“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:
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
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.
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.
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.
… embracing political correctness and liberal delusions of multiculturalism have overshadowed any inkling of common sense in safeguarding domestic interests. The wake-up call may be too late.
It was reported last week that Austrian authorities arrested a group of Chechen immigrants on suspicion of planning to join Islamist militant groups in Syria. A Gatestone Institute article, Austria: Springboard for Global Jihad by Soeren Kern indicates:
The Austrian government has announced plans to improve its intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities in an urgent effort to crack down on would-be jihadists in the country.
The decision by Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner to recruit 20 new intelligence officers to focus exclusively on the threat posed by radical Islam comes after police in Austria arrested nine Chechen immigrants who were on their way to wage jihad in Syria.
The move also comes amid growing concerns that Austria’s shiftless Muslim youth are becoming increasingly radicalized and vocal in their support of the jihadist group Islamic State.
The Chechens—eight men and one woman, ranging in age from 17 to 32—were purportedly planning to travel to Syria over a land route that would take them from Austria through the neighboring Balkans and on into Turkey. Four of the individuals were arrested in the southeastern Austrian province of Styria, and five others were detained in the province of Carinthia. Both provinces border Slovenia.
According to an analysis published by the newspaper Der Standard, Austria has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria because Austria’s geographic location provides easy access to land routes through the Balkans.
Austrian intelligence officials say that most of the 130 Austrians who are thought to have travelled to Syria are Chechens. The rest are immigrants from Bosnia, Kosovo and Turkey. Approximately 60 Austrian jihadists are currently on the front lines, 50 have already returned to Austria and 20 have been killed in action.
Austria’s concerns are also focused on returning jihadists. In a June 2014 report (translation from Gatestone), the Austrian intelligence agency BVT states:
When fighters return from the warzone, their newly acquired combat skills, traumatic experiences and changes in behavior, plus the possibility that they have become highly radicalized, represent a considerable security risk for Austria. Those who return could become involved in proselytizing activities as well as in establishing new radical centers in which they could serve as instructors. Potential terrorist attacks could be perpetrated by so-called lone wolves but also by organized terrorist groups.
The Gatestone article further cites from the BVT report:
The number of young radicalized followers of violent Salafism in Austria continues to rise. In this context, the conflict in Syria is of urgent relevance for Austria, because systematic efforts are being made within Austria to radicalize and recruit people for the war in Syria.
The conflict in Syria has become very popular among violent extremist Salafists in Austria. The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist.
So-called hate preachers can have a decisive influence on the radicalization and recruiting processes by means of ideological and personal indoctrination. Jihad is offered as the only adequate means to solving disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims. In Austria, this targeted manipulation is achieved through conspiratorial performances by charismatic leaders. Young Muslims, who are seeking alternative perspectives due to life crises, are often submissive victims to these ‘radicalizers’ and ‘recruiters’ and are often fascinated by the prospect of armed jihad.
Austrian concern over Salafism with young Muslims is apparently compounded by the increasing Muslim enrollment in public schools – a pattern that is being reflected in many European countries. According to Kern:
Muslim students already outnumber Roman Catholic students at middle and secondary schools in Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria, according to statistics compiled by the Vienna Board of Education (Stadtschulrat für Wien) and published by Radio Vatican website in March 2014.
The data—which show that Muslim students are also on the verge of overtaking Catholics in Viennese elementary schools—reflect an established trend and provide empirical evidence of a massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country.
In the current school year, 10,734 Muslim students are enrolled in Viennese middle and secondary schools, compared to 8,632 Roman Catholic students, 4,259 Serbian Orthodox students and 3,219 students with “no religious persuasion,” the data shows.
As far as elementary schools are concerned, there are 23,807 Roman Catholic students, followed by 17,913 Muslim students, 11,119 “non-religious” students, 6,083 Serbian Orthodox students and 2,322 Protestants.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: As with the U.K., Austrian officials have been well aware of the domestic threats Islamists pose for some time with very little proactive actions to date. Unfortunately, embracing political correctness and liberal delusions of multiculturalism have overshadowed any inkling of common sense in safeguarding domestic interests. The wake-up call may be too late. Another example: France
According to the Dutch intelligence service, hundreds of Dutch nationals are considering missions abroad, and thousands more are sympathetic to the cause.
Dutch grapple with jihadist threat
From: BBC News, The Hague
By Anna Holligan, August 21, 2014
Across Europe, governments are trying to prevent the radicalisation of young people attracted by the growing influence of Islamic State militants. More than 100 Dutch citizens are thought to be fighting for various groups in Syria and Iraq, and hundreds more have been identified as potential jihadists.
Dutch counter-terrorism officials are talking of a “rebirth of jihadism in the Netherlands”.
In the Schilderswijk district of The Hague last month, a group of some 20 men were captured on video waving the black flag of jihadist groups and voicing support for the militant group Islamic State (IS) that has seized broad swathes of northern Syria and Iraq.
In the footage posted on the internet, the demonstrators can be heard chanting slogans such as “Down with America” and “Death to the Jews”
Full Story: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28878778
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: While the recent murder of journalist James Foley is placing a focus on Britain, the instances of jihadi fighters coming from European countries is increasing- especially from nations that have maintained liberal immigration policies and pushed cultural diversity. For example: A 2013 report from the Combating Terrorism Center indicated that there were approximately 30 Swedish nationals fighting in Syria. As of this month, the estimate is around 80. Unconfirmed reports indicate at least 400 French recruits. As we previously mentioned, they will be facing an even more serious threat when the jihadis return “home”.
“Although little Jihad was, in fact, born on Sept. 11, the teacher saw an outrageous reference to Islamic war and the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed.”
From The Washington Post.
By Edward Cody, March 23, 5:00 AM
SORGUES, France — A T-shirt worn by a 3-year-old nursery-schooler named Jihad has led to an unusual and politically charged criminal trial here that tests the limits of free speech — and common sense — in a France increasingly ill at ease with its growing Muslim population.
“I am a bomb,” the shirt said on the front. The back read, “Jihad Born Sept. 11.”
The prosecution and the defense both have predicted that the outcome is likely to become a legal precedent as the government and justice system handle recurring friction between France’s 8 percent Muslim minority and the majority of the country’s 65 million inhabitants who recognize their roots in an ancient Christian tradition.
The tensions have been increasingly visible as French soldiers combat Islamist guerrillas in Mali, in northwestern Africa, and anti-terrorism police scour the country’s poor suburbs in search of Muslim youths drawn by the call to jihad or revenge.
An Islamist cell broken up in nearby Marignane earlier this month, for instance, was preparing to construct bombs for terrorism attacks in French cities, authorities declared. In another sign of the strain, France’s highest court, the Cour de Cassation, last week overturned a lower-court decision that endorsed the firing of a nursery school teacher who refused to remove the Islamic veil covering her hair.
The case in Sorgues, a small town just north of Avignon, where Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque pursued their cubist art, began Sept. 25 at an unlikely place: the Ramieres de Sorgues municipal nursery. As she dressed the children after a lunch break, a teacher there became alarmed when she saw Jihad’s T-shirt.
Although little Jihad was, in fact, born on Sept. 11, the teacher saw an outrageous reference to Islamic war and the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed. Concerned, she spoke with the principal, who was equally upset and called in Jihad’s 35-year-old Moroccan-born mother, Bouchra Bagour.
Told of the indignation produced by Jihad’s shirt, the single mother, who works as a secretary, apologized for causing trouble and said she had no intention of conveying a political message via her toddler. The shirt, she pledged, would be put away for good.
But the issue did not rest there. The principal wrote a report to school district authorities. A copy of the report landed on the desk of Mayor Thierry Lagneau. The mayor, from the conservative Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, said in an interview that he regarded the T-shirt as a “provocation,” and he immediately stepped into action.
“I said to myself, we can’t let that go by,” Lagneau recalled. “I didn’t know what was behind it, but we could not let that go. We have to impose limits.”
Lagneau wrote a letter Sept. 29 to the region’s chief prosecutor, Bernard Marchal, asking for an investigation for possible criminal prosecution as well as a “thorough” investigation by child-welfare authorities to see if Bagour was a fit mother. If Jihad showed up again in the T-shirt, the mayor warned, the principal had orders to turn him away, “given the attitude of his parents, who cannot decently ignore the dramatic impact of their acts.”
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: An interesting case that will certainly pit the application of law against majority population at odds with the Muslim minority.