Calling for Violent Jihad in Australia

By Mark Durie, APRIL 11, 2018

There is not a Bible, Jewish or Christian, containing such incendiary commentary as populates page after page of ‘The Noble Qur’an’, which for four years has preached to the faithful in Canberra Airport’s prayer room. The ideology it promotes is violent jihad. It is a book to start a war.


The Saudis, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt recently cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed sanctions, accusing the Qataris of supporting terrorism. The Saudis have demanded that Qatar close Al-Jazeera and cut all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Islamic State. Qatar’s long-standing and well-known support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which aims to unify Muslim nations under an Islamic caliphate and has networks of supporters across the Middle East, is now perceived as a serious threat its neighbours.

This is the pot calling the kettle black, for Saudi Arabia itself has a long record of exporting Islamic radicalism. Among its most notable exports are millions of Korans in translation, which, through commentary (mainly in footnotes) and accompanying materials, incite Muslims to wage violent jihad to establish an Islamic state.

Among the Saudis’ exported Korans is an English-language edition, TheNoble Qur’an, which can be found in mosques, prayer rooms and meeting places around the world. Anyone who applies to the Saudi embassy in Canberra will be sent a copy gratis.

The Noble Qur’an can be found in the musallah or prayer room of Canberra’s airport. What is apparently the same edition, with “AIRPORT MUSALLAH” written in black marker pen on the page ends, has been sitting there for the past four years, ever since the new airport was built. The Noble Qur’an is also publicly available in other “multi-faith” spaces that have been springing up in institutions across Australia in recent years, in universities, hospitals and other public places.

Canberra airport’s Noble Qur’an was printed by the order of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who ruled from 2005 to 2015. It includes the Arabic text, and, side-by-side, the English translation by Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan. There is also an endorsement by Shaikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz, Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia from 1993 to 1999, and a foreword by Shaikh Salih ibn Abdul-Aziz al-Shaikh, the current Saudi Minister for Islamic Affairs. After the Koranic text there are a hundred pages or so of appendices, and under the text there are footnotes, which offer a commentary. There are also frequent interpolations in brackets to help clarify the meaning in translation.

Marked “not for sale”, vast numbers of The Noble Qur’an printed by the Saudis are exported around the world. The King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Medina has printed over one hundred million Korans in thirty-nine languages since it was established in 1985. The handsomely gilded Noble Qur’an is distributed as part of the Saudis’ global da’wa or effort to propagate Islam. It appears to target two kinds of readers.

First, The Noble Qur’an seeks to enlist Muslims in violent jihad against non-Muslims, to establish an Islamic caliphate. Second, it aims to engage with Christians. The longest essay in the appendices is an argument that Jesus was a prophet of Islam, and commentary throughout The Noble Qur’an—in the explanatory footnotes, the interpolations in brackets and the appendices—challenges and “corrects” Christian teachings.

Sometimes it is said that when people use verses from the Koran to justify violence, they have taken them out of context. This criticism cannot be applied to The Noble Qur’an, which follows a traditional Islamic method of interpreting the Koran in the light of Muhammad’s example and teachings, known as the Sunna. In keeping with this tradition, citations from the Sunnasupply the great bulk of the explanatory footnotes.

On non-Muslims
The footnotes in The Noble Qur’an are repeatedly derogatory of non-Muslims. 

For example, a note to Sura 10:19 (p. 272, fn1) quotes Muhammad to say that human beings are born Muslims, and are “converted” away from Islam by non-Muslim parents. For Jewish or Christian parents to raise their child in their own faith is like mutilating them:

Every child is born on al-Fitrah, but his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity … An animal gives birth to a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?

The Arabic phrase al-fitrah refers to the doctrine that the innate state of human beings is to be a Muslim.

The Arabic text of the Koran calls non-Muslims unclean (Sura 9:28), using a derogatory word (najas). The footnote to this verse explains about non-Muslims that:

Their impurity is spiritual and physical: spiritual because they don’t believe in Allah’s Oneness and in his Prophet Muhammad … and physical, because they lack personal hygiene (filthy as regards urine, stools and [menstrual] blood). [p. 248, fn 2]

Sura 3:85 states that “whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”. In the footnote commentary on this verse, The Noble Qur’an quotes Muhammad to explain that Christians and Jews who die disbelieving in Muhammad will end up in Hell:

there is none from amongst the Jews and Christians … who hears about me and then dies without believing in the Message with which I have been sent … but he will be from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire. [p. 84, fn 1]

Sura 4:47 warns Christians and Jews that they should believe in Muhammad, or else their faces will be taken away in hell, to which the translators add, in brackets, “by making them like the back of necks; without nose, mouth, eyes”. The footnote commentary explains further:

This Verse is a severe warning to the Jews and Christians, and an absolute obligation that they must believe in Allah’s Messenger Muhammad … and also in his Message of Islamic Monotheism and in this Qur’an. [p. 115, fn 2]

The Koran has verses which exhort tolerance of Christians and Jews. Yet The Noble Qur’an takes pains to emphasise that such verses have been cancelled by later verses, following the Islamic contextual principle of abrogation (naskh). Here are two examples:

First, Sura 2:62 states that a Christian or Jew who “believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”. This could be taken to imply that Christians and Jews will be accepted by God if they follow their faith properly. However, the commentary on this verse clarifies that:

This Verse (and Verse 5:69) … should not be misinterpreted by the reader … the provision of this Verse was abrogated by Verse 3:85 “And whosoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers” (i.e. after the coming of Prophet Muhammad … on the earth, no other religion except Islam, will be accepted from anyone). [p. 13, fn 2]

What this footnote is actually asserting is that Christians and Jews will go to Hell unless they accept Islam, because earlier verses which seemed to counsel tolerance have been superseded and cancelled by later verses.

Second, Sura 2:109 states that Muslims should “forgive and overlook” the Christians and Jews, “till Allah brings His Command”.Yet the footnote makes clear that “the provision of this verse has been abrogated” (p. 21, fn 1) by Sura 9:29. The later verse commands Muslims to fight (that is, kill) Christians and Jews unless or until they surrender to Muslims and pay tribute:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad …) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. [Sura 9:29, p. 248]

Here again, a more tolerant verse is claimed to have been abrogated by a later verse which commands violence against non-Muslims.

The meaning of jihad
Some Muslims have proposed that the basic meaning of jihad is peaceful struggle. In contrast, The Noble Qur’an defines jihad as waging war against non-Muslims to make Islam dominant in the world. This jihad is obligatory for all Muslims, and rejecting this obligation will lead to hellfire.
This interpretation is made clear in the glossary, where the entry for jihad is:

Holy fighting in the Cause of Allah or any other kind of effort to make Allah’s Word (i.e. Islam) superior. Jihad is regarded as one of the fundamentals of Islam. See the footnote of (V.2:190) [p. 873]

The footnote referred to is a comment on Sura 2:190, “And fight in the Way of Allahthose who fight you …” This footnote reads:

Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior, (His Word being La ilaha illallah which means none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and His Religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite. [p. 39, fn 1]

Here The Noble Qur’an is saying that the purpose of jihad is to make Muslims dominant over non-Muslims, and Islam dominant over other religions; Islamic warfare against non-Muslims is a kind of missionary enterprise to spread the faith, and any Muslim who does not fulfil this obligatory duty is a “hypocrite”.

What is bad about being a “hypocrite” is made clear by The Noble Qur’an on page 906 of the appendices: a hypocrite will end up in the lowest depths of Hell, the place of worst punishment. The Noble Qur’an is teaching here that any Muslim who does not engage in and support warfare to establish the dominance of Islam is destined to occupy the hottest place in Hell, worse even than that occupied by non-Muslims.

In its footnote on Sura 27:59, The Noble Qur’an quotes a tradition of Muhammad which refers to jihad (p. 512 fn 1). (Here again jihad is defined as “holy fighting”.) The footnote emphasises that fighting non-Muslims is the best possible pious deed for a Muslim, second only to becoming a Muslim.

The caliphate and universal war against non-Muslims
Sura 2:252 (p. 55, fn2, running on to p. 56) refers to Muhammad as a messenger of Allah. The footnote to this verse reports that Muhammad’s prophethood was distinguished by certain characteristics. Three of these are:

(i) Muhammad was victorious through fear or terror for a distance of one month’s journey: “Allah made me victorious by awe (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey.”
(ii) He was the first prophet from Allah given permission to take booty from his enemies: “The booty has been made Halal (lawful) to me yet it was not lawful to anyone else before me.”
(iii) Unlike previous prophets, he was sent to all mankind, not just to a specific group: “Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only, but I have been sent to all mankind.”

The implication of this third point is that everyone, everywhere is obligated to accept Muhammad as their prophet, and the first two points show that he was uniquely commissioned to wage war against disbelievers, by terrorising and looting them. Muhammad is considered to be the best example for Muslims to follow, including, it becomes clear, in these aspects of his prophetic career. The Noble Qur’an emphasises these aspects of Muhammad’s mission to activate them for jihad.

In its footnote on Sura 3:55 (p. 76, fn 1), The Noble Qur’an states that when Jesus returns he will impose Islamic law and break the cross (that is, destroy Christianity). At that time Jesus will do away with toleration of non-Muslims, so that “all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative”. In other words they will be compelled to convert by force if required.
This teaching about Jesus’s return is repeated in a commentary on Sura 8:39 (p. 236, fn 1), and a comment on Sura 61:6 (p. 761, fn 2), which states that this tradition is intended as “a severe warning to Christians who claim to be the followers of ’Isa (Jesus) …” In essence The Noble Qur’an tells its Christian readers that when he returns Jesus will compel them to embrace Islam, and all people on the earth will have to choose between Islam and death.

In its commentary on Sura 9:29 (p. 248, fn 2) The Noble Qur’an cites a tradition of Muhammad about the Jews, which states, “The Hour (i.e. the final hour) will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” So, at the end, creation itself will cry out for Jewish blood.

