Sanction Pakistan As State Sponsor Of Terror

hqdefault_0Forbes, by Anders Corr, Feb 23, 2017:

In the past two weeks, Pakistan has closed border crossings with Afghanistan, and attacked Afghan soil with airstrikes and heavy artillery, causing 200 families to flee. Pakistan claims that these measures counter cross-border terrorists. But in so doing, Pakistan punishes Afghanistan economically and obfuscates the primary source of South and Central Asian terrorism: Pakistan itself. Pakistan is a supporter of the Taliban, Haqqani, Islamic State, and Al Qaeda. To convince Pakistan to cease supporting terrorism, influential nations must label Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, and impose economic sanctions.

Pakistan seeks to turn Afghanistan into its backyard and put the government under its sphere of influence. It seeks “strategic depth” in Afghanistan for Pakistan’s competition with India. It seeks to influence, through political, military, and economic measures, the government of Afghanistan in order to limit Iranian influence in the country. Pakistan is doing this with military strikes, state-sponsored terrorism, economic inducements, and economic punishments such as border closings.

Afghanistan is a landlocked country, but it is nobody’s backyard. It is a sovereign and exceedingly fragile democracy of 30 million people under siege by terrorists. The democratically-elected government of Afghanistan needs the support of Pakistan in its fight against terrorism. Afghanistan’s struggle to provide peace and development to its citizens deserves that support.

Pakistan must honor its commitments in the 2016 Quadrilateral road map negotiated with Afghanistan, the U.S., and China, as Afghanistan plead for on Saturday. The government of Afghanistan invited the Taliban to talks, but the Taliban refused. Now, Pakistan must take action against cross-border Taliban terrorists in Pakistan. That will be politically impossible within Pakistan until the U.S. and E.U. take very tough economic and diplomatic measures. It is time to label Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, and support targeted sanctions against select military- and intelligence-linked Pakistani companies.

 Anders Corr is the Principal of Corr Analytics Inc, providing international political risk analysis to government and commercial clients. Twitter – @anderscorr, email – corr@canalyt.com.

A Muslim Woman’s Fight Against Radical Islam

farhana-qaziby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
February 23, 2017

If one were to find a single question that defines the geo-politics of our age, it might well be the question Farhana Qazi has been asking herself for almost 20 years: why do so many Muslims kill in the name of their religion?

If she has not found all the answers, Qazi has done much to facilitate our understanding of the issues, primarily as they relate to Muslim women and the rise in women extremists. A Muslim herself, she has worked largely behind the scenes: at the Counter-Terrorism Center in Washington, D.C.; at the Rand Corporation think tank; as an instructor on terrorism for the U.S. military; and as an author. Her work has taken her back to her native Pakistan, where she has immersed herself in the lives of Muslim extremist women, met with the mothers of suicide bombers, come to know women who have endured imprisonment, and shared stories with women who, in her words, “have tried to break the barriers of patriarchy and patrilineal traditions.”

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Qazi came to America with her mother at the age of 1, joining her father who was already working in Tennessee. Soon after, the family moved to Austin, Texas, which Qazi considers her hometown. Her work since then, both in the service of her country and as a beacon for moderate Muslims seeking to reconcile their beliefs with the violent extremism facing the world, has received lavish praise and numerous awards. She is now working on a book that examines why Muslims turn violent, and the ways in which recent political events contribute to violent extremism.

She told us her story in a recent interview, and shared her crucial insights on radical Islam, women terrorists, and where we stand now in the face of the radical Islamist threat.

Abigail R. Esman: Why did your family move to the U.S., and how old were you at the time?

Farhana Qazi: My father came to the U.S. because it was his dream since he was a child. He admired Western values and later, he worked with American clients when he was a young accountant in Lahore, Pakistan. He came to the U.S. (to the rolling hills of Tennessee to pursue an MBA), and thanks to Al Gore, my father was allowed to stay in this country to work after his student visa expired. Gore wrote a letter on my father’s behalf. I was a year old when I moved here with my mother. I barely remember my birth city, Lahore – the cultural nerve of Pakistan. I lived in a small town in Tenn. before moving to the capital city of Austin, Texas, my childhood home.

ARE: How important was religion to you growing up?

FQ: My parents were born Muslim but their practice was liberal, almost secular. My father is an intellectual and philosopher who admires all religions; he values the Ten Commandments that came from Moses. He idolizes the principles of Buddhism and he believes in the Christian concept of charity. My father has raised me to be a “humanist” rather than a Muslim. I embraced Sunni Islam later in life

ARE: Many women in Pakistan face oppression, forced marriage, and family violence. How do you explain the freedom you have had in your life?

FQ: I am blessed to be an American Muslim woman. My father often tells me he came to the U.S. for me; because I am a girl from a middle-class family in Pakistan who would not have had the same opportunities in life had I lived in a country with patriarchal norms, age-old customs, and traditions, most of which deny girls and women their basic rights in Islam. Culture trumps religion in Pakistan. But it’s not true in America, where I can practice faith openly or privately. Because I am free in America, I chose a male-dominated field – in the 1990s, counter-terrorism work was dominated and dictated by men mostly. Often, I was the only female speaker at international conferences and addressed why Muslims kill in the name of my religion. Now, there are more women in the CT field, but at the time, I was not only female, American, but also Muslim – the combination of the three made me stand alone, which is a blessing in disguise. I welcome the opportunity (and attention) for speaking on a subject that I understood. And that’s how my father raised me: to be a bridge between the East and the West. To learn from both worlds, both cultures and to close the gap of misunderstanding.

ARE: Was having that freedom part of what has guided you in your work?

FQ: Yes, my unique cultural and linguistic background made me marketable for the intelligence community. There were no female Muslims in the Counter-Terrorism Center. I believe I was hired to help the Center understand the extremists’ narrative, rhetoric, and recruitment patterns. Later, upon leaving the Center, I joined the RAND Corp as a policy analyst-researcher and traveled to the Muslim world to engage local communities. Because I understand both cultures, I have been able to speak to women who might have not been accessible to other American men or women. When I trained the U.S. forces as a senior instructor, I received the highest honor – the 21st Century Leader Award from The National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) in 2012 for my service as an American Muslim woman – when I was presented with the award, I was told that because I knew how to serve the U.S. government as a woman and Muslim is the reason why I was chosen for the award.

ARE: You in fact began working in the area of counterterrorism and issues surrounding the lives of Muslim women very early in your career. What motivated this?

FQ: My mother is a war hero to me. She joined the Pakistani Army when she was barely 20 years old to fight for Kashmir. In the 1960s, Pakistan was at war with India for the second time to fight for the valley of Kashmir. My mama, barely five feet tall and a petite frame, volunteered for the Army and trained at Qaddafi stadium in Lahore, holding a British .303 rifle which was taller than she was. She often told me, “I wanted to prove to my country that women can fight, too.” She was raised in a country at a time when women and girls had few career choices and were often bound by familial responsibilities. But not my mother, who dreamed of being a politician had she not married my father and then settled in the U.S.

ARE: Mostly, you’ve focused your work on women.

FQ: I’d say my work focuses on understanding radical Islam and the divisions in the Muslim world today – a broken mass of billions blinded by age-old customs, traditions, and patriarchal norms steeped in ancient cultures. I’m trying to understand the way that Islam has been destroyed by splinter groups, religious fanatics, and hardline conservatives, issuing fatwas that oppose women’s rights. I’ve come to learn has that while terrorists claim to empower women, the reality is that women are cannon fodder or a ‘riding wave of terrorists’ success.’ In the end, women don’t matter, which begs the question: why do they join?

ARE: Then for many years you worked at Rand. What did you do there?

FQ: Research on Al Qaeda networks and the female suicide trend that began to capture headlines in the conflict in Iraq. I was the first to predict that there would be a series of bombings by women – I wrote my first op-ed on the subject in The Baltimore Sun, predicting more attacks. Women were an anomaly so no one paid attention, until females strapped on the bomb. And then a Newsweek piece caught the attention of multi-national forces in Iraq and the U.S. embassy. Suddenly, we began to pay attention to a trend that would continue to this day, though I have been saying this for the past 17 years: women are deadly, too.

ARE: And the Counter-Terrorism Center.

FQ: I was the first American Muslim girl to be hired. I was 25 years old.

ARE: How serious is the problem of Muslim women extremists right now? Is it a threat that is growing?

FQ: This is an ongoing threat that is shielded by men. We don’t hear of attacks by women because it is unreported. For example, I know from my U.S. military contacts that there were a number of Afghan women strapping on the bomb and I am writing about this in a chapter for my next book on female terrorists, but that phenomenon was not reported. Because we don’t hear of it in the news doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The real concern is women who support extremist men – women have done this since the Afghan jihad. Women write in jihadi magazines. Women raise their children to be terrorists. And women stand by their radical men. This is nothing new.

ARE: Are Muslim women in the West generally more or less likely to radicalize than their counterparts in the Islamic world?

FQ: Western women have different challenges; the main concern for a Muslim girl or woman in the West has to do with identity. Often, girls who join ISIS are trapped between two opposing cultures and societies – the life at home and their life outside the home (at school, for example).

One of my chapters in my new book is called “The Denver Girls” – I remember visiting with the community that was affected by the three East African girls who boarded a plane to join ISIS but were brought back home (the father of one of the girls reported his daughter missing). A Sudanese woman I interviewed told me that ISIS empowers our girls, and I can see why. Because many Muslim girls living in the West are still bound by cultural (read controlled) rules and have little freedom outside of their home environment; they aren’t allowed to ‘hang out’ with Western friends and these girls certainly don’t have the same opportunities as their brothers or male cousins. In these cases, girls look for alternatives, which terrorism provides.

