egyptianBY :

Northern Sinai has long played host to a variety of smuggling networks and jihadi organizations. Since General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s military coup of July 3rd, 2013 in Egypt, however, there has been an exponential increase in attacks emanating from this area.

sinai2This increasingly lawless region is now the home ground for an emergent Islamist insurgency against the Egyptian authorities. Since July, 2013, more than 300 reported attacks have taken place in Sinai. The violence is also spreading into the Egyptian mainland, with attacks in recent weeks on a security facility in Cairo, and the killing of an Interior Ministry official in the capital.

Some of the groups engaged in the fighting are linked to global jihadi networks, including al-Qaeda. Others have connections to elements in Hamas-controlled Gaza. The precise links between the various organizations engaged are difficult to trace.

This emergent reality in northern Sinai has serious implications for Israel. While the main focus of the jihadi activity is directed against Sisi’s administration in Cairo, some of the groups centrally involved have a track record of attacks against Israeli targets. In al-Qaeda’s official propaganda channels, the north Sinai area is described as a new front in the war against ‘the Jews and the Americans.’

The most significant group operating in northern Sinai today is the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) organization. This organization has been active since 2011. It originated in Gaza, and made its way to Sinai following the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The group’s name will raise a wry smile for Israeli and Jewish readers. The Arabic term ‘Beit al-Maqdis’ (House of the Holy) for Jerusalem derives from the older Hebrew name for the Jewish Temple – Beit Hamikdash, with the same meaning.

Contemporary Islamists and jihadis, of course, would fiercely deny that any Jewish Temple ever stood in Jerusalem.

But this absence of logical consistency appears to have little impact on the organization’s energy for violent activity.

But this absence of logical consistency appears to have little impact on the organization’s energy for violent activity.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was responsible for repeated attacks on the El-Arish-Ashkelon gas pipeline in 2011-12, which eventually led to the suspension of supplies via this route.

The group also carried out the cross-border terror attack on August 18, 2011, in which eight Israelis were murdered, and an additional strike into Israel on September 21, 2012, which took the life of an IDF soldier.

More recently, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the rocket attack on Eilat on January 20, 2014. The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

The organization’s main focus in recent weeks has been on increasingly high-profile attacks against Egyptian targets. These have included an attempt on the life of Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim on September 5, 2013, and a series of bomb attacks in Cairo in January,2014. On January 25, 2014, the group claimed responsibility for downing a military helicopter over northern Sinai.

The weapon used in this attack, a Russian Igla air-defense system, was reportedly smuggled out from Gaza, where the group maintains links with Salafi Jihadi elements.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

So what exactly is Ansar Beit al-Maqdis?

According to a former militant of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization, Nabil al-Naeim, the group is funded by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, following a deal brokered with powerful Brotherhood strongman Khairet al-Shater.

Naeim suggested that Ansar Beit al Maqdis is supplied with weapons by the Brotherhood via the Gaza tunnels and Libya. He maintains that the Hamas authorities in Gaza are aware of the deal.

The alleged Brotherhood links were also asserted by Sameh Eid, described in an al-Arabiyya article as an ‘expert on Islamist groups.’ Eid referred to the group as the ‘military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood,’ and said that Shater had threatened the Egyptian authorities with ‘escalation in Sinai and the targeting of the Egyptian Army.’

Read more at Gloria Center

IPT Video Report: NYC Pro-Morsi Rally Blasts Saudis as “Dirtier Than Jews”

Egypt Arrests US Embassy Employee in Charge of Political Islam

2013-635086676716781169-678-450x269

by :

To be clear, we are talking about an Egyptian employee. Things haven’t gotten so bad that Egypt is arresting US diplomats. Yet.

CAIRO: National Security arrested a local employee on Jan. 25 who works for the U.S. embassy in Cairo, the embassy confirmed Tuesday.

“We confirm that one of our local employees was arrested on Jan. 25. According to our information, there are no charges against him so far,” said Mofid al-Deek, Media Attaché and the spokesperson of the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

Deek said the embassy is communicating with the Egyptian government to understand the reason for the employee’s detention.

A security source reported National Security arrested Ahmed A., a U.S embassy employee in charge of the political Islam file. The source added that the employee was in constant contact with Khairat el-Shater, First Deputy of the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, when the group ruled the country.

The suspect was arrested while participating with others in marches and riots in Giza Governorate. He is being investigated by the National Security Agency to determine the dimensions of his activity.

It wouldn’t be too surprising to learn that the US embassy did indeed hire a Muslim Brotherhood member to serve as its connection with Islamist groups.

More ties between Ansar Jerusalem and the Syrian jihad reported

Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) Interior Minister Video-thumb-546x508-2551By THOMAS JOSCELYN:

The Sept. 5, 2013 assassination attempt on Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim is an operation that becomes more interesting the more we learn about it. Ansar Jerusalem celebrated the operation in an Oct. 26, 2013 video featuring the suicide bomber who executed the attack, a former major in the Egyptian army named Walid Badr.

The Cairo Post and Youm7 report that the list of suspects, in addition to Badr, “includes Egyptians and two Palestinians who joined the Free Syrian Army and Al-Nusra Front,” which is al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. A “judicial source” explains that Egyptian authorities arrested the suspects in recent weeks while “targeting Syrian suspects.” In addition, an unnamed source said the “suspects returned from Syria because the jihad in Egypt became a duty particularly after the toppling of ousted President Mohamed Mursi.”

The ties between the jihad in Syria and the attack have been obvious since Ansar Jerusalem released its video. Badr himself had fought in Syria, after already fighting in Afghanistan and attempting to fight American forces in Iraq. Conspicuously, Ansar Jerusalem did not say which groups Badr fought for in these theaters of war, but obviously al Qaeda’s global network has a significant presence in each of them.

Now Egyptian judicial sources are connecting additional suspects to the Al Nusrah Front, which answers to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri.

The Cairo Post and Youm7 reports also repeat a claim that has been previously made in the Egyptian press: “According to the National Security investigation, defendant [Muhammad Jamal al Kashef] acknowledged that the bomber was trained for a year and a half in the Sinai.” (At least one previous report said the training took place in Jamal’s camps in Libya.)

Muhammad Jamal, who founded his own al Qaeda network after being released from prison in 2011, was in direct contact with Ayman al Zawahiri in 2011 and 2012. In one of his letters to Zawahiri, Jamal revealed that he had sworn bayat (an oath of allegiance) to Zawahiri. This makes sense because Jamal was a commander in Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). According to the State Department and the United Nations, Jamal’s network coordinated its operations with, and received assistance from, al Qaeda’s senior leadership, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Read more at Long War Journal

Exposed: The Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda Connection

By :

CBN News

As former Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi’s trials continue, it’s enlightening to consider what is likely to be one of the centerpieces of the trial: longstanding accusations that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party worked with foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, against the national security of Egypt.

379021_LargeBased on these accusations of high treason, Morsi and others could face the death penalty.

Concerning some of the more severe allegations, one of Egypt’s most widely distributed and read newspapers, Al Watanrecently published what it said were recorded conversations between Morsi and Muhammad Zawahiri, al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri’s brother.

In these reports, Watan repeatedly asserts that Egyptian security and intelligence agencies confirmed (or perhaps leaked out) the recordings.

Much of the substance of the alleged conversations is further corroborated by events that occurred during Morsi’s one-year-rule, most of which were reported by a variety of Arabic media outlets, though not by Western media.

In what follows, I relay, summarize, and translate some of the more significant portions of theWatan reports (verbatim statements are in quotation marks).  In between, I comment on various anecdotes and events—many of which were first broken on my website—that now, in light of these phone conversations, make perfect sense and independently help confirm the authenticity of the recordings.

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The first recorded call  between Muhammad Morsi  and  Muhammad Zawahiri lasted for 59 seconds. Morsi congratulated Zawahiri on his release from prison, where he had been incarcerated for jihadi/terrorist activities against Egypt, and assured him that he would not be followed or observed by any Egyptian authorities, and that he, Morsi, was planning on meeting with him soon.  Prior to this first call, Refa’ al-Tahtawy, then Chief of Staff, mediated and arranged matters.

The presidential palace continued to communicate regularly with Muhammad Zawahiri, and sources confirm that he was the link between the Egyptian presidency and his brother, Ayman Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born leader of al-Qaeda.

It should be noted that, once released, the previously little-known Muhammad Zawahiri did become very visible and vocal in Egypt, at times spearheading the Islamist movement.

The next recording between Morsi and Zawahiri lasted for 2 minutes and 56 seconds and took place one month after Morsi became president.  Morsi informed Zawahiri that the Muslim Brotherhood supports the mujahidin (jihadis) and that the mujahidin should support the Brotherhood in order for them both, and the Islamist agenda, to prevail in Egypt.

This makes sense in the context that, soon after Morsi came to power, the general public did become increasingly critical of him and his policies, including the fact that he was placing only Brotherhood members in Egypt’s most important posts, trying quickly to push through a pro-Islamist constitution, and, as Egyptians called it, trying in general to “Brotherhoodize” Egypt.

This second phone call being longer than the first, Zawahiri took it as an opportunity to congratulate Morsi on his recent presidential victory—which, incidentally, from the start, was portrayed by some as fraudulent—and expressed his joy that Morsi’s presidency could only mean that “all secular infidels would be removed from Egypt.”

Then Zawahiri told Morsi: “Rule according to the Sharia of Allah [or “Islamic law”], and we will stand next to you.  Know that, from the start, there is no so-called democracy, so get rid of your opposition.”

This assertion comports extremely well with his brother Ayman Zawahiri’s views.  A former Muslim Brotherhood member himself, some thirty years ago, the al-Qaeda leader wrote Al Hissad Al Murr (“The Bitter Harvest”), a scathing book condemning the Brotherhood for “taking advantage of the Muslim youths’ fervor by … steer[ing] their onetime passionate, Islamic zeal for jihad to conferences and elections.” An entire section dedicated to showing that Islamic Sharia cannot coexist with democracy even appears in Ayman Zawahiri’s book (see “Sharia and Democracy,” The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs. 116-136).

The call ended in agreement that al-Qaeda would support the Brotherhood, including its international branches, under the understanding that Morsi would soon implement full Sharia in Egypt.  After this, Muhammad Zawahiri and Khairat al-Shater, the number-two man of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, reportedly met regularly.

It is interesting to note here that, prior to these revelations, U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson was seen visiting with Khairat al-Shater—even though he held no position in the Morsi government—and after the ousting and imprisonment of Morsi and leading Brotherhood members, Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham made it a point to visit the civilian Shater in his prison cell and urged the Egyptian government to release him.

The next call, recorded roughly six weeks after this last one, again revolved around the theme of solidifying common cooperation between the Egyptian presidency and the Muslim Brotherhood on the one hand, and al-Qaeda and its jihadi offshoots on the other, specifically in the context of creating jihadi cells inside Egypt devoted to protecting the increasingly unpopular Brotherhood-dominated government.

As I reported back in December 2012, Egyptian media were saying that foreign jihadi fighters were appearing in large numbers—one said 3,000 fighters—especially in Sinai.  And, since the overthrow of the Brotherhood and the military crackdown on its supporters, many of those detained have been exposed speaking non-Egyptian dialects of Arabic.

During this same call, Zawahiri was also critical of the Morsi government for still not applying Islamic Sharia throughout Egypt, which, as mentioned, was one of the prerequisites for al-Qaeda support.

Morsi responded by saying “We are currently in the stage of consolidating power and need the help of all parties—and we cannot at this time apply the Iranian model or Taliban rule in Egypt; it is impossible to do so now.”

In fact, while the Brotherhood has repeatedly declared its aspirations for world domination, from its origins, it has always relied on a “gradual” approach, moving only in stages, with the idea of culminating its full vision only when enough power has been consolidated.

In response, Zawahiri told Morsi that, as a show of good will, he must “at least release the mujahidin who were imprisoned during the Mubarak era as well as all Islamists, as an assurance and pact of cooperation and proof that the old page has turned to a new one.”

After that call, and as confirmed by a governmental source, Morsi received a list from Zawahiri containing the names of the most dangerous terrorists in Egyptian jails, some of whom were on death row due to the enormity of their crimes.

In fact, as I reported back in August 2012, many imprisoned terrorists, including from Egypt’s notorious Islamic Jihad organization—which was once led by Ayman Zawahiri—were released under Morsi.

One year later, in August 2013, soon after the removal of Morsi, Egypt’s Interior Ministry announced that Egypt was “preparing to cancel any presidential pardons issued during Morsi’s era to terrorists or criminals.”

During this same call, and in the context of pardons, Morsi said he would do his best to facilitate the return of Muhammad’s infamous brother and al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Zawahiri, back to Egypt—“with his head held high,” in accordance with Islamist wishes—as well as urge the U.S. to release the “Blind Sheikh” and terrorist mastermind, Omar Abdul Rahman.

In March 2013, I wrote about how Morsi, during his Pakistan visit, had reportedly met with Ayman Zawahiri  and made arrangements to smuggle him back to Sinai.  According to a Pakistan source, the meeting was “facilitated by elements of Pakistani intelligence [ISI] and influential members of the International Organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The gist of the next two calls between Morsi and Muhammad Zawahiri was that, so long as the former is president, he would see to it that all released jihadis and al-Qaeda operatives are allowed to move freely throughout Egypt and the Sinai, and that the presidential palace would remain in constant contact with Zawahiri, to make sure everything is moving to the satisfaction of both parties.

Zawahiri further requested that Morsi allow them to develop training camps in Sinai in order to support the Brotherhood through trained militants. Along with saying that the Brotherhood intended to form a “revolutionary guard” to protect him against any coup, Morsi added that, in return for al-Qaeda’s and its affiliates’ support, not only would he allow them to have such training camps, but he would facilitate their development in Sinai and give them four facilities to use along the Egyptian-Libyan border.

That Libya is mentioned is interesting.  According to a Libyan Arabic report I translated back in June 2013, those who attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were from jihadi cells that had been formed in Libya through Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood support.  Those interrogated named Morsi and other top Brotherhood leadership as accomplices.

More evidence—including some that implicates the U.S. administration—has mounted since then.

You must read the rest of this explosive report!

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Meets Obama in White House

Anas Altikriti standing next to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi shaking hands with President Obama / Flickr

Anas Altikriti standing next to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi shaking hands with President Obama / Flickr

By :

A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood was recently hosted at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama, prompting an outcry from critics of the global Islamist organization.

Anas Altikriti, a top British lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood whose father heads Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood party, recently met with the president and Vice President Joe Biden as part of a delegation discussing problems in Iraq.

Altikriti, whose work has also been tied to Hamas, can be seen smiling in photos published by the White House as he stands next to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi, who is pictured shaking hands with President Obama in the White House’s Roosevelt Room. The meeting was first highlighted by the blog Harry’s Place.

The Obama administration has been criticized its outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamist organization whose members’ brief reign in Egypt was supported by the White House.

Nujaifi, Altikriti, and other members of the Iraqi delegation were in town late January to discuss al Qaeda’s growing presence in Iraq. Nujaifi himself was reported to have met twice with President Obama, though it remains unclear if Altikriti accompanied him on both occasions.

“President Barack Obama greets Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, Iraqi Council of Representatives, after he drops by Vice President Joe Biden’s meeting with the Speaker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House,” read the White House’s photo caption, which clearly shows Altikriti standing to al-Nujaifi’s right side.

A White House spokesman confirmed that Altikriti was brought to the meeting to serve as a translator for al-Nujaifi.

Others present in the meeting included “Puneet Talwar, senior director for Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf at the [National Security Council], Philip Gordon, special assistant to the president and White House director for the Middle East, Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran, and Andrew Kim, director for Iraq,” according to the White House pool report filed on that day.

The meeting focused on ways the United States can help local Iraqi leaders combat al Qaeda.

Read more at Free Beacon

Also see:

Egypt mosques: Weekly sermon themes set by government

Egypt has 90 million people, the majority of them Muslim

Egypt has 90 million people, the majority of them Muslim

By Ahmed Maher:

Mosques across Egypt have witnessed the first Friday sermon on a set theme chosen by the government as part of newly introduced controls on Muslim places of worship.

The policy is controversial in a country that is deeply polarised after the army overthrew President Mohammad Morsi last year after mass protests, amid deep resentment against his single year in power.

The Ministry of Religious Endowments is the official Egyptian body which will decide what imams or preachers should tell the millions who attend the weekly prayers, known in Arabic as salat al-jummah. Attendance is obligatory within Islam for Muslims without a valid excuse such as sickness.

Starting from Friday 31 January, all Egyptian mosques are to abide by the weekly topic posted on the ministry’s website.

Discipline

The imams will not be sent written scripts. They may give impromptu speeches as long as they do not deviate from the official theme.

Preachers at state mosques who disobey would face disciplinary action or sacking.

Private mosques are threatened with annexation by the ministry if they do not toe the line.

The theme for the first sermon was the importance of redeveloping squatter settlements and helping the poor.

The following week’s sermon, on 7 February, will centre on “the role of youths in society”.

It is hard to tell whether all mosques in the Arab world’s most populous country have obeyed the new instructions.

Gen Sisi (centre) leads a military-backed government after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi

Gen Sisi (centre) leads a military-backed government after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi

It is also too early and rather difficult to assess whether the ministry will be able to enforce the decision on tens of thousands of mosques nationwide with only a limited number of inspectors.

Other newly introduced state controls over mosques include restricting the weekly sermon to clerics appointed by the authorities – who must be graduates of al-Azhar University [one of the main centres of Sunni Muslim learning].

Thousands of unlicensed prayer rooms in apartment buildings across the country are to be closed.

Spiritual matters

Supporters of the state guidance consider it necessary to stop preachers from stirring political tension.

They argue that the job of the imam or preacher should be confined to spiritual matters and social problems, and steer clear of politics.

“Muslim Brotherhood preachers have used the pulpits to spread their political opinions and incite violence against the army and security forces,” said Ahmed Abdel Mohsen, a 37-year-old lawyer.

Bombings and drive-by shootings targeting police officers have increased as retaliation for the killings and jailing of Brotherhood members and other Islamists.

Read more at BBC

Islamo-Reality and Treason

download (65)By Justin O. Smith:

One must oppose any group and anything that works against one’s right to make choices, in a peaceful and self-determinig manner, and individual Liberty, whether it is Nazi fascism, Stalin’s communism, Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, or Islam and its islamoNazi core doctrines. With this said, it is not “islamophobia” to analyze and discuss Islam’s intolerance, inherent violent nature and the documented facts concerning Islam’s continuous assaults on the West and Islam’s disruption of civilized societies: This is Islamo-Reality.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is a growing enemy within our sovereign borders. From its own charter, we have read the very words calling for the destruction of America. Its influence extends throughout the U.S. government and local areas across the nation; and this should greatly trouble everyone, especially in light of the December 23, 2013 bombings in Mansoura, Egypt, historical events preceding this, and Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi’s declaration that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “terrorist organization”, a designation the MB has worn numerous times.

Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali addressed the Muslim Student Association at UCLA, and at one point he shouted, “I will die to establish Islam in America.”

Today, seventy percent of Egypt’s population desires a government and a constitution based on Sharia law. And yet, after democratically electing Mohammed Morsi and empowering the Muslim Brotherhood, they soon rejected MB rule due to the extremely violent measures it employed. Journalists were imprisoned along with Mubarak supporters, and recently an audiotape has indicated that Morsi was cooperating with Al Qaeda in targeting Christians for murder. All of this contributed to “Field Marshall” Sisi, a Mubarak associate, grabbing power and imprisoning Morsi,as the turmoil continues and the violence rages.

Current day Egypt parallels Egypt during the 1950s. Jamal Abd al-Nasser needed the support of the MB leader Hasan Ismail al-Hudaybi to create an Egyptian republic, after seizing power in 1952. In 1954, Nasser refused to fully apply Islamic law, as Hudaybi demanded, and he outlawed the MB on the grounds that they were plotting a counter coup. On October 26, 1954 a member of “The Secret Apparatus”/ al jihaz al-sirri, a MB terrorist unit, shot Nasser at a rally; by the end of November 1954, over 1000 Brothers had been arrested and brought to trial: From their inception, the MB had rejected Nasser’s brand of “true” and “liberal” Islam and secularism, and they embraced violent Sunni fundamentalism and the Theocratic State.

In 1982, Hafez al Assad, Syrian dictator, brutally suppressed a savage revolt by Muslim Brothers in Hama. The MB cut the throats of the families of government workers and Baath Party officials, murdered local policemen and beheaded teachers who insisted on secular education__just as the Groupe Islamique Arme did in Algeria, when these MB allies decapitated seven Catholic monks in 1996. Sound familiar? Just look at Syria’s current situation.

Ask James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, “Just when did the MB become ‘a largely secular’ organization?”

Murfreesboro’s local MB hero, Saleh Sbenaty is closely aligned to Nihad Awad, the terrorist from CAIR, and Jamal Badawi and the movement to force America to submit to Islam. Sbenaty openly supports Hamas. And yet, he fled Syria in 1982. If he believed in the “truth” of Islam so strongly and loved Syria so much, why did he not stand and fight? Some freedom fighter, huh?

Instead of isolating the MB, the Obama administration has taken an unnatural delight in coddling them, because Obama never severed his implanted Islamic sympathy from his childhood days. This partially explains the visa issued to Hani Nour Eldin by the U.S. State Dept in June 2013. Eldin is a member of Gama’a al Islamiyya, the terrorist organization responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and one of five signatories of Osama bin-Laden’s February 1998 ‘World Islamic Front Statement Urging Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders’, America and Europe. Shouldn’t it be imperative to review the policy protocol that permitted a member of bin-Laden’s jihad front into the White House?

Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott reported three weeks ago that retired General Tom McInerney essentially confirms that the Obama administration has exposed national security information through Huma Abedin. Abedin is Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, and she has deep personal and familiy ties with the MB.

John Guandolo, former FBI counter terrorism expert, goes one step further in explanation: “Mr Brennan, now head of the CIA, did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity for the U.S. in Saudi Arabia. He has given them access to the National Security Council, the National Security staff. He has brought known Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood operatives into those positions of government.”

The Progressive/Democratic Party mindset, which has enabled MB infiltration of the U.S. government, is of the same nature that allowed Gehad al-Haddad to serve as a top official for the Clinton Foundation, while he simultaneously served as the MB spokesman and advisor to Egyptian President Morsi, from February 2011 until his arrest for inciting violence in September 2013.

Two days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) stated, “It’s very clear to everyone but this administration that radical Islam is at war against us…This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they are just making wrong decisions for America.”

Interestingly, since September 2013, Al Jazeera and numerous sources, such as the Director of Research at Brookings Doha Center, have alleged that Barack Obama is a “full on member” of the Muslim Brotherhood, and in November 2013, Egyptian lawyers charged Barack and his brother Malik Obama in the International Criminal Court with “crimes against humanity” and many other crimes ranging from murder to “deprivation of physical liberty.” While Malik is accused of funding terrorists in Sudan, Barack Obama is also accused of using the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to provide direct financial support to MB operatives, with Morsi’s complicity.

Obama and his administration have assured a dramatic and accelerated measure of success for the Muslim Brotherhood globally and in America. Whether it is the so-called “refugee” program that is allowing terrorists a cover for entering our nation or Obama’s outright support for the jihadist movements, from Al Qaeda militias in Libya to the MB in Egypt and on to both groups in Syria, this twisted and perverse Middle East policy is unrecognizable as American and is not in the best interest of the U.S. And, in the best light of day, as I recall American lives lost and the Twin Towers collapsing, only one word can possibly describe Obama’s actions___treason.

Egypt: Are Elections “Democracy”?

by Andrew C. McCarthy:

From reading the American press, you would believe that if Middle Eastern Muslims were allowed to govern themselves by having free elections, this would be the route to democracy. This is a fallacy that we have been following now as a matter of American foreign policy for many administrations and many years. You cannot tell me that, after the same Egyptians voted two-to-one to have an intense Sharia constitution, eight months later they suddenly did not want Sharia any more. What they decided was that they did not want Morsi any more.

If here is ever to be anything approximating democratic transformation in Egypt the only way it is going it happen is if Egypt has a respected institution, such as the military, that governs the country, with the help of whatever technocratic officials it needs to run the country day-to-day, and where the forces of secular democracy at least have a chance to compete — which means growing these institutions to cultivate a respect for minority rights and individual liberty.

The good news is that the Egyptians will not be able to keep their Sharia constitution, at least not the way the Muslim Brotherhood designed it. But the way it was covered in the United States, this was not reflected as good news.

What is going on in Egypt now, while I wouldn’t go up in a balloon over it, is much more of a ray of hope than anything that we have had previously in what has been called the Arab Spring — a misnomer, if ever there was one. We actually knew quite a bit about how Egyptians wanted to be governed before Mubarak fell thanks to polling that was done there – in fact, done not only in Egypt but across the Middle East, from Egypt all the way to Indonesia.

There was pretty authoritative polling, for example, done by the University of Maryland in 2007 in conjunction with an outfit called World Public Opinion. It indicated that, depending on where you asked the questions, upwards of two‑thirds, and in some places over 80% of Muslim populations across the Middle East, wanted to live under Sharia, Islam’s legal code and societal framework.

 

An veiled woman casts her ballot in the second round of Egypt’s presidential election, in 2012. (Image source: Jonathan Rashad/Flickr)

Let me briefly address what Sharia is. There is no division in Islam – at least in classical Islam, Islamic supremacism, which is the Islam of the Middle East – between the secular and sacred realms. Sharia has ambition to be a total societal system.

To call it just a legal code really does not do it justice, because its ambition is to govern everything from the great things to the small things, from the matters of economy, military relations, the setting up of a government or caliphate, down to interpersonal relations and even matters of hygiene. It is a soup to nuts framework for how life is to be lived – it is not only, in many countries, about girls being prohibited from attending school, but about the many other ways in which girls and women are suppressed, not only their education, but professionally and in interpersonal relations as well.

From the Islamic perspective there is a belief that Islam has to be imposed, and that Sharia is the necessary precondition for Islamizing a society. The first World Trade Center bombing was really our first significant exposure in the United States to radical Islam conducting terrorists attacks on our shores in what turned out to be a systematic way over time.

It is interesting to me that 20 years after the World Trade Center bombing we still do not have a good understanding in the United States of what Jihad is. If you listen to the apologists for Islamic supremacists who are featured frequently in the media, you would think that it is an internal struggle for personal betterment; that it doesn’t have any military component. If you listen to them long enough, you would come away thinking that it wasn’t anything more meaningful than remembering to brush after every meal.

But Jihad is essentially a military concept, and people on our side, or on the national security side, of this debate have it wrong when they say it is everywhere and always a military concept.

What it is — everywhere and always — is the advancement of Sharia. It is about the implementation of Sharia. Whether jihad is done violently or non‑violently, the point is to implant Sharia because Sharia is seen as the necessary building block for Islamizing a society.

In the Middle East, it should tell us a lot that people across the region and in Egypt by upwards of two‑thirds said that they wanted to be governed under Sharia law. It should have given us a real clue about what was apt to happen once Mubarak fell and what, in fact, did happen once Mubarak fell. For all the hullabaloo about “democracy” and “democracy promotion,” the first election in Egypt — about two months after Mubarak was ousted — got very little coverage. I think it was the most important of all of the elections they had – then and thereafter. The media did not cover it much in the United States and in the West; it was dismissed as a procedural election about scheduling and something to do vaguely with constitutional amendments.

Read more at Gatestone Institute