Islamist Panel Approaches Self-Parody in Hebdo/Radicalization Talk

IPT News
January 23, 2015

1118A panel discussion Thursday hosted by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) promised to plumb the “the root causes of radicalization” in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher market.

It turns out the problem is not Islamic theology or radical Muslim ideology. It’s all the things the West does wrong. Fix those problems, panelists said, and things get better.

During the 90-minute program at the National Press Club, no speaker discussed the Quranic verses invoked by terrorists in the Islamic State or al-Qaida to justify their actions. Instead, speakers emphasized a host of grievances that they say lead young Muslims to believe that peace and democracy will not lead to the changes they desire.

Muslim immigrants must be treated with more dignity and equality, said CSID founder Radwan Masmoudi. “Basically you must end all forms of racism, discrimination and hatred directed against Europeans of Arab descent or of the Islamic faith.” The West also must end the war in Syria and denounce the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime by Egypt’s military in July 2013.

Dalia Mogahed, a pollster and former White House adviser, took issue with the public reaction to the attacks. Defending the right to offend people as part of free expression plays into the terrorists’ agenda, she said. There is such a right, but society normally polices “incredibly offensive depiction(s)” of minorities. She wasn’t offended by the Charlie Hebdo cartoons as a Muslim, but she was “disgusted” by them as an American.

"All is forgiven"

“All is forgiven”

“The correct question isn’t, ‘can we?'” she said, “the correct question is ‘should we?'”

Mogahed called the attack on Charlie Hebdo “a very strange event” because it came at a time in which there were no protests. “The shooting literally came out of nowhere. It was a calculated act of provocation on the part of terrorist organizations. This was not an organic, or even fanatical, response of just rage and anger against cartoons.” This ignores the magazine’s history of satirizing all faiths, generating no violence from Christians or Jews. Last week, 10 people were killed in Niger when protesters angry at the latest Charlie Hebdo cover torched churches.

The assertion is puzzling because, as a pollster, Mogahed has monitored attitudes in the Muslim world for years. As such, she is well aware that the Paris attacks did not happen in a vacuum. In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on an Amsterdam street by a radical Muslim angered by van Gogh’s film, Submission, which focused on Islam’s treatment of women. In 2010, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard survived a home invasion attack by an ax-wielding Somali with ties to the Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

American Colleen LaRose, known as “Jihad Jane,” is serving a 10-year prison sentence in part due to her plotting to travel to Sweden to kill another cartoonist, Lars Vilks. That murder, she wrote in an email obtained by federal investigators, would be “my goal till i achieve it or die trying.”

There are numerous other examples of plots and attacks targeting people for their depictions of Islam’s prophet.

But the intent behind the attacks, Mogahed said, “was for Europe to respond essentially exactly as it did – to assert the right to offend by reprinting the cartoons.”

That certainly is a point of view. Another is that the terrorists hoped to intimidate others from showing images of Muhammad under any circumstance. Given that major American news outlets, including the New York Times, CNN and Fox and others have refused to show the Charlie Hebdo images, the attacks succeeded.

The focus on radical Islam and defense of free speech that resulted from the Paris attacks gave the terrorists “the rhetorical victory they desired,” she said. A better response would have been “to reassert the place of French citizens of Muslim faith in the republic.”

Mogahed and others repeatedly expressed resentment that the terrorists’ beliefs were being conflated with the beliefs held by 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide. They provided no examples to show this is what people mean when they talk about Islamic extremism.

Whatever the merits of Mogahed’s argument, it seems to have little connection to the causes of radicalization, which is what the panel was supposed to discuss.

In a podcast Wednesday, atheist writer Sam Harris slammed an emphasis on the West’s flaws in analyzing the Paris terrorist attacks as “completely insane.” After slaughtering the Charlie Hebdo staffers, Harris notes, Cherif and Said Kouachi yelled, “We have avenged the prophet.” They did not lament racism, disenfranchisement or any other grievance.

“That’s what causes someone to grab an AK 47 and murder 12 cartoonists and then scream ‘Allahu Akhbar’ in the streets,” Harris said facetiously. “It is a completely insane analysis. Even if you grant everything that’s wrong with capitalism and the history of colonialism, you should not be able to deny that these religious maniacs are motivated by concerns about blasphemy and the depiction of the prophet Muhammad, and consider their behavior entirely ethical in light of specific religious doctrines. And it’s a kind of masochism and moral cowardice and lack of intelligence, frankly, at this point, that is allowing people to deny this fact.”

Harris argued that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were not racist. But even if they were, emphasizing the offensive nature of the images shows someone “has completely lost the plot here.”

“[P]rotecting this speech becomes important when you have one group of people – ‘radical Muslims’ – who are responding to this offense with credible threats of murder in every country on earth. We can’t give in to this.”

“People have been murdered over cartoons,” he added. “End of moral analysis.”

Not for Nihad Awad, co-founder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). His prepared remarks at the radicalization forum focused on the frustration he said Muslim American youth feel for constantly having to condemn the actions of others and for drawing disproportionate law enforcement attention.

“Islam has been blamed for the recent events, not the terrorists themselves,” Awad said. The media’s focus on the religious motivation inspiring terrorists and references to a war of ideas within Islam “is very offensive to me, to implicate the entire Islamic faith and the 1.7 billion people into accusing them of being inherently violent and warring among themselves. I believe this is dishonest discourse.”

Awad’s assertion is contradicted by other Muslims who believe the only way to stem radicalization is by modernizing and reforming Islam, steering away from strict, literalist interpretations. In addition, those most offended by cartoons or commentaries need to learn more peaceful ways to express their frustration.

Read more (with video)

UK Gov’t Minister Warns Mosques About Hate Preaching

_80356881_80356880IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Jan 21, 2015

A letter from a top British government official calling on United Kingdom mosques to root out “men of hate” is generating push-back from the Muslim Council of Britain.

The letter from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was co-signed by Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, a member of the House of Lords and sent to 1,100 imams and other Islamic religious leaders.

It called on the imams to dissuade young Muslims from following extremists, urging them to emphasize the threat the extremists pose to British freedoms.

“We must show them the multitude of statements of condemnation from British Muslims; show them these men of hate have no place in our mosques or any place of worship, and that they do not speak for Muslims in Britain or anywhere else,” the letter said.

The letter offended some Muslim leaders. The Muslim Council of Britain responded with its own letter saying it resented the “idea that Muslims and Islam are inherently apart from British society.” The letter from MCB Secretary General Shuja Shafi also disputed the notion “that extremism takes place at mosques, and that Muslims have not done enough to challenge the terrorism that took place in our name. We also reject suggestions that Muslims must go out of their way to prove their loyalty to this country of ours.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron called the letter’s tone “reasonable, sensible and moderate.”

Security services estimate that at least 500 British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. One of them, known as “Jihadi John,” is believed responsible for beheading American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and well as Britons Alan Henning and David Haines.

To combat such trends, Pickles and Ahmad suggested the need for the imams to “demonstrate the true nature of British Islam today” and to show that the extremists do not represent Islam.

“You have a precious opportunity and an important responsibility in explaining and demonstrating how Islam can be part of British identity,” they wrote.

It was accepted more eagerly by other British Muslims.

“If non-Muslims intervene in the Islamic reform debate, they get told: ‘stay out of it’ … It’s a lose/lose scenario for the poor folks. But there is *no* way to undermine both Islamism & fundamentalism if Muslims don’t join everyone else in challenging them,” Maajid Nawaz wrote on Twitter Monday.

Nawaz is the co-founder and chairman of the anti-extremist think tank Quilliam Foundation.

“If we keep shirking, sidestepping [and] obfuscating on the reform debate,” Nawaz added, “it appears o others that we’re happy with the status quo, which is *clearly* very bad.”

Europe’s Radical Muslims: What’s True And What’s Not

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
January 20, 2015

596Here they go again: the pundits and the politicians and the editors of newspapers, repeating the same, tired urban legends we have already heard so often as they struggle to explain the Jan. 7 terrorist attacks in Paris. You know the keywords by now: “disenfranchised youth,” “unemployment,” “ghettos,” “banlieues,” “oppressed.”

The upshot of the claim is that Western Muslims are radicalizing and turning to terrorism because they are unemployed, disenfranchised youth who live in deteriorating ghettos. And sometimes that argument is followed quickly by another: their actions have nothing to do with Islam.

It’s a popular argument. But none of it is true.

Which is why those who make these claims often end up stumbling over their own feet, as the New York Times did in the days just after the Paris attacks. After first asserting the standard memes, the Times quickly followed up with an article about the likely backlash in the Paris banlieue – ghettos largely populated by Muslims – in response to the broad international support for the editors of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The banlieues, the Times warned, were on the brink of an “explosion,” their Muslim population seething with anger over Charlie Hebdo’s frequent mocking of their prophet, and the slogan of support that had subsequently swept the West: “je suis Charlie.”

This situation, the Times suggested, was not because these young men and women were Muslim: most Muslims, after all, are not terrorists. Most do not advocate violence. Rather, it was because they are unemployed, disenfranchised youth living in deteriorating ghettos.

Either this means that if you put someone in a deteriorating ghetto and take away his job he is likely to become a terrorist, or it means that all Muslims have the potential to become radicalized – just place them in a deteriorating ghetto and take away their jobs. The first is contradicted by the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the Western hemisphere: the Hispanics in Spanish Harlem, the Orthodox Jews in Antwerp and Borough Park, the Filipinos of Little Manila in Los Angeles. The second is simply bigoted: if the Times and others intend to argue that most Muslims aren’t terrorists, they cannot also reasonably declare that any Muslim who is disenfranchised can – and probably will – become one, when other disenfranchised people don’t.

But this isn’t simply about logic. Time and again, studies have confirmed that, at least among Western Muslims, economic status has no bearing on radicalization. Nor does it apparently have much relationship to terrorism generally: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and his co-conspirator Terry Nichols may both have had personal issues, but neither grew up in urban blights. The founders of the Weather Underground all came from well-off or middle-class families.

Indeed, forensic psychiatrist and former CIA caseworker Marc Sageman, who studied 400 terrorists targeting the West, found that 75 percent of them grew up in upper- or middle class families. As Frontline reported, “The vast majority – 90 percent – came from caring, intact families. 63 percent had gone to college, as compared with the five or six percent typical in the third world.” In another study focusing on Muslims living in the West, Emory University’s N. Delia Deckard found that, “As respondents reported being more prosperous, they also reported having a more orthodox understanding of gender, a greater affinity towards Sharia-inspired justice systems, more anti-Westernness, and a greater willingness to sacrifice themselves for their faith. […] Our hypothesis that more religious respondents would be more likely to espouse radical beliefs regarding violence was confirmed strongly. Irrespective of the demographic control variables, level of fundamentalism was a significant and powerful predictor of willingness to engage in violence.”

Others have noted that instigators like Osama bin Laden tend to come from more educated classes. It is the foot-soldiers, the ones who carry out the attacks, who more often come from the underclass – people who are easily persuaded with promises of cash payments, or rewards to be paid to their survivors (a favorite tactic of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, with help from Jordan’s Arab Bank.)

“Many of the Muslims here are angry,” a Kurdish immigrant to the Netherlands told me after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. “They feel they came here as guest workers, they built this country, and then they were shoved into a corner and forgotten.”

But anger is also not what transforms people into religious radicals. What transforms them into religious radicals, in truth, is other religious radicals. Full stop.

A bit of history is perhaps in order here. Europe’s Muslim guest workers were brought here as guests. They were not expected to stay. Europe’s governments found homes for them and created communities where they rightly or wrongly believed that the laborers would feel more comfortable. The idea was that they would prefer to live among others who spoke the same languages and came from the same cultures they did.

Except the contract didn’t hold. The workers brought their families over and they stayed. No one had anticipated this development. No one had anticipated that many would not learn the languages of their host countries, without which higher employment simply wasn’t possible.

This is how ghettos often form. And uprisings are often an unhappy consequence of this.

But ghetto uprisings are not jihad. Ghetto uprisings are not terrorism.

Moreover, it has not been the first generation of immigrants to Europe who has radicalized, but rather, their children – youth born and raised in the West.

In this, the socioeconomic differences among Western Muslims often do play a factor in their radicalization: they are easy prey. Some who turn to lives of crime becomeradicalized in the prisons. Others are assured their sins will be forgiven if they martyr themselves in jihad. Add to this mix the large number of Salafist preachers sent to European mosques from Saudi Arabia, Wahhabist literature distributed by many of these mosques, Saudi (Salafist)-sponsored Islamic schools in Muslim communities, and you have the petri dish for the making of a radical Muslim – some of whom will, and some of whom will not, go on to wage jihad.

Urban legends pushed aside, the core truth is that, to become a terrorist, any kind of terrorist, all you need is a weapon and a cause.

And in the case of Islamist terrorism, the kind that placed a fatwa on Salman Rushdie, the kind that inspired a doctor and an aeronautical engineer to stage terrorist attacks in Glasgow and in London, the kind that savaged the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo,that cause is just one thing: radical Islam.

Not disenfranchisement and unemployment and a house without a big back yard.

What helps along the way in creating religious radicals, however, are other religious radicals. And this, also according to the New York Times, is exactly what happened with Said and Cherif Kouachi, the brothers responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Yet the mistake the Times and so many others make is to confuse all these issues. One cannot logically argue that most Muslims living in poverty in the West are not terrorists, and at the same time, caution that the banlieues are a breeding ground for terrorism. You cannot become a radical Muslim without being a Muslim first, whether you live in the banlieues of Paris, the Schilderswijk in The Hague, or a house with a white picket fence in Caswell County, North Carolina.

But what we can do, in the words of Stephane Gomez, the deputy mayor of Paris suburb Vaulx-en-Velin, is “talk about what has gone wrong and reopen the debates that we’ve been afraid to talk about for so long.”

But that takes a courage and an honesty, many simply do not have.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

ISIS’s Stay-at-Home Radicals

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News,  
December 9, 2014

1101Across Europe and America, governments and intelligence officials are struggling to address the problem of Western Muslims who join the jihad in Syria – and then come back home again. But in the process, they may be missing the bigger threat: the ones who never left.

Counterterrorism experts agree that the danger posed by returning jihadists is significant: already radicalized before they joined groups like the Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), they are now well-trained in the practice of terrorist warfare. Unlike most Westerners, they have overcome any discomfort they may have previously felt about killing or confronting death. Chances are, they’ve already done it.

And their numbers are increasing: already an estimated 3,000 westerners have made the move to join the Islamic State and similar terrorist groups. Hence many countries, including the Netherlands and England, have determined to revoke the passports of any Syrian fighter known to carry dual nationality (many second-generation Turkish and Moroccan immigrants carry passports from their family’s land of origin. Similar bills have also been proposed in the U.S., such as one put forward by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. The UK has also considered confiscating the passports of all British citizens who join the jihad, but such measures have been rejected on the basis of concerns about leaving individuals stateless.

But now some experts – and returning jihadists – say ISIS “sleeper cells” are already embedded in the West. So-called “Jihadi Hunter” Dimitri Bontinck told the UK’s Mail Online last month that “influential sources” had informed him of such cells, and warned that they were “preparing to unleash their war on Europe.” And an ISIS defector reportedly told a Scandinavian broadcaster of similar sleeper cells in Sweden which were, he said, “awaiting orders.”

The presence of these cells should not come as much of a surprise. More surprising is that Europe’s intelligence agencies hadn’t spotted them earlier. In part, this could be blamed on the intense focus on dealing with returnees, a problem that has left some intelligence and law enforcement agencies stretched thin: in June, for instance, Dutch intelligence agency AIVD admitted it “could no longer keep up” with the jihadists in the Netherlands. By October they were forced to bring in police teams to assist, especially in following the 40 or so jihadists who had returned. (An estimated 130 Dutch, including both returnees and those killed, have joined the Syrian fight.)

But if the AIVD and other intelligence agencies can barely follow the ones they know, this leaves countless other radicalized Muslims in Europe easy prey for Islamic State recruiters, who have already turned Europe’s efforts to block returnees to their advantage. With videos online and with extraordinary social media prowess, IS agents are increasingly encouraging Western supporters to work from home: spread the word, motivate others to make the trip (known as “making Hijrah”), or prepare to attack the infidel on Western soil.

And attack they have, as in the beheading of Fusilier Lee Rigby on a London street in 2013, the killing of a Canadian soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, in Ottawa on Oct. 22, and the hatchet attack on NYPD officers in Queens, N.Y. only two days later. Other assaults have been thwarted, such as the alleged plot by three British men who, prosecutors say, were inspired by ISIS calls for attacks on unbelievers. The men were arrested Nov. 6 in London on charges of planning to behead civilians.

But ISIS’s propaganda has been successful in other ways. Recruiting for jihad is on the rise in the Netherlands, according to a recent AIVD report, which further notes that “the number of Dutch jihadists traveling to Syria to join the conflict there has increased substantially since late 2012.” And overall support for the terrorist group is growing even faster – as thousands made clear during pro-ISIS demonstrations last summer. “Several thousand” people in the Netherlands alone support IS, the AIVD claims, while another recent Dutch report concluded that nearly 90 percent of Dutch Turkish youth considered IS members “heroes.” (That latter report has since come under fire, but its researchers stand by their findings.)

In Germany, ISIS support has grown so threatening that in September, the government passed a law to ban it outright. That legislation includes “a ban on activities that support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, including any displays of its black flag, as part of an effort to suppress the extremist group’s propaganda and recruitment work among Germans,” the New York Times reported. On Dec. 5, officials used the law to close a Bremen mosque; sermons there allegedly encouraged young Muslims to make Hijrah – to migrate – and join in the jihad.

In France, where an estimated 700 people have made Hijrah – the highest number in Europe – an ICM poll conducted last summer for Russian news agency Rosslya Segodnya found that one in six people support ISIS. Among those aged 18-24 – the age of most of the country’s Muslim population –27 percent indicated a “positive opinion” of the terrorist group.

These are not just mathematical figures. They represent people: tens of thousands of young men and women. In fact, the Guardian observes, an analysis by Italian academics of more than 2 million Arabic-language posts online found that “support for Islamic State among Arabic-speaking social media users in Belgium, Britain, France and the US is greater than in the militant group’s heartlands of Syria and Iraq.”


This is exactly the question Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb –a Muslim of Moroccan origin – is asking. Despite his own hard stance against Islamic radicalization, the number of youths in Rotterdam suspected of radicalizing has increased by 50 percent over the past year. While attending the trial of one suspected jihadist, Dutch daily AD reports, Aboutaleb wondered aloud “why such youths, well-educated and full of promise commit themselves to the jihad.”

“The question is,” he is quoted as saying, “who are the people who go? Why do they make this step? Because they feel discriminated? Because they’re unemployed? Rejected by society? I don’t get that. Doubtless, that would maybe push someone over the edge, but there have to be other arguments that play a role.”

Ultimately, these are the questions everyone should be asking – intelligence and law enforcement agencies most of all. Because as the number of Western jihadists rises, and the support for ISIS grows, one thing is becoming clear: that until we have the answers to the basic queries, nothing else we do will matter.

Younger, Educated and Affluent – The UK’s Terror Sympathizers

FBI Tracking 100 Suspected Extremists In Military

The FBI is investigating more than 100 suspected Muslim extremists who are part of the U.S. military community, officials tell NPR. U.S. authorities have increased scrutiny since the 2009 shooting attack at Fort Hood, Texas, that left 13 dead. Maj. Nidal Hasan, charged with the killings, is shown here in an April 2010 court hearing.


The FBI has conducted more than 100 investigations into suspected Islamic extremists within the military, NPR has learned. About a dozen of those cases are considered serious.

Officials define that as a case requiring a formal investigation to gather information against suspects who appear to have demonstrated a strong intent to attack military targets. This is the first time the figures have been publicly disclosed.

The FBI and Department of Defense call these cases “insider threats.” They include not just active and reserve military personnel but also individuals who have access to military facilities such as contractors and close family members with dependent ID cards.

I was surprised and struck by the numbers, they were larger than I expected.

- Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who co-chaired a hearing on internal threats to the military

Officials would not provide details about the cases and the FBI would not confirm the numbers, but they did say that cases seen as serious could include, among others things, suspects who seem to be planning an attack or were in touch with “dangerous individuals” who were goading them to attack.

Details Revealed At Closed Congressional Hearing

The FBI and the Department of Defense declined to discuss the figures on the record, but three sources with direct knowledge confirmed that the numbers were revealed in a closed session of a House-Senate committee hearing in December. The FBI also declined to say whether it has compiled more up-to-date figures since that time.

“I was surprised and struck by the numbers; they were larger than I expected,” Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, told NPR. He stopped short of confirming the nu

“I know one can say that as a percentage of the millions of people in active military service or working with contractors, the numbers you talk about are a small percentage of the total, but the reality is it only took one man, Nidal Hasan, to kill 13 people at Fort Hood and injure a lot more,” Lieberman said.

Hasan was an Army major at Fort Hood in Texas who is charged with opening fire on soldiers in the base’s processing center in November 2009. The rampage is considered the most serious terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Prosecutors say Hasan had been in touch with an American-born radical imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, to ask for spiritual guidance ahead of the shooting; and Awlaki is said to have blessed it. Awlaki was killed in a drone attack in Yemen last year.

Investigators also say Hasan had been displaying signs of increasing radicalization before the shooting took place, but the behavior had not been properly reported. Hasan’s court-martial is set to begin on Aug. 20, and he faces the death penalty.

The FBI compiled its tally of Islamic extremist cases in the military late last year for a joint hearing that Lieberman co-chaired. The hearing was looking at possible threats to military communities inside the United States, and the number of cases was revealed at that time.

About A Dozen Cases Face Full Investigation

The FBI typically divides investigations into three categories: assessment, preliminary investigations, and then full investigations in which agents have enough evidence to justify using all the investigative tools at their disposal. As of last December, there were a dozen cases in that last category.

“This number speaks not only to the reality that there is a problem of violent Islamic extremists in the military, but also that the Department of Defense and the FBI since the Nidal Hassan case are working much more closely together,” said Lieberman.

Officials stressed that the FBI and the Department of Defense track all kinds of extremism within the military community from white supremacists to neo-Nazis, not just Islamic extremists.

But the Fort Hood shooting inspired new reporting procedures aimed at catching plots before they unfold. Since 2001, law enforcement officials have foiled and prosecuted more than 30 plots or attacks against military targets within the United States.

A Conviction Last Month

Just last month, an AWOL Muslim soldier named Naser Abdo was convicted of plotting to attack Fort Hood. Officers found components for an explosive device in Abdo’s hotel room not far from the base.

Abdo told the judge that the plot was supposed to exact some “justice” for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. In an audio recording played during the trial, Abdo said his Islamic faith was part of the reason he planned the attack.

Lieberman says that Abdo actually called out Major Hasan’s name shortly after he was found guilty of conspiring to attack a restaurant just outside Fort Hood where active service members often went with their families. Abdo is expected to be sentenced in July. It is not clear whether his case was one of the cases on the FBI’s list.

Read more at NPR


ICNA’s Radicalization Continues


The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is leading a pro-Sharia public relations campaign, aimed at persuading Americans that these beliefs aren’t something to fear or leading to domination.

As it does this, however, it continues to guide followers toward texts that go in a starkly contrasting direction. It has pushed underground a series of curricula detailing its adult radicalization program, but more extremist materials pop up in youth events, the group’s bookstore, and elsewhere.

ICNA has long been involved in the radicalization of its members, with an indoctrination process into South Asian and Muslim Brotherhood extremist texts. Many of those titles disappeared from ICNA and the ICNA Sisters’ web pages after a series of articles by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

That doesn’t mean that ICNA has changed its tune. A recent investigation by the Toronto Sun revealed that the organization has marketed pro-violence and pro-Islamist texts, particularly by South Asian extremist Sayyid Abu ‘Ala Maududi, through its Canadian bookstore. These texts, according to Canadian Muslim moderate Tarek Fatah, have a profound effect on the Muslim youth.

“This sort of literature lays the seeds into their minds that the West is the enemy, and they are the troopers who have to fight that enemy,” Fatah told the Sun.

“Maududi, in his books, is asking for young Muslim men to wage war.”

Required reading of some of Maududi’s books is also still part of ICNA’s membership process, especially for youth. This year’s annual “Quiz Competition on Islamic Knowledge and Skills” tested 11th and 12th graders throughout the country on their knowledge of one of his masterpieces, Towards Understanding Islam.

“The greatest sacrifice made in the way of God is jihad. In it man sacrifices not only his own life and belongings, but destroys those of others as well,” Maududi teaches in the text, which is posted on ICNA’s youth website. “What comparison would the loss of some lives – even if it were thousands or more be to the calamity that would befall mankind as the result of the victory of evil over good. What comparison would it be to the tremendous anguish mankind would suffer if falsehood overtook truth, and if aggressive atheism won over the religion of God,” he says, arguing that Islam must dominate all other political and social philosophies.

“Not only would the religion of God be eliminated, but the world would become the abode of evil, corruption, and perversion. Life would be disrupted from within and without. In order to prevent this greater evil, God has commanded us to sacrifice our lives and property for His pleasure.” he adds.

Maududi explains that Islam should not be viewed like other religions, as a sphere of human life which plays a part in societal organization but does not control it. Rather, it is a “system encompassing all fields of living” including politics, economics, and legislation.

The same text was a recommended reading for 7th-10th graders participating in ICNA’s Southern California branches for the 2010 quiz and debate program. Other recommended books include Maududi’s A Short History of the Revivalist Movement in Islam and Abdullah al-Ahsan’s The History of Al-Khalifah Ar-Rashidah.

A Short History of the Revivalist Movement in Islam says that Islamic revival demands that Muslims “determine exactly where to strike the blow so as to break the power of un-Islam and enable Islam to take hold of life as a whole.” It also demands that the revivalist know when “to wrest authority from the hands of un-Islam and practically re-establish government on the system described as ‘Caliphate after the pattern of Prophethood’ by the Holy Prophet.”

The need for a caliphate, an Islamic theological empire, is reinforced in The History of Al-Khalifah Ar-Rashidah. The book discusses rule of law and governance in the historical caliphate period, during Islam’s early history from its founding until the Mongol Invasion, including the “principles [that] embody the archetypical Islamic state.”

These events further serve as a way of involving more mosques in ICNA’s radicalism. According to an ICNA report, a quiz event brought participants from across unaffiliated mosques and schools across the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area, and encouraged the selling of Maududi’s extremist literature in local Muslim bookshops.

Radicalism also hasn’t disappeared from the group’s conferences, despite apologies and excuses from ICNA over past anti-Semitic and pro-violence statements.

At the group’s latest conference last December, Egyptian Islamist Ragheb Elsergany envisioned a day soon when “all of Palestine” would be liberated. Elsergany said the rise of Islamist governments in the Middle East and North Africa was clearing the way for “the Zionist entity” to “vanish absolutely.”

While one-time extremist statements might be viewed as a fluke, Elsergany was at the center of controversy for ICNA’s 2009 conference, for making similar comments. These statements made by Elsergany and others, were picked up by organizations monitoring hate speech. The conference was even labeled “a platform for extremist rhetoric” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

In response, ICNA claimed that the inflammatory rhetoric was unexpected and not representative of the rest of the conference.

Read the rest…

David Wood: On the Radicalization of Anders Behring Breivik (Video)

Anders Behring Brevik

David Wood,

“There is no way Breivik became violent by reading Spencer or Geller. He was already violent, and if he payed a little more attention to Spencer and Geller, he might have changed his plans because they still have confidence in the ability of speech and writing to change hearts and minds”

Uploaded by on Aug 6, 2011
The media are blaming critics of Islam (such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller) for the radicalization of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. However, Breivik said that he turned to terrorism in response to media censorship. Who’s to blame for his extremism?


Surge in Mosque Construction Parallels Growing Shariah Adherence


Islamic Cultural Center; Tempe, Arizona

The results of a February, 2012, study show a 74 percent jump in the number of U.S. mosques since 2000, now counted at 2,106 nationwide. Sponsored by a clutch of organizations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood — the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIT) among them — the study interviewed 524 U.S. mosque leaders who overwhelmingly (56%) asserted the relevance of the Qur’an and other foundational Islamic scriptures to modern life. Another 31 per cent reportedly based their beliefs on “centuries of Islamic scholarship.”

Obviously, these two segments of study respondents are not necessarily in conflict with one another, but rather overlap rather neatly, making a total of 86 per cent of American Muslim leaders whose Islamic faith is based on the authoritative texts of Islam and who furthermore believe them relevant to life in the 21st century.

Islamic Center of America; Dearborn, Michigan

The study also measured markers of community cohesion such as weekly mosque attendance and attendance at Eid holy day prayers, finding a spike in the numbers of American Muslims who reported fulfilling these obligations. Interestingly, this Muslim Brotherhood study seems to correlate well with the results of a summer, 2011, empirical study published by the Middle East Quarterly, entitled “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques.”

Conducted by Mordechai Kedar (an assistant professor in the department of Arabic and Middle East studies and a research associate with the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, both at Bar Ilan University in Israel) and David Yerushalmi (general counsel for The Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and director of policy studies at the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies in Potomac, MD), the study sought to correlate high levels of shariah adherence and overall commitment to Islamic community cohesion.

Islamic Center of Cleveland (Grand Mosque); Parma, Ohio

Kedar and Yerushalmi collected empirical indicators of observable measures of religious devotion linked to shariah adherence in U.S. mosques and sought to correlate those with the presence of violence-positive materials at those same mosques.


Their study also sought to ascertain whether a correlation exists between the presence of violence-positive materials at a mosque and the promotion of the jihad doctrine by mosque leaders.

The findings did support a statistically significant correlation between violent literature on the mosque premises and the incidence of shariah-adherent behaviors among the worshippers. Disturbingly, mosques that contained materials tending towards violence, and whose imams recommended their study, demonstrated the best attendance overall while those with no such materials were most sparsely attended.  

Viewing these two studies side by side, then, some unsettling conclusions may be drawn. First, mosque construction and mosque attendance in the U.S. are both up significantly over the last decade. At the same time, the majority of the leadership of those mosques remains shariah-adherent and convinced of the relevance of Islamic law to modern life in America.

The Kedar-Yerushalmi study adds context to these findings with some disturbing results of its own, documenting more than 80% of all American mosques with texts on the premises that advocate violent jihad either strongly or moderately as an important Muslim duty.

Islamic Center of Virginia; Richmond, Virginia

Given that it is precisely the authoritative texts of ShariahIslam (Qur’an, Sunnah and Sharia) that are most likely to advocate jihad to conquer infidels; mandate doctrinal inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women, slave and free; and support the shariah death penalty for adultery, apostasy, homosexuality and slander/blasphemy, the exploding number of mosques across America and people in them who believe in such things must give pause to any paying attention to the convergent findings in these two studies.

There’s another study out in February, 2012, about “Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9/11” by Charles Kurzman from the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It purports to show that plots and arrests of Muslim American jihadis dropped in the period from 2009-2011, contrary to the fears of relieved U.S. government officials.

As Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, noted in a March 6, 2012 op-ed piece in the Jewish World Review entitled, “In Defense of a Targeted City’s Jihad Prevention,” though, even Kurzman acknowledges that the total number of U.S. Muslims engaged in the full range of terror-related activity amounts to hundreds more than merely those charged in violent plots or attacks. Financing and other support activities are also a legitimate form of jihad and including those figures in the overall analysis of U.S. Muslims engaged in activity intended to replace the Constitution with Islamic law yields a much more accurate picture of the shariah threat to America.

Each of these studies adds valuable understanding about what the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” called “civilization jihad” to eliminate and destroy “the western civilization from within.”

Violent, kinetic terrorism is not the only means by which the forces of shari’a-adherent Islam target American society for conquest. It is only the most visible, intended by the horror of its visibility to condition infidels to so fear what is yet to come that submission to Islam seems the lesser of the evils confronting them.

We know that mosques have been described by the authorities of Islam as the headquarters of the “Islamic State” and “the starting point to the expansion of Islam and the Islamic conquests.” Ibn Taimiyah wrote that the mosque is a place where “matters of politics were dealt with, troops and platoons were deployed” and “the war booties are divided.”

Even Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan famously quoted an Islamic poem about the role of the mosque in Islamic expansion:  “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…”

 In the final analysis, the rapid expansion of Islamic mosques across the U.S. carries with it ramifications that merit further inquiry, the kind that the New York City Police Department has been so successful at conducting these last 10 plus years since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

From the so-called “Blind Sheikh” at the Al Farooq mosque in Brooklyn to Anwar al-Awlaki and the Dar al-Hijra mosque near the nation’s Capitol, U.S. law enforcement officers have seen mosques fulfill the central role in the recruitment, training and “radicalization” of Muslims in America.

It’s not just about “countering violent extremism” once an attack takes place or a plot is discovered: Successful law enforcement means identifying and countering the incubators of Islamic jihadist ideology before violence ever has a chance to explode across the headlines.

The incubators where Islamic doctrine, law and scriptures are taught and nurtured through the milestones of progressive revelation are the mosques. Mosque studies such as the ones cited here, even ones produced by the Muslim Brotherhood, provide valuable insight into the scope of the shari’a challenge.

 Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterroris. Lopez began her career as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Secrecy Surrounds Conference to Train Cops on ‘Political Violence’


By Patrick Poole at PJ Media:

Activists in Tennessee are asking about a taxpayer-sponsored terror training conference scheduled for later this month, as federal and state agencies have enacted a high level of secrecy regarding the two-day event and its scheduled speakers.

The terrorism conference is being sponsored by the Middle Tennessee U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Nashville Joint Terrorism Task Force, and is being held at the offices of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on February 27 and 28. Additional partners include the FBI’s Continuing Education and Professional Development Unit, the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and the American Muslim Advisory Council.

According to a flyer sent to federal and state law enforcement agencies:


Topics include: Introduction to Political Violence, Origins of Islam, Frameworks for Understanding Global Jihad, Radicalization, Regional Hot spots, Domestic Case Studies, Countering Violent Extremism, The Internet, Social Media, and Investigations Online.

Despite inquiries by PJ Media in recent weeks, the conference organizers have refused to provide any details about who will be instructing law enforcement officials on these issues.

Last week I requested a copy of the agenda and speakers for the conference from the U.S. Attorney’s contact listed on the conference flyer. This past Monday I received a response from David Boling, the U.S. Attorney’s public information officer:

Your request for the documents referenced below was forwarded to me for disposition. This training conference is not open to the public, therefore you would need to file a FOIA request for this information.

It is unclear what the event being closed to the public has anything to do with providing the information I requested, especially since it appears that two private outside organizations will be directly involved in providing the training.

Perhaps the presence and agendas of these outside organizations are why these government agencies are stonewalling requests for information. Mystery surrounds one of the private partner organizations for the terrorism training — the American Muslim Advisory Council — which is listed on the event flyer as a partner in the conference.

I asked Jennifer Donnals, communications director for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, for information related to the American Muslim Advisory Council. She replied:

The American Muslim Advisory Council is a private organization. You will need to contact the organization to get the names of its members.

However, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office has no registration information for any such organization. Whey I asked for a contact for the organization, Ms. Donnals provided a cell phone number and no contact name.

So: none of the federal or state agencies are willing to provide any information about an organization that has partnered with these agencies for the upcoming conference, and presumably will be helping to provide some of the training.

One reason that local activists are concerned about who will be brought in to train law enforcement officials is the ongoing practice of federal and state agencies partnering with organizations and individuals that have been identified by federal prosecutors as conspiring to support overseas terrorist organizations. The federal judge who presided over the Holy Land Foundation trial — the largest terrorism financing trial in American history — expounded in a sealed court filing about such terror support activity by some of the most prominent Islamic organizations in the country. Some of the same organizations have been advising the White House, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security on their policies for addressing “violent extremism”.

Read more… 

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia.

Chairman King Outlines Key Priorities for 2012

Rep. King standing fast from ACT for America:

During the legislative briefing portion of our national conference back in 2010, ACT! for America Executive Director Guy Rodgers explained “the power of the gavel.”

He told conference attendees that the political party in the majority in Congress holds a great deal of power with respect to everything from what bills get introduced in committees to what bills get a vote on the floor. It’s called “the power of the gavel.”

When Republicans won control of the House in 2010, the chairmanships of all the House committees were turned over to Republicans. Rep. Peter King became chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee—and a new day dawned as he addressed issues, such as Muslim radicalization, that previously hadn’t seen the light of day.

Last year Rep. King was one of the recipients at our national conference of our Patriot award for his courage and effectiveness in fighting for our national security. Below you’ll see his priorities for this year. Rep. King continues to stand fast in the face of the baseless attacks he has received from organizations like CAIR.

This year’s National Conference & Legislative Briefing will be June 27 to 29 in Washington, DC. The fact that many of our attendees each year are repeat attendees says it all. If you’ve never attended, this is an event you’ll never forget. Click here to find out more and to register.

Chairman King Outlines Key Priorities for 2012

By CQ Staff

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King released a list of his priorities for the panel in the coming year, leading off with one of its most controversial hearing topics from 2011: Muslim radicalization in America.

The New York Republican’s series of domestic radicalization hearings, which covered topics including terrorist recruiting on the Internet and in prisons, as well as the role of Muslim community leaders and organizations in speaking out against violence. The sessions drew criticism from panel Democrats, civil liberties organizations and Muslim advocacy groups. King and several of his fellow GOP panelists, however, called them productive and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., agreed to hold a joint hearing in December on the potential threat of radicalization among members of the U.S. military.

“In 2012, we will continue the Committee’s focus on critical counterterrorism issues, just as I promised to do when I was selected as chairman,” King said. “The series of radicalization hearings I convened last March has been very productive, and I will definitely continue the hearings in 2012. The committee will also examine a number of additional homeland security issues and will move legislation necessary to secure our homeland from the terrorists who continue to plot attacks against us.”

His office said that legislation will include bills covering authorization for the Department of Homeland Security and its components — a goal the chairman has set in previous years — and cybersecurity. The House Homeland subcommittee that handles cybersecurity approved a bill (HR 3674) from its chairman, California Republican Dan Lungren, earlier this month.

King’s other priorities are:

  • Studying the presence and activities in the United States of Iran’s intelligence services, as well as groups such as Hezbollah and al Qaeda.
  • Probing money from Islamist groups that comes into the United States.
  • Examining potential leaks of classified information regarding sensitive counterterrorism operations.
  • Obtaining Purple Heart medals for military servicemembers hurt of killed during the 2009 shooting attacks at Fort Hood, Texas, and at recruiting stations. Currently, those events are considered criminal matters under military policy and ineligibles for Purple Hearts, as King’s and Lieberman’s committees discussed last year.
  • Investigating the possible roles that the deceased al-Qaeda head Anwar al-Awlaki and current seniors leaders Daoud Chehazeh and Eyad al-Rababah, may have played the attacks of September 11, 2001.
  • Studying security preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
  • Assessing whether enemy veterans of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia pose dangers to the U.S. homeland.
  • Ensuring the protection of U.S. security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Monitoring emerging threats to the homeland;
  • Continuing close examination of the Department of Homeland Security’s operations, policies, and programs

WND: 35 terror training camps now operating inside U.S.


WASHINGTON – A radical jihadist group responsible for nearly 50 attacks on American soil is operating 35 terrorist training camps across the nation, but the U.S. government refuses to include the organization on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorists.

 Jamaat ul-Fuqra, known in the U.S. as “Muslims of America,” has purchased or leased hundreds of acres of property – from New York to California – in which the leader, Sheikh Mubarak Gilani, boasts of conducting “the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare.”

In a recruitment video captured from Gilani’s “Soldiers of Allah,” he states in English: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”

Though Gilani and his organization is suspected of committing assassinations and firebombings inside the U.S., and is also suspected of the beheading murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, the terrorist camps spread through the country continue to expand in numbers and population.

A documentary called “Homegrown Jihad: Terrorist Training Camps Around the U.S.” provides compelling evidence of how “Muslims of America” operates with impunity inside the U.S. In the video, producers visited some camps, attempted to visit others and interviewed neighbors and local police officials. It also include excerpts of the “Muslims of America” recruitment video.

Get “Homegrown Jihad: Terrorist Training Camps Around the U.S.” and share it with your neighbors, your local police officials and your representatives in Congress.

The recruitment video shows American converts to Islam being instructed in the operation of AK-47 rifles, rocket launchers and machine guns and C4 explosives. It provides instruction in how to kidnap Americans, kill them and how to conduct sabotage and subversive operations.

Jamaat ul-Fuqra’s attacks on American soil range from bombings to murder to plots to blow up U.S. landmarks. A 2006 Department of Justice report states Jamaat ul-Fuqra “has more than 35 suspected communes and more than 3,000 members spread across the United States, all in support of one goal: the purification of Islam through violence.” In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security predicted the group would continue to carry out attacks in the U.S.

“Act like you are his friend. Then kill him,” says Gilani in the recruitment video, explaining how to handle American “infidels.”

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was attempting to interview Jamaat ul-Fuqra’s leader, Gilani, in 2002 when he was kidnapped and later beheaded. One year later, Iyman Faris, member of both Jamaat ul-Fuqra and al-Qaida, pleaded guilty in federal court to a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge.

Gilani was at one time in Pakistani custody for the abduction of Pearl. Intelligence sources also suggest a link between Jamaat ul Fuqra and Richard Reid, the infamous “shoe bomber” who attempted to ignite explosives aboard a Paris-to-Miami passenger flight Dec. 22, 2001.

“What we are witnessing here is kind of a brand-new form of terrorism,” says FBI Special Agent Jody Weis in the documentary. “These home-grown terrorists can prove to be as dangerous as any known group, if not more so,”

As WND reported, a covert visit to a Jamaat ul-Fuqra encampment in upstate New York by the Northeast Intelligence Network found neighboring residents deeply concerned about military-style training taking place there but frustrated by the lack of attention from federal authorities.

Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra. The organization operates communes of primarily black, American-born Muslims throughout the U.S. The investigation confirmed members commonly use aliases and intentional spelling variations of their names and routinely deny the existence of Jamaat ul-Fuqra.

The group openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in compounds where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority.

U.S. authorities have probed the group for charges ranging from links to al-Qaida to laundering and funneling money into Pakistan for terrorist activities. The organization supports various terrorist groups operating in Pakistan and Kashmir, and Gilani himself is linked directly to Hamas and Hezbollah.

Gilani’s American headquarters is in Hancock, N.Y., where training is provided to recruits who are later sent to Pakistan for more jihadist paramilitary training, according to law enforcement authorities.

A Justice Department report to law enforcement agencies, prepared in 2006, provides a glimpse into how long Jamaat ul-Fuqra or “Muslims of America” has been operating inside the U.S.: “Over the past two decades, a terrorist group known as Jamaat ul-Fuqra, or ‘Community of the Impoverished,’ has been linked to multiple murders, bombings and various other felonies throughout the United States and Canada.”

Gilani’s “communes” are described by law enforcement as “classically structured terrorist cells.”

Seven of the compounds have been identified as training facilities: Marion, Alabama; Commerce, Georgia; Macon, Georgia; Talihina, Oklahoma; York County, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee and Red House, Virginia. Other compounds are located in California, Colorado, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan and West Virginia.

You are now without excuse: See the terrorist training camps in the U.S. with your own eyes. See excerpts of the recruitment video by “Muslims of America” aka Jamaat ul-Fuqra. See “Homegrown Jihad: Terrorist Training Camps Around the U.S.” with your own eyes.

Source: WND

Islam Commands Individual Jihad

By Clare Lopez:

According to Islamic law, Jihad is warfare to spread the religion and is obligatory for all Muslims everywhere until such time as “there is no more Fitna [resistance to Islam] and the religion will all be for Allah alone.” (Q 8:39) Jihad against the infidel (kuffar) is of two types: offensive and defensive. The offensive kind, called “Fard Kifaya,” is conducted under the leadership of the Caliph and is for the purpose of defending the borders of Islam and sending out the armies of Islam at least once a year to terrorize the enemies of Allah. Offensive Jihad is a collective duty and when enough Muslim fighters respond to the call of the Caliph, the remainder of the Muslim population is relieved of this duty.

Defensive jihad is a compulsory duty upon all Muslims primarily when the kuffar enter Muslim lands. It is considered so critical to repulse the invader that Ibn Taymia even asserted it took precedence over making the hajj. This defensive jihad duty is called “Fard ‘Ayn” and means that there is a personal obligation for all Muslims in the land which has been attacked to join the fight. The scholars agree that children may march forth without permission of their parents, wives without permission of husbands, and slaves without permission of their masters. If the Muslims of the land attacked by the kuffar cannot expel the enemy for whatever reason, then the Fard ‘Ayn obligation expands outward to include other Muslims nearby and then at increasing distances from the center of the invasion. Eventually, Fard ‘Ayn can become obligatory across the entire world until the kuffar is expelled from Muslim land.  

Abd Allah ibn Abbas, a cousin of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and the author of an authoritative Tafsir (Qur’anic commentary), explained why Fard ‘Ayn is taken so seriously in Islam:

“When the Kufaar attack and control a [Muslim] country, the Ummah is endangered in its Religion, and it becomes susceptible to doubt in its belief. Fighting [the Kufaar] then becomes an obligation, to protect the Religion, the lives, the land and wealth.”

Given Islamic doctrine about offensive and defensive jihad, Fard Kifaya and Fard ‘Ayn, then, it becomes clear that the increasing number of so-called “lone wolf” attacks in the American homeland and even from within the ranks of the U.S. military in fact, are by Muslim jihadis, conducting individual jihad (Fard ‘Ayn).

Academia and the mainstream media, with their focus on “root causes” of such behavior, and U.S. national security leadership, whose main concern is to preserve the illusion that these attacks are somehow disassociated from Islamic doctrine, are all failing to describe accurately what is actually happening. The so-called “radicalization process,” of course, is nothing more than the process of “progressive revelation” as individual Muslims learn more about the obligations of their faith, become more devout, and make the decision to answer the call to violent jihad. 

American troops on bases and battlefields in a number of Muslim countries may provide a convenient excuse for individual jihadis to invoke the Islamic doctrine on Fard ‘Ayn, but if it were not Fard ‘Ayn, it would be Fard Kifaya. As long as non-Muslims live free of shariah anywhere on earth, the obligation to jihad remains in effect.

Clare M. Lopez, a senior fellow at the Clarion Fund, is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on Middle East, national defense, and counterterrorism issues. 

Time for Domestic Anti-Radicalization Program

by Steven Emerson:

White House Review Threatens Counter-Terrorism Operations

USA Flag and SWATThe White House has initiated a secretive review of all federal law enforcement and military counter-terrorism training.  This process has already blacklisted several recognized authorities and is expected to forbid future use of terms such as “jihad” or “Islamist terrorism.”  Counter-terrorism experts and federal agents are critical of the initiative, which appears to be driven more by concerns about offending Muslims – and Muslim lobbying organizations – than by concern for American national security.  Sources in the FBI and other agencies assert that this political intrusion into the professional training system will undermine the operational capacity of government agents to fight domestic terrorism.This initiative to censor counter-terrorism training is the culmination of the Obama administration’s twin policies of identifying America’s enemy with the amorphous title “violent extremism,” and designating “community outreach” as the primary strategy for addressing terrorism domestically.  Key national security documents have already excised all terminology that associates terrorism with Islam or Islamic concepts such as jihad.  This initiative seems designed to now do the same with training, which directly counters the recommendations of the Special Report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, A Ticking Time Bomb: Counterterrorism Lessons from the U.S. Government’s Failure to Prevent the Fort Hood Attack.  The report states:

“DoD has conducted an extensive internal review of lessons from the Fort Hood attack but needs to strengthen policies and training to identify the threat of violent Islamist extremism, which includes the radicalization process, and to prevent radicalization of service members to violent Islamist extremism.”

An unclassified memorandum from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, dated October 14, 2011, states that as a result of recent media attention on the FBI’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) training, the National Security Staff has requested all departments and agencies of the Department of Defense to provide their screening process for CVE trainers and speakers.  The only supporting documentation provided with the memorandum is a copy of an article by left-wing blogger Spencer Ackerman, whose series of articles on FBI trainers helped spark this politicaly motivated censorship program.  One has to wonder when did the Department of Defense begin taking its marching orders from 20-something bloggers?  Or, more to the point, since when does blogging in itself count as expertise?  And why is the National Security Staff more concerned about who is providing counter-terrorism training to our law enforcement and military than they are about the fact that a mole inside the FBI is leaking information to a blogger about material being taught to federal agents, texts held at the FBI library, and slides used at closed FBI trainings?

It is too soon to tell what the full impact of this review process will be, but the concern is that it will result in more events such as the Ft. Hood shooting.  If counter-terrorism professionals are not allowed to acknowledge that a person motivated by jihadist ideology, or by such Islamist ideologues as Sayyid Qutb or Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi, may be inclined towards acts of violence against Americans, how will they be able to identify and deter potential attackers?

In the immediate term, this review process should be sending up alarm bells:  it lacks all transparency; the identity of the reviewers has been kept secret; a number of trainers have been blacklisted already and the list of their names is secret; and there is no appeal process for those who have been blacklisted. The Obama Administration is right to assert that America is not at war with Islam, but to deny that a violent strain of Islam is inspiring a wave of terrorist attacks against Americans and American targets is to invite disaster.

Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC), who Chairs the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis and Counterintelligence, has drafted a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. expressing her concern that “the political nature of these reviews might inadvertently weaken our law enforcement and military counter-terrorism training programs by censoring certain language that is used to objectively identify the asymmetrical threats that are present in today’s world.”  Myrick, and other members of Congress who sign onto the letter, are asking DOJ and DOD to reveal their plans for the review process, but most importantly, they are asking for substantiation on how the changes will improve the current model of counter-terrorism training.

The recent FBI arrest of Jose Pimentel for planning to bomb police and military targets suggests that attackers motivated by Islamist ideology, and instructed by Islamist propaganda, remain a grave threat to American citizens.   It is critical that any changes to training on that threat be well scrutinized and justified and not secretly implemented merely as a way to gain political favor with one constituency or pressure group.

Letter to DOJ and DOD regarding changes to their law enforcement and military counter-terrorism training programs
From: The Honorable Sue Wilkins Myrick
Date: 11/18/2011

Dear Colleague:

It has come to my attention that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Defense (DOD) are initiating reviews of all federal law enforcement and military counter-terrorism training and education programs – specifically regarding the cultural-awareness of such programs. This is in response to media attention on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Countering Violent Extremism training.

I am concerned that the political nature of these investigations might inadvertently weaken our law enforcement and military counter-terrorism training programs by censoring language that is used to objectively identify enemies of the United States.

As members of Congress, we have the right to request that these agencies provide us information on their investigations and to evaluate any changes that are made to existing counter-terrorism instruction programs.

Below is the text of my letter. Please contact Clark Fonda in my office if you wish to sign on, or if you need any additional information. He can be reached at 202-225-1974 or at

Text of the letter:

Dear Secretary Panetta and Attorney General Holder:

Recent reports indicate that your departments have initiated reviews of all federal law enforcement and military counter-terrorism training and educational programs – specifically regarding the cultural-awareness of such programs. We understand this is in response to media attention on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Countering Violent Extremism training.

We are concerned that the political nature of these reviews might inadvertently weaken our law enforcement and military counter-terrorism training programs by censoring certain language that is used to objectively identify the asymmetrical threats that are present in today’s world. As you well know, accurately defining the threat is an important step in creating and enforcing successful counter-terrorism doctrines.

In a February 2011 report issued by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, the committee articulated a number of improvements that the government can make to strengthen its counter-terrorism doctrine. Amongst the suggested improvements, the committee recommended that the Department of Defense, “update its policies on extremism and religious accommodation to ensure that violent Islamist extremism is not tolerated. DOD should also train servicemembers on violent Islamist extremism and how it differs from Islamic religious belief and practices.” We caution that the results of your department’s reviews do not directly counter this recommendation.

As members of Congress, we respectfully request that you provide us additional information about your counter-terrorism training review processes. We would like to know the following:

·   What entities are conducting the review processes?

·   What are the objectives of the training reviews?

·   What changes are you planning to implement?

·   How will the changes improve the current model of counter-terrorism training?

We thank you for your prompt response to our questions.