UTT Throwback Thursday: Ground Zero Mosque Swindler Feisal Rauf

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Sept. 29, 2016:

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is an Islamic scholar who continues to pass himself off as a “moderate Muslim” yet he refuses to condemn the terrorist group Hamas, blames U.S. policies for 9/11, advocates for sharia in America, is a “key figure” inPerdana Global, the largest funder of the flotilla that tried to break the blockade of Gaza by Israeli defense forces, and works closely with jihadi organizations like the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and state sponsors of terrorism like Iran.

In his book, Islam: A Sacred Law, Rauf writes, “And since a Shari’ah is understood as the law with God at its center, it is not possible in principle to limit the Shari’ah to some aspects of human life and leave out others…The Shari’ah thus covers every field of law – public and private, national and international – together with enormous amounts of material that Westerners would not regard as law at all.”

Imam Rauf is also the founder and director of the Sharia Index Project whose mission is to create an “index” to measure the degree of Shariah governance in all nations.

raufAs a scholar, Imam Rauf understands that all sharia obliges the Islamic community to wage jihad until the entire world is under Islamic rule.

Imam Feisal Rauf is also the man who led the charge to build a mosque at the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York, which came to be known as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”

groundzero

Interestingly, Imam Rauf wrote a book about his true intentions of the Ground Zero Mosque.  Like all Islamic leaders he had one message for Americans – which appears to be friendly but is a lie – and one message for Muslims.

His book in English is titled “What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America” giving it a nice ring.

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His message to the Muslim community was very different.  The same book – for Muslims outside America -was titled “A Call Azan from WTC (World Trade Center) Rubble:  Islamic Daw’ah in the Heart of America Post 9/11.”  As UTT readers know, Daw’ah is the Call to Islam required under sharia before Muslims can legally wage jihad.

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Also of note is a page in this publication in which Imam Feisal Rauf thanks the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) for their help in publishing the book.  Both IIIT and ISNA are Muslim Brotherhood organizations and ISNA was identified by the U.S. government as being a funding channel for the designated terrorist organization Hamas.

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Imam Feisal Rauf also founded the Cordoba Initiative named for the center of the previous Islamic Caliphate in Spain, which was conquered by the Muslims for almost 800 years.  The Cordoba House, renamed Park 51, continues the subversive work of putting a nice mask over the totalitarian system of sharia.

Imam Rauf’s Sharia Index Project has a number of entities including Park 51 (formerly Cordoba), the American Society for Muslim Advancement (led by Rauf and his wife) which is the fiscal agent, SOHO Properties led by Sharif El-Gamal, and others.

The Park 51 spokesman, who also handles the social media for them is Oz Sultan, another sharia advocate who passes himself off as a “conservative Republican” Muslim.

OZ  SULTAN

OZ SULTAN

Imam Feisal Rauf, like Alamoudi, Awlaki, and so many other “moderate” Muslims turned out to be another suit-wearing jihadi advocating for the barbaric sharia.

Israel charges UN employee with aiding Hamas in Gaza

Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, an engineer with the UN's Development Program, accused of using his position to aid the Hamas terrorist organization on August 9, 2016. (Shin Bet)

Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, an engineer with the UN’s Development Program, accused of using his position to aid the Hamas terrorist organization on August 9, 2016. (Shin Bet)

The Times of Israel, by  August 9, 2016:

Israel on Tuesday accused a United Nations employee of taking advantage of his position to assist the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, the third such allegation in less than a week.

According to the Shin Bet security service, Wahid Abd Allah Borsh, 38, an engineer in the UN’s Development Program, both funneled resources to the terrorist group and kept Hamas out of trouble with the international organization.

In July, Shin Bet officers arrested Borsh, a resident of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, as he made his way into the coastal enclave through the Erez Crossing, the security service said.

During his interrogation, Borsh told investigators that in 2014, he was directed by Hamas to “focus on his work in the UNDP in a way that would allow Hamas to extract the greatest possible benefit from him,” the Shin Bet said.

“This investigation also demonstrates how Hamas exploits the resources of international aid organizations at the expense of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip,” the security service said.

The UNDP did not have an immediate response to the allegations, but said it planned to release a statement “within the hour.”

Hamas, meanwhile, denied the allegations in an official statement. The group’s spokesperson Sami Abu Zurhi called the accusations “false and baseless,” and said they were aimed at helping Israel strengthen its “siege” of Gaza.

If Israel persists in its policy of accusing aid organizations in Gaza, it would face “dangerous consequences,” Zurhi said.

The UNDP has operated in the West Bank and Gaza since the late 1970s. In recent years, its Gaza branch has focused on rebuilding the homes and businesses destroyed in the conflicts between Israel and Hamas.

In light of the allegations, the Foreign Ministry demanded the United Nations carry out an “immediate investigation of the incident in order to ensure that an organization that is supposed to work toward peace and calm is not supporting a murderous terrorist group,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in a statement.

“Along with that, we must increase the oversight of the moneys that flow to human rights organizations, which are repeatedly used to transfer money to terrorist groups,” she said.

In addition to directing material support to Hamas, Borsh allegedly helped the group keep its weapons and materiel after they were found in UN locations.

“For example, when weapons or terrorist tunnel openings were discovered in houses being handled by the UNDP, Hamas would take control of the site and confiscate the arms and other materials,” the Shin Bet said.

“This violates clear UN procedures according to which UNMAS is supposed to be immediately notified as the United Nations Mine Action Service is the UN body in charge of dealing, inter alia, with explosive remnants of war,” it said.

Through his work as an engineer, Borsh allegedly directed the UNDP to work on projects that would benefit Hamas.

Read more

Also see:

ISIS Joins with ‘Moderate’ Hamas for Terror in Sinai

Screen-Shot-2014-03-25-at-1.14.12-PM.sized-770x415xcPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, June 19, 2016:

Earlier this month I reported here at PJ Media on growing incidents of terrorism by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. I noted the arrest of an IED terror cell composed of Muslim Brotherhood members in Alexandria who had been attacking government and military targets since January.

Now, Egypt is facing escalating threats in the Sinai from the Brotherhood’s affiliate in Gaza — Hamas. Multiple reports in recent weeks place Islamic State (ISIS) figures with Hamas officials in Gaza, and claim Hamas is training ISIS troops with heavy anti-tank weaponry.

The Washington, D.C. foreign policy “smart set” continues to describe Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood as “moderate” jihadists who serve as a firewall between “violent extremist” groups like ISIS.

News reports placed ISIS-Sinai leaders in Gaza meeting with Hamas officials on June 2nd:

The Times of Israel reports:

Top Islamic State commander in Sinai Shadi al-Menii met with Hamas officials in Gaza Thursday in order to discuss cooperation between the two terrorist groups, according to a Channel 2 report.Al-Menii, who belongs to one of the Bedouin tribes in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, fled to the Gaza Strip in May of 2015 after his organization attacked a military base and killed an Egyptian soldier,Haaretz reported. A bounty worth one million Egyptian pounds was placed on his head.

According to Channel 2, al-Menii’s branch of IS in Sinai were to help Hamas operatives smuggle arms into the strip via tunnels in return for sophisticated weapons.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that heavy weapons training and the free flow of weapons between the groups was documented back to 2015:

Egypt shared intelligence with Israel last year about cooperation between Sinai Province and members of Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, according to a Western official. Israel was surprised to learn of the ties given previous clashes in Gaza between Hamas and Islamic State sympathizers, the official said.Israeli officials said they learned in April of 2015 that Hamas was allowing Sinai Province fighters to be treated in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital. The hospital declined to comment.

Later last year, Hamas operatives spent a month in the Sinai region teaching the militants how to fire antitank missiles, Israeli officials said. The officials declined to provide more details. Hamas subsequently received Russian-made antitank missiles via the smuggling network Sinai Province controls, an Israeli defense official said.

Some analysts were noting the cooperation between the two groups last year:

Israel military officials are taking the ISIS threat from Sinai seriously:

With the borders of Gaza locked down by both Israel and Hamas, the only way for ISIS fighters and officials to enter the area is through the Hamas-controlled smuggling tunnels:

Islamic State fighters have recently arrived in the Gaza Strip to train with their Hamas counterparts, a senior IDF official said in an Arabic interview published Friday.The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai told the Saudi news website Elaph that IS members entered the Gaza Strip from the Sinai Peninsula through smuggling tunnels maintained and controlled by Hamas.

The fighters entered the Hamas-controlled territory in coordination with Sa’id Abed al-A’al, a resident of the Gaza Strip city of Rafah connected to Hamas, he said.

Mordechai, the head of the Defense Ministry body responsible for the Israeli border crossings with the Gaza Strip and Civil Administration in the West Bank, said the military cooperation between the Islamic State and Hamas is unfolding with the full knowledge and consent of Hamas’s leaders.

Reports of Hamas fighters jointing up with ISIS have circulated all year.

Remarkably, a letter from one ISIS fighter in Sinai to ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi published on social media earlier this year — helpfully translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) — details the cooperation between the two groups:

“Allow me, Caliph of Muslims, to inform you of some aspects of the suspect ties between Sinai province and Hamas:”1. Sinai province is smuggling weapons for Hamas in Gaza, because of the province’s fighters’ expert knowledge of the [smuggling] routes from Libya, Sudan, and Egypt.

“2. Sinai province depends very much on Hamas and Al-Qassam for weapons and for explosives and ammunition. There are direct and continuous supply routes from Hamas to Sinai province. The Al-Qassam factories operate assembly lines for manufacturing explosive devices and bombs for the Sinai province, but do not stamp the Al-Qassam logo on them, as they usually do.

“3. Sinai province leaders are regularly visiting the Gaza Strip, and holding cordial meetings with Hamas and Al-Qassam leaders, even [Hamas] government [representatives]. Animals are slaughtered for them, feasts are held, and they are embraced in Gaza.

“4. Hamas and Al-Qassam are accepting all wounded Sinai province [fighters], and they are treated in Gaza Strip hospitals under Al-Qassam’s direct protection.

“5. Hamas is providing wireless communication hubs for Sinai province, because of the difficulty of operating them in Sinai and because they are vulnerable to swift destruction by the Egyptian army.

The ties between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and militants in the Sinai now operating as the official ISIS affiliate go back to the beginnings of the Arab Spring.

Sheikh Nabil Naeem — one of the founders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad who I interviewed exclusively at his office in Cairo for PJ Media — reported that jihadists in Sinai were funded by a deal with Khairat al-Shater (deputy supreme guide for the Muslim Brotherhood), Hamas, and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the previous incarnation of the ISIS Sinai affiliate.

Immediately prior to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi’s election as president, reports surfaced that Hamas ordered rocket attacks from Sinai by militants there targeting Israel at the request of the Muslim Brotherhood to bolster his election prospects.

Once elected, attacks in Sinai under the one-year Morsi administration subsided somewhat, particularly the targeting of the gas pipeline from Sinai to Israel and Jordan that came to a halt:

While the low level attacks continued in Sinai under Morsi, they spiked drastically after he was ousted from the presidency in July 2013, following mass protests demanding his resignation on the anniversary of his first year in power.The gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel and Jordan, has been attacked often since 2011. There were more than 17 attacks on the pipeline between February 2011 and June 2012 and between July 2013 and February 2014. Morsi’s time in office was the only period in which the gas pipe attacks halted.

As soon as Morsi was deposed by the military after massive protests against his administration, Egyptian authorities were killing and arresting large numbers of Hamas fighters operating in Sinai.

The mounting evidence about the direct cooperation between ISIS in Sinai and Hamas comes as Republican congressional leaders continue to obstruct companion bills — S. 2230 and H.R. 3892 — calling for the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, as many U.S. allies in the region, most notably Israel last November, already have.

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66% of Palestinians in Hamas-Controlled Gaza Believe Terrorism Serves the Palestinian Cause

children_1543287iThese numbers are symptoms of a larger issue at work in Palestinian culture: jihadist ideology promoted through corrupt leadership.

Counter Jihad, by Bruce Cornibe · | April 26, 2016

Amid months of heightened tension between Arabs and Israelis, Palestinian attitudes continue to show a propensity towards violence against Israelis. A recent poll by the JMCC (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center), sampling 1,000 random Palestinians ages 15-29, reveals that young Palestinians feel terrorism serves the Palestinian cause. The poll found a shocking 66% of youth in the Gaza Strip and 40% in the West Bank believe the recent terror attacks against Israelis furthers the Palestinian cause, while only 17% (Gaza Strip) and 23% (West Bank) say the attacks hinder the cause. This is an alarming statistic to say the least. Here are some other disturbing figures,

“More than 35% of respondents in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip predicted that the violence would develop into a fully-fledged uprising, the results showed.”

“Palestinian youth seem to be equally split over “military operations” against Israel: 43% in favor and against. Support among Palestinian youth for the two-state solution stands at 42%, according to the poll. Nearly 20% said they preferred a bi-national state.”

“An overwhelming majority of 67% of respondents believe that negotiations will not succeed in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In addition, the survey found, a majority of 63% of Palestinian youths oppose working with like-minded Israeli youths to find a solution to the conflict, while 27% supported the idea.”

These numbers are symptoms of a larger issue at work in Palestinian culture; jihadist ideology promoted through corrupt leadership. From Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian leaders continue to push propaganda and incite violence against Israelis, leaving their citizens misinformed and misguided. One example is the Hamas controlled Al-Aqsa TV which runs programs such as “Pioneers of Tomorrow,” that encourages the audience to “throw stones” at Jews, and in one episode the host applauds a young child for her wish to be a police office and “shoot Jews.” Palestinian social media is another outlet where this this kind of violence is transmitted (poll shows about 60% of youth depend on “Facebook and Twitter as a first source of news”). Late last year Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, talked about the prevalence of “How to Stab a Jew” tutorials on the internet, while Twitter users utilized the Arabic hashtag, “Slaughtering the Jews,” encouraging further stabbings.

Obama’s Dubious Mosque Choice

Mehmet Kaman / Anadolu Agency/AFP

Mehmet Kaman / Anadolu Agency/AFP

IPT News
February 2, 2016

1345Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) Wednesday, his first visit to a U.S. mosque since becoming president.

ISB leaders have amassed a record of support for radical Islamic causes over the years, including endorsing the Chechen jihad and Palestinian suicide bombings. Its former imam was active in a charity later linked to terror financing including Hamas, the Taliban, and for providing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to Osama bin Laden.

More recently, a resident scholar described homosexuality as a threat to societal health, in stark contrast to the president’s views on the issue.

It’s safe to assume the White House vetted the ISB and found it an acceptable venue for a presidential appearance despite this history. And that is not surprising. The Obama administration has repeatedly embraced contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, repeatedly meeting with its officials during and after the Arab Spring while ignoringsecular democracy advocates. It praised the early tenure of Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi when he briefly served as Egypt’s president. The administration also helped a Brotherhood delegation skip routine screening by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon landing in America.

And, as we reported in December, a White House meeting also aimed at standing by the Muslim-American community featured representatives of Islamist groups, including some with consistent records of opposing U.S. law enforcement counter-terrorism efforts.

ISB officials have worked closely with one of those groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In 2014, two ISB officials joined with CAIR in a news conference blasting Israeli military actions in Gaza. The conflict, known as Operation Protective Edge, started when Hamas operatives kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens and continued its incessant campaign of firing rockets with the hope of killing Israeli civilians.

Those rockets were fired from densely populated areas, including near schools andhouses of worship.

But Hamas’ murders and ongoing efforts to carry out more were never mentioned by the CAIR and ISB officials. Instead, they blamed Israel when raids aimed at rocket launchers and other Hamas targets inadvertently killed and injured civilians.

ISB President Muhammad Jameel recklessly invoked “genocide in the name of self-defense” and said that, “as an American I am ashamed to stand here.”

Abid Husain, the ISB’s general secretary, joined Jameel in calling for the U.S. to pressure Israel into opening Gaza’s borders, ending an embargo that was enacted to stop the flow of weapons and materials used to make them.

“The U.S. government must not remain silent about Israel’s indiscriminate assault and unjust use of force,” Husain said. “The right of a nation to defend itself does not extend to unrestrained aerial bombardments of civilian populations and must be condemned.

Far from genocide, which is the systematic elimination of a people, and from an indiscriminate attack, Israel campaign against Hamas “went to extraordinary lengths” to minimize civilian casualties, said Gen. Martin Dempsey, then-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Israel dropped leaflets and called residents of buildings targeted for bombing in hopes the residents would heed the warnings and seek safer locations.

After the conflict ended, Dempsey sent a team of senior officers to learn from Israeli military leaders to study the tactics in Gaza to minimize civilian casualties. “In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he said.

Another ISB official, resident scholar Yaseen Shaikh, sermonized against homosexuality as a mental disorder and “something which we despise.” The talk is dated May 2013, just weeks before he joined the ISB.

The Quran says “harm them” to those who engage in homosexuality, he said. “What does this mean? If it was not an aberrant act, if this was not a despised act, why would Allah … say, ‘Harm them’? Allah then says, ‘[Several Arabic words],’ ‘If they repent and they reform and they transform themselves and change, then let them be.”

As the Daily Caller reported, a past ISB imam worked with an Islamic charity latershuttered by the Treasury Department for supporting terrorists.

Mohamad Adam El Sheikh was a regional representative for the Islamic Africa Relief Agency (IARA) in Baltimore the same time that he was an ISB imam and director.

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An archived ISB action alert says that the “Islamic Society of Baltimore was recently visited by an IARA representative who brought the attached pictures of atrocities committed by Russians against the Muslims in Chechnya.”

Although links to several pictures from the Chechen jihad are still available on ISB’s archived web page, the actual pictures are no longer accessible.

“Despite all of this, by the grace of Allah, the Mujahidin in Chechnya have been able to defend themselves and remains a formidable threat to heavily armed Russian Army. However, it is also our responsibility as Muslims all over the world to help them in their Jihad effort,” the action alert added.

The action alert further solicited donations “to help the Refugees and Mujahidin in their struggle.”

In 2004, El-Sheikh justified Palestinian suicide bombings, saying they are acceptable when “certain Muslims are to be cornered where they cannot defend themselves, except through these kinds of means, and their local religious leaders issued fatwas to permit that.”

Another page on the ISB’s archived “Official English Site” links to a feature on the “Jihad in Chechnya” on the Azzam Publications website. Azzam publications was an al Qaida-tied website that was “one of the most well-known supporters of jihad, or holy war, on the internet.” The site is replete with material promoting jihad and martyrdom operations and includes a photo and link to a biography of Osama bin Laden’s mentor,Abdullah Azzam.

Just after 9/11, the ISB hosted speakers who would become prominent advocates of jihad, including American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone strike. Awlaki’s online sermons remain some of the most watched, most effective terrorist recruiting material online.

A page from ISB’s archived website links to the homepage of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi. Qaradawi has issued fatwas or religious rulings in support of terrorism and described suicide operations as “heroic martyrdom operations.” In a 2004 fatwa, Qaradawi called abducting and killing Americans in Iraq is “a [religious] duty.”

At a 1995 conference held by the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) in Toledo, Ohio, Qaradawi called for the “conquest” of Europe and America through Dawa, or proselytizing. “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Dawa,” he said.

The ISB’s leaders have had connections with radical Islamists and espoused extreme viewpoints throughout its history. Like a lot of mosques, it continues to segregate men and women during prayer, something American-Islamic Forum for DemocracyPresident Zuhdi Jasser called “gender apartheid.”

During an appearance on Fox News Monday, Jasser said he was insulted by the president’s choice of the ISB. It continues an administration policy of working with Islamist groups and ignoring Muslims like him who stand against theocracy.

“It’s disgraceful that this is one of the mosques – or the mosque – that he’s picked to be the first visit,” he said. ISB’s website looks like “a covert operation. There’s no name on it. It basically has pictures of individuals, but no names.”

For an event that is expected to focus on tolerance, diversity and inclusion, Obama made a puzzling choice in the ISB. Its leaders sympathize with terrorists, hate homosexuals and treat women as less than equal.

Report: Islamic State, Al-Qaida, Muslim Brotherhood Discuss ‘Mega-Merger’ in Libya

AFP

AFP

Breitbart, by AARON KLEIN AND ALI WAKED, Jan. 25, 2016:

TEL AVIV – The Libyan branches of the Islamic State, Al-Qaida, and the Muslim Brotherhood are in discussions to complete a “mega merger,” the London-based A Sharq al Awsat newspaper reported.

Leaked documents have revealed that Libya’s biggest Islamist organizations are considering an alliance and the establishment of a joint council of sages, the Arabic language daily reported.

The prospective move comes in the wake of reports of an imminent international effort to form a unity government that would bring Libya’s numerous parties and militias together.

The paper said the Muslim Brotherhood is considering a united Islamic front even though the movement is officially in favor of forming a unity government. However, sources within the movement told the paper that their support for the international endeavor is merely tactical, and they’re waiting for it to collapse.

Negotiations between the three Islamic groups began because of reports of a rapprochement between the internationally recognized government based in Tobruk and the unrecognized government in the capital Tripoli, the paper said.

The groups wish to send a message to the forces coalescing around a unity government that they are not opposed by IS alone, but “all the Islamist opposition elements speak in one voice and should be treated as such,” a source said.

According to the documents, Muslim Brotherhood leaders said that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s regime “isn’t supported by the Americans because of his close relations with Russia. They can’t wait to see him leave the scene.”

The parties agreed to form a joint Shura (advisory) council and territories that are currently under Islamic control will be divided between them, echoing a similar agreement that is already underway in Benghazi.

Al-Qaida’s representative was quoted as saying that the move would inspire Islamists in Algeria and Egypt to follow suit.

This follows Breitbart Jerusalem’s own exclusive reporting on mediation efforts between the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Hamas in Gaza and Salafists aligned with the Islamic State.

Breitbart Jerusalem previously reported that Shadi al-Menai, one of the leaders of Wilayat Sinai, the Islamic State branch in Sinai, visited Gaza in a bid to mediate between Hamas and local Salafi groups after clashes erupted, resulting in the arrests of dozens of jihadists by Hamas forces.

Earlier this month, a leading Salafi source revealed that Menai mediated a deal whereby Hamas would give the Gaza Salafi opposition groups more leeway in exchange for Wilayat Sinai’s help in bypassing the Egyptian army’s restrictions on smuggling rocket parts into Gaza

This is not the first report of Hamas-IS cooperation in arms smuggling.

A Middle East think tank charged last month that there is information Hamas has been paying off the Islamic State’s Sinai branch to smuggle weapons into Gaza. “Over the past two years, IS Sinai helped Hamas move weapons from Iran and Libya through the peninsula, taking a generous cut from each shipment,” stated a report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Despite the rapprochement between Hamas and IS-Sinai, tensions between the ruling faction and Salafi opposition groups in Gaza are rampant.

