Tag Archive | Safe Spaces

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.

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.

DOJ announces new counter-Violent Extremism programs – cue MPAC

It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of MPAC’s new campaign push for Safe Spaces and the American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference

Attorney General Eric Holder (AP File Photo)

In a video message posted on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ is joining with the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center to ” launch a new series of pilot programs in cities across the nation to help counter violent extremism.”   According to Holder, ” These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States Attorneys to improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and — ultimately — to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe.”

A complete text of the message can be read HERE

Susan Jones of CNSNews.com reported:

Holder said the administration “will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country.”

He noted that since 2012, U.S. attorneys have held or attended more than 1,700 “engagement-related events or meetings to enhance trust and facilitate communication in their neighborhoods and districts.” The new pilot programs will build on that work, he said.

Holder also announced that the White House plans to host a “Countering Violent Extremism” summit in October.

Holder did not mention Islam or Muslims, and he used the phrase “violent extremism” to describe the “urgent” threat that the nation faces.

Josh Gerstein wrote on Politico.com:

The U.S. Government’s current efforts to stem terrorist recruitment and so-called “lone wolf” attacks by people receptive to extremist rhetoric have been criticized for being unfocused and underfunded. In addition, many experts have questioned whether U.S. Attorneys—the top federal prosecutors in various communities—are best-suited to lead the government’s anti-extremism campaign.

Many leaders in the Muslim community are reluctant to work with prosecutors because of deep concern over Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operations used to target potential terrorists. However, efforts in the U.S. to use means other than traditional law enforcement to intervene with individuals susceptible to extremist messages have been few, due to concerns about civil liberties as well as fears about what could happen if that kind of intervention failed in a specific case.

Holder’s statement Monday seemed to acknowledge some of those concerns. While the outreach efforts are expected to focus primarily on communities with large Muslim populations, his video message made no reference to the religion aside from his use of the acronym for the terrorist group which has grabbed attention for its brutal tactics assembling territory across Syria and Iraq.

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COMMENT/ANALYSIS:  Expect to see many of the names we mentioned in MPAC’s Safe Spaces: the Trojan Horse Continues to be involved with these new programs.  It’s probably not a coincidence that the DOJ announcement comes within a week of  MPAC’s renewed campaign push for Safe Spaces and the ADAMS sponsored American Muslims United Against Violent Extremism: Press Conference.   MPAC and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) have been tied to elements of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

MPAC’s Safe Spaces: the Trojan Horse Continues

Safe spaces are needed so that government informants and extremist recruiters are prevented from violating the sanctity of the mosque.
Salam Al-Marayati, president of the MPAC

Frank Gaffney recently wrote Unsafe Spaces: Islamist Mosques,  highlighting what he described as the contempt Islamists have for the United States and the roles many American mosques have for Islamist jihadists.   Coming on the 1st year anniversary of the  Boston Bombing, Mr. Gaffney’s article notes the roll out of the Safe Spaces Initiative“,  a program being pushed by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

The campaign/program’s premise: in order to keep America safe, the Muslim community needs to take a proactive approach to identify and intervene “individuals who may be susceptible to violent extremism.”    At first glance, this seems, well … almost patriotic.

The about page of the program’s website continues with this highlight:

MPAC’s Safe Spaces Initiative seeks to help communities create spiritual safe spaces for open dialogue and debate while also providing physical safe spaces by helping mosque and community leaders deal with any misguided individuals.

… and the actual motivation behind the “Safe Spaces” reference begins to come into focus –  to create “safe spaces for open dialogue and debate“. In other words, locations where Muslims can discuss matters without fear of being monitored by law enforcement, no matter the subject matter.  As confirmation, here’s an excerpt from an article written by Salam Al-Marayati, president of the MPAC:

Safe spaces are created for everyone entering our mosques to be able to have difficult conversations. People need to feel comfortable discussing politics or persecution of Muslims in places such as Palestine or Kashmir or drone attacks that harm the innocent in Pakistan or Afghanistan. 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.

To further understand the impetus behind the campaign, we just need to look at the agendas of the supporters.  The Safe Spaces website includes several videos, the first of which is titled, “Online Radicalization: Myths and Realities” (2013) featuring:

  • Rabia Chaudry – Founder of the Safe Nation Collaborative, a training program for law enforcement and American Muslim communities. Former president of Muslim Coalition of Connecticut (MCCT) and former CAIR spokesperson.  She also has written in defense of CAIR.
  • Mohamed Elibiary – Founder of Lone Star Intelligence, LLC and listed as a Senior Fellow with the Homeland Security Advisory Council.  He was named in a PJ Media story by Patrick Poole for leaking sensitive intelligence reports to the media to push an islamaphobia story to the media.  The Dallas Morning News reported that in a letter, Elibiary defended the very anti-American and early Muslim Brotherhood leader/Islamic theorist Sayyid Qutb, stating: “I’d recommend everyone read Qutb, but read him with an eye to improving America not just to be jealous with malice in our hearts.”
  • Imam Suhaib Webb – currently with the Boston Islamic Society, Webb has very strong ties with the Muslim American Society (MAS)
  • Rashad Hussein – appointed U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation by President Obama, he has past ties with a number of MB organizations and called the  prosecution of terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian as being politically motivated.  He was one of six people named in a December 22, 2012 Egyptian magazine article that were Muslim Brotherhood operatives who enjoy strong influence over U.S. policy.  The article also named Mohammed Elibiary.

The second video, “Injustice Cannot Defeat Injustice” (2010) features appearances by:

  • Imam Suhaib Webb – see first video
  • Dr. Maher Hathout – founder and director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and co-founded the Islamic Center of Southern California.  His public statements have included support for Hezbollah terrorist acts.   He is also reported to be a member of the  Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (ISCSC), a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood.  This 2010 video shows CA Law Enforcement officials giving tribute to the ISCSC
  • Ihsan Bagby – A professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky, he is also General Secretary of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA).  Bagby is a member of several U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).  In March of this year, the The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) reported that these groups of US Muslim organizations, will be part of formation of the new US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO).
  • Iman Mohamed Magid – President of the Islamic Society of North America, and Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS).  He was appointed in 2011 by President Obama to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Violent Extremism Working Group.  According to a 2012 PJ Media article by Patrick Poole, “Mohamed Magid is the Obama administration’s go-to guy for Muslim outreach and advise on international affairs and counterterrorism. ”  Magid was also instrumental in having DHS erase from the  “Countering Violent Extremism” curriculum, any suggestion that Muslim terrorism drew its inspiration from the laws and doctrines of Islam.
  • Iman Zaid Shakirs– A frequent speaker at CAIR,ISNA and MSA events.  According to a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Shakirs, “… defends terrorist groups such as Hizballah and hopes for a day in which America is a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law” and he suggests that Zionists and the FBI were behind the 1993 Trade Center bombings.
  • Jamal Badawi – as noted by the GMBDW, Badawi is the leader in many of the most important Global Muslim Brotherhood organizations.  A  founding member of the Muslim American Society (MAS),  a 2004 Chicago Tribune story identified MAS as the Brotherhood’s U.S. organization.

*in watching this video, take note of the focus of Muslim “victimization”, especially after the 41 min mark.

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 control the direction taken.   Mr. Beutel was a critic of the NYPD surveillance program that targeted New York City area mosques – the program was stopped this month.

In addition to working with MPAC, Mr. Beutel’s work history includes the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) and he was a junior fellow with the Minaret of Freedom Institute.  ISPU is basically a Muslim special interest group.  According to the GMBDW, “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“.

In April 2010, MPAC published an expanded version of a preliminary November 2009 report,  Building Bridges to Strengthen America: Forging an Effective Counterterrorism Enterprise between Muslim Americans & Law Enforcement.   The author was Alejandro J. Beutel and the MPAC website describes it as:

“… outline a “blueprint” for how Muslim American communities – from a Muslim American perspective – can be an asset to national security. At the same time, this report also provides practical recommendations for law enforcement to uphold civil liberties while maintaining their effectiveness.”

In November 2010, Marylin Stern published a report analyzing  “Building Bridges” and MPAC’s related efforts,calling them a “Trojan horse” with a goal to negatively influence U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies operations.  Her report reads:

Like the Trojan horse of ancient Troy, MPAC provides cover for jihadists by obscuring the subversive agenda of Islamists like Maher Hathout, Salam al-Marayati, ISNA and CAIR. Upon closer examination, research supports the thesis that contrary to MPAC’s claim to uphold civil liberties, MPAC has exhibited a consistent hostility towards U.S. law enforcement to undermine effective counterterrorism initiatives by placing themselves between the Muslim community and law enforcement. Examples in this research paper have been supported by objective documentation, historical facts, and quotations from original sources to support the following:

1. MPAC’s deceptive propaganda as a civil liberties organization is a facade to subvert U.S. law enforcement in order to further the global Muslim Brotherhood goals to destroy the West from within.

2. MPAC is waging an influence operation to infiltrate and subvert U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies as evidenced by their self-designation as the only voice for the Muslim community.

3. Law enforcement needs to be better educated and informed of the historical philosophy, tactics and strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood in America in order to establish benchmarks identifying and marginalizing front group operations. MPAC’s report, Building Bridges to Strengthen America, Forging an Effective Counterterrorism Enterprise between Muslim Americans & Law Enforcement, does not support MPAC’s claim to be a “trusted resource for decision makers in government, media and policy institutions.” Law enforcement should carry out due diligence before “going a bridge too far.”

Now four years later,  The Safe Spaces initiative expands on MPAC’s “Building Bridges” adding several dangerous concepts:

  • A system where the mosque/Muslim community makes the determination of  threat levels and when law enforcement is allowed to be involved.
  • Establishing a Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the local community for special handling of Muslims (report page 75)
  • [removed – see note below]
  • Introducing the term “Takfirism” as the politically correct replacement for “violent jihad”, “Islamic terrorism”, etc. (report page 106)

 A year ago we made mention in “Boston Bombing: cue smoke and mirrors” that Muslim special interest groups would be using the Boston attack to their benefit, pointing out how following the 9/11/2001 attacks,  “Muslim activists earned influential positions on advisory boards at Justice and other government agencies promoting “sensitivity” based initiatives that gutted many anti-terror programs.

note: we originally reported that the The Safe Spaces initiative included the concept of “Providing for an area that is off-limits to law enforcement unless the Muslim community grants permission“.   This is incorrect and unsupported and has been removed – 5/14/2015

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