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Refugees , immigration and terror in the U.S.

In the wake of the [2013] Kentucky case, the U.S. halted the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time, officials told ABC News in the 2013 investigation.
ABC News Report

The current debate over the admission of Syrian refugees focuses on the possibility that it will help facilitate the entry of terrorists into the U.S.

This view is based on the growing trend of Islamist immigrants in the U.S. that have been involved in terrorism in the last few years.  The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Natural Interest reports that it has identified at least 26 foreign-born individuals inside the U.S. who have either been charged with or convicted of terrorism in the last year with even more examples going back to 2013.  From an AL.com article by Leada Gore:

Sessions said U.S. officials have no access to Syrian government data to vet refugees and no capacity to predict whether those seeking refuge are likely to join militant groups. As proof of that, the  Immigration Subcommittee, which Sessions chairs, provided a partial list of apprehended foreign-born terrorists or terror suspects since 2013:

Sessions said these incidents are just a few of those identified by his committee. They should serve as a warning against any plan for relocation of immigrants, especially those from Syria, he added.

The concerns have not been limited to the GOP.   Several days ago, 47 House Democrats broke rank and joined with Republicans, voting for a bill aimed at pausing admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by adding requirements to an already lengthy screening process.   In the Senate, the Washington Post reported:

Longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Senate intelligence committee, warned in a statement Tuesday “we need to be very careful about Syrian refugee admissions.”

The Hill reports that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signed a letter to President Obama calling on him to not allow any more Syrians into the country “unless federal authorities can guarantee with 100 percent assurance they are not connected” to the Islamic State.

At least one Democratic was among the governors asking for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed.

UN records show a four fold increase (850,000) so far in 2015 of refugees entering Europe through the Mediterranean area compared to 2014 (216,000) with Syrians accounting for about 52% of the numbers.  From the trend, the numbers will most likely be significantly higher by the end of 2015. While the vast majority will most likely settle in Europe, U.S. allocations have been steadily increasing.

We noted last year in “Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?,  that according to U.S. Department of State refugee statistics, in 2007 Muslim countries accounted for about 20% of U.S. refugee admissions.  In 2008 there was a marked increase, with well over 50% (35,000+) of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries.  This repeated in 2009-2013 and the  2014 allocations authorize the increased level.  For 2015, 12,000-15,000 Syrians alone, are projected for admission.

The Paris bombings raised the possibility that forged Syrian passports are being used by terrorists and this certainly brings up concerns as to the actual identify of those being processed as Syrian refugees.   Earlier this week Bloomberg reported:

A Syrian passport found next to a suicide bomber in the Paris terror attacks may have been planted, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

Reports that the identity in the passport may have been registered in several countries along the so-called Balkan route raise the suspicion that it could be a deliberate attempt to implicate refugees and “make people feel unsafe,” de Maiziere said.

“There are indications that this was a planted lead, but it still can’t be ruled out that this was indeed an IS terrorist posing as a refugee,” he told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, referring to Islamic State, which France blames for organizing the violence.

Any link between France’s worst terror attack since World War II and Europe’s refugee crisis would raise the stakes for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she defends her open-door policy for asylum seekers in Germany’s debate over immigration and security.

Syrian refugee proponents are proclaiming  there has not been one terrorist act by a refugee in the United States.  When presented with the case of the Boston Bombers, these proponents counter that the Tsarnaev brothers were not really refugees.

An example of this can be found in a recent article on Reason.com that attempts to label GOP politicians as “Fearmongers”.  Ronald Bailey writes:

Note: Several commenters suggested Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, were refugees. Strictly speaking, they were the children of asylees. As Bloomberg News explained the two were given “derivative asylum status” and didn’t come through the refugee admissions program. Apparently the legal distinction is too fine a point for some readers. So be it, but they should nevertheless keep in mind that the brothers were two people out around 1.8 million people who were granted refugee or asylee status between 1995 and 2013.

This dismissal conflicts with a recent Dailymail.com article that notes:

Six Bosnian immigrants, three from Missouri, two from Illinois and one from New York, were charged in February with sending money and military equipment to extremist groups in Syria including ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front.

Last year we reported on the case  of Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington, VT (a naturalized U.S. citizen) who was facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery.

