Brookings Scholars Hawk Qatar’s Hamas Talking Points

Part 4 of a 4-Part Investigative Series: Brookings Sells Soul to Qatar’s Terror Agenda

by Steven Emerson, John Rossomando and Dave Yonkman
IPT News
October 31, 2014

1082Since the beginning of Brookings’ relationship with Qatar in 2002, its scholars have increasingly advocated that U.S. policymakers open a direct channel to Hamas – a position in keeping with Qatar’s foreign policy.

Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family who chairs the Brooking Doha Center (BDC)’s advisory council, made Qatar’s position clear, according to a quote found in a secret December 2005 cable written by then-Ambassador Chase Untermeyer, on the eve of the January 2006 Palestinian elections.

“We shouldn’t exclude Hamas. It makes Hamas look like the real Palestinians. To isolate them is to repeat mistakes made in many places,” the cable released by Wikileaks said.

In recent years, Qatar’s leadership has emerged as one of Hamas’s biggest financial and political backers.

Other State Department cables disclosed by Wikileaks quoted Brookings’ patron, and former Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani‘s wife, describing her husband as “a big friend of Hamas.”

Qatar pledged $50 million to support Hamas in 2006, and the former emir pledged another $400 million to Hamas’ cash-strapped government in Gaza during an October 2012 state visit. Its funding of Hamas continues despite the accession of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Qatari throne following his father’s abdication last year. Current Prime Minister Abdullah bin Naser bin Khalifa Al Thani announced in June that Qatar would give Hamas $60 million to pay salaries of the terror group’s public servants. Earlier this month, Qatar pledged $1 billion to help rebuild Gaza after Hamas provoked a war with Israel by firing rockets at civilian communities. No strings were attached to the pledge.

Furthermore, the Qatari government also has frustrated American efforts to isolate Hamas.

Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal lived in Qatar from 1999 until 2001 following his expulsion from Jordan. Meshaal told Al-Hayat in 2003 that Al Thani assisted his 1999 entry into Qatar and that he had maintained a “personal relationship” with the then-Qatari foreign minister.

Meshaal moved back to Qatar in February 2012 after the start of Syria’s civil war.

Israel’s United Nations Ambassador Ron Prosor pointed his finger at Qatar in anAugust New York Times op-ed, blaming the Gulf state for every rocket and tunnel aimed at Israel, saying they were “made possible through a kind donation from the emir of Qatar.” Prosor described Qatar as a “Club Med for terrorists” for harboringMeshaal, influential Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Abdul Rahman Omeir al-Naimi, a Qatari history professor the U.S. Treasury Department designatedlast year as an al-Qaida financier.

Qatari technology allegedly helped Hamas build sophisticated cyber systems in tunnels and above ground to attack Israel. Nearly 70 percent of cyber-attacks against Israel during this summer’s Gaza war originated from Qatari-associated IP addresses. Sensors provided by the Gulf state in Hamas tunnels alerted the terrorists to approaching Israeli soldiers, and Qatari cloud-based software enabled Hamas to remotely fire its rockets, the Times of Israel reported.

Brookings portrays Qatar’s relations with Hamas in a positive light, setting the country up as a mediator between the terrorist group and Israel.

Barakat suggested that “Western powers might find themselves having to look for help from a different partner: Qatar,” Barakat wrote, giving a nod to the BDC’s sponsoring country. “Under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt has proven more adept at securing the backing of politicians and diplomats in Tel Aviv, Washington and New York for a peace initiative than it has at reaching out to Palestinians.”

Despite Barakat’s concerns, Egypt ultimately brokered the August agreement that ended the latest round of Hamas’ fighting with Israel.

Reports in the Arabic press indicate that Qatar had threatened to expel Meshaal from the country if he agreed to Egypt’s cease-fire terms in July.

Spreading disinformation about Hamas

Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr’s sentiments can also be found in the body of work of numerous Brookings scholars who argue that Hamas is willing to disarm or recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Numerous articles lend Brookings’ credibility to the false notion that Hamas’s 1988 charter calling for Palestinian Muslims to fight Israel “until liberation is achieved” no longer has relevance or to the notion that Hamas wants peaceful coexistence with Israel. Consequently, they argue that the U.S. should talk directly with Hamas.

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U.S. Judge Shields Palestinian Terrorists from Scrutiny

Palestinian Territories: Fateh Delegation Arrives In Gaza To Meet Hamas Leadersby Adam Kredo
Washington Free Beacon
October 29, 2014

Reporters are taking legal action to force a U.S. District Court to publicly disclose secret documents that are believed to provide new details about payments made to terrorists by the Palestinian government, according to court documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Lawyers have been fighting for months to force a U.S. District Court in New York to unseal scores of documents and testimony that allegedly detail how the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has been paying salaries to convicted terrorists.

The sealed documents were submitted to the court as part of a 2004 lawsuit brought by terrorism victims seeking damages from the PLO as a result of their attacks on Israel.

The victims’ lawyers have argued for months that the documents in question play a critical role in establishing the PLO’s culpability and should be released to the public.

However, Judge George B. Daniels has rejected this request on the basis that the documents may reveal personal information about purported terrorists and potentially “undermine” the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) interests, according to court documents.

As the case drags on, several reporters filed a motion on Monday to intervene in the case and force the court to unseal the sealed documents.

Investigative reporters Sharyl Attkisson, Steve Emerson, and Edwin Black jointly filed the motion announcing their intent to pursue intervention in the case with a motion meant to compel the “unsealing [of] certain judicial documents,” according to court documents obtained by the Free Beacon.

Atkinson is a former CBS reporter who has said she faced a backlash from the Obama administration for her stories, Emerson is an author and executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), and Black is an author and columnist known for his exposés on Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

The reporters assert in multiple briefs that the public has a right to see the court documents detailing the Palestinian government’s alleged financial support of terrorists.

“We’re confident that the court will take this motion very seriously because it’s based on well-established constitutional law,” Ronald Coleman, a lawyer representing the reporters told the Free Beacon on Tuesday. “The legal standards mandating public access to public judicial proceedings are applied strictly in matters of public concern. And this litigation is certainly such a case.”

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Brookings Takes Both Sides of the Issue on Islamist Censorship

Part 3 of a 4-Part Investigative Series: Brookings Sells Soul to Qatar’s Terror Agenda

by Steven Emerson, John Rossomando and Dave Yonkman
IPT News
October 30, 2014

1081Brookings’ partnership with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in conjunction with its Qatari-backed Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, sends a mixed message for a think tank that claims to want “a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system.”

The OIC is a 57-government body (56 nations plus the Palestinian Authority) that constitutes the largest United Nations voting bloc.

Fighting against criticism of Islam and those who link the religion with violence under the banner of so-called “Islamophobia” features prominently in the OIC’s rhetoric and diplomacy.

“Freedom of expression … cannot be used as a pretext for inciting hatred … or insulting the deeply held beliefs of any community. It should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions,” OIC’s “Seventh Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2013-April 2014″ states.

Islamophobia under OIC’s definition even covers court-proven facts such as the use of zakat (charity) payments to fund terror, evidenced by the international body’s attack on FBI training materials that describes it as a “funding mechanism for combat.”

Zakat is the tithe Muslims must pay as a pillar of their faith. It may be spent on feeding the hungry or caring for the sick, but also for funding violent jihad. Muslim authors suchas Sheik Muhammad Ali Hashimi, a well-known author in the Arab world, teach that funding “jihad for the sake of Allah” is the most important use for zakat.

Court documents and classified State Department cables demonstrate that numerous charities such as Qatar Charity (formerly the Qatar Charitable Society), the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) and countless others have diverted zakat collections to benefit terror groups such as al-Qaida and Hamas. A 2012 UN Security Council report notes that the Taliban uses zakat collected from areas it controls to finance its operations.

Instead of unequivocally and unconditionally defending free speech, Brookings sends mixed messages, with some experts endorsing the OIC’s effort on Islamophobia and others condemning its excesses.

Brookings scholar Ahmet T. Kuru argued following the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, that Muslims need “mechanisms and institutions” to prevent the dissemination of “anti-Islamic propaganda.” In this case, Kuru implicitly referred to the “Innocence of Muslims” video that the Obama administration and others blamed for triggering the attack.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has taken some important steps forward in promoting respectful, civilized and effective ways of fighting Islamophobia. Their diplomatic attitudes, however, have yet to spread at the grassroots level,” Kuru wrote, contrasting the OIC’s efforts with those of violent Muslim protesters. “The recent incident also shows how counterproductive Islamophobia is. There are politicians and religious leaders in the United States and Europe who, unfortunately, promote Islamophobia.

“Western countries need to develop effective mechanisms and institutions to marginalize Islamophobes; that will be consistent with their principle of working against discrimination, as well as serving their interests in different parts of the world.”

Other Brookings scholars reflect this line of reasoning about the threat from Islamophobia and their perspectives similarly align with many of the OIC’s complaints.

A few years earlier, in a June 2007 article, former Brookings scholar Peter Singer cited former U.S. diplomat William Fisher, saying that “an unreasoning and uninformed Islamophobia” served as a new prejudice that threatened to undermine U.S. foreign policy and that it was rapidly becoming “implanted in our national genetics.”

Brookings scholar David Benjamin extended this line of reasoning in an Oct. 7, 2008 paper, stating that Islamophobia driven by “the religious right and talk radio” had undermined the integration of Muslims into American society. He claimed this compounded the effects with “dubious prosecutions.”

“Officials should denounce incidents of anti-Muslim sentiment quickly and vigorously,” Benjamin wrote.

The OIC’s diplomatic efforts against so-called Islamophobia have included applying pressure to governments and international bodies to criminalize free speech.

OIC’s war on free speech

Brookings invited then-OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to speak at its annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum in 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013 in Doha. The conferences drew intellectuals and policymakers from the United States and across the Muslim world, and serve as a major part of Brookings’ Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.

Ihsanoglu’s organization for years has lobbied the European Union and the United Nations to outlaw criticism of Islam.

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IPT Exclusive: Qatar’s Insidious Influence on the Brookings Institution

by Steven Emerson, John Rossomando and Dave Yonkman
IPT News
October 28, 2014

brookings dohaPart 1 of a 4-part series.

The Brookings Institution bills itself as “the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tank in the world,” but should it be?

Brookings’ long-term relationship with the Qatari government – a notorious supporter of terror in the Middle East – casts a dark cloud over such a lofty claim to credibility.

A September New York Times exposé revealed Qatar’s status as the single largest foreign donor to the Brookings Institution. Qatar gave Brookings $14.8 million in 2013, $100,000 in 2012 and $2.9 million in 2011. In 2002, Qatar started subsidizing the Brookings outreach program to the Muslim World which has continues today. Between 2002 and 2010, Brookings never disclosed the annual amount of funds provided by the Government of Qatar.

Sources of funding should not automatically discredit an organization, but critical facts and claims about Brookings should be examined in light of them, starting with a harsh indictment by a former scholar.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has reviewed the proceedings of 12 annual conferences co-sponsored by Brookings and the government of Qatar comprising more than 125 speeches, interviews, lectures and symposia; a dozen Brookings-based programs that were linked to the Qatari financed outreach to the Muslim world; and analyzed 27 papers sponsored and issued by the Brookings Institution and scholars based in Washington and at the Brookings Doha Center since 2002. Our review, which will be detailed in a four-part series beginning with this story, finds an organization that routinely hosts Islamists who justify terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and American troops, who advocate blasphemy laws which would criminalize criticism of Islam, and which never scrutinizes or criticizes the government of Qatar, its largest benefactor.

“[T]there was a no-go zone when it came to criticizing the Qatari government,” Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar in 2009, toldthe New York Times.

“If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story. They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.” Ali noted that he had been told during his job interview that taking positions critical of the Qatari government in papers would not be allowed, a claim Brookings vigorously denies.

“Our scholars, in Doha and elsewhere, have a long record of objective, independent analysis of regional affairs, including critical analysis of the policies of Qatar and other governments in the region,” Brookings President Strobe Talbott said in response to theTimes story.

Unfortunately for Talbott, Qatar’s own Ministry of Foreign Affairs openly acknowledges that the partnership gives Qatar exactly what it wants: a public-relations outlet that projects “the bright image of Qatar in the international media, especially the American ones,” a statement announcing a 2012 memorandum of understanding with Brookings said.

Indeed, their close collaboration stretches back more than a decade.

After Islamist terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pa. on September 11, 2001, the Brookings Institution looked to Qatar to answer the question, “Why do they hate us?”

Former Qatari emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani answered Brookings’ call in 2002, providing the think tank with the necessary seed money and resources to initiate its engagement with the Islamic world.

The alliance culminated with the 2002 Doha Conference on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, co-sponsored by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and Qatar. Qatar underwrote the conference’s cost.

Ambassador Martin Indyk, who headed the Saban Center at the time, and other Brookings leaders noted their desire to “build strong bridges of friendship” and avoid a “clash of civilizations.”

Indyk took a leave of absence from Brookings in 2013 and the first half of 2014 to serve as President Obama’s envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Indykplaced excessive blame on Israel for their failure.

At an April 2013 Brookings forum in Washington, Indyk mentioned that he and Qatar’s al-Thani had remained friends for “two decades.” This relationship dates to when Indykserved as special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Indyk noted that he approached the sheik after the 9/11 attacks, informing him that Brookings planned to launch a project focused on American engagement with the Islamic world.

“And he said immediately, ‘I will support it, but you have to do the conference in Doha.’ And I said, ‘Doha, well that sounds like an interesting idea,'” Indyk said at the 2013 forum. “Three years into that, he suddenly then told me we want to have a Brookings in Doha. And I said, ‘Well, okay, we’ll have a Brookings in Doha, too,’ and we ended up with the Brookings Doha Center” (BDC), in 2008.”

Brookings’ Qatar-based scholars see their host country with rosy spectacles, ignoring the emirate’s numerous terror ties.

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Spinning a Terrorist Into a Victim – Part 1: Who is Rasmieh Odeh?

Rasmieh-Odeh-APjpg

IPT News
October 27, 2014

Note: Part 1 includes our previously released 2-minute prologue/trailer.

Starting Nov. 4, federal prosecutors in Detroit present their case against a Palestinian woman who slipped through the cracks. Rasmieh Odeh, 67, has been in the United States since at least 1995.

To her advocates, she’s a peaceful community activist living in Chicago and an asset to her community.

Yet, she has a bloody, dark side that she has kept hidden all these years.

Odeh is a convicted terrorist who spent 10 years in an Israeli prison. She led a 1969 bombing that killed two college students in a Jerusalem supermarket. Odeh confessed. She says that confession only came after she was tortured. She was sentenced to life in prison, but was released unexpectedly as part of a prisoner exchange in 1979.

Her torture claim has never been substantiated—even by the United Nations, to which she reported the alleged torture after her release—and she has yet to deny her involvement in the murders or even her ultimate imprisonment.

Odeh could have discussed the particulars of her situation when she applied for her visa and citizenship—how her sentence was even commuted—if she felt her alleged torture merited special consideration. Instead, she simply told U.S. authorities she had a spotless record.

Prosecutors say that constitutes immigration fraud. A terrorist conviction for an attack causing two deaths is something immigration officials would want to consider before granting an immigrant a visa or welcoming her into American citizenship.

Still, her supporters have launched an aggressive campaign aimed at getting the fraud charges dropped. Odeh, they say, is the real victim here. They claim this case is really about a government conspiracy to attack Palestinian advocates in America.

The campaign is led by Odeh’s colleagues from the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), but has attracted support from the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, and even a group of 124 feminist academics.

In the video above, the first installment of a five-part Investigative Project on Terrorism video series on Odeh’s case and the campaign to thwart it, we provide an overview of the case and a look at Rasmieh Odeh and those supporting her.

New installments will be released each day this week. Tomorrow we examine the 1969 Jerusalem bombing Odeh helped orchestrate and learn more about her victims.

Emerson on Fox News America’s Newsroom – Open Societies and Stopping Terrorism

 

Bill Hemmer: Police in Canada now say the gunman in the attack acted alone. Serious questions that remain about whether or not this was yet another instance of a so-called lone wolf attack. Steve Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, with me now. Steve, how are you? And good morning to you. You have some sources up on Ottawa. What are you picking up now that we have not yet learned?

Steve Emerson: Canada is no different than the United States. For the last few years, last decade or so, they have experienced at least a dozen major aborted plots to attack major targets [in Canada] including government facilities as well as [other] facilities in [Canada and] the United States. All of them have been stopped with the assistance of either Canadian intelligence or US intelligence. The sound bite you played by Walid Phares was right on, was spot on. The issue is if the government can get inside our minds then they could stop acts of terrorism. But the issue is the point of activization. You can be radical but not cross the line; you are believing in a radical theology. Once you cross that line into carrying out a criminal predicate, then it’s illegal, then the government has the right to stop you. So taking away your passport isn’t going to stop you from carrying out an act of violence.

Hemmer: Yeah you’re precisely right about that. Just so our viewers know, this man’s passport was confiscated. So too are the passports of 90 other suspected Islamic radicals that the Canadians are watching right now. You mentioned Walid Phares. To our viewers who did not hear that, here’s what he said on the record last night.

Clip of Walid Phares: The pool of individuals who are like Rouleau and Bibeau, both in the United States and in Canada, is pretty big. How are we going to be able to determine which one is going to act is the real problem of counterintelligence services.

Hemmer: How we are able to determine which one will act is the real problem of counterintelligence. How do you address that Steve?

Emerson: That is the quintessential problem because when the government becomes too intrusive, when it starts listening to conversations, taking down your phone numbers, looking at the books that you read at the library, the public gets outraged, that’s invading your privacy. Yet those are all indicators, potential indicators of whether you are potentially going to carry out an act of terrorism or whether you’re interested in carrying out an act of terrorism. And yet the problem is that if you are not interested and yet the government does intrude on your privacy, everyone yells, well this is an invasion of your civil liberties. In a free society there’s always going to be this tension here. After 9/11 there was no controversy at all about passing the Patriot Act. I think it passed 99-1. Today if you had a vote in the Congress about the Patriot Act, I’m not so sure it would pass. Maybe it would pass today, but maybe it wouldn’t have passed last week.

Hemmer: It just has a way of rubbing off and the intensity we give the topic rubs off after time. We were speaking last hour with a great guest who was telling us that you need to raise the terror alert just to make sure the thing still work. They did this in Canada, I don’t know if that is something you would support here. Is that even necessary in our country?

Emerson: Well you remember we went through the color alerts. The issue of the alerts is a psychological thing; the purpose is to raise the public awareness. But the reality is, Bill, that the public awareness is raised really only through one thing – through fear. And that fear is engendered ironically through the success of attacks like the ones that were carried out in Canada over the last three days. When the FBI is successful in stopping attacks, the public doesn’t realize the magnitude of damage and death that could occur. So they’re almost victims of their own success. That’s the real irony in stopping attacks.

Hemmer: Steve, it is good to get your analysis here. Thanks for coming back with us today. Steve Emerson out of Washington, DC.

****

See videos with transcripts of all of Steve Emerson’s appearances here.

Emerson with Judge Jeanine: The Jihadists in Oklahoma and the Obama Administration’s Blinders on Islamic Extremism

 

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
September 28, 2014

Judge Jeanine Pirro: And with me now the founder of the Investigative Project, Steve Emerson. All right Steve, welcome. A great night for you to be on. Alton Nolen’s Facebook page. You’ve seen it. What does it tell you about him and what his intentions are?

Steve Emerson: His Facebook page is replete with statements, pictures that emphatically reveal his allegiance to radical Islam, his hatred of the United States, his support of 9/11 attacks, his support of killing Americans, his support of Osama bin Laden. It’s a road map to his affiliation and his support to radical Islam. It’s proof of the fact that he’s a jihadist.

Judge Jeanine: So when you say that he has the markings of a jihadist, tell us why.

Emerson: Let me add a couple of other things here. Not only does the Facebook page prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt [that he was a jihadist], but the fact that his computers that were seized by law enforcement show that the websites he visited also revealed that he was looking at radical websites that were radical Islamic websites going for the killing of Americans. He was converted in jail to be a radical Muslim. The first step that is done by jihadists to prove, after when they start converting people, which he was doing, after he was released from jail, to prove that they can carry out acts of terrorism. So I’m looking at a scenario here, we don’t know, let me say Jeanine, what actually prompted him to pop. He was fired from his job. We don’t know that he was carrying out this beheading as a jihadist or that he was carrying it out because he was fired. But he carried it out as a jihadist in a jihadist manner, a decapitation which is an Islamic way.

But this guy was a ticking time bomb and I’m positive in saying this. That if he didn’t carry out this attack now at this point he would have done it in the future. And there are tens of thousands of others like him lurking outside, in the United States who haven’t done this but are jihadists and are just waiting to do it. And that’s the problem. Because as you know as a judge, you need a criminal predicate in order to charge somebody. Just because they express their support for jihad and willingness to kill, you can’t charge them, you can’t open up an investigation.

Judge Jeanine: Of course not, but Steve let me say that it is the intent, it’s the circumstances surrounding the crime both before and after that give us some sense of what the individual was thinking. And I think for the American people they’re wondering if this is a carrying out of a jihadi, a lone wolf carrying out his own jihad or if this is something bigger than that. But make no mistake Steve, this guy is imprisoned and actually tried to escape from detention and did escape. He was charged with assaulting an officer. He just got out of state prison. And we’re going to talk a little later in the show about the radicalization of some of our inmates to Islam based upon what they’re learning in prison. But with this case, how do we know whether or not his trying to recruit other people to join Islam is indicative f his being a jihadist?

Emerson: Well first of all there were profiles done [by the FBI and CIA] a couple years ago about Muslim inmates who are converted to Islam and what they actually do in prison and what they do after they get out of prison. The first thing they do out of prison in order to prove their loyalty to Islam is to actually try to convert people to Islam to prove that they are true Muslims. The second thing they do after they prove that is to do other steps [that prove they can be trusted to carry out terrorist acts]. I believe this [current situation] is going to lead to other people involved, [like] somebody who was running this guy frankly.

Number two, I believe that if we find out that he popped or that he carried out this killing because he was angry about being fired, [that] if he wasn’t fired he would have [ultimately] carried out…[sometime] else, a jihadist killing, because he was a radical jihadist that believed in killing Americans. And frankly Jeanine, there are tens of thousands of others like him in this country. I have no doubt that we are going to see other things like this, like are going on around the world. We are entering a global jihad. And the fact is this administration, the Attorney General, the White House, they have banned the use of the term ‘Islamic terrorism.’ He, [the] Attorney General who is retiring should be tried on obstruction of justice because I can tell you, [and] this is not publicly known, he has quashed the indictments of terrorist charges against known terrorist charities because he didn’t want to alienate Islamic communities in the US.

Judge Jeanine: I wish I had more time Steve to talk to you about that. Steve Emerson, thanks so much for being with us this evening.

Emerson: You’re welcome.

Obama Forbids FBI to Use Religion in Identifying Terror Threats, as ISIS Recruits Openly in U.S. Mosques

American Thinker, By Karin McQuillan:

Steven Emerson

Steven Emerson

AT had a chance to catch up with Steven Emerson, head of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, and hear his assessment of the ISIS threat here on American soil. Emerson runs the country’s top data center on Islamic terror groups in the United States, working like a man possessed, and accomplishing the work of thousands on sheer guts and determination to protect our country.

Wherever the bad guys have been caught and prosecuted successfully, you will find Emerson working quietly behind the scenes as an invaluable ally of the FBI and Homeland Security. Because he accepts no money from the government, Emerson has been free of the diktats of the Obama administration that have forbidden the FBI to train their sights on Muslim terrorists. (That means The Investigative Project needs your help to continue its work.)

In the words of U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:

The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical to our nation’s security. There is no other non-governmental group that has better intelligence or data on the threat to the United States and our allies. Making do with a bare bones budget, the IPT is a national treasure whose influence and achievements are unparalleled.

It is not an exaggeration to say that because of Democrat political correctness hamstringing our FBI agents, they could not combat the Islamists in our midst without Steven Emerson. Oliver “Buck” Revell, former head of FBI Investigations and Counter-Terrorism, said as much in these words: “The Investigative Project has been one of the most important sources of accurate and timely information on the real goals and objectives of the wide spread and powerful Islamist movement.”

The FBI turns to Emerson to find out what is happening. So does AT. This is what Emerson told us:

Isis is Al Qaeda 3.0. They are already in the United States and the only reason there has not been a terror attack is that they have not decided to do it yet.

The chief danger Steven Emerson sees is that there are three to four hundred ISIS killers in Syria and Iraq with American passports, who can return whenever they want, and the Obama administration is blocking the FBI from monitoring them in mosques. As Emerson told Judge Jeannine Pirro on Fox News:

The FBI has been handcuffed in terms of investigating religious extremists in mosques, as a result of guidelines put out by the attorney general earlier this year. And so therefore, there is… a definite problem now in investigating those militants in the United States who are either recruiting for ISIS or have returned from Syria or Iraq having fought for ISIS, and are ready to carry out freelance or directed terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS against the United States…

the Department of Justice [which] put out guidelines that restricted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from using religious factors in identifying threats, national security threats to the United States in the homeland.

…we’re seeing ISIS recruiting biophysicists, engineers, social media types, people who have expertise in really carrying out sophisticated terrorist attacks coming back to the United States.

there’s one recruiter that [had been]… picked up [in the past], well identified, in Bloomington, Minnesota at the Al Farooq Mosque. There are recruiters going around the country in other mosques, where they identify potential volunteers. They test them out to see if they’re willing to die on behalf of martyrdom of the cause for Allah. Then they give them cash, they provide money for their families in case they die. They give them tickets to go to Turkey. Turkey has allowed them, hundreds, to go through to Syria, then to Iraq. And we [the U.S.] count Turkey as one of our top allies. We haven’t put [many of] them on the terrorism watch list, which we should. So there’s a major disconnect, Judge, here between what we should be doing to protect the homeland and protect American citizens.

Question for our Congress: Obama will do nothing to revoke the passports of American ISIS maniacs. What are you doing about it?

 

Emerson on CNBC Discussing Terror Threats to West by Jihadi Veterans

 

IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on CNBC
September 18, 2014

Host Tyler Mathisen: Authorities in Australia staging the largest counterterrorism operation in the country’s history Thursday to disrupt a gruesome plan by Islamic militants living in the country to carry out random public executions or demonstration killings. Australian media reporting the suspects wanted to kidnap and behead a member of the public and drape the body in an ISIA flag. Australia just the latest example of radicalized Islamic militants waging terror from within on the home front. We’ve already seen murderous attacks in Belgium and England. Steve Emerson is an author and executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and Ghaffar Hussain is a director at Quilliam, a counterterrorism think tank in London. Welcome to both of you. Mr. Hussein, let me begin with you. How close a call was this?

Ghaffar Hussain: From what I’m hearing, it was pretty close. The Australian police intercepted a phone call which suggested that these individuals, or one individual is a quite high-ranking member of ISIS, and he had been given instructions to now carry out this attack in response to, or as a tactical response from the ISIS point of view to the fact that the Australians are now sending troops to the region to help in the international effort to defeat isis. So I suppose we’re starting to see a number of things ISIS doing now, all of which are aimed to kind of prevent or the international coalition which has been a real game changer in holding back ISIS in Iraq.

Mathisen: Mr. Emerson, react to what Mr. Hussain just said, but also put in context the idea that the biggest terror threats may now come from within, not from without, and who are these people? Are they nationals of Australia or people who have gotten in via a passport? What?

Steve Emerson: Well after 9/11, the biggest threat was from al Qaeda [was] sending in operatives or trying to remotely detonate planes through operational devices that could remain undetected. Then we went through a period of homegrown terrorists who weren’t directed by al Qaeda but were recruited online or by the Muslim leaders in their own community. Now we’re into jihad 3.0 where we have people who are volunteering to battle Syria or the West in Iraq and in Syria, gaining the incredible experience of fighting, and then possibly returning back to their own countries in Europe, Australia or the United States. Now you have to remember that the people who are being recruited get vetted before they go to Turkey, which is the infiltration route. Then they get vetted at the border between Turkey and Syria to see who is willing to die and who is willing to be the most vicious. So when they return back to their home countries, you already have a preselected number of jihadis who are willing to die or carry out vicious acts of violence like beheadings. We haven’t experienced that in the US yet, but it certainly has been experienced in Belgium, Germany. It’s been experienced in Britain and now in Australia.

Mathisen: Mr. Hussain, how easy or difficult is it to track these individuals who as Mr. Emerson just described have a rather circuitous path, often moving through Turkey into Syria, into Iraq? How easy is it to track them so that when they try to come back into the United States or Great Britain, they can be identified, detained, investigated?

Hussain: Well, it’s not straightforward to stop people going or people returning. Turkey is a very popular holiday destination for many British people. And millions go there every year. It’s very easy to get a cheap, low-budget flight to Turkey and then get a coach across to the border and cross over. And if someone’s done that for a few weeks or even longer and decides to come back, unless they’ve popped up on social media and talked openly about what they’ve been doing, we’re not going to really know what they’ve been doing, these individuals. So it is very worrying that it is quite easy, in my opinion, to get back into Europe, certainly Britain or America, certainly very easy to get back into Europe, European territory, from Turkey and from Syria. And part of the problem is the fact that the Turkish government has actually turned a blind eye to these individuals because they have their own tactical objectives of overthrowing the Assad regime. And in the past they have not done enough to secure that border. So many individuals are getting the know-how, getting the motivation from individuals they come across online and then arranging to meet them at the Syrian border so they can go over and join ISIS.

Mathisen: We’re very tight on time. Mr. Hussain, thank you very much. Steve Emerson, where is the risk most prevalent and what would you expect the next sort of terror target to be? Would it be those kinds of streetnappings, or would it be the kind of attack that we saw in the shopping mall in Nairobi about a year ago? Very quickly.

Emerson: I think it would be the latter. I think we’re probably going to see–[although] it’s impossible to predict, a freelance–a homegrown terrorist returning from Iraq or Syria who decides to detonate a bomb someplace remotely or carry out a suicide bombing on his own like we saw in Belgium and in France in the last two years.

Mathisen: Is Europe more vulnerable than the United States, or can you tell?

Emerson: Europe is more vulnerable because there are ten times more numbers of jihadi volunteers, up to 5,000, who have gone over to Iraq and Syria. In the United States, only about 200 to 300 have. But that number is growing, unfortunately.

Mathisen: Gentlemen, we thank you both for your perspectives on this very chilling topic.

Emerson: FBI has been handcuffed in investigating religious extremists in Mosques

 

by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
September 6, 2014

Judge Jeanine Pirro: And with me now, the founder of The Investigative Project, Steve Emerson. Alright Steve, ISIS has Americans worried. How justified are those fears?

Steve Emerson: Very justified. Look, Judge, the problem here is that it’s not just a regional issue. ISIS definitely is a threat in the region in the Middle East, it’s a threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, to Jordan, it’s a threat to Israel, they’ve made statements now they’re going to attack Israel, but they’re also a threat to the United States. There are nearly 300 to 400 American volunteers with U.S. passports now fighting for ISIS. They can return to the United States anytime they want. The FBI has been handcuffed in terms of investigating religious extremists in mosques, as a result of guidelines put out by the attorney general earlier this year. And so therefore, there is… a definite problem now in investigating those militants in the United States who are either recruiting for ISIS or have returned from Syria or Iraq having fought for ISIS, and are ready to carry out freelance or directed terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS against the United States. That’s the first problem that we’re facing that’s not being met or being handled properly because of the constraints put on law enforcement by this administration.

Pirro: Tell me, Steve; tell the audience exactly what you mean by the restraints being put on the FBI by the Department of Justice.

Emerson: The FBI [has been constrained by] the Department of Justice [which] put out guidelines that restricted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from using religious factors in identifying threats, national security threats to the United States in the homeland. That is so if someone was a religious extremist, though they didn’t plot to carry out an attack, that [indicator] could not be factored into an investigation, into an intelligence investigation, into identifying them as a potential threat to the United States. Therefore, they [law enforcement] would have to wait until they actually plotted to carry out an attack. Well that’s too late. And unfortunately, what we’re seeing right now is the fact is that we’ve seen massive numbers, increasing numbers of volunteers going over not just from Europe, from Asia and Africa, but we’re seeing ISIS recruiting biophysicists, engineers, social media types, people who have expertise in really carrying out sophisticated terrorist attacks coming back to the United States. And look, if you remember 20-, I got an email from an FBI agent just yesterday, he said, ‘Steve, nobody remembers what happened in the 1980s when all the jihadists were recruited, went over to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, then came back, and then what happened?’ In February, 1993 they plotted, they almost took down the World Trade Center bombing, [the World] Trade Center at that time; they didn’t, they failed, they [Al Qaeda] returned again in 2001. So the reality is, Judge, that with the handcuffs put on by this administration, there’s a disconnect between what we’re not doing against ISIS, [which is that] we should be decimating them. The president said it may take one, two, three years; we don’t have that kind of time to wait. Within three years –

Pirro: Steve, you know what’s amazing to me, I mean it’s just like the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston bombers, I mean you get, they’re telling us not once, but twice, these guys are terrorists. We’re letting them go in and out of the country, I mean and you know not calling the Fort Hood shooter a terrorist, but instead it’s workplace violence. Steve Emerson, really fast, these recruiters where are they going to get these potential jihadists, American jihadists?

Emerson: Well they’re going– I mean there’s one recruiter that [had been]… picked up [in the past], well identified, in Bloomington, Minnesota at the Al Farooq Mosque. There are recruiters going around the country in other mosques, where they identify potential volunteers. They test them out to see if they’re willing to die on behalf of martyrdom of the cause for Allah. Then they give them cash, they provide money for their families in case they die. They give them tickets to go to Turkey. Turkey has allowed them, hundreds, to go through to Syria, then to Iraq. And we [the U.S.] count Turkey as one of our top allies. We haven’t put [many of] them on the terrorism watch list, which we should. So there’s a major disconnect, Judge, here between what we should be doing to protect the homeland and protect American citizens versus what the president is doing, in not stopping ISIS on the ground in Iraq, versus what he’s not doing here in the homeland itself.

Pirro: Alright, Steve Emerson, always good to hear your take on things. Thanks so much for being with us.

Emerson: Sure.

****

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Holders Bans Profiling Islamic Terrorists by Religion by Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 17, 2014:

A lot of profiling restrictions are stupid, but in this case religion is the motivation. Banning profiling of perpetrators by their motives is a sure way of crippling investigations.

This is what I predicted was going to happen and I’m surprised it took this long. If terrorists can’t be profiled by religion, then preventing attacks becomes incredibly difficult.

The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.

The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors.

Since taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been under pressure from Democrats in Congress to eliminate those provisions.

It is not clear whether Mr. Holder also intends to make the rules apply to national security investigations, which would further respond to complaints from Muslim groups.

“Adding religion and national origin is huge,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities. “But if they don’t close the national security loophole, then it’s really irrelevant.”

The Justice Department has been reviewing the rules for several years and has not publicly signaled how it might change them. Mr. Holder disclosed his plans in a meeting on Wednesday with Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, according to an official briefed on the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.

Bloomberg, as bad as he was, might have objected, but Bill de Blasio is on the same page as Holder when it comes to empowering terrorists.

 

Also see:

New York Times Censors Ad Decrying Islamist Censorship

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
June 5, 2014

Note: This article originally was published by the Daily Caller.

The New York Times has become complicit in a stealth jihad against free speech in the United States undertaken by Islamists and their sympathizers who masquerade as “civil rights” groups.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) recently bought a full-page advocacy adin the print edition of the Times. It discussed extensively the need for the media and government to directly address the reality that many acts of terrorism are rooted in radical Islam — as articulated by the terrorists themselves — and that Islamist groups attempt to deflect attention from radical Islam’s role.

A similar yet more concise version of the ad was scheduled to run on the NYT website the following day. However, something happened from one day to the next that caused the Times to demand that the IPT change the language immediately, or it would pull the ad.

Asked about the new demand, the Times replied: “In addition to being inundated with customer complaints. [sic] I have been asked for the immediate change by the publisher.”

The NYT ordered us to insert the word “radical” before the term “Islamist groups,” so that it read, “Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty and free speech.”

An “Islamist” is not simply an individual who privately observes Islam as his faith. An Islamist is an individual who blurs the ideological lines between personal religion and the nation state — a boundary upheld as one of America’s founding principles and sustained in the First Amendment — to foster a governmental system that relies upon the supremacy of Islam.

“Islamic,” on the other hand, is an adjective that describes an idea or element derived from or inspired by Islam. Islamists promote an Islamic agenda, though some do it more subtly than others.

Groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are Islamist, hiding behind their Muslim faith and a veneer of “civil rights” as they seek to mainstream an agenda that elevates Islam above other faiths. Their agenda subjugates democracy and supports overseas terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and various individuals such as Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Qaradawi, who inspires suicide attacks and other forms of violence.

The NYT’s directive to add the word “radical” is a seemingly minor, nuanced change. But here’s why it matters: IPT’s ads hold Islamist groups like CAIR accountable for refusing to acknowledge what many terrorists themselves acknowledge — that their acts of violence were motivated by Islamic text.

That the publisher saw fit to order changes at such a late stage — after the ads had already been approved, purchased by the IPT, and were running on nytimes.com — and that the demands for change escalated so quickly is unusual.

We have to wonder who exactly exerted what kind of pressure.

We can only conclude that the same Islamist forces that the IPT devoted its full-page ad to discussing were at work again — abetted by media sympathizers — in this case, the publisher of the newspaper of record.

CAIR would probably have preferred that the Times shut down the digital ad altogether — as part of its longer-term campaign to paint the IPT as anti-Islam and Islamophobic, while portraying itself as moderate. In a letter to the Times about IPT’s ad, CAIR said, “[IPT’s] new ad takes up this defamatory theme by bizarrely attacking the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, for rightly stating that ‘Islam is not the problem; extremism and violent extremism is the problem’ when it comes to terrorist attacks.”

The IPT never said Islam is the problem in its ads. IPT suggested that radical Islam is a problem, and that CAIR — and other Islamists like them — are a problem, for their unwillingness to call out other members of their own faith who use Islam to justify their atrocities. IPT’s print ad specifically lauded those Muslim voices who criticize Islamists. Our digital ad used the word “Islamists” rather than Muslims on purpose.

The very attempt to discuss the role of radical Islam in motivating terrorists spawned a campaign to shut the debate down.

America is not at war with Muslims or Islam. The U.S. remains a welcoming and tolerant nation – one in which Muslims are freer and more secure to practice their faith than anywhere else in the world.

The censorship of free speech by Islamist groups and their media apologists continues to prevent America from addressing the core threat of radical Islam. Recognizing reality is not an attack on Islam or Muslims. Those who say otherwise are the ones of whom we — and, particularly, those in the media such as the NYT — should be wary.

Steven Emerson is the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Videos: Experts interviewed on the Boston Marathon Terror Attack

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Marathon Attack Bombing – Investigators Cont. To Search For Motive:

 

Walid Phares: The Root Of Terror!! – How & When Suspects Became Radicalized 

 

Frank Gaffney: Terror On The Home front! – Threat Of I.E.D.’s More Common In The U.S:

 

Steve Emerson: Terrorist Bomber’s Inspiration Posted Lecture Of Radical Muslim Preacher

 

Erick Stakelbeck: Boston Bombing – Which Mosque Did Terrorist Attend?

 

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: American Muslim Radicalization and Boston Bombers

 

Brigitte Gabriel discusses the Boston Marathon terrorists:

Steve Emerson: I stand by my film

‘The Grand Deception’ was well-researched, using sources that included faithful Muslims and the FBI. Instead of addressing facts, CAIR chose to attack me personally.

by Steven Emerson
Orange County Register
February 16, 2013