The Muslim Brotherhood: Wellspring of Terrorism

Gatestone Institute, by Judith Bergman, February 15, 2017:

  • The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt released an official statement calling on its supporters to “prepare” for “jihad”, in January 2015.
  • “The Muslim Brotherhood at all levels have repeatedly defended Hamas attacks… including the use of suicide bombers and the killing of civilians.” — UK government expert review of the Muslim Brotherhood, December 2015.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood not only funds one of the most virulent terrorist groups, Hamas, but there is barely any daylight between the various leaderships of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and Hamas.
  • Most of the terrorists who later founded al Qaeda were rooted in the MB. Osama bin Laden was apparently recruited as a young man to the MB, whereas Ayman al Zawahiri joined the MB at the age of 14 and went on to found the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ),”an organization that…. holds many of the same beliefs as the MB but simply refuses to renounce violence inside Egypt” — Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood believes today what it has always believed: that a caliphate, where sharia law will rule, must be established through jihad. Refusing to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization would be a grave mistake, playing straight into the strategy of the Brotherhood and, once more, revealing to the world the extreme gullibility of the West.

The Trump administration is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a foreign terrorist organization, and Human Rights Watch is outraged.

“Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a ‘foreign terrorist organization’ would wrongly equate it with violent extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and make their otherwise lawful activities illegal,” said Human Rights Watch. The press release went on to repeat the old claim that “…the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt officially renounced violence in the 1970s and sought to promote its ideas through social and political activities”.

Adding its voice to the Muslim Brotherhood’s apologists, the New York Times wrote:

“A political and social organization with millions of followers, the Brotherhood officially renounced violence decades ago and won elections in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Affiliated groups have joined the political systems in places like Tunisia and Turkey, and President Barack Obama long resisted pressure to declare it a terrorist organization.”

For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has pushed a specific public narrative, intended exclusively for Western consumption. Just how extremely effective the MB has been was demonstrated in 2011, when then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, unbelievably, claimed that the MB was “… largely secular… has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam…They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt…there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence”.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Al-Banna made jihadist violence a focal point of his movement. He wrote, “Death is art” and “Fighting the unbelievers involves all possible efforts that are necessary to dismantle the power of the enemies of Islam.” The MB inducts members into its deliberatively secretive and opaque network with the pledge that “Jihad is our way” and “Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

It is, in fact, difficult to overstate the importance of the MB in promoting and spreading jihad in the 20th century and onwards[1]. As the UK government’s expert review of the MB, published in December 2015, concluded:

“[The Muslim Brotherhood’s] public narrative — notably in the West — emphasized engagement not violence. But there have been significant differences between Muslim Brotherhood communications in English and Arabic; there is little evidence that the experience of power in Egypt has caused a rethinking in the Muslim Brotherhood of its ideology or conduct. UK official engagement with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood produced no discernible change in their thinking. Indeed even by mid-2014 statements from Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-linked media platforms seem to have deliberately incited violence”.

The UK review goes on to say:

“The Muslim Brotherhood at all levels have repeatedly defended Hamas attacks against Israel, including the use of suicide bombers and the killing of civilians. The Muslim Brotherhood facilitate funding for Hamas. The leadership of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, its Jordanian counterpart and Hamas are closely connected. There are wider links with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates throughout the region and senior Muslim Brotherhood figures and associates have justified attacks against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

In other words, the Muslim Brotherhood not only funds one of the most virulent terrorist groups, Hamas, but there is barely any daylight between the various leaderships of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and Hamas. (According to article two of the Hamas Charter, “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times”).

The indictment could not be more damning.

Another terrorist group rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood is Egyptian terrorist group Jamaat al-Islamiyya. This group came into existence, conveniently, when it broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood, after the latter denounced the use of violence in the 1970s. Creating a new terrorist organization was a brilliant strategy, which allowed for the Muslim Brotherhood to polish its image as a peaceful organization, leaving the dirty terrorist work to so-called “offshoots” or proxies. Indeed, Jamaat al-Islamiyya used the writings of the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, as an ideological basis. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted and jailed in the United States as the perpetrator of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, was the spiritual leader of Jamaat al-Islamiyya.

The New York Times itself featured a lengthy article called “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror” about Sayyid Qutb in its magazine in March 2003, stating that he was “…the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx… their guide”. Most of the terrorists who later founded al Qaeda were rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood. Osama bin Laden was apparently recruited as a young man to the MB, whereas Ayman al-Zawahiri joined the MB at the age of 14 and went on to found the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, “an organization that holds many of the same beliefs as the MB but simply refuses to renounce violence inside Egypt”, according to The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). It subsequently merged with bin Laden’s organization. The lead hijacker of 9/11, Mohammed Atta, was also a member of the MB. The list goes on.

“The objective, then, is to strike terror into the hearts of God’s enemies, who are also the enemies of the advocates of Islam…” — Sayyid Qutb, chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s.

In January 2015, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt released an official statement calling on its supporters to “prepare” for jihad:

“It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom.”

The statement also quotes at length the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, disproving the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood has broken with its violent past:

“Imam al-Bana prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers.”

After the official statement was released, Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), stated:

“Muslim Brothers have been committing violent acts for a very long time. Under [Egypt’s former president, Mohamed] Morsi, Muslim Brothers tortured protesters outside the presidential palace. After Morsi’s ouster, they have frequently attacked security forces and state property… But until now, the official line from the Brotherhood was to support this implicitly by justifying its causes, without justifying the acts themselves. So the Brotherhood’s open call to jihad doesn’t necessarily mean a tactical shift, but a rhetorical one.”

Terrorism expert and national security reporter Patrick Poole added:

“It [the call for jihad] invokes the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, specifically mentioning the ‘special apparatus’ that waged terror in the 1940s and 1950s until the Nasser government cracked down on the group, as well as the troops sent by founder Hassan al-Banna to fight against Israel in 1948. It concludes saying that the Brotherhood has entered a new stage, warns of a long jihad ahead, and to prepare for martyrdom… What remains to be seen is how this announcement will be received inside the Beltway, where the vast majority of the ‘experts’ have repeatedly said that the Brotherhood had abandoned its terrorist past, which it is now clearly reviving, and had renounced violence,”

There is nothing peaceful, lawful or democratic about the Muslim Brotherhood. It believes today what it has always believed and openly stated: that a caliphate, where sharia law will rule, must be established through jihad. Refusing to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization would be a grave mistake, playing straight into the strategy of the Brotherhood and, once more, revealing to the world the extreme gullibility of the West and its boundless willingness to believe anything the Muslim Brotherhood throws its way.

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

[1] As Fereydoun Hoveyda writes in his book, The Broken Crescent: The “Threat” of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism:

“…aspiring terrorists from all over the world poured into Egypt… to learn from al-Banna’s men the art of eliminating the enemies of Islam. While training terrorists and directing murders, Sheikh Hassan denied involvement in the assassinations and attacks, using what Shiite clerics called ketman (holy dissimulation). Indeed, deceiving infidels was admitted by all Muslims, and Shiites even extended the dissimulation to other Muslims when the security of their ’cause’ was at stake”.

Schanzer: The careful way to go after Muslim Brotherhood radicals

Getty Images

Getty Images

New York Post, By Jonathan Schanzer, February 12, 2017:

The Trump Administration is mulling an order designed to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. The best approach would be a piecemeal one: Some Brotherhood branches belong on that list, some don’t — and making the distinction will help President Trump more effectively fight the war on terror.

It’s no secret why the Muslim Brotherhood is in the crosshairs. Its hateful and anti-Western worldview has long served as an ideological gateway to jihadi terrorist groups. Famously, Osama bin Laden’s partner in founding al Qaeda was a Muslim Brother named Abdullah Azzam. And while al Qaeda has broken with the Muslim Brotherhood on a range of political issues, Brotherhood thinkers have undeniably shaped al Qaeda’s ideology over the years — and the ideology of other jihadist groups, too.

The Brotherhood has evolved quite a bit since its founding in Egypt in 1928. For one, the group now operates worldwide. Over time, the political and military pressure from host governments in the Middle East also forced the Brotherhood to dial back on its overt extremist positions. Under the threat of annihilation, these groups had little choice to but to lay down their weapons and embrace politics.

By the time officials in the George W. Bush administration considered making a case against designating the Brotherhood, the picture had become blurry. It appeared that many of the disparate groups comprising the global Muslim Brotherhood had soured on the strategic value of prioritizing violence. Of course, this didn’t mean the movement no longer held extremist views. It had simply become difficult to definitively prove that its component parts formed a global terrorist organization.

If anything, there were some branches of the Brotherhood that seemed to meet criteria, while others were a heavier analytical lift. More than a decade later, this is likely still the case. The Brotherhood in Libya, Syria and Yemen (the Islah Party) have apparent ties to jihadis. The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan (Islamic Action Front), which has marketed itself as a political entity, may be more difficult to designate.

In the end, the intelligence will either meet the legal criteria, or it won’t. There’s no fudging it. Of course, we can augment our own intelligence with help from allied countries. We can ask for help from Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which designated the Brotherhood as a terror group.

Jordan and Egypt may also be willing to share intelligence about their local chapters, which have long sought to challenge the regimes. But Washington must vet that intelligence very carefully. These states have a longstanding desire to weaken their Islamist opposition at all costs.

Once some Brotherhood branches are designated, it may become easier to target others. When certain branches or even leaders of the Brotherhood are caught providing financial, technical or material support to listed entities, they immediately become candidates for designation.

Meanwhile, there will be opportunities to take further action at home. According to an official Treasury report submitted in December, “The US has not designated a domestic US-based charity since . . . 2009.” In other words, it appears that the Obama administration placed an unknown number of terrorist financing cases on hold at the Department of Justice over the last eight years.

Trump should instruct the DOJ to reopen them. When these cases meet criteria, they should be prosecuted. And if they involve Muslim Brotherhood activists, that nexus should be made clear.

Finally, the Trump administration has one last crucial point of leverage to undermine the financing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar and Turkey, two countries typically viewed as US allies, are the top financial and logistical supporters of the Brotherhood worldwide. They also serve as financiers and headquarters to the Brotherhood’s most violent branch: Hamas.

The administration should call upon Qatar and Turkey to end support for Hamas. They should also be warned about their support for Brotherhood branches that appear to be engaged in violent activity or even simply spreading extremist rhetoric.

The administration has a number of options at its disposal shy of a blanket terrorist designation. Because going after the “mother ship” may not ultimately hold up under legal scrutiny, an incremental approach may have a higher likelihood of success. That may also ultimately lead to a broader campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood that enjoys the backing of foreign partners and American skeptics alike.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the US Department of the Treasury, is senior vice president at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

***

CJR: This notion that different “branches” of the Muslim Brotherhood are somehow operating at arms length from each other is wrong headed. That is what the MB wants you to think and that is why we are subverted by them. Evidence abounds of their support for violence. There is no “careful ” way to do  this. Cut them out root and branch!

Yes, It’s Legal To Designate The Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Organization

shutterstock_211423306Designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be a serious impediment to continuing the bipartisan, but failed, policy of cooperating with Islamists in the Middle East.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, February 10, 2016:

As President Trump moves towards designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, we’re hearing all the reasons he can’t or shouldn’t.

The latest tactic has been to assert that designating the Muslim Brotherhood is not possible, or simply illegal, because it does not conform with the letter of the law regarding Foreign Terrorist Designations. This is a specious claim, but made with such confidence that it requires a serious examination to debunk.

Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood Exists

One of the chief arguments that designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization would be illegal is there is no such thing as the Muslim Brotherhood. A textbook example of this claim comes from Benjamin Wittes in the Lawfare Blog:

The short answer is that the Brotherhood is not in a meaningful sense a single organization at all; elements of it can be designated and have been designated, and other elements certainly cannot be. As a whole, it is simply too diffuse and diverse to characterize. And it certainly cannot be said as a whole to engage in terrorism that threatens the United States.

While Wittes admits that there does exist a single body known as the International Muslim Brotherhood, he claims “it is difficult to assess the strength of the ties between the international organization and the various Brotherhood chapters, because of the organization’s penchant for secrecy.”

Indeed, the International Muslim Brotherhood is so secretive that it published its bylaws on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website in 2010. These bylaws make clear that the leadership of national branches answer to the overall Muslim Brotherhood leadership. The bylaws state that branch “secretary generals must abide by the higher leadership’s decisions,” are obliged to “get approval of the general guidance office prior to making any important political decision,” must file “annual reports” with the higher leadership, and must “pay an annual subscription” to the higher leadership.

The claimed ability to approve policy, enforce common decisions, and closely scrutinize activity, and the transfer of funds from lower members to higher leadership would all seemingly meet the requirement of a single organization. No doubt plenty of district attorneys would long for such an overt statement of hierarchy and cooperation when attempting a racketeering prosecution.

But the argument about the level of the Brotherhood’s cohesiveness is ultimately a distraction. The law governing Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation defines a terrorist organization by citing a separate section of law , 8 U.S. Code § 1182, which reads in part:

(vi) “Terrorist organization” defined As used in this section, the term “terrorist organization” means an organization—

(I) designated under section 1189 of this title;

(II) otherwise designated, upon publication in the Federal Register, by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as a terrorist organization, after finding that the organization engages in the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv); or

(III) that is a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).

The key section here is (III), “a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).” So while Wittes cites pro-Islamist experts to argue that the International Muslim Brotherhood lacks demonstrable cohesion or the ability to enforce common policy, ultimately the total level of organization is irrelevant. The only question is whether the organization has engaged, or possesses a subgroup that engaged, in terrorist activities. Here the answer is an obvious yes, given that Hamas is a self-acknowledged subgroup of the International Muslim Brotherhood, and is already a legally designated FTO.

Yes, Muslim Brotherhood Affiliates Engage in Terrorism

Even aside from the role of Hamas as a subgroup of the International Muslim Brotherhood, there is strong evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood engages in “the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).” Those read as follows:

(iv) “Engage in terrorist activity” defined As used in this chapter, the term “engage in terrorist activity” means, in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization—

(I) to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;

(II) to prepare or plan a terrorist activity;

(III) to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity;

(IV) to solicit funds or other things of value for—

(aa) a terrorist activity;

(bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization…

The key factor here is (IV), “to solicit funds or other things of value” for “a terrorist organization.” The U.S. government has already successfully argued in court that the Muslim Brotherhood founded Hamas, and that the Muslim Brotherhood created and maintained an international infrastructure to finance and support the Hamas subgroup. Specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood established a “Palestine Section,” which in turn oversaw “Palestine Committees” in each of the Muslim Brotherhood’s branches, in order to raise funds and engage in propaganda (obviously a thing of value) on behalf of Hamas.

Muslim Brotherhood apologists know that designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be a serious impediment to continuing the bipartisan, but failed, policy of cooperating with Islamists in the Middle East.

Whether U.S. engagement with Islamists is useful is a policy question that can be debated, but it should be done openly. The recent invocation of claims it is “illegal” to designate the Muslim Brotherhood is an attempt to hide behind dubious legal claims, in order to avoid a policy argument on the merits. Such tactics perhaps suggest how weak the apologists’ policy position is.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.

Defections Challenge Hamas’ Cooperation With the Islamic State

Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, attend a memorial for Mohamed Zouari in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on January 31, 2017, (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, attend a memorial for Mohamed Zouari in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on January 31, 2017, (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

by IPT News  •  Feb 8, 2017

Hamas continues to play a double game when it comes to the Islamic State. The Palestinian terrorist organization is trying to supress ISIS-inspired jihadists in Gaza, while simultaneously cooperating with the terrorist group’s Sinai Peninsula affiliate – Wilayat Sinai.

Despite some tactical benefits, Hamas’ seemingly counterintuitive, yet calculated, engagement with Islamic State elements has resulted in tangible setbacks for the Palestinian group. Palestinian sources speaking with the Times of Israel revealed that dozens of Hamas operatives have defected to Wilayat Sinai, including highly trained terrorists from elite units.

Roughly two months ago, Hamas forces arrested Abed al-Wahad Abu Aadara, a Hamas naval commando who defected to ISIS after he re-entered Gaza. His brother also joined ISIS and died in clashes with the Egyptian military. Facing pressure from ISIS, Hamas recently released Abu Aadara from prison.

Other defectors include highly trained Hamas operatives who enhance the Islamic State’s ability to build bombs and use anti-tank missiles. Senior military wing members, including Abu Malek Abu Shwiesh, a key assistant to Hamas’ Rafah commander, reportedly joined Wilayat Sinai.

The ISIS affiliate has created significant Egyptian casualties in recent years, particularly after acquiring and deploying sophisticated weaponry in the Sinai.

Israeli officials have outlined detailed aspects of Hamas-Islamic State cooperation in the past. Both organizations engage in smuggling terrorists and arms, including advanced weapons systems. For example, Hamas provided Wilayat Sinai with Kornet anti-tank missiles that have destroyed Egyptian military vehicles. Hamas also provides military training and medical services for injured Wilayat Sinai fighters in Gaza, in addition to reportedly transferring money directly to the terrorist organization.

In return, Hamas cultivates a safe haven for its leaders and fighters in case of a future confrontation with Israel, understanding that Israel’s military engagement on Egyptian territory is limited.

Since the end of the 2014 summer war in Gaza, Hamas has invested significant resources into reconstructing its terrorist infrastructure. It also continues to rebuild its elite forces – including its naval commando unit – dedicated to infiltrating into Israel to carry out terrorist attacks. Reports of Hamas defections are a clear setback for the Palestinian organization, but are not likely lead to a wider rift with the Islamic State.

Despite broader ideological differences, both groups remain committed to challenging the Egyptian military in Sinai and destroying the Jewish state.

***

Sharia Commands Muslims To Lie To Non-Muslims

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, February 5, 2017:

KORAN  98:6

The Koran says non-Muslims are the worst of all creatures (98:6), so it should be no surprise the Koran and the Sunna (example of the Islamic prophet Mohammad) allow and oblige Muslims to lie to non-Muslims.

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-11-07-16-pm-768x507

All authoritative Islamic law (sharia) obliges jihad until the world is under Islamic rule.

Therefore, when Muslim leaders are speaking to non-Muslims about Islam, there is a high probability they are lying.

It is not just a few “radicalized” Muslims who want sharia and all that goes with it.

At the Norway Peace Conference, the founder of Islam.net and host of the conference Fahad Qureshi polled the audience of hundreds of Muslims who unanimously raised their hands indicating they want sharia to be the law of the land to include stoning for adultery, death penalty for homosexuals, and everything that comes with it because their law comes from Allah in the Koran and the example of their prophet Mohammad.

Qureshi stated, “These are general views that every Muslim actually has.  Every Muslim believes in these things.  Just because they’re not telling you about it or just because they’re not out there in the media doesn’t mean they don’t believe in that.”

A 2013 Pew poll reveals most Muslims want sharia to be the law of the land, and most of the Muslim world believes there is only ONE version of sharia – not the “thousands of interpretations” Islamic advisors to the U.S. government have lied about for the last 15 years (and beyond).

Specifically, a sampling of 10 countries/areas of all the Muslim areas polled – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, and the Palestinian Territories – reveals out of 785 million Muslims living in these areas, 617 million told the Pew pollsters they want to live under sharia (Islamic law).

For those of you without calculators handy, that is 79% of the Muslim world.  That is a big number.  So is 617 million Muslims, and that’s just a sampling of the world’s Muslims.

The majority of the Muslim world wants the sharia that:  commands pagans to convert to Islam or die; commands Christians and Jews to convert to Islam, submit to sharia and pay the non-Muslim poll tax, or die; calls for apostates to be killed; identifies woman as property; and commands jihad as perpetual warfare until sharia is the law of the land over the entire world.

This is also the sharia that obliges Muslims to lie to non-Muslims.

As UTT’s own Chris Gaubatz experienced in his recent encounter with a sharia scholar and Imam from Texas, they will lie to your face and then feign offense when you call them out on their lies.

See the video HERE.

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-11-20-54-pm-768x473

Think about this the next time an Islamic scholar, leader of an Islamic organization, the local Imam, or any prominent Muslims are talking to you about Islam.

Gaffney: Sanctuary Cities Are ‘Magnet’ for Illegals, Don’t Make Us Safer

AP

AP

Breitbart, by John Hayward, February 1, 2017:

Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy president, praised President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on Wednesday’sBreitbart News Daily.

“He seems like a most impressive man,” Gaffney told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

Following a clip Marlow played, Gaffney said, “The law is not my area of expertise, needless to say – but he, I believe, has epitomized over his distinguished career an approach to judicial practice which that clip you just ran spoke to: that it is not the role of judges to make the law. It is to apply the law, to assure the equitable application of the law.”

“That’s a refreshing change from what we’ve been seeing a lot of from the bench, including the Supreme Court, of late,” Gaffney continued, “a necessary corrective, especially in regards to replacing one of the most eminent, most capable, and most important checks on that practice, namely Antonin Scalia, who Judge Gorsuch is being called to replace on the Supreme Court, of course.”

Marlow asked Gaffney about the spectacle of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) throwing Breitbart News reporter Neil Munro out of an event that was supposedly dedicated to “tolerance” and “inclusion.”

“A couple of quick points on this, Alex,” Gaffney said. “One, among the governments that has tied the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, to terrorism is the United States government. In fact, in the Holy Land Foundation trial – 2007-2008, largest terrorism financing trial in the country’s history – CAIR was identified by an FBI agent, based upon wiretaps conducted by the FBI back in the day when it did that sort of thing, of a meeting. It turned out to be the founding meeting of this organization CAIR, and it involved representatives of a group the Brotherhood itself has identified as a part of their organizations, the Islamic Association for Palestine, on the one hand, and representatives of Hamas. What the federal government contends in court, and four different federal judges affirmed, was that CAIR is Hamas.”

“So there’s that. And then there’s this point that you’ve made, and I think it’s apt, that the most intolerant people on the planet, bar none, are the jihadists – who seek often in this country, doing business as the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, that everybody must be very tolerant of them,” he continued.

“It’s absurd. It’s obscene. And unfortunately, to the extent that these guys have gotten away with it for this long, under, I’m sorry to say, Republican and Democratic administrations, they have managed to become influential in our policy-making process, to the point where we are largely, willfully, blind to the real threat that they represent,” he warned.

“So yes, I do hope that this is another of the things that Donald Trump will attend to here shortly, namely designating the Muslim Brotherhood as what it is: a terrorist organization, which I hope will speak volumes about the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other front groups operating in this country under its banner,” he said.

Marlow referenced Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s appearance on Breitbart News Daily the previous day, in which he denounced the Left’s use of Muslims as pawns in its identity-politics games.

“Zuhdi’s a remarkable man, and I am very proud to have him as a friend,” Gaffney said. “I think he’s absolutely right about that. I think the corollary, of course, is that the Islamists are using the Left, as well. They’re using them as cover for what is, according to the Muslim Brotherhood’s own secret plan – written back in 1991 as a report to Cairo, the mothership, the headquarters, not meant for our eyes, called the ‘Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group.’ People can go look at it, download it for free at SecureFreedom.org. It is a fascinating read.”

“What it makes very clear is the Muslim Brotherhood’s mission in our country is destroying Western civilization from within, by the hands of what you might call the infidels,” he said. “Among the infidels that are most helpful to them, if you’re trained as I was in fighting the old Soviet Communists, think of them as ‘useful idiots’ or ‘useful infidels,’ the term that Daniel Pipes has coined. But whatever they are, they are helping the Islamists in their efforts to take us down, and the Islamists are helping the Left in doing just that. They have a very different vision of what should come next, of course, but they are making common cause.

“And it is bizarre, since among the pillars of the Left, let’s recall, are groups like feminists – as we saw in the streets of Washington and elsewhere recently – and Jews, and homosexuals, and people of various minority faiths, people who leave their faiths. These are all, especially Muslims, regarded as, you know, the enemy by this so-called ‘Religion of Peace.’” he pointed out.

“I want to emphasize, there are people like Zuhdi Jasser who don’t agree with this, that don’t practice sharia, as we’ve talked about often, that animates this very intolerant, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic, and anti-American, anti-constitutional program of the Islamists. But it is really appalling that the Left is helping, in so many ways, normalize and socialize and otherwise advance this toxically anti-American agenda. It’s what we see, of course, most immediately in this effort by Donald Trump to stop – these are my words, but I think this is what it is, at the end of the day – to stop importing more jihadists into the United States. The vast majority of the American people support it,” Gaffney said.

Marlow moved to the subject of President Trump’s executive order on immigration by playing a comment from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to the effect that “sanctuary cities” enhance American security because they attract a large number of illegal aliens who can serve as confidential informants to the police when other illegal aliens commit crimes.

“I think what we’re watching is an effort to defy common sense,” Gaffney commented. “Most of us who have common sense recognize that bringing more people into this country who aren’t just violent jihadists who want to blow things up, or shoot people, or rape people for that matter…I’m just worried, frankly, as I said earlier, about the people who have been engaged in what I think of as kind of ‘pre-violence’: the sharia supremacists who seek to build the infrastructure that supports a violent kind of jihad, that insists that people don’t assimilate into our country, don’t become like Zuhdi Jasser, part of the American fabric and dream.”

“They’re a problem, and we don’t need more of them,” he contended. “I think that’s what Donald Trump is trying to do with his pause and trying to assess how do we enhance our vetting process? How do we keep those kinds of people out?”

Gaffney said that goal was “eminently sensible” and scoffed at the efforts of people like Pelosi to “cast themselves as the people who are protecting us by preventing the police from being able to identify and remove folks as part of an overall law-enforcement effort, who are engaged in that kind of behavior.”

“To suggest that somehow we’re all going to be safer if we actually keep the magnet for people coming here illegally – some of whom, I have to say, are engaged in probably actual or pre-terrorist activity – this is a ridiculous position to strike,” he said. “I think Donald Trump is absolutely right to insist that we shut down these sanctuary cities, that we insist that our cities and our states enforce the law, not undermine it to possibly great detriment of public safety and even the national security.”

Muslim Brotherhood Front Organizations, U.S. and Canada

Gatestone Institute, by Thomas Quiggin, January 31, 2017:

  • The 2008 Holy Land Relief terrorism funding criminal trial resulted in multiple convictions and was touted as the one of the largest terrorism financing trials in American history. Expectations were high that the 2008 trial would be followed by further trials involving the listed unindicted co-conspirators such as CAIR USA and the Islamic Society of North America.
  • However, with the appointment of Eric Holder as the U.S. Attorney General in 2009, all further actions on this file appear to have been frozen. Holder would later speak at a conference supporting one of the unindicted co-conspirators.
  • It is not clear if the ongoing criminal investigation focuses only on those individuals leading IRFAN at the time of its delisting as a charity and listing as a terrorism entity, or if the investigation also includes those who helped found IRFAN. This may be an important distinction, as the Canada Revenue Agency stated that IRFAN was deliberately created and designed to circumvent Canadian terrorism-funding rules.
  • It appears possible that the Trump Administration will crack down on Islamist extremist groups in the USA. This would likely have a spill-over effect into Canada and Europe, though greater attention to border security and issues of funding terrorism.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz last week submitted legislation to designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a Terrorist Organization.

Cruz (R-TX) earlier had a bill in the Senate which would not only ban the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. but also three of its front groups: Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) USA, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). These American-based front groups have corresponding chapters or organizations in Canada as well.

Muslim Brotherhood front organizations and their members have an ongoing problem with criminal activity, terrorism-funding activities and overall negative relations with legal authorities. These problems range from being listed as terrorist groups, being charged for weapons possession and an even an arrest for alleged sexual charges involving a 12-year-old girl. Several of the charges are consistent with the extremist nature of the Muslim Brotherhood itself, given its commitment to violent political change. Both criminal investigations and terrorism listings in North America, for instance, have been directly related to terrorism funding for Hamas, itself a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The emblem of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its founder, Hassan al-Banna.

The future is also uncertain for a variety of groups and individuals related to the criminal trials surrounding the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund. The 2008 criminal trial resulted in multiple convictions and was touted as the one of the largest terrorism financing trials in American history. Expectations were high that the 2008 trial would be followed by further trials involving the listed unindicted co-conspirators such as CAIR USA and the Islamic Society of North America. However, with the appointment of Eric Holder as the Attorney General of the United States in 2009, all further actions on this file appear to have been frozen. Holder would later speak at a conference supporting one of the unindicted co-conspirators. It is not yet clear if the next U.S. Attorney General will direct that the files be re-activated.

CAIR USA has been repeatedly identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. It was listed as a Muslim Brotherhood front organization and as a terrorism entity by the United Arab Emirates in 2014. CAIR USA employees and former employees have a rather dubious history of criminal activity. Among those CAIR USA employees charged with criminal offences or deported have been Randall Ismail Royer (weapons and explosive charges), Bassam Khafagi (bank and visa fraud), Ghassan Elashi (terrorism financing of Hamas), and Nabil Sadoun (deported for ties to terrorist groups). Other members and fund-raisers for CAIR USA have also been charged.

In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation (Project Sapphire) into the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN) continues. IRFAN was one of four Muslim Brotherhood front groups identified during testimony to the Canadian Senate in 2015. The others were Islamic Relief Canada, the Muslim Association of Canada and the National Council of Canadian Muslims, formerly known as CAIR CAN. CAIR CAN, according to the U.S. State Department and a multiplicity of other sources, is the Canadian chapter of CAIR USA.

IRFAN had its charitable status revoked for funding terrorism in 2011 and was subsequently listed as a terrorism entity by the Government of Canada in 2014. It is not clear if the ongoing criminal investigation focuses only on those individuals leading IRFAN at the time of its delisting as a charity and listing as a terrorism entity, or if the investigation also includes those who helped found IRFAN. This may be an important distinction, as the Canada Revenue Agency stated that IRFAN was deliberately created and designed to circumvent Canadian terrorism-funding rules.

Another of the four front groups, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), also made the news in 2015. At that point, it was alleged that IRFAN continued to received funding from the Muslim Association of Canada even after IRFAN had its charitable status revoked for funding terrorism in 2011. This information came from an RCMP search warrant that was used to raid IRFAN premises in Mississauga and Montreal. In addition to funding issues, the MAC and IRFAN are connected to each other through common board members and their association to Hamas. IRFAN was funding Hamas and the MAC is one of only two organizations outside of Egypt that openly states it is a Muslim Brotherhood adherent group.

The Islamic Society of North America (Canadian Chapter) has also had its problems. Along with a variety of internal fraud issues, the ISNA Development Fund had the charitable status of its “Development Fund” revoked for terrorism funding. The terrorism-funding money in question was sent to the Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM) with the ultimate aim of supporting Jamaat-e-Islami, widely known as the Muslim Brotherhood’s sister group in south Asia.

The Muslim Student Association

Another group, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) of the United States and Canada was established in January 1963 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. Its creation was the result of Saudi-backed efforts to create a network of international Islamic organizations in order to spread its Wahhabist ideology. It was essentially “an arm of the Saudi-funded, Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Muslim World League.”

The following individuals have all been identified as members of the MSA at a variety universities in Canada. They have all been either charged with terrorism offences or died as suicide bombers at the behest of ISIS:

  • Ahmed Sayed Khadr from the University of Ottawa. Khadr was killed on October 2, 2003, along with al-Qaeda and Taliban members, in a shootout by Pakistani security forces near the Afghanistan border. An al-Qaeda website profiling “120 Martyrs of Afghanistan” described him as a leader in Bin Laden’s organization and praised him for “tossing his little child [Omar] in the furnace of the battle.”
  • Chiheb Esseghaier was convicted in 2015 for his role in the attempted bombing of a cross-border VIA Rail train.
  • Khadar Khalib has been charged with terrorism-related offenses and is believed to have killed in Syria while fighting for ISIS.
  • Awso Peshdary, born in Ottawa, was arrested in February 2015 as part of operation “Project Servant” by the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. He was charged with participation in the activity of a terrorist group.
  • John “Yahya” Maguire was also born in the Ottawa area, but went off to Syria and become infamous for his ISIS recruiting video. He has also been charged with terrorism offences in absentia.
  • Youssef Sakhir, Samir Halilovic and Zakria Habibi are/were from Sherbrooke Quebec, but are now listed as missing and believed to be fighting in Syria.
  • Muhannad al-Farekh, Farid Imam and Maiwand Yar have all had charges laid against them for terrorism-related offences. Their whereabouts are unknown, but they may be in Pakistan.
  • Calgary suicide bomber Salma Ashrafi was the President of his Muslim Student Association before dying in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

Chiheb Battikh and the Muslim Association of Canada

In December 2012, Chiheb Battikh of Montreal attempted to kidnap the son of a billionaire and hold him for ransom. The Tunisian-Canadian was identified by the Tunis Tribune as being “close to Ennahda” or the Muslim Brotherhood. The French language Journal de Montréal did a five-page story on him following his conviction. Among the issues raised by the paper was Battikh’s long time position on the board of directors for the Muslim Association of Canada as well as his position as the director of education for them. The issue of whether the kidnapping was intended to help fund the new Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization was raised as well. Battikh had been in charge of that fundraising effort and the project had been in trouble.

The Trump Administration

Some of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s advisors have strong views on the Muslim Brotherhood. Included among these are Walid Phares, who favors banning the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. Other advisors include Frank Gaffney, and Pieter “Pete” Hoekstra, both of whom are well acquainted with Muslim Brotherhood activities

Outlook

A variety of Muslim Brotherhood front groups have drawn attention to themselves through terrorism funding and other forms of alleged criminal behavior. CAIR USA (and others) have also been involved in lawfare — suing critics to silence them. Altogether, this activity and their own allegedly criminal actions have drawn greater attention to them and increased, rather than decreased, the amount of research done on them. With the rising, often Islamist-inspired, violence in Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, more attention will be drawn to the sources of the extremism that are producing and funding terrorism.

It appears possible that a Trump Administration will crack down on Islamist extremist groups in the USA. It also appears probable that this will have a spill-over effect into Canada and Europe though greater attention to border security and issues of funding terrorism. These groups, which have already drawn attention to themselves, may start feeling the heat sooner rather than later.

Also see:

Skirt-Wearing Jihadi Sherifa Zuhur Exemplifies the Battle Ahead for America

Understanding the Threat, by John  Guandolo, January 30, 2017:

UTT had an interesting exchange on twitter this weekend with Sherifa Zuhur, an apologist for America’s enemies – specifically, terrorist organizations.

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Amid the social upheaval in response to President Trump’s travel ban from seven Islamic countries, fomented by the hard left Marxist/socialist groups and their anti-American counterparts – jihadi groups like Hamas (doing business as CAIR), ISNA, and others – UTT feels it is important to share this experience publicly because Americans need to know what they are up against and what to expect as this war in America goes forward.

The exchange began in response to UTT’s (@UTT_USA) tweet:  “No surprise – SecState Madeleine Albright sides w/ our enemy & not America…”  Albright publicly stated she is ready to register as a Muslim in response to President Trump’s call to ban Muslim immigration into the United States from certain nations.

UTT’s Vice President Chris Gaubatz received a response from Zuhur (@SherifaZuhur) which read:  “Chris, Muslims aren’t your enemy,” to whit Mr. Gaubatz (@CAIRvGaubatz) responded with: “Agreed; only Muslims that adhere to Quran & Sunnah as embodied in the shariah.”

Zuhur then responded with: “Then that’s all of us.”

Your words not ours Ms. Zuhur, but thanks for making UTT’s point that it is a requirement for all Muslims to adhere to sharia which calls for jihad until the entire world is under Islamic rule.

UTT does not teach all Muslims are the enemy of the United States.  However, 100% of our enemy in the Global Islamic Movement state they are Muslims waging jihad to establish a global Islamic state (caliphate) under sharia.  The delineating factor is sharia.  Not every person who self-identifies as a Muslim wants to live under sharia or follow sharia, but 100% of our enemy in this war does.  100% of authoritative sharia obliges jihad, and defines jihad as “warfare against non-muslims.”  The problem is two-fold: (1) Any Muslim who does not want to follow sharia can decide to follow sharia at any time – especially when threatened with violence from other Muslims;  (2)  Sharia obliges Muslims to lie if the goal is obligatory, and jihad is obligatory.

Therein lies the problem – there is simply no way to determine which Muslims are our friends and which are not.  In fact, the only Muslims who are potential friends of the United States are those who do not follow the Quran and Sunnah, as embodied in the sharia, which makes Ms. Zuhur’s reply all the more telling. 

UTT would not waste your time in sharing this exchange if that were the end of the story.

Dr. Sherifa Zuhur is not just some random Muslim on twitter who defends sharia and designated terrorist groups.  Zuhur is a former professor (2006-2009) at the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute who continues to be accepted in academic circles and was recently at the University of California at Berkley.

In April of 2008, Zuhur published a monograph called, “Precision in the Global War on Terror: Inciting Muslims through the War of Ideas.”  In this publication, Zuhur warns against attacking the ideology of groups like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Salafists, and the Muslim Brotherhood because that would necessarily be attacking Islamic ideology.

Exactly.  In this regard, UTT agrees because Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, and all jihadi organizations on the planet draw their doctrine from sharia.  It is the basis for why they act – and they tell us so.  And so does Dr. Zuhur.

Sharia does not exist in a vacuum.  Sharia comes from the Quran and the Sunnah, and last time UTT checked, the Quran and Sunnah are wholly Islamic.  As we say at UTT – it’s all about sharia.

The following are direct quotes (in bold) from Dr. Zuhur’s monograph followed by UTT’s comments:

“To restore justice, Muslims want the shari`ah, Islamic law, to be implemented and that, in turn, must be utilized with justice. This contrasts with radicals who think that violence is the only means to secure real social and political change, even if they also are motivated to implement shari`ah.”

The Global Islamic Movement has many lines of operations including suit/skirt wearing jihadis like ISNA, CAIR, ICNA, MAS, MSA, Dr. Zuhur and others who point to the violent jihadis and say something to the effect of “Well, at least we are not Al Qaeda or ISIS. We’re moderates.”  The violent jihadis use their attacks and threats to drive weak Western leaders/nations into the arms of the suit/skirt-wearing jihadis.

“Bin Ladin and Zawahiri generally refer to bona fide religious concepts. But, my point is that Sayyid Qutb possessed religious and philosophical credentials that should not be ignored. To blame him for global jihad is a convenient way of discounting the impact of other salafists (from the Wahhabist sect), and further implying that the violent radical leaders who followed him read or understood his earlier proposal that an Islamic society could be created through a “social revolution” and education. It is also a significant way of discrediting the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Not much comment needed here.  Dr. Zuhur admits the leaders of Al Qaeda are correctly sighting sharia in furtherance of what they are doing.  In addition, neither Al Qaeda nor ISIS have misquoted sharia in furtherance of their actions.

“To bin Ladin, the Muslim-only policy at Mecca and Medina extends to the entire country of Saudi Arabia, indeed to the entire Arabian peninsula. What policymakers should understand is that quite a number of other Muslims agree with bin Ladin’s views.”

Many muslims do agree with the views and objectives of Osama bin Laden as well as ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic organizations/groups, because these are commands from allah repeated by their prophet Mohammad as “perfect” behavior for all Muslims to follow.  Did we mention Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization?

“U.S. Government agencies, the defense community, and security research centers have made far too much of the Caliphate. By denouncing it, they are trouncing on Muslims’ idealized history and institutions.”

Muslims who want a caliphate here in the United States – which according to Dr. Zuhur is all Muslims – are enemies of the United States.  America is a Constitutional Republic and Americans will keep it using all means necessary.  Muslims who want to live under a caliphate can go to sharia-governed lands in ISIS-held territory.  Working to establish one here is a violation of federal law, and an act that constitutes war against our Constitution and way of life.

“Those media spokespersons most often vilifying terrorists with the label “Islamofascist” often go on to identify this phenomenon with those who wish to follow shari`ah (Islamic law) and live within a Caliphate, as if these two very important Islamic institutions are proof of poisonous terror and fascism. The overwhelming majority of Muslims would disagree with this vilification of their holy law and historic form of government.”

Since ALL jihadi organizations (Al Qaeda, ISIS, the MB, et al) continue to state publicly and in their internal documents their end goal is a global caliphate under sharia law and that it must be achieved via any means possible including political warfare and violence, and since Dr. Zuhur is defending that position, how are rational readers able to discern between Dr. Zuhur’s position and ISIS’s position?

“Apostasy is a crime pertaining only to Muslims. It should not—according to classical interpretations of Islamic law—be prosecuted unless the apostate admits his denial of faith. In other words, accusations of apostasy are not supposed to discourage Muslim opinion and expression.”

Sharia states the punishment for apostasy is death and the former professor at the U.S. Army War College agrees it should be prosecuted as such.

“The actions of the American organization, the Council on American- Islamic Relations, which seeks to protect Muslims from discrimination or violence, have been labeled “a cover for terrorism,” and so on. This allows for conflation of anti-Americanism, and Arab non-salafi groups with Islamist, and violent Islamist groups.”

This is utter nonsense.  CAIR is Hamas.  Hamas is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States Government. 

Dr. Zuhur is one of a long line of jihadis and jihadi apologists in the military university system and on U.S. campuses teaching “Middle East Studies” and related topic.

Is it any wonder that, with professors like Dr. Zuhur, the U.S. national security apparatus, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the Bush and Obama administration never identified our enemy, or even took the time to study the enemy threat doctrine –  sharia?

Should we be surprised that Dr. Zuhur has sided with the Al Qaeda, ISIS, or the Muslim Brotherhood – specifically Hamas (dba CAIR) – in opposing President Trump’s ban on immigration from seven Islamic countries?

We at UTT are not surprised, and you should not be either.  It is important for Americans to understand that as President Trump, his cabinet, and the U.S. national security apparatus begin to dismantle the jihadi network here in the US, they will be opposed by the hard left Marxist/socialist groups, their allies in the media, and by the jihadis themselves.

There will be more crying Senators on television, hard-left/jihadi marches in the street funded by our enemies, and demonstrations allegedly about equal rights and equal treatment but actually excuses for violence, upheaval and revolution.

DULLES, VA - JANUARY 28: J.D. People protest and welcome arriving passengers at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, January 28, 2017. The protest follows the executive order of President Donald Trump to bar all refugees coming to the US and Muslims from seven countries. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

DULLES, VA – JANUARY 28: J.D. People protest and welcome arriving passengers at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, January 28, 2017. The protest follows the executive order of President Donald Trump to bar all refugees coming to the US and Muslims from seven countries. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Americans must know this is coming, get educated and get prepared.  Support the bold leaders in the new administration and beware of the establishment types who are already coming to the defense of our enemies.

This war will be won at the local level.  Educate your elected officials and hold them accountable.  Ensure your pastors speak truthfully about this threat and begin educating their flocks.  Encourage your law enforcement leaders to get trained by UTT so they can map out the jihadi networks in their area and dismantle them, proactively find jihadis in your neighborhood, and defeat this enemy from the ground up.

The Inside Story of How John Kerry Secretly Lobbied to Get CAIR Removed From UAE’s Terrorist Organization List

cairhamas2by Steven Emerson
IPT News
January 19, 2017

On Nov. 16, 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the unusual step of designating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Muslim American Society (MAS) – as terrorist organizations.

They were among 83 groups named for their connections to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

This outraged CAIR officials, who immediately began efforts to get their organization removed from the list. They found a powerful ally in Secretary of State John Kerry, who authorized State Department officials to meet regularly with UAE officials to lobbying on behalf of CAIR and MAS .

CAIR already had a sympathetic ear in the Obama administration, including the State Department, that had openly embraced and legitimized the entire spectrum of radical Islamist groups falsely posing as religious or civil rights groups, which both CAIR and MAS had done.

At a daily State Department press briefing two days after UAE released its list, a spokesman said that State does not “consider CAIR or MAS to be terrorist groups” but that it was seeking more information from UAE about their decision. He added that “as part of our routine engagement with a broad spectrum of faith based organizations, a range of U.S. government officials have met with officials of CAIR and MAS. We at the State Department regularly meet with a wide range of faith based groups to hear their views even if some of their views expressed at times are controversial.”

In making that admission, the State Department official had effectively affirmed the Obama Administration policy of embracing radical Islamist group under the euphemism of calling them “faith based groups.”

The UAE had good reason to designate CAIR, as records obtained by the FBI indicate it was created as front group for a Hamas support network. While CAIR bills itself as “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization,” the reality is quite different.

Before helping launch CAIR, Executive Director Nihad Awad worked as public relations director for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas propaganda arm in the United States. A 2001 Immigration and Naturalization Service memo documented IAP’s support for Hamas and found that the “facts strongly suggest” that IAP was “part of Hamas’ propaganda apparatus.”

IAP was part of the “Palestine Committee,” created by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas politically and financially. CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee’s roster just after its 1994 creation.

In 2008, the FBI cut off official contact with CAIR, citing evidence from the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial which documented the connections between CAIR and its founders to Hamas.

In a letter to U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, the FBI explained, “until we [the FBI] can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

During a 2003 Senate hearing, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, said that CAIR is known “to have ties to terrorism.” In 2009 correspondence with the FBI, he wrote that cutting off contact with the Islamist group “should be government-wide policy.”

CAIR and its representatives, meanwhile, often espouse radical ideology and propagate the jihadist narrative that the United States is waging a “war on Islam.” Awad repeated that message as recently as September when he denounced legislation allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.

CAIR officials often side with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists.

Read more

10 Reasons Hamas Should Not Be in Any Government

Hamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Fatah and Hamas have formed a national-unity government following talks in Moscow. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

Clarion Project, by  Elliot Friedland, January 19, 2017:

Fatah and Hamas, which control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, concluded an agreement to form a national unity government. The Palestinian Authority, which is the official body that rules the Palestinian-controlled areas, as per the Oslo Accords, will now begin the process of forming a new national council. The P.A. president is Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas and Fatah also announced they will hold elections that will include members of the Palestinian diaspora. Elections were last held in 2007.

“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government,” Fatah spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad told media.

Here are ten reasons why Hamas is not fit to be part of any government.
Hamas Is A Designated Terrorist Organization

Hamas is a terrorist group and is designated as such by Israel (obviously) but also the United States, the EU, Canada and Japan so this one should come as no surprise.

Hamas Deliberately Targets Civilians

Most recently Hamas praised the string of violent attacks that hit Israel over the past year and half.

In the last Gaza war, Hamas fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas. “Deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups defies humanity and is morally and legally reprehensible” Israeli left-wing human rights organization B’Tselem said about the last Gaza war.

They Use Civilians As Human Shields

According to the Geneva Conventions, “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”

Hamas does precisely this. In the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas ordered civilians to remain in their homes if they were about to be bombed. All the more gallingly, Hamas deliberately manipulates the inevitable civilian casualties that result, using the blood of Palestinians to purchase international sympathy.

Hamas Steals Palestinian Aid For Military Purposes

Hamas receives a lot of aid from around the world for the Gaza strip, which is frequently the subject of international aid campaigns. Yet Hamas steals much of this aid for its own purposes. “From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold. “A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes.”

Hamas uses the cement to construct multi-million dollar tunnels via which it hopes to carry out cross-border raids into Israel to murder Israeli civilians and attack Israeli soldiers.

In August 2016, Israel leveled charges against Mohammed el Halabi the head of World Vision in Gaza for allegedly funneling tens of millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian purposes to Hamas for its terrorist activities.

Hamas Steals Money From Palestinians to Enrich Their Leaders

Hamas controls the lucrative smuggling tunnels that bring goods into Gaza from Egypt. They tax incoming products for revenue. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that,” Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College who served in a variety of senior military positions told Globes. “The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits.”

Hamas also receives donations, both from wealthy Muslims in America and internationally, but also from state sponsors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

This money has been appropriated by the Hamas leadership who enriched themselves at the expense of Palestinians. The inner circle of Hamas are millionaires.

Hamas Executes Dissenters and Stifles Critique

Hamas routinely carries out extrajudicial killings, abductions and torture of dissidents within the territory it controls. This includes supporters of rival Palestinian factions such as Fatah (with whom Hamas will now be forming a unity government) as well as those accused of collaborating with Israel.

Hamas is not believed to conduct fair trials.

In 2014 during the last Gaza war, Hamas carried out a campaign of targeted killings and abductions detailed in the Amnesty International Report entitled “‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture And Summary Killings Of Palestinians By Hamas Forces During The 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict.”

“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International, then Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”

Nor did this stop after the war. “Palestinian governments in both Gaza and the West Bank are arresting and even physically abusing activists and journalists who express criticism on important public issues,” Human Rights Watch said as recently as August 2016.

Hamas Wants a Theocratic State and Murders LGBT People

Hamas is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is pledged to establish an Islamic State as a final goal. It terms itself “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and article one of its founding charter reads “The Movement’s programme is Islam.”

Although Hamas is continually on a war-footing and has therefore been less focused on establishing a sharia-based system of governance than other Islamist groups, it still takes the time to implement sharia governance where it can.

In this vein Hamas has imprisoned women for sex outside marriage.

Hamas Persecutes the LGBT Community

In January 2016, Hamas executed one of its senior commanders after allegations of gay sex emerged. John Calvin (not his real name) is from one of Hamas’ most important families and fought for and gained asylum in the United States because if he returned to Nablus he would be murdered.

These are rarely mentioned by those in the “Queers for Palestine” movement.

Israel Withdrew From Gaza And Hamas Turned it Into A Terrorist State

In 2005 Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2007 Hamas took over and turned the enclave into their own personal fiefdom.

Governmental errors in the Israeli withdrawal notwithstanding , Hamas demonstrated its lack of commitment to its own people and to the path of peace by choosing rejectionism and violence instead.

Hamas Perpetrates Child Abuse

Hamas trains young children in its military training camps to indoctrinate them with the group’s Islamist and jihadist ideology and train them for hatred and warfare.

This is backed up by Hamas media outlets which produce children’s programs that inculcate the next generation with the Hamas ideology.

Because Nothing Says ‘I CAIR’ Like a Pardon

cair-pleaNational Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 18, 2017:

Thinking about what else could happen in the next 48 hours?

The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that CAIR (the Council on America-Islamic Relations) is leading a furious lobbying campaign by Islamists in the U.S. to persuade President Obama to free the five Hamas operatives convicted in the Holy Land Foundation case.

Isn’t that rich?

The HLF prosecution is the most significant terrorism financing case the Justice Department has ever done. Hamas, a designated terrorist organization under federal law, is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the HLF case, the government proved not only that leading Islamist organizations in America were helping the Brotherhood transmit millions of dollars overseas to Hamas; prosecutors further demonstrated – using the Brotherhood’s own internal memoranda – that the Brotherhood saw its mission in the United States as “a grand jihad to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within.”

In this grand jihad, the Brotherhood was in cahoots with these leading Islamist organizations, many of which had roots in the Brotherhood. One of these was … CAIR.

Indeed, Hamas and Brotherhood activists created CAIR in 1993-94 because they realized they needed an organization with legal know-how and media polish to advance the Islamist agenda. Having studied the United States (in a way that we resist studying radical Islam), they also realized that if they labeled their new creation a Muslim “civil rights” organization, the media would play along – CAIR would be lauded as a social justice warrior rather than revealed as a jihadist mouthpiece.

So CAIR was shown to be an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF case. After the convictions of the five HLF officials in 2008, however, the incoming Obama administration opted against prosecuting CAIR and the other Islamist organizations that had assisted the conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. In fact, early in his administration, Obama proclaimed his commitment “to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.”

As I explained at the time, zakat is often misleadingly translated as “charitable giving” by commentators and government officials. Actually, it is the fortification of the ummah (the notional worldwide Muslim community). Under classic sharia, zakat may only be contributed to Muslims. There are eight categories of permissible zakat recipients; one is Muslims who are fighting in jihad operations. (See the ancient sharia manual Reliance of the Traveller, sec. h8.17: “Zakat: The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster[.]”)

I assume the president was simply uninformed about Islamic law – although this is Obama we’re talking about, so maybe it’s that he figures he knows more about how it should be construed than anyone on earth, including those who’ve spent their lives immersed in it. But Islamists would interpret his stated commitment to “ensure that they can fulfill zakat” as ensuring that they could do what the HLF defendants were convicted of doing: providing material support to terrorists. To Islamists, the five HLF convicts have been stuck serving between 15- and 65-year prison sentences for something they believe Obama has said should not be a crime in the first place.

Following the HLF convictions, it was reported that the Obama Justice Department had blocked prosecutions against a top CAIR official and leaders of other Brotherhood-tied organizations.

And now CAIR is pushing for the HLF defendants to be released from their very lengthy sentences. The Islamists’ narrative, as the Investigative Project explains, is that these Hamas operatives are really victims of, yes, “anti-Muslim hysteria.”

It’s a shrewd campaign. The Obama administration has been wholesale onboard the anti-anti-jihad bandwagon since day-one, and it often spouts the anti-Muslim hysteria party line. The administration has championed the Muslim Brotherhood; worked with Islamist governments to restrict American free speech rights (regarding criticism of Islam); armed and trained militias in Libya and Syria that were threaded with jihadists; and colluded with the Islamist government of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan – a Muslim Brotherhood backer who is among the world’s leading supporters of Hamas. As illustrated by the administration’s shameful orchestration last month of an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. Security Council, Obama is sympathetic to the hard left’s view that Palestinian terrorists are not really terrorists – they are members of “political organizations” whose regrettable brutality is best understood as “resistance” to “occupation.”

If he were to release the Hamas convicts from the HLF case, Obama would (again) be a hero to both Islamists and leftists. He would simultaneously enrage national-security conservatives in the United States and the Israeli government.

In other words, he’d be doing what he’s done for eight years.

Also see:

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack

hamas23

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
January 11, 2017

Hamas launched a public relations campaign in recent days, aimed at capitalizing on a deadly truck attack in Jerusalem Sunday that killed four Israeli soldiers. The campaign sheds a light on Hamas’s plans to encourage and launch jihadist atrocities, but also on its vulnerability to the arrival of ISIS as an ideology and movement.

The truck attacker was Fadi Ahmad Hamdan Qanbar, a father of four from east Jerusalem. He acted alone when he plowed into a cluster of soldiers gathered, according to Israeli assessments, under the influence of jihadist propaganda disseminated by ISIS.

That fact has not stopped Hamas from making multiple efforts to claim the attack as its own, celebrating it, and pushing Palestinians to emulate it. The Gazan regime’s goal of setting the West Bank alight is well served by such incidents.

Yet Hamas’s efforts to cash in on the truck ramming also strengthen its domestic challengers in Gaza – ISIS-affiliated Salafi-jihadist groups which have been just as quick to claim Qanbar as one of their own, and probably with better cause.

These same groups wasted little time in using the opportunity to launch stinging attacks on the Hamas regime, whose security forces arrest their members and repress their activities.

For example, an ISIS-affiliated group in Gaza proudly noted that Israel attributed the attack to one who “belongs to the Islamic Caliphate State,” and stated: “Praise Allah, who provided the oppressed people of Bayt Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] with trucks they can use to run over the settler herds – [and this] instead of the haram [forbidden] organizations [the main Palestinian organizations].”

A grim jihadist competition is underway, over who can use the Jerusalem attack to boost its political power. Immediately after Qanbar’s attack, Hamas claimed he was an operative of its military wing, the Izz Al-Din Qassam Brigades.

Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, told a rally in Gaza to celebrate the murders that same night: “the [Israeli] soldiers fled from the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades operative who carried out the attack for the sake of the Palestinians, the Arab nation and the Muslims.”

Other Hamas officials issued similar statements, praising Qanbar, and calling for his actions to reinvigorate the ‘intifada for Jerusalem.’

As the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) noted, Hamas’s official Twitter account chimed in: “We welcome the bold and heroic truck operation in Jerusalem which was a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation.”

To be sure, Hamas is engaged in unceasing efforts to set up and launch terror cells in the West Bank and east Jerusalem from where they try to evade Israeli intelligence, infiltrate and commit mass casualty attacks in Israeli cities. Hamas also is a main source of inciting lone Palestinian attackers.

Yet it is also in a state of conflict with Gaza-based ISIS entities, which sporadically fire rockets into Israel hoping to provoke retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets. In essence, ISIS-affiliated groups try to use the Israel Air Force to punish Hamas.

ISIS views Hamas as an infidel movement due to its willingness to blend jihadist doctrines with Palestinian nationalism. Nationalism has no place in ISIS’s vision of a pan-Islamic caliphate, free of so-called artificial national divides among Muslims.

Meanwhile, tensions increased as relations between Hamas and the ISIS affiliate Wilyat Al-Sinai (Sinai Province), which once saw a good degree of cooperation, soured. This relationship enabled Hamas to continue smuggling arms into Gaza via tunnels, and to make Gazan hospitals available to wounded ISIS fighters and commanders. Egypt has long suspected Gaza’s Islamist rulers of being a steady source of weapons and volunteers for ISIS.

Now, the ISIS-affiliated movement in and around Gaza is openly challenging Hamas’s legitimacy. Ironically, Hamas does the same thing to the ruling Fatah movement in the West Bank, which it seeks to topple by provoking a large-scale Israeli military counter-terrorism operation, according to assessments by Israeli security sources.

This deadly jihadist “game of thrones” looks set to continue and could act as a destabilizing factor and a catalyst for further attacks.

The Israeli defense establishment sees the truck ramming as the work of a lone attacker – the hardest type to detect and thwart preemptively.

While the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency is making progress using big data analytics to scan social media accounts and pick out potential lone terrorists, much work remains to be done in this challenging field.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to this during remarks he made on the scene of the Jerusalem ramming, “I think the most important thing to understand is that we are under a new type of attack, by a lone terrorist, who becomes inspired and decides to spontaneously act.”

To counter ramming attacks, Israel has installed concrete barricades around bus stops in Jerusalem and the West Bank, he added. Additionally, Israeli security forces spent the past year intensively developing a “preventative intelligence infrastructure,” Netanyahu said, in reference to data analytics.

As the race continues to improve these techniques, Israel will need to continue to rely on the rapid responses of armed security forces and civilians who typically arrive at the scene of such incidents within seconds and open fire on terrorists.

Whether it is organized large-scale cells or lone murderers, the threat of indiscriminate jihadist violence looks set to remain with Israelis for years to come – though as the past two years have shown, Western cities are also increasingly prone to such threats.

Yaakov Lappin is a military and strategic affairs correspondent. He also conducts research and analysis for defense think tanks, and is
the Israel correspondent for IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly. His book, The Virtual Caliphate, explores the online jihadist presence.

The Trump Administration Should Treat Islamists Like The Mafia

9541686914_d48e1acc23_o-1024x680The analogue is so close that, reading public statements from the early 1970s and replacing ‘Italian’ with ‘Muslim,’ you’d be hard-pressed to spot the incongruence.

The Federalist, by David Reaboi and Kyle Shideler, January 2, 2017:

Thousands attend their rallies, claiming widespread discrimination. They wrap themselves in displays of “interfaith” cooperation. National, state, and local officials pay them heed. Words that “offend” them are removed from movies, newscasts, and even official government reports. All the while, the men who lead this organization have appeared extensively on FBI wiretaps and are known to federal law enforcement to be involved in a national criminal conspiracy.

You could be forgiven for thinking this describes the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its Muslim Brotherhood-linked leaders—a group the FBI, federal prosecutors and a federal judge have all affirmed supported the designated terrorist group, Hamas.

But no. The year is 1971, and the pressure group is the Italian American Civil Rights League (IACRL). Its founder, Joe Colombo, is known to federal law enforcement as the head of New York’s Colombo crime family, one of the infamous “Five Families” of the Cosa Nostra. Its most high-profile spokesman is his son, Anthony, who, for more than 30 years would deny the Mafia existed and rail against dark government conspiracies targeting Italian-Americans.

You Fight Crime, You Fight Italians?

It may seem like a punch line now but, in the 1970s, the effort by gangsters to don the mantle of activists and wrap themselves the flag of “civil rights” was taken semi-seriously. Many prominent Italian-American elites (prominenti in Italian) endorsed the call, throwing their influence behind the grievance-mongering. As scholar Joseph Sciorra of the Italian American Review describes,

A blurring occurred in which the mobbed-up League was conflated in the popular imagination with civic-minded spokespeople, thus diminishing the latter’s seemingly altruistic efforts (Kenna 2007, 193). But as historian Philip V. Cannistraro notes, “the prominenti’s constant preoccupation with the Mafia issue” (2005, 83), dating to the early 1930s when newspaper owner Generoso Pope launched an anti-defamation campaign against cinematic depictions of mafiosi, has historically been a self-serving agenda. ‘The dual focus of prominentismo has always been to promote the separate, self-aggrandizing interest of their own particular elite rather than the community as a whole, and to stress what Italian Americans are not’ (Cannistraro 2005, 84). It is no surprise, then, as Fred Gardaphé observes, that ‘more unified acts by Italian Americans have been launched against fictional portrayal of the mafia than ever were mounted against real mafiosi in the United States’ (2015, 365).

The obvious parallel is to the tens of thousands of Muslim-Americans CAIR enlists to bolster crowds condemning “Islamophobia” and any discussion of Islamic terrorism, but offer at best anemic support for pro forma denunciations of terrorism. As The Federalist’s Sean Davis has noted, the analogue between the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Italian American Civil Rights League is so close that, reading the latter’s public statements from the early 1970s and replacing “Italian” with “Muslim,” you’d be hard-pressed to spot the incongruence.

The way Sciorra described “the mobbed-up League” and its efforts could be an apt descriptor for CAIR, a group founded and run by ex-Islamic Association for Palestine staffers that has had more than one of its employees convicted of terror-related criminal activity. As Sciorra explained, while the crowd at the league’s rallies wore pins discussing their Italian pride, the leadership had more strategic concerns. They focused on attacking federal law enforcement and purposefully conflating all investigation of Mafia criminal activities with discrimination against the large Italian-American community.

The only way to end this perceived “discrimination,” the league insisted, was for the government and media to change its ways; not only must it stop using the word “Mafia,” it must deny that any such criminal conspiracy existed. And they did. The Department of Justice adhered to federal regulations, which prohibited use of the word. “There is nothing to be gained by using these terms,” U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell wrote, “except to give gratuitous offense” to “many good Americans of Italian-American descent.” The New York State Police had a similar rule. The word “Mafia” was deleted from the script of “The Godfather” at the behest of Colombo’s league.

Once, the Media Reported These Connections

Not everyone fell for it, including among the Italian-American community. New York state Sen. John Marchi warned that Italian-Americans had “been had” by their endorsement of Colombo’s Italian American Civil Rights League, only to be denounced as a “self-loathing Italian.” One wonders if Marchi didn’t feel then much the way Zhudi Jasser of American Islamic Forum for Democracy must feel now as he warns the American people about the machinations of Islamist groups, only to be denounced as an “Islamophobe” by known terror conspirators.

In the early 1970s, the media was a lot more skeptical of these obvious propaganda efforts, as well. At the end of a syndicated 1971 article about the League’s alliance with the Jewish Defense League, the Jewish Telegraph Agency slips in the following inconvenient information for context, complete with parentheses:

(Joseph Colombo, president of the League, faces a Federal hearing on April 21st on charges of conducting a gambling business. He has also just been convicted in the Manhattan State Court on a perjury charge and was recently arrested for allegedly receiving stolen goods from a robbery of the Long Island Jewelry Exchange in Mineola.)

The JTA obviously thought it was important to describe for its readers the provenance of the league’s complaint, as well as its unsavory record. Of course, one would wait in vain today for a mainstream media outlet to describe CAIR’s troublesome history with the same forthrightness.

In fact, despite U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis ruling that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR [and other Islamist groups] with Hamas,” none of the nearly 700 articles the New York Times has run about the group has mentioned it. Even more egregiously, the Times covered CAIR’s 2007 efforts to break free of its designation as an unindicted coconspirator in the largest terror finance trial in American history, yet neglected to cover the 2009 rejection of the Islamist group’s appeal.

What It Takes to Fight International Leagues of Terror

The parallels between the League’s censorship efforts in the ‘70s and CAIR’s efforts today aren’t lost on Rudy Giuliani, and for good reason. In 1983, when he was U.S. attorney, Giuliani launched his successful prosecutions against the New York crime families. One of his first acts was to violate the prior decade’s DOJ regulations and say the forbidden word “Mafia.” In a piece for the Wall Street Journal last year, Giuliani made an apt comparison between the battle for accurate vocabulary in both the fight with the mob and with Islamic terrorists.

I had a different view of using the term Mafia. It reflected the truth. The Mafia existed, and denying what people oppressed by those criminals knew to be true only gave the Mafia more power. This hesitancy to identify the enemy accurately and honestly—“Mafia” was how members described themselves and kept its identity Italian or Italian-American—created the impression that the government was incapable of combating them because it was unable even to describe the enemy correctly.

As Giuliani argued, the similarities go beyond mere forbidden words and get at the heart of what it takes to prevail against both the Cosa Nostra and Islamic jihadists. In a recent piece for the Claremont Review of Books, we argued for a new law enforcement approach to dealing with Islamist movements, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is the most consequential, that draws explicitly on efforts to defeat the Mafia:

Instead of approaching Brotherhood members and organizations as respected community leaders for outreach purposes either at home or abroad, the primary goal should be to acquire the intelligence needed to disrupt terror finance or prevent indoctrination. If necessary, officials can use the possibility of prosecution under the Muslim Brotherhood designation to secure cooperation, which would be similar to the way informants are treated when approaching other conspirators, such as crime organizations.

Since Giuliani crippled the New York mob in the 1980s, Colombo’s League and its campaign to ban the word “Mafia” seems more like a quaint throwback to the 1970s than a threat to the integrity of organized crime investigations. Perhaps the Trump administration will be able to accomplish the same for groups like CAIR, when the inappropriate deference, and White House meetings, become a thing of the past.

Of course, some of the league’s bitter holdouts will always remain. Anthony Colombo continues to write on his mob boss father, insisting the FBI had him killed to halt his civic accomplishments. Even more colorfully, Father Louis Gigante—brother to famed Genovese Mafia Boss Vincent “the Chin” Gigante and a well-known Bronx community organizer—holds up mobsters as exemplars for civic minded Americans, in just the way Islamist groups sing the praises of convicted terror financiers.

For most Americans of all ethnic groups, though, government efforts to act against the Mafia are considered appropriate rather than discriminatory. No serious person insists that admitting Mafiosi were largely Italian-Americans is the same as saying all Italian-Americans are mobsters. The same can and must be done for Islamic terrorism.

David Reaboi is a national security consultant and a Claremont fellow. Kyle Shideler is director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy.

Muslim Scholar: Group That Sponsored Ellison’s Hajj a ‘National Security Threat’

icna1.JPGby John Rossomando
IPT News
December 19, 2016

The group that paid for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s December 2008 hajj to Mecca is a “national security threat,” a Muslim scholar wrote in a 2010 email.

Ellison now is vying to become the next Democratic National Committee chief.

The Muslim American Society (MAS), the group that paid $13,500 for Ellison’s pilgrimage, had ties with terrorism and had a phony commitment to the American constitutional order, al-Husein Madhany wrote in the email, which was posted on the “Muslim Justice League” listserv. He made these assertions as part of a discussion of how the Muslim community should respond to the Ground Zero mosque controversy.

The listserv included top U.S. Islamist and liberal intellectuals, as well as Obama administration representatives. CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen and prominent American Muslim playwright and polemicist Wajahat Ali also were part of the list. “When I said that I believe MAS halaqas (religious gatherings) to be a national security threat, it was only part in jest. My caution comes from what I have personally heard said at MAS halaqas during my time in graduate school and based on what I know about their ideological (but financial) ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas,” Madhany wrote .

Madhany, who has ties to the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Georgetown University, and New America Foundation, co-authored a 2008 piece for Brookings with President Obama’s former U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Rashad Hussain, about the role of Islam in counter-terrorism policy.

At the time, Madhany wrote, some non-governmental groups were building a case for designating the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates as terrorist groups.

Part of that case was built on the fact that “MAS continues to teach to their members — at its highest levels of leadership — that all governments should become Islamic and that non-Islamic judicial systems should be boycotted or replaced, by soft power and by force, Madhany wrote. “They do this while promoting the idea in public that their goal is to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.”

Madhany is no conservative. His 2008 Brookings piece argued that using the terms “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic extremist” gave religious legitimacy to Al-Qaida, suggesting “Al-Qaida terrorism” instead.

Madhany was not the first or the only person to connect MAS with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews,” the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004. In 2008, federal prosecutors said that MAS was founded as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

Convicted Al-Qaida financier and jailed prominent U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi confirmed this assertion in 2012: “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Brotherhood bylaws call for “the need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) classified MAS as a terrorist organization in 2014.

Madhany’s e-mail offers a glimpse of how people on the inside view MAS, Islam scholar Daniel Pipes told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Right after the Sept. 11 attacks, Pipes detailed several instances in which American Islamists preached that the U.S. Constitution ought to be replaced with Islamic law.

“This is an insight into what people who understand this organization actually think of it,” Pipes told the IPT. “It fits into a context of frank discussion that in recent years has been closed down, and it shows what sort of organization that Keith Ellison takes money from and endorses.”

The MAS Connection to Ellison’s 2010 Fundraiser

During his 2010 re-election campaign, MAS President Esam Omeish hosted a fundraiser for Ellison in which Ellison criticized what he saw as Israel’s disproportionate influence on U.S. foreign policy. The IPT exclusively reported on his comments Nov. 30.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?” Ellison said.

Omeish, Ellison’s host at the fundraiser, has voiced support for Hamas. Following Israel’s 2004 assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin, Omeish, a Libyan by birth, mourned the terrorist leader as “our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.”

During a December 2000 Jerusalem Day rally in Washington’s Lafayette Square, Omeish praised Palestinians for knowing “that the Jihad way is the way to liberate your land.”

Ellison Speaking at Next Week’s MAS Convention

Ellison first addressed a MAS convention in 2006 and has made repeated appearances at the organization’s events. He is scheduled to speak at MAS’s joint convention with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) starting next Monday in Chicago. ICNA is a predominately South Asian Islamist group that advocates creatinga global Islamic state ruled by shariah.

Ellison also is listed as the keynote speaker at MAS-ICNA’s appreciation dinner.

The MAS convention Ellison will address will hear from radical speakers such as Ali Qaradaghi (Alternately spelled Al-Qurra Daghi in the MAS-ICNA program), secretary general of the pro-Hamas International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), one of the world’s most influential groups for Sunni Islamist clerics. It counts former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as a member.

The Clinton administration banned this organization’s founder Yusuf al-Qaradawi from entering the U.S. in 1999 due to his support for terrorist attacks against Israel. In 2014 the UAE classified the IUMS as a terrorist organization, along with MAS and dozens of other Islamist groups.

Qaradaghi’s Twitter feed is replete with praise for Hamas and calls for Israel’s destruction. He also has attacked the anti-ISIS coalition for killing Sunnis in Fallujah and Mosul.

“Hamas is an Islamic resistance movement. It defends its people and our first Qibla (The place where Muslims face to pray.) It endeavors to liberate Occupied Palestine. And any attack on it is on the interests of the Zionist Project,” Qaradaghi wrote in a July tweet.

Like Omeish, Qaradaghi eulogized Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin as recently as March: “On such a day like this in 2004. Shiekh_Ahmed_Shahid# was martyred. By three rockets from Zionist Apache planes. After his leaving dawn prayer.”

Several pictures show Qaradaghi posing with top Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. “The Commander Mujahid Khaled Meshal honored me with a noble visit,” he wrote in September 2015. “We conferred on the conditions of the Muslims, al Aqsa and Gaza; and we saw good prospects for the steadfastness and Ribat of our people in the interior.”

In March 2015, Qardaghi signed an IUMS declaration condemning an Egyptian court’s classification of Hamas as a terrorist organization. An Egyptian appeals court later reversed the decision.

The MAS-ICNA conference heard a similar sentiment during its 2014 convention. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna; describedPalestinian terrorist attacks against Israel as “legitimate resistance.”

“I’m sorry to tell you, and this is where you have to stand as American Muslims—the Palestinian resistance is a legitimate resistance and they have the right to resist,” Ramadan said.

No record exists of Ellison ever calling MAS out for its extremism, as he previously did when he repudiated Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Ellison wrote in The Washington Post in a Dec. 2 op-ed that he “should have listened more and talked less” when it came to Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism, but his continued involvement with MAS suggests he is deaf to its rhetoric.

Also see:

Combating Political Islam

political-islam-captureClaremont Institute, by David Reaboi and Kyle Shideler, December 9, 2016:

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump voiced beliefs about national security that many Americans have shared since, at least, the early days of the Obama administration. The inability to speak honestly and coherently about the enemy and its ideology, Trump argued, has repeatedly led to failure: terror attacks at home that were not stopped; wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria that were not won.

Millions of Americans agree with Trump’s assessment, believing the Obama White House had, for reasons of political correctness, mischaracterized the terrorist threat, treating Islam as a secondary feature instead of the defining one. Any such assessment, however, necessarily implies this corollary: an accurate representation of the enemy based on its ideology would indicate a far larger threat to U.S. interests, encompassing more of the Islamic world than previously admitted by either of the past two presidential administrations.

On national security, Trump has a mandate from the American people to expand the focus of the Obama years—which fixates on the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, all of whom seek to forcibly impose an Islamic state—to a more comprehensive understanding of the enemy and the threat it poses. “We can beat them,” Trump’s nominee for National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), told Fox News in September, “but we have to decide that this is an enemy first.” This more expansive understanding, then, centers on an ideology that promotes implementing an Islamic political order as the sole legitimate method of religious and political expression.

As articulated by prominent Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary preoccupation of Islamist movements is “Islamic Awakening,” a revivalist strategy activating Muslims throughout the world to impose totalitarian Islamic law—first within a given territory, a Caliphate, then across the world. The imposition of Islamic law means restricting free speech and persecuting minority and non-Muslim communities. These goals being antithetical to liberal democracy, the success of Islamist political movements are inherently destructive of America’s vital interests.

Ideological Threat Focus: Islamism, Not Just ISIS

Among those who have supported a wider national security threat focus, opinions differ as to whether practitioners of this ideology—call it political Islam or Islamism—represent an aberration of Islam generally; a strain among many strains of Islamic thought; or whether it is, as Islamists themselves claim, the only faithful representation of Islam’s historical and legal practices. But few dispute the entity most responsible for advancing the notion of political Islam is the global, secretive organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, the new administration’s counterterrorism efforts are likely to focus on it. Trump campaign advisor Walid Phares recently indicated to an Arab-language newspaper that the incoming administration will designate this Islamist group a foreign terrorist organization, the goal of a year-long legislative effort led by Senator Ted Cruz. While the House version of the bill, authored by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, easily passed the House Judiciary Committee, Republican congressional leadership has stymied its passage. Reports from staffers indicate that establishment Republicans have expressed concerns about how such a designation would impact U.S. policy, both at home and abroad.

One difficulty in making the case for the Muslim Brotherhood’s designation has been a fundamental lack of knowledge about its role in waging terrorism. Since 1928, when it was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian, the Brotherhood has kept terrorist violence—or the threat of such violence—within its doctrinal toolkit, maintaining close ties to other sympathetic terror groups. As the 9/11 Commission reported, the Brotherhood’s comfortable association with violent jihadist terror stretches from establishing clandestine “Special Apparatus” terror cells in the 1930s—which are still active—to the deep influence of Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb upon al-Qaeda.

The Brotherhood also constitutes the ideological wellspring for nearly every current jihadist organization. As al-Qaradawi notes in Islamic Education and Hassan al-Banna, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that invigorated and promoted a view of Jihad that had lain dormant” “The movement of Ikhwanul Muslimoon (The Muslim Brothers) breathed new life into jihad: giving it a place of honor and prominence in writings; stressing its importance in lectures, meetings, and songs; and asserting its sovereignty over individual and collective life.” Where al-Banna provided inspiration and organization, Sayyid Qutb provided the roadmap. His 1964 book Milestones operationalized a plan for the reestablishment of totalitarian Islamic law through a skillful mixture of indoctrination and physical violence, all pegged to long-established concepts in Islamic law.

Any move in Washington against the Muslim Brotherhood faces, even more than a lack of knowledge, intense ideological resistance. For decades, a bipartisan American foreign policy consensus has endorsed engagement with and promotion of Islamists in an attempt to use them as a counterweight, to either other Islamic terror groups or larger geopolitical adversaries.

Seeking to engage Muslim Brotherhood officials or franchises has a long historical pedigree within our foreign policy establishment. As Ian Johnson documented in his outstanding history, A Mosque in Munich, America first turned to Islamists in the early days of the Cold War in order to nurture alternatives to the Soviets. During that time, however, many in the U.S. foreign policy establishment seemed to recognize that, ultimately, the long-term objectives of the Islamists were both anti-democratic and harmful to American national interests. An internal analysis from the period noted that leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Said Ramadan—then a guest in the Eisenhower White House who was backed by the CIA—was “a fascist” and obsessed with seizing power.

Unfortunately, such a blunt assessment of the U.S. government’s Islamist interlocutors seems as quaint today as a 1950s TV commercial. By 2009 skepticism of Islamists’ long-term goals had been thoroughly abandoned, as President Obama formally announced the full-throated promotion of political Islam as the legitimate expression of democratic will throughout the Middle East.

For the Obama administration, the Islamists’ goals, motives, and doctrines were immaterial. It followed that spasms of violent Islamic terrorism are merely the product of authoritarian societies in the Middle East and the citizens’ attendant lack of freedom to pursue their political aspirations peacefully. The most productive response, the foreign-policy class reasoned, was to encourage authoritarian rule by these countries’ leading opposition. Of course, then as now, almost all Islamist parties in the Middle East are either formally or ideologically linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Logic seemed to dictate, then, that support for democracy would, necessarily, translate into de facto support for various local tribunes of political Islam. Since Islamists were the immediate beneficiaries of a democratization policy, the administration was disposed to consider nearly all Islamist movements “moderate.”

Nevertheless, a bipartisan consensus on this issue turned this theory into a touchstone concept of Obama administration policy. Promoting Islamist groups has, over time, come to define the American national interest.

Reaping the Whirlwind

The failures of American foreign policy in the Middle East that Trump articulated on the campaign trail follow from these assumptions about political Islam. The Obama administration’s promotion of Islamism has not only failed to deliver its intended results, but encouraged terrorism, both international and domestic, while destabilizing Egypt, Libya, Syria and other regions vital to America. Long-time Sunni allies panicked as they saw the spread of the Islamists—whom they had once funded to operate against the West—now threatening, with implicit U.S. support, their own rule. Saudi Arabia banned Muslim Brotherhood materials from schools, and the United Arab Emirates designated numerous Brotherhood fronts, including ones operating in the United States, as terrorist entities.

Where the wave of political Islam met success, it was short-lived. Rather than promoting good governance and ending corruption, the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt led to a rapid expansion of jihad in the Sinai, with the Brotherhood leaders’ tacit support. The triumphant Islamists spent more time establishing Islamic law and targeting Coptic Christians than providing desperately needed hard currency, natural gas, and food to the afflicted Egyptian people. The Brotherhood and other Islamists rose to prominence in Libya with the assistance of al-Qaeda-linked fighters, but could not maintain power democratically, rejecting the Libyan election result that favored their political opponents. The resulting civil war has made that country fertile grounds for both al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters. In Syria, despite Western backing, Brotherhood-linked militias continue to insist upon close ties and cooperation with al-Qaeda’s local affiliates. And while the Islamic State has publicly criticized the Muslim Brotherhood for its relationship with the West, Israeli and Egyptian intelligence officials say the Islamic State in fact receives support from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood for its attacks in the Sinai.

Here in the United States, law enforcement has been overwhelmed by hundreds of terror cases. While the focus of the media and the Obama administration has been on the Islamic State and its ability to influence potential supporters via the internet, few have noted the repeated appearance of Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Centers and organizations in attacks in Garland, Texas, San Bernardino, and Chattanooga, as well as in connection to several would-be Islamic State fighters who were caught before they could act.

It appears the new administration understands this error, and will correct it. At the Heritage Foundation last May, Secretary of Defense nominee General James Mattis asked the blunt but essential question: “Is political Islam in America’s best interests?” He went on to demonstrate that the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian theocracy (respectively, political Islam’s primary Sunni and Shia embodiments) were inimical to our well-being. President-elect Trump’s nomination of Mattis suggests he holds the same view.

From their service under President Obama both Generals Mattis and Flynn understand the mistaken premise of the outgoing administration’s engagement with political Islam: the unfalsifiable wish that, through participating in the democratic process, Islamists will be transformed from a source of anti-American terrorism into a bulwark against their more militant brethren. Despite the dangerous results of this hypothesis, the Obama administration viewed it as a way to simultaneously promote democracy and redirect militants’ energies from terrorist to politics. Consequently, even domestic Islamists stopped being the targets of counterterror investigations, and were treated instead as partners in “Countering Violent Extremism” programs.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood “Too Big to Fail”?

While the Bush Administration was engaged in a military and foreign policy struggle in the Middle East, it was also investigating domestic Islamist activity. Following the 9/11 attacks, investigations and prosecutions repeatedly touched upon individuals and groups in the United States affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. A careful study of these early cases revealed that the Brotherhood provided the ideological basis for jihadist violence, but also material support. In the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) case, for example, the U.S. government outlined a decades long plan by the Muslim Brotherhood to provide material support for Hamas. There were other instances:

Not only did each of these cases, and many others like them, involve Muslim Brothers, but the interlocking web of conspirators and co-conspirators makes clear that that the Muslim Brothers are not a cog in the Islamist terror machine—they are the engineers who designed and run it.

Law enforcement soon found that some of these cases were political hot potatoes. Many of the subjects were wealthy, politically connected, well-regarded religious figures, or perceived as prominent within the Muslim American community. At fundraising events held at many of the most prominent Islamic Centers around the country, for example, the Holy Land Foundation successfully solicited millions in donations for the violent jihad being waged by the designated terrorist group Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological offshoot in the West Bank and Gaza. This happened with the knowing cooperation of some of the most prominent and influential Muslims in the country. By late 2008, the Bush Justice Department would prove at trial that many of these organizations and individuals constituted a conspiracy to fund Hamas. Prosecutors would label 306 of these as “unindicted co-conspirators” in the terror-funding scheme, listing organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); as well as individuals like onetime HLF employee Kifah Mustapha and prodigious Hamas fundraiser Mohamed al-Hanooti.

In the wake of the Holy Land Foundation case, those who take the Islamist ideological threat seriously believed that secondary prosecutions targeting Muslim Brotherhood leaders and co-conspirators intimately involved in the Hamas funding scheme would be a crippling blow to domestic Islamist terror networks. But there were no secondary prosecutions. There’s some debate whether those prosecutions were squashed for political reasons by the incoming Obama administration, or by career Department of Justice officials. Regardless, the absence of follow-on cases against unindicted co-conspirators left in place a vast infrastructure that provided millions in hard currency—as well the equivalent of millions of dollars in media and public policy assistance—to terrorist groups. Even now, much of the evidence acquired by the government against the Muslim Brotherhood and its network in the United States—a large portion of which was entered into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial—remains classified. Despite multiple requests in the name of legislative oversight, the Obama Justice Department has taken pains to prevent anyone, including Congress, examining it.

Perhaps the government considered the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S. “too big to fail.” For example, a federal judge noted that the government supplied “ample evidence” to link a Muslim Brotherhood organization like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) to the terror group Hamas. Yet ISNA is affiliated with something on the order of one out of every four American mosques. How would prosecution of such an entity appear to the broader American community? How would the rest of the Muslim American community respond to an indictment? If the Muslim Brotherhood network in America and its allies were able to raise a political maelstrom over the conviction of Sami Al Arian, a South Florida professor tied to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, how much louder would a hyper-partisan media and an aggressive, social media-fueled activist infrastructure shriek if, for example, the organizing force behind a quarter of American mosques were indicted?

It’s no wonder that capitalizing on the government’s “too big to fail” assessment has proven to be an effective strategy of Islamist leaders in the United States, as pressure groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood routinely conflate their own front organizations and political goals with the totality of American Muslims. Regrettably, an increasingly uncurious media accepts this falsehood—and membership records for Muslim Brotherhood groupsmake clear it is a falsehood.

A New Way Forward

The new Trump administration must be prepared to rebut the inevitable complaints from self-styled Islamist “civil rights” leaders and their enablers in the media. It’s important to remember that this would be the case whether or not the next president orders the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization. The Trump campaign and national security team has withstood the overwrought allegations that his proposals target all Muslims.

Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization should give law enforcement and intelligence officials the tools they need to begin a serious, long-term investigation of the Islamist group’s network in this country. The new administration must undertake a genuine effort to map this clandestine system, and key organizational leaders should be made the target of legitimate investigation, and prosecuted as legally appropriate.

It will be difficult to immediately reverse a culture within the U.S. government that has favored engaging the Muslim Brotherhood over investigating it. Since at least the Clinton administration, the White House Rolodex has included officials from domestic Islamist groups whose names routinely appeared in the court documents of terror finance cases. Even more, the Obama administration has quietly removed many organizations and individuals designated as global terrorists from the list, undoing much of the work by counterterrorism agents who were responsible for our post-9/11 response.

Because of the Brotherhood’s political influence, which frustrated Bush-era prosecutions and halted them altogether under Obama, rolling back the Islamist group will require a joint counterterrorism/counterintelligence initiative. U.S. policy should treat all contacts with known and suspected Muslim Brotherhood members the way government personnel examine and report contacts with potential foreign intelligence services. Contact or association with the Brotherhood should be immediately disqualifying during ordinary background investigations for security clearances.

Additionally, a designation should provide added leverage for counterterrorism officials. Instead of approaching Brotherhood members and organizations as respected community leaders for outreach purposes either at home or abroad, the primary goal should be to acquire the intelligence needed to disrupt terror finance or prevent indoctrination. If necessary, officials can use the possibility of prosecution under the Muslim Brotherhood designation to secure cooperation, which would be similar to the way informants are treated when approaching other conspirators, such as crime organizations.

Unlike the prosecution of the Mafia however, a Trump administration will need to accompany counterterrorism efforts with a strong public relations campaign. Informed, articulate spokesmen will need to explain how relevant prosecutions were conducted, why they were necessary, and—perhaps most importantly—how they targeted the Muslim Brotherhood for its criminal behavior, not its religious convictions. Officials will need to be prepared to push back with facts against accusations of inappropriate discrimination. This, in turn, may require a more open approach to terror prosecutions, making relevant documents available to journalists quicker, while doing so in a manner that protects sources and methods.

Additionally, such a campaign to target the Muslim Brotherhood will require gathering more and better intelligence on the group’s ideology than the Obama Administration permitted. Since the U.S. government’s threat-focused counterterror training has been aggressively purged during the past eight years, accurate subject matter instruction will be the first step before earnest policy reorientation begins. Due to the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its fellow Islamic extremists, training for counterterrorism and counterintelligence officials will necessarily address sensitive issues of Islamic doctrine and legal theory. Political correctness mustn’t be allowed to deny access to training based on demonstrable facts.

It Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better

As has always been the case since its founding—and is currently the case in Egypt today—the Muslim Brotherhood has responded to crackdowns by proclaiming that Islam itself is under attack. The group has galvanized its membership to conduct numerous violent assaults, usually under the identity of a “splinter” faction. We can expect that, should it be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization, at least some element of the Brotherhood will respond by seeking to increase terrorist violence against the United States. This will be difficult for a U.S. law enforcement infrastructure already strained by the Islamic State, but is a storm that can and must be weathered. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood remains necessary. The potential for violence must be weighed against law enforcement’s ability to take swifter action and develop a deeper, more accurate view of Islamic extremism operating in the United States and around the globe.

President-elect Trump successfully campaigned on the repudiation of the national security views of the Obama administration. With the failure of the “democratic Islamist” project, the time has come to return to the alternative: (a) the promotion of Islamists accelerates, rather than stifles, Islamic terrorism; and (b) the Muslim Brotherhood remains at the center of Islamic ideological extremism throughout the world. Any policy not prepared to abandon America’s promotion of political Islam broadly, and the Muslim Brotherhood specifically, merely perpetuates old failures.