Further, I believe the teachings of Islam (which I live by: peace, compassion and mercy) are not preached or taught at home. When Muslims have spiritual pride and believe that God’s love is only for the select few, then this teaching restricts children in many ways: they are unable to cope in a Western society and compelled to stay within their own communities, which makes girls more vulnerable to extremist recruitment and makes them feel they do not belong.

ARE: What are some of the major reasons you’ve found that explain the phenomenon of female Muslim terrorists?

FQ: No two Muslim female terrorists are alike. And while the motives will vary, I do believe that patterns don’t lie. Contextual clues are important indicators for violence, and by context, this would include a girl’s home (private) and public life; her exposure to violence or trauma or abuse; her access to violent messaging online and the time she spends reading and engaging with violent individuals in the digital space; a personal tragedy (did she lose someone to violence?); and much more. I’ve learned that there is no “aha” moment or trigger point but a sequence of triggers and “aha” moments that lead to the path of violence.

ARE: Based on your expertise, what do you think of Trump’s “Muslim ban” or travel ban?

FQ: The travel ban may have the adverse effect. I believe in protecting our country from external threats. What worries me is that the threat is already here. If we look back at attacks or attempted attacks over the past decade, radical Muslims have been living in our midst. [Orlando shooter] Omar Mateen, [San Bernardino killers] Syed and Tashfeen Farook, [Chattanooga shooter] Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, [Fort Hood shooter] Nidal M. Hassan, and more. Many of these terrorists were not from the countries listed in the travel ban. What we need is greater civic involvement and community policing.

ARE: Have you experienced threats of any kind in relation to your work?

FQ: I have been warned to change careers and not talk about Muslim terrorists. But to do that would be to ignore the realities of our time. As a devout Muslim woman, who still believes in Islam’s core message of peace, I have to acknowledge that there are Muslims who kill in the name of Islam, manipulating the faith for political or personal reasons. And these individuals, male or female, need to be stopped and countered by Muslims, too.

ARE: In the now-infamous words of Mitch McConnell, “she persisted.” Why do you persist?

FQ: My father taught me the word “persistence’ when I was a young girl in Texas. He often said, “every challenge is an opportunity,” which made the word “persist’ a positive term in my mind. To persist is to succeed and to succeed is to make a difference. I live by the maxim: lead a life of service – and the only way to do that is to persist.

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

Meet Iraq’s hipsters: Incredibly well-groomed Kurdish men launch clothing brand to prove Iraq is not just a country of war and terrorism

Dressed in snappy suits and designer sunglasses, the men from Iraq are using fashion to change the country's reputation

Dressed in snappy suits and designer sunglasses, the men from Iraq are using fashion to change the country’s reputation

  • Synonymous with constant, bloody battles with Islamic State terrorists, the men’s region has been plagued
  • Mr Erbil is a gathering of stylish Kurdish men who are widely regarded as Iraq’s first ever gentlemen’s club 
  • With snappy suits, manicured beards and sharp hairstyles – they are trying to change the way Iraq is perceived
  • The group are also fighting for women’s rights and have recruited an Iraqi popstar to help spread the word 

Daily Mail, by Gareth Davies, Feb. 23, 2017:

A group of well-groomed hipsters are attempting to change the way people perceive Iraq by giving it an injection of style with a new clothing brand.

Usually synonymous with constant and bloody battles with terrorists from Islamic State, their region of Northern Iraq has been plagued by civil war, but the pin-ups want to change that.

Mr Erbil is a gathering of Kurdish men who are widely regarded as Iraq’s first gentleman’s club and have done away with the traditional tatty outfits of the area and replaced them with snappy suits, perfectly-manicured beards and sharp hairstyles.

With around 30 core members and more than 30,000 followers on Instagram, the group is not only trying to make a statement with their clothes, but want to make a political stand too.

Dressed in Western-style suits, the men are attempting to promote cultural diversity, and are fighting for women’s rights.

Three days ago, they invited Dashni Morad – an Iraqi popstar – to fron up their Girls Inspiration campaign.

Along with a picture of the glamorous singer, they said: ‘A very young soul and a Kurdish girl who has dedicated all her time helping refugees, especially the children with the Green Kids campaign, opening two new Libraries for the Syrian and Mosoul displaced children in northern Kurdistan.

‘A brave enough soul to give leadership workshops to the Yazidi women survivors from ISIS.

‘Also known as the female voices of the World, the effort she puts for the humanity love and peace is so impressive

‘Keep up the good work Dashni Khan, you are making us proud.’

Not only is Mr Erbil a political movement, it is also a clothing brand.

The website is currently being built, but on its Facebook page, the company states: ‘We organise local and international – in the near future – trade shows and cultural events to promote the fashion system as the aesthetic expression and evolution of taste.’

The group have garnered a worldwide following with fans from the Middle East, Europe and the US.

***

The People’s Cube: Southern Poverty Law Center is a Hate Group

splc_hate_groupTruth Revolt, Feb. 22, 2017:

From our friend Oleg Atbashian, creative force behind the brilliant satirical site The People’s Cube comes this brilliant non-satirical commentary on one of the left’s favorite attack dogs, the Southern Poverty Law Center. Don’t miss this.

The word “haters” is a very loaded term, and a nonsensical one to boot. The left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for example, claims to be the ultimate arbiter of “hate,” “haters,” “hate groups,” and “hate crimes.” This 501(c)(3) nonprofit collects handsome sums of money under the pretext of keeping what they call a hatewatch. At the end of 2016 their endowment stood at $302.8 million. That means they have a direct financial interest in painting a picture of a widespread organized hatred in the United States, which “proves” their importance and scares the donors into parting with even more of their money.

As of this writing, the official SPLC list contains 917 “hate groups” – a strikingly high number that makes one wonder just how arbitrary their criteria of “hate” are. A closer look at the numbers and at the SPLC interactive Hate Map shows a bizarre mix of patriot, Christian, and conservative groups, including ACT for America and Center for Security Policy, lumped together with KKK, neo-Nazis, and black separatists.

A “chilling” SPLC chart shows a 197 percent increase in “anti-Muslim hate groups,” with top three featured “extremists” being – wait for it – David Yerushalmi, Robert Spencer, and Frank Gaffney Jr.

This author, who happens to be friends with Robert Spencer and has had the pleasure of shaking hands with David Yerushalmi and Frank Gaffney, can testify that these three gentlemen are highly intelligent, rational, accomplished, and good-natured people without any signs of “extremism” one would expect from such a characterization.

Just what exactly makes one a “hater” in the eyes of the SPLC?

They would argue that a “hater” is a member of a “hate group” who commits “hate crimes” and/or engages in “hate speech.” The key word here is “hate.” Apparently, to make it easier for the SPLC donors to part with their tax-deductible dollars, they are led to believe that America is so full of hateful, one-dimensional psychopaths that if it weren’t for the SPLC’s courageous efforts, the above donors would be hanging from trees, their families raped, and their estates pillaged and burned.

No doubt, the donors only want to protect their families and their communities out of great love. It’s a natural human trait: if you love something, you hate those who endanger the things you love. But here’s the thing: doesn’t the irrational fear and hatred of conservative groups make these SPLC donors “haters” and “conservaphobes”? And doesn’t this make the SPLC itself a “hate group” that engages in “hate speech” against some of America’s most upstanding citizens with whom they disagree ideologically? In fact, doesn’t their effort to mislead people into hating their fellow citizens qualify as a “hate crime”? Why not? By what objective criteria can this be determined?

Is it acceptable for an American citizen, who loves his family and his country, to hate those who mean them harm? Not according to the SPLC, whose “hate watchers” document all such patriotic utterances as “hate speech.” How far does this principle go? Do American soldiers and intelligence operatives who capture and kill Islamic extremists commit “hate crimes” and does that make the U.S. Department of Defense an “anti-Muslim hate group”? Why not?

Curiously enough, the SPLC list of “hate groups” excludes any existing jihadist groups or associations. Neither does it include the anti-Semitic SJP groups with over 126 chapters at American universities. Is the SPLC losing money by not expanding its “hate group” list? Or is it rather saving money by appeasing certain deep-pocketed donors with an anti-Israel agenda?

Even more telling is the absence of violent left-wing groups on that list – especially those responsible for the recent riots in Washington, D.C., Berkeley, and elsewhere. If these don’t qualify as “hate groups” that engage in “hate speech” and commit “hate crimes” then none of these terms has any meaning at all.

One suspects that in the SPLC book of virtues, violent leftist and Islamic extremists are probably listed as “love groups” that engage in “love speech” and commit “love crimes.” It is quite obvious that the SPLC considers itself a “love group.”

That, in the SPLC mind, gives it the moral license to dehumanize conservatives by implying that they have nothing but hatred in their dark, shriveled hearts, and that they have no other motivation than a burning, all-consuming hatred towards women and minorities. How else can we interpret the SPLC’s effort to reduce the entire life’s work and intellectual accomplishments of their fellow citizens to a single disparaging word, “hate”?

This can go both ways, though. Looking at the motivation of leftist groups and their icons, one could say that the SPLC’s portrayal of conservatives is a mere projection of their own condition.
Until now conservatives didn’t call the left “haters” because this was not their game. The best they could do was to quote Matthew 7:5: “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” But that cumbersome phrase doesn’t fit into a 140-character Tweet, unlike the pithy and effective “hate speech.”

But that is changing. Encouraged by President Trump’s example, conservatives have begun to talk back, causing the SPLC “hate counter” to go through the roof.

