WND, by Leo Hohmann, May 1, 2017:
An Islamist is an Islamist is an Islamist – and just because movements like the Muslim Brotherhood preach non-violence does not mean they are entirely peaceful, because they just may be poisoning the minds of the next generation of jihadists.
That’s the finding of a new study that traces the development of 100 prominent jihadists within the global Islamic movement.
Half of the jihadists profiled by Centre on Religion & Geopolitics had ties to supposedly non-violent Islamists, but they easily made the transition to the dark side in which they targeted innocent civilians with bombs, bullets or blades.
The term “Islamist” is used to describe supporters of fundamentalist Islam who are working toward the implementation of Shariah law, whether by peaceful or violent means.
But the study’s authors – in exploring “pathways to militancy” among 100 prominent Islamic terrorists – found there is often a fine line that separates the two sides of the Islamist coin.
The 100 men studied all have their ethnic roots in the Middle East and Africa but span multiple generations. The authors found that ties to non-violent Islamist organizations can often influence a person’s trajectory toward terrorism.
This is where individuals get schooled in the ideological principles of Shariah and jihad before “graduating” to the next level of actually carrying out attacks, according to the study.
A majority, 51 percent, of the terrorists under study were previously connected to Islamist groups that claim to be non-violent, including “bodies that are not necessarily political activist organizations but form a functioning arm of existing Islamist groups, such as youth wings, student associations, and other societies.”
Senior al-Qaida leaders, including Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheik Muhammad, Anwar al-Awlaki and current head man Ayman al-Zawihiri were all involved with or direct members of the Muslim Brotherhood before they became terrorist kingpins.
The Trump administration, after first signaling it would declare the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, backed off once Trump took office. A report last month by the Washington Times said Trump has decided to heed the advice of the U.S. State Department and the King of Jordan to not go after the Brotherhood.
One in four of the jihadists examined had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or one of its front groups.
“Our data links the leaders of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS today to the forefathers of the movement through people they met in prison, at university, and on the battlefield,” write the authors.
Steve Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, said the findings support the theory that non-violent Islamist groups “not only serve as potential incubators for radicalization and violence.”
They also continue to engage in violent incitement, encouraging others to carry out terrorist attacks, Emerson said.
It is the failure to recognize the role of non-violent jihadists that causes the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to lose the battle against terrorists, contends John Guandolo, a former FBI counter-terrorism specialist.
One lesson from the recent debacle in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in which former Saudi resident Ehab Jaber was allowed to threaten a Christian conference while brandishing five guns and 1,200 rounds of ammo, brought to center stage is that many leaders cannot discern friend from foe in the war against an energized Islamic movement, Guandolo said.
“This exposes Americans to greater danger each day,” he said on his blog, Understanding the Threat.
Here are a few examples Guandolo cites:
- Abdurabman Alamoudi was the most prominent Islamic leader in the United States in the 1990s. He founded or led major Islamic organizations, including the Muslim Student Association. He created the Muslim chaplain program for the Department of Defense, was a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the State Department and was the Islamic adviser to President Clinton. The Washington Post called him the “pillar” of the Islamic community in Washington, D.C. In 2003, Alamoudi was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London with $340,000 cash he received from the Libyan government for the global jihad. As the U.S. government later admitted, Alamoudi was a financier for al-Qaida. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison. The sentence was reduced under President Obama’s administration by six years. He will be released in three years. None of the men or women working directly with Alamoudi have been prosecuted.
- Mohamed Magid holds a secret clearance and, until recently, sat on the Homeland Security Advisory Committee. He worked directly with the last several secretaries of state, receiving awards from the FBI and lectures at CIA headquarters. He worked with the Obama administration and was publicly lauded by the president’s deputy national security adviser, Denis McDonough. Until 2014, Magid was the president of the largest Islamic organization in U.S., the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA – which also happens to be, according to the Department of Justice, a Muslim Brotherhood organization that directly funds the terrorist group Hamas. Magid was recently given another award by FBI Director James Comey.
- Anwar al-Awlaki was called the “new face of moderate Islam” by some in the media, including NPR and PBS. He gave lectures inside the U.S. Capitol about Islam’s prophet Muhammad and spoke at the Pentagon while he was served as imam of the Dar al Hijra Islamic Center in Virginia. This “moderate” Muslim was killed in September 2011 by a U.S. drone strike because he was the leader of al-Qaida in Yemen.
- Suhail Khan works for Microsoft and has been given access to inner circles of the Republican Party. On Sept. 11, 2001, he was working at the White House. His lead advocate is Republican strategist Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. A number of Republicans have stepped up to defend Khan, including leaders of the American Conservative Union. Khan served for two successive secretaries of transportation under the Bush administration and held a secret clearance. Khan is the son of one of the most influential Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the U.S. ISNA has an annual award named after his father. Khan publicly lauds his deceased father and proudly proclaims the mantra that Muslims love death more than unbelievers love life.
- Siraj Wahhaj was the first imam to offer prayers inside the U.S. House of Representatives. Wahhaj is an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and was a character witness for the Blind Sheik, convicted for his part in a number of terrorist plots in the U.S.
- On any given day, Nihad Awad can be found walking the halls of Congress, on CNN or Fox News programs, or meeting with Christian or Jewish leaders around the nation as a part of “outreach.” Local and national media promote Awad’s organization, the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, as a “civil rights organization,” and they go to great lengths to defend the group. The Justice Department identifies CAIR as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas. Awad is the leader of Hamas in the U.S. and – in UTT’s opinion – is also the guide/leader of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.CAIR has sued the authors of a WND Books exposé, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which documented the group’s radical ties. A trial in the case is expected to commence this fall.
“American citizens, your leaders across the board, of both political parties, have proven they are incapable of discerning friend from foe,” Guandolo concludes. “This war will be won at the local level or it will be lost. Local sheriffs and pastors are the key.”