CAIR’s Ayloush Races Past Hate, Goes Straight to Idiotic

Hussam Ayloush, head of the LA Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Photo: Investigative Project on Terrorism.

IPT News by Steven Emerson, May 25, 2018:

It’s one thing to toss out a poorly-formed talking point. But when you cling to it for years, despite its obvious inanity, well, it says quite a lot about the speaker.

Hussam Ayloush, head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Los Angeles office, told us quite a lot about himself last week, when he again equated ISIS terrorists with the Israeli army. During a program at the Islamic Institute of Orange County on “Islamophobia” – a form of bigotry – Ayloush complained about Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs he said unjustly target Muslims, the Algemeiner reported Thursday.

There’s no similar focus on white communities, he said in a video highlighted by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “You know how many hundreds of Jewish American kids are recruited to join the Israeli occupation army? Hundreds. Every year. They leave their country, leave America, to go join with an army that is engaged, with no debate, in major violations of human rights, and maybe some would argue, and I’m one of them, war crimes.”

“No one has ever established a CVE program to see, why would normal Jewish American kids leave their home and join to be part of an army committing war crimes.”

This is so idiotic it shouldn’t require an explanation. But there are some elementary differences which Ayloush pretends do not exist.

ISIS recruits will tell anyone who asks that they tried to join in order to kill – be it in defense of Muslims from external threats, infidels, or anyone who gets in the way. And they pose a legitimate threat to the United States if they return home, or if they fail to make it overseas and decide to strike here.

If American Jews were on record saying they were going to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) specifically to slaughter Palestinians, then Ayloush might have a point. But that’s not why American Jews have joined. Because of its size and the nature of the threats against it, military service is compulsory for most young men and women. If you want to live in Israel, you serve.

That context is something a sentient being like Ayloush should be aware of, but it is not one that helps his hate-driven comparison. And it’s not new.

In fact, it is strikingly similar to comments Ayloush made in 2015 – three years ago – during a similar Orange County program:

“You know, you don’t hear about countering violent extremism to deal with the thousands of Jewish-American kids who join the Israeli army killing the people of Gaza. When was the last time the DHS – the Dept. of Homeland Security – or the FBI approached the Jewish community to ask them to deal with this trend? Actually, there are many more Jewish Americans who have joined the Israeli army than there are Muslim Americans who join ISIS.”

As we wrote at the time:

How does one equate a functioning democratic state, one which routinely warns people to vacate an area before an airstrike, in which its Arab citizens have greater individual rights to choose their representatives than most of the Muslim world, with a death cult that seems to work overtime to kill in the most shocking and depraved ways imaginable?

Blind hate.

Given his repeated claim, other options might now include stupidity and deliberate deception.

In last week’s discussion, Ayloush blamed the “Islamophobia industry” for telling Americans Muslims are bad and pushing policies to hurt them. “Let’s push for bullying,” he said as an example. He then claimed polling shows 60 to 67 percent Americans have negative views of Islam.

That is a significant exaggeration, the latest Pew polling shows, and the trend is moving toward more favorable attitudes. But “things are getting better” isn’t a great message for an “Islamophobia” program.

Ask Ayloush about Hamas and he’ll show you another way he cons his audiences.

In 2013, he reacted angrily and defensively to the question of whether Hamas is a terrorist organization. CAIR is a civil rights organization, he said, and “we’re not here in the business of being dragged into the Middle East affairs and the conflicts of the Middle East.”

No dragging was needed to get CAIR and its leaders to opine on recent turmoil involving Israel and Palestinians. CAIR’s national Twitter feed promoted a television interview its Florida spokesman, Wilfredo Ruiz, gave condemning the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. It has “absolutely no purpose in our foreign policy,” he said. “Why are we doing this? How does this benefit the United States of America?”

 

And CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, a man with a direct connection to a U.S.-based Hamas support network, was quick to accuse Israel of a “massacre” at the Gaza-Israel border earlier this month.

If it happened in the United States, Awad told a Baltimore television station, “the world would be up in flame.”

Two days later, a senior Hamas official claimed that the overwhelming majority of those killed were Hamas fighters. CAIR hasn’t said much about that.

To recap, when challenged to acknowledge or deny Hamas’s terrorist mission, Ayloush says that CAIR is a simple American civil rights organization that shouldn’t be dragged into Middle East conflicts. But he and other CAIR leaders think the Israel Defense Forces are on par with ISIS. And when Palestinians die, CAIR officials are eager to be on camera to condemn Israel.

That’s a con game in action. And it works. Ayloush remains politically influential, posing for a picture with Congressman Keith Ellison May 8 during a Capitol Hill lobbying push. Ellison, of course, privately espousesa belief that Israel controls U.S. foreign policy.

Meanwhile, news reporters either are ignorant about CAIR’s roots or prefer not to ask the kinds of questions about Hamas that set Ayloush off. The next time he wants to be on somebody’s air, they should ask him to defend his ignorant and hateful comparison.

***

Jordan Schachtel at Conservative Review writes:

The CAIR director has an Islamic supremacist worldview, and he has often made extremist statements in support of radical groups and individuals.

In 2016, he applauded the crashing of a Russian passenger jet that resulted in the deaths of 92 people.

After the 2015 Islamic terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, Ayloush said that the blame belongs with American foreign policy.

In 2004, he claimed that U.S. presence in the Middle East is a “war on Muslims.”

Qatari Ambassador Plays Semantics With Definition of Terrorism

by John Rossomando
IPT News
April 23, 2018

Hamas is not a terrorist organization and his country has nothing to do with terrorism, Qatari counterterrorism envoy Ambassador Mutlaq Al-Qahtani told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). But it all depends on your definition of terrorism. Al-Qahtani spoke April 9 at the National Press Club at an event sponsored by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) – a group that works to undermine the appeal of ISIS using counter-messaging videos.

“Qatar has not, does not, and will never support terrorism in any form,” Al-Qahtani said.

Terrorism is a subjective term, he said, and there is no globally-accepted definition. Qatar views Hamas as a “legitimate political force and governing party,” ICSVE founder Anne Speckhard wrote on her group’s website in January. Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in 2014 that Hamas was not a terrorist group because it is “a very important component of the Palestinian people.”

Qatar has been a stalwart supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood for decades and especially since the 2011 Arab Spring. This support alienated Qatar from its neighbors and led to the decision last June by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to impose a land, sea and air blockade of Qatar. They issued a list of 59 terror-linked people and 12 allegedly terror-linked groups that they claimed Qatar supported. The blockade would continue, the three Gulf states said, until Qatar took action against them. Many of the people listed are also blacklisted by the U.S. government and by the United Nations.

Ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood was among the 13 demands Qatar’s Gulf neighbors imposed on it, as was Qatar taking action against the people on the Gulf States’ terror list.

Al-Qahtani seemed to say the Brotherhood was being targeted solely because it is an opposition group. Opposition parties often are unfairly tarred with the terrorist label, Al-Qahtani said. He vigorously argued that the Muslim Brotherhood likewise faced unjust accusations of being connected with terrorism in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Mutlaq Al-Qahtani is Qatar’s foreign affairs special envoy for Combating Terrorism and Mediation in Dispute Resolution.

“I think the most important [thing] for anybody if you want to make a good argument against any country to classify this entity or that individual as a terrorist is try to make sure that the Security Council of the United Nations to sanction that individual or that entity…,” Al-Qahtani said. Since that has not happened, “Hamas is not a terrorist organization.”

Qatar’s “explanation for HAMAS not being a terrorist organization is distinctly unimpressive and inconsistent,” terrorism researcher Kyle Orton told the IPT.

Hamas became famous for sending suicide bombers to blow up Israeli civilians, the most recent being a 2016 attack on a bus in Jerusalem. It also encouraged stabbing attacks against Israelis in the fall of 2015. Rocket attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilian targets also have been commonplace. Additionally, Hamas has praised car-ramming attacks against Israelis.

Al-Qahtani questioned the Gulf States’ standing to accuse others of supporting terrorism, saying Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have terrorism records “worse than ever.” He cited a connection between Bahrain’s royal family and ISIS’s late top religious scholar, Turki Binali, and Egypt’s blocking of the addition of ISIS affiliates in several countries to the U.N.’s terror list as examples. His list of examples also included findings by the Henry Jackson Society last year that Saudi interests funded Islamist extremists in the U.K.; however, he omitted that the report also pointed the finger at Qatar. The 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, he said, adding that some of their funding came through the UAE.

Al-Qahtani’s remarks connecting Saudi Arabia with 9/11 weren’t accurate, Orton said.

“One of al-Qaeda’s founding missions is to overthrow the House of Saud. That these people were originally Saudi citizens is really irrelevant,” Orton said via Twitter.

Al-Qahtani failed to mention Qatar’s own connection to 9/11.

Khaled Sheikh Mohammed took a Qatari government job at the suggestion of Qatar’s current Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani, the 9/11 Commission found. U.S. intelligence officials also said al-Thani helped Mohammed escape from Qatar in 1996 before American authorities could capture him. Osama bin Laden personally visited with al-Thani in Qatar several times between 1996 and 2000. Bin Laden’s declaration of war against the United States was issued in 1998.

Qatar’s interior ministry published a list of terror financiers that it sanctioned in March in response to pressure from its neighbors, but the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) noted that groups like Hizballah and al-Qaida were conspicuously absent. Two al-Qaida linked financiers with ties to Qatar’s government also were not included.

Not only does Qatar reject terrorism labels for Hamas, the country provided significant support to the group. Hamas’s top leaders lived in Doha until last June when “external pressures” forced their expulsion following the announcement of the blockade. As recently as 2015, Qatar’s foreign minister described then-Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal as a “dear guest.” But Qatar no longer funds Hamas, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told Congress in December. It previously pumped millions of dollars to fund Hamas’ governmental infrastructure in Gaza. Qatar claimed that it routed its money through the United Nations, but Israeli press reports indicate that Qatar agreed to directly fund the construction of a new Palestinian government building in Gaza.

Even if Qatar has backed off funding Hamas, it remains a major source of anti-Israel terrorist incitement.

The ADL complained April 10 that Qatar remains a hotbed of anti-Semitic rhetoric. For example, the imam of Doha’s state-run main mosque in December called Jews “your deceitful, lying, treacherous, fornicating, intransigent enemy” in a sermon called the “Liberation of Al-Aqsa.”

Al-Qahtani rejected the charge of religious extremism.

“…[Extremist] religious doctrines pose an undeniable challenge to all of us. They exist in every culture and Islam has no monopoly on them. If actors continue to twist religious doctrines to poison the minds of desperate people in our region and beyond, it’s clear that we are obliged to fight the compact religious extremism,” Al-Qahtani said.

Yet for decades, Qatar’s royal family gave Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi a platform for his hate-filled, pro-terrorist ideas. Qaradawi considers non-violent definitions of jihad – those which cast it as primarily spiritual – as “unacceptable,” a belief he shares with Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna.

Jihad as a spiritual struggle diminishes “Jihad in the Way of Allah, and play[s] down its status and virtues in Islam, and its necessity in defending the being of the Ummah (Muslim nation) and its holy sites, if attacked by aggressors and affected by arrogant tyrants,” Qaradawi wrote in a 2016 article.

Qaradawi preached support for suicide bombings and hatred of Jews for years on Qatar’s state-owned Al-Jazeera network.

The Holocaust “was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers,” Qaradawi said in a 2009 Al-Jazeera broadcast.

He also sanctioned attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq. In 2014, Qaradawi expandedhis fatwa supporting suicide bombings to Syrians. He dialed back his support for Palestinian suicide bombings in 2016, saying Palestinians could use rockets to attack Israel instead.

“Suicide bombing has been normalised in a way it could not have been without the support of someone with Al-Qaradawi’s stature,” the UAE-based National newspaper said in November.

After President Trump announced the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Qaradawi called for jihad and hurled anti-Semitic barbs.

“The Quran does not devote as much space to the Persians and Romans as it does to the Jews, whose crimes and depraved deeds it exposes. They are the greatest of liars when they speak, the greatest of villains when they quarrel, and the most treacherous of people when they make pacts,” Qaradawi wrote on Twitter, a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows.

Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) also issued a communiqué in October calling for the end of Qatar’s isolation and reaffirming the “importance of armed struggle and resistance in all its forms to liberate Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is an IUMS member.

Qatar reportedly used an associate of Qaradawi’s as a conduit to coordinate the flow of Qatari arms and money to al-Qaida linked rebels belonging to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Qaradawi and IUMS Secretary General Ali Mohiuddin Qaradaghi have close ties with terror-linked charities connected with Qatar’s royal family. These include Qatar Charity and the Sheikh Eid al-Thani Charity. Qatar’s Gulf neighbors placed both on their list of terror-connected groups.

Qatar Charity, formerly the Qatar Charitable Society, belongs to Qaradawi’s Union of Good, a global alliance of Islamic charities in 21 countries, that facilitates financial transfers between its member charities. U.S. Treasury officials described the Union of Good as a “broker for Hamas” in 2008 when it blacklisted it.

U.S. court documents showed that Osama bin Laden used Qatar Charity as a terror funding source during the 1990s. Qatar Charitable Society helped finance the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, according to the U.S. government.

Reports suggest these connections persist. Maliweb reported that Qatar Charity funded terrorists belonging to the al-Qaida linked group Ansar Dine in 2013, a claim corroborated by French intelligence. The other Gulf States also accuse Qatar Charity of assisting AQAP in Yemen.

Al-Qahtani downplayed Qaradawi’s continued presence in Qatar and how it squares with its “soft-power approach to terrorism” – the subject of the conference. Qaradawi “is quite old. His health is not that good,” and his Al-Jazeera program went off the air years ago, he said.

All of these pieces of evidence show that Qatar’s approach to terrorism is confused at best. Standing with ICSVE against ISIS is one thing, but terrorism is more than just ISIS.

Leaders Try to Squelch Dar al-Hijrah Female Genital Mutilation Debate

IPT News, June 14, 2017

One mosque leader says it’s time for unity. An international Islamist activist says such discussions shouldn’t be aired publicly. Two weeks after the senior imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque endorsed partial female genital mutilation (FGM) as “the honorable thing to do,” a clear effort is under way to try to stifle further debate.

Don’t be “in tensions” or “in camps,” mosque board member Esam Omeish told the congregation Friday. Earlier that day, Outreach Director Johari Abdul-Malik announced he was quitting after more than 15 years at the mosque over imam Shaker Elsayed’s comments. Abdul-Malik wanted Elsayed fired, noting this was the latest in a series of “reprehensible statements made by” the imam.

Omeish preached a different message for one of the largest mosques in the Washington, D.C. area: Time to move on.

Elsayed “offered his apology” and “we stand united in making sure that we are the backing of everyone, of us,” Omeish said.

Elsayed did apologize, writing that, “Islam would never support anything that harms anybody’s well-being, such as FGM.” [Emphasis original] But Elsayed rescinded the apology shortly afterward, a fact that Omeish never mentioned. Abdul-Malik’s open letter made it clear that his decision to leave was influenced by Elsayed’s public recanting of that apology.

For those wanting Elsayed ousted, “We will not engage nor accept the tactics of coercion, and of threats, and of behaviors of picking and demonizing,” Omeish said.

In addition, the notion that “Islam would never support” FGM was contradicted Monday by an international Islamist leader. Tariq Ramadan posted a video on his Facebook page repeatedly describing the FGM debate as an “internal discussion” the mosque needs to have.

He opposes the practice. But while female genital mutilation is not mentioned in the Quran, he said, “no one can deny the fact that in the mainstream Islamic tradition … it’s discussed because they are relying on the prophetic traditions, where it’s clearly mentioning the female excision.”

In a written update added beneath the video, Ramadan emphasized his opposition to female genital mutilation, and repeated that it is rooted in Islamic tradition. “To say this discussion has no ground within the Islamic tradition is wrong: it has been debated and still is. Even though I am against these practises as I think it is not the right Islamic interpretation, it cannot be denied that it was condoned by some Muslim scholars (even contemporary ones),” he wrote.

Many Islamist apologists, including Reza Aslan, have long insisted there is no religious basis for FGM, describing it instead as a tribal tradition primarily in Central Africa among both Muslims and Christians.

Ramadan’s comments refute that claim. His word carries significant influence. He is the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch describes Ramadan as “an independent power center” within the Brotherhood.

In his video, the Switzerland-based Ramadan does not explain why he took the time to weigh in on a debate within one mosque in Falls Church, Va. He does, however, argue that continuing an open debate only serves people who want to hurt the Muslim community. As the Washington Post did last week, Ramadan makes a point of attacking the messenger – the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) – which originally found Elsayed’s video and cast a spotlight on his FGM comments.

“These are Islamophobes,” Ramadan said. “And you react to them by just exposing one of your leaders, a sheikh that has been serving the community for more than 30 years? And you ask for him to be fired so quickly, just to be on the safe side of the political discussion in the United States of America, by saying – ‘oh, we have nothing to do with this’ – while your tradition is there and it’s discussed within your tradition. And whoever is attacking you, at least you have to be cautious with the people who are using this and putting you in a situation which is – yes, problematic, but, you have to stand for your rights to have opinions, and at least to have internal discussions and not react so quickly to these issues.”

Elsayed’s comments were not limited to Muslim girls. Any woman whose clitoris has not been cut is prone to becoming “hyper-sexual” and incapable of being satisfied by just one man, he said. In other words: whores.

Still, without naming names, Ramadan criticized those who spoke out and urged them to keep any disagreements private.

It is a reaction indicative of a deeper mindset. In 2003, Ramadan drew criticism when he was unwilling to unequivocally condemn stoning adulterers. Like FGM, he said he was against the practice. But he couldn’t call for its ban. Instead, he called for “a moratorium so that there can be a real debate between Muslims.”

Omeish, meanwhile, seemed concerned about the damage a debate on an ugly topic might have on the community’s influence: “For the first time, my dear brothers and sisters, we as a community have the space, have the presence, have the numbers, have the ability, inshallah [God willing], to engage and influence and discuss public discourse and bring forth what we believe in…”

He described Dar al-Hijrah as a place “embattled for so many years with a false narrative and a false paradigm that was never able to stick on Dar al-Hijrah because Dar al-Hijrah never practiced it. There is no extremism. There is none of that sense that we keep getting.”

It’s an odd argument to make, given that Dar al-Hijrah also has been home to Anwar al-Awlaki, who went on to become an al-Qaida spiritual leader and one of the terrorist group’s most effective radicalizers. Law enforcement officials also have described the mosque as “associated with Islamic extremists” and was “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.”

Omeish also made it clear that Elsayed remains a “beloved senior imam” who “will continue to be a leading member and he will be, inshalllah [God willing], kept in the highest regard” despite endorsing FGM.

In addition, Elsayed has cast Muslims as first in line for jihad and described the labeling of suicide bombers an “in-house business” for Muslims.

Now, Tariq Ramadan seems to be casting the FGM debate as “in-house business.”

Ramadan’s decision to weigh in on the matter shows that Dar al-Hijrah is an important base for the Muslim Brotherhood in America, said Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, who used to pray there often.

“Let’s make no mistake about it,” Muhammad said. “Shaker [Elsayed] is the spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood in America and they’re not going to let him go down.”

Earlier this week, a Libyan House of Representatives security committee named Omeish a terrorist, saying he is an “international member of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Meanwhile, no major Islamist organization – what Muhammad calls the “immigrant Muslim syndicate” – has publicly commented on the female genital mutilation controversy.

Muhammad locked in on another part of Elsayed’s remarks that have drawn less attention. An area woman used to conduct the procedure, Elsayed said. To Muhammad, that’s a sign that girls in the D.C. area have been subjected to mutilation. “We need to round up these animals and throw them in jail for about 30 or 40 years and send a message that we’re not having this in America,” he said in a YouTube commentary. “These girls that are being butchered – these are American girls. These are girls that are born right here on the shores of the United States of America, being mutilated, butchered, by these primitive evil people.”

FGM is a growing practice in the United States, Muhammad believes. It is being imported by Muslims from other countries. When Elsayed rescinded his apology, reportedly claiming, “I’m an American” and can believe what he wants, the congregation applauded, Muhammad said. That means “they’re going to do it (FGM).”

Also see:

Dar al-Hijrah Imam Endorses (Partial) Female Genital Mutilation

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Jun 2, 2017

Female genital mutilation (FGM) can be an effective tool to prevent promiscuity among girls, the imam at a prominent northern Virginia mosque claimed in a recent lecture flagged by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Without it, “hyper-sexuality takes over the entire society and a woman is not satisfied with one person or two or three,” said Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center Imam Shaker Elsayed in a May 19 talk, “Foundation of a Happy Family.” Only tip of a girl’s clitoris should be cut, he said, otherwise it creates “serious harm in the sexual life of the child when she grows up. And this is why the West thinks of alkhikah as sexual mutilation…”

The video remains posted on the Falls Church, Va. mosque’s YouTube channel.

Muslim societies which prohibit FGM are making a mistake “to prohibit the tradition and they end up causing a lot of damage on the other extreme side of the sexual life of a woman,” Elsayed said.

He isn’t the only prominent voice in the U.S. Muslim community endorsing female genital mutilation. The Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) endorses the practice in two fatwas posted on its website, using justifications similar to Elsayed’s. While not required, one fatwa says, “it is considered an honorable thing for females.”

Islamist advocates argue that FGM has nothing to do with Islam

After several Detroit area doctors were charged with violating Michigan’s ban on female genital mutilation in April, activist Linda Sarsour denounced denouncing the practice as contrary to Islam.

“FGM has no place in Detroit or anywhere else in the world. FGM is barbaric & not an Islamic practice,” Sarsour wrote.

She should target that message to its proponents. Sarsour spoke at a fundraiser at Elsayed’s mosque six days before his talk on female anatomy and promiscuity. FGM did not come up, but Sarsour described Islam’s prophet Mohammed as “a feminist in his own right.”

MB Backers Hide Terror Support During Capitol Hill Visits

by John Rossomando
IPT News
May 15, 2017

When two leaders of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked advocacy group lobbied Congress on May 3, they failed to disclose their open support for the Popular Resistance Movement (PRM) and the Revolutionary Punishment Movement (RPM), terrorist groups that have carried out attacks in Egypt.

Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) President Hani Elkadi and spokesman Mahmoud El Sharkawy asked that aid to Egypt’s military rulers be cut off due to the regime’s human rights record, according to a video of one of the meetings that Elkadi posted on his Facebook page. A staffer for an unidentified member of Congress expressed sympathy with the EAFJ members and told them that his member thought President Trump should not have hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House.

The EAFJ officials’ support for violently overthrowing al-Sisi was never mentioned in the video.

Elkadi, El Sharkawy and other EAFJ members posed for photos outside the offices of Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Robert Brady, D-Pa.; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; Brad Sherman, D-Calif.; Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.; Kathleen M. Rice, Bonnie Watson-Coleman, D-N.J.; and the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Representatives for McCaul, Upton and Fortenberry told the IPT no one from their offices met the EAFJ delegation. The Democratic congressional offices did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Elkady and El Sharkawy’s support for the Egyptian terrorists is made clear by their social media posts.

In February 2015, they posted PRM’s bloody hand logo with a communiqué from the terrorist group to their respective Facebook pages. The communiqué claimed responsibility for attacks on two police cars, but it did not provide additional details. It included the motto: “God, Martyrs, Revolution” in Arabic. The same bloody hand logo appears on a PRM-linked Facebook page called @Popular.Resistance.EGY that the PRM uses to claim responsibility for its attacks.

The PRM reportedly was founded by three Muslim Brotherhood officials who wanted to react violently to the Brotherhood’s ouster from power by the Egyptian military in 2013. Its first communiqué came on the first anniversary of the military’s deadly assault on Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares.

“We shall pay willingly with our blood until we crush the lackeys of Israel,” the communiqué said. “Retribution for the martyrs is our right, and we shall eventually attain it. So long as people seek their rights, their rights will not be lost. Allah …. Martyrdom ….. Revolution.”

In June 2015, El Sharkawy praised the RPM – a terror group aligned with the PRM –after it killed a man because he helped police round up 40 leaders of pro-Brotherhood protests in Helwan.

“The Revolutionary Punishment Movement executes one of the traitor guides in Helwan!!” El Sharkawy wrote on Facebook.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen deny any connection with these terror movements, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) notes, but plenty of evidence points to a connection. That includes Brotherhood members issuing statements supporting their attacks.

Among the examples, is former Muslim Brotherhood parliament member Muhammad Sagheer’s 2015 statement: “To the decisive Revolutionary [Punishment] movements: [Coptic businessman Naguib] Sawiris declared that it was he who was financially supporting the Tamarrud movement [which worked to topple the Mursi regime]. I hereby tell you that his property and institutions are a legitimate revolutionary target. Rebellion [Tamarrud] will encounter retribution.”

Abu Emara, a former top Muslim Brotherhood leader, told Egypt’s Al-Bawaba newspaper that the RPM’s fighters belonged to the Brotherhood.

PRM and ISIS each claimed responsibility for an attack against police officers near Cairo on May 7, 2016. The attack was intended to mark 1,000 days since the August 2013 Rabaa massacre, PRM said. This simultaneous claim of responsibility was not an isolated incident, said researcher Patrick Poole, who just returned from Egypt where he interviewed the former head of security for the Sinai.

Poole told the Investigative Project on Terrorism that a similar incident happened in January 2016 after Egypt’s Interior Ministry raided a bomb factory on a farm outside Cairo. Evidence recovered in the raid led police to an apartment in the city of Giza where their suspects blew themselves up killing the officers.

“They were pursuing Muslim Brotherhood people and lo and behold Revolutionary Punishment put out a claim of responsibility on social media, and later so did the Islamic State,” Poole said. “In every one of those cases, whether it’s Popular Resistance, Revolutionary Punishment, both the Interior Ministry and NGO experts like [former Sinai security chief] Khaled Okasha, those groups are all part or were part of Mohamed Kamal’s network.

Kamal was the youngest member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau – its top organ – who was killed in a shootout with Egyptian police last October; authorities identified him as the head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “armed wing.” He established a network of terror cells in Cairo and in Upper Egypt, mostly made up of Muslim Brotherhood youth members, Poole said.

When Kamal died, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi prayed for him as a martyr. Elkadi, one of the EAFJ officials trying to lobby Congress, shared a post showing that on his Facebook page.

Another post includes an official Muslim Brotherhood communiqué condemning Kamal’s “assassination” by the “coup criminals” with the hashtag #Kamal_martyrs.

Elkadi deleted that, but not before the IPT saved it as a screenshot.

A month later, Elkadi called for jihad.

“A question to all young people against the bloody military coup. If the summons of Jihad calls you to live for Jihad, live for success. Are you ready for the call? … Will we find one who brings his money or half for the expenses of Jihad? Will we see one who leaves everything and lines up in the ranks of the Mujahidin?” Elkadi wrote.

He publicly proclaimed his allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood in a March 2015 Facebook post.

He attended meetings of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) – a group of exiled Morsi-era Muslim Brotherhood politicians – over the May 5 weekend in Istanbul. The website of the banned Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) notes that Elkadi reported on EAFJ’s activities in America including its recent meetings on Capitol Hill.

Al Bawaba identified El Sharkawy as a member of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2015. It also alleged that El Sharkawy was responsible for funding and coordinating operations with Brotherhood members living in Turkey and Qatar.

Other EAFJ member who participated in “Egypt Day at Capitol Hill” publicly endorsed violence or intimidation.

Aber Mostafa, for example, posted the personal information of a pro-Sisi owner of an Egyptian soccer team with the word “Attaaack!” on the same day that Elkadi and El Sharkawy reposted the PRM communiqué.

Ayat Al-Orabi, a member of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council who participated in the lobbying trip, has spouted venom against Egypt’s Christians. In September, she accused Christians of “waging war on Islam,” a leading narrative terrorists use to gain recruits.

“Egypt is Islamic even if occupied by the coup gang and even if assailed by the apostate criminal lackey of the Zionist entity,” Orabi said. “They must realize that the crescent is above the cross, and Islam is above all.”

It’s clear that the EAFJ delegation visited Capitol Hill. It is not known, however, how many offices agreed to meet with them. Given the open support for jihad and terrorist groups by key delegation members, it’s a wonder they got anywhere near the halls of Congress.

“Moderate” Muslim Brotherhood Mourns Terrorist’s Death

blind-sby John Rossomando
IPT News
February 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inspiration For al-Qaida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supporters Remember Abdel Rahman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

 

 

Hamas, ISIS Affiliates, See Opportunity in Terror Truck Attack

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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.