Sleeper Cell Documentary: Radical Islamic Camps in America

Published on Feb 28, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

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

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

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

ISIS: End of Times Prophecies Justify Beheading of Copts

Screenshot from the Islamic State's latest video in which they beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were working in Libya

Screenshot from the Islamic State’s latest video in which they beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were working in Libya

By Ryan Mauro:

The Islamic State has released a video of it beheading 21 kidnapped Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. The film is the most prophecy-centric one yet and comes one day after a suspected Islamic State supporter killed two people in a terrorist attack in Denmark.

Justifying the Execution of Christians

The video is titled “A Message Signed With Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” These Christians were working in Libya. They committed no crime. They are not known to have personally done anything against any Islamists. They were punished for, as the Islamic State put it, being “followers of the hostile Egyptian church.”

The Islamic State seems to be referring to the Coptic Christians’ support for the Egyptian government led by President El-Sisi that is fighting an Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt also banned the Muslim Brotherhood and repeatedly emphasizes that the Islamic State and the Brotherhood are different manifestations of the same Islamist enemy.

The video states that the beheadings are retaliation for the Coptic Church’s treatment of Camellia Shehata, the wife of a Coptic priest who disappeared in 2010. She was rumored to have converted to Islam and afterwards to have been kidnapped by the Church. Deadly sectarian clashes followed.

She later resurfaced and appeared on video stating that she did not convert and remains a Christian. She denied that her statement came under pressure or torture by the church. The Copts say she briefly disappeared because she left her husband.

The objective of the Islamic State is to justify murdering Copts by claiming that the church is waging a war on Muslims, making this atrocity a defensive action. The Islamic State may also be trying to undermine international support for Egyptian Copts by drawing a moral equivalence between the church’s treatment of those who leave the faith and Islamic (sharia) law’s own death penalty for apostates.

The captives were guilty of no crime themselves. Take a look at the terminology of the “nation of the cross.” Islamists like the Islamic State view all Muslims as part of a single nation called the ummah. The Islamic State likewise views Christians as part of a single nation, the “nation of the cross.” To be at war with any Christian is to be at war with all Christians.

Dawah and the End Times

As the Islamic State beheads the Christians, text appears in English saying that they “die upon their paganism.” This sentence has two purposes: to justify killing Christians under sharia law and to criticize Christianity as being polytheistic by believing in the Trinity.

A centerpiece of the video is to position the Islamic State as pro-Jesus even as it kills Christians. The Islamic State says it is fulfilling prophecies to trigger the “second coming” of Jesus, a prophetic event commonly held in both Christianity and Islam, though with widely varying interpretations.

“Jesus, peace be upon him, will descend, breaking the cross, killing the swine and abolishing the jizya [tax on non-Muslims],” the English-speaking Islamic State member says to the camera.

Here, the Islamic State is citing an apocalyptic Islamic prophecy about Jesus appearing with the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah, to vanquish Islam’s enemies. According to this prophecy, Jesus will authenticate the validity of Islam and disprove Christianity by destroying a cross. Sometime after he reappears, the entire world will become Muslim, and so the jizya tax on non-Muslims will no longer be needed.

This is not a fringe interpretation of the prophecy only held by Islamic State. Other Islamists like Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood also refer to it.

The Islamic State narrator’s statement about the group taking over Dabiq in Syria is another way of saying the group is fulfilling prophecy. There is an Islamic prophecy about a final apocalyptic war that says that the “Romans”—which Islamists say are the Americans and Europeans of today—will land in Dabiq to avenge the capturing of Romans. That is why the Islamic State beheaded Peter Kassig there.

The prophecy says a ferocious battle will begin at Dabiq and, after heavy casualties, Muslims will come together behind the jihadists at Dabiq and defeat the “Romans.” Turkey is then conquered by these Islamic forces. Shortly thereafter,  the Mahdi and Jesus will arrive on the scene.

Read more at Clarion Project

French PM: West Must Fight Muslim Brotherhood Ideology

Muslims praying in the middle of a public street in France.

Muslims praying in the middle of a public street in France.

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Feb. 16, 2015:

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has stated that the West must “fight the discourse of the Muslim Brotherhood in our country” and scrutinize foreign funding of mosques, a sharp break from U.S. policy that views the Brotherhood as a moderate competitor to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS).

Prime Minister Valls said the country needs to enact policies to combat the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, making the point that Islamist terrorism is a product of radical preaching. He announced that the Interior Minister will lead a study on the foreign financing of mosques in France and the training of French imams.

“We seek to establish a model of Islam that is fully integrated, fully compatible with the values of the Republic,” Valls said.

France has a serious problem with growing Islamism that is hostile to nationalism, secular-democracy and integration. A 2011 intelligence report warned that “self-appointed” imams in Muslim-majority areas, specifically the city of Marseille, were spreading Islamism. It said only a “relatively low” percentage of the 250,000 Muslims in that city support violent jihad, but “Islamic fundamentalism has progressed to the point where it has won over the majority of the Muslim population.”

France recognizes that the problem is not just the act of terrorism, but the Islamist ideology that drives violence and is also detrimental to the West in many non-violent ways. The Prime Minister said after the attacks in Paris that the country is at war with radical Islam; a stark difference from the vague terminology of “violent extremism” used by the U.S.

Valls’ use of “radical Islam” wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It signaled a major shift in strategy and was repeated by the French ambassador to America afterwards.

“We are at war with radical Islam. It means that right now… Islam is breeding radicalism which is quite dangerous for everybody. So I think in the coming weeks or the coming months, we have to define the global strategy. Part of the strategy is to work with the Muslim countries,” the ambassador said.

The Prime Minister even said that Europe needs to recognize that Islamists slander opponents as “Islamophobes” to stop scrutiny of their ideology and leaders.

“I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people,” he says.

The Prime Minister’s bold statements come as Egypt has agreed to become the first country to buy French Rafale fighter jets. The Egyptian government will sign a $5.93 billion contract to acquire 24 aircraft.

The coinciding of Prime Minister Valls’ statement with the deal suggests that France wants to wage an ideological war against Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood and sees Egypt as a major ally in that campaign. President El-Sisi banned the Muslim Brotherhood and forcefully called for a reformation of Islamic interpretations that denounce any violence.

French President Hollande said that the deal was made because his country desires for Egypt to act as a stabilizing regional power.

“I believe that, given the current context, it’s very important that Egypt is able to act to uphold stability and to be in security, not only stability on its own territory, but stability in the region,” he said.

The word usage is important. Hollande means that the sale is not just an endorsement of Egypt’s fight against the ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, but of Egypt leadership role in the Middle East. A central post of that role is crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and undermining Islamism, including airstrikes on Islamist militias in Libya.

The deal is seen as a subtle rebuke of the U.S. over its criticism of Egypt’s handling of the Brotherhood. The U.S. says it is “not concerned” about the deal, but observers recognize that Egypt is reducing its reliance on the U.S. for arms. Egypt immediately reacted to U.S. criticism by embracing Russia and signing a major arms deal, as well as a recent agreement for Russia to build Egypt’s first nuclear reactor.

The French government’s stance is also important because the President and Prime Minister are from the Socialist Party, heralding a political consensus between the right-wing and left-wing parties that Islamism is the threat and a strategy against that ideology and its proponents including the Muslim Brotherhood is necessary.

Current French President Hollande defeated his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party, but they are both now on the same page in regards to this issue.

This is especially significant because Hollande emphasized his friendliness with the French Muslim community during the campaign. Soeren Kern wrote that Hollande’s victory was “the first time that Muslims have determined the outcome of a presidential election in a major Western European country; it is a preview of things to come.”

Sarkozy was warning about the lack of assimilation for years prior to the Paris attacks. He said policy adjustments were needed to integrate immigrants and to prevent “a society where communities coexist side by side.”

“Our Muslim compatriots should be able to live and practice their religion like anyone else…but it can only be a French Islam and not just an Islam in France,” Sarkozy said in 2011.

France and Egypt get it. They understand that Islamism is the problem due to the former’s experiencing of the Paris attacks by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda and the latter’s experience of Muslim Brotherhood governance. If the U.S. still doesn’t get it after 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston bombings and countless other acts of Islamist violence, then what will it take?

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

‘What are you waiting for?’: Slick new ISIS campaign puts new face on homegrown terror

The French-speaking ISIS fighters show their faces, an indication that they have no intention of coming back to France. (Screengrab courtesy of TRAC)

The French-speaking ISIS fighters show their faces, an indication that they have no intention of coming back to France. (Screengrab courtesy of TRAC)

Fox News, By Malia Zimmerman, February 09, 2015:

Buoyed by the Islamist terror attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, ISIS has continued a slick campaign with the twisted theme, “What are you waiting for?” and featuring fresh-faced jihadists urging radicals in French-speaking countries to stay put and kill innocents.

In one video released online last week, titled, “Blow Up France 2,” a masked jihadist bearing an assault weapon exhorts Muslims to continue terror attacks in that country.

“Don’t give up and particularly don’t lower your weapons, don’t surrender — kill. Today, it’s our darwa — kill them. You now have more than 4 million targets,” the jihadist said in French.

Just hours after the video release, Moussa Coulibaly, 30, allegedly stabbed three French soldiers on patrol near a Jewish community center in Nice. The police officers, who were on anti-terror patrol, were not seriously hurt. Coulibaly, 31, who shares the surname of Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris on Jan. 9 in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack, was nabbed near the scene.

“These video releases mark the significant push that Islamic State is having toward Francophone recruitment,” Veryan Khan, of the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), a Florida-based global research firm specializing in political violence and terrorism. “If it also results in transnational attacks outside the Sham, then that is just gravy on top of the plate for them.”

Some of the propaganda also bears English subtitles, indicating they aim to recruit Westerners. Islamic State has so far put out four of the French-language videos asking the question “What are you waiting for?” beginning in November. The initial video called on foreign fighters to attack their host country if they cannot join Islamic State in the caliphate.

“ISIS did not want this exclusively for a French audience,” said Ryan Mauro, security analyst for the Clarion Project, an educational group focused on Islamist extremism. “The group wanted to send a message to Americans, as well.”

Recent videos feature a series of man-on-the-street style interviews asking jihadists their opinions on everything from the murder of Jordanian air force pilot Moath al-Kaseasbeh, who was burned alive in January by ISIS leaders while trapped in a cage, to the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

One of the seven jihadists featured in the most recent video is likely Hayat Boumeddiene, the 26-year-old widow of Amedy Coulibaly, according to French authorities. French police killed Coulibaly, 32, after he murdered four hostages in the Paris supermarket Hyper Cacher. Boumeddiene, last seen Jan. 12 in a surveillance video at the Istanbul Airport, is now French law enforcement’s “most wanted” woman and is believed to have joined ISIS in Syria or Iraq.

The supermarket siege came two days after 12 people were murdered in an attack on Charlie Hebdo, the news outlet known for its controversial series of cartoons mocking followers of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Although that attack was linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Amedy Coulibaly is believed to have been a follower of Islamic State.

“Ever since the Charlie Hebdo attacks ‘avenged’ the prophet, there has been a growing trend to justify terrorist acts, such as this murder, by claiming it was an act of vengeance,” Khan said. “Just this week in Sinai, Egypt, ISIS released a video titled, ‘We Swear We Will Revenge.’”

Khan believes the videos, along with other recruitment efforts, are having an impact.

“It’s very possible that the Paris attacks were influenced by this video, which was extremely popular with the Twitter crowd,” Khan said.

Islamic State is making videos targeting the French because they are having success there, said Mauro.

“In the aftermath of the Paris attacks and the latest attack on French soldiers, ISIS knows that will generate attention,” he said.

In the videos, the French-speaking fighters boldly show their faces in some of the videos, indicating they have no intention of returning to France, Khan said.

“The theme of most of their interviews is that France is no place for a Muslim, as they cannot truly actualize their faith in that country,” Khan said.

France is not a country where citizenship, culture or birth can make you French, Khan said, as national identity is in a number of factors not attainable by outsiders.

“Add to this the measures France has taken to protect itself against the insider threat it faces, including banning the niqab (veil or mask), plus the usual complaints that Western religious freedom actually oppresses Muslims by exposing them to what they find morally reprehensible, and there you get the reason for their repeated, triumphal rejection of France,” Khan said.

The videos also call on jihadists to rise up in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the West. Khan believes the videos and other Islamic State tactics have even inspired attacks on law enforcement in France and Canada.

Islamic State is undoubtedly the terrorist group that has been most successful in their online media strategies, Mauro said.

“This successful strategy has enabled ISIS to win over the next generation of jihadists,” Mauro said. “A young radical can feel as if he or she is part of an actual community in the jihadist online world and, unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS can actually claim to be seizing ground and making progress. These videos help ISIS supporters feel as if they are part of an exciting turning point in Islamic history.”

Egypt Excoriates Washington Post for Pro-Brotherhood Bias

Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate in Egypt carrying flags bearing the Brotherhood's logo which featured crossed swords. (Photo: © Reuters)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate in Egypt carrying flags bearing the Brotherhood’s logo which featured crossed swords. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, By Ryan Mauro, Feb. 5, 2015:

The Egyptian embassy has posted a letter by the ambassador to the U.S. thrashing the Washington Post for “toeing the Muslim Brotherhood line” and presenting the Islamist group as “moderate.”  It ends by advising the newspaper to be more balanced in order to “save whatever is left of your credibility in the Arab world.”

The letter is a response to a Washington Post editorial eviscerating the Egyptian government for having a “violent and cynical nature.” It claims that President El-Sisi is suppressing freedom and democracy and that his oppression is benefiting terrorist groups in the Sinai like the Islamic State (ISIS).

“The outlet also consistently promotes the polished English of Muslim Brotherhood propagandists, while muting attention to that organization’s Arabic messages, which drive extreme Islamist rhetoric and call for bloodshed, martyrdom and terror,” Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik writes.

Ambassador Tawfik writes that the newspaper has also “gone out of its way to absolve the Muslim Brotherhood of their crimes.” He points out that the editorial claims that Egyptian police killed over 20 protestors. What the Post didn’t mention is that three of them were Muslim Brotherhood members killed by their own explosives and the “protestors” killed two police officers.

The Egyptian government’s website documents the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood and warns about how the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood is promoting the Islamist group in the media and policy circles. Tawfik touches on this in his letter, writing:

“History shows how a small number of Western academics and lobbyists succeeded in repackaging the Muslim Brotherhood and selling it to their elites as the panacea for curing radicalism, rather than the Trojan Horse it really is.”

Tawfik reminds readers that the Brotherhood “is the mother organization from which modern day violent jihad has sprung” and that the preaching of Brotherhood cleric Sayyid Qutb continues to radicalize Muslims today.

The Egyptian embassy is also offended at the editorial’s indictment of the government for the shooting death of activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh. Videotapes show that she was killed by a police officer using birdshot.

While this is terrible, it is unfair to blame the entire Egyptian government for it. There is no proof of a cover-up. In fact, an independent commission authorized by the Egyptian government concluded that the police used excessive force and violated human rights.

El-Sisi admits police abuse is a problem and is urging security forces to be mindful of human rights. He said that he views all Egyptian women, including al-Sabbagh, as his daughters and declared her a “martyr.” He ordered an investigation into her death, and the interior minister has said he will arrest any police officer involved.

The Post ridicules President Obama for ignoring these alleged human rights abuses in order to continue security cooperation. The newspaper apparently hasn’t paid attention to how many times the Obama Administration has criticized the Egyptian government.

The Obama Administration signaled its opposition to the military’s popularly supported overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It condemned Egypt’s crackdown on the Brotherhood and suspended a significant amount of military aid to Egypt as punishment. The White House continues to falsely assert that the Brotherhood is non-violent.

The U.S. demands the release of former Egyptian President Morsi and imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood members. The State Department recently met with Muslim Brotherhood figures plotting El-Sisi’s overthrow, including one who had his picture taken with a top Hamas leader.

The tension between President El-Sisi and President Obama is palpable. The Egyptian government used the riots in Ferguson to hit America back for its crackdown on the Brotherhood. Egypt has been moving closer to Russia as a result of the lack of U.S. support.

This isn’t the first time that the Egyptian government led by El-Sisi has grappled with the Washington Post. In an August 2013 interview, El-Sisi fought back against how his country was being depicted by the American media. He bluntly said to the reporter:

“The title of the article should be ‘Hey America: Where is your support for Egypt? Where is your support for free people?’…What I want the American reader to know is that this is a free people who rebelled against an unjust political rule, and this free people needs your support.”

El-Sisi made the case that the Brotherhood qualifies as a terrorist group and its overthrow was necessary and demanded by the population. Indeed, the protests requesting the removal of the Brotherhood-led government were the largest in human history, dwarfing the crowds that forced Egyptian President Mubarak’s resignation.

El-Sisi said the Muslim Brotherhood ideology is “based on restoring the Islamic religious empire” and is an international organization in 60 countries. He explained that “Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood,” hinting at the inconsistency in America’s labeling of amas as a terrorist group but not the Brotherhood.

Also see:

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

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

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

By Ryan Mauro:

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

THE END-OF-TIMES WORLDVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEATH OF SAUDI KING & COUP IN YEMEN

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

Read more at Clarion Project

Al-Qaeda – ISIS Roles in Paris Attack: A New Dangerous Trend?

Amedy Coulibaly, Islamist terrorist who carried out the attack on the kosher market in Paris

Amedy Coulibaly, Islamist terrorist who carried out the attack on the kosher market in Paris

By Ryan Mauro:

***

This is the first time that Al-Qaeda and Islamic State devotees have looked past their leader’s differences so they can work together in a terrorist attack on the West. The question is whether this can spark a trend or whether this is an anomaly attributable to these jihadists’ close relationship that predates the rivalry by years.

Al-Qaeda affiliates have tried to stake out a middle-ground where they endorse the jihad of the Islamic State but not the legitimacy of Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Boko Haram in Nigeria has adopted the style of the Islamic State while remaining loyal to Al-Qaeda officially.

Other groups have also tried to position themselves into a more pragmatic grey area. The Clarion Project broke the story about the pro-Islamic State sentiment of the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a powerful Pakistani terror group affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

The leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, has not publicly endorsed the legitimacy of the Islamic State caliphate and he’s criticized the group’s massacres of Muslims. Saeed feels it should target Israel instead. Nonetheless, Saeed has more privately preached in support of the Islamic State.

This may mean that the collaboration between the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly is the actualization of a broader opinion within Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State that sees the leaderships’ rifts as unnecessarily hostile. We have seen no backlash online from the social media accounts of the groups’ supporters over the teaming-up.

The attacks in Paris were more dramatic than any single operation in the West committed by either group on its own in years. That fact will trigger a very serious rethinking among their members about the wisdom of their divisions.

The ramifications of a productive reexamination would be very dangerous.

The immediate impact would be a boost in recruitment and morale, fueled in-part by the understandable anxiety of the Western media as the cooperation is reported. Both groups will feel emboldened by the cooperation and the overall violent Salafist jihad cause they share will gain momentum.

Each side has much to offer the other.

The Islamic State, by definition, is a state with an infrastructure. It is the richest terrorist group on Earth, despite being mostly self-financed, and it is armed to the teeth. It has stronger messaging and online capabilities, exemplified in yesterday’s hackings of the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube page and publishing of American generals’ personal information.

Al-Qaeda has much more experienced operatives, a more expansive international network, relationships with other groups and more public support. Unlike the Islamic State, it has major donors and appears to have a larger network of narcotics smugglers.

Together, they would greatly increase the threat of terrorism inside the West and strengthen each other’s jihads in the Middle East.  The Islamic State and Al-Qaeda are separated geographically except for in Syria, theoretically making a resolution very possible.

Syria is at the heart of the feud between Zawahiri and Baghdadi, but this potential shift could still result in local truces between Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Syria so they can focus on their common Kurdish and Shiite enemies and destroy any Sunni rebels who stand in their way.

Every terrorist in Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State want to follow in the footsteps of Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers. The Paris attacks are the new benchmark. Western intelligence and law enforcement agencies need to be aware of this possible new trend of cooperation between these two lethal groups and to adjust their intelligence-gathering and preventative measures accordingly.

Read more at Clarion Project

Egypt Warns of Muslim Brotherhood Organizations in U.S.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published on Jan 15, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

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

ICYMI – ‘Rise of Radical Islam’ – Sean Hannity Special – [COMPLETE]

Published on Jan 12, 2015 by Steve Laboe

Sean Hannity hosts this hour long special devoted to the Rise of Radical Islam. Special guests include Andrew Bostom, Jonathan Gilliam, Lt. Gen Tom McInerny, David Webb, Brigitte Gabriel, Ryan Mauro, Lisa Daftari, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Lea Gabrielle, and Zainab Kahn.

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

Published on Jan 11, 2015

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

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

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

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

Published on Jan 10, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

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

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

Published on Jan 9, 2015 by Ryan Mauro

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

Muslim Brotherhood Founded 50% of the Mosques in the West

The Pullman Islamic Center in Washington state

The Pullman Islamic Center in Washington state

The Brotherhood has established the most powerful Islamic institutions in the West, even though Muslims are not necessary on board.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A prominent Muslim leader in the United Kingdom with links to the Muslim Brotherhood estimates that half of the mosques in the West were founded by Brotherhood members. The Brotherhood presents itself as moderate, but it supports violent jihad and is the parent organization of Hamas.

The estimate was made by Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO of London-based Islamic Relief Worldwide, the world’s largest Muslim charity.

He was responding to his organization’s admitted Muslim Brotherhood origins and its designation as a terrorist entity by the United Arab Emirates and Israel. The Israeli government saysIslamic Relief Worldwide sends “millions” of dollars to Hamas every year.

“If this is a crime to have someone as a founder as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, they will have to close 50 percent of the mosques in the West because they also had founders from this group,” he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is responsible for establishing the most powerful Islamic institutions in the West, though that does not mean that most Muslims or most mosque attendees subscribe to its Islamist ideology. Surveys consistently show that Muslim-Americans largely reject extremism, though a formidable minority remains committed to it.

A 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo discusses how the group established a network of front organizations in America for “unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts” under anan effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood hoped that its control of the main infrastructure would enable it to lead the growing community.

The struggle that followed is encapsulated in this 2004 Chicago Tribune story about Islamists taking control of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois. A 2003 St. Petersburg Times article also reports on the Islamist challenges for the leaderships of mosques in Florida, California, Illinois, Texas and Arizona.

The Brotherhood’s purpose, as stated in the 1991 memo, is to wage “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…”

One of the organizations listed in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood memo as a front for this purpose is the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), an organization that owns mosques across America. Its offices were raided in 2002 as part of a terrorism-financing investigation.

Its website says:

“Since NAIT’s founding, Muslim communities have entrusted the titles of over 325 properties in 42 States to NAIT. More are added every year. Market value of these Waqf  [NAIT] properties is several hundred million dollars.”

Another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has said that NAIT owns about 27% of mosques in America. National security expert Dr. J. Michael Waller had a higher estimate of 50% to 79% of mosques being owned by NAIT.

NAIT’s status as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity was confirmed by federal prosecutors during the prosecution of another U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity named the Holy Land Foundation. The Justice Department designated NAIT as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case.

NAIT’s designation as an unindicted co-conspirator was upheld in a 2009 ruling because of “ample evidence” linking it to the Hamas-financing network of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. A NAIT bank account gave the checks for the “Palestinian mujahideen” to the Holy Land Foundation, which then distributed the funds to Hamas.

In the documentary The Grand Deception, former FBI special agent Robert Stauffer talks about taking part in an investigation into the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, including NAIT. He said that many millions of dollars were donated to NAIT from foreign countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

A declassified FBI document from 1987 summarizes intelligence provided by an informant inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who adamantly stated that NAIT is a Brotherhood front with a “secret agenda” that includes supporting terrorism and a long-term Islamic revolution in America.

“[NAIT wants] all the mosques to be ideologically pure in their own Wahhabist line. They want to prevent others from having influence,”said Islamic scholar Khalid Duran.

There are also mosques and Islamic centers that are not technically owned by NAIT but are officially affiliated with other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.

Another significant problem within U.S. mosques is the widespread presence of radical literature. A 2011 survey of 100 U.S. mosques found that only 19% of mosques were completely absent of texts promoting violence, and only a mere 15.5% had imams who did notrecommend violent texts for studying.  In addition, just 42% of mosques did not have guest speakers known for promoting violentjihad.

About 51% of U.S. mosques were found to have texts that “severely advocate” violent jihad, preaching that supporting it is an obligation of Muslims. Literature in this category includes texts like Milestonesby Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb and those by Jamaat-e-Islami founder Abdul Ala Maududi/Mawdudi.

About 30% of U.S. mosques were found to have texts that “moderately advocate” violence, such as Fiqh us-Sunnah by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Sabiq and Tafsir Ibn Kathir.

This shocking number is substantiated by Sufi Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, the chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America. Kabbani has founded 28 Sufi Islamic centers in North America and is listed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.

In 1999, Kabbani said during an event at the State Department that 80% of U.S. mosques follow an extremist Saudi-sponsored form of Islam. He said that 90 of the 114 U.S. mosques he visited had a radical ideology.

A 2006 study by Freedom House likewise found that Saudi-sponsored extremist texts are widely present in U.S. mosques. The study was based on a survey of over 200 books from 15 major mosques in seven states.

Readers can learn about the Islamist mosques in their state through the Clarion Project’s Islamist Organizations in America page.

In addition, the following is an incomplete list of over 60 mosques and organizations known to be affiliated with NAIT and other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); Muslim Students Association (MSA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim American Society (MAS) and the now-defunct Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA).

Read more at Clarion Project

Epic Call by Egypt, Tunisia Leaders for Islamic Reformation

Supporters of Tunisia's new president, Beji Caid Essebsi, from the the Nidaa Tounes (Call for Tunisia) secular party movement. Photo: © Reuters

Supporters of Tunisia’s new president, Beji Caid Essebsi, from the the Nidaa Tounes (Call for Tunisia) secular party movement. Photo: © Reuters

An ideological battle in the Muslim world between secular-democratic reformers and Islamists is happening. The question now is which side will win.

By Ryan Mauro:

The newly elected President of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi recently issued loud calls for progressive reformations in Islamic thought to modernize outdated doctrine. Both of them explicitly identify the Islamist ideology as the core problem.

Raymond Ibrahim reports that Egyptian President El-Sisi gave a momentous speech during the celebrations of the birthday of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, where he told Muslims to have a “religious revolution” to change Islamic “thinking.”

The location is equally as important as the timing. He did this at Al-Azhar University, the world’s most prominent Sunni school of learning.

El-Sisi confronted Islamist propaganda that changing Islamic doctrine is tantamount to blasphemy. He emphasized that there’s a difference between the interpretation of the religion and the religion itself. He argued that the ones who are actually hurting Islam are those who oppose the reformers.

“That thinking—I am not saying ‘religion’ but ‘thinking’—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!” El-Sisi declared.

He did not blame the troubles of the Muslim world on Western influence or a wild Zionist conspiracy against Islam as Islamist do. On the contrary, El-Sisi said the source of global conflict originates in ideologies from the Muslim world.

“I say – and repeat again – that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move … because this ummah is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands,” he said.

Last year, El-Sisi declared that “Religious discourse is the greatest battle and challenge facing the Egyptian people.” He said that an Islamic reformation is necessary to modernize doctrines that have not been revised for 800 years.

“In Islam, there was a civil state, not an Islamic one,” El-Sisi said. His government formed an independent commission that recommended banning Islamist political parties, “reforming religious discourse” and various measures to minimize the influence of political Islam (Islamism).

He also apologized to a woman who was sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square and said her “honor” was violated; a challenge to the cultural theme of “honor” that forms the basis of women’s rights abuses.

Separately, the Tunisian presidency was won by a secular-democratic candidate named Beji Caid Essebsi who defeated a pro-Hamas secularist with 55% of the vote versus 45%.

Shortly after his victory, Essebsi wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post crediting Western influence, specifically the Enlightenment and the separation of religion and state, with providing the basis for Tunisia’s secular-democratic transition.

***

The momentous symbolism of what is happening in Tunisia and Egypt is difficult to exaggerate.

Tunisia is where the “Arab Spring” was born and where the subsequent “Islamist Awakening” won its first electoral victory. It was first-hand experience that led to the removal of Islamists from power and their replacement with secular-democrats advocating a progressive reformation in Islamic doctrine.

Read more at Clarion Project

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