In SPLC’s own words, all “hate groups” are characterized by “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” That perfectly describes the left’s own beliefs and practices, starting with the original attacking and maligning of all business owners, bankers, traders, and their top-level employees (the so-called “bourgeois class”) as parasites and vicious oppressors.

Hasn’t Barack Obama attacked and maligned white blue collar workers in the flyover country as “bitter clingers”? The SPLC definition makes him a hater. Hasn’t Hillary Clinton attacked and maligned a significant portion of Americans as “deplorables”? She must be a hater. Hasn’t the “mainstream” media attacked and maligned Trump supporters as racist, sexist, uneducated bigots? That makes the “mainstream” media a “hate group.”

A wide array of leftist groups is currently busy spreading hatred among Americans by attacking, maligning, dividing, and pitting classes of people against each other: the poor against the rich, women against men, blacks against whites, gays against straights, transgendered against cisgendered, minorities against majorities, blue states against red states, the north against the south, nature against humans… Entire classes of people are being attacked and maligned for their immutable characteristics. The entire human race is being demonized for being a carbon-based life form.

The left has become the largest and most powerful “movement of hate” the world has ever known.

They’ll tell you that “in order to qualify as a ‘hater’ one must be in a position of power,” but such excuses no longer work. The left is the power. Having taken over the media, education, publishing, entertainment, most corporations and charities, all government bureaucracies, and even some churches, let alone what is now called the “deep state,” the left is unabashedly flexing its muscles, trying to show Donald Trump who the real boss is, unwittingly abandoning the old game of pretense and making it known that the left is no longer the underdog and hasn’t been one in a long time.

Though the leftists still cling to their masks of valiant rebels, Americans increasingly see them for who they really are – deposed despots who’ll stop at nothing to get their power back. The true rebels of today are fighting the leftist establishment. The left loves being in control and hates the American people who threaten to take it away.

Here are some quotes from a revered leftist icon, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, whose image is emblazoned on countless T-shirts around American campuses.

To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the paredón [execution wall].

Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine.

Granted, Che was a revolutionary who loved big ideas and hated those who stood in their way. The same applies to some of the leftist leaders in America today. Some other leaders hate the “deplorables” for their refusal to submit to their dictate. But what explains the unprecedented hatred coming from those at the bottom of the leftist food chain, who have neither the big ideas not the power?

The latter include most Democrats, government workers, welfare recipients, establishment media, certain unions, career politicians, crony capitalists, and other beneficiaries of the corrupt redistributive hierarchy that is now endangered by Trump’s presidency. They love their unearned material and emotional comfort; while that great passion stays under the radar, their hatred of anyone who wants to disrupt it is rather conspicuous. You haven’t seen a hater until you’ve tried to take drugs away from a drug addict.

Thus the left has become the reactionary force of today. Paradoxically enough, in an abstract semantic way, the leftists are now the true “conservatives” as they try to “conserve” the existing system that ensures their comforts. At the same time, the traditional “American conservatives” who have been “conserving” the ideas of America’s founding, have now become the true revolutionary vanguard.

Until recently, many conservatives dismissed the left as bumbling incompetent fools, who weren’t smart enough to experience cognitive dissonance.

How is it possible to hold so many mutually exclusive beliefs?

  • To preach tolerance and be so intolerant?
  • To grieve for terror victims and justify terrorism?
  • To stand up for workers and destroy their jobs?
  • To march for peace and defend the militants?
  • To denounce corruption and vote for the corrupt?
  • To espouse non-violence and commit violent acts?
  • To speak of liberties and promote government dictate?
  • To bolster feminism and deride successful women?
  • To cheer gays and aid the gay-bashers in the Middle East?
  • To champion minorities as a group and hold them down as individuals?
  • To care about the children and mutilate their minds?
  • To denounce guns and hire armed bodyguards?
  • To support the troops and side with their murderers?
  • To demand love and be full of hate?

As it turns out, those are not contradictions; they contain a very consistent logic. The key to cracking this logic is a statement attributed to Karl Marx, which, regardless of whether he wrote it or not, is perfectly aligned with the moral philosophy of progressivism:

“The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.”

This also clarifies the Orwellian leftist slogan, “no justice, no peace.” In other words, true love awaits those who join the march towards socialism over the bodies of fallen enemies. With all the talk of love and unity coming from the left, we have yet to hear a call to start loving and stop hating the enemies of socialism. “Love trumps hate” is for suckers. “Trample or be trampled” is more like it. There can be no peace and there can be no love between the left and their opponents.

For more insight into the real meaning of love and hate coming from the left, watch this 5-minute animated video.

LOVE and HATE

Written by Oleg Atbashian. Narrated, animated, and produced by James Lorenz.

KLEIN – New York Times in Full Panic Mode Over Reports Trump May Designate Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Feb. 23, 2017:

TEL AVIV – The New York Times this week continued its month-long campaign against designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization amid reports the Trump administration is debating the possibility of issuing an executive order making such a designation.

Declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist organization would add the U.S. to the growing list of nations to do so, including Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Times’ crusade culminated in the newspaper’s publication on Wednesday of an oped written from Egyptian prison by Gehad el-Haddad, the official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.  The oped was splashed on the cover of Thursday’s international edition of the newspaper.

In the piece, Haddad whitewashed the Brotherhood as inspired by an “understanding of Islam that emphasizes the values of social justice, equality and the rule of law.”

“We remain committed to our ideals of community development, social justice and nonviolence,” wrote Haddad.

While many Brotherhood wings indeed reject the use of violence as a strategic tactic, preferring instead a sophisticated gradualist strategy to achieve their aims, Haddad failed to mention that the Brotherhood has spawned terrorist organizations – most notably Hamas – that adhere to its philosophy of a world order based on Islam.

Al-Qaeda was founded in part on Brotherhood ideology. The Brotherhood was also a central player in the so-called Arab Spring, revolutions punctuated by violence across the Arab world.

Haddad’s claim that the Brotherhood espouses an understanding of Islam that pushes for “equality and the rule of law” is contradicted by the very nature of the Brotherhood itself, which is openly committed to the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law.

Sharia does not propagate “equality and the rule of law.” Sharia is explicitly anti-democratic and advocates Islamic supremacy over non-Muslims. For example, under Sharia non-Muslims cannot rule over Muslims; a woman inherits half that of a man; non-Muslims cannot inherit from Muslims or marry Muslim women; and churches and synagogues cannot be built taller than mosques.

These Islamic dictates were scrubbed from Haddad’s airy descriptions of the Brotherhood in the Times oped:

We are a morally conservative, socially aware grassroots movement that has dedicated its resources to public service for the past nine decades. Our idea is very simple: We believe that faith must translate into action. That the test of faith is the good you want to do in the lives of others, and that people working together is the only way to develop a nation, meet the aspirations of its youth and engage the world constructively. We believe that our faith is inherently pluralistic and comprehensive and that no one has a divine mandate or the right to impose a single vision on society. …

We remain committed to our ideals of community development, social justice and nonviolence.

Haddad’s propaganda piece was preceded on Monday by a Times article reporting on the alleged dangers of the Trump administration labeling the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

That article, titled, “Trump Talk of Terror Listing for Muslim Brotherhood Alarms Some Arab Allies,” warned that “of all the initiatives of the Trump administration that have set the Arab world on edge, none has as much potential to disrupt the internal politics of American partners in the region as the proposal to criminalize the Muslim Brotherhood, the preeminent Islamist movement with millions of followers.”

The piece continued:

In Morocco, it would tip a delicate political balance. In Jordan, it could prevent American diplomats from meeting with opposition leaders. In Tunisia, it could make criminals of a political party seen as a model of democracy after the Arab Spring.

The Times article quoted Issandr El Amrani, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, warning that designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization “could destabilize countries where anti-Islamist forces would be encouraged to double down. It would increase polarization.”

The International Crisis Group is funded by billionaire George Soros and his son, Alexander Soros. Both George and Alexander Soros sit on the group’s board of trustees.

Toward the end of the piece, Times reporter Delcan Walsh briefly mentions the Brotherhood’s ties to violence.

He writes:

By nature secretive, the Brotherhood takes different forms around the world. In some places, its members have condoned or committed violent acts. Its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, carries out suicide bombings; in Egypt, angry young supporters have been accused of attacking Mr. Sisi’s security forces.

However, that paragraph was followed by the following disclaimer: “But that does not make terrorists of the many millions of people who support the Brotherhood’s political ideology across many countries.”

The Times advocacy this week on behalf of the Brotherhood is part of a larger lobbying effort that has in recent weeks included numerous pro-Brotherhood articles and an editorial board piece published earlier this month, “All of Islam Isn’t the Enemy.”

In the editorial, the newspaper warned designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization “would be seen by many Muslims as another attempt to vilify adherents of Islam.”  The paper claimed that the possible designation “appears to be part of a mission by the president and his closest advisers to heighten fears by promoting a dangerously exaggerated vision of an America under siege by what they call radical Islam.”

A February 7 article warned, “Officially designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt, where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.”

“Critics said they feared that Mr. Trump’s team wanted to create a legal justification to crack down on Muslim charities, mosques and other groups in the United States,” added the Times. “A terrorist designation would freeze assets, block visas and ban financial interactions.”

A Times article on February 1 was titled, “Trump Pushes Dark View of Islam to Center of U.S. Policy-Making.”

The article lamented a worldview that “conflates terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State with largely nonviolent groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots and, at times, with the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world.”

A January 26 editorial titled “‘I Think Islam Hates Us’” informed readers the Trump administration “reportedly is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood, which is involved in Muslim politics in a number of countries, as a terrorist organization. Some experts see the move as a chance for the Trump administration to limit Muslim political activity in the United States.”