In an interpolation in Sura 8:73, The Noble Qur’an states that Muslims of the world must not ally themselves with non-Muslims, but join together “to make victorious Allah’s religion of Islamic monotheism” (p. 242). It is explained in commentary that if Muslims do not do this, there will be terrible disorder and tribulation in the world, with wars and battles and calamitous breakdown of civil society. This is because of the deleterious effects of non-Muslim rule. Moreover, it is also wrong to have “many Muslim rulers”, because Muslims should unite under one ruler, the caliph: “it is a legal obligation … that there shall not be more than one Khalifah for the whole Muslim world …” Furthermore, anyone who works to divide Muslims into different groups under different rulers should be killed, according to Muhammad, who is reported to have said, “When you all [Muslims] are united … and a man comes up to disintegrate you and separate you into different groups, then kill that man” (p. 242, fn 1). This can be taken to imply that anyone who upholds the division of Muslims into distinct nation-states, which is the international order today, stands under a death sentence.

The Noble Qur’an paints a supremacist vision of an ultimate Islamic victory over non-Muslim religions, in which all non-Muslims will be converted to Islam or killed. The text of Sura 3:110 reads:

You (true believers in Islamic monotheism …) are the best of people ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin al-Mahruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief, and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. [Sura 3:110]

The footnote commentary on this verse explains:

“You … are the best of people ever raised up for mankind” means, the best of the people for the people, as you bring them with chains on their necks till they embrace Islam (and thereby save them from the eternal punishment in the Hell-fire and make them enter paradise in the Hereafter) … The people referred to here may be the prisoners of war who were captured and chained by the Muslims and their imprisonment was the cause of their conversion to Islam. So, it is as if their chains were the means of winning Paradise. [p. 89, fn 1]

This footnote is a reference to a tradition of Muhammad which states that Allah is pleased to see people entering Paradise in chains. This justifies making war on non-Muslims, and forcing them into Islam through enslaving them; enslaving non-Muslims is a kindness to them, because it enables them to attain Paradise.

This interpretation of Sura 3:110 is based on Muhammad’s teaching. Could it have any application in today’s world, or is it just a dead letter?

The very same tradition was cited by the Islamic State in the October 2014 edition of its magazine Dabiq, which included an article titled “The Return of Slavery Before the Hour”:

[Muhammad] said, “Allah marvels at a people who enter Jannah in chains.” The hadith commentators mentioned that this refers to people entering Islam as slaves and then entering Jannah [Paradise]. Abu Hurayrah … said while commenting on Allah’s words, “You are the best nation produced for mankind” … “You are the best people for people. You bring them with chains around their necks, until they enter Islam.”

The same sentiment was also expressed by a Dutch Islamic State fighter, Israfil Yilmaz, who blogged about the correct Islamic motivation for sex slavery:

People [who] think that having a concubine for sexual pleasure only have a very simple mindset about this matter … The biggest and best thing of having concubines is introducing them to Islam in an Islamic environment—showing them and teaching them the religion. Many of the concubines/slaves of the Companions of the Prophet … became Muslim and some even big commanders and leaders in Islamic history and this is if you ask me the true essence of having slaves/concubines.

The translators who crafted the commentary in The Noble Qur’an, and the Saudi leaders who endorsed the text, no doubt desired that readers would take to heart the teachings they had laboured hard to present. The evidence is that many have done so. The investment by the Saudis of billions of dollars to spread the kinds of ideas found in The Noble Qur’an has not been in vain, and the Islamic State provides the proof.

Evidence for their success is found in Israfil Yilmaz’s justification for sex-slavery. This not only aligns with official ISIS propaganda: it also is fully in line with the teachings of The Noble Qur’an. Another sign of the influence of The Noble Qur’an’s ideas has been the river of thousands of ISIS recruits flowing from Western nations to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq.

What does all this mean?
Ahmed Farouk Musa, a graduate of Monash University medical school in Melbourne, told a forum on Muslim extremism in Kuala Lumpur on December 7, 2014, that The Noble Qur’an incites violence against Christians and other non-Muslims: “I believe that propaganda such as the Hilali-Khan translation and other materials coming out of Saudi Arabia are one of the major root causes that feed extremist ideas among Muslims, violence against Christians and other minorities.”

There is not a Bible in print, anywhere in the world, Jewish or Christian, which contains such incendiary commentary as is found on page after page of The Noble Qur’an. This is a book with which to start a war. The ideology it promotes is primed to light the fuse of violent jihad.

Given its contents, it might seem surprising that a copy of The Noble Qur’an has been sitting in the Canberra airport prayer room for the past four years. The theological characteristics of this edition of the Koran are not a secret. Yet it seems no Muslim who used the musallah has objected, or if they did, the Canberra airport authorities paid no attention. Canberra’s politicians and their many advisers also regularly pass along the corridor where the musallah is located, but none of them seems to have thought to check what version of the Koran was being used in their airport’s prayer room.
Earlier this year the Public Health Association of Australia asked the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to reject the “notion” that there is any inherent link between Islam and terrorism. It seems that Public Health Association of Australia officials have also not visited the Canberra airport musallah to read its Koran.

There has been much discussion and sometimes puzzlement about how young Muslim men have become radicalised enough to fight for ISIS. Reading and believing the messages implanted in The Noble Qur’an in the Canberra airport prayer room would be sufficient to convert some people to the key points of the ideology of ISIS.

The message of The Noble Qur’an is no marginal phenomenon. It is not an opinion from the extremities of the Islamic world, but from its heartland, presented as a gilt-edged free gift from the Saudi king, the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques. The political theology of The Noble Qur’an aligns with the official dogma of Saudi Arabia, and it has been endorsed by the Saudi king and the nation’s chief justice, the Grand Mufti.

It is necessary to grasp the authenticity of The Noble Qur’an and its message to the world. Those behind The Noble Qur’an manifestly believe that justice will be served only when Muslims rule the world, and that warfare necessary to achieve this goal is not only justified: it is a divinely instituted, inescapable obligation incumbent on every Muslim, because Muhammad and his Koran are, as Sura 21:107 puts it, “a mercy to the worlds”.

One sometimes hears the view that it is not up to non-Muslims to express opinions about Islam or its canonical texts, such as the Koran. But The Noble Qur’an’s running commentary on the text, because it has so much to say about non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, therefore gives non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, every right to form their own opinions about it. If a book talks about you, you have a right to make up your own mind about what it has to say.

In 2002 Christopher Hitchens fielded a question from Tony Jones on ABC’s Lateline as to why young, mostly well-educated men committed the 9/11 atrocity. Hitchens’s answer was, “Well, it could be they believe their own propaganda.” We have to assume that those responsible for The Noble Qur’an believe their own propaganda too, and that some who have read it have been influenced to believe it too.

What should Australians make of the fact that the Saudis have been presenting an open and unashamed apology for violent jihad, even commending the practice of enslaving enemies, in our own backyard for years, not to show Islam in a poor light, but to glorify it?
The fact that The Noble Qur’an is in the Canberra airport musallah is no accident. This edition of the Koran and the teachings it promotes can be found in Islamic bookshops, public libraries, prayer rooms and Sunni mosques all over the English-speaking world.

The British historian Tom Holland recently produced a documentary on ISIS called The Origins of Violence. A scathing review by the English journalist Peter Oborne was published in the Middle East Eye. Oborne excoriated Holland for suggesting that the problem with ISIS lies with Islam. Oborne found it repugnant to suggest that there is anything about Islam that might be considered a “threat”, and he railed against Holland’s suggestion that there could be anything in the example and teaching of Muhammad (whom Oborne respectfully calls “The Prophet”) which could have guided the actions of the Islamic State.

Such ignorance is the fruit of religious illiteracy. Or might fear be the issue? Has Muhammad, praised in the pages of the Koran for being “victorious by awe”, now extended his reign of fear, not just for the distance of one month’s journey as Muhammad declared he had achieved in seventh-century Arabia, but across fourteen centuries to Australia and the rest of the world?

Of course many Australian Muslims would, like Ahmed Farouk Musa, find the messages promoted through the footnotes and glosses of The Noble Qur’anutterly repugnant. It is disappointing that these well-meaning Muslims have not been able to determine which version of their own scriptures is to be placed in a public prayer room designated for their use. They could have lobbied Canberra airport to have this version of the Koran replaced by another, but if they have done so, their attempts must have failed.

The message contained in The Noble Qur’an and its widespread public distribution are matters Australians have every right to be concerned about. Its message has been promoted in public for years with hardly a whisper of objection coming from those who should know better.

It would be inappropriate, and indeed irrelevant if our leaders were to respond to the message of The Noble Qur’an with statements like “True Islam does not promote terrorism” or “No true religion supports violence”. For Australian officials to dare to instruct the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia or the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques on what is true Islam would be ludicrous and offensive. But the leaders of our nation, against whose non-Muslim citizens The Noble Qur’an incites such undisguised enmity, have every right to say, “Not in our backyard!”

Dr. Mark Durie is an academic, human rights activist, Anglican pastor, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Adjunct Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.

This article was first published by the Quadrant in November 2017. 

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Also see:

Terrorist Plan to Blow Up Airplane With Explosive Barbie Doll Foiled

Etihad Airways airplane / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Conor Beck, Aug. 22, 2017:

Authorities foiled a plan by Lebanese terrorists to blow up a commercial airliner by smuggling explosives in a large Barbie doll and a meat grinder.

Lebanese Interior Minister Nohan Machnouk said the terrorist plot would “probably” have been successful if the luggage had not exceeded the weight limit, Israel Hayom reported.

Machnouk told reporters at a press conference Monday that a suicide bomber intended to blow up a passenger plane belonging to Etihad, the United Arab Emirate’s national airline carrier. The plane was scheduled to fly from Sydney, Australia to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The UAE is among the Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states that are opposed to the Islamic State.  Australia is a strong U.S. ally that has experienced a growing threat from violent jihadist extremism in recent years.

The Lebanese official said Lebanon and Australian intelligence agencies worked together to foil an ISIS plot to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack.

The suspect’s arrest led authorities to three other Lebanese nationals who helped plan the attack. The cell members were recruited by a Muslim cleric who lives in Australia and has ties to ISIS, according to Lebanese media.

Australia terror suspect ‘planted plane bomb on brother’

Australian police have stepped up their presence at the nation’s airports GETTY IMAGES

BBC, Aug. 4, 2017:

A terror suspect in Australia tried to smuggle a bomb on to a plane by planting it on his unsuspecting brother, say Australian police.

The plan was one of two alleged terror plots recently uncovered by authorities, who made several arrests across Sydney on Saturday.

The suspects were allegedly aided by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The other plot involved building and setting off a device that could release toxic gas in a public enclosed space.

Police said the plans had been “completely disrupted”.

What is claimed about the ‘bomb plot’?

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said this was “one of the most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil”.

He said two suspects had built and concealed a “high-end” military-grade explosive in a piece of luggage.

The plan was for the brother of one of the suspects to take the luggage with him onboard an Etihad Airways plane leaving Sydney airport on 15 July. The brother was not aware of the bomb, said police.

But for some reason the plan was aborted at the last minute, and although the piece of luggage was taken to the airport, it was not checked in. The brother then boarded the flight – whose destination has not been specified – without the luggage.

“There is a bit of conjecture [about] why it did not get through the baggage check-in, but I want to make it quite clear – it never got near [security] screening,” he said.

Police say the suspects had assembled the bomb using parts that were sent in one package from Turkey via air cargo, which was arranged by a senior IS figure.

One of the suspects had been in contact with that figure since April.

What was the alleged gas plan?

Police said that when the bomb plot failed, the two suspects started on a second plot which involved creating an improvised chemical device designed to release hydrogen sulphide, or “rotten egg gas”.

However, Mr Phelan said the plan was not close to fruition when police intervened on Saturday.

He said police had recovered components and chemicals.

Mr Phelan did not name a possible target for the device.

Who has been charged?

The two suspects – Khaled Khayat, 49, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32 – appeared via video link in a Sydney court on Friday charged with “preparing for, or planning, a terrorist attack”.

The pair did not apply for bail during the brief hearing, which was adjourned until 14 November.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The men were arrested along with two others on Saturday when police raided properties in the Sydney suburbs of Lakemba, Punchbowl, Surry Hills, Wiley Park and Bankstown.

One man was released without charge on Tuesday. The fourth man remains in police custody, where he can be held without charge until Saturday.


Evolving danger

Hywel Griffith, BBC News, Sydney

Australia has been touched by the threat of terror several times – most often by so-called home-grown or lone wolf dangers.

What makes the latest alleged plots different is that they are believed to have been co-ordinated abroad, with an IS controller giving instructions over the course of three months.

Police have repeatedly stressed how sophisticated they believe these plans had become, alleging that IS successfully managed to send military-grade explosives into Australia.

That creates a very different dynamic for the intelligence services, who will need to assess whether they can realistically intercept items being flown into the country.

While the security forces have been widely praised for their work in disrupting this alleged plot, they will be keenly aware of how the terror threat is continuing to evolve.


What is Australia’s threat level?

The nation’s official terror warning level remains at “probable” – the third level on a scale of five.

“This is the 13th time, because of the excellence of our law enforcement agencies, that we have been able to stop a terrorist attack from occurring on Australian soil in the past three years,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said on Friday.

o date, there have been no mass casualty terror attacks on Australian soil.

Last year, Australian police said they foiled a major terror attack planned for high-profile locations in Melbourne on Christmas Day.

And Now Jihad in Australia…

 

Jihadist Yacqub Khayre, KIA by Australian police

Terror Trends  Bulletin, by Christopher  Holton, June 5, 2017:

We can now add Melbourne, Australia to the long list of Western cities victimized by jihad during the Muslim “holy” month of Ramadan.

Late yesterday afternoon, Yacqub Khayre, 29, an Australian citizen of Somali descent–who came to Australia as a child refugee at the age of 4–killed one innocent victim and took another hostage before being killed by police in a shootout and siege that lasted some 2 hours.

Khayre killed a Chinese-Australian man in the lobby of an apartment building in the affluent  Brighton area of Melbourne. He then took a woman hostage in the building. Within two hours he was shot dead by police after opening fire on them.

Initial reports of the incident indicated that it was not “terrorist-related,” however those reports turned out to be inaccurate.

It turns out that Khayre called a local television station during the stand-off stating, “This is for the Islamic State, this is for Al-Qaeda.”

Subsequently, the Islamic State media arm, Amaq, claimed credit for the attack, stating,””The executor of the Melbourne attack in Australia is a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried out the attack in response to appeals to target citizens of coalition states.”

Once again, it turns out that Yacqub Khayre was known to authorities, had a long history of violence, had previously been charged with a terror offense but acquitted and was known to have connections in the past, with “violent extremists,” (which is of course a misnomer for Jihadists)

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Also see:

Australia: Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” stabs British woman, authorities search for motive

British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung was 'living her dream' on a gap year in Australia when she was stabbed to death by a French man believed to be staying at the same hostel (image from Daily Mail)

British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung was ‘living her dream’ on a gap year in Australia when she was stabbed to death by a French man believed to be staying at the same hostel (image from Daily Mail)

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Aug. 24 2016:

“Mr Gollschewski moved to reassure the community he appeared to be acting alone.”

No, he wasn’t. Even if he was alone in this attack, he is part of the global jihad force. But since authorities refuse to believe that there is such a thing, they delude themselves with minutiae. He was acting alone. He wasn’t part of a group. As if there were no other Muslims like him.

“The investigation is still in its early stages, however, initial inquiries indicate that comments which may be construed as of an extremist nature were made by the alleged offender. It is alleged the suspect used the phrase, ‘Allahu akbar’ during the attack and when arrested by police. While this information will be factored in we are not ruling out any motivations at this stage, whether they be political or criminal.”

Yes, his motive is entirely unclear. As long as authorities continue to treat these jihad attacks as separate criminal acts with no necessary relationship to one another, instead of as incidents in a long war, we will continue to lose.

Note also that the reason why the attacker stabbed his victim was not because the attacker was a “French national,” as he is identified here, but because he was a Muslim, which is never mentioned in this story. The media establishment remains resolutely determined never to mention the motivating ideology behind attacks like this one.

“Young British backpacker dead after hostel stabbing in Home Hill, Queensland,” News.com.au, August 24, 2016:

A 21-YEAR-OLD British backpacker has died after allegedly being stabbed by a French national yelling “Allahu akbar” at a north Queensland hostel.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating if the fatal stabbing of the young woman was terror-related.

The 29-year-old French national — who had been in the country since March — was heard to yell “Allahu akbar” before fatally attacking the woman and critically injuring a 30-year-old British male backpacker.

Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said he yelled it again when police arrested him at the Shelley’s Backpackers hostel in Home Hill, south of Townsville, where the attack occurred about 11.15pm on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old woman died at the scene, while the man was rushed to Townsville Hospital, where he continues to fight for his life.

A man in his 40s also suffered non life-threatening injuries.

A dog was also stabbed to death.

Mr Gollschewski said the French man remained in police custody but was yet to be charged.

The alleged knifeman has been treated in Townsville Hospital for cuts to his arm.

He remains there under police guard but is yet to be interviewed by detectives.

Mr Gollschewski moved to reassure the community he appeared to be acting alone.

“The investigation is still in its early stages, however, initial inquiries indicate that comments which may be construed as of an extremist nature were made by the alleged offender,” he said.

“It is alleged the suspect used the phrase, ‘Allahu akbar’ during the attack and when arrested by police.

“While this information will be factored in we are not ruling out any motivations at this stage, whether they be political or criminal.”…

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Also see:

US/UK/Aussie ISIS Threat Stream Update

isis study group banner 2May 13, 2015 /

In an update to our article “ISIS Plots to Bring the ‘Flames of War’ to US, UK and Australia,” it has emerged that several tweets have been made that suggests plans are being made to launch an attack in London with specific mention being made to the Covent Garden-area. An individual on Twitter identified as “Abu Abdullah Britoni” has made tweets showing what appears to be a suicide belt that he intends to use in a “martyr operation.” He’s specifically mentioned Paddington Station, Tower Bridge – even blowing himself up inside of a police station.

ISIS SUPPORTERS THREATEN A #LONDONATTACK
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/12/isis-supporters-threaten-a-londonattack/

ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” to US, UK and Australia
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6431#comment-113526

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.19.23 PM

One of Britoni’s posts on possible targets
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.19.48 PM

Talking about conducting suicide operations
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Britoni has also been in contact with UK-national Junaid Hussein and posted about the Garland, Texas shooting a few hours before it occurred. This was uncovered by a hacker known as “The Jester:”

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.31.14 PM

Source: The ISIS Study Group

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Source: The ISIS Study Group

An individual identified as “J Muslim” has made similar posts about conducting suicide operations. Other posts have been made by a guy calling himself “Abu Aiman al-Kinyi.” This individual has posted pics of several assault rifles in the back of a car with the words “We are coming” along with #Londonattack.

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Abu Aiman al-Kinyi: “We are coming”
Source: The ISIS Study Group

As we’ve stated on 09 MAY 15, the next attempt by the Islamic State (IS) to launch an attack against the west will likely be attempted within a 3-4 day window. 12 MAY marks the third day of this window. That said, we suspect this influx of posts flooding social media are being done deliberately to saturate the media with hoax threats. We assess this is being done to overwhelm western security forces and distract them from the real target(s), whatever they may be. After the disruption of the ANZAC Day plot Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi” and his associate Hussein had passed guidance to their contacts in Australia, the UK and US to exercise better OPSEC in subsequent operations – which makes it highly unlikely that the individuals they’ve inspired and/or tasked with carrying out these attacks would “warn” anybody. They would just do it. Both Cambodi and Hussein have been putting out similar hoax threats in recent days that mirror a previous disinformation campaign that was executed back in JAN 15 about a threat targeting US airliners. In fact, the recent bomb threats made against Etihad Flight #EY650 and the Airliner bomb threats in Turkey were put out at Cambodi’s direction. The problem is that the painfully complacent European security forces and the American Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are having trouble separating the legitimate threats from the “white noise.” But remember, this is only the opening act – things are going to get worse starting in JUN. Much worse.

Twitter threats to planes require delicate decisions
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/01/27/twitter-threats-to-flights/22395967/

ALERT Etihad Flight #EY650 from Cairo to AbuDhabi Diverted After ‘Bomb Threat’
http://www.airlive.net/2015/05/alert-etihad-flight-ey650-from-cairo-to.html

http://national.bgnnews.com/2nd-bomb-scare-in-a-day-as-turkish-airlines-flight-to-spain-returns-haberi/5851

Other Related Articles:

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6339

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5388

al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2523

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Also see:

 

ISIS Plots to Bring the “Flames of War” the US, UK and Australia

S-Flames-of-War-Propaganda-Video-02May 9, 2015 / ISIS Study Group /

Well, we’ve come full-circle. On 08 MAR 15 we came out with an article on the Islamic State (IS) establishing a foreign fighter unit known as the “Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion” that consists of English-speakers (“The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West”). We also discussed how that unit was tasked with getting the personnel within the ranks enough experience to be sent back to their countries of origin within the next 4-5 months. The specific countries our sources said that would be most at risk were the US, UK and Australia. The Successful attack in Kabul, Afghanistan and failed ANZAC Day plot in Melbourne, Australia (check out “Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot” for more details) were merely the opening shots for bringing the “Flames of War” to the west. Recently, a cell attacked a Muhammad Cartoon contest being hosted by Pam Gellar in Garland, Texas. IS claimed responsibility for the attack. We assess that none of this is a “coincidence,” and that these attack plots are part of a much larger campaign to take the fight to the west. Furthermore, we suspect that IS-linked cells will attempt to execute attacks in the US within the next 3-4 days with additional attacks being launched in the UK and Australia – yes, we’ve been saying that for a few months now that we would be seeing this around this time of year. More importantly, we’re seeing American and Aussie foreign fighters synching up their OPs for a coordinated effort – the largest projection of IS terror on the international stage.

The Increasing Role of Aussie Jihadists in ISIS Efforts to Expand into Southeast Asia and Strike the West
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5388

Dropping the Hammer: Aussie Police Thwart ANZAC Day Attack Plot
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=6339

FBI Alerted Garland Police About Elton Simpson Hours Before Shooting
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-says-it-alerted-garland-police-about-elton-simpson-n355526

Junaid Hussein Source: Central News

Junaid Hussein
Source: Central News

The US Department of Defense has announced that military installations are on “alert” for potential attacks while the professionally-bankrupt US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that there isn’t a “specific threat” made to any particular installation. DHS’ statement isn’t completely accurate according to our sources. The individual coordinating the US OPs is Syria-based UK national Junaid Hussein, and he’s reported to have been researching US military installations in Colorado and Ohio, so despite what DHS is saying IS appears to be focusing on a base in one of those two states. Hussein first appeared on the US government’s radar when it was revealed that he was responsible for establishing IS’ cyber-warfare capability. Although most people know him as the leader of the “Cyber Caliphate,” he’s also a prominent recruiter who assisted Australian foreign fighter Neil Prakash aka “Abu Khalid al-Cambodi” in the establishment of the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion. Hussein has previously run afoul of the British government and previously jailed in 2012.

ISIS activity prompts threat level increase at bases
http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/08/politics/isis-activity-prompts-threat-level-increase-at-bases/

Junaid Hussain: CyberCaliphate Leader And ISIS Member Was Behind CENTCOM Hack, Report Says
http://www.ibtimes.com/junaid-hussain-cybercaliphate-leader-isis-member-was-behind-centcom-hack-report-says-1782870

Hacker who stole Tony Blair’s details and bombarded anti-terror hotline with prank calls is jailed and claims his crime was no worse than those committed by Bullingdon members

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2179969/Hacker-stole-Tony-Blair-s-details-bombarded-anti-terror-hotline-prank-calls-jailed-claims-crime-worse-committed-Bullingdon-members.html

cambodi

Cambodia
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Additionally, Hussein has been passing down guidance to cells operating in western countries on target selection and giving them advice on proper OPSEC procedures. Much of this is being done on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. We find it rather amusing that DHS and the American mainstream media is just now starting to notice how heavily saturated our nation is with IS propaganda. We wrote about this in our article titled, “al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists” that was posted on 25 OCT 15. These cells are domestic in nature in that none of the personnel have traveled to Syria. However, these cells and lone wolves are only the first phase of this campaign as the Syria returnees are expected to start returning to their home countries by the end of the month. In fact, we’ve been hearing that some may have already started to trickle in. This presents a big problem in that these personnel returned with the knowledge and connections to set up their own networks and attack cells – and they will be traveling with western passports that won’t draw as much attention as someone with a Saudi or Pakistani passport.

al-Hayat Media Center Continues to Saturate North America With its Social Media Outreach to Jihadists
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2523

The current attack plans appear to be a combination of IED attacks and shootings like what we saw in Garland or even the scenario we discussed last summer in “ISIS: Target America.” We suspect that they may opt to go with the pressure cooker IED design like the one used in the Boston Bombing. IS also took note of the response to he attack by local law enforcement and armed civilians and aren’t likely to make the same mistake. Instead, they appear to be looking at hitting soft targets in American cities in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles in addition to targeting military installations in Colorado and Ohio. Regarding the targeting of military installations on American soil, we assess that individual service members will also be targeted. Hussein and associate Riyad Khan were the guys who released the addresses, identities and photographs of 100 US military personnel in late-MAR that we covered in “Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information.” This is yet another example of the coordination that’s taking place between Cambodia and Hussein. If you recall, the ANZAC Day plot called for the targeting of an individual police officer in the same manner as the murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby. That is not a coincidence. Hussein and Cambodia are working together.

Australian listed in Isis guidebook as go-to man for recruits
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/07/australian-listed-in-isis-guidebook-as-go-to-man-for-recruits

ISIS: Target America
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1196

Target America: Hunting the US Military
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2061

Islamic State Urging Attacks on US Military at Home Publishes Personal Information
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5729

hack

Some of the identities exposed by Hussein and Khan
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Another example of the Hussein-Cambodi campaign can be seen through a militant we’ve identified as Shawn Parson, a Trinidian IS member who has maintained regular contact with Cambodi over the past few months. He’s been making several posts about “plotting revenge” for the arrest of IS sympathizer Keonna Thomas and has shown a preference for targeting US government officials. The threats were made through his Twitter account (@Amriki_Irhabi) but it was taken down. The threats he’s been making appear to be connected to the ongoing threat stream as he had made specific references to US Air Force installations located in Colorado prior to his first account being taken down. When one of our staff came across him through their network analysis, we came across posts that implied that he had prior knowledge of the shootings. We suspect he was privy to this information through his relationship with Cambodi. In fact there’s unconfirmed reporting that Parson was in a photograph with Cambodi that was published in issue 8 of Dabiq Magazine. We hope somebody with some common sense in DHS has already put two and two together – but we’re not holding our breath.

Philadelphia Woman Joins ISIS: How Keonna Thomas’ Alleged Plans To Connect With The Islamic State Group Unraveled
http://www.ibtimes.com/philadelphia-woman-joins-isis-how-keonna-thomas-alleged-plans-connect-islamic-state-1869434

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Parson’s new Twitter account @Irhabi_IS_187 (Note that he’s also following the UK’s Pied Piper of Jihad Anjem Choudray – which can be seen on the bottom right part of this screen shot)
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Shortly after setting up the new account more threats began to be posted. He’s quite the charmer, isn’t he?
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.03.26 AM

The guy on the right is allegedly Parson – we’re still working to confirm/deny
Source: Dabiq Magazine issue 8

Meanwhile in Australia, the Australian security forces continue to drop the hammer on IS cells in the country with another series of raids targeting safe-houses in Melbourne and Sydney. The following individuals were paid a visit by the Australian Federal Police (AFP):

Melbourne:
Muhammad Hasan Kollab – The AFP confiscated material that was being used to produce IEDs.
Yassir Ali Bakhit

Sydney:
Ahmed Hussein (no relation to Junaid Hussein)
Isaac Majoub – This individual has been under investigation since November 14 and is described as a “young kid” between 15-17 yrs of age.

These individuals were planning to conduct attacks the Mother’s Day weekend. We have identified the Sydney Opera House as one of the primary targets for this series of attacks. Although the media reports are saying that its uncertain if this is connected to the failed ANZAC Day pot, we can assure you it is. Furthermore, All four individuals were in direct contact with Cambodi, who – along with close associate Muhammad Junaid Thorne – were overseeing that particular operation. We suspect that Thorne was also involved with the Mother’s Day plot. According to our sources in the country, this operation was within hours of being put into the execution phase. Our Aussie allies have once again demonstrated that they’re not professionally bankrupt like their American counterparts at DHS and ensured the safety of the civilian population. The Australian threat appears to have been blunted, for now. However, a key aspect of this strategy is to overwhelm western security forces to where something “falls through the cracks.” In fact With multiple threat streams spanning across multiple countries we see the scenario we discussed in the first installment of our Target America series on an international scale. The month of MAY is only the start with Syria returnees affiliated with the Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion beginning to redeploy back to their home countries. More will begin returning in JUN, at which time we can expect to see some of these personnel embedding themselves with the local cells comprised of individuals who didn’t go to Syria themselves. Hussein and Cambodi have been the main points of contact for linking these cells up with Syria vets. The Australian government “gets it,” but the US and British governments are still plagued with political correctness. In the case of the US, incompetence is another major factor that got us to the current situation. We assess that DHS will continue their reactionary posture which increases the likelihood of another IS attack. Not bad for the “JV Team,” huh?

Melbourne anti-terrorism raids: Police uncover explosive devices at Greenvale house in city’s north
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/victorian-police-uncover-explosives-during-anti-terrorism-raids/6456092

Police conduct anti-terror raid in Melbourne suburb
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-32641549

‘Closest call yet’: Police say tip-off sparked Melbourne raids which found alleged improvised explosive devices
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/05/08/15/11/police-conduct-raids-in-melbourne-s-northern-suburbs