The Army of Islam, a Salafi group that aspires to become IS’s sole representative in Palestine, recently released an acerbic video in which it blames Hamas for straying from Sharia law and cooperating with anti-Islamic players, including Shi’ite Iran.

***

Also see:

ISIS’ Sinai Attacks Show Real Threat to Hamas

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, July 3, 2015:

The attacks on Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula by the Islamic State (ISIS) this week shows why its new vow to topple Hamas in the Gaza Strip should be taken seriously. Polls show that Palestinians have the highest level of sympathy for ISIS in the Arab world with the possible exception of Syria.

ISIS has killed at least 17 Egyptian security personnel (13 soldiers and 4 police officers) and injured 30 in coordinated attacks that reflect increasing sophistication.  The Egyptian military said 70 Islamist terrorists participated and five checkpoints were assaulted. ISIS claims it struck 15 sites all at once.

The Egyptian government immediately accused the Muslim Brotherhood of involvement as it has in the past. Egypt also claims Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, is secretly supporting ISIS operations in the Sinai Peninsula. It has even threatened to attack Hamas in Gaza in response.

The Egyptian claims are questionable because of the open animosity between the two groups and ISIS’ new video pledging to conquer the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli military confirmed the links after Wednesday’s attacks. It identified two senior Hamas officials who advise ISIS and covertly arrange for hospital visits in Gaza for its injured operatives.

The Brotherhood denies involvement and its website has a statementurging Egyptians to reject violence, but the group’s double-talk is well-documented. It is simply false that the Brotherhood is completely non-violent and Brotherhood media outlets explicitly call for violence like that perpetrated by ISIS this week.

However, there does appear to be a division within the Brotherhood.Youth leaders and elements outside the country are advocating violent jihad, while the older generation repeatedly reaffirms the group’s non-violent stance in Egypt. It’s possible this is all a calculated deception. It’s also possible the rift is real and a faction would be willing to support ISIS against a common enemy.

One Brotherhood official, Mohamed Gaber, said it “seeks to use all expertise inside and outside the Brotherhood to achieve its goals at this stage,” referring to toppling the Egyptian government.

The Egyptian government’s crackdown on the Brotherhood makes it tempting for Hamas to support ISIS operations in the Sinai. Hamas may prefer a situation where its southern border is a battlefield between ISIS and Egyptian forces instead of a base for either. Plus, the Brotherhood uses every death as proof that Egypt’s crackdown is counter-productive and should end.

There are three possibilities: Claims of Hamas/Brotherhood links to ISIS in Sinai are simply wrong; the two groups simultaneously collaborate and fight with each other depending on circumstances; or there are elements within Hamas/Brotherhood that work independently with ISIS against the wishes of the leadership.

Whatever the truth is, the attacks in the Sinai show the threat to Hamas should be taken seriously.

A November 2014 poll found that the Palestinians are the most sympathetic population to ISIS in the Arab world. Only 4% view ISIS positively but if you include those who view it somewhat positively, it grows to nearly one-quarter of the population. However, another poll found that only 3% of Palestinians view ISIS’ gains positively and 88% view it negatively.

ISIS could capitalize on widespread dissatisfaction with Hamas and the situation in Gaza. ISIS’ message that Gaza is in bad shape because Hamas is not sufficiently implementing Sharia could resonate with Islamists who are struggling to understand why Hamas’ rule has not been blessed by Allah. The video also slams Hamas for being too soft on Israel.

A poll released last month shows that 50% of the population in Gaza—and an astounding 80% of the youth—want to leave. About 63% favor continuing rocket attacks on Israel. Another poll found that almost 25% would not vote if elections were held today.

Should a full-blown war between Hamas and ISIS break out that makes Gaza look like Syria, the West mustn’t embrace Hamas as the better alternative. The minute differences between them should not be exaggerated out of a desire for a side to pick. They are the two manifestations of the same enemy.

Also see: