Tag Archive | Gulf Coast of the United States

Muslim Students Assoc at LSU — connecting the dots on the Gulf Coast

Christopher Holton, in Louisiana’s  TheHayride.com, reported on a recent LSU Reveille news item about  LSU’s Muslim Student Association (MSA)’s  efforts to be more visible and reach out to the community.

LSU’s Reveille item comes across innocent enough, presenting an image of a friendly social group looking to serve the campus community.

Holton presents a very different perspective …

This seemingly benign announcement is something worth taking a closer look at, mainly because there are actually significant misconceptions about the Muslim Student Association in the Reveille article.

As we will show in this article, the MSA is an organization about which much is known. It is an organization with a past and it is an organization that has had some rather “interesting” leaders and members over the years. All of this means that the presence of the MSA at LSU should be of concern to students, faculty, the administration and state and local law enforcement officials.

Holton then provides an excellent short history of the MSA’s establishment in America, highlighting it’s initial funding from Saudi Arabia in a 2008 NY Times article and MSA’s ties to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).

Of significant note are the number of MSA members and leaders that have been linked to jihadist and terror related activities.  Holton provides a list of members that include:

Abdurahman Alamoudi, MSA national president in 1982 and 1983 – currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his extensive international terrorist activities, which included fundraising for al Qaeda.
Anwar Al-Awlaki, president of the Colorado State University MSA in the early 1990s, and chaplain of the George Washington University MSA in 2001 – delivered sermons that were attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. In 2002 Alwaki fled the U.S. for Yemen, where he developed ties to al Qaeda and reportedly played a role in the Fort Hood massacre of 2009, the failed Christmas Day underwear-bomber plot of 2009, and the attempted Times Square bombing of 2010.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – member of the MSA chapter at North Carolina A&T in 1986.  Mastermind the September 11th terrorist attacks as the number 3 man in Al Qaeda.
Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid – member of the MSA as a student at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN.  Bledsoe went on to receive terrorist training at a jihadist training camp in Yemen and returned to the US and murdered US Army Private Andy Long outside a Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting office on June 1, 2009

The article concludes with an interview of former FBI agent John Guandolo regarding the MSA, the Muslim Brotherhood and the jihadi threat in America.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  Past MSA activities have been highlighted here that have included the University of Maine Muslim Students’ Association, MSA UMass Dartmouth and Tampa’s OakTree Institute.  One would be hard pressed to name another student group  with so many links to terrorism by it’s alumni.

Special thanks to the counterjihadreport.com for bringing this article to our attention.

Follow-up: Alabama terrorist pleads guilty – connecting the dots on the Gulf Coast

“Certainly, the last week hasn’t made it any easier …”
– Defense attorney Dom Soto referring to the Boston Marathon bombing

Alabama man pleads guilty to plotting terrorism abroad, faces up to 15 years

From al.com
By Brendan Kirby, April 19, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama – – Amid tight security at the federal courthouse, an Alabama man pleaded guilty today to plotting terrorism overseas.

Randy “Rasheed” Wilson … pleads guilty to terrorism charge.

Randy “Rasheed” Wilson, who grew up in Mobile and Birmingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Under his plea bargain, prosecutors have agreed to seek a 15-year prison sentence, while the defense is free to argue for less.

Defense attorney Dom Soto said his client wanted to take responsibility for inflammatory statements he made over the course of hundreds of hours of secretly recorded conversations and avoid risking what could have been a 35-year sentence.

“He just doesn’t have confidence that the legal defense would be able to overcome all of the emotions wrapped around this right now. Certainly, the last week hasn’t made it any easier,” he said, referring to the Boston Marathon bombing. “It was his decision to plea. I still maintain this is a free speech case. I have much more confidence in the jury system than he does.”

Full Story: http://blog.al.com/live/2013/04/post_342.html


See our March 27, 2012 post, Accused Alabama terrorist – connecting the dots on the Gulf Coast for additional coverage of this case.

Accused Alabama terrorist – connecting the dots on the Gulf Coast

“Their conduct is assuredly not protected by the First Amendment.”
— Prosecutor Christopher Bodnar.

Accused Alabama terrorist claims free speech; government releases new details of recordings

From al.com
By Brendan Kirby, March 22, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama – To the defense, the terrorism charges against Randy “Rasheed” Wilson are an amorphous amalgam of vague allegations about conduct that never amounted to more than speech.

In asking a judge to throw out the charges, defense attorney Dom Soto asked if it is possible to “conspire to conspire.”

Federal prosecutors, in a written response this week, argued that the intent of Wilson and co-defendant Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukdair to maim and kill in the name of Islam was very real and that they took concrete steps to make it happen. The court filing includes new details of recordings made by an informant working with the FBI.

“Wilson and Abukhdair face serous terrorism charges not because they espoused their religious beliefs or their disdain for this country,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bodnar wrote. “Rather, they are charged with forming an agreement to engage in criminal activity. Their conduct is assuredly not protected by the First Amendment.”

The issue now is in the hands of U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose, who must decide whether charges will stand against Wilson, a Mobile man who lived for a time in Birmingham and attended an Islamic school there.

Plan for violent jihad alleged

Federal agents arrested Wilson in December as he was about to board a plane in Atlanta bound for Morocco. Authorities alleged that he planned to travel from there to the African nation of Mauritania and meet up with Abukdair, who had moved to Mobile from Egypt after the two struck up a friendship online in 2010.

From Mauritania, according to authorities, the defendants planned to find a place – perhaps in neighboring Mali– to wage violent jihad.

Soto acknowledged that that Wilson made plenty of negative comments about the United States in the hours on conversations that the FBI recorded. But he argued that even objectionable speech is protected by the First Amendment. He cited a World War II-era decision prohibiting the government from revoking the citizenship of German immigrant Carl Wilhelm Baumgartner, who had espoused pro-Nazi views.

Full Article:


COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  Wilson was arrested with Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair in 2012 on terrorism charges involving a plan to travel overseas and conduct “jihad”. 

The case became a bit confusing when the FBI advised an affidavit it had submitted, claiming Wilson was a former roommate of Daphne-born jihadist Omar Shafik Hammami, was incorrect.   The connection between the two forms the basis of the criminal complaint against Wilson, but even Wilson’s defense attorney admitted that the two did know each other.  Daphne, AL is about 20 minutes away from Mobile, AL were Wilson grew up.  Both locations are along the U.S. Gulf Coast.  

When asked about where there are Muslim communities in the U.S., most people  would point to major cities in the  northeast, Northern Virginia, and areas in Illinois and Michigan.  To the average American, the deep south brings up visions of staunch Baptists and families that have established American roots for many generations.  Very few would associate it with Muslim immigrants, let alone Islamist radicals and terror related activity.    

The Gulf Coast states are home to a number of  influential Muslim communities.  Many of the mosque’s and Islamic based schools are funded and controlled by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). Here are several examples related to radical Islamic activity:

During the late 1970s/early 1980s, a number of young Muslim professionals (doctors, engineers, educators)  moved to these southern locations,  identified as areas that would welcome Muslims and provide an environment favorable for dawah.  Most of these professionals were/are affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood groups such as the Muslim Students Association (MSA).    As they became established,  the local populations viewed these professionals and their families as outstanding members of the community, and usually above reproach.   This view is still prevalent despite documented evidence that shows activity promoting the goals and agenda of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

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