European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

(from left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery Read more:

(from left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery
Read more:

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, August 22, 2015:

Quick action by unarmed off-duty U.S. servicemen on a high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris narrowly averted tragedy yesterday as they subdued a terrorist gunmen before he could begin his rampage. And according to multiple reports, the suspect in custody was known to multiple European intelligence agencies – yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” terrorism.

Since last year, I’ve noted here at PJ Media that virtually all of the terrorist incidents in the West have been conducted by subjects who were already known to law enforcement and national security agencies, refuting the “lone wolf” narrative floated by authorities and the establishment media that such terrorist activity is random and unpredictable.

And such appears to be the case yet again in the case of what happened on the Thalys train.

CNN reports:

The suspected gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the European counterterrorism official said.

A second security source told CNN the gunman was known by French intelligence. The official said it appeared the gunman was sympathetic to ISIS, but a full determination on his specific loyalties had yet to be reached.

Another report from The Telegraph indicates that the gunman was known to multiple European intelligence agencies:

The gunman who tried to bring carnage to a high-speed train is believed to have been an Islamist extremist who traveled to Syria last year.

The 26-year-old of Moroccan origin, named in the Spanish press as Ayoub El Qahzzani, is understood to have been on the watch lists of three European intelligence services.

The gunman was taken into custody at Arras station and the French authorities have not released his name. But if he was Qahzzani, he appears to have left Morocco in 2013 and moved to Spain, where he lived for about a year.

And Reuters indicates that Qahzzani was no “lone wolf”:

According to Le Voix du Nord, citing security sources, the suspected Islamist militant was seen on a plane to Turkey from Germany in May, and was thought to have visited Syria.

The French newspaper said he may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January.

One terrorism expert makes an important point:

Neuman tweet

An editor at the Jerusalem Post also asks another relevant question:


The case of yet another returned foreign fighter from Syria engaged in terrorism seems to refute the attempts by many counterterrorism researchers to say the threat is “exaggerated” and that terror returnees should be treated with a “hands-off” reintegration approach, most recently advocated by Charles Lister at Brookings Institution.

The “Known Wolf” terrorism phenomenon is something I have documented here at PJ Media going back to last year:

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Jan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015:Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015:France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015:Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

This was also the subject of a Capitol Hill briefing I gave back in late January sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET):

So why is it despite these repeated instances of “Known Wolf” terrorism, that authorities have yet to even acknowledge the problem, let alone try to solve it?


#BringBackOurRebels: Statement Confirms Arrest of U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels By Al-Qaeda After Pentagon Denial

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 30, 2015:

Earlier this week I reported here at PJ Media that the first class of Obama’s U.S.-trained “vetted moderate” Syrian rebels – 50 in all – had left Turkey for Syria and had not been heard from since, based on a McClatchy report.

Then yesterday I posted a follow-up report that 18 of the newly trained U.S. rebels, including some of its leaders, had been arrested/kidnapped by Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

In response to that report, Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr. Elissa Smith denied the claim:

daily sabah

Reports have claimed that the al-Qaida linked Al-Nusra Front has detained 18 opposition members, including Syrian Turkmen Colonel Nedim Hassan, -who is the leader of the U.S train-and-equip program-, and field commander Farhan Jasim near the Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, which was refuted by the Pentagon.

“While we will not disclose the names of specific groups involved with the Syria Train and Equip program I can confirm that there have been no New Syrian Force personnel captured or detained.” Pentagon spokeswoman or Cmdr. Elissa Smith told Daily Sabah.

It was claimed that the opposition members who were returning from the train-and-equip program from Turkey were cut in by the Nusra militants, and were allegedly detained on the grounds that they are cooperating with the U.S.

But that flat-out denial by the Pentagon on the matter is refuted this morning in a report by Reuters and a statement issued by the group itself:

reuters tweet

From the Reuters report:

The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front has abducted the leader of a U.S.-backed rebel group in north Syria, opposition sources and a monitoring group said, in a blow to Washington’s efforts to train and equip fighters to combat Islamic State.

A statement issued in the name of the group, “Division 30″, accused the Nusra Front of abducting Nadim al-Hassan and a number of his companions in a rural area north of Aleppo. It urged Nusra to release them.

A Syrian activist and a second opposition source said most of the 54 fighters who have so far completed a U.S.-led train and equip programmed in neighboring Turkey were from Division 30.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that reports on the war, said the men were abducted while returning from a meeting in Azaz, north of Aleppo, to coordinate efforts with other factions. The opposition source said they were abducted on Tuesday night.

The Telegraph is also reporting:

Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists kidnapped the commanders of a US-trained rebel faction operating in northern Syria on Wednesday, sources said, in another blow for the Pentagon’s train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels.

A statement issued Wednesday by the Division 30 Infantry group accused the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, of taking the Division’s commander, Colonel Nadim Al-Hassan, and his companions in the northern countryside of Aleppo province.

“[The Division] demands that the brothers in the Nusra Front release the colonel… and his companions with the utmost speed so as to preserve the blood of the Muslims and… so as not to weaken the frontlines with side disputes between the brothers of one side,” said the statement, which was released on Division 30′s official page on social media.

Lister tweet2


So now the Obama administration and the GOP leadership that pushed thru the $500 million in funding for the program are now embarrassed on multiple levels:

  • The program was supposed to train 5,000 rebels to fight the Islamic State this year, but Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted to Congress earlier this month that only 60 had completed the program.
  • To train those 60 fighters, the Pentagon has burned one half of the funds allocated for the training, with $4 million spent per fighter so far.
  • No sooner had that first class of 54 been sent off to Syria on July 12, the Pentagon reportedly lost contact with them.
  • Then yesterday the initial reports were that 18 of those members had been arrested by Jabhat al-Nusra, prompting the Pentagon denial.
  • Now the Division 30 statement and the Reuters report flatly contradict the Pentagon denial yesterday, meaning they did not know or they lied about the embarrassing report.

As I stated in concluding yesterday’s report, does anyone still want to talk about a JV team?


Also see:

U.S.-Funded Free Syrian Army Unit Shows Off Its Kidnapping Skills in New Training Video

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 23, 2015:

A training video released today by Liwa Fursan al-Haqq (Knights of Justice Brigade) of the “vetted moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) opens with the group’s special forces practicing their abduction and kidnapping skills. And yet FSA units, funded, supported and armed by the U.S., have been repeatedly implicated in the abduction and kidnapping of U.S. citizens in Syria.

Here you can see them putting their U.S.-funded training to practice:


Also shown are critical military skills, such as standing on the back of a motorcycle while shooting two U.S.-funded AK-47s one-handed:


Of course no jihadist training video would be complete without the requisite traversing of the monkey bars:


Or the “Fiery Ring of Death”:


Delta Force and the Navy SEALs have nothing on Liwa Fursan al-Haqq. Yet all three elite units are funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars!

You can watch the whole 10 minute video in all of its glory:

What makes the video of U.S.-funded FSA units being trained in kidnapping and abduction so important to note is that FSA units have repeatedly been implicated in the abduction of American citizens who were later traded to Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, as well as the Islamic State.

That would include American journalist James Foley, beheaded by the Islamic State last year in its first such grisly video, who reportedly came into ISIS custody when the FSA-aligned Dawud Brigade that kidnapped and held Foley pledged allegiance to ISIS and delivered him to ISIS as a token of their submission.

That, however, is not the only such documented incident of FSA units abducting Americans.

In late October, American journalist Theo Padnos — who was captured by the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and then given over to Jabhat al-Nusra — told the story of his two-year captivity in the New York Times Magazine.

At one point, Padnos says he escaped from his Al-Qaeda captors and found himself back in the hands of the FSA, who then, again, promptly turned him back over to the terror group.

Padnos also relates this exchange with some U.S.-trained FSA fighters that exposes the glaring weaknesses of the CIA’s vetting system:

I returned to the FSA troops. One told me that his unit had recently traveled to Jordan to receive training from American forces in fighting groups like the Nusra Front.

“Really?” I said. “The Americans? I hope it was good training.”

“Certainly, very,” he replied.

The fighters stared at me. I stared at them.

After a few moments, I asked, “About this business of fighting Jebhat al Nusra?”

“Oh, that,” one said. “We lied to the Americans about that.”

An NBC News crew taken captive in Syria in December 2012, and who later repeatedly claimed they had been held by an Assad regime militia, later admitted – following a New York Times investigation – that they were in fact held by an FSA criminal network.

Also, there is evidence that NBC News executives knew from the time of the crew’s capture that they were held by U.S. allies, but allowed the blame to fall on Assad since that didn’t conflict with the Obama administration’s position at the time.

The chief Washington D.C. cheerleader for the Syrian rebels, Charles Lister of the Brookings Institution, happily announced the Liwa Fursan Al-Qaqq video release earlier today:

Lister tweet

As I noted back in April here at PJ Media, Lister finally admitted what he and most of the other Western supporters of the Syrian rebels have well known for a long time — that vast majority of Syrian rebel groups have been associated with Jabhat al-Nusra, a fact mostly concealed by the D.C. “smart set”:

This latter alliance with Jabhat al-Nusra has been a consistent facet of insurgent dynamics in Syria, but not only in terms of conservative Salafist groups like Ahrar al-Sham. In fact, while rarely acknowledged explicitly in public, the vast majority of the Syrian insurgency has coordinated closely with Al-Qaeda since mid-2012 – and to great effect on the battlefield. But while this pragmatic management of relationships may have secured opposition military victories against the regime, it has also come at an extraordinary cost. The assimilation of Al-Qaeda into the broader insurgency has discouraged the U.S. and its European allies from more definitively backing the ‘moderate’ opposition. That, by extension, has encouraged the intractability of the conflict we see today and the rise of jihadist factions like Jabhat al-Nusra, IS, and many others.

In fact, it was just a year ago yesterday that Liwa Fursan Al-Haqq announced they were separating from Jabhat al-Nusra. Nusra had been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in December 2012.

As a result of that separation, that gave the U.S. the go-ahead to begin supplying them with heavy weaponry, such as TOW anti-tank missiles, which you can see them using in the video below:

So the next time that an American citizen finds himself kidnapped by a FSA unit, possibly ending up starring in the Islamic State’s latest beheading video, he can take comfort that his captors have received the best training and received the most advanced weaponry courtesy of his own country’s support.

Your U.S. taxpayer dollars hard at work!

Massive Terror Attack on Military Checkpoints in Egypt’s Sinai Kills Dozens

CI0r3wTWsAAM86yPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 1, 2015:

A coordinated attack by terrorists on multiple Egyptian military checkpoints in north Sinai has left dozens dead with fighting still ongoing in some areas, according to multiple reports.


sinai attack


Wilayat Sinai, the ISIS affiliate operating in Sinai and formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) until their merger with ISIS in November 2014, has reportedly already taken credit for the attack:

haaretz tweet

This attack comes just two days after the assassination of Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, whose funeral was yesterday.


The attacks occurred near Sheikh Zuweid not far from the Rafah border crossing into Gaza.



If casualties are in fact 60 dead or more, this would be one of the biggest terror attacks in Egypt’s modern history and definitely would mark an escalation in the conflict between terrorist groups and the Egyptian government in the two years since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.


Egypt is one of the top U.S. allies in the Middle East, though the Obama administration withheld military supplies from Egypt for nearly two years as the insurgency in the Sinai escalated, only relenting recently.


Read more

Also see:

Number of Islamic Terror-Related Arrests in 2015 Surpass Previous Two Years Combined

Screen-Shot-2015-06-23-at-12.23.20-PM-800x442PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 25, 2015:

Last month I reported here exclusively at PJ Media on the rapidly escalating number of Islamic terror-related arrests this year, noting that we were on pace to surpass the number of arrests for 2013 and 2014 combined (48) before the halfway point of the current year next week.

In fact, that is exactly what has happened. At present 53 suspects have been arrested or involved in Islamic terror-related incidents with law enforcement since the beginning of the year.

This is top among reasons why Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said just a few days ago that this is “the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country”.

Here are the additional cases since I reported last month, beginning with the most recent:

June 22: Justin Nojan Sullivan, 19, of Morganton, North Carolina, was charged with attempting to materially support ISIS and two related weapons possession charges. According to local press reports, the teen intended to attack a bar or concert, and then kill as many as 1,000 victims. DOJ press release. Complaint.

June 19: Amir Said Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazi aka Robert C. McCollum, 38, of North Olmstead, Ohio, was arrested for attempting to provide material support to ISIS, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, and trafficking marijuana. Media reports indicate that Al-Ghazi had been known to the FBI since December 2012 due to his social media activity, and that in June 2014 he pledged allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook posting.  FBI press release. Complaint.

June 17: Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 21, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with conspiring with others to provide services and personnel to ISIS. DOJ press release. Complaint.

June 17: Fareed Mumuni, 21, of Staten Island, New York, an associate of Topaz, was arrested for attempting to repeatedly stab an FBI agent investigating his role in a possible domestic terror plot. In court documents, prosecutors said that “Mumuni espouses violent jihadist beliefs and is a fervent supporter of (ISIS).” Complaint.

June 13: Munther Omar Saleh, 20, of Queens, New York, an associate of both Topaz and Mumuni, was arrested for plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb at a New York City landmark in support of ISIS. He was arrested when they lunged at a law enforcement surveillance vehicle that had been following his movements. According to the complaint, Saleh was active on social media, saying in September 2014 that Al-Qaeda was becoming too moderate, and expressing his praise for the Charlie Hebdo attack in January and the attempted attack in Garland, Texas last month. Complaint.

June 11: Akmal Zakirov, 29, an Uzbek national, was charged as the fifth member of a Brooklyn-based cell to materially support ISIS. Specifically, Zakirov had assisted in helping others plan to travel to Syria to join ISIS. DOJ press release. Indictment.

June 11: Nicholas Rovinski aka Nuh Amriki, 24, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was arrested for conspiracy to obstruct an investigation and conspiracy to materially support ISIS related to his role in an ISIS-inspired domestic terror plot with two Boston-based associates. FBI press release. Complaint.

June 10: Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem aka Decarus Thomas, of Phoenix, Arizona, was indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in the attempted Garland, Texas terror attack by his associates, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, in early May. According to the indictment, Kareem had taken the pair shooting, had supplied weapons to Simpson and Soofi, and hosted a gathering in his home to discuss the Garland “Draw Muhammad” event. He is accused of later lying to FBI agents after Simpson and Soofi were killed during the attempted attack. In a subsequent hearing in the case, the FBI said that Kareem had discussed attacking the Super Bowl. Indictment.

June 10: Reza Niknejad, 18, of Prince William County, Virginia, was charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and conspiring to kill and injure people abroad. He was charged in abstentia since he traveled to Syria in January to join ISIS. The charges were announced in conjunction with the plea agreement reached with one of his conspirators, 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin. DOJ press release.

June 2: Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, of Roslindale, Massachusetts, was killed in a confrontation with FBI agents and a Boston police officer after lunging at them with a large, military-style knife. The FBI wanted to speak to Rahim about his intended plan to kill police officers. One of Rahim’s conspirators, David Wright aka Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, 25, of Everett, Massachusetts, was arrested later that same day and charged with obstructing justice in the investigation. Wright and Nicholas Rovinski were later charged with conspiracy to materially support ISIS. FBI press release. Initial Wright complaint.

May 27: Leon Nathan Davis, 37, of Augusta, Georgia, was charged with trying to aid ISIS. The charges appear related to his October 2014 arrest at Atlanta Hartfield Airport and weapons charges filed in February. FBI press release.

May 26: Asher Abed Khan, 20, of Spring, Texas, was charged with conspiracy to materially support ISIS. As I reported here at PJ Media, Khan planned to travel to Syria through Turkey to join ISIS, but was lured back home by his family who lied and told him that his mother was dying. Khan apparently made it onto the FBI’s radar when his social media messages turned up in another investigation. According to the criminal complaint, one of Khan’s friends was successful in leaving the country and joining ISIS in Syria. FBI press release. Complaint.

It should be noted that every single case I’ve reported on here involves support for ISIS. This is undoubtedly the result of a directive from FBI headquarters for its field offices to “shake every tree” following the attempted terror attack in Garland, Texas in early May, much to the bureau’s credit.

Last week Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee told CNN that small scale ISIS attacks should be expected on July 4th, amidst an active hunt for ISIS supporters by the FBI ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. But with rising support for ISIS here and abroad, it remains to be seen whether these efforts will be sufficient.

Regardless, I’ll continue to provide updates on the Islamic terror-related arrests as 2015 looks to be an unprecedented year in domestic terrorism.

Also see:

U.S. Acting as Air Support to Al-Qaeda in Syria Against ISIS

Al Nusrah leader Abu Muhammad al Julani interview with Al Jazeera June 3, 2015 Source:

Al Nusrah leader Abu Muhammad al Julani interview with Al Jazeera June 3, 2015 Source:

PJ Media by Patrick Poole, June 7, 2015:

U.S. coalition aircraft struck ISIS positions in support of Syrian rebels, including Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official Syria affiliate, along with another prominent jihadist group, Ahrar al-Sham. This is a dramatic shift from just a year and a half ago, when Obama administration officials said they would support Islamist groups as long as they weren’t allied with Al-Qaeda.

Agence France Presse reports:

US-led aircraft bombed Islamic State group fighters as they battled rival Syrian rebels, including Al-Qaeda loyalists, for the first time, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described the overnight raids in northern Aleppo as an intervention on the side of the rival rebels, which include forces who have been targeted previously by US-led strikes.

“The coalition carried out at least four strikes overnight targeting IS positions in the town of Suran,” the Britain-based Observatory said.

“It’s the first time that the international coalition has supported non-Kurdish opposition forces fighting the Islamic State,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

He said at least eight IS fighters were killed in the strikes and another 20 were injured.

This is also the first time that the U.S. has openly acted as air support for Al-Qaeda.

It needs to be stressed that U.S. airstrikes have targeted Jabhat al-Nusra in just the past month. Now we are effectively their air force. Nusra was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in December 2012.

Some may remember the breathless media reports last September that a previously unmentioned terror group operating inside Syria was plotting attacks on the U.S. and other Western targets, described by U.S. officials as the “Khorasan group.” As Al-Aan TV later revealed, the “Khorasan group” was nothing more than an elite group of foreign fighters working as part of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Thus began a series of U.S. strikes targeting al-Nusra:

Sept. 23: An airstrike killed Nusra leader Abu Yousef al-Turki.

Nov. 13: A Nusra base near Idlib was hit killing two.

Nov. 19: A storage facility controlled by Nusra was struck near the Turkish border at Harem.

March 9: A local Nusra headquarters in Bab al-Hawa was targeted close to the Turkish border.

May 20: Two Nusra buildings in Tawama were destroyed, killing 15 fighters.

This dramatic shift in U.S. policy towards al-Nusra has not gone unnoticed:



So what changed?

Undoubtedly Nusra’s role in the opposition to ISIS was the topic of conversation at last month’s U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council’s meetings at Camp David. Nusra’s role in the Syrian opposition, particularly in the northwest part of the country, has grown considerably. If anyone could direct the Al-Qaeda franchise to cease plans directed at Western targets to allay fears of the Obama administration, it would be their Gulf sponsors.

Perhaps the result of those discussions was a two-part Al Jazeera interview with Nusra commander Abu Muhammad al-Julani. Speculation by some in the D.C. foreign policy community was that Julani was going to renounce the group’s allegiance to Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri.

But, as Tom Joscelyn at the Long War Journal noted, Julani made clear that Jabhat al-Nusra was Al-Qaeda’s operation and would remain so in submission to Zawahiri. Yet some in the D.C. foreign policy circles still insist that Nusra is becoming more “pragmatic.”

As I reported here at PJ Media in March, there is a major effort on the part of academics and journalists to rehabilitate Al-Qaeda’s image in the face of a growing ISIS threat.

And now, with Julani doubling-down on his allegiance to Al-Qaeda and Zawahiri, the U.S. is in the awkward position of providing air support to the very terror group, along with other “moderate” jihadists, in their struggle over territory with ISIS.

So our official policy is now to support the terrorists in Column A to fight (for now) the terrorists in Column B.

Some are happy with this development:


I have reported here at PJ Media extensively over the past year about the shifting allegiances and alliances with terror groups by U.S.-backed Syrian rebel groups. In fact, much of the recent gains made by Jabhat al-Nusra against the Assad regime have come as a result of U.S. TOW anti-tank missiles that had been provided to other groups that later fell into Nusra hands.

There are no assurances that Julani and Nusra will remain in the anti-ISIS camp. In fact, Julani previously served as one of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s deputies and nothing prevents some kind of reconciliation down the road.

Barack Obama’s schizophrenic — and at times, contradictory — policy towards Syria has led us to this point where U.S. forces are serving in support of anti-ISIS elements, including Al-Qaeda. Not fourteen years after 9/11, is this what American signed up for?

Stupid Foreign Policy MEME OF THE WEEK: You’re Helping ISIS If You Talk About Their Ramadi Victory

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 3, 2015:

Imagine the following headlines during World War Two:

December 1941: “If you talk about Pearl Harbor, you’re aiding Japanese imperialism.”

December 1944: “If you talk about the German encirclement of Bastogne, you’re aiding the Nazis.”

August 1940: “If you talk about the Italian conquest of British Somaliland, you’re aiding fascism.”

For most today, this would seem silly on its face. During that time, they would have been taken for a case of insanity.

But this sort of headline is what we were treated with in Foreign Affairs this week in response to the conquest of Ramadi in Iraq last week by the Islamic State in an article, “Don’t Aid ISIS,” by Bridget Moreng and Nathaniel Barr.

Foreign Affairs tweet 2

Their argument is that if you recognize the ISIS conquest of Ramadi and talk about its possible implications, you’re aiding ISIS propaganda efforts:

Alarmist analyses of Ramadi aren’t just wrong, they’re dangerous. By inaccurately interpreting the takeover as an indication that ISIS is on the rise, commentators are playing directly into the group’s narrative […]

This dynamic has been a problem for some time. In November 2014, multiple leading news outlets reported that ISIS had taken over the Libyan city of Derna, when in reality, ISIS was only one group in a patchwork of militant organizations operating in the city. And this time around, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour quoted a former CENTCOM advisor saying that 6,000 Iraqi forces had fallen to just 150 ISIS fighters in Ramadi. This claim is almost certainly untrue, as ISIS is unlikely to have sent only 150 fighters to wrest control of a major urban city. This is the type of exaggerated analysis that plays into ISIS’ hands by portraying it as a super-human fighting force.

ISIS has even incorporated Western analysts’ comments into its own propaganda: its monthly English-language magazine Dabiq dedicates a sectionentitled “In the Words of the Enemy”—to quoting Western government officials and analysts who have warned of ISIS’ growing strength.

Analysts should remember that their assessments of ISIS’ capabilities resonate far beyond the Beltway and the national media. Misinterpretations of battlefield developments and exaggerations of the jihadists’ strength complicate U.S. efforts to fight them in the arena of public opinion, and by extension, on the battlefield.

There seems to be several things happening here.

With respect to their claims about the number of ISIS fighters in Ramadi you have their naked assertion of what they think ISIS would do versus a statement by a former CENTCOM adviser to a news organization. Had Moreng and Barr responded with “ISIS mobilized X elements from city Y to Ramadi,” then their dismissal of the CNN report would have more merit. As it is, they’re engaged in little more than wishful thinking. Is their denial of the claim sufficient to dismiss the report altogether? Clearly not.

Then you have their claim that talking about the victory in Ramadi actually aids ISIS propaganda efforts. Are we really to believe that thousands are flocking to the cause of the Islamic State because of a republished Rick Santorum quote in the back pages of the ISIS Dabiq magazine?

It seems I’m not the only one to look askance at their claim:

Doug Sanders tweet

Peter  Swinger tweet

don't aid ISIS

We see this absurd argument now employed by members of the foreign policy establishment on a regular basis.

Earlier this week I noted here at PJ Media the escalating terror campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, including documented acts of terrorism by Brotherhood members during 2014. And yet in January you had two of the foreign policy elite write in the pages of the Washington Post that if you declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, that would cause them to become one.

Let me suggest what will aid ISIS: shouting down honest and informed analysis about their successes and its implications.

Fortunately, there are still some adults left in the foreign policy establishment who are willing to have a frank and candid conversation about the recent gains by the Islamic State, notwithstanding Ms. Moreng and Mr. Barr’s objection:

Jeff Stein tweet

how is could win

Let’s not forget that back in March, as I noted here at PJ Media, that Foreign Affairs was floating yet another stupid MEME OF THE WEEK: Accepting ‘Moderate’ Al-Qaeda.

What these continued episodes indicate is that there is a dangerous and pervasive moral sickness in the U.S. foreign policy establishment that enables analysts to embrace reckless policies without consequence. And as I’ve noted here repeatedly over the years, the adoption of these reckless policies by both Democrats and Republicans alike has wrought catastrophic consequences across the globe imperiling our own national security.

Tragically, the more reckless the idea the more attention they receive from the foreign policy establishment at the expense or more sober and sane analysis. That too is aiding ISIS and America’s other enemies.

Muslim Brotherhood Steps Up Terror in Egypt, While U.S. Provides Cover

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 2, 2015:

What are we doing? As the bodies pile up, the churches burn, and an MB statement justifies killing politicians, judges, security, and media, Kerry’s State Dept. hosts MB visits and lobbies to keep them off terror lists. (Also read: “More MB Leaders Arrested“.)

In recent weeks, the Muslim Brotherhood has stepped up their terrorist activity and made unmistakable calls for more violence in Egypt, effectively dropping the “moderate” mask that gave cover to Western analysts and government officials going back to the Bush administration.

This policy has nonetheless stayed intact — the Obama administration continues to meet with and be advised by Brotherhood officials.

A March 2007 Foreign Affairs article, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” provided talking points to the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” advising a continuance of this charade. At the time, I was one of the few analysts publicly challenging claims of the Brotherhood’s “moderation,” and I documented elsewhere the foreign policy disaster wrought by embracing the Muslim Brotherhood and other so-called “moderate” Islamists.

Just days before my arrival in Cairo last year, two Muslim Brotherhood members were killed in a shootout with Egyptian security forces as they attacked a police checkpoint in the Nile Delta. At the same time, the ISIS-linked Sinai terrorist group that has been waging a terror campaign there released a suicide bomber video showing one individual who was know to have been involved in the Muslim Brotherhood protests that were broken up by Egyptian authorities in August 2013.

As I traveled into Upper Egypt I saw churches and ancient monasteries that had been burned down by Muslim Brotherhood mobs, complete with graffiti identifying those terrorist acts with the group. I interviewed Coptic church officials who gave testimony to the direct role of Muslim Brotherhood officials in those attacks, which were responsible for the destruction of more than 70 churches and 1000+ Christian homes in the space of just a few days:


But when the United Arab Emirates gave terrorist designations to two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups in its efforts to stamp them out last November, the State Department weighed in on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Calls by the Muslim Brotherhood for increased violence by their members have escalated over the course of this year:

  • A group called the “Revolutionary Punishment Movement” closely tied with the Brotherhood issued a statement in early February warning all foreigners and diplomats to leave the country by February 28 or possibly be faced with becoming targets in their attacks.


The open question: what will the Obama administration’s do in response to this escalating terror campaign?

As Muslim Brotherhood attacks continued last year, 20 members of the House of Representatives co-sponsored a resolution calling for the designation of the group as a terrorist organization. That bill, H.R. 5194, noted in its findings that the U.S. government itself has already designated branches, leaders and charities of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations, and that terrorism has been integral to the group since its founding.

As terror attacks directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood increase, and as the group issues more open calls for violence, perhaps Congress will consider reintroducing the resolution from the previous congressional session. Will the United States leave Egypt, one of its allies and the largest Arab country in the world, to fend off the ongoing terror campaign on its own just so the Obama administration isn’t forced to admit their embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood has been a catastrophic, deadly failure?

Read it all

American ISIS Propagandist Ahmad Abousamra Reported Killed in Iraq Airstrike

140904_wn_ross0_16x9_992PJ Media, by Patrick Poole On May 31, 2015:

An American, Ahmad Abousamra, who was wanted by the FBI since 2009 and listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list since 2013,  was killed today according to a statement published by the Iraqi government. He was reportedly one of the top ISIS media propagandist officials and involved in the production of videos showing the beheadings of Western ISIS hostages.

Al-Arabiya reports:

The Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the death of dozens of ISIS terrorists in an air strike in the west of Anbar province, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Sunday.

Among those killed was “Abu Mohammed al-Soory,” also known as “Abi Samra,” who is reportedly an expert in filmmaking, and ISIS documentary film maker, “Abu Osama al-Amriky.”

And in a statement obtained by Al Arabiya News, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the elimination of various ISIS commanders of various nationalities in an air strike that targeted their compound in the city of Qaim in the jurisdiction of Fallujah, “after following the leaderships (ISIS) meetings in a complex reconnaissance operation.” […]

The statement by the ministry added that, “amongst those killed were Abu Mohammed the Syria, nicknamed Abu Samra, who is an ISIS filmmaking expert, Abu Osama the American who is a documentary specialist for the militant group in addition to Abu Hareth Al Shami, Abu Aicha Al Ansari who is an explosives expert, Abu Saif Al Jazrawy, a Morrocan national, Abu Hussein Al Sulaimani who was in charge of the militant group’s charity foundation, Abdullatif Jumaa Al Mohammedy who was in charge of suicide bomber operations in Fallujah.

From the Iraqi Interior Ministry statement, it appears that another American, Abu Osama al-Amriki, may have also been killed.

Abousamra, who fled the US in 2006 and was indicted in a Boston-area terrorism case in 2009, was identified as one of the top ISIS propaganda experts who may have been involved in the production and filming of videos showing the beheading of Western ISIS hostages.

In announcing Abousamra’s addition to the Most Wanted Terrorist list, the FBI said about his 2009 indictment:

Ahmad Abousamra was indicted after taking multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen, where he allegedly attempted to obtain military training for the purpose of killing American soldiers overseas. On November 5, 2009, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Abousamra in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, after he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists; conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; conspiracy; and false statements. Abousamra was indicted on a total of nine charges and should be considered armed and dangerous.

The FBI had previously published this video, “Seeking Ahmad Abousamra“:

ABC News reported back in September about Abousamra’s propaganda role for the Islamic State:



The senior law enforcement official said it appears now that Abousamra may have taken up a similar job with ISIS as his co-conspirators had for AQI. Abousamra, the FBI says, has a “college degree related to computer technology and was previously employed at a telecommunications company.”

“There continues to be a worldwide search for Abousamra and he will be pursued until he is found,” another official, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey, told ABC News. The government offers a $50,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

Terrorism observers have noted ISIS’s media savvy, from viral meme-like postings and hashtag campaigns on Twitter to elaborate full-production videos – efforts that can multiply the perception of ISIS’s breadth and power in Syria and Iraq.

As investigative journalist Paul Sperry reported for the New York Post, Abousamra was also tied to the notorious Islamic Society of Boston mosque also attended by the Boston bombers and other convicted terrorists:

Abousamra’s father, a prominent doctor, even sat on the board of directors of the Muslim organization that runs the mosque. He stepped down after the FBI began questioning his son. […]

Abousamra’s father, Dr. Abdulbadi Abousamra, was president of the Islamic Center of New England mosques until 2007, when he moved to Detroit. The FBI began questioning his son a year earlier. As mosque president, internal documents show, Dr. Abousamra hired Hafiz Masood, brother of a known Pakistani terrorist, to be the imam of a mosque in Sharon, Mass., which his son also attended.

Ilya Feoktistov of the Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance, which has tracked Islamic extremism in the Boston area, has thoroughly documented the Abousamra family ties to ISB.

Abousamra’s death might temporarily put a crimp in the Islamic State’s propaganda efforts targeting Westerners, but with more than a hundred Americans and US persons fighting for terror groups in Syria and Iraq, Abousamra may be quickly replaced.

SHOCK VIDEO: Widespread Support for Sharia and Blasphemy Laws…in Minneapolis

252_large (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On May 28, 2015:

Going back to 2007, I’ve reported on the growing problem of terror recruitment in the Twin Cities, particularly in the Somali community there.

In December 2007 I reported here at PJ Media on a well-attended terror fundraiser held in a prominent hotel in downtown Minneapolis that Homeland Security was warned about, but did nothing to prevent. Note that this was nearly a year before anyone else in the media was even paying attention to the recruitment of Somalis by foreign terrorist organizations.

Fast-forward to July 2009, and the media only then began reporting that the same meeting I had covered a year and a half before was the tipping point for terror recruitment in the Twin Cities. By that time, nearly two dozen young men had already been recruited and were fighting with Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

I have continued to report on that continued terror recruitment, including suicide bombers recruited from the streets of Minneapolis, and the extremist statements made by prominent Islamic leaders in the community.

More recently, I reported here on the failed jihadist deradicalization program set up by the chief federal judge of the District of Minnesota.

And in my article earlier this week on the rapidly escalating number of terror arrests in the U.S., I noted that many of the terror suspects nabbed by law enforcement this year for attempting to travel overseas to join ISIS have come out of Minneapolis.

Now comes documentary producer Ami Horowitz, who went to Minneapolis and conducted interviews with members of the Somali community there, finding widespread support for Islamic law over American law, as well as blasphemy laws limiting the First Amendment to punish depictions of Muhammad.

Back in November 2013, I appeared in an episode of The Blaze TV’s “For The Record” news magazine program talking about how court documents in many of these terror cases reveal the systematic recruitment inside the largest mosque in Minnesota, Masjid Abubakar As-Saddique.

In the following clip from that episode, “Minnesota Martyrs,” Abdirizak Bihi — whose nephew was recruited and killed fighting with Al-Shabaab, and I talk about the dozens of terror recruits tied to that mosque:

The problem of terror recruitment and promotion of widespread extremist ideologies in the Somali community is not an abstract concept for me, as my own hometown of Columbus, Ohio, has also seen a series of terror arrests over the years. Columbus has the second largest Somali population of any city in the country behind Minneapolis.

In November 2007, Columbus resident Nuradin Abdi pled guilty to his role in an Al-Qaeda terror cell in my city. According to court documents, Abdi and his associates discussed attacking an area shopping mall on “Black Friday,” the busiest shopping day of the year. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Abdi was released in 2012 and deported back to Somalia.

Then in September 2010, I reported here on Dahir Gurey, another Columbus resident, who was killed in a firefight in Mogadishu fighting as a senior commander for Al-Shabaab. I noted that local authorities had been made aware of Gurey’s fundraising and recruiting for Al-Shabaab but declined to do anything about it because of his close ties to Islamic religious leaders who were favored by local political figures. Gurey was later featured in an Al-Shabaab propaganda recruitment video on three American recruits to the terror group called “The Path to Paradise.” Yet as I noted, the local media, namely the Columbus Dispatch, continued to downplay the terror recruitment problem in our city.

And just last month I reported on the case of Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, again from the Columbus area, who had traveled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State and had returned to conduct terror attacks in the homeland — the first known case of an ISIS terror recruit returning home with plans to engage in terror domestically. His brother was reportedly killed fighting with ISIS last June. Upon Mohamud’s return to Columbus last year, he began conducting weapons training classes at a local gun range with other prospective recruits, theWall Street Journal reported.

The widespread support for Islamic law highlighted in Horowitz’s video above shows the ideological breeding ground that these recruits are eventually drawn from.

With terror arrests this year alone approaching all-time highs and the growing acceptance of the worldview that radicalizes these individuals, it seems clear that the terror recruitment problem in Minneapolis, Columbus, and many other cities around the country will continue for the foreseeable future.


From Cultural Jihad:

COMMENT: The Somalis constitute a sizable ethnic group in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.   Some estimates are that 1 out of every 3 people with Somali ancestry in the U.S. live in Minnesota – a 2010 survey estimated the Somali community to be at 85,700 in the United States.  The largest growth influx  occurred as a result of refugee program efforts in response to the Somali civil war escalation in the 1990s.

The Minneapolis area has been experiencing a number of incidents involving ISIS recruitment.  A February 2015 NPR article notes:

In the discussions at the White House this week, one city has focused minds: Minneapolis-St Paul. It had been ground zero for terrorist recruiters in the past, and is fast becoming the center of ISIS’ recruitment effort in the United States.

See this post from the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog regarding April 2015 terror arrests in the area along with information on the US government contractors involved in the refugee resettlement program.

Pulitzer Prize Winner David K. Shipler Hawks the “Protocols of the Elders of the Anti-Islam Movement” in The New Yorker

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 13, 2015:

A document entered into court evidence by Justice Department prosecutors in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, and later cited affirmatively by the federal judge in the case and cleared by the federal appeals court, would seem an unlikely target for a former journalist to try to spin a conspiratorial tale around, namely slandering others of hawking a racist/’Islamphobic’ “Protocols of the Elders of Islam.”

And yet that is what David K. Shipler, a former New York Times reporter and winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize, is now trying to do.

512R2aJ0iLLClearly upset that so-called “Islamophobes” have been successful using the document – again, discovered by the FBI, submitted into the evidence by federal prosecutors and approved as genuine by the federal court – to expose the Muslim Brotherhood roots of some of America’s largest Islamic organizations, Shipler wields his “Islamophobia” harpoon like Ahab at his “anti-Islam industry” Moby Dick.

He makes his dubious case in a new book out this week, entitled “Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword” (Alfred A. Knopf), which includes an entire chapter on the subject, and summarizes it in an article published on Tuesday in The New Yorker, “Pamela Geller and the Anti-Islam Movement.” The book received a very lukewarm review in the New York Times this past Sunday.

In the New Yorker article, Shipler claims:

Virtually all the alarm over the coming Islamic takeover and the spread of Sharia law can be traced back to an old document of questionable authority and relevance, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.” Dated May 22, 1991, it was found in 2004 by the F.B.I., buried in one of a large number of boxes uncovered during a search of a house in northern Virginia. (I reported on the discovery and the use of the document for my book “Freedom of Speech: Mightier than the Sword.”) It is cited on numerous Web sites, and in articles, videos, and training materials, which quote one another in circular arguments. Its illusion of importance was enhanced by federal prosecutors, who included it in a trove of documents introduced into evidence in the 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a charitable organization ultimately convicted of sending money to Hamas.

The memo, however, is far from probative. It was never subjected to an adversarial test of its authenticity or significance. Examined closely, it does not stand up as an authoritative prescription for action. Rather, it appears to have been written as a plea to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership for action, by an author we know little about, Mohamed Akram. He is listed elsewhere as a secretary in the Brotherhood, but he writes in the tone of an underling. Islam watchers do not quote his appeal that the recipients “not rush to throw these papers away due to your many occupations and worries. All that I’m asking of you is to read them and to comment on them.” These lines reveal the memo as a mere proposal, now twenty-four years old. No other copies have come to light.

Two features of the memo are highlighted by the Islam watchers: first, its assertion that “the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” and, second, “a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” [emphasis added]

What’s remarkable about Shipler’s treatment of the Explanatory Memorandum in his article and in his book is how much he is willing to quickly dismiss facts that completely undo his case, and pays no attention to the glaring contradictions he ends up wrapping himself trying to debunk the document. At major points he contradicts himself. He breezes over the mountain of evidence that he has to overcome, but that means he can’t plead ignorance of it. One is only left with the conclusion that he’s being intentionally mendacious.

I beg the reader’s indulgence, for I will quote lengthy passages and on occasions paste screenshots from the court documents themselves so you know I’m not engaged in anything dodgy. Tellingly, most of these quotes never appear in Shipler’s book, and if so, only selectively edited form.

So let’s start with the evidence.

The document he is trying to cast doubts on is known generally as the “Explanatory Memorandum,” but it’s actual title is, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America.” The document is dated May 22, 1991 and was entered into evidence as “Elbarasse Search – 3″ by federal prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial in 2008.

Helpfully, the federal court overseeing the case in an unusual move posted the trial evidence on their own website. The Explanatory Memorandum and the FBI translation of the document can be found here.

At this point, we can turn to what the Justice Department said in federal court about the Explanatory Memorandum. In one court filing, available on the ACLU’s website, federal prosecutors state (p. 12):

The evidence introduced at trial, for example, established that ISNA and NAIT were among those organizations created by the U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood.8 Govt. Exh. 3-64 (seized from the home of HAMAS leader Ismail Elbarasse); Govt. Exh. 3-3 (Muslim Brotherhood document noting that ISNA was founded by the US-Muslim Brotherhood) ; Govt. Exh. 3-85 (1991 memorandum authored by U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council member Mohamed Akram Adlouni, recognizing ISNA and NAIT as Muslim Brotherhood organizations.) Government’s Exhibit 3-85, entitled An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group, described the Brotherhood’s strategic goal as a kind of “grand Jihad”:

The Ikhwan must understand that their role in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western Civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious…. [emphasis added]

So the Justice Department states that:

1) Two Islamic organizations – the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) – were created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (based on other trial evidence as well as the Explanatory Memorandum);

2) The Explanatory Memorandum was authored by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council member Mohamed Akram Adlouni;

3) That the memo describes the Brotherhood’s strategic goal as “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western Civilization from within.”

Now please note that these claims were not made by “Pamela Geller and the Anti-Islam Movement” but the Justice Department in a federal court filing. He can tilt at all of the “anti-Islam” windmills he wants, but fundamentally he still has to explain away the court evidence.

And as stated earlier, much to the consternation of Shipler, the federal court agreed in a published opinion with the Justice Department’s analysis of the document when Judge Jorge Solis ruled on motions from three separate organizations named as unindicted co-conspirators in the trial – ISNA, NAIT, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – asking to be removed from the Justice Department’s co-conspirator list. The judge’s ruling against removing the groups from the unindicted co-conspirator list was unsealed in 2010.

In that ruling, Judge Solis states (p. 15):

Government Exhibit 3-85 is titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” authored by Mohamed Akram of the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood and dated May 22, 1991. (Gov’t Ex. 3-85 (Elbarasse 3) at 21.) The “Explanatory Memorandum” includes a section titled “Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America,” which states that the work of the Ikhwan in the United States is “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” (Id.)Also contained in that document is a list of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “organizations and the organizations of our friends,” which includes ISNA, NAIT, the Occupied Land Fund (“OLF”) (HLF’s former name), and the United Association for Studies and Research (“UASR”). (Id. at 32.)

So Judge Solis found that:

1) The Explanatory Memorandum was authored by Mohamed Akram of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council;

2) That the document describes the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western Civilization from within”;

3) That the document lists the Muslim Brotherhood’s “organizations and the organizations of our friends,” including ISNA and NAIT.

At this point Shipler laughably believes he has room to maneuver. In the New Yorker article and in his book, he makes three general claims:

1) That the judge blindly accepted the Justice Department’s argument about the origins and importance of the memo and never allowed adversarial challenges to its provenance;

2) That the Explanatory Memorandum was admitted as hearsay, meaning that the groups named in the memo were never allowed to challenge in court;

3) That the judge failed to distinguish between the memo’s list of “our organizations” and “the organizations of our friends.”

Let’s take these in order.

1) Judge Solis accepted the Justice Department’s description of the Explanatory Memorandum unquestioningly and never allowed adversarial challenges.

In discussing the order by Judge Solis in response to the motions of the three Islamic organizations, Shipler states in his book (p. 190):

CAIR and two other groups moved to have themselves removed from the list of unindicted co-conspirators, but the effort backfired and gave Islam watchers more ammunition. Not only was their motion denied by Judge Jorge Solis, who presided over the retrial, conviction, and sentencing of the five Holy Land Foundation defendants (the first trial had ended in a hung jury). He also accepted the government’s assertions by citing the seized Elbarasse documents, including the Explanatory Memorandum, without testing their accuracy in an adversarial proceeding. He did not distinguish between the memo’s list of “our organizations” and “the organizations of our friends.” He ruled, “The Government had produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA [Islamic Society of North America], and NAIT [North American Islamic Trust] with HLF [Holy Land Foundation], the Islamic Association of Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” [emphasis added]

Remarkably, Shipler contradicts himself just a few pages later, quoting a defense attorney for the Holy Land Foundation defendants who said that the Elbarasse documents had, in fact, been challenged by the defense team (p. 198):

The defense team lodged vigorous objections to the introduction of this and the other documents from the Elbarasse search, and two attorneys on the defense team, Nancy Hollander and Marlo Cadeddu, scoffed at Guandolo’s statement. “There was no such stipulation by the defense,” said Cadeddu. “Nor would we ever have stipulated to any such thing. Any claims to the contrary are simply untrue.” Indeed, after the five Holy Land officials and fund-raisers were convicted, their lawyers argued specifically, in an unsuccessful appeal to the Fifth Circuit, that the trial judge had erred in admitting the documents, which the attorneys branded hearsay, irrelevant to the charge that the defendants had funneled money to Hamas. [emphasis added]

At this point, observant readers are no doubt confused. By Shipler’s own admission, the Elbarasse documents, including the Explanatory Memorandum, were subject to challenges on both the trial court and appellate levels. Both sides briefed the court, and judge and the appeals court panel ruled on the merits of their arguments. These are what as generally known as “adversarial proceedings,” much as Shipler claims never occurred. It’s not clear exactly then what Shipler was expecting. An entirely separate trial over the Explanatory Memorandum? With his own damning acknowledgement of these defense team challenges, we can only conclude that he’s being duplicitous, or really, really thick.

But that’s not all. During the trial one of the investigators in the Holy Land case, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns, twice mentioned the Explanatory Memorandum (trial transcript 09/28/2008 at p. 21, 10/07/2008 at p. 71).

Read more at PJ Media

Also see:

Minneapolis Terror ‘Deradicalization’ Program Fails After Just Months, ‘Test Case’ Back in Jail

Abdullahi Yusuf

Abdullahi Yusuf

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 12, 2015:

A terror deradicalization program — established in the “Ground Zero” of terror recruitment, Minnesota’s Twin Cities — has already failed after just a few months.

The program was established after a federal court released 19-year-old terror suspect Abdullahi Yusuf to a halfway house earlier this year. Federal prosecutors opposed Yusuf’s release, but were overruled by the federal judge in the case, Michael J. Davis, the Chief Judge of the District of Minnesota. Today, Yusuf again sits in jail, having violated the terms of his release.

Remarkably, Judge Davis said today in a separate case of six men charged with trying to join the Islamic State that he would be willing to consider “less restrictive options” than detaining the men – just a day after Yusuf’s re-arrest.

Last May, Yusuf was arrested at the Minneapolis airport while on his way to Syria by way of Turkey to join the Islamic State. One of his accomplices, Abdi Nur, did make it to Syria, and he now serves as an effective recruiter for the terror group.

Just last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on the program with an article titled “A Test Case for ‘Deradicalization’“:

The path of reform for Abdullahi Yusuf, a U.S. teenager who tried to become a radical Islamic soldier, passes through writings of Martin Luther King Jr., readings of the U.S. Constitution and discussions about life and literature with a fellow Somali-American named Ahmed Amin.

Mr. Yusuf’s attempt to travel to the Middle East last year helped lead authorities to six Minnesota men who were charged last month in connection with a plan to join Islamic State abroad. The 19-year-old has become a test case for whether Americans lured by Islamic extremism can be deradicalized.

A Minnesota judge earlier this year sent Mr. Yusuf to a halfway house, where he adheres to a tailor-made curriculum aimed at reintegrating him into American society and his immigrant community here. If the program succeeds, Mr. Yusuf’s sentence could be reduced — and the approach to his deradicalization replicated, experts say.

Counterterrorism experts believe it is the first such effort in the U.S. to try to turn a young person connected to a terror prosecution away from an extremist Islamist ideology since the advent of groups like al-Shabaab and Islamic State, or ISIS.

Apparently, reading Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Wright’s Native Son, and articles about the experience of Native Americans didn’t sway Yusuf to keep compliant with the program. The Star-Tribune reports today:

Abdullahi Yusuf, a Somali-American who pleaded guilty to conspiring to support terrorists in the Middle East, has been taken into custody for allegedly violating conditions while living in a St. Paul halfway house, according to court documents filed Monday.

Yusef, a student at Inver Grove Community College, drew national attention after a federal judge decided to place him in a halfway house and provide counseling for him rather than hold him in custody while awaiting sentencing.

Yusuf’s alleged violations were not detailed in court records.

Despite the violations not being detailed, the video report on Abdullahi’s re-arrest aired on the local CBS affiliate notes Abdullahi’s violations occurred on the same day last month that six other Twin Cities men were arrested for attempting to join the Islamic State.

One additional interesting tidbit is that according to the New York Times, federal prosecutors opposed Yusuf’s release:

Mr. Yusuf, Mr. Nur’s co-defendant, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support for terrorism and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years. But in an experiment being watched nationally, Judge Michael J. Davis of Federal District Court agreed to a presentence plan to divert Mr. Yusuf to a halfway house with the support of Heartland Democracy, an education nonprofit in Minneapolis. He worked at Best Buy and attended community college until late November, when he was jailed for a time in connection with his attempt to travel to Syria. His supporters are now working with the court to get him back in classes and eventually back in a job.

The idea, said Mary McKinley, executive director of Heartland Democracy, is to gradually reintegrate Mr. Yusuf into the community, and possibly give him a role in countering the radicalization of young people.

“Ideally, Abdullahi will be able to tell his story in a way that is useful to young people who are frustrated and disengaged,” Ms. McKinley said. His lawyer, Jean M. Brandl, said her client was not prepared to speak publicly.

Federal prosecutors opposed giving Mr. Yusuf a break, noting that he had lied to F.B.I. agents at the airport. But Judge Davis, who knows the Somali community well enough to ask about clans and sub-clans, went along with the plan, intended to reduce the chasm between Somalis and law enforcement officials. Parents and friends concerned about a young person drawn to the Islamic State are more likely to call the police, advocates say, if they believe there is an alternative to a long prison sentence.

The Associated Press reports today that during a hearing for the other six men arrested in April accused of trying to join the Islamic State Judge Davis said he is willing to consider “less restrictive options” than holding the men until trial:

Five Minnesota men accused of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group were ordered Tuesday to remain in custody pending trial, but Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis said he’s open to exploring less restrictive options.

The five men are all charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization; four are charged with attempting to provide such support. Their attorneys had appealed orders that the men be held while their cases proceed, arguing their clients weren’t dangerous or a flight risk.

In separate hearings for each man Tuesday, Davis said no set of conditions could reasonably ensure the community’s safety or guarantee that each man would not flee. But he told attorneys to come up with plans that could support their release.

“I’m not rushing into this,” Davis said. “It’s a slow process. But I’m taking a look at each of these defendants individually.”

As the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

ISIS Twitter Users Threaten Impending Terror Attack on London Using #LondonAttack

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 11, 2015:

Within the past hour, several tweets featuring the #LondonAttack hashtag have shown up on Twitter, including one warning Muslims to leave the area of Covent Gardens:

nick the hammer tweet

After that account was suspended, the user apparently began tweeting under a new account:


tweet 45

last tweet

last tweep

Read more



UK has it’s hands full and they’re making some bold counterterrorism moves:

CIA-Backed, ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrians … Now Openly Working with Al-Qaeda

640x392_25455_221535 (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, On May 8, 2015:

As I have reported extensively here at PJ Media over the past year, a growing mountain of evidence confirms that the “vetted moderate” Sunni groups that the U.S. has backed in Syria — backing which includes CIA-provided heavy weaponry – have always been working with the very same jihadist groups that the Obama administration and the Washington, D.C. foreign policy “smart set” have consistently claimed they would counter.

Now, a new report establishes that even more CIA-backed “vetted moderate” groups are collaborating with groups designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations. Specifically, they are collaborating with al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, though at times they have also operated jointly with the Islamic State.

Reuters reported last Thursday that two Free Syrian Army (FSA) units — Division 13 and Fursan al-Haq — are fighting side-by-side with the Nusra Front in northern Syria:

Hardline Islamists fighting side-by-side with groups backed by the United States have made gains in northern Syria in recent weeks while showing rare unity, which some fear may be short-lived.

An Islamist alliance calling itself Army of Fatah, a reference to the conquests that spread Islam across the Middle East from the seventh century, has seized northwestern towns including the provincial capital Idlib from government forces.

The alliance, which includes al-Qaeda’s wing in Syria, known as the Nusra Front, and another hardline militant group, the Ahrar al-Sham movement, is edging closer to the coastal province of Latakia, President Bashar al-Assad’s stronghold.

Fighting alongside them, although excluded from a joint command center, are groups which reject the jihadists’ anti-Western aims and say they receive covert support from the CIA. Two of these are called Division 13 and Fursan al-Haq.

While the Islamist groups appear to be stronger than their Western-backed allies, it is a rare example of cooperation, just weeks after Nusra Front fighters crushed a previous U.S. backed rebel force in a blow to Washington’s Syria strategy.

Remarkably, Reuters (as well as many other establishment media outlets) continues to present this level of cooperation between U.S.-backed groups in Syria and terrorist organizations as “rare.”

This is categorically false.

In an effort to preserve that narrative, Reuters added this howler:

Abu Hamoud, a commander from Division 13, said his group coordinated with Nusra Front, which the United States considers a terrorist organization, but this does not mean it is aligned to it.

As if “coordinating” with al-Qaeda is functionally different from “aligning” with al-Qaeda.

In service of this narrative, establishment media have attempted to create distinctions between Nusra and other U.S.-backed groups. Reports have noted that the Nusra Front had recently taken out two of the major Syrian rebel groups, Harakat al-Hazm (in March) and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (in November), and that both had been trained and received heavy weapons from the United States. However, both groups had been openly cooperating with Nusra before their demise.

Both Hazm and SRF had their “vetted moderate” credentials provided by the D.C. foreign policy establishment, which deemed Hazm as “rebels worth supporting” and SRF as “the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies.”

Last year, just as SRF was in line to receive CIA-provided anti-tank missiles, SRF commander Jamal Maroof told Western media that he had no intention of fighting al-Qaeda.

A few weeks later, the Wall Street Journal reported that SRF had been fighting alongside the Nusra Front in the Golan Heights of southern Syria. In September, Agence France Presse reported that SRF had struck a truce with the Islamic State, thus ending any notion that they ever had a chance “against Syria’s Islamist armies.”

When Liz Sly of the Washington Post interviewed the commander of Hazm in April 2014 just as they were beginning to receive heavy weapons shipments from the U.S., the commander gave a double-sided response about Nusra:

LS: You have already participated in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. What are your relations with Jabhat al-Nusra?

AA: Jabhat al-Nusra is a military formation, a fighting battalion that exists on the ground like any other. We have no strong or meaningful relationship with them. They fight on their fronts, and we fight on ours.

LS: What do you think of them?

AA: They hold responsibility for bringing ISIS fighters to Syria from across the world. This was a mistake committed against the Syrian people. I think of them as a group of people fighting to topple the regime, but if they change their ideology to resemble that of ISIS or bring death and destruction upon the Syrian people, then we won’t allow it.

In September, an article in the LA Times reporting from the frontlines in Syria recorded an exchange with two Hazm fighters armed and trained by the U.S. The fighters admitted that they liked Nusra and fought in coordination with them.

Just a few weeks later, as U.S. warplanes began to target the Islamic State in northern SyriaHazm issued an official statement condemning the strikes as “an attack on the revolution” Of the U.S., they demanded “unconditional arming” of the Syrian rebels.

Both groups also released contradictory statements to Western media, attempting to conceal their duplicity and to keep the U.S. weapons spigot open.

When the SRF got caught fighting alongside the Nusra Front, Syrian opposition officials rushed to deny the report. They were in Washington, D.C. at that exact time, lobbying for more weapons:

The president of Syria’s main political opposition group, Ahmed Jarba, is in Washington this week and slated to meet President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. He has been trying to assure the administration that the FSA is best placed to fight al-Qaeda rebels on the ground in Syria.

While word of the cooperation between the FSA and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front came from within the Western-backed group, a member of Mr. Jarba’s delegation in Washington denied it. The conflicting claims were an embarrassing sign of disarray within the group just as it was trying to lobby Washington.

Again, when multiple media reports emerged about SRF’s truce with the Islamic State, the group rushed out a statement – in English, for Western audiences — denying the deal.

Hazm played this game as well. Last July, they signed a statement with eight other groups rejecting “all forms of cooperation and coordination” with the Nusra Front. At the same time, they were cooperating and coordinating with Nusra in Aleppo:

In July, eight West-backed rebel brigades — all recipients of military aid — released a statement of “rejection of all forms of cooperation and coordination” with Al Nusra Front. Harakat Hazm was one of the signatories, even as it fought on the same front lines with the group in Aleppo, battling both Islamic State militants in the north and government forces seeking to retake the city.

In fact, they had signed a statement of alliance with Nusra to prevent the Assad regime from pushing into Aleppo, a copy of which I published here at PJ Media.

The statement rejecting the Nusra Front was for Western consumption. The statement of alliance with Nusra was the reality. The media, the Obama administration, and their supporters in Congress pushing to provide more weapons to the “rebels” ignored the statement of alliance.

The media’s underreporting of the coordination between the “vetted moderates” and designated terrorist groups is one of the biggest scandals of the coverage of the Syrian war. But while they have buried the lede, that’s not to say it hasn’t gone unreported, making the continuation of the narrative all the more inexcusable. Here’s a sample over the past year:

May 7: Wall Street Journal reports SRF joins with Al-Qaeda to help take hilltops in Golan Heights

July 9: Al Jazeera quotes ISIS leader saying that they purchase U.S. weapons from and maintain good relations with the FSA

Aug 3: New York Times cites FSA commander saying joint FSA, Nusra Front, and ISIS force attack a border post with Lebanon

Aug 18: Islamic State commander openly brags about defections by U.S.-trained and armed FSA fighters

Aug 28: Washington Post says Nusra Front aided by Western-backed rebels capture UN Quneitra border crossing with Israel, abducting 43 Fijian peacekeepers

Sept 7: LA Times notes Hazm fighting alongside Al-Qaeda in Aleppo, quoting fighters admitting the relationship

Sept 8: Daily Star (Lebanon) quotes FSA brigade commander saying his forces were working with Islamic State and Nusra Front near Syria/Lebanon border

Sept 13: The Hill reports that SRF had declared a truce with the Islamic State

Sept 24: LA Times notes Hazm condemnation of U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS in northern Syria

Nov 1: Reuters says that SRF elements defected to the Nusra Front

Nov 3: International Business Times observes that U.S.-backed rebel groups pledge allegiance, surrender weapons to Nusra Front

Nov 23: The Guardian states that FSA units develop alliances with, even defect to, the Islamic State while condemning U.S. airstrikes

Nov. 28: Associated Press reports close collaboration of U.S.-backed rebels and Al-Qaeda in southern Syria

Dec 24: German journalist who embedded with Islamic State tells France 24 that ISIS is obtaining weapons from Western governments purchased from FSA

Dec 28: New York Times admits that FSA is under effective control of Nusra Front

Feb 18: McClatchy reports that former Obama frontman for Syria, Robert Ford, no longer trusts Syrian rebel groups because they collaborate with jihadist groups

Apr 30: Reuters notes U.S.-armed FSA units in northern Syria allied with Nusra Front

Despite these reports appearing in their own publications, virtually all of these same outlets otherwise continue to characterize — as Reuters did just a few days ago — the collaboration between U.S.-backed groups and terrorist organizations as a “rare” event. Certainly, none of them have made this coordination a recurring theme in their reporting, at best sprinkling these facts in other stories.

Below are my prior articles debunking the “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel narrative:

July 7: U.S. ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Brigades Surrender Weapons, Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State

Sept 3: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Operating Openly with ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra

Sept 9: Fighter With ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Tells L.A. Times They Fight Alongside Al-Qaeda

Sept 10: ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Commander Admits Alliance with ISIS, Confirms PJ Media Reporting

Sept 13: Yet Another U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Makes Peace with ISIS

Sept 24: U.S.-Backed Syrian Group Harakat al-Hazm Condemns U.S. Strikes on ISIS as ‘Attack on the Revolution’

Nov 2: U.S.-Armed ‘Vetted Moderate’ Syrian Rebel Groups Surrender, Defect to Al-Qaeda

Nov 3: How Obama Walked Boehner and GOP Leadership Off the Syrian Rebel Cliff

Nov 24: More Defections of ‘Vetted Moderate’ Free Syrian Army Rebels to ISIS

Dec 2: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Dec 14: Report: Al-Qaeda Using CIA-Supplied TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Northern Syria

Dec 28: NY Times Admits: U.S.-Backed Free Syrian Army Under Effective al-Qaeda Control

March 3: U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Collapses, U.S.-Supplied Weapons End Up in Al-Qaeda Hands

March 24: Video Shows Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra Using U.S.-Provided TOW Anti-Tank Missiles in Syria

April 16: U.S. Analyst Admits ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Have Been Working with Al-Qaeda All Along

As our own government has backed these groups with American weaponry, it is imperative that the “vetted moderate” narrative be held to account. Hundreds of thousands are dead and millions are displaced in Syria. The terror groups that our leaders said we would confront have instead metastasized, partially due to our “inside-the-Beltway” incompetence.

Phoenix Mosque Attended by Garland ‘Draw Muhammad’ Jihadists Previously Spawned Two Other Terrorists


Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were preceded by Hassan Abu-Jihaad and Derrick Shareef, all of whom attended the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, May 8, 2015:

Yesterday here at PJ Media I reported on conflicting stories offered by the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP) regarding former mosque attendees Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, who were killed this past Sunday in a gunfight outside a Dallas-area center where a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest was being held.

I noted the attempts by the mosque president, Usama Shami, to downplay the ties of the two would-be terrorists. This included Shami’s claim to the press that neither was a regular member, when in fact Elton “Ibrahim” Simpson had been featured in a mosque fundraising video posted on ICCP’s Youtube channel in 2012 identifying him as a member:

But it merits noting that Simpson and Soofi were not the only two terrorists spawned from ICCP.

In fact, two other previous ICCP mosque attendees – Hassan Abu-Jihaad and Derrick Shareef – are currently in federal prison on terrorism-related charges.

There are remarkable parallels with Simpson and Soofi, including the that Abu-Jihaad and Shareef were also roommates. So too, is that Usama Shami is attempting to downplay their association with ICCP, telling the Arizona Republic he never saw the pair despite court records in both their cases stating they had attended the mosque.

Abu-Jihaad is currently serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for passing classified information to a UK-based Al-Qaeda webmaster.

According to the Justice Department:

In 2001, Abu-Jihaad was serving as a U.S. Navy signalman aboard the U.S.S. Benfold and had access to the future movements of his group of ships, led by the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Constellation. Six months after the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, and before leaving home port in San Diego for a deployment in the Persian Gulf, Abu-Jihaad transmitted then-classified information about his battle group’s itinerary, listing dates for anticipated port calls in Hawaii and Australia, and for the battle group’s transit through the Strait of Hormuz. Abu-Jihaad’s disclosure discussed the battle group’s perceived vulnerability to terrorist attack.

The leak did not come to light until well after Abu-Jihaad left the Navy, when an investigation into Azzam Publications led to the search of a London apartment associated with one of the website’s organizers, and authorities found a floppy disk containing the U.S. Navy information. Subsequent investigation uncovered several email exchanges from late 2000 to late 2001 between members of Azzam Publications and Abu-Jihaad, including discussions regarding videos Abu-Jihaad ordered from Azzam Publications that promoted violent jihad and extolled the virtues of martyrdom; a donation of money Abu-Jihaad made to Azzam Publications; and whether it was “safe” to send materials to Abu-Jihaad at his military address onboard the U.S.S. Benfold.

The FBI established a direct tie between Abu-Jihaad and Simpson according to court documents in the latter’s 2010 trial, as Simpson was first questioned by the FBI in 2006 when authorities believed he might be part of a terror cell:

In 2006, agents opened a criminal investigation of him based on his ties with an individual “whom the FBI believed was attempting to set up a terrorist cell in Arizona,” according to court documents.

Agents say Simpson knew Hassan Abu-Jihaad, an enlistee in the U.S. Navy later convicted of leaking classified information about upcoming movements of his battle group to an alleged terror cell in London. Simpson told agents he knew Abu-Jihaad, who was arrested in Phoenix in 2007, but did not tell them anything else about him.

Undoubtedly what launched that 2006 investigation was the activity of Abu-Jihaad’s former roommate, Derrick Shareef.

Shareef was arrested in 2006 for his role in a plot to set off hand grenades at a Rockford, Illinois shopping mall during the holiday season. He later plead guilty on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

During his trial, the FBI provided video tapes of Shareef threatening Americans:

“You are the enemies of Islam, for the sake of Allah we are coming for you,” Shareef says in a tape that looks like it could have been shot somewhere in the Middle East. In fact, the camera was 90 miles from Chicago in a Rockford home where the 22-year-old and a friend each made several videos declaring their desire for destruction.

“We will target you in your homes. We will target you in your businesses. We will target you in your synagogues and your churches. We do not fear you Kafirs. I swear by Allah I am ready to give my life right now for the cause,” the tape says.

The mosque also came under scrutiny in Marcch 2008 when a large group of men from ICCP began firing semi-automatic weapons in an open area frequented by runners and bikers near a residential area, as the Arizona Republic reported at the time:

Shortly before noon on a sunny Sunday in March, two Toyota SUVs rolled to a stop along a dirt road in north Phoenix.

About 20 young Muslim males climbed out, armed with assault rifles, a shotgun, a sniper rifle and handguns. The location near Happy Valley Road and 51st Avenue is a desert recreation site for off-road motorists, hikers and bikers, dozens of whom were enjoying the spring-like weather.

For more than an hour, the shooters blasted away at a granite rock and empty cans in front of a hill.

Officials estimate the fusillade totaled 500 to 1,000 rounds. Some shooters left before police arrived and detained 10 adults and five boys, including an 11-year-old.

The young men and boys told officers the weapons belonged to their parents. They said they were not aware it was illegal to use firearms in the residential area.

Six were arrested and charged with felony weapons violations in Maricopa County Superior Court. Among them were the 20- and 21-year-old sons of two imams at Phoenix-area mosques, as well as the 20-year-old son of Abdallah.

Needless to say, the usual suspects claimed the men were being targeted because of their Islamic faith, rather than their firing rifles in a prohibited area that endangered others.

ICCP officials would most likely claim that the case of the “Draw Muhammad” terrorists coming out of their mosque as had a traitor betraying classified military secrets to Al-Qaeda and a man planning a terror attack on a shopping mall during the holidays is a matter of bad luck.

But one of the main tools used by terror recruiters is the Islamic grievance narrative that Muslims are under attack from the West.

In fact, ICCP regularly hosts speakers pushing that Islamic grievance narrative, such as the February 2013 appearance of Lauren Booth:

As I reported here at PJ Media in 2012, Booth had been interviewed in a California mosque spouting Jew hatred, making anti-American statements, and calling President Obama a murderer:

Interestingly, the man interviewing Booth in that video, my friend Tom Trento of the United West, was broadcasting live inside the “Draw Muhammad” event on Sunday when it came under attack by Simpson and Soofi and continued giving live video updates as the situation unfolded.

So while ICCP officials may call the four terrorists that have come from their mosque a tragic coincidence, others may call it a pattern. Or as my law enforcement colleagues would describe it, an “investigative clue.”