Earlier this month we mentioned the Canadian website Point de Bascule in our report, Islamist Propaganda: The Montgomery County Model, WORDE and the Muslim Brotherhood . It was regarding Hussein Hamdani, an advisor to a Canadian security agency, who has been suspended pending an investigation into his alleged ties to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas related organizations.
The Canadian National Post (NP) just published an article by Catherine Solyom that focuses on possible motivations behind Hamdani’s suspension titled, “Hero or extremist“. It devotes a good amount of time on attempting to discredit the credibility of Point de Bascule’s author, Marc Lebuis. It fails to fully explore the validity of reports that Hamdani has ties to Islamist groups, relying instead on statements made by Hamdani that he is simply a victim.
Another version of the article appears in the Montreal Gazette titled, “Hussein Hamdani: Vetted by the feds, felled by a blog“ with additional references to Pamela Geller and Steven Emerson along with an expanded history of Hamdani’s community involvement. This version also includes a statement by researcher Seigfried Mathelet calling Lebuis a “militant”.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) has labeled the NP article a “hit piece” and we agree. GMBDW defends Lebuis, responding in depth to the four issues Solyom raises. Recommended reading.
A key point to all this: Hamdani was not suspended until after a televised report by French language TVA network journalist Michel Jean was made about Hamdani’s questionable ties. Solyom acknowledges this in her article yet makes no attempt to question any motives that TVA or Michel Jean might have pertaining to the broadcast.
The article includes:
Seigfried Mathelet, a post-doctoral researcher at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said he knows of Lebuis as a “pseudo-expert” who has worked for years to gain influence with political decision-makers and the mainstream media, even though he has no links to academic research.
His modus operandi, like that of numerous anti-Islam bloggers and organizations based in the U.S., Mathelet explained, is to take anything problematic associated with Islam – like the Boko Haram or ISIS attacks – and link them to people in Canada.
Matthew Duss, the lead author of Fear, Inc. 2.0. — a report published by the Centre for American Progress on anti-Islam organizations and their sources of funding – says Muslim-bashing is a very lucrative business in the U.S., and it may be in Canada, too.
Duss believes Point de Bascule may be part of an international “Islamophobia network.”
These two above sections are mentioned to highlight the fact that even so called “experts” miss the mark when dealing with these terms …
- Islamist –
- Muslim: a follower of the religion of Islam
“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.
“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.
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.
“To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community.”
– Lorenzo Vidino, director of the program on extremism at George Washington University
The below article covers a presentation at a Canadian Senate committee by Lorenzo Vidino . See our comments following the article excerpt as to the disconnect we see with his message.
Beware of the Muslim Brotherhood, expert warns
From: The Ottawa Citizen
By: Ian Macleod, May 16, 2015
Authorities should be concerned about the unseen hand of the Muslim Brotherhood gripping sections of Canada’s diverse Muslim community, says a U.S. security expert.
The movement has planted its revivalist interpretation of Islam, political ideology and activism among some Muslims here and sees itself as a minder and broker between them and the rest of society, Lorenzo Vidino, who specializes in Islamism and political violence, told the Senate’s national security committee recently.
“They basically aim to be the gatekeepers to Muslim communities, that whenever politicians, governments or the media try to get the Muslim voice, if there were such a thing, they would go through them, sort of the self‑appointed leaders of Muslim communities,” he said.
Vidino is director of the program on extremism at George Washington University and author of The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Columbia University Press, 2010). He sees no direct links to terrorism among the group’s western supporters. In fact, some work to prevent violent radicalization, he said.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The headline is certainly sound advice, but …..
With that said, the article claims that the Muslim Brotherhood does not actually exist as a group in North America. The cited expert, Lorenzo Vidino, advises that the threat comes from “an informal network where you have strong links based on personal and financial connections, and at the end of the day what matters the most: ideology. They all embrace a certain world view.”
Vidino makes a point of downplaying the threat posed, seeing no direct links to terrorism by western supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood .
This certainly conflicts with well documented past terror funding investigations such as Global Chemical/International Islamic Relief Organization, Benevolence International Foundation , SAAR, and the Holy Land Foundation – all tied to Muslim Brotherhood interests.
Even if fundraising is not considered a direct link, Vidino appears to have overlooked the testimony he provided before the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT, Analysis, and Counterintelligence on April 13, 2011:
In the United States, argue pessimists, someone like Abdurahman Alamoudi exemplifies this approach. In 1990, upon finishing his graduate studies in Boston, Alamoudi settled in Washington D.C., where he co-founded the American Muslim Council (AMC), a small but influential Muslim Brotherhood-linked lobbying group. Alamoudi soon became a staple of Washington life, establishing good relationships with both Republican and Democratic administrations and even managing to lobby Congress to host, for the first time in history, the opening invocation from an Islamic leader. The Department of Defense put Alamoudi in the powerful position of training and vetting the imams who attend to the religious needs of American Muslims serving in the military. His organization was praised by the FBI as “the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States,” and the State Department appointed him as a goodwill ambassador.
Washington’s establishment considered Alamoudi a successful, representative and moderate Muslim leader who could be a spokesman for the American Muslim community. In 2003, however, this veneer collapsed. An investigation triggered by a routine customs control at London’s Heathrow Airport showed that Alamoudi was involved in a murky al Qaeda-linked plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah. Alamoudi later pled guilty to all charges and is now serving a 23-year sentence. Wiretaps and recordings that emerged after his arrest showed that Alamoudi had consistently praised al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah in private and in various public gatherings. Although the height of Alamoudi’s fall make his case unique, critics argue that Alamoudi’s ability in advancing his agenda while displaying a moderate façade when interacting with Western elites is hardly an exception but rather the Brothers’ standard modus operandi.
For most, being involved in an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate someone would certainly be a direct link to terrorism.
In regards to a Muslim Brotherhood presence in North America – or lack there of – the Ottawa Citizen article continues with …
To start, there is no group calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood” in North America. Instead, a few hundred sophisticated, politically savvy and well-funded supporters in Canada have over the past 50 years created vocal and visible organizations that represent a very small part of the Muslim community. They exert a disproportional influence over mosques, schools and spaces where Muslims come together, said Vidino.
This is a concept Vidino had pushed in a 2011 brief, “The Global Muslim Brotherhood: Myth or Reality“. Relying on information provided by Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt and the Middle East he wrote:
Entities belonging to the “global Muslim Brotherhood” work according to a common vision but in complete operational independence. There are consultations and constant communication, but each is free to pursue its goals as it deems appropriate. Therefore the global Muslim Brotherhood is today most properly identified not as a group or even a loose federation, but simply as an ideological movement, in which different branches choose their own tactics to achieve their short-term goals in complete independence.
This claim ignores the documentation discovered during the Holy Land Foundation investigation that included an organizational phonebook and the Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America , a portion of which reads (we added the bold/underlined):
One: The Memorandum is derived from:
1 – The general strategic goal of the Group in America which was approved by the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference for the year [I987] is “Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is”.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch countered the conclusions in Vidino’s 2011 brief with:
Vidino cites no actual evidence for the assertion that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is simply an “ideological movement” whose entities have “complete operational independence.” Even more concerning is that he does cite various proclamations from Brotherhood sources such as self-described foreign minister Youssef Nada or the Muslim Brotherhood website, all of which would have us believe that the Global Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than “a common way of thinking.” However, it should not have to be repeated that the Brotherhood is, at it heart, a covert organization and their are few reasons to accept and many reasons not to accept their statements about themselves at face value. Where actual evidence exists, it points to a far more sophisticated organizational structure than admitted to by the Muslim Brotherhood itself.
We concur with the Ottawa Citizen headline – not so much the body of the article.
RELATED INTEREST: Report raises concerns of Muslim Brotherhood’s links to Canadian groups – (5/2014)
Canada’s Hamilton Spectator recently reported the following:
TORONTO — The first museum in North America devoted to Islamic art will help promote an understanding of a religion that is based on tolerance and pluralism, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday at the new landmark’s opening ceremony.
The Aga Khan — spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili community — joined Harper in Toronto to celebrate the opening of his namesake museum, the $300-million Aga Khan museum and Ismaili centre.
Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s track record with the country’s Muslim community has been bumpy this year. In January 2014, The National Council of Canadian Muslims (formerly CAIR Canada) filed a libel suit against him over his failure to apologize for a comment linking the organization to the terrorist group Hamas. His appearance at the museum’s opening may improve his image with Muslims and Harper has maintained a relationship with the Aga Khan for several years. In 2010, it was reported that the Prime Minister had conferred an honorary Canadian citizenship on the Aga Khan- only the fifth person to be so honored.
The relationship may cause some concerns with Harper’s supporters.
The Ismailis, also refered to as Seveners, are a subset of Shia Muslims. They are viewed as a peaceful group, but there are a few troubling issues with their leader. The Aga Khan , controls a vast international network of business and philanthropic ventures and his estimated net worth is over $800 million. Through the Aga Khan Development Network these holdings include a controlling interest in Habib Bank (HBL)/HBL Pakistan.
In 2007, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s widow Mariane sued the bank for damages relating to its funding of al-Qaida and involvement in the 2002 murder of her husband by Islamic jihad terrorists. The suit alleged Habib Bank knowingly provided financial services for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The suit was dropped a few months after filing with Mariane Perl’s lawyers only stating that the bank had not answered the suit. In 2002, the Pakistan’s Privatization Commission granted the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network, majority ownership of HBL against an AKFED’s investment in the bank. In 2004, the Pakistani government turned over full management control of Habib Bank to AKFED.
In 2012, Money Jihad reported:
Habib Bank and its former compliance officer Syed Itrat Hussain have been fined over a half million pounds by the British for downplaying the risks of dealing with customers in jurisdictions prone to money laundering and terror finance.
sidenote – In 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry received criticism after a Salon.com article focused on his relationship with the Aga Khan.
Proselytizing of a political or religious nature is not permitted during The Event.”
– Doors Open letter of agreement
In a June 1st column in the Toronto Sun, Tarek Fatah reported on the findings of area author John Goddard who participated in the 15th Annual Doors Open Toronto event held last week in the Toronto area:
In his quest to discover Toronto’s past recently, Goddard participated in the annual “Doors Open Toronto” city-wide festival.
The tour offers what the City of Toronto calls “free, rare access to more than 155 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across Toronto.”
Goddard discovered this year’s festival included many mosques, at least one of which had a unique and pleasing architecture, with a tall minaret.
The Doors Open site lists several religious locations as part of the program. The event’s primary focus is on buidlings of “architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city.” Fatah reports that on arrival at the Islamic Foundation mosque in Scarborough, Goddard found not so much a showcase of the architecture of the institution, but a focus on free literature proselytizing about Islam.
… this word (jihad) is used particularly for a war that is waged solely in the name of Allah … This supreme sacrifice of life devolves on all Muslims.
Another location Goddard visited was the Toronto mosque known as “Masjid Toronto,” run by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). Researcher Tom Quiggin has identified MAC as one of the “examples of Muslim Brotherhood adherent organizations in North America.” Cultural Jihad mentioned Quiggin’s recent report on the Muslim Brotherhood in North America last month.
Fatah contacted Julian Sleath, programming manager of Doors Open Toronto, and inquired why such literature was allowed to be distributed. Sleath apparently acknowledged the book on jihad was distributed, but added: “In our Doors Open letter of agreement there is the clause: “Proselytizing of a political or religious nature is not permitted during The Event.”
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: An additional Islamic location listed on the Doors Open site was the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International.
” Dawah” is proselytizing and appears to be the main function of this rather plain, store-front location shown to the left.
Muslim Brotherhood activities need to be probed in Canada, report says
From: CBC News, May 27, 2014
The Canadian government should consider investigating the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has entrenched itself in North America and represents a greater systemic threat than al-Qaeda, according to a newly released report on the group.
“The aim of the group in North America is to weaken and destroy the free and open societies within Canada and the U.S.A. from within and replace them with the heavily politicized views of [founder] Hassan Banna, Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to the report, entitled The Muslim Brotherhood in North America (Canada/U.S.).
The report, written by Tom Quiggin, a court expert on terrorism and member of the Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network, raises concerns about the Brotherhood’s alleged ties to Canadian organizations, some which have either been accused of being terrorist organizations or alleged to have links to extremist groups.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: There does not appear to be an “official” website for the The Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network with the exception of a blog. Reading the report is a bit awkward. The 11 sections are posted on the blog page , in the right column.
All that aside, the information in the report comes from a variety of public sources. Good information, but nothing really new. With the increased scrutiny of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.K., perhaps it will sway a few folks to be a bit more skeptical. Unfortunately, past efforts/reports in the United States have yet to cause much of a ground swell and Canadians tend to be even more politically correct than their neighbors to the south.
Recently the Canadian version of CAIR, National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM)/CAIR.CAN, filed a defamation lawsuit against the prime minister for linking the group to terrorism during comments in Jan 2014.
Current estimates place the Canadian Muslim population at over 3% as of 2011. The U.S. estimate is 0.6%.
The recently foiled Canadian train terror attack is being heralded as the shining example of how law enforcement working with the Muslim community makes us all safer. This was even mentioned in the article by Fareed Zakaria we highlighted.
At what price is this level of cooperation? The citizens of Toronto are finding out …
Author/commentator/blogger Pamela Geller, was scheduled to speak at a Thornhill, Ont., synagogue. The host for the event is Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of the Chabad Flamingo Synagogue, who also serves as a force chaplin with the York Regional Police. These two factors led to the following, as reported on May 1st, 2013 by Sun News:
TORONTO — York Regional Police threatened to remove a rabbi as one of the force’s chaplains if he hosted a controversial anti-Islamist speaker at his Thornhill, Ont., synagogue.
Insp. Ricky Veerappan of the force’s diversity, equity and inclusion bureau, confirmed he and officers from the force’s hate crimes unit met with Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of the Chabad Flamingo Synagogue on Tuesday.
They expressed concern about an upcoming talk to be given by Pamela Geller, a vocal critic of radical Islam. She’s protested past plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, and has posted anti-jihad messages in that city’s subway system.
Subsequent to his meeting with police, Kaplan cancelled Geller’s May 13 talk, which was sponsored by the Jewish Defence League (JDL) — a hard-line advocacy group which had rented space in Kaplan’s synagogue for the event.
“I think the police are turning a blind eye to who they should be keeping an eye on,” said the JDL’s Meir Weinstein, referring to radical Islamists. Weinstein said another location will be chosen for Geller’s appearance.
Veerappan said he told Kaplan that Geller’s speech “would not be endorsed by York Regional Police” and that the rabbi’s role as a force chaplain would be thrown into question if he were to allow the event.
“If he did (host Geller), then we’d have to reassess our relationship with (Kaplan),” Veerappan said. “We serve the needs of the entire community. Some of the stuff that Ms. Geller speaks about runs contrary to the values of York Regional Police and the work we do in engaging our communities.”
Veerappan said a member of York’s Muslim community, whom he wouldn’t identify, brought Geller’s scheduled talk to the attention of police.
IMPORTANT NOTE: in March 2013, the University of Toronto hosted Tariq Ramadan who had been denied entry into the U.S. because of his terrorist ties. The Muslim chaplin for the university is Imam Abdul Hai Patel – who also serves with Rabbi Kaplan as a York Regional Police chaplin. Despite Ramadan’s history, there are no known reports of the York Regional Police approaching Iman Patel over reassessing the relationship with him
This is not the first time police in Toronto have used their authority to intimidate on behalf of area Muslim interests.
In 2007, then Hamilton Spectator columnist Tahir Gora reported a death threat posted on his Facebook page, listing him as an enemy of Islam and he should be put to death. He was “visited two days later by a pair of Muslim officers who tried to talk him out of filing a complaint against a fellow Muslim.”
In 2011, Canadian author Tarek Fatah wrote of his frustration over how the police in Toronto handled death threats he received. He wrote:
I contacted Toronto police. Within hours, two uniformed policemen from 51 Division came to interview me in hospital. However, barely one minute later, we were interrupted. Two men entered the room and told everybody else to leave. They did not identify themselves, but five minutes into what amounted to a two-hour interrogation, I realized they were police intelligence officers. One of them, I recognized by reputation – a Muslim officer who had shut down a previous investigation into a death threat against me in 2008, and another one against a partner in liberal Islam, Tahir Gora.
He continues …
The Toronto police, in their wish to promote an image of diversity and outreach, have dedicated themselves to serving and protecting the the radical Islamist elements within our city.
Fatah’s last comment above is disturbing, but highlights the continuing theme when dealing with Islamist tactics against western society/institutions. Documentation from the Muslim Brotherhood establishes the method of destroying from within to achieve the their goals:
“The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Proecess” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated… “ – Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America
By using the west’s constant preoccupation with political correctness, cultural jihadists use a readily adaptable formula to establish themselves with positions of influence to obtain the goal.
The basic steps are:
- Identify/create a threat based on “radical” elements of the Islamic community
- Present the argument that “only Muslims can understand Muslims”
- Offer to assist officials by being appointed to advisory positions, review boards, etc. This may include recommending “sympathetic” employees promoted/assigned to influential positions.
- Threaten that “bad things will happen” if suggestions and input is ignored.
This is the same formula used by any protection racket run by a criminal enterprise*.
The citizens of Toronto are victims of extortion. It appears their local government has chosen to capitulate to Islamic pressure and the area police have now taken on the role of “mob enforcer”.
* David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry have effectively shown that the Muslim Brotherhood is essentially a criminal enterprise/organized crime in their book, Muslim Mafia – Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America It is reported a free copy of can be obtained HERE.
- Excluded by the Inclusion Cops (nationalreview.com)