In 2013, an ABC news report detailed the 2009 discovery of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq:

An intelligence tip initially led the FBI to Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, in 2009. The Iraqi had claimed to be a refugee who faced persecution back home — a story that shattered when the FBI found his fingerprints on a cordless phone base that U.S. soldiers dug up in a gravel pile south of Bayji, Iraq on Sept. 1, 2005. The phone base had been wired to unexploded bombs buried in a nearby road.

An ABC News investigation of the flawed U.S. refugee screening system, which was overhauled two years ago, showed that Alwan was mistakenly allowed into the U.S. and resettled in the leafy southern town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city of 60,000 which is home to Western Kentucky University and near the Army’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Alwan and another Iraqi refugee, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 26, were resettled in Bowling Green even though both had been detained during the war by Iraqi authorities, according to federal prosecutors.

This week, ABC reported that, “Of the 31 states that have declared their opposition to taking in Syrian refugees, one state, Kentucky, has a specific reason to be wary of the background check process.”  This caused the U.S. to  halt the refugee program for Iraqis for six months, a fact the Obama administration did not disclose to Congress at the time.

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Orlando house shooting “Victim” tied to past terror funding

“The phone program follows the Muslim Brotherhood pattern of using deceptively described charities as a means to support terrorist causes.”
Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch

The news of shots being fired at a Muslim family’s home in Orlando, FL in the wake of the Paris, France terror attacks has made national news with base reporting from local outlets such as  www.wftv.com:

A 55-year-old Orange County family’s home was shot at Sunday, causing concern that their Muslim faith may have played a part in the wake of terrorist attacks in France.

The homeowner, who told Channel 9 his name is Amir Elmasri but is listed as Mahmoud Elmasri in an Orange County Sheriff’s report, was not home at the time of the shooting, which he believes happened between 8 and 10:20 a.m. Sunday.

During terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night, 129 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. Extremist group the Islamic State took credit for the attacks and warned of similar attacks in the U.S.

Similar reports were made by  www.mynews13.com and the Orlando Sentinal.  Accounts indicate that CAIR is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and calling on the Department of Justice to conduct its own investigation

amirelmasri

Amir Elmasri

What is not mentioned in any of the news reports is Amir Elmasri’s past ties to an apparent  U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Phone Scam that funneled money to the Benevolence and Global Relief Foundation located in Bridgeview, Ill.  

Both groups have been designated by the U.S Government as terrorist organizations in connection with the funding of Al-Qaida.

 

A 2001 AP article published in the Florida Times-Union,  reported:

Muslim charities suspected of helping finance international terrorism received at least $1.9 million in the past five years from Florida donors, records show.

The article further indicates:

One of the biggest single contributors was International Charity Network, a Winter Park company that gave $300,000 to Benevolence in 1996 and 1997 alone. Two other related local firms have given Benevolence a total of $171,210 since 1996.

A 2001 The Orlando Sentinel article also reported on theses links to terrorist groups and indicated that funding was achieved through changing subscribed Muslims’ long distance phone service over to MCI.

According to corporate filings, International Charity Network is now called Net One International, Inc.  and Amir Elmasri has been listed as the vice-President of the company since 1998.

A 2007 analysis of the reported phone scam and how it links to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leadership can be found at the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, which notes:

The phone program follows the Muslim Brotherhood pattern of using deceptively described charities as a means to support terrorist causes.

RELATED: In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed  a penalty of $1,600,000 against Net One International, Inc. (Net One or Company), for apparently billing consumers for unauthorized charges and fees purportedly in connection with long distance telephone service—a practice commonly known as “cramming.”    Amir Elmasri is listed as the vice-president of Net One International in the FCC filing.

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COMMENT: A search of the CAIR national site failed to disclose any mention of this incident.   A check of the CAIR-FL website showed simply a repost of news report that a family “claims it was targetted by gunfire” and “The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida said that it is investigating the case with their attorneys to determine whether the family was targeted.” Any mention of a request for Department of Justice action could not be found.

Boston: the good, the bad and the ugly

If it wasn’t for the surveillance video that showed Usaama Rahim charging JTTF members, Imam Ibrahim Rahim’s  claim that his brother was shot in the back  would have probably set off a repeat of what was seen in Ferguson and Baltimore.

As the trial and sentencing of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fades from the headlines, the shooting of suspected terrorist Usaama Rahim by Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) members, brings the city of Boston and Islamic terrorism back into the spotlight. 

The old adage of “where there’s smoke there’s fire” seems to certainly apply with Islamic related terror activities and Boston.

The good . . .

The top brass overseeing the FBI/JTTF in Boston apparently learned a very expensive lesson in the wake of the 2013 Boston bombing.   Surveillance and collection activities in regards to suspected Islamic terrorists in the Boston area must be a priority.  It takes just one major terror incident to slip by to attract all the critics and have operations placed under a microscope for review.

In a report we made in 2013, reference was made to an article by Bill Gertz of the Washington Beacon where he wrote:

Critics said the FBI’s failure to properly investigate Tsarnaev was a repeat of the bureau’s lapse in missing advance signs of the Islamist radicalization of accused Fort Hood massacre shooter, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Details about the shooting of Usaama Rahim and the Boston terror probe are still coming in, but it is obvious that the JTTF had obtained information about a potential threat  and was actively conducting surveillance of the subject.

The bad . . .

Some policy makers at the federal and local levels of government still want to embrace Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) progams such as the one promoted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) – Safe Spaces.    Such programs hamper proven counter-terror techniques, relying instead on Muslim community/mosque leaders to identify “misguided individuals” and contact the authorities when these leaders feel the threat warrants it.

The recent Boston incident provides an excellent example of why such CVE initiatives, like MPACs Safe Spaces, generally do not work:

  • Usaama Rahim’s brother, Imam Ibrahim Rahim, is a leading Islamic leader in Boston and claims he was not aware of his brother’s radicalization.  The Rahim family’s attorney told reporters that the family was completely unaware of any radicalization or ties to ISIS.
  • Imam Ibrahim Rahim claimed on twitter that his brother was shot three times in the back by authorities.  This has been shown to be a fabrication based on official reports and statements by community leaders that viewed surveillance footage of the incident.

boston-tweet-shotinback

  • Another Boston Islamic community leader,  Imam Abdullah Faaruuq was quoted in the Boston Herald saying:

If they thought he was a very dangerous person, they should have taken precautions in approaching him. I would. I wouldn’t approach a wild animal or anything I thought was dangerous without being fully prepared if I wanted to capture him and keep him alive. I don’t think they wanted to keep him alive.

As was shown with Boston Bombing case, Islamic community leaders are probably not the best source of to be relied on to identify radical elements and notify authorities.   If it wasn’t for the surveillance video that showed Usaama Rahim charging JTTF members, Imam Rahim’s claim that his brother was shot in the back would have probably set off a repeat of what was seen in Ferguson and Baltimore.

 The ugly . . .

As we have noted in the past, expect an apologist and misinformation campaign by Islamists that spins the shooting into a victim-hood portrayal of Muslims.   Since Usaama Rahim was black, race will be highlighted to gain sympathy from minority communities.

In short – the facts be damned.

A Canadian college and Islamic terror recruiting

“In Quebec, 11 of the 17 would-be fighters since January all went to Collège de Maisonneuve …”
– Montreal Gazzette

New report sheds light on growing number of foreign terrorist fighters

From: Montreal Gazzette
By: Catherine Solyom, May 27, 2015

A new United Nations report provides a stark assessment of the growing ranks of foreign terrorist fighters heading to the Middle East, how they are getting there and who is helping them — with obvious applications for those struggling to understand Quebec’s own vulnerability to recruitment after seven youths were believed to have travelled to ISIS territory since January, and another 10 were stopped at the airport.

There are now an estimated 25,000 foreign fighters from 100 countries — an increase of 71 per cent between mid-2014 and March 2015.

Released May 19, the report shares lessons learned in some 42 member states who provided written input, and draws on visits to 21 countries and bilateral meetings with 27 security agencies. Foreign fighters are also travelling to Afghanistan and Africa, but the surge over the last year has been to Syria and Iraq.

Numbers

“What has changed over the past three years is the scale of the problem,” the UN writes.

Out of the 25,000, the UN says six states have generated more than 1,000 foreign terrorist fighters each, 42 have generated more than 100 fighters each and a further set of countries have generated between one and 100 known cases each.

In early 2014, the Canadian government estimated that 130 people had left Canada in support of terrorism-related activities.

Full Article: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/new-report-sheds-light-on-growing-number-of-foreign-terrorist-fighters

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:   The initial UN report came out in March 2015 mentioning there were, “some 22,000 foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, there were also 6,500 in Afghanistan and hundreds more in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia. ”   Troubling confirmation of news and other accounts from various western countries of their citizens joining Islamic terror and militant groups.  The full, finalized UN report can be read HERE.

In 2013 we highlighted western recruited fighters in “Taking a Jihadi Vacation“.   

The Montreal Gazzette article highlights a particular concern for those in Canada regarding a junior college in downtown Montreal:

In Quebec, 11 of the 17 would-be fighters since January all went to Collège de Maisonneuve — and several attended the Centre Assahaba run by Adil Charkaoui, including at least one of the 10 youths stopped at the airport, whose father now blames Charkoaui. Most fighters are males, 15 to 35. What is new is the significant number of minors and girls heading to Syria and Iraq.

Prior to  the UN report, in April 2015 the Toronto Star reported on two Collège de Maisonneuve students arrested on terror charges.  In February 2015,  The Globe and Mail reported on six Montreal students, four believed to have studied at Collège de Maisonneuve,  suspected of traveling to the Middle East to join ISIS.   Iman Adil Charkaoui is mentioned in both articles.

A National Post article notes:

Beginning in the late 1990s, Canadian intelligence officers opened a file on Adil Charkaoui that eventually persuaded them he was a dangerous al-Qaida sleeper agent.

But after federal prosecutors chose to withdraw their security certificate case against him in 2009 rather than disclose intelligence sources, the Moroccan immigrant slipped from public view.

Today, Charkaoui, 41, has resurfaced as an imam, and he finds himself under a different cloud.

Instead of targeting jetliners or the Montreal subway system, as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service once alleged, he is accused of poisoning the minds of young Quebecers.

Charkaoui has denied any role in radicalization and complained he is the victim of a witch-hunt.

The National Post further reports:

Charkaoui first came to the attention of CSIS when he was spotted in the company of suspected Islamic extremists in Montreal, reports filed as evidence say. Ahmed Ressam, convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport, told CSIS agents that Charkaoui was present at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in 1998, the documents say. Charkaoui said he was attending Islamic schools in Pakistan at the time.

Ahmed Ressam  was convicted in 2001 for a 1999 plot to blow up the Los Angeles International Airport.  He was caught attempting to the enter the U.S. through a port in Washington state with explosives in the trunk of his rental car.  

Ressam also identified al Qaeda linked Zacarias Moussaoui as an individual he trained with in Afghanistan.  Moussaoui pled guilty to a charge of conspiring to kill citizens of the United States as part of the September 11 2001 al Qaeda terrorist attacks.

Based on past information obtained, Charkaoui should certainly be looked at, but additional activities/personnel at the junior college need to be heavily scrutinized as well.

Bin Laden bookshelf – a quick look – portions already released in 2012

The release of “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf” by the Office  of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) has refocused interest on the additional details regarding the operations and mindset of the Al Qaeda “mastermind”.  The content was found during the 2011 Navy SEAL team raid of Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  Portions had already been released to the public in 2012 through the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC)..

This declassified/released material is described by the DNI as “a sizeable tranche of documents”.   Some former U.S. government officials are hitting the talk shows saying it is only a very small portion of the documents seized – estimates of 6,000+ – others have implied far larger numbers.  

Most of the initial media coverage has been focusing on the books, magazines and periodicals found – many indicating  Bin Laden had sights set on western interests in the U.S., France and Germany.  Not really news there.

A bit more telling are all the letters and notes.  They provide unique background to Al Qaeda operations along with some insight into Bin Laden’s family relationships.  These will be subject to the scrutiny of third parties to verify or challenge the English translations. 

A few points of interest:

  • Bin Laden remained fixated on engaging American interests and Al Qaeda had a dedicated section (external operations) to organize and execute operations against western interests.  There were several references to an Al Qaeda spy network within the U.S..
  • Al Qaida members from western countries, such as German Bekkay Harrach (Al Hafidh Abu Talha al Almani) were highly regarded for  western recruiting operations and training.  (note: It was reported that Harrach was killed in 2010 by a U.S. drone strike.)
  • Bin Laden heavily monitored information released by the CTC.
  • Relations with the Muslim Brotherhood were lukewarm at best.  Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has been reported as being a Muslim Brotherhood member in his youth – claiming to abandon it later on.  He uses several aliases  and may be the “Abu Muhammad”  Bin Laden writes about in this letter  (date unknown – most likely late 2010/early 2011):
History taught us that the people in revolt will change the existing situation, and we at the moment should exert our efforts to guide them and to prevent their being represented by the half-solution people such as (TN: the Muslim) Brotherhood, and we hope that the next stage will be the reinstating of the rule of the Caliphate. As to the Muslim Brotherhood, we note that the young generation’s adhering to true Islam is a matter of time, as can be noticed by the Internet reply of Shaykh ((Abu Muhammad)) who is a Brotherhood member, in which he said that within the Muslim Brotherhood there are factions who now adhere to true Islam, and there is also a powerful Salafist faction within the Brotherhood.
  • as with ISIS, focus on establishing an Islamic Caliphate was the priority and end goal.
  • the “Arab Spring” uprisings were not viewed as wins for democracy. Bin Laden wrote that it would, “free the Muslim land from American hegemony” by toppling “tyrants”.  As country leaders were removed, Al Qaeda operatives would guide a move towards the formation of an Islamic state.
  • Bin Laden was  critical of Al Qaeda activity that would harm other Muslims.  This was conveyed in instructions regarding  actions in Somolia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Somali pirate actions were apparently Al Qaeda directed for funding, but the connection was not to be publicized:
We hope that you will send a letter to the brothers in Somalia to have them avoid declaring their solidarity with the al-Qa’ida, and to give their full attention to collecting ransommoney and hijack ships.
  • Security was a major concern.  Operations used compartmentalization as a safeguard.  Bin Laden realized that computers and electronic communications were a major risk and he preferred to use couriers for high-level communications. He wrote:
With respect to the communication over the internet, we have no objection in communication of general messages. However, even with what the brothers had mentioned regarding al-Asrar al-Mujahidin program, the secrecy of the external work does not allow its use. I recommend confirming with the interested brothers that the external work would only be through the trusted messengers.
  • Bin Laden believed classified Department of Defense information leaked through the website Wikileaks would provide Al Qaeda with important insight regarding U.S. combat strategy.
  • Al Qaeda relations with Iran appeared to be conflicting.  There are some indications of cooperation, but some letters include accounts of members being detained.

Nothing very revealing considering what the CTC released three years ago.

 

 

New Jihadi Intel/Information site

The Middle East Forum has started a new site, Jihad Intel,  claiming to provide information/intelligence on Islamic terrorist groups.  The Middle East Forum was founded by Daniel Pipes and is currently listed as the groups president.  Related sites include Campus Watch and Islamist Watch.

From Jihad Intel:

About Jihad Intel

Jihad Intel educates law enforcement and the general public with intelligence on radical Islam and Islamic terrorist groups. We provide local and state police with tools to connect the dots before major terrorist incidents and to solve cold cases.

The Database: Identifying Islamic Terrorist Organizations

There are countless Islamic terrorist organizations and new ones form continually. Each have their own identifying symbols. Most recruit globally on social media. In cities across the West, recruits are undergoing radicalization – some have received training overseas and are plotting terror attacks.

Recruits of radical Islamic groups are often under the radar, but they leave a trail of identifying clues.

Jihad Intel has established a database of objective identifiers of over 125 Islamic terrorist groups – emblems, flags, headbands, graffiti, social media tags and other symbols used to radicalize locals and incite moderate Muslims to violence.

Knowledge of these identifiers is critical for police officers on daily patrol and searches.

Designated Terrorist Organizations

Jihad Intel considers an Islamic organization to be terrorist if a Western country has designated the organization as such.

Jihad Intel provides background information on each terrorist organization, including a list of Western countries which have designated the organization as terrorist. Jihad Intel does list a number of newer organizations that have yet to be designated as terrorist by a Western country; in those cases, the lack of Western designation is noted.

The most common designators of terrorist groups are:

U.S. Islamists pushback on U.S. counter terror efforts

The Muslim community has to realize that a lot of the responsibility lies with them to cooperate with law enforcement
– Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)

King: Muslim Groups Complain About Harassment, Surveillance When Asked to Help Fight ISIS

From: Pjmedia.com
By Bridget Johnson, May 11, 2015

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) charged that all U.S. Muslim groups are doing is “complain about the fact that they’re being harassed and they’re being surveilled” as they need to step forward and help stop jihadi recruitment on U.S. soil.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a brief statement Friday that the group “engaged with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson during two separate meetings focused on the Obama administration’s new countering violent extremism (CVE) program in New York.”

“CAIR officials met previously with the secretary on the same issue in both Minneapolis and Los Angeles.”

King said a source in the meeting told him Johnson was “asking for them to step forward and be more cooperative” as they complained about harassment.

“Well, if we keep that attitude up, we’re going to get nowhere. The Muslim community has to realize that a lot of the responsibility lies with them to cooperate with law enforcement,” King said this morning on MSNBC.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  We highlighted the new CVE program when it was rolled out with a DOJ announcement in September 2014.  In February 2015, CAIR  stated that the “CVE is not an effective use of public resources ” so the observed lack of cooperation should not be surprising. 

The push by Islamic groups in the the U.S. has been towards the MPACs Safe Spaces program announced last year.   Safe Spaces places an emphasis on two key points:

  • the mosque/Muslim community makes the determination of  threat levels and when law enforcement is allowed to be involved.
  • the sanctity of the mosque is a priority

In other words, the interests of the mosque and its community apparently take precendence.  This view was expressed by Salam Al-Marayati, president of  MPAC who wrote in 2014:

Safe spaces are needed so that government informants and extremist recruiters are prevented from violating the sanctity of the mosque. In essence, we want to enhance both a spiritual safety and public safety.

As we indicated in “Islamist damage control – Safe Spaces revisited, the Safe Spaces Initiative can be tied into several front groups for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) such as CAIR and the Muslim American Society (MAS).   The author of the “Safe Spaces Tool Kit” is Alejandro J. Beutel – the lead face in MPAC’s organized effort to move U.S. law enforcement towards a community oriented policing model that effectively allows the Muslim community to exercise considerable control and influence.  He was a junior fellow with the Minaret of Freedom Institute.   According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, “The Minaret of Freedom Institute [is] a lesser known group tied to the U.S Brotherhood and whose leadership includes Omar Altalib, likely a relative of Hisham Altalib, one of the original leaders of IIIT and the SAAR Foundation“.

MPAC reported that during a June 2014 meeting of American Muslim and Syrian leaders in Chicago, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson applauded the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) for launching its community-based Safe Spaces Initiative.

RELATED:  In 2011 CAIR-California promoted a conference titled, ““FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Know Your Rights and Defend Our Communities.”  According to a Fox news report:

… the website of CAIR’s California chapter, features a sinister-looking FBI agent with the headlines “Build a Wall of Resistance” and “Don’t Talk to the FBI.” The poster was designed in the late 1970s or early 1980s and has been reproduced by various groups and activists since then in response to alleged harassment by the FBI and to protest grand jury subpoenas.

In the wake of Garland terror attack, fear cancels Geert Wilders FL event

Is the Boca West Country Club being “Islamophobic” in fearing a Muslim attack?

Safety concerns lead Boca club to cancel GOP event with Islam foe

From:  Palm Beach Post
By: George Bennett, May 7, 2015

The Palm Beach County Republican Party will have to find another venue for a fundraiser featuring the Dutch politician and Islam critic who spoke at Sunday’s “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Texas.

The local GOP booked Boca West Country Club for the $125-a-plate “Lobsterfest” dinner on Aug. 15 featuring Geert Wilders, leader of a right-wing party in the Dutch parliament. But the country club announced Thursday it has canceled the event because of safety concerns.

Full article: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/safety-concerns-lead-boca-club-to-cancel-gop-event/nmBx4/

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:    This was to be a private event and whether you agree with Geert Wilders or not, he and the event sponsors have a Constitutional right to present their views.    This decision works as a “win” for Islamists  in using fear and intimidation to silence those that oppose them. From the Sun Sentinal:

But representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations expressed outrage at the Republicans’ decision to have Wilders as a speaker.

“On the international level he is probably the most notorious, anti-Muslim bigot in the world,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the Washington-based national communications director for CAIR.

“He is the worst of the worst. This is the Islam-is-evil-and-must-be-destroyed school of thinking,” Hooper said. “And for the Republican Party to host him, I can’t imagine that any Muslim voter in the state … would not hear about it and judge accordingly.”

Michael Barnett, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party,  told the Sun Sentinal that to back out in hosting an event with Wilders would “go against everything we stand for”  pertaining to our freedoms of speech and religion. The Sun Sentinal continued with:

CAIR representatives said the free speech argument sounds good but is disingenuous. “Will they be hosting neo-Nazis and anti-Semites and other race-baiters and bigots? Or is it just anti-Muslim bigots that they host?” Hooper said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Nezar Hamze, CAIR-Florida regional operations director, said he’s heard the freedom of speech argument before. “It’s not about freedom of speech, it’s about spreading hate.”

It will be interesting to see if the local GOP actuall does find another venue or simply cancel Wilders’ planned appearance. 

Side thought:  Is the Boca West Country Club being “Islamaphobic” in fearing a Muslim attack?

Recommended Reading: Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism…

In a May 4, 2015 response to the recent Islamic terror attacks in Garland Texas, Patrick Poole writes (PJ Media) … 

It appears that this attack is yet another case of what I have termed “known wolf” syndrome, when the suspect is already known to law enforcement and intelligence. Virtually every terror attack in the West over the past year has been by one of these “known wolf” suspects.

Some additional articles by Poole covering what he coins as “Known Wolf” incidents:

 COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The “Lone Wolf”  label provides wiggle room for agencies like the FBI.   Terrorists that slip through the investigative crack, demonstrate the shortcomings of our counter-terror operations as noted by Poole in Oct 2014.  For Islamist groups in the U.S., the term helps add another layer of deniability, just like “self- radicalization”

Alabama woman joins ISIS – CAIR responds

Hoda said that her parents weren’t entirely in the dark about what their daughter’s newfound religious interest might lead to. “They didn’t know I was leaving, but they had an idea,” Hoda said. “They’d see news reports about girls who have made it [to Syria] and say things like, ‘Hoda would probably do that.’’’
BuzzFeed Interiview

A 20-year-old Alabama woman joined ISIS after receiving an innocent graduation gift

From:  www.businessinsider.com
By: Reuters and Pamela Engel, April 21, 2015

A 20-year-old woman from a Birmingham, Alabama, suburb has left the US to join the Islamic State militant group in Syria, the local broadcaster WIAT reported on Monday.

Hoda Muthana made contact with militants through social media and had been distancing herself from other Muslims in Hoover for more a year before leaving, said family spokesman Hassan Shibly, according to WIAT. Her family reportedly fled Yemen for the US more than 20 years ago.

Hoda’s father, Mohammed, told BuzzFeed that his daughter’s introduction to social media started with the smartphone he gave her as a high-school graduation gift in 2013.

She wasn’t technically allowed to have social-media accounts or post photos of herself (though her brothers were), but she apparently found a way around that.

Mohammed said he sometimes took her phone to check what was on it. He told BuzzFeed: “When I get the phone from her, sometimes she scared, and I thought, ‘What do you have?'”

During the year and a half before she left for Syria, Hoda became more devoutly religious. She told BuzzFeed that it was due in part to Islamic lectures she found on the internet.

Hoda said her parents noticed her becoming more religious and “liked the change until they saw me getting ‘jihadi.'”

In 2013, Hoda secretly set up a Twitter account that allowed her to find and connect with Islamic State members and supporters, including Aqsa Mahmood, who left her home in Scotland to join the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The cited Buzzfeed article provides additional details relating to this story and leaves the impression that Hoda’s radicalization was not exactly a surprise to those around her and probably not the result of getting a cell phone.

The Birmingham, AL   Muslim community  is centered around the Birmingham Islamic Society (BIS)  and we mentioned the area when Randy Wilson was arrested on terrorism related charges in 2012.  In a Washington post article, BIS president Ashfaq Taufique stated that Wilson had attended a Muslim school in Birmingham when he was younger.

The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is well represented in Alabama, especially in the locations around Birmingham and Huntsville.   These type of Islamic radical recruiting incidents bring unwanted attention to the area and it would be safe to assume that damage/media control is considered a high priority.  With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the identified family spokesman Hassan Shibly, is the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)  Florida – someone frequently called upon to handle high profile PR matters for CAIR. 

In regards to CAIR, The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch notes

In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR.  In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”

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