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

Also see:

2014: Top Highlights in the Fight Against Islamic Extremism

CAIR-Terrorist-Organization-HP

American Islamists like CAIR were exposed for their ties to the Muslim Brotherhood when they were designated as a terror group by the UAE.

By Ryan Mauro:

The year 2014 will be remembered for the war against the Islamic State, the interim nuclear deal with Iran, Hamas’ brutal kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens and other harrowing developments.

However, the year also saw fight against Islamic extremism. Here are the top 19 moments in 2014 where Islamic extremism was bruised:

19. Citizen action against the Iranian regime in Los Angeles.

Iranian opposition activist Roozbeh Farahanipour  succeeded in getting the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles to pass resolutions against businesses linked to the Iranian regime. His research was passed to California’s Department of Consumer Affairs in the hopes of stimulating broader action.

18.  The “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign.

Akexa-Chung-Bring-Back-Our-Girls-350x232Although the Bring Back Our Girls campaign in response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping of 273 schoolgirls did not deter the Islamist terrorist group in any way, the involvement of celebrities like First Lady Michelle Obama brought attention to the horrors perpetrated by the group and Islamist treatment of women.

17. The initiative to undermine North Korea’s information blockade, damaging a tyrannical regime that helps Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Hezbollah and Hamas.

The Human Rights Initiative is raising money to smuggle American movies, DVD players, flash drives and educational literature into North Korea using balloon drops and secret land routes. The North Korean defector leading the effort, Park Sang-Hak, now says 100,000 copies of “The Interview” will be dropped into the country. The nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs of Iran and North Korea are a single entity. Any effort against one impacts the other.

16. Turkey and Qatar exposed as duplicitous U.S. allies.

After years of fomenting Islamist extremism and terrorism, the U.S. “allies” of Turkey and Qatar are finally being seen for the backstabbers they’ve been. A bipartisan group of two dozen members of Congress are asking the Treasury Department to enforce anti-terrorism laws and sanction those in Turkey and Qatar for financing and harboring terrorists.

15. The release of Honor Diaries.

Honor-Diaries-Blog-300x195Clarion Project, along with a coalition of partners, released a documentary titled Honor Diaries about the victimization of females by the cultural concept of “honor” in the Muslim-majority world. The film received international media coverage from all kinds of outlets despite the efforts of Islamists to shut it down.

Honor Diaries has been shown on dozens of college campuses and there were even two screenings in Egypt organized by the human rights lawyer who prosecuted the country’s first case brought against female genital mutilation. The film’s Arabic Facebook page now has over a half-million “likes” and billboards advertising the film with First Lady Michelle Obama’s condemnation of female genital mutilation have gone up in Dearborn and Boston.

14. Hollywood stands up to Brunei’s sharia law.

After the government of Brunei began implementing sharia governance, Hollywood celebrities boycotted hotel chains owned by the sultan of Brunei and brought publicity to the issue. The involvement of Jay Leno, Ellen Degeneres, Sharon Osbourne and other celebrities brought much-needed attention to the issue ofSharia governance, Islamist persecution of homosexuals and how American citizens can take concrete action.

13. Kurds getting the positive attention they deserve.

The Kurds have played a leading role in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS). Their battle against the Islamic State has brought international attention to their legitimate desire for Kurdistan to be an independent state, their pro-Western orientations and thestrategic benefits of a Kurdish state.

Kurdish women fighters

Kurdish women fighters

Iraqi Kurdistan is described as “one of the most pro-American places on the planet.” The Kurds also set themselves apart as a mostly Muslim ethnic group that has extensive ties with Israel. The Israeli government has endorsed an independent Kurdistan and has long had a friendly relationship with the Kurds. A new Kurdish pipeline isdelivering oil to Israel.

As Aki Peritz writes in the Huffington Post, Kurdish women fightersPresident Barazani of Iraqi Kurdistan has publicly welcomed the opening of an Israeli consulate in his region and said “establishing relations with between the Kurds and Israel is not a crime.”

The second-most influential Kurdish leader, former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, infuriated Iraqi leaders by shaking the hand of the Israeli defense minister in 2008. He refused to apologize or resign as they demanded.

The Kurdish Foreign Minister relishes in how Kurdistan has been described as a “second Israel,” decrying how “This island of democracy [Israel] was seen as a germ.”

“We have no problems with Israel. They have not harmed us. We can’t be hating them [just] because Arabs hate them,” Falah Mustafa Bakir said.

Read more at Clarion Project

Bravado Crimped in Islamic State’s Latest English Magazine

Islamic-State-Dabiq-6-HP-1BY RYAN MAURO:

The sixth issue of the Islamic State’s English-language magazine,Dabiq, has been released. There are 10 key takeaways, but the overall objectives are to recruit Western Islamists, discredit Al-Qaeda and address the Islamic State’s unpopularity among Muslims.

1. The issue is a political attack ad against Al-Qaeda.

The cover of the magazine is about “Al-Qaeda in Waziristan: A Testimony From Within.”  Here, the Islamic State presents an op-ed by a former Al-Qaeda member as an expose of Al-Qaeda’s misdeeds and the group’s fall from Allah’s will.

Islamic-State-Dabiq-6-Al-QaedaIn the op-ed, Al-Qaeda is accused of being a sell-out. The author says that Al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies have chosen tribal law over sharia, are embracing peaceful protests over mandatory violent jihad and are exalting nationalism. The piece also blasts Taliban chief Mullah Omar for focusing solely on Afghanistan.

The article is supportive of the Pakistani Taliban and alleges that other Taliban factions are helping the Pakistani military to fight against it. It also accuses Al-Qaeda of duplicity when it comes to Iran.

The official spokesman of the Islamic State issued a public statement in May claiming that Al-Qaeda’s orders were not to attack Iran in order to prevent a crackdown on its operations there. The U.S. government says that Iran and Al-Qaeda have a “secret deal” that allows Al-Qaeda to maintain a base in Iran with the regime’s consent.

The former Al-Qaeda operative describes the group’s leadership as completely intolerant of constructive criticism. He says it has isolated itself by viciously criticizing fellow Muslims.


2. The Islamic State is trying to capitalize on libertarian pessimism about the dollar.

Islamic-State-Dabiq-6-MoneyAn article attributed to British hostage John Cantlie is all about the impending doom of the fiat currency, specifically the dollar and petrodollar. The Islamic State’s creation of gold coins as currency is described as sound economics that will enrich the group once the dollar inevitably collapses. The author says that Russia and China are stockpiling gold in order to help make that happen.

The author even quotes from former congressman Ron Paul, a former Libertarian Party and Republican presidential candidate with a fervent following in America. The article presents the U.S. military involvement in the Muslim world as driven by a desire to ensure that oil continues to be traded in dollars and not in any other currency.

3. The captured Jordanian pilot is due to be executed, if he hasn’t been already.

Islamic-State-Dabiq-6-Jordanian-PilotThe magazine features an interview with the Jordanian pilot where he “admits” that his aircraft was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile fired by the Islamic State. The U.S. and Jordanian governments say his crashing was accidental.

The interview ends with the Islamic State asking him if he knows his fate. He says, “Yes…they will kill me.”

Unlike the handling of other captives, the Islamic State does not offer his release in exchange for concessions. He is deemed an apostate and his execution is required.

4.  The Islamic State is hurting from a lack of Muslim support.

Nothing has damaged the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda more than their practice oftakfirism, where they unilaterally declare huge numbers of Muslims to be apostates in order to justify killing them.

Islamic-State-Dabiq-6-AdviceThe Islamic State is responding by saying that it understands the seriousness of declaring a Muslim to be an apostate. This issue cites an Islamic verse about Allah punishing a Muslim who falsely labels another Muslim as an apostate.

The article emphasizes that this should never be done “except to those who deserve it according to Allah.” The Islamic State is justifying its behavior as judge and executioner by basically saying that it’s obvious that its victims deserved it.

In the article, there is an implied admission that Islamic State members aren’t getting along well with each other, are alienating locals and that Muslims aren’t happy living under the Islamic State’s sharia governance.

A section giving advice to Islamic State members repeatedly emphasizes being nice, patient and charitable. Its explanation of basic kindnesses suggests that its membership is wrought with judgmental in-fighting and recruits who are simply unlikeable on a personal level.

The article also includes recommendations for making the population more accepting of sharia governance.

“Beware of making them fear Islam and its rulings. And if there’s a matter that our people will dislike, then work for that matter using sweet and pleasant words and deeds that will cause the people to accept its bitter aspects,” the article says.

The Islamic State criticizes the Muslim imams who have condemned it by including a statement about “misleading imams” being more dangerous than the Dajjal, the Islamic version of the Antichrist.

***

9.  Violent jihad is presented as the only guaranteed method of salvation.

Islamic-State-Dabiq-6-SydneyThe Islamic State addressed the perverted and murderous past of Sheikh Haron, the Islamic State supporter who started a hostage crisis in Sydney this month. Its response was to emphasize that his sin is “irrelevant” as long as he genuinely asks Allah for forgiveness and repents.

The author quotes the Prophet Mohammed as having “declared that such a [sinful] person would be forgiven the moment his blood is first spilled.”

This is often overlooked point in Islamist ideology and recruitment. Westerners often incorrectly assume that the violent jihadists’ dedication to their faith means they’ll be equally dedicated to resisting sin. This is not the case.

There are so many moral regulations in sharia that it is nearly impossible for any human being to be free of violation. No matter how hard a Muslim tries, he or she will fall far short of Allah’s standards.

The result is immense guilt, anger towards the perceived sources of those sinful influences (such as the West), and much insecurity about gaining entry into paradise. There is no way to quantify whether your positive behavior is enough to atone for your sins, so Islamists are able to offer martyrdom as the only guarantee.

Once this is understood, it is easy to see why violent jihad is actuallymore appealing to Muslims with severe moral failings.

This same dynamic explains why the Taliban, an Islamist terrorist group that believes homosexuals should be executed, is known to molest boys. Brutal suppression under sharia is seen as a solution to their own evil inclinations. Jihad also offers excuses to carry out these sins for the sake of a greater purpose.

Read more at Clarion Project

Islamic State (ISIS) Magazine: Dabiq - Issue 6 - PDF

2015: What Jihadists Will Try to Achieve in the Upcoming Year

At a Shiite election rally, a car bomb explodes in Iraq. (Photo: © Reuters)

At a Shiite election rally, a car bomb explodes in Iraq. (Photo: © Reuters)

From manufacturing an oil crisis to Iran’s nuclear aspirations and lone-wolf attacks, jihadists will be looking to exploit our weaknesses.

Clarion Project, By Ryan Mauro, Dec. 28, 2014:

5The Bergdahl-Sony Effect

The West will have to contend with two lessons it taught adversaries in 2014: The U.S. negotiates with terrorists and the U.S. government and private sector will cave to threats.

The U.S. negotiated a prisoner release with the Taliban where five high-level Taliban terrorists were released in exchange for a kidnapped U.S. soldier named Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who deserted and may have even tried to join the enemy side. Taliban chief Mullah Omar hailed the deal as a “huge accomplishment” that “reassures us that our aspirations are on the verge of fulfillment.”

Watch Clarion’s Ryan Mauro speak on “Top Terror Threats of 2015″

 

Interview-Cancelled-350x175Hollywood reinforced the dangerous appeasement when movie theaters caved to threats from hackers linked to North Korea and refused to show The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Sony then cancelled the film’s release.

In addition, showings of Team America, another comedy that pokes fun at North Korea, were shut down. A planned thriller film with a storyline related to North Korea was cancelled, even though the hackers never threatened a response to it or even mentioned it.

After public outrage reached a fever pitch and President Obama said Sony made a mistake, the decision was reversed. The Interview was released in limited theaters and online on Christmas as planned, but the damage was done.

In 2015, the West’s enemies will be implementing these lessons.

 

4 (1)Iran Outmaneuvers America

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirms that Iran is still not fully disclosing its nuclear program, yet the negotiations and sanctions relief has been extended for another six months. The U.S. even admits privately that Iran is breaking the interim nuclear deal, while the Secretary of State publicly praises Iran’s so-called “compliance.”

The Iranian regime is using negotiations as part of a long-term strategy to develop nuclear weapons capabilities, with the most incriminating work probably being outsourced to North Korea.

Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader

Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader

A senior adviser to Supreme Leader Khamenei even said the regime’s strategy is “elongation” and it doesn’t actually want a finalized deal.

In 2015, Iran will continue this strategy to advance its nuclear program and lead the West into missing an extremely important opportunity to pressure the regime financially. At the same time, Iran will win investments from European companies to assist the economy and shield Iran from effective sanctions in the future.

Iran will continue to sponsor terrorism, including Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and try to heal rifts with Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

3 (2)Oil Crisis

The decline of oil prices is boosting the American economy and technological advances will reduce U.S. energy dependence. These oil prices are very dangerous for Iran, the Syrian regime, Venezuela, Russia and other hostile regimes.

These governments need the price of oil to spike up to sustain their budgets. The Iranian regime is undoubtedly infuriated with the Saudis for refusing to decrease oil production and has threatened an oil price war previously.

Oil-Rig-Midland-Texas-IP-350x319Iran’s proxies have successfully captured the capital of Yemen, defeating Saudi Arabia’s allies. In 2012, Iran launched a major cyber attack on Saudi Aramco and a natural gas company in Qatar. The Saudis claim the hackers tried to halt oil and natural gas production. The Iranian hackers continue to attack U.S. businesses, energy firms, defense contractors and universities.

In 2015, the low price of oil will maximize the incentives for Iran and other hostile governments to instigate conflict or to even attack Middle Eastern and American energy infrastructure.

 

2 (1)The Expansion of Terror Safe Havens

Next year, Islamist terrorists will have growing opportunities to regain the safe havens they lost since 2001 and to expand their current bases.

The Islamic State announced in November that it had expanded from Iraq and Syria into Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It killed eight Shiites in Saudi Arabia and shot a citizen of Denmark in Riyadh. At least 60 jihadist groups in 30 countries have expressed solidarity with the Islamic State.

Syria is the brightest prospect for the jihadists.

The Iran-backed Assad regime is winning on the battlefield but has severe weaknesses that will only get worse next year like the regime’s bankruptcy, collapsing infrastructure and lack of manpower. The regime cut subsidies that are essential for maintaining support from its constituencies.

The low oil price will drastically undermine support from Iran and Russia, as well. A Syrian trade official recently admitted that the regime would have fallen without Iranian financial aid.

The U.S.-backed rebels have been ripped to shreds by the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. The country is being described as “a patchwork of warring fiefdoms” and “total chaos” is being predicted for 2015. The chances are high that the civil war will spread to Lebanon in a major way.

The often-overlooked civil war continues to rage in Libya where Islamist militias are making gains in eastern Libya against secular forces. The Islamic State conquered the city of Derna and has erected training camps with an estimated 200 terrorists.

The Libyan civil war could spread into neighboring Tunisia and Algeria. The Libyan secularists are scoring some victories in western Libya and Tunisia is sealing border crossings. The new anti-Islamist government of Tunisia is destined for a showdown with Islamist militias like Ansar al-Sharia.

Yemen is also a grand opportunity for jihadists. The Iranian-backed Houthis have captured the capital of Sanaa and is advancing in the central and southern parts of the country, battling Al-Qaeda and other Sunni fighters along the way. This could become a repeat of Syria very shortly.

In Egypt, the military is battling an Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. The Islamic State is expanding there and Al-Qaeda’s affiliate there could potentially bounce back from major losses. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas could join the fight as the Egyptian government tries to dismantle political Islam.

In Afghanistan, the U.S. has pledged to end the official combat mission at the end of this year and reduce U.S. troop levels down to 9,800. The remaining forces will leave by 2016. The Afghan Taliban is making gains in Helmand Province since the U.S. handed security over to the Afghan security forces, but the Afghan forces deserve credit for stopping the Taliban from seizing a single district there.

A secret group of dozens of students backing the Islamic State has arisen in Afghanistan and expressions of support for the Islamic State are being seen in neighboring Pakistan. The Islamic State could also win over hardline elements of the Afghan Taliban opposed to negotiated settlements with the elected government.

The Clarion Project has seen numerous online statements by Islamic State members and supporters enthusiastically talking about replicating in Afghanistan the success they have enjoyed in Iraq once U.S. forces depart Afghanistan.

Islamist terrorists could also become stronger in Central Asia due to jihadists returning from Syria, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and an apparent rise in support for Islamism, as evidenced by the rise of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Kyrgyzstan has thwarted attacks by terrorists who returned from Syria and sought to spark an insurgency there.

In December, a terrorist group called the Caucasus Emirate attacked the city of Grozny in Chechnya and killed 14 police officers. The Emirate’s Dagestan section then released a videotape declaring allegiance to the Islamic State, even though the emir of the overall group endorsed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

1Homegrown Terror

The unfortunate reality is that a homegrown terrorist attack on U.S. soil is all but certain in 2015.

There were at least six Islamism-inspired acts of terrorism on U.S. soil in 2014, with the murder of two New York Police Department officers being the latest. At least 14 Americans have been intercepted on their way to join the Islamic State, with the most recent cases being a mother in Virginia and a Chicago man with his two teenage siblings.

New-York-Two-Cops-Killed-IP-300x158It is believed that over 100 Americans have joined jihadist groups in Syria with otherestimates as high as 300. The FBI ismonitoring about 150 Americans who have returned from Syria for possible terrorist links.

The Islamic State has inspired a new generation of homegrown terrorists and a study found that the number of Salafist jihadists has doubled since 2010. The number of individual Salafist jihadist groups has doubled since 2001 and the number of attacks has tripled since 2010. The State Department likewise calculated a 40% rise in attacks in 2013 and a 60% rise in fatalities from terrorism.

Based on these trends, it is safe to say that Islamist terrorism will dominate the headlines throughout 2015 as it did for most of 2014.

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.

Sydney Attacker: ‘Man of Peace’

People escape the Lindt Chocolate Cafe where Man Haron Monis (inset) was holding them hostage.

People escape the Lindt Chocolate Cafe where Man Haron Monis (inset) was holding them hostage.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The perpetrator of the jihadist, an Islamist known as Sheikh Man Haron Monis, was shockingly dropped from the country’s terrorist-watch list sometime after 2009. It is unknown why this happened but it may be attributable to the manipulative semantics he used to appear nonthreatening, utilizing a common Islamist strategy.

Haron pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) last month, an act that should have immediately resulted in his placement on terror-watch lists and surveillance. Presumably, his website was not being monitored despite his lengthy criminal record, widely known extremism and history of 40 to 50 allegations of sexual indiscretions.

His “moderate” presentation is not nearly as slick as more skilled Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood, but the language he used can serve as a case study in how Islamists use crafty language to put audiences at ease.

***

Conclusion

It’s not enough to understand terrorist groups or the Islamist ideology behind them. We have to understand how it is expressed.

For Westerners, terms like “peace,” “terrorism” and “democracy” appear to have a universal meaning. We all understand each other when we use them. Islamists have different definitions of them. When they use these terms, many Westerners incorrectly assume the same concept is being discussed.

The nuances in Islamist language needs to be grasped so we can separate extremist from moderate and detect propaganda and word games.

Haron may have been dropped off Australia’s terrorist-watch list because of this deception or because of a tragic bureaucratic error. The broader lesson is that the West simply isn’t doing a good enough job of identifying threats.

Islamist adversaries are consistently overlooked, downplayed or even treated as partners. The intelligence and policy failures will continue until we understand the ideology we’re up against.

Read Mauro’s dissection of Haron’s writings and statements revealing the true meaning of his words

Also read about how Stealth jihadists use language deceptively from The Counter Jihad’s Debating Islam page. Learn the definitions of Islamic terms here: Islam’s Deceptive Use of Western Terminology

Disturbed Man Radicalized to Jihad, Stabs Police Officer

Hudson Taylor Clark's Facebook profile picture

Hudson Taylor Clark’s Facebook profile picture

By Ryan Mauro:

A radical Muslim in Colorado named Hudson Taylor Clark was shot five times and arrested following his stabbing of a police officer. The authorities say the man had been visiting jihadist websites. This is the fifth Islamism-inspired attack in America this year.

The Canon City Police Department confirmed that the federal government had inquired about Clark because of online statements he made about jihad.

“For the last couple of months he has been working out a lot and he has been visiting Islamic websites and other types of websites described to us as jihadist in nature,” said Canon City Police Chief Paul Schultz.

In a video posted on YouTube on December 1, Clark stated he is a Muslim and that Allah informed him that he is Jesus. He said that when he asked Allah if he is Jesus, a torrential downpour began that then disappeared when he asked it to stop.

The Twitter account that apparently belonged to Clark has been deleted, but a search for it on Google shows it had proclamations of his Islamic faith and the anti-Semitic statement of, “Look out for that Jews horns and teeth!”

Clark carried out his attack on Saturday, December 6. He began the morning by telling his mother that he was leaving and would never return, prompting her to call the police several hours later.

***

Expect two distracting arguments to distort media coverage of the attack, if significant coverage even happens.

First, there will be a debate about whether it qualifies as a terrorist attack. As the author explained in analyzing the Oklahoma City beheading, this debate misses the point. The point is Islamism-driven violence and extremism; not whether to categorize it as crime or terrorism.

Secondly, the Islamist basis of the attack will be downplayed in favor of his obvious mental instability. There will be commentators who depict Clark as a violence-inclined crazy man who only happened to be Muslim.

This argument ignores the anti-Semitism he expressed and the jihadist websites he visited that caught the attention of federal authorities. Not everyone who is mentally unstable engages in violent jihad. The ideology shaped the violent result of that instability.

This is the fifth Islamist act of violence on American soil this year. The previous attacks are as follows:

  • The October axe attack on New York Police Department officers by an Islamic State supporter following two attacks in Canada;
  • The September beheading of a woman in Oklahoma City by a supporter of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State who previously justified beheadings online;
  • The April-July shooting spree by a jihadist who killed four people in Washington state and New Jersey;
  • The New Years’ Eve act of arson targeting a gay club in Seattle by an Islamist who sympathized with anti-American terrorists.

Islamism is a catalyst for all kinds of crime and violence. We should not waste time parsing words to categorize each individual act as if they are fundamentally different. The bottom line is that Islamism is an ideology that threatens innocents and it does so in many different ways.

Read more at Clarion Project

There was also an attack in October in DC but the media went silent on it:

dc-police-ax-620x348

Ax-Wielding Man Attacks D.C. Police Officer — This Jaw-Dropping Photo Shows Just How Close of a Call It Was