The Times’ advocacy for the Brotherhood is particularly noteworthy since it separately posted a full Arabic document from 1991 in which an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member set forth a strategy for “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” with emphasis on operations inside the U.S.

Addressing the Brotherhood’s support for the electoral process and purportedly becoming a political organization, an extensive report on the Brotherhood by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies explained the group’s use of some tools of democracy to advance the aim of achieving a world ruled by Sharia law, which is by definition anti-democratic.

Drawing from founding Brotherhood documents and original literature by Brotherhood leaders, the Center explained:

Unlike the militant factions of other Islamist movements, which completely rule out democracy on the basis of it being a Western, pagan, and ignorant idea, the Muslim Brotherhood does use the term “democracy.” In its view, however, it has two main connotations: a tactical, instrumental means of taking over countries through the use of the democratic process, and an “Islamic democracy” based on Sharia law (i.e., Islamic religious law) and a model of internal consultation within the leadership.

[Brotherhood Founder Sheikh Hassan] Al-Banna listed seven stages to achieve these objectives, each to be carried out in a gradual fashion. The stages are divided into social and political: the first three are based on educating the individual, the family, and the entire society of the Muslim world to implement Sharia laws in every aspect of daily life. The next four stages are political in nature, and include assuming power through elections, shaping a Sharia state, liberating Islamic countries from the burden of (physical and ideological) foreign occupation, uniting them into one Islamic entity (“new caliphate”), and spreading Islamic values throughout the world.

The defining works of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, ideologue and theorist Sayyid Qutb, considered the Brotherhood’s intellectual godfather, greatly influenced Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda doctrine.

An extensive March 23, 2003, article in the New York Times magazine by Paul Berman dissected Qutb’s writings as they relate to terrorist ideology.

In the article titled “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror,” Berman documented the centrality of Qutb’s influence on al-Qaeda:

The organization (al-Qaeda) was created in the late 1980’s by an affiliation of three armed factions – bin Laden’s circle of ”Afghan” Arabs, together with two factions from Egypt, the Islamic Group and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the latter led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s top theoretician. The Egyptian factions emerged from an older current, a school of thought from within Egypt’s fundamentalist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1950’s and 60’s. And at the heart of that single school of thought stood, until his execution in 1966, a philosopher named Sayyid Qutb – the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.

 Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With additional research by Joshua Klein.

Al-Qaeda Claims U.S. Killed ‘Blind Sheikh’ in Prison, Calls for ‘Violent Revenge’

Relatives and friends of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted of plotting terror attacks in New York City in the decade before 9/11, carry his coffin after funeral prayers at the Grand Mosque in the Nile Delta town of Gamalia, Egypt, on Feb. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Mostafa Albasuni)

Relatives and friends of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted of plotting terror attacks in New York City in the decade before 9/11, carry his coffin after funeral prayers at the Grand Mosque in the Nile Delta town of Gamalia, Egypt, on Feb. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Mostafa Albasuni)

PJ MEDIA, BY BRIDGET JOHNSON, FEBRUARY 22, 2017:

Al-Qaeda accused the United States of withholding necessary medication from “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind of the deadly 1993 World Trade Center bombing who died behind bars Saturday.

They also released a final statement from the sheikh complaining of strip searches that explored his private parts “front and back,” claiming that he could be poisoned behind bars and calling for “the most powerful and violent revenge” in the event of his demise.

Abdel-Rahman, 78, was serving a life sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Butner, in North Carolina. He had been blinded at a young age by diabetes, and reportedly passed away from complications of coronary heart disease and diabetes.

In a statement issued by their As-Sahab media, al-Qaeda’s central command grieved the sheikh “after a battle with the tyrants of the earth lasted almost six decades of his life” and winding up “in the grip of the people of the Cross.”

The terror group also noted operations that had been conducted over the years in an effort to win Abdel-Rahman’s release, including the kidnapping of westerners by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb as well as al-Qaeda in Pakistan and its Yemen branch.

Citing Abdel-Rahman’s family, who first released the news of his death, al-Qaeda alleged “the Americans decided to kill him in prison” by withholding drugs.

Al-Qaeda encouraged followers to “slay” in the sheikh’s name as “Americans enjoy security and safety,” targeting U.S. interests everywhere.

Al-Qaeda also released a parting statement from Abdel-Rahman in their Al-Nafir Bulletin, in which he said the Americans were using his imprisonment to “rub the pride of the Muslims in the dirt.”

He complained of being filmed while bathing or using the toilet in solitary confinement, being strip-searched “until I am as naked as when my mother delivered me” before “they look into my private parts, from the front and the back — what are they looking for?” and of not having any fellow Arabic speakers visit. “If it were not for reciting the Quran I would have been afflicted with many psychological and mental illnesses,” he said.

The statement attributed to Abdel-Rahman also said he was prevented from Friday prayers and from celebrating Islamic holidays, or having “any contact with Muslims.”

“They are undoubtedly killing me, especially while I am isolated from the world. No one sees what they do to me in my food and drink. They may employ the method of slow killing with me, where they put poison in the food or a medicine or an injection, and may give me dangerous, bad medicine, or they may give me a quantity of lethal drugs or a madness-inducing drug,” he said. “This is in particular, while I smell strange and awful scents from the floor above me, constantly accompanied by a ‘whoosh,’ like the sound of an old air conditioner, with knocks, noise, and hammering, like the sound of grenades, which continues for hours, day and night.”

After offering several verses from the Quran, Abdel-Rahman continued, “If they kill me — and they inevitably will — publicize my funeral, and send my corpse to my family, and do not forget my blood and do not waste it.”

“Instead, avenge me with the most powerful and violent revenge,” he concluded. “Remember a brother who told you a word of truth and was killed in the way of Allah.”

Abdel-Rahman’s body was returned to his family in Egypt today via the Cairo airport. Thousands gathered in his hometown, Al-Gamaliya, for his funeral.

In an earlier issue of Al-Nafir released by their Global Islamic Media Front at the beginning of the month, al-Qaeda directly addressed President Trump, something official ISIS materials haven’t even done since Inauguration Day. Responding to the raid on an al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula camp, in which CENTCOM admitted civilian casualties, the terror group claimed “Americans in this massacre intentionally killed women and children, and even an infant in the womb was not spared.”

“And on this occasion we say to the stupid President Trump: The presidency of your country has had several presidents in years past, whom all have promised the American people to kill the mujahideen and excise them. However, they all ended up leaving the White House before fulfilling their promise, despite some of them having a second term. This is undoubtedly your fate, for the flame of jihad has ignited and reached all over the world.”

Is Pakistani Intelligence Behind the Democrats’ “Secret” IT Scandal?

Center for Security Policy, by Frank Gaffney, Feb. 22, 2017:

There’s an ominous scandal unfolding on Capitol Hill.  But you’d never know that from the complete absence of coverage of it by the mainstream media.

Currently, there are many more questions than answers about the several individuals from Pakistan who long provided IT services to a large number of Democratic members of the House of Representatives. For example: Did they use their access to the lawmakers’ email systems to steal sensitive official and/or personal information? If so, was the ISI, their homeland’s aggressive intelligence service, involved?

The ISI has long run collection and influence operations against the United States government and interests. Notably, Pakistani intelligence has been a prime enabler of Sharia-supremacists like Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

The biggest question though is: Why are we not hearing about this scandal – and getting answers about its potentially serious national security implications?

***

Another Pakistan spy scandal that was ignored by the media:

The Biggest D.C. Spy Scandal You Haven’t Heard About (Part Two)

NY Times Op-Ed: Muslim Brotherhood Not Terrorists

muslim_brotherhood_in_americaTruth Revolt, by Mark Tapson, Feb. 22, 2017:

The New York Times Wednesday posted an op-ed by Gehad El-Haddad called, “I Am a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Not a Terrorist.” Well, that’s comforting. We were under the distinct impression that the Muslim Brotherhood does in fact have a history of terrorism and is the Ur-mother of all Islamic fundamentalist terror groups today. Good thing the Times corrected us.

It’s unclear how a man who claims in the opening sentence that he wrote it “from the darkness of solitary confinement in Egypt’s most notorious prison, where I have been held for more than three years” got an op-ed published in the Times, but let’s just move on to the blatant lies contained in the piece itself.

“We are not terrorists,” El-Haddad, the official spokesman for the MB begins. “The Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy is inspired by an understanding of Islam that emphasizes the values of social justice, equality and the rule of law.” Well, at least he didn’t say that his understanding of Islam emphasizes “peace”; we’ll give him points for that.

He went on describe the Brotherhood as “a morally conservative, socially aware grass-roots movement that has dedicated its resources to public service for the past nine decades. Our idea is very simple: We believe that… the test of faith is the good you want to do in the lives of others, and that people working together is the only way to develop a nation, meet the aspirations of its youth and engage the world constructively.”

He left out the part about destroying western civilization from within and paving the way for a worldwide caliphate, but I suppose he had to keep the op-ed brief, considering he was writing it in dark solitary confinement in Egypt’s most notorious prison.

“We believe that our faith is inherently pluralistic and comprehensive,” writes El-Haddad, “and that no one has a divine mandate or the right to impose a single vision on society.” To paraphrase Mary McCarthy’s famous dig at Lillian Hellman, every word of that sentence is a lie, including “and” and “the.”

He goes on to claim that despite all the misunderstandings about the MB, it remains “committed to our ideals of community development, social justice and nonviolence.” As for all the terror groups that the MB has reportedly spawned, he asserts, “This is wildly misleading.” I’m just going to leave that right there.

Make no mistake about it: the Muslim Brotherhood is both a terrorist group and the most subversive Islamic force in the world today. For the Times to give supportive space to an MB apologist without any context or rebuttal is an outrageous but unsurprising act of anti-Americanism propagandizing, if not actual treason. Both the Brotherhood and The New York Times are, in their own ways, enemies of the American people.

For much, much more about the Muslim Brotherhood, which hopefully President Trump will declare a terrorist group despite this New York Times puff piece, check out its profile here at the Freedom Center’s Discover the Networks resource page.

Another Major Democratic Email Scandal the News Media is Ignoring

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Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, Feb. 22, 2017:

In the midst of allegations of Russian ties to the Trump administration and in the aftermath of the hacking of Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee emails, there is a new scandal email involving Democratic House members that could amount to a covert effort by foreign actors to penetrate the House of Representatives computer system.

According to the Daily Caller, three brothers who managed information technology (IT) for Democratic House members – Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan – were suspended on February 2, 2017 for serious misconduct, including accessing the computer accounts of House members without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.  Two other House IT staff – Imran Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, and a fifth unnamed person – also reportedly are under investigation.

The five IT staffers reportedly were “shared” staff for the personal offices of a dozen or more House Democrats.  Some or all of the IT staffers reportedly had significant financial problems, including a repossessed car, bankruptcy and second mortgages.

This story suggests congressional Democrats learned nothing from last year’s hacking of Democratic computers.  It also raises serious questions about the security of the House computer system.

The House reportedly only required background investigations of House IT staff in 2016.  These investigations were to be applied retroactively to existing House IT staff unless a member signed a waiver attesting to their “trustworthiness and judgment.”

If the suspended IT staffers were investigated and cleared, these background investigations are obviously worthless.

It would be a much more serious matter if the IT staffers were given waivers from background investigations by House Democratic members.  If this is the case, the American people deserve to know the names of Democratic members of Congress who exempted these miscreants from background investigations.

So far there have been no reports that the five IT House staff members had access to classified material.  However, they did support the personal office computers of Reps. Joaquin Castro, Andre Carson, and Jackie Spier, all members of the House Intelligence Committee.  Although personal office computers are not supposed to be used for Intelligence Committee business or classified material, accessing these computers is a high priority for foreign intelligence services because of the information they could glean about the committee’s work from unclassified emails. (Some press reports have claimed the five IT staff members also had access to classified information and the House Intelligence Committee’s classified computer system.  These reports are untrue.)

Were these IT staffers part of an plot by foreign actors to penetrate the House of Representatives and its computers?  There has been speculation by some conservative journalists and experts that they may have had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  A former CIA officer told me she worries that the three Awad brothers, who reportedly are Pakistani immigrants, may have ties to the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI.

No evidence has been made public on whether the IT staffers had any ties to foreign actors. However, it is difficult to believe this case was only about stealing computer equipment if press reports are true that the IT staffers illegally accessed the computers of members of Congress and stole data.  The FBI needs to fully investigate whether this was an effort to penetrate the House intelligence system by a foreign intelligence service or a foreign jihadist organization.

Democratic House members have some difficult questions to answer about this case aside from which Democratic members may have granted the IT staffers waivers from background investigations.  Which members originally hired these individuals?  Who referred them?  And why didn’t House Democrats tighten their computer security practices after the hacking of DNC and Clinton campaign emails last year?

The House Republican leadership needs to explain why it didn’t require background investigations for IT staff until last year and why it allowed waivers for existing IT staff.  Has the waiver rule been abolished?  If the IT staffers passed their background investigations, what it being done to toughen them to screen out people like this?  The Senate’s Republican leadership should look into whether it has similar cyber vulnerabilities and take appropriate steps to address them if necessary.

While no evidence has been made public that this was an effort by hostile foreign actors like the Muslim Brotherhood or Chinese intelligence to penetrate the computer system of the U.S. House of Representatives, it still represents a major scandal because foreign actors could have easily done this.  It is time for the mainstream media to stop ignoring this important story.

European Counter-Terror Official: IRGC, Muslim Brotherhood Are Not Terror Groups

Peter Neumann / AP

Peter Neumann / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 22, 2017:

A leading European counter-terrorism official is facing criticism after claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, are not terrorist groups.

Peter Neumann, an Austrian counter-terrorism official charged with working to combat violent extremism under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) attracted criticism this week after stating that both the Brotherhood and IRGC are not terrorist groups and should not be formally designated as such.

Neumann’s stance elicited criticism from U.S. terror experts who told the Washington Free Beacon that this line of thinking would not help European officials combat a rising threat from radical terrorists, many of whom have become radicalized through extremist doctrines promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood and the theocratic regime in Iran. The position also runs counter to views held by the Trump administration, which has vowed tougher action on radical organizations.

A senior White House official who spoke to the Free Beacon about the matter disclosed that the Trump administration is keeping a keen eye on all of these groups and will not hesitate to take action as the administration works to combat radical groups.

“Like with Muslim Brotherhood, the main argument against designating them as terrorist organisation is that they aren’t one,” Neumann stated on Twitter Tuesday, a day before he was appointed as a special representative on radicalization for the OSCE.

Neumann, who also serves as director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence based in London, is tasked with helping the OSCE combat the rise of Islamic terrorism amid reports of growing threats across the continent. An estimated 10,000 individuals from OSCE member countries are reported to have traveled to Syria to wage jihad.

Neumann’s stance appears to clash with the national security vision backed by the Trump administration and many U.S. lawmakers, who view both groups as terror agents and have sought to formally designate them as terror outfits.

The White House is already considering a designation for the Brotherhood and could pursue similar designations for the IRGC.

“It is no secret that President Trump is deeply concerned about the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, and he’s made clear that while he’s prioritizing defeating ISIS, he knows the issue doesn’t end there,” one senior White House official told the Free Beacon. “We’re going to have to look at the root causes if we’re actually going to fight this enemy.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is already designated as a terror outfit by Egypt, Israel, and other nations due to its efforts to foment unrest and violence. The IRGC is a primary backer of Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terror groups that have wreaked violence across the Middle East.

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, said that the IRGC, in particular, represents the type of terrorism gripping the Middle East and other regions.

“The IRGC sees the world in black-and-white terms, and so it’s ironic that Western diplomats and academics want to read nuance into the group,” Rubin said after reviewing Neumann’s comments. “They can slap themselves on the back and believe they are sophisticated but, in reality, they are becoming useful idiots and legitimizing the bureaucracy of terror.”

The IRGC not only directly supports terrorism forces but also runs a massive propaganda effort meant to indoctrinate new recruits.

“Some analysts say the IRGC isn’t monolithic, and some Iranians only join for the privileges,” Rubin said. “Well, a designation would put these opportunists on notice that the short-term gain in gasoline rations isn’t worth a lifetime blacklist from seeing relatives abroad or visiting beaches without burqas.”

One U.S.-based terrorism expert who liaises with many in Congress told the Free Beacon that efforts to downplay these organizations harm the global response to terrorism.

“Neumann’s equivocation on the IRGC’s role in Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism is precisely why many don’t take the ‘experts’ so seriously,” said the expert, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “But what makes Neumann so dangerous is not that he is some fringe crackpot academic, but at the very pinnacle of the international ‘countering violent extremism’ effort. We already have these so-called ‘experts’ talking about ‘moderate al Qaeda’. What’s next in this effort to define down terrorism, ‘moderate’ ISIS?”

Countering Islamist Extremism the Right Way

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Groups that preach Islamism must not be relied upon to counter violent extremism.

National Review, by Sam Westrop, Feb. 22, 2017:

As part of President Trump’s unapologetic promise to defeat “radical Islam,” critics expect an overhaul of the previous administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Under Obama, officials adopted counter-extremism policies that European politicians tried over a decade ago and have since deeply regretted.

To tackle the threat of Islamism, the new administration must identify and challenge the specific groups and networks within American Islam that advocate extremist ideas, or officials may inadvertently repeat Obama’s practice of legitimizing Islamists as leaders of all American Muslims.

The British Experience
In 2005, a month after the 7/7 London bombings, the British journalist Martin Bright sought answers to a question that, somehow, no one in government or the media had ever thought to ask before: Who exactly were the people in charge of the Muslim community, and what did they believe?

After the Salman Rushdie riots in 1988, the British government blindly accepted the claims of self-declared community leaders to be representative voices of British Muslims. The government gave these leaders millions and millions of dollars of community funds, and, after 9/11, counter-extremism grants.

Bright’s investigation, however, revealed something quite different from what these Muslim leaders had been telling credulous politicians. The leading recipient of taxpayer funds, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), was in fact run by a violent Islamist group from South Asia, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which had close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and had been involved in the mass killing of Bangladeshis during that nation’s 1971 Independence War.

The government embraced Islamist groups such as the MCB so tightly that, as Bright revealed in 2005, Britain’s foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and MCB leader Iqbal Sacranie (an early supporter of Iran’s fatwa for the killing of Salman Rushdie) even used the same speechwriter. With the MCB in charge, Muslim organizations could not receive government backing for projects without the MCB’s stamp of approval. Naturally, the Islamists prospered. Moderate Muslims, meanwhile, were left without a voice.

Over the next decade, the true extent of Islamism’s grip over British Islam was slowly revealed, thanks to a motley collection of journalists, bloggers, and anti-Islamist Muslims willing to challenge government wisdom. Prison chaplains, it emerged, had been chosen primarily from the Deobandi sect, a hard-line branch of South Asian Islam from which the Taliban had emerged. Taxpayer-funded schools in Birmingham, the U.K.’s second-largest city, had been taken over by a network of Islamists who preached hard-line Islamist rhetoric to young children. Compelling evidence was uncovered to show that prominent Muslim charities controlled by JI and the Muslim Brotherhood were funding terrorism abroad. Counter-extremism funds were being handed to Salafist and Jamaat-e-Islami groups. And in 2009, the Labour government cut off ties completely with the Muslim Council of Britain after its officials were found to be signatories to the Istanbul Declaration, a document that advocated attacks on British troops and Jewish communities.

By 2011, the new Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, understood enough to signal a distinct change in government policy, telling the Munich Security Conference:

As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called “non-violent extremists,” and they then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence. . . . Some organizations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement.

The British government overhauled its counter-extremism programs and cut off dozens of Islamist groups from taxpayer funding. Politicians and journalists learned a very important lesson about Western Islam: It is a diverse mix of dozens of different political and religious sects, which includes both violent and non-violent extremists. No single group could represent all Western Muslims, and it was only by delineating British Islam into its diverse, competing constituents that extremism could be effectively tackled and suitable Muslim allies identified. After all, if policymakers did not know which networks and groups within Western Islam were the bad guys, then how could they learn who the good guys were?

As increasingly radicalized Muslim communities across Europe produced eager volunteers for jihad at home and abroad, governments finally began to understand what moderate Muslims had been desperately trying to tell them for years: Non-violent Islamism is not a bulwark against violent Islamism. Extremists are not allies in the fight against extremism.

Meanwhile, in America
Across the Atlantic, American officials distinctly failed to note the lessons that Europe has learned the hard way. The Obama administration’s foreign policy treated Islamists as forces of democratization, and its domestic policy legitimized Islamists as gatekeepers to the Muslim community.

First envisioned in 2011, the Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program promised to “support and help empower American communities and their local partners in their grassroots efforts to prevent violent extremism.” In February 2015, the government launched CVE pilot programs in Boston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. To kick things off, the White House hosted a three-day summit. Writing about the conference in the Los Angeles Times, Obama reiterated that the “focus” of CVE “will be on empowering local communities.”

Whom exactly was the White House empowering? Representing the pilot program in Boston, leaders from the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) and the Islamic Center of New England (ICNE) were invited to the White House summit. The ISB was established by the al-Qaeda operative Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was jailed in 2004 for his role in a Libyan plot to assassinate a Saudi crown prince. The mosque’s trustees have included prominent Islamist operatives, such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. According to a report published jointly by Muslims Facing Tomorrow and Americans for Peace and Tolerance, twelve congregants, supporters, staff, and donors of the ISB have been imprisoned, deported, or killed or are on the run — all in relation to terrorism offenses.

The ICNE was once a moderate local mosque, until its imam was ousted by Abdulbadi Abousamra (the father of ISIS terrorist Ahmad Abousamra) and Muhammad Hafiz Masood, who is now a spokesman for the Pakistani terrorist organization Jamaat-ud-Dawah. Masood’s brother, Hafiz Saeed, is responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks and was arrested this month by Pakistani law enforcement.

Taking part in the government’s CVE program was not just an opportunity for Islamists to rub shoulders with America’s political elite; it was also a chance to obtain taxpayers’ money. As part of the Boston CVE pilot program, a group based at the ISB named United Somali Youth received over $100,000, despite having initially joined protests against the CVE organized by Islamist groups, which claimed that the program was designed to demonize Muslims.

In 2016, despite widespread media criticism of the CVE pilot programs, Congress approved a further $10 million of CVE grants. As Obama was leaving office, the Department of Homeland Security awarded $393,800 to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an organization with a long history of ties to extremism. MPAC was founded by individuals closely involved with the Muslim Brotherhood. Its founder, Maher Hathout, declared that the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah was “fighting to liberate their land” and exhibiting “an American value — freedom and liberty.” Before being offered almost half a million dollars, MPAC had also expressed opposition to the CVE program.

Another $800,000 of taxpayers’ money was awarded to Bayan Claremont (an Islamic graduate school in Claremont, Calif.), whose president, Jihad Turk, was recently a member of the executive council of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). In 2008, federal prosecutors named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing trial. A judge later ruled that “the government has produced ample evidence” connecting Hamas and ISNA. Bayan Claremont faculty includes Ihsan Bagby, a former senior member of the Council on American–Islamic Relations, which was also designated an unindicted co-conspirator in 2008; Suhaib Webb, a former imam of the ISB who decries the “evil inclination” of homosexuality and “understands . . . animosity” towards Jews; and Edina Lekovic, an MPAC official who was the managing editor of an Islamist student magazine that, in 1999, called on Muslims to “defend” Bin Laden as a “freedom fighter.”

To flaunt its anti-Trump credentials, Bayan Claremont recently returned the $800,000 it received, despite successfully applying for the grant under Obama. Regardless, are these really the “community” leaders that the government’s “countering violent extremism” program should empower?

Making America Safe Again?
The Trump administration’s plans for CVE are not fully known. Most recently, White House sources announced that CVE would focus solely on Islamic extremism and would be renamed “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.” Under Obama, all White House, Homeland Security, and Justice Department documents concerning CVE conspicuously omitted any mention of “Islam” or “Islamism.” Clearly, we should be pleased that the new administration is prepared to name the issue that occupies headline news almost every day. But we still do not know what Trump’s counter-extremism plans actually entail, although it seems unlikely that Muslim Brotherhood groups will receive more government grants.

Among moderate Muslims, however, there is some concern that a ham-fisted approach could be just as ineffective as Obama’s flawed ideas. If Trump fails to delineate American Islam into its various components, and instead treats all American Muslims as part of the same problem, then the government will find it impossible to tackle extremism effectively.

By cataloguing and excluding the “lawful” or “non-violent” extremists now in America, and the role they play in the radicalization of American Muslims, the government can work with genuinely moderate Muslim organizations to identify and prevent Islamists from, for example, operating schools and chaplaincy programs, obtaining taxpayer funds under the guise of community work, or using charitable endeavors to fund Islamist terrorism overseas.

President Trump’s former national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, reportedly wanted to “wage ideological warfare” against radical Islam using social media. But, as with all attempts to tackle Internet problems, this would be a Sisyphean task, and a distraction from the threat posed by homegrown extremists, who carry out their most dangerous work offline.

Islamist groups thrive on legitimacy, which they obtain either by being treated as representatives of ordinary Muslims (as happened under Obama) or by leading unifying protests against the government (which is happening under Trump).

American Muslims are not going anywhere, nor should they. Islamism, however, should be fought. To do so, state and federal governments must delegitimize Islamism in political and civic circles. This cannot be achieved without the cooperation of moderate Muslims. Only a considered, intelligent approach to counter-extremism can effectively tackle the Islamists who have gripped American Islam so tightly.

At the cost of whole Muslim communities becoming isolated from Western society, tens of thousands of radicalized Muslim youth joining terrorist groups overseas, and civil unrest increasing, Europe has discovered that the pernicious effect of extremism is just as dangerous as an explosive act of terrorism. In America, let’s not learn these lessons too late.

— Sam Westrop is a fellow of the Gatestone Institute and a writer for Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

NatSec advisor Michael Anton outlines a way forward with an alternative to the “New World Order”

Michael Anton, center, at a White House news briefing Feb. 1. At left are Michael Flynn and K.T. McFarland. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Michael Anton, center, at a White House news briefing Feb. 1. At left are Michael Flynn and K.T. McFarland. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Note: Michael Anton is Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications, National Security Council. This article was prepared before the author accepted his current position. The views here reflect only those of the author. They do not represent the views of the Trump administration, the National Security Advisor, or the U.S. government.

American Affairs Journal

Trump’s campaign was driven by the basic awareness of ordinary citizens that American peace, prestige, and prosperity were not being served by our foreign policy. Among the many reasons to be hopeful about President Trump’s foreign policy is that he seems to understand that correcting the errors of the neo-interventionists does not require adopting those of the paleo-isolationists.

Excerpt:

Reforming the Liberal International Order

How best to remain safe, rich, and respected? Let us consider the ways in which the LIO might be reformed.

First, our trade policy is in obvious need of reform. The LIO elevates “free trade”—really, phonebook-thick agreements that regulate every aspect of trade, mostly to America’s disadvantage—to holy writ. It does so for political reasons as well as ideological ones, such as the often-inappropriate invocation of David Ricardo. The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been composed entirely of true believers in the free trade doctrine for several decades. But the world economy has changed significantly since 1945, to state the obvious. In certain cases, at least, the conditions underlying that period’s commercial policy orientation (and the theoretical impulses behind it) no longer apply. The Trump administration is right to be skeptical of free trade ideology and to revisit trade policy based on core interests and commercial realities.

We could also be more sensible about our alliance structure. NATO is far from irrelevant today, but it could surely be made more relevant. Certainly, decades of joint exercise, interoperability rules, interchangeable weapons systems, and the like should not be tossed aside lightly, especially among countries with long histories of deep bonds and common interests. But it is reasonable to ask: What is the alliance for once its original purpose has evaporated? If it can be reformed to better address the threats of our time—terrorism, mass illegal migration—all to the good.

We must also ask: Why is it in our strategic interest to push that alliance’s borders ever outward? What do we gain by pledging American blood to defend places where it would take us a 48-hour airlift to mount a forlorn defense with one regiment? In what way does committing to impossible things enhance prestige?

The case for continued expansion of the LIO seems feeble indeed and has recently been taken to absurd extremes. One school of thought—let us call them the “neocons”—holds that since democracy is “our team,” and that team’s overall health improves when its prospects are expanding, then surely it is in our interest to democratize the world. No?

No. That is to say: America would likely be better off if the world were more democratic than it is, given that democracy correlates highly with friendliness or at least non-opposition to American interests, whereas “authoritarianism” (or, to be more precise, “tyranny”) correlates highly with opposition and even hostility to American interests. But in some regions, democracy also correlates highly with instability, which breeds war and chaos that are antithetical to American interests. In others, the rhetoric and mechanism of democracy are used—one man, one vote, once—to squelch robust democracy and impose a tyranny worse than what preceded the “democracy.”

Sticking with the LIO’s original context between 1945 and 1989, its first purpose was to preserve democracy where it already existed and was under threat, either by foreign conquest or foreign-directed internal subversion. Second, it was to restore democracy to “captive nations” whose liberty had been seized by a foreign power. Third, it was to develop democracy (gradually) in countries with substantial economies, deep reserves of human capital, and civil intuitions capable of serving as soil in which democracy could grow. Never did it mean imposition of democracy—much less suggest this imposition was a vital American interest.

Democracy is a precarious flower. It will not grow just anywhere. There are a great many patches of land we could easily seize that are nonetheless fit for growing only cacti or weeds. If we see the democratic flower struggling to bloom in a place where and at a time when we have the capacity to water it, and it is in our interest to do so, by all means we should consider it. But the fact that America has a “team interest” in the success or non-failure of democracy does not mean that we have an interest in trying to impose democracy in places where it is almost certain to fail. In fact, the opposite is true, because glaring failures undermine our prestige.

I would ask careful readers to please note that, for all the criticism of the foreign policy establishment, nothing here has specifically criticized the LIO per se. It served our interests well in the times and places for which it was built. It remains superior to most alternatives, including paleo-isolationism and neocon overreach. Confusion may arise from the implicit conflation of the LIO with the latter. It is not an outrageous error to make, precisely because the neocons have expended a lot of effort since the end of the Cold War to meld the two in the public mind, beginning with the so-called Wolfowitz Doctrine strategy paper drafted in the Pentagon in 1992 and continuing in 2014 with Robert Kagan’s New Republicthink piece “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire.”

The very phrase “liberal international order” hints at the problem. It is at least a better term than President George H. W. Bush’s “new world order,” for the simple reason that the LIO has never prevailed over the entire world and never had a chance to. The failure to see this limit was, it seems, the core mistake of America’s post–Cold War foreign policy. The establishment thought it could take a system built (more or less) for the OECD or the Rich Nations Club and make it work everywhere. That was never possible and still isn’t. The “liberal international order” is thus better termed the “liberal rich-country order” or—if you prefer foreign policy jargon—the “liberal functioning-core order.”

Even if one were to assert that America’s national interest is to build and maintain a liberal order in every corner of the globe (which it isn’t), we would still face the thorny problem that America lacks the means to do so. We have to choose. What do we choose and on what basis?

In sum, the reach of “liberal international order”—while mostly beneficial to American interests—is in practice a lot smaller than the whole world. Even when created in 1945–1950, it was never intended to encompass the globe. It was built to protect the interests of America and its non-Communist friends in Europe and Asia and (in an update to the Monroe Doctrine) keep Communism out of the Western Hemisphere. The Middle East was added later, in stages, as Anglo-French hegemony collapsed after Suez, as the original Western-friendly Arab kings fell, and as the West (and the United States especially) became net oil importers. The attempt, beginning in 1991–92, to extend that order over the whole world was a case of American eyes being much bigger than our stomachs (or teeth), a confusion of ideology and interests. In fact, however, such expansion was never necessary to core American interests—peace, prosperity, prestige.

The uncertainty of the present moment does not derive primarily from President Trump’s supposed disregard for the fundamentals of the liberal international order. On the contrary, the uncertainty arises from a growing awareness of the disconnect between the instrumental policies of that order and its overriding purpose. In restoring a sense of the core objectives behind the LIO’s institutions, Trump actually shows a greater regard for it. These institutions will survive only if prudently amended to serve their essential purposes and meet their members’ needs.

Trump’s campaign was driven by the basic awareness of ordinary citizens that American peace, prestige, and prosperity were not being served by our foreign policy. Among the many reasons to be hopeful about President Trump’s foreign policy is that he seems to understand that correcting the errors of the neo-interventionists does not require adopting those of the paleo-isolationists.

While orienting foreign policy around American peace, prestige, and prosperity still leaves room for disagreements in policy formation, focusing on the ends rather than the means marks a dramatic change in the way our diplomats see things. The quicker we make that change, the quicker we will find clarity in strengthening the institutions that make the American people safe, respected, and wealthy—and the quicker we can reform those that do not.

This article originally appeared in American Affairs Volume I, Number 1 (Spring 2017): 113–25.

Also see:

House Dem IT Staffers Owed Money To Hezbollah-Connected Fugitive

Imran Awan, target of a House security probe, worked in IT for Rep. Andre Carson, a member of the intelligence committee

Imran Awan, target of a House security probe, worked in IT for Rep. Andre Carson, a member of the intelligence committee

Daily Caller, by Luke Rosiak, Feb. 21, 2017:

Congressional aides suspected of criminally misusing their access to House computer systems owed $100,000 to an Iraqi politician who is wanted by U.S. authorities and has been linked to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Middle Eastern terrorist outfit.

Imran Awan and four of his relatives were employed as information technology (IT) aides by dozens of House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. The aides’ administrator-level IT access was terminated earlier this month amid a criminal probe by U.S. Capitol Police of a suspected security breach, including an off-site server housing congressional data.

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has reported that while working for Congress, the Pakistani brothers controlled a limited liability corporation called Cars International A (CIA), a car dealership with odd finances, which took–and was unable to repay–a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, wrote that Attar “was observed in Beirut, Lebanon conversing with a Hezbollah official” in 2012–shortly after the loan was made. Attar has also been accused of helping provoke the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as a leader of Iraqi dissidents opposed to Saddam Hussein.

After moving to the U.S., Attar made his money practicing medicine in Maryland and Virginia and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies by billing for non-existent medical procedures. The FBI raided his offices in 2009 and the Department of Health and Human Services sued his business partner in 2011.

Attar was indicted in March 2012 on separate tax fraud charges after the IRS and FBI found he used multiple bank accounts to hide income. He fled back to Iraq to avoid prison.

“He’s a fugitive. I am not aware of any extradition treaty with Iraq,” Marcia Murphy, spokesman for federal prosecutors in Maryland, told TheDCNF Tuesday. “If or when he returns to the U.S., the prosecution will continue.”

Brothers Imran, Abid and Jamal Awan, as well as their wives Natalia Sova and Hina Alvi, were all on the congressional payroll.

Not long before the indictment, Pakistani-born Virginia resident Nasir Khattak, who co-owned CIA with Abid, still had access to some bank accounts holding Attar’s assets.

Khattak was a realtor, and with Attar’s permission, “acquired the money through adjustments to the accounts that he controlled as the realtor for al-Attar,” court documents say.

Abid managed CIA’s daily operations, even though he was also employed full time running computers for representatives that have included Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Yvette Clark of New York. But the car dealership was hemorrhaging money. Customers were often shown cars borrowed from a dealership next door.

“It was very bad record-keeping in Cars International … it is close to impossible to make any sense out of all the transactions that happened,” Khattak said in court documents.

CIA’s finances interwove with the House’s. A car-dealing associate who was owed money by the brothers, Rao Abbas, was placed on the congressional payroll.

Khattak said CIA was a “family business” and by 2010 Imran was its primary manager instead of Abid.

Abid Awan filed for personal bankruptcy in 2012 because the dealership was in his name, listing $1 million in liabilities. Bankruptcies are a major security red flag in background checks for employees in sensitive positions.

The loan from Attar was never repaid, leading to a lawsuit over the dealership’s future. Attar claimed the loan default meant the dealership became his, but refused to testify in person, giving power of attorney to someone else to give evidence on his behalf.

Khattek said in court documents that was because “Ali Al-Attar was out of the country as he was involved in politics and the formation of the Iraqi government.” Though he was fugitive, that was also true.

Giraldi, the former CIA officer, wrote in the American Conservative in 2013 that Attar advised President George W. Bush’s key Iraq policy advisors that U.S. forces would be “greeted as liberators.”

“In late 2002 and early 2003, [then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz regularly met secretly with a group of Iraqi expatriates, consisting mostly of Shias but also including several Sunnis, who resided in the Washington area,” Giraldi wrote. “The Iraqis were headed by one Dr. Ali A. al-Attar.”

Attar’s prediction was wrong, and his qualifications for making it — supposedly based on what the D.C.-area Iraqis were hearing from relatives — were questionable because, although Attar was born in Iraq, his parents were Iranian.

But the U.S.-backed regime change served Attar well, as in 2003, he told The New York Times that “he was one of four people chosen by General Garner to re-establish the Iraq Ministry of Health, and that he expected to be called Baghdad next week.”

That stay in Iraq apparently did not last long, as in 2009, his medical license was suspended by Maryland for separate instances of billing patients and insurance companies for unneeded services.

In November 2010, the Maryland State Board of Physicians brought still more charges of “unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine and failure to cooperate in a lawful investigation.”

Attar’s attorney said the board was a “Trojan horse” for the FBI. The board said Attar’s “failure to cooperate with the board investigation was deliberate, longstanding and defiant,” and in March 2012 revoked his license.

The Awan brothers worked for members including Andre Carson of Indiana, one of two Muslims in Congress and a member of the ultra-sensitive intelligence committee.

“Moderate” Muslim Brotherhood Mourns Terrorist’s Death

blind-sby John Rossomando
IPT News
February 21, 2017

Calls for revenge and glowing eulogies for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman by the Muslim Brotherhood and its followers dealt a blow to efforts to paint it as a moderate group.

Abdel Rahman, known as the “Blind Sheikh,” died Saturday in a U.S. prison where he was serving a life sentence for a seditious conspiracy to launch what prosecutors called a “war of urban terrorism” against targets around New York City. He also helped plot the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 that killed six people and injured 1,042.

“May Allah’s blessings be upon him, the deceased of the Islamic call, who was imprisoned by different repressive regimes, who was falsely and unfairly accused of terrorism by the Unites States of America, while being old and blind Sheikh, it also prevented him from receiving medical care until he met his Lord, Oh Allah please accept him and have mercy upon him,” the Muslim Brotherhood General Office said.

Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted Abdel Rahman, noted in a National Review Online column that the “Blind Sheikh” was proud of being a terrorist. This fact ought to raise red flags about the character of the Muslim Brotherhood.

McCarthy cited this Abdel Rahman statement as an example: “Why do we fear the word terrorist? If the terrorist is the person who defends his right, so we are terrorists. And if the terrorist is the one who struggles for the sake of God, then we are terrorists. We . . . have been ordered with terrorism because we must prepare what power we can to terrorize the enemy of Allah and your enemy. The Koran says ‘to strike terror.’ Therefore, we don’t fear to be described with ‘terrorism.’ . . . They may say, ‘He is a terrorist, he uses violence, he uses force.’ Let them say that. We are ordered to prepare whatever we can of power to terrorize the enemies of Islam.”

1988The Muslim Brotherhood’s official Facebook page posted another statement Saturday that was quickly taken down. The message, asking “God Almighty to bestow His Mercy, and ensconce him in the highest paradise of Heaven with the prophets, the saints, the martyrs, the righteous and the best of them as companions” was cross-posted on Ikhwanonline, the Brotherhood’s Arabic website.

Although Abdel Rahman left the Muslim Brotherhood to form the radical jihadist group Gamaa Islamiya in 1970 after the Brotherhood’s leadership renounced violence against the Egyptian government, Brotherhood leaders still mourned him in terms echoed by ISIS and al-Qaida. Mohamed Al-Sagheer, a former deputy minister of endowment in Egypt during the Muslim Brotherhood rule, called Abdel Rahman a “Mujahid” or holy warrior, in a video posted on Facebook. Muslims, he said, lost one of their most prominent scholars.

“May Allah avenge from those who did him (the sheikh) injustice, the Arab despots, and the crusaders, who loath and hate the faith and its followers,” Al-Sagheer said.

Al-Sagheer has ties to violent elements of the Muslim Brotherhood that have worked against the Egyptian government since the military forced the Brotherhood out of power in 2013, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.

Mohamed el-Feky, chairman of the economic committee of Morsi-era Egyptian parliament who now resides in Istanbul, similarly lamented Abdel Rahman’s death.

“May God have mercy on Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and gather him into the troop of prophets, friends (of God) martyrs and the righteous, with the best of them as companions. Oh, God, compensate him for his imprisonment, and the wrong done him, and bless him with good and increase. Oh God, curse those who wronged him, Oh Lord of the worlds,” el-Feky wrote on Facebook.

Ordinary Muslim Brotherhood supporters like Abdel Rahman Muhammad Lotfy Abdel Rahman called for American blood.

“If they killed you O Omar, Allah has chosen you among the martyrs! Allah will fight you O America … Today, America has killed one of the Muslim scholars after unjustly detaining him for close to a quarter of a century, that is Dr. Omar Adel Rahman, the pious scholar, who always uttered the word of truth, which resonated out of his mouth, he did not fear anyone but Allah, and we present him to Allah. We ask Allah to accept him as a martyr, they killed him for America and its allies, who participated in killing him,” Rahman wrote.

Inspiration For al-Qaida

Abdel Rahman’s ideas inspired Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaida and ISIS. He acted as al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s “mentor.” Al-Zawahiri frequently attended Abdel Rahman’s lectures as a young man in Egypt.

Al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden handed out copies of Abdel Rahman’s will at a 1998 press conference.

The will demands vengeance after his death. “But, take revenge for me against them with the most extreme and violent revenge.”

Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri also passed out a fatwa from Abdel Rahman smuggled from prison authorizing attacks against the U.S. at the 1998 press conference.

“Cut all relations with [the Americans, Christians, and Jews], tear them to pieces, destroy their economies, burn their corporations, destroy their peace, sink their ships, shoot down their planes and kill them on air, sea, and land. And kill them wherever you may find them, ambush them, take them hostage, and destroy their observatories. Kill these infidels,” the fatwa said.

Al-Qaida responded to Abdel Rahman’s death by including the incendiary will in its latest newsletter Al-Nafir. Numerous jihadi social media sites followed suit, and the will accompanied a joint statement by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), both of which are openly loyal to al-Zawahiri.

The joint AQAP/AQIM statement calls on their followers to “viciously avenge the sheikh against his oppressors and wardens.”

Supporters Remember Abdel Rahman

1986Said Abbasy, a Muslim Brotherhood supporter living in New York, wrote on Facebook, “The passing of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in the prisons of America after 24 years of incarceration. Oh God take vengeance on those who wronged him.”

Muhammad Shoubir, a self-described Muslim Brotherhood supporter who lives in New York, called Abdel Rahman “our martyr sheikh” in a since deleted Facebook post.

1987“A martyr to the interests between Egypt and America,, (sic) A martyr to the injustice done to him during his trial and the concocting of an accusation against him,, No Egyptian defended him,, but they thrust upon him a guard and a translators (Egyptian) who spied on him, and misled him,, so that he was sentenced in 93 to imprisonment for life,, the man died after 24 years in prison … May God have mercy on our noble Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman,, He was wronged in your country, and elsewhere,,” Shoubir wrote.

Jihadis aligned with various undefined factions used similar rhetoric in their social media eulogies.

“Not with tears but with red blood. We will lament Imam Omar Abdel Rahman,” said handle @ Yubayatajrasi09, who lives in the Tampa area.

In an inflammatory Twitter post on Saturday, an individual identifying himself as Obamajahid pushed a baseless conspiracy theory to blame the Trump administration for Abdel Rahman’s death.

“Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman is among the first victims of the rule of the tyrant Trump where pressure was exerted upon him in his prison, and he was deprived of his medicine and his radio as was mentioned someone who contacted them last week,” Obamajahid wrote.

Another follower of Abdel Rahman’s, Yubayatajastri09, called for vengeance.

“Oh God, forgive us for our shortcomings with regard to him. And raise his degree and accept him among the number of martyrs. And take vengeance on the head of the viper America,” he wrote.

It’s hard to claim the Muslim Brotherhood opposes terrorism when it laments the death of the man who inspired an attack on New York City, plotted even greater bloodshed and inspired bin Laden and al-Zawahiri.

***

 

 

5 Points About New National Security Adviser Gen. McMaster

U.S. President Trump with NCA-appointee General H.R. McMaster (left) and US Ambassador to Israel-appointee David Friedman (R) (Photo: © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Trump with NCA-appointee General H.R. McMaster (left) and US Ambassador to Israel-appointee David Friedman (R) (Photo: © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Feb. 21, 2017:

President Trump has chosen General H.R. McMaster as the national security adviser and there’s plenty to be happy about. Below are five points to consider with his choice.

1. General McMaster is known for winning the most difficult of battles. As explained in this lengthy New Yorker article from 2006, he performed an amazing turnaround in the city of Tal Afar in Iraq. I remember when he arrived in 2005 and shocked observers by needing only about six months to change the situation by building strong relationships with Iraqis on the ground to kick the jihadists out and to quickly build up the local police force.

His warrior side will come in handy as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan bluntly refers to the situation as a “stalemate” requiring several thousand more troops for progress to happen.

2.He will never forget how Iran killed our servicemen and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  McMaster blasted the media for repeatedly referring to “alleged” Iranian support for militias and targets, saying it was “damn obvious to anybody who wants to look into it” that Iran’s proxy warfare against our troops was confirmed. He will never forget or forgive the Iranian regime for harming his brothers and sisters in the U.S. military.

3. He criticizes the ““almost narcissistic” U.S. expectations in Iraq and Afghanistan that don’t take into account the limitations of our abilities to shape those situations. Authorities on counter-insurgency like McMaster, Mattis and Petraeus are often criticized of pursing idealistic nation-building, but McMaster’s words reflect a realism about what can and cannot be achieved.

4. He wrote an acclaimed book about the Vietnam War, Deriliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. The title alone shows he is cynical towards the senior political class. If you are skeptical about President Trump, you can rest assured that McMaster will not be a puppet.

5. Jihad Watch just broke the story that McMaster said the “Islamic State is not Islamic” in a 2014 lecture. Comments like that by the Obama Administration were rightly criticized and so must his.

However, we should be fair to McMaster. Did he say it because he doesn’t believe we should focus on the radical Islamic ideology or, more optimistically, he does understand the ideology and was using the line to try to undermine ISIS’ legitimacy?

The record of McMaster points towards the former, as does the records of those he will be serving with. Defense Secretary General Mattis, for example, explicitly identifies political Islam as the enemy ideology that a strategy must be crafted around.

***

Jim Hanson defends H. R. McMaster’s counter-insurgency strategy (COIN) which is based on taking into account the political sensitivities on the ground in order to recruit Muslim allies: