IPT EXCLUSIVE: DHS Hires CAIR to Train French Officials

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by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 14, 2016

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) facilitated a training session last week for a French police delegation, in conjunction with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Community Engagement Office in Tampa, the Investigative Project on Terrorism has confirmed with DHS officials and other agencies.

This session stands in contrast with the FBI’s 2009 policy not to engage with CAIR outside of criminal investigations due to questions about the Hamas ties of its top executives. An FBI official wrote that “until we 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.” That FBI policy toward CAIR remains in effect, and was publicly reaffirmed in 2013.

CAIR-Florida issued a press release Dec. 8 giving details of the event, and posted numerous photos of the French delegation on its Facebook page. The training session was devoted to showing the French officials “how to effectively challenge violent extremist individuals of all backgrounds and prevent hate crimes, while protecting civil rights and challenging profiling and discrimination,” the release said.

Several French counter-terror officials received this training, including a representative of France’s Ministry of the Interior and many police chiefs.

1915They presented Nezar Hamze, CAIR-Florida’s regional operations director, with a medallion bearing the French national colors and inscribed: “Public Safety Departmental Directorate at Bouches-du-Rhone / Discipline – Valor – Devotion.”

“We appreciated the opportunity to communicate how restricting liberty encourages hate crimes and violence and that preserving liberty and civil rights is key to preserving peace and security,” CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly said in the release.

This indicates that the thrust of this training was devoted to discouraging counter-terror activities within Muslim communities, which CAIR often has falsely represented as infringing upon the civil liberties of Muslims. CAIR officials repeatedly urge Muslim Americans not to cooperate with the FBI.

DHS and the State Department participated in this CAIR training of French officials despite the well-documented record of CAIR’s ties to terrorists. Internal Muslim Brotherhood records obtained by the FBI place CAIR and its founders at the core of a Brotherhood-created Hamas support network in the United States known as the Palestine Committee.

CAIR’s Powerful Ties

CAIR officials enjoyed close relations with the Obama administration despite the FBI’s evidence linking it to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas. DHS/State Department coordination with CAIR is nothing new. The State Department sent CAIR officialsabroad to conduct foreign outreach.

The State Department hosted CAIR officials in October 2015 to discuss Syria and “the need … to challenge [alleged] aggressive Israeli actions targeting the Al Aqsa mosque compound, one of the holiest sites in Islam.”

Top CAIR officials repeatedly received White House invitations and participated in White House conference calls. DHS collaborates with CAIR on numerous non-public projects, and funnels anti-terrorism funds allocated by Congress.

CAIR received a sub-grant of $70, 324 from DHS in 2015, records show.

Hassan Shibly: Terrorist Apologist

Considering Shibly’s statements that Islamist ideology has nothing to do with terrorism and the rash of jihadist attacks that have rocked France since January 2015, his involvement in the training should be cause for alarm.

In an April 21, 2013 interview with OnIslam, Shibly said that, “American political scientists have made it very clear that those who commit acts of terrorism have nothing to do with religion and are often motivated by political, not religious, reasons. Actually, such attacks can never be justified and truly are nothing more than the result of having a twisted and sick mind.”

In a June 2014 blog post, Shibly argued that the purported “FBI entrapment program targeting the Muslim community” was an example of tyranny that strayed away from the “great ideals of liberty, equality and justice.”

In his view, the FBI manufactures terrorists through sting operations such as that against Sami Osmakac, convicted in 2014 on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of a fully automatic firearm.

“I’m concerned that the government’s own tactics turned him into a greater threat than he could have been on his own,” Shibly told the Tampa Tribune in a June 3, 2014 article. “There’s no need to enable a Hollywood-style plot … Would Osmakac have had the ideas and the means to do this crime but for the government informant?”

Shibly also is helping a family sue the FBI, alleging an agent unjustly shot and killed a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev after hours of questioning in his Orlando home in 2013.

Independent investigations, requested by CAIR, completed by the Justice Department and a Florida state attorney found that Ibragim Todashev, a “skilled mixed-martial arts fighter,” attacked the agent shortly after acknowledging involvement in a separate triple-murder case in Massachusetts. Todashev continued charging after being shot, prompting the agent to fire more.

Shibly rejected the findings, saying only Todashev could “contradict the government’s narrative,” but he was dead.

Kareem Shora: CAIR’s Ally at DHS

CAIR-Florida posted this image of Hassan Shibly and Kareem Shora at the French delegation program.

CAIR-Florida posted this image of Hassan Shibly and Kareem Shora at the French delegation program.

According to a source, Kareem Shora played a key role in organizing the French delegation’s CAIR training. Shora serves with the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) and a Community Liaison Council with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

He has a long record of denying the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. Last July, for example, Shora claimed that it was an “unfortunate reality” that Muslims were portrayed as “more vulnerable” to “potential recruitment to terrorist activities…including those represented by Daesh.” Instead of devising ways to counter this “unfortunate reality,” Shora said that the DHS was trying to “promote the notion” that Muslims were no more likely than anyone else to be recruited into terror organizations:

“It’s not because they’re Muslims. They represent nothing of Islam. Daesh represents nothing of Islam or a state for that matter, quote unquote. So I think our position, as U.S. government, is to advocate that point every opportunity we get. And from a Homeland Security perspective, in order to build a society that’s resilient to all threats, regardless of the nature of that threat, our job is to make sure that these communities don’t end up being categorized as being vulnerable, because they are in fact the ones most suffering as a result of those attacks.”

Shora helped leading Islamist figures attend DHS meetings, including Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and, Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America, records obtained by the IPT through the Freedom of Information Act show.

DHS could have turned to any number of organizations and people to work with the French delegation. Choosing an Islamist group whose ties to a terrorist group rendered it persona non grata with the FBI is either a sign of dangerous incompetence or institutional arrogance.

Obama Eid Celebration Again Empowers Islamists Over Reformers

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

IPT NewsJuly 21, 2016

The White House held a celebration Thursday afternoon to honor Eid al Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. While no guest list has been made public, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has learned that it includes a number of Islamist activists who have espoused views in direct contrast with American policy.

Among them were several officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a former official who remains close to the organization. In contrast, Muslim Americans who believe CAIR and other Islamist groups are not representative of the community’s diverse viewpoints were not invited.

The White House declined to comment to the IPT or release a complete list of invitees.

The inclusion of so many CAIR officials shows that the United States government has wildly different views about the organization.

FBI policy since 2008 prohibits engagement with CAIR, which touts itself as “a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group” and the country’s “largest Muslim civil liberties organization.”

But the FBI cut off CAIR’s access after its agents uncovered CAIR’s darker history.Internal documents and eyewitness accounts prove that CAIR was born into a network of Muslim Brotherhood-created support groups in the United States. Each branch of that network, known as the “Palestine Committee,” shared a mission of boosting the Islamist movement in general and Hamas in particular.

Until it determines “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,” a senior official explained in writing in 2009. [Emphasis added]

Here’s what federal prosecutors privy to the same evidence wrote in 2007:

CAIR has tried to ignore or minimize these statements. But it has never acknowledged the connections to the Hamas support network or ever tried to claim that it has evolved since then and no longer pursues its original secret agenda. It has had only one executive director in its history, and he was listed in a roster of the network’s members (see No. 25, Nihad Awad).

Despite this wealth of evidence, Thursday’s Eid celebration shows that the message to CAIR is a little different at the Obama White House: Come on in!

At least four CAIR officials were invited. Among them, a man who called the 2008 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza a “genocide” and who likens the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to ISIS, and a man who accuses the FBI of setting up innocent Muslims and of cold-blooded murder.

In addition, Ahmed Bedier, a former CAIR official in Florida who continued to raise money for the organization as recently as 2014, posted links to videos from the event on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

Honoring a holiday celebrated by several million Americans is fine. But the Obama administration’s insistence on inviting – thereby empowering – radical Islamist voices like the CAIR officials included Thursday overlooks the work and conclusions of its own career agents and prosecutors.

Once again, the White House guest list omits any members of the fledgling Muslim Reform Movement. That movement, representing more diverse opinions and arguably a more representative face of American Muslims, published a declaration that should be embraced by people of all stripes. It is worth reading in its entirety, but its preamble says they are fighting for “a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam” and clearly rejects “interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam.”

In addition to explaining what they reject, the reformists articulate what they stand for. “We are for secular governance, democracy and liberty. We are against political movements in the name of religion. We separate mosque and state. We are loyal to the nations in which we live.”

Someone needs to explain why that message can’t get a seat at the table.

“The saddest thing is not only the complete monopoly and dominance of American Islamist groups in the [White House] Eid celebration invitation,” Reform Movement member Zuhdi Jasser told the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “… but imagine how insulting it is that the [White House] also includes representatives of all the ‘petro-Islam’ and [Organization of Islamic Cooperation]’s ‘neo-caliphate’ tyrannies from Embassy Row. So the nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Pakistan who imprison, torture, and assassinate Muslim reformers like us are honored and invited down the red carpet along with their choir of American Islamist lobbyists (as Asra Nomani calls them: the #HonorBrigade) and yet genuine, honest free-thinking American Muslim reformers are completely ignored and blackballed. This has been the SOP for the Obama administration for now over 7 years. Their ‘Muslim’ related policies are dominated by the Islamist mafia at home and abroad. The Obama administration and their friends on the Left claim to be about diversity yet when it comes to diversity it’s all about racial and ethnic diversity and no ideological diversity within the House of Islam.”

The ideology two CAIR officials brought to the White House is inherently hostile toward U.S. policy.

In addition to comparing the IDF to ISIS, CAIR Los Angeles Executive Director Hussam Ayloush repeatedly accused Israel of committing genocide and a holocaust against Palestinians in Gaza. These accusations seem to redefine what constitutes a genocide or holocaust, since Gaza’s population is increasing steadily.

Ayloush also reacts similarly to most CAIR officials when asked about Hamas, the beneficiary of support from the American “Palestine Committee” to which CAIR was born. He refuses to acknowledge Hamas as a terrorist organization and quickly grows angrily defensive.

Hasan Shibly, Ayloush’s Florida counterpart, returns to the White House for at least the second time since December, when he was included in a discussion on religious discrimination. Like Bedier, he posted video from the event on his Facebook page Thursday afternoon, also showing Ayloush with him.

In the video, Shibly says the White House event triggered debate, since U.S. military strikes in Syria killed civilians. Ayloush, Shibly said, planned to deliver a letter “about the atrocities in Syria” to Obama. “Right now U.S. drone strikes – they’re the biggest creators of terrorism in the Middle East,” Shibly said.

That, presumably, means Shibly thinks drone strikes create more terrorism than ISIS.

Shibly said he and his colleagues also planned to criticize “consistent abuse by the FBI” and Customs and Border Protection “against the American Muslim community,” saying Muslim activists are harassed and accusing the FBI of “brainwash[ing] mentally disturbed youth to plan terrorist plots so they can justify the continued surveillance of the community.”

The White House embrace comes despite the fact that Shibly is helping a family sue the FBI, for allegedly shooting a Muslim without cause. Agents shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a “skilled mixed-martial arts fighter,” after hours of questioning in 2013 tied to an unsolved triple murder. Todashev also was a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. After reportedly acknowledging some involvement in the murder case, agents say Todashev attacked.

CAIR asked for independent investigations. But after two reviews found no wrongdoing, Shibly refused to accept the outcome. He also accused FBI agents of shooting a Detroit imam in 2010 after he had been “tied and bound.” Separate independent investigations and an actual video of the shooting showed this was not remotely true, but Shibly repeated the smear anyway.

He also defended a terror suspect who was arrested after loading what he thought was a bomb into his car. Sami Osmakac repeatedly expressed interest in violent jihad and dreamed of carrying out a “second 9/11.”

“I want to do something,” he said. “Something terrifying.” Before his arrest, he made a martyrdom video in which he called his attack “payback for Sheikh Osama Bin Laden.”

Still, Shibly cast Osmakac as a man who posed no threat to the public and blamed the FBI for setting him up.

He gets the White House invitation – again, at least his second – but Jasser and his fellow reformists are shut out. The imprimatur that accompanies an audience with the president of the United States can be used for tremendous good. It can raise new voices to prominence, and it can stimulate much-needed debate. The Reform Movement declaration, for example, specifically emphasizes the rights of women to equal treatment.

Instead, President Obama and his staffers continue to tip the scales to favor the most monolithic, pro-Islamist voices and protect the monopoly they enjoy on public debate.

It is beyond shameful.

Also see:

The War at Home

Ali-Muhammed-Brown-445x350Frontpage, By Robert Spencer:

As the Islamic State beheads a third hostage and the world recoils in horror and reassures itself that all this has nothing to do with Islam, it is useful to remember that jihad activity continues in the United States – although hardly anyone notices amid the rush to dissociate Islam from the mounting violence committed in its name and in accord with its literal teachings.

Take, for example, a Muslim from Seattle, Ali Muhammad Brown. KING 5 News reported that Brown is “currently in jail on $5 million bail for the alleged murder of a college student in late June.” He has “already been charged with gunning down two men at 29th and King Street in Seattle’s Leschi neighborhood on June 1.” And he is “now the prime suspect in a fourth homicide.”

The report noted laconically in its fifth paragraph, without elaboration, that “multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation say Brown told police he carried out the murders because he was on a jihad to kill Americans.” NJ.com added, also deep in its story on Brown’s murders: “Prosecutors say Brown is a devout Muslim who had become angered by U.S. military intervention in the Islamic world, which he referred to as ‘evil.”

That report also noted: “Ali Muhammad Brown said he considered it his mission to murder 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin as an act of ‘vengeance’ for innocent lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran. ‘All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.’” This is a reference to the Qur’an: “We ordained therein for them: ‘Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal’” (5:45).

New York radio host Todd Pettengill, host of WPLJ’s “The Todd Show,” said that Brown’s murder of Tevlin was evidence that “domestic terrorism is already here.” Pettengill declared: “It was in fact an act of jihad, perpetrated by a fellow American who sympathized more with those who want to annihilate us than with his own country and its people.”

Pettengill is right. Domestic terrorism is indeed already here. And it was here before Ali Muhammad Brown went on his killing spree. Another Muslim from Seattle, Musab Mohamed Masmari, was sentenced on July 31 to ten years in prison for pouring gasoline onto a stairway in a famous gay nightclub, Neighbours, and setting the stairway on fire last New Year’s Eve, when the club was crowded. If the fire had not been put out – the carnage would have been great.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg said: “One of Masmari’s close associates was interviewed by investigators and reported that Masmari confided in him that he ‘burned a gay club’ and that he did it because ‘what these people are doing is wrong.’” In another report from February, we learn that an informant told the FBI before this attack that Masmari could be planning “terrorist activity,” and that he had “opined that homosexuals should be exterminated.”

This incident should have been the impetus for a national discussion of violent Sharia enforcement in the U.S., and an examination of what could be done to stop Sharia vigilantism. Instead, the mainstream media largely ignored the obvious motive; in this report, it is discussed as “homophobia,” with no hint that this was one of the first incidents of violent Sharia enforcement in the U.S.

There are many more recent domestic terrorism cases as well. In mid-June, a Tampa Muslim named Sami Osmakac was convicted of plotting to bomb a Tampa bar and then blow himself up in a jihad-martyrdom suicide attack in another crowded area of the city. Osmakac said of non-Muslims: “We will go after every one of them, their kindergartens, their shopping centers, their nightclubs, their police stations, their courthouses and everything until we have an Islamic state the whole world.” Shades of “slay them wherever you find them” (cf. Qur’an 2:191; 4:89; 9:5).

Then there was Ahmed Abassi, who, according to the New York Post, wanted to derail a New York-to-Toronto Amtrak train. He also discussed with another jihad terrorist “a plot to release bacteria in the air or water to kill up to 100,000 people.” He was also, according to Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, plotting to “commit acts of terror and develop a network of terrorists here” in the U.S.

Abassi could have gotten fifty years in prison, but he “avoided terrorism charges by pleading guilty in Manhattan federal court to lying on his visa application and to immigration officials when asked why he flew to the United States in 2013.” Consequently, he could soon be a free man. What could possibly go wrong?

And let’s not forget Mufid Elfgeeh, a Muslim businessman from Rochester, New York. AP reported on June 2 that Mufid Elfgeeh “bought two handguns and the silencers as part of a plan to kill members of the U.S. armed forces returning from war as well as Shiite Muslims in western New York.”

AP, as anxious as Barack Obama or David Cameron to absolve Islam of responsibility for the evils done in its name, explained that Elfgeeh (like Ali Muhammad Brown) was plotting to kill troops “as vengeance for American actions overseas.” So why did he want to kill Shi’ites as well? As vengeance for Iran being a bitter enemy of his bitter enemy, the U.S.? Obviously Elfgeeh is a Sunni Islamic jihadist who wants to kill members of groups that he considers to be enemies of Islam. But AP will never tell you that.

The war is not just in Iraq and Syria (and Nigeria, and Thailand, and the Philippines, and Afghanistan, and Israel, and Egypt, and on and on). It is in the United States already. That war is the Islamic jihad against the West and the free world. There will be many more men like Ali Muhammad Brown and Musab Mohamed Masmari in the United States in the coming years. Actions like theirs will one day, not too long from now, be a more or less daily occurrence in the United States. But no need to be concerned: just remember, when things get really hot, that all this has nothing to do with Islam.

Bombing Attempt at Jacksonville International Airport: Terrorism or Immigration Problem?

Zeliko Causevic

Zeliko Causevic

By Jerry Gordon and Randy McDaniels

Zeliko Causevic, a registered Democrat, has been confirmed to be a refugee from Bosnia. It is not yet confirmed if he shares the same Islamic ideology of Bosnian extremist Sami Osmakac, who attempted a bombing in Tampa, FL in January 2012, or the Tsarnev brothers who were able to successfully complete their terror plot by bombing the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year. In July 2013, federal prosecutors charged Edin Sakoc, a Bosnian Muslim living in Vermont, with lying to U.S. immigration officials about his involvement in war crimes.

The vast majority Bosnian’s flooding into America share the Islamic faith.  According to Baylor University ”virtually all Bosnian refugees are Muslim”. All of the 200,000 Bosnian refugees who immigrated to the United States are Muslim. There is a Sunni Muslim community of Bosniaks in Jacksonville directed by Ejub Zejnic.

Considering the fact that many of these Muslims have personally experience a literal clash of civilizations during the recent religiously motivated wars between Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia … it would be reasonable to assume they would have a higher propensity toward a more radical strain of Islam and violence.

The United States in an effort to make up for what some considered an unfair immigration policy for decades in relation to countries of the Middle East and other state sponsors of terror, were ultimately successful in changing immigration policy in an effort to right this perceived wrong.

Right or wrong, these experiments in social justice over national security are have not fared well for the American people who have seen the emergence of a new phenomenon…. home grown terrorism by individuals who almost without exception embrace the Islamic faith.

Read more at Watchdog Wire

Terror in Tampa- CAIR Denial

IPT News: