Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #830 Machiavelli 2.0: The Paris Attacks and the Muslim Brotherhood

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by 12/19/2014. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more) con­tains FTR #827.  (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012 and con­tained FTR #748.)

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Con­verts pledg­ing alle­giance to ISIS: they are NOT audi­tion­ing for an anti-per­spi­rant com­mer­cial

Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Off­shoot Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad

Intro­duc­tion: In the wake of the Char­lie Heb­do mas­sacre in France, we delve fur­ther into the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, the Islam­ic fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion at the foun­da­tion of so much of the jihadist ter­ror­ism afflict­ing the world.

Pre­dictably, the after­math of the incident(s) has seen the well-worn rhetoric about “Islam” and “Mus­lims.” “Is Islam a vio­lent reli­gion?” “Why don’t more Mus­lims protest against this kind of activ­i­ty?” Oth­er equal­ly thread­bare com­men­tary has occu­pied much of the edi­to­r­i­al dis­cus­sion of the events.

What is miss­ing is analy­sis of the rela­tion­ship between the Broth­er­hood’s Islam­ic fas­cism and the ter­ror­ist groups that occu­py the headlines–Al Qae­da and ISIS (both of which loom large in the back­grounds of the Kouachi broth­ers and Ame­dy Coulibai­ly), Hamas, Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad and Chechen ter­ror­ists.

Beyond that, the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic doc­trine of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the appar­ent use of its knock­off ter­ror­ist groups as proxy war­riors by ele­ments of West­ern and Sau­di intel­li­gence are as fun­da­men­tal to a true under­stand­ing of the phe­nom­e­non and they are absent from the vast bulk of media dis­cus­sion.

Broth­er­hood off­shoots have proved par­tic­u­lar­ly valu­able as proxy war­riors in petro­le­um and min­er­al-rich areas of the Earth Island.

Very, very trag­i­cal­ly, the world has cho­sen to ignore the fun­da­men­tal­ly impor­tant Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002, which revealed pro­found links between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute of Grover Norquist and the fund­ing appa­ra­tus sup­ply­ing Al Qae­da and Hamas with liq­uid­i­ty.

The con­tin­ued blood­shed is part of the price peo­ple are pay­ing for that dead­ly fail­ure.

It might be dif­fi­cult for some peo­ple to under­stand this. A dual­i­ty dom­i­nates analy­sis of the dynam­ics of this situation–a dual­i­ty sim­i­lar to one under­ly­ing both the Sec­ond World War and the Cold War. World War II was a very real con­flict, with Amer­i­can ser­vice men and women, as well as those of the oth­er Allied coun­tries, fight­ing against the armies of fas­cism. At the same time, dom­i­nant U.S. and West­ern finan­cial and indus­tri­al inter­ests favored their car­tel part­ners in the Axis nations and the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy they embraced.

After the offi­cial end of the com­bat of World War II, the U.S. and U.K. incor­po­rat­ed the resid­ua of the Third Reich’s nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment into their own and saw to it that the fas­cist infra­struc­ture in Ger­many, Japan and else­where was main­tained in pow­er, behind a thin facade of democ­ra­cy.

In addi­tion, they sup­port­ed and enlist­ed fas­cists from oth­er coun­tries to assist with the fight against Com­mu­nism. The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was one of those.

The polit­i­cal dual­i­ty we are expe­ri­enc­ing is sim­i­lar to that of World War II–even as Amer­i­can ser­vice per­son­nel and those of oth­er coun­tries are fight­ing a very real war against Islam­ic fas­cism, pow­er­ful cor­po­rate inter­ests are sup­port­ive of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fas­cists and their cor­po­rate phi­los­o­phy.

The result­ing conl­fict will, ulti­mate­ly, have the result of destroy­ing civ­il lib­er­ties and free­dom of the press.

Hamas (Pales­tin­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood) Sol­diers Salut­ing: Same ges­ture as the ISIS fol­low­ers give

After high­light­ing sev­er­al arti­cles about the appar­ent Al Qae­da and ISIS links of the attack­ers, the pro­gram details some recent sto­ries about CAIR (the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Relations)–an insid­i­ous Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group that has suc­cess­ful­ly por­trayed itself as a Mus­lim civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion, sort of an Islam­ic NAACP.

Offi­cial­ly labeled a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion by the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, CAIR has been very active in the wake of the Fer­gu­son inci­dent, appar­ent­ly seek­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the anger of African-Amer­i­cans. Coin­ci­den­tal­ly or oth­er­wise, Ismaaiyl Brins­ley–the killer of two New York City police officers–alleges a rela­tion­ship with INSA (the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca), a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood sub­sidiary orga­ni­za­tion.

Much of the pro­gram focus­es on the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Broth­er­hood. It is this eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy that has endeared it to pow­er­ful cor­po­rate inter­ests in the U.S. and the GOP.

In a text­book man­i­fes­ta­tion of Machi­avel­lian strat­e­gy, Euro­pean fas­cist groups that are suc­cess­ful­ly tar­get­ing Mus­lim immi­grants as a polit­i­cal scape­goat stand to gain from the Paris attacks, this as appar­ent oper­a­tional links between Euro­pean and Amer­i­can fas­cists and Islam­ic fas­cists from the Broth­er­hood have gone unrec­og­nized.

Euro­pean fas­cists of the Nation­al Front vari­ety can point to the attacks and say “See! We told you so! You can’t trust these (‘Mus­lims;’ ‘immi­grants;’ ‘Mus­lim immi­grants’ etc.)! We are your only hope! Join with us!”

By the same token, the Islam­ic fas­cists of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood can point to the xeno­pho­bic reac­tion and say “See! We told you so! You can’t trust these infi­dels! We are your only hope! Join with us!”

In that con­text, we should note that both non-Mus­lim Euro­peans and Mus­lim res­i­dents of that con­ti­nent are being squeezed to the break­ing point by the aus­ter­i­ty man­date being imposed on the EU by Ger­many and its cor­po­rate allies–von Clause­witz­ian eco­nom­ics.

In addi­tion to cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy, the fas­cists of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the Euro­pean and Amer­i­can fas­cist ele­ments with which they net­work have much in com­mon, from an ide­o­log­i­cal point of view. They dis­like: Jews, women, gays, blacks and democ­ra­cy. The very much like, in turn, the insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of the priv­i­leges of great wealth.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Ismaaiyl Brins­ley’s visit(s) to a jihadist mosque in Brook­lyn; alle­ga­tions of Turk­ish gov­ern­men­tal sup­port for Uighur ter­ror­ists in Chi­na; Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Tayyip Erdo­gan’s pub­lic state­ment that women are infe­ri­or; review of oper­a­tional links between Erdo­gan’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood men­tor and pre­de­ces­sor as Turk­ish PM Necmet­tin Erbakan and Jean-Marie Le Pen of the Nation­al Front.

1a. Some back­ground info on the sus­pects in the Char­lie Heb­do attack. And, shock­er, they’re asso­ci­ated with al-Qae­da:

“Youngest Sus­pect in Char­lie Heb­do Attack Turns Him­self In” by Dan Good, Ter­ry Moran and Meghan Keneal­ly; ABC News; 1/7/2015.

The youngest sus­pect in today’s dead­ly attack at a satir­i­cal newspaper’s office in Paris has turned him­self in, French police said.

French author­i­ties have named the three sus­pects who they believe are respon­si­ble for the shoot­ing deaths of 12 peo­ple, U.S. law enforce­ment offi­cials told ABC News.

The offi­cials iden­ti­fied the sus­pects as Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, two rel­a­tives both in their 30s, and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad.

Cherif Kouachi, 34, is on Glob­al watch list, ABC News has con­firmed.

Kouachi, along with six oth­ers, was sen­tenced in May 2008 to 3 years in prison for ter­ror­ism in Paris. All sev­en men were accused of send­ing about a dozen young French­men to join Abu Musab al-Zar­qawi, the leader of Al Qae­da in Iraq, after fun­nel­ing them through rad­i­cal reli­gious estab­lish­ments in Syr­ia and Egypt. French author­i­ties believed Kouachi had been plan­ning to go to Syr­ia for train­ing in 2005.

Paris Deputy May­or Patrick Klug­man ear­lier today told ABC News that two of the assailants went inside the offices of Char­lie Heb­do and list­ed off the names of their tar­gets before shoot­ing them exe­cu­tion style. The third man was wait­ing out­side the build­ing.

The French pres­i­dent called the attack a “ter­ror­ist oper­a­tion.”

...

The news­pa­per had been tar­geted in the past over its con­tent, often aimed at reli­gious groups.

French offi­cials con­firmed that there are believed to be three attack­ers, all of whom were seen in videos wear­ing black from head-to-toe. Their iden­ti­ties and affil­i­a­tions have not been revealed but one of the men is heard scream­ing “Allahu Akbar,” an Islam­ic phrase mean­ing “God is great,” in one of the scene videos.

...

Char­lie Heb­do, a satir­i­cal news­pa­per, has come under attack before. Their office was fire­bombed in 2011 and its web­site was hacked after its cov­er fea­tured the prophet Muham­mad. Near­ly a year lat­er, the pub­li­ca­tion again pub­lished crude Muham­mad car­i­ca­tures, draw­ing denun­ci­a­tions from around the Mus­lim world.

The cov­er of this week’s issue of the news­pa­per focus­es on a new book by Michel Houelle­becq, “Sub­mis­sion,” which depicts France led by an Islam­ic par­ty that bans women from the work­place.

...

Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Coat of (ahem) Arms

1b. Ame­dy Coulibaly–the gun­ment who took pris­on­er, and then exe­cut­ed, hostages at a kosher eat­ing place–pledged alle­giance to ISIS.

“Paris Gun­man Ame­dy Coulibaly Declared Alle­giance to ISIS” by Julian Borg­er; The Guardian; 1/11/2015.

The gun­man who killed four peo­ple in a Parisian kosher gro­cery store and a police­woman pledged alle­giance to Islam­ic State in a video pub­lished online on Sun­day, two days after his death.

In the sev­en-minute video, Ame­dy Coulibaly is described as a “sol­dier of the caliphate” and is filmed declar­ing alle­giance to the Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Bagh­da­di.

Coulibaly shot dead a Parisian police­woman on Thurs­day and four hostages at a kosher super­mar­ket on Fri­day. . . .

1c. More about the Kouachi broth­ers, Coulibaly and the milieu to which they belong:

“Jihadism Born in a Paris Park and Fueled in the Prison Yard” by Jim Yard­ley; The New York Times; 1/11/2015.

 . . . . After French author­i­ties swept up mem­bers of the Buttes-Chau­mont group in the 2005, dur­ing his time in prison Chérif Kouachi came under the sway of an influ­en­tial French-Alger­ian jihadist who had plot­ted to bomb the Unit­ed States Embassy in Paris in 2001.

There, he also recruit­ed a holdup artist named Ame­dy Coulibaly, the man who killed four hostages at a kosher super­mar­ket in Paris on Fri­day.

It is unclear if his old­er broth­er, Saïd Kouachi, who also took part in the attack on the Char­lie Heb­do news­pa­per office, was a mem­ber of the Buttes-Chau­mont group, but the author­i­ties have con­firmed that the old­er broth­er spent time in Yemen between 2009 and 2012, get­ting train­ing from a branch of Al Qae­da. . . .

. . . . Already, a few young Mus­lim men from the 19th Arrondisse­ment had fought in Iraq, most notably Boubak­er al-Hakim, who had vol­un­teered to defend the gov­ern­ment of Sad­dam Hus­sein against the Amer­i­can inva­sion in 2003.

There, accord­ing to Mr. Filiu’s study, Mr. Hakim made con­nec­tions with Syr­i­an and Iraqi secu­ri­ty ser­vices, and fought. His broth­er, Redouane, 19, was killed dur­ing an Amer­i­can bomb­ing raid in Iraq in July 2004.

Two oth­er French 19-year-olds also died fight­ing in Iraq, while Boubak­er al-Hakim grant­ed an inter­view to the French news media in which he called for his friends from the 19th Arrondisse­ment to come join him. . . .

. . . . Mr. Hakim, the man who had fought in Iraq, is now a mem­ber of the Islam­ic State and has been active­ly recruit­ing and build­ing a net­work of fight­ers across North­ern Africa and in Euro­pean immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties in recent years.

Just as in 2003, when he exhort­ed his fel­low Mus­lims from the 19th Arrondisse­ment to join the jihad, Mr. Hakim released a video in Decem­ber, claim­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for the Tunisian assas­si­na­tions and vow­ing that the Islam­ic State was com­ing to Tunisia, once a colony of France. He was a long way from Paris, but France clear­ly remained on his mind. . . .

2. Abu Bakr al-Bagh­da­di has been iden­ti­fied by key Mus­lim Broth­er­hood cler­ic Youssef Qaradawi as a “for­mer” mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. In the arti­cle below, note that Qaradawi notes the key ter­ror­ist lead­ers that were “for­mer” mem­bers of the Broth­er­hood. The “for­mer” is to be tak­en with a huge dose of salt–Muslim fas­cists are as capa­ble as Euro­pean and Amer­i­can fas­cists at imple­ment­ing “plau­si­ble deni­a­bil­i­ty.”

“FEATURED: Youssef Qaradawi Says ISIS Leader Was Once Mus­lim Broth­er­hood; First Eng­lish Trans­la­tion of State­ment”; Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Watch; 10/21/2014.

The GMBDW has dis­cov­ered what appears to be the first Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the video in which Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader Youssef Qaradawi can be seen refer­ring to what is almost cer­tain­ly Abu Bakr al-Bagh­da­di and explain­ing that he was once a mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. At time 0:44 of the video, post­ed on the Brotherhoodwatch.co.uk web­site, Qaradawi refers to “this young­ster” who once belonged to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood but desir­ing lead­er­ship and after a peri­od in prison (al-Bagh­da­di is thought to have spent five years in an Amer­i­can deten­tion facil­i­ty) went on to join the Islam­ic State of Iraq and the Lev­ant (ISIL/ISIS). It would appear that al-Bagh­da­di joins the ranks of oth­er infa­mous ter­ror­ist lead­ers such as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Khalid Mesha­lal who once belonged to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood before going on to join­ing lead­ing ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. In the video (time 1:12), Qaradawi also refers to uniden­ti­fied “young­sters” from Qatar who also joined ISIS. . . . .

3.The Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates has des­ig­nat­ed the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion. CAIR–represented as a Mus­lim civ­il rights organization–is a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front orga­ni­za­tion.

“CAIR Says UAE Des­ig­na­tion as Ter­ror­ist ‘Shock­ing and Bizarre’ ”; Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Watch; 11/17/2014.

The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) has react­ed to its inclu­sion on a list pub­lished by the UAE that des­ig­nates as ter­ror­ists a large group of orga­ni­za­tions in the Mid­dle East, Europe, and the Unit­ed States. Accord­ing to a CAIR state­ment, it finds the UAE des­ig­na­tion “shock­ing and bizarre” . . . .

. . . . The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) describes itself as “a grass­roots civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy group and as “America’s largest Islam­ic civ­il lib­er­ties group.” CAIR was found­ed in 1994 by three offi­cers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine, part of the U.S. Hamas infra­struc­ture at that time.  Doc­u­ments dis­cov­ered in the course of the the ter­ror­ism tri­al of the Holy Land Foun­da­tion con­firmed that the founders and cur­rent lead­ers of CAIR were part of the Pales­tine Com­mit­tee of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and that CAIR itself is part of the US. Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.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.” CAIR and its lead­ers have had a long his­to­ry of defend­ing indi­vid­u­als accused of ter­ror­ism by the US. gov­ern­ment, often label­ing such pros­e­cu­tions a “war on Islam”, and have also been asso­ci­at­ed with Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism and anti­semitism. The orga­ni­za­tion is led by Nihad Awad, its long­stand­ing Exec­u­tive Direc­tor and one of the three orig­i­nal founders.

4.CAIR has been seek­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri con­tro­ver­sy.

“CAIR Calls for Nation­al Action on Racism After Fer­gu­son Grand Jury Deci­sion”; CAIR.com; 11/25/2014.

The Wash­ing­ton-based Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR), the nation’s largest Mus­lim civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion, today called for a “nation­al action” to address issues of racism in the after­math of a Mis­souri grand jury’s deci­sion to not indict a police offi­cer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-Amer­i­can teenag­er who was shot to death in August.

CAIR also ques­tioned the “prob­lem­at­ic” grand jury process that result­ed in a fail­ure to indict the offi­cer. . . .

. . . . Fol­low­ing Brown’s death, CAIR joined the NAACP and oth­er civ­il rights groups in call­ing for a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor to inves­ti­gate the shoot­ing. CAIR rep­re­sen­ta­tives also took part in a nation­al Amer­i­can Mus­lim call-in dis­cus­sion of the shoot­ing and joined almost 100 nation­al civ­il rights groups, coor­di­nat­ed by The Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence and Civ­il and Human Rights, in call­ing for fed­er­al action to pre­vent dis­crim­i­na­to­ry pro­fil­ing. . . .

5.Ismaaiyl Abdul­lah Brins­ley, the deranged killer who slew two New York City cops, has been influ­enced by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. His Face­book page claimed that he worked for the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North America–a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group. We take this with a grain of salt. There is a LOT of fresh fer­til­iz­er on peo­ple’s Face­book pages–Brinsley may well NOT have worked for them. Per­haps he attend­ed a meeting–obviously, we don’t know.

What is impor­tant here is that he has fall­en under the jihadist sway, per­haps man­i­fest­ing “lead­er­less jihad.”

NB: the Charles C. John­son who uncov­ered the infor­ma­tion about Brins­ley’s Face­book page is a scream­ing ultra-right media pro­pa­gan­dist and should NOT be viewed as a cred­i­ble source under nor­mal cir­cum­stances. He is the clas­sic bro­ken clock that is right twice a day. This was one of those two dai­ly occur­rences. (Charles C. John­son is NOT to be con­fused with Charles John­son of Lit­tle Green Foot­balls.

“NYPD Cop Killer Worked for Hamas-Linked Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca” by Robert Spencer; Jihad Watch; 12/23/2014.

The Mus­lim NYPD cop killer Ismaaiyl Abdul­lah Brins­ley worked for a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group, accord­ing to his Face­book page.

GotNews.com has con­firmed and exclu­sive­ly dis­cov­ered that Brins­ley went by anoth­er name — Ismaaiyl Abdul­lah-Muham­mad — and that he worked for the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca.

The Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca is a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group that was described as an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor by the Jus­tice Depart­ment in the 2007 Holy Land ter­ror cas­es.

Brins­ley a.k.a. Muhammad’s Face­book page includes lik­ing pages like “I love Islam” and “I Have To Be More Philo­soph­i­cal, About My Life.”…

6. Brins­ley vis­it­ed a jihadist mosque, which had links to numer­ous Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-linked ter­ror ele­ments. Its imam was an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor in the Blind Sheikh-led plot to blow up New York City land­marks.

“NYC Cop Killer’s Undis­cov­ered Social Media Accounts Show Islam­ic Side” by Chuck Ross; The Dai­ly Caller; 12/23/2014.

The aban­doned YouTube chan­nel of cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brins­ley con­tains a video show­ing him head­ing to pray at Brooklyn’s Masjid At Taqwa, a mosque that has been linked to ter­ror­ist and anti-police activ­i­ty.

That is one of sev­er­al new pieces of infor­ma­tion gleaned from Brinsley’s old social media accounts which could shed more light on what made the 28-year-old tick.

Brins­ley mur­dered two New York City police offi­cers on Sat­ur­day as they were sit­ting in their patrol car in Brook­lyn, just hours after he had shot his girl­friend in Bal­ti­more.

Before shoot­ing the offi­cers, Brins­ley post­ed his inten­tions on Insta­gram, writ­ing that he planned to mur­der cops. Brins­ley ref­er­enced Michael Brown and Eric Gar­ner — two black men whose police-relat­ed deaths have sparked mass protests — on his final social media posts.

Ques­tions are swirling about what caused Brins­ley to shoot the offi­cers. The obvi­ous answer is Brinsley’s thirst for revenge for the death of Brown and Gar­ner. But oth­ers blamed Brinsley’s his­to­ry of men­tal ill­ness . . . .

7. More about the Brook­lyn mosque that Brins­ley vis­it­ed:

“Let­ter from Peter G. Far­rell to Judge Joan M. Azrack”; nyc.gov; 9/10/2013.

. . . . The NYPD’s inves­ti­ga­tion of cer­tain indi­vid­u­als asso­ci­at­ed with Plain­tiff Masjid At Taqwa was based upon infor­ma­tion about their lengthy his­to­ry of sus­pect­ed crim­i­nal activ­i­ty, some of it ter­ror­is­tic in nature. This infor­ma­tion includes but is not lim­it­ed to: ille­gal weapons traf­fick­ing by mem­bers of the mosque’s secu­ri­ty team and the mosque care­tak­er both with­in the mosque and at the store adja­cent; ille­gal weapons traf­fick­ing by cer­tain atten­dees of the mosque; alle­ga­tions that the mosque ran a “gun club”; and alle­ga­tions that the assis­tant Imam had ear­marked por­tions of over $200,000 raised in the mosque to a num­ber of US Gov­ern­ment des­ig­nat­ed ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

Cer­tain indi­vid­u­als asso­ci­at­ed with Masjid At Taqwa have his­tor­i­cal ties to ter­ror­ism. The mosque’s Imam, Sir­aj Wah­haj, was named by the US Attor­ney for the South­ern Dis­trict of New York as an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor in a plot to bomb a num­ber of New York City land­marks in the mid-1990s (the “Land­marks Plot”). Omar Abdel Rah­man, known as the “Blind Sheikh,” who is serv­ing a life sen­tence in fed­er­al prison for his role in the Land­marks Plot, lec­tured at Masjid At Taqwa. Wah­haj tes­ti­fied as a char­ac­ter wit­ness for Abdel Rah­man dur­ing Abdel Rahman’s ter­ror­ism tri­al. Wah­haj also tes­ti­fied as a chanc­ter wit­ness for Clement Hamp­ton El, a Masjid At Taqwa attendee who was con­vict­ed as one of the Blind Sheikh’s cocon­spir­a­tors in the Land­marks Plot. . . .

8. A review of Dol­lars for Ter­ror from Pub­lish­ers Week­ly:

In a provoca­tive expos, Swiss TV jour­nal­ist Labeviere argues that the real threat to the West from rad­i­cal Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism comes not from Iran or Iraq but rather from Amer­i­ca’s sol­id allies—Saudi Ara­bia and neigh­bor­ing oil monar­chies. Based on his four-year inves­ti­ga­tion, Labeviere charges that Sau­di Ara­bia is the prin­ci­pal finan­cial backer of extrem­ist Islamist move­ments around the world. The linch­pin in this oper­a­tion, he states, is Sau­di bil­lion­aire Osama bin Ladin, trained by the CIA, who recruit­ed, armed and trained in turn Arab vol­un­teers to fight the Sovi­et army in the Afghanistan war, there­by strength­en­ing the total­i­tar­i­an Mus­lim Tal­iban regime. Bin Ladin, who, accord­ing to the author, main­tains close ties with the Sau­di and Pak­istani secret ser­vices, now bankrolls ter­ror­ist train­ing camps in Afghanistan and abets Islamist extrem­ist move­ments in Egypt, Yemen, Soma­lia, South Africa, Alge­ria and else­where. Vet­er­ans of the Afghan “holy war” have been impli­cat­ed in the 1993 bomb­ing of the World Trade Cen­ter in New York City and the attempt­ed mur­der of Egypt­ian pres­i­dent Mubarak in 1996. In Labeviere’s riv­et­ing, often shock­ing, analy­sis, the U.S. is an acces­so­ry in the rise of Islam, because it manip­u­lates and aids rad­i­cal Mus­lim groups in its short­sight­ed pur­suit of its eco­nom­ic inter­ests, espe­cial­ly the ener­gy resources of the Mid­dle East and the oil- and min­er­al-rich for­mer Sovi­et republics of Cen­tral Asia. Labeviere shows how rad­i­cal Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism spreads its influ­ence on two lev­els: above board, through invest­ment firms, banks and shell com­pa­nies, and clan­des­tine­ly, through a net­work of drug deal­ing, weapons smug­gling and mon­ey laun­der­ing. This impor­tant book sounds a wake-up call to U.S. pol­i­cy mak­ers. (May)
Copy­right 2000 Cah­n­ers Busi­ness Infor­ma­tion, Inc.

9. The broad­cast delin­eates Labaviere’s alle­ga­tions con­cern­ing the pro­found rela­tion­ship between the Saud­is, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence and the Bin Laden orga­ni­za­tion.

Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; pp. 14–5.

. . . . Many times over, Amer­i­can, Euro­pean and Arab diplo­mats and pub­lic offi­cials advised me to fol­low the trail of ‘the dol­lars of ter­ror.’ . . Every time, I was brought back to both the offi­cial and the secret struc­tures of Sau­di finance. Every time, I stum­bled on the fra­ter­ni­ty of the Mus­lim Broth­ers. . .Where does the mon­ey for this dan­ger­ous pros­e­lytism come from? . . . Sau­di Ara­bia and oth­er oil monar­chies allied with the Unit­ed States. The great­est world pow­er is ful­ly aware of this devel­op­ment. Indeed, its infor­ma­tion [intel­li­gence] agen­cies have encour­aged it . . . . The CIA and its Sau­di and Pak­istani homo­logues con­tin­ue [as of 1999] to spon­sor Islamism. . . .

10. High­light­ing the com­par­isons between the Brotherhood’s pro­gram and those of Mus­soli­ni and Hitler, the broad­cast con­tin­ues:

Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 127.

. . . . Tak­ing Italy’s choic­es under Mus­soli­ni for inspi­ra­tion, the eco­nom­ic pro­gram set three pri­or­i­ties . . . The social pol­i­cy fore­saw a new law on labor, found­ed on cor­po­ra­tions. This eco­nom­ic pro­gram would more direct­ly reveal its rela­tion­ship to total­i­tar­i­an ide­olo­gies a few years lat­er, with the works of Mohamed Ghaz­a­li . . . . Mohamed Ghaz­a­li rec­om­mend­ed ‘an eco­nom­ic reg­i­men sim­i­lar to that which exist­ed in Nazi Ger­many and fas­cist Italy.’ . . . The moral code is also an impor­tant com­po­nent in this pro­gram, which is intend­ed to cre­ate the ‘new Mus­lim man.’ . . . The notion of the equal­i­ty of the sex­es is inher­ent­ly negat­ed by the con­cept of the suprema­cy of male social respon­si­bil­i­ties. . .the ‘nat­ur­al’ place of the woman is in the home. . . .

  11. About the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s eco­nom­ic doc­trine:

“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3–10/2006.

Judeo-Chris­t­ian scrip­ture offers lit­tle eco­nomic instruc­tion. The Book of Deuteron­omy, for exam­ple, is loaded with edicts on how the faith­ful should pray, eat, bequeath, keep the holy fes­ti­vals and treat slaves and spous­es, but it is silent on trade and com­merce. In Matthew, when Christ admon­ishes his fol­low­ers to ‘give to the emper­or the things that are the emperor’s,’ he is effec­tively con­ced­ing fis­cal and mon­e­tary author­ity to pagan Rome. Islam is dif­fer­ent. The prophet Muhammad—himself a trader—preached mer­chant hon­or, the only reg­u­la­tion that the bor­der­less Lev­an­tine mar­ket knew. . . .

. . . In Mus­lim litur­gy, the deals cut in the souk become a metaphor for the con­tract between God and the faith­ful. And the busi­ness mod­el Muham­mad pre­scribed, accord­ing to Mus­lim schol­ars and econ­o­mists, is very much in the lais­sez-faire tra­di­tion lat­er embraced by the West. Prices were to be set by God alone—anticipating by more than a mil­len­nium Adam Smith’s ref­er­ence to the ‘invis­i­ble hand’ of mar­ket-based pric­ing. Mer­chants were not to cut deals out­side the souk, an ear­ly attempt to thwart insid­er trad­ing. . . . In the days of the caliphate, Islam devel­oped the most sophis­ti­cated mon­e­tary sys­tem the world had yet known. Today, some econ­o­mists cite Islam­ic bank­ing as fur­ther evi­dence of an intrin­sic Islam­ic prag­ma­tism. Though still guid­ed by a Qur’anic ban on riba, or inter­est, Islam­ic bank­ing has adapt­ed to the needs of a boom­ing oil region for liq­uid­ity. In recent years, some 500 Islam­ic banks and invest­ment firms hold­ing $2 tril­lion in assets have emerged in the Gulf States, with more in Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ties of the West.

British Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer Gor­don Brown wants to make Lon­don a glob­al cen­ter for Islam­ic finance—and elic­its no howl of protest from fun­da­men­tal­ists. How Islamists might run a cen­tral bank is more prob­lem­atic: schol­ars say they would manip­u­late cur­rency reserves, not inter­est rates.

The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood hails 14th cen­tury philoso­pher Ibn Khal­dun as its eco­nomic guide. Antic­i­pat­ing sup­ply-side eco­nom­ics, Khal­dun argued that cut­ting tax­es rais­es pro­duc­tion and tax rev­enues, and that state con­trol should be lim­ited to pro­vid­ing water, fire and free graz­ing land, the util­i­ties of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khal­dun the first advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion. [Empha­sis added.] His found­ing influ­ence is a sign of mod­er­a­tion. If Islamists in pow­er ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over com­merce. . . .

12. In addi­tion to the appar­ent use of Mus­lim Brotherhood/Islamist ele­ments as proxy war­riors against Rus­sia and Chi­na, the Broth­er­hood’s cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ics are beloved to Gra­ham Fuller, as well as cor­po­rate ele­ments cdham­pi­oned by Grover Norquist.

“Chech­nyan Pow­er” by Mark Ames; nsfwcorp.com; 6/5/2013.

. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jiha­di form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-eco­nom­ic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon ene­my to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller.

Accord­ing to jour­nal­ist Robert Drey­fuss’ book “Devil’s Game,” Fuller explained his attrac­tion to rad­i­cal Islam in neoliberal/libertarian terms:

“There is no main­stream Islam­ic organization...with rad­i­cal social views,” he wrote. “Clas­si­cal Islam­ic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully object­ed to social­ism and communism....Islam has nev­er had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is uneven­ly dis­trib­uted.” . . . .

13. Fuller has long been an advo­cate of a “turn to the Broth­er­hood.”

“In Search of Friends Among the Foes: U.S. Hopes to Work with Diverse Group” by John Mintz and Dou­glas Farah; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 9/11/2004; p. A01.

. . . Some fed­er­al agents wor­ry that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has dan­ger­ous links to ter­ror­ism. But some U.S. diplo­mats and intel­li­gence offi­cials believe its influ­ence offers an oppor­tu­ni­ty for polit­i­cal engage­ment that could help iso­late vio­lent jihadists. ‘It is the pre­em­i­nent move­ment in the Mus­lim world,’ said Gra­ham E. Fuller, a for­mer CIA offi­cial spe­cial­iz­ing in the Mid­dle East. ‘It’s some­thing we can work with.’ Demo­niz­ing the Broth­er­hood ‘would be fool­hardy in the extreme’ he warned.” . . .

14. More about the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fol­lows. Note that Khairat el-Shater was alleged by Egypt­ian intel­li­gence to have been run­ning Mohamed Mor­si. (We cov­ered this in FTR #787.) In turn, he was report­ed to be serv­ing as a liai­son between Mor­si and Mohamed Zawahiri, the broth­er of Al-Qae­da leader Ayman Zawahiri. Shater was also net­worked with: Anne Pat­ter­son, U.S. ambas­sador to Egypt, GOP Sen­a­tor John McCain and GOP Sen­a­tor Lid­say Gra­ham. In turn, Shater was alleged to have trans­ferred $50 mil­lion from the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to Al-Qae­da at the time that he was net­work­ing with the Amer­i­cans and Mor­si. Hey, what’s $50 mil­lion between friends?

“The GOP Broth­er­hood of Egypt” by Avi Ash­er-Schapiro; Salon.com; 1/25/2012.

While West­ern alarmists often depict Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion with ter­ror­ist ties, the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers.

The Broth­er­hood, which did not ini­tial­ly sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion that began a year ago, reaped its ben­e­fits, cap­tur­ing near­ly half the seats in the new par­lia­ment, which was seat­ed this week, and vault­ing its top lead­ers into posi­tions of pow­er.

Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat Al-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da.

At Al-Shater’s lux­u­ry fur­ni­ture out­let Istak­bal, a new couch costs about 6,000 Egypt­ian pounds, about $1,000 in U.S. cur­ren­cy. In a coun­try where 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives on less than $2 a day, Istakbal’s clien­tele is large­ly lim­it­ed to Egypt’s upper class­es.

Although the Broth­ers do draw sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from Egypt’s poor and work­ing class, “the Broth­er­hood is a firm­ly upper-mid­dle-class orga­ni­za­tion in its lead­er­ship,” says Sha­di Hamid, a lead­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood expert at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, these well-to-do Egyp­tians are eager to safe­guard their eco­nom­ic posi­tion in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Despite ris­ing eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and pover­ty, the Broth­er­hood does not back rad­i­cal changes in Egypt’s econ­o­my.

The FJP’s eco­nom­ic plat­form is a tame doc­u­ment, rife with promis­es to root out cor­rup­tion and tweak Egypt’s tax and sub­si­dies sys­tems, with occa­sion­al allu­sions to an unspe­cif­ic com­mit­ment to “social jus­tice.” The plat­form prais­es the mech­a­nisms of the free mar­ket and promis­es that the par­ty will work for “bal­anced, sus­tain­able and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.” It is a pro­gram that any Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty could get behind. . . .

15.We note that the attacks in Paris stand to pro­vide polit­i­cal ben­e­fit to the  Nation­al Front, which has made Mus­lim immi­grants in France a major tar­get. Oth­er Euro­pean fas­cist groups–such as the mis­named Swe­den Democ­rats (financed to a large extent by Carl Lund­strom, who was the chief financier of the Pirate Bay web­site on which Wik­iLeaks held forth)–stand to ben­e­fit as well.

“In Cold Polit­i­cal Terms, Far Right and French Pres­i­dent Both Gain” by Steven Erlanger; The New York Times; 1/11/2015.

. . . . But no one expects this mood of sol­i­dar­i­ty to last very long; indeed, the attacks have already sharp­ened his clash with the far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Mr. Hol­lande remains the most unpop­u­lar French pres­i­dent since World War II. He is trou­bled by a weak econ­o­my, high unem­ploy­ment and an under­ly­ing atmos­phere of anx­i­ety and even fear, among both Mus­lims and Jews, about the impact of home­grown Islam­ic rad­i­cal­ism. . . .

. . . . The home­grown ter­ror­ism here, with its appar­ent links to Al Qae­da and the Islam­ic State, will also be used by oth­er far-right, nation­al­ist and anti-immi­gra­tion move­ments in Europe, from the Unit­ed King­dom Inde­pen­dence Par­ty to the Swe­den Democ­rats and Germany’s Pegi­da — Patri­ot­ic Euro­peans Against the Islamiza­tion of the West. That is anoth­er rea­son so many Euro­pean lead­ers from the main­stream par­ties of the cen­ter right and cen­ter left, from Angela Merkel of Ger­many to David Cameron of Britain and Mar­i­ano Rajoy of Spain, came to show their own sol­i­dar­i­ty with France and Mr. Hol­lande. . . .

16. Sup­ple­ment­ing analy­sis high­light­ed in FTR #787, we reit­er­ate that Tayyip Erdo­gan’s sup­pos­ed­ly “mod­er­ate Islam­ic democ­ra­cy” is noth­ing of the sort. With roots in the Al-Taqwa milieu and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, his gov­ern­ment is man­i­fest­ing the Islam­ic fas­cism at the core of the Ikwhan.

Man­i­fest­ing his “mod­er­a­tion,” Erdo­gan has explic­it­ly stat­ed his view that women are not equal to men.

Nice.

“Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan Says Gen­der Equal­i­ty ‘Con­trary to Nature’ Dur­ing Wom­en’s Rights Meet­ing” [Reuters]; ABC News; 11/24/2014.

Turk­ish pres­i­dent Tayyip Erdo­gan has said that gen­der equal­i­ty is con­trary to nature and fem­i­nists did not recog­nise the val­ue of moth­er­hood, at a meet­ing on wom­en’s rights.

The con­ser­v­a­tive pres­i­dent said wom­en’s “del­i­cate” nature meant it was impos­si­ble to place them on an equal foot­ing with men. . . .

17a. Note that Erdo­gan’s men­tor was Necmet­tin Erbakan.

“Turkey Offers Sup­port for Con­tro­ver­sial Islam­ic Group”; Deutsche Welle; 4/23/2003.

. . . . Some observers say the attempt [by Mil­li Gorus] to reform its pub­lic image could be at least part­ly linked to the rise of Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Tayyip Erdo­gan and his AK par­ty. Com­ing to pow­er in a land­slide vic­to­ry last year, Erdo­gan styles his par­ty as a mod­ern con­ser­v­a­tive group based on Mus­lim val­ues. He has dis­tanced him­self from for­mer men­tor Necmet­tin Erbakan, who found­ed the Islam­ic-influ­enced Wel­fare Par­ty. Erbakan’s nephew, Mehmet Sabri Erbakan, was IGMG chair­man until he left office after alleged­ly hav­ing an extra-mar­i­tal affair.

17b. Flesh­ing out dis­cus­sion of Necmet­tin Erbakan, his Refah par­ty and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, the pro­gram high­lights Erbakan’s rela­tion­ship with Ahmed Huber and the man­ner in which that rela­tion­ship pre­cip­i­tat­ed Huber’s ascen­sion to his posi­tion as a direc­tor of Al Taqwa.

Close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the AK Par­ty’s pre­de­ces­sor Refah orga­ni­za­tion, Huber’s con­cept of “mod­er­a­tion” might be gleaned from the pho­tographs of some of the “mod­er­ates” he admires.

Note that Erbakan, men­tor to Tayyip Erdo­gan, net­worked with Jean-Marie Le Pen, cour­tesy of Bank Al-Taqwa’s Achmed Huber.

Note, also, that they arrived at a polit­i­cal con­cen­sus, work­ing to coor­di­nate the Islam­ic fas­cism of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood with the Euro-fas­cism of the Nation­al Front, Swe­den Democ­rats and oth­ers.

Speak­ing of the décor of Huber’s res­i­dence:

Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 142.

. . . . A sec­ond pho­to­graph, in which Hitler is talk­ing with Himm­ler, hangs next to those of Necmet­tin Erbakan and Jean-Marie Le Pen [leader of the fas­cist Nation­al Front]. Erbakan, head of the Turk­ish Islamist par­ty, Refah, turned to Achmed Huber for an intro­duc­tion to the chief of the French par­ty of the far right. Exit­ing from the meet­ing (which took place in Sep­tem­ber 1995) Huber’s two friends sup­pos­ed­ly stat­ed that they ‘share the same view of the world’ and expressed ‘their com­mon desire to work togeth­er to remove the last racist obsta­cles that still pre­vent the union of the Islamist move­ment with the nation­al right of Europe.’. . .

. . . . Last­ly, above the desk is dis­played a poster of the imam Khome­i­ni; the meet­ing ‘changed my life,’ Huber says, with stars in his eyes. For years, after the Fed­er­al Palace in Bern, Ahmed Huber pub­lished a Euro­pean press review for the Iran­ian lead­ers, then for the Turk­ish Refah. Since the for­mer lacked finan­cial means, Huber chose to put his efforts to the ser­vice of the lat­ter. An out­post of the Turk­ish Mus­lim Broth­ers, Refah thus became Huber’s prin­ci­pal employ­er; and it was through the inter­me­di­ary of the Turk­ish Islamist par­ty that this for­mer par­lia­men­tary cor­re­spon­dent became a share­hold­er in the bank Al Taqwa. . . .

18. Erdo­gan’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood gov­ern­ment may well be sup­port­ing the Turko­phone Uighurs in their effort to oblige the seces­sion of oil and minier­al rich Xin­jiang Province.

“Turks Are Held in Plot to Help Uighurs Leave Chi­na” by Edward Wong; The New York Times; 1/14/2015.

The police in Shang­hai have arrest­ed 10 Turk­ish cit­i­zens and two Chi­nese cit­i­zens and accused them of pro­vid­ing altered Turk­ish pass­ports to ter­ror­ist sus­pects from the west­ern region of Xin­jiang, a state-run news­pa­per report­ed on Wednes­day.

The peo­ple try­ing to use the pass­ports — nine eth­nic Uighurs try­ing to leave Chi­na ille­gal­ly through a Shang­hai air­port — are also under arrest, accord­ing to the news­pa­per, Glob­al Times.

All of the sus­pects were detained in Novem­ber and for­mal­ly charged recent­ly, the report said. It added that the nine Uighurs were plan­ning to go to Afghanistan, Pak­istan and Syr­ia after leav­ing Chi­na. Audio and video mate­ri­als with con­tent relat­ed to ter­ror­ism were found on those try­ing to leave, the report said.

Those involved in pro­vid­ing the forged pass­ports have been charged with smug­gling ter­ror­ists and alter­ing legal doc­u­ments, Glob­al Times report­ed. On Wednes­day after­noon, calls made to the Shang­hai police seek­ing com­ment were not imme­di­ate­ly answered.

The Uighurs are a most­ly Mus­lim, Tur­kic-speak­ing eth­nic group in Xin­jiang. . . .

 


Discussion

20 comments for “FTR #830 Machiavelli 2.0: The Paris Attacks and the Muslim Brotherhood”

  1. You know you’re orga­ni­za­tion is expe­ri­enc­ing a cri­sis of lead­er­ship when your leader has to clar­i­fy that he had to step down because of the crazy things he wrote online, and not because of the pho­to of him pos­ing as Hitler:

    UPDATE 2‑German PEGIDA leader resigns after Hitler pose prompts inves­ti­ga­tion

    Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:45pm EST

    * Anti-Islam group’s leader posed as Hitler, insult­ed refugees

    * Res­ig­na­tion fol­lows news of inves­ti­ga­tion for incite­ment (Adds back­ground, com­ing march)

    By Made­line Cham­bers

    BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) — The leader of the fast-grow­ing Ger­man anti-Mus­lim move­ment PEGIDA resigned on Wednes­day after a pho­to of him pos­ing as Hitler — and reports that he called refugees “scum­bags” — prompt­ed pros­e­cu­tors to inves­ti­gate him for incit­ing hatred.

    Bach­mann, a 41-year-old con­vict­ed bur­glar, had appeared on the front page of top-sell­ing dai­ly news­pa­per Bild on Wednes­day sport­ing a Hitler mous­tache and hair­cut. Bild and anoth­er paper said he had called aslyum-seek­ers “ani­mals” and “scum­bags”.

    Oer­tel said his res­ig­na­tion had noth­ing to do with the Hitler pho­to but was linked to com­ments post­ed on the inter­net.

    ...

    PEGIDA has forced itself onto the polit­i­cal agen­da with its anti-immi­grant slo­gans that have attract­ed tens of thou­sands to reg­u­lar ral­lies in Dres­den. Its Leipzig sis­ter move­ment, LEGIDA, was due to march on Wednes­day evening after police banned a PEGIDA march in Dres­den on Mon­day due to a threat of an attack.

    Bach­mann, who denies he is a racist, had heard on Wednes­day that he faces a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion for incite­ment to racial hatred. State pros­e­cu­tors in Dres­den said pre­lim­i­nary pro­ceed­ings had been launched fol­low­ing the Bild report.

    “IMPULSIVE”

    Bild print­ed the pho­to of him with Hitler-style mous­tache and hair on its front page. It quot­ed him as say­ing the pho­to had been tak­en as a joke, prompt­ed by a recent satir­i­cal book about Hitler called “Er ist wieder da” (“Look Who’s Back”).

    The Dres­d­ner Mor­gen­post news­pa­per also quot­ed what it said were Face­book mes­sages from Bach­mann say­ing asy­lum seek­ers act­ed like “scum­bags” at the wel­fare office and that extra secu­ri­ty was need­ed “to pro­tect employ­ees from the ani­mals”.

    Deputy Chan­cel­lor Sig­mar Gabriel, the Social Demo­c­rat leader, said the real face of PEGIDA had been exposed: “Any­one who puts on a Hitler dis­guise is either an idiot or a Nazi.”

    In an inter­view with Reuters last week, Bach­mann played down a rib­ald com­ment made in 2013, seized on by the media, that “eco-ter­ror­ist” Greens, first and fore­most for­mer par­ty leader Clau­dia Roth, should be “sum­mar­i­ly exe­cut­ed”.

    “I am an impul­sive person...I regret I did­n’t resist my impul­sive­ness.”

    “I am an impul­sive person...I regret I did­n’t resist my impul­sive­ness,” says the guy that called for the Greens be “sum­mar­i­ly exe­cut­ed”. So the ex-leader of the hot new polit­i­cal move­ment in Ger­many appar­ent­ly suf­fers from an undi­ag­nosed and untreat­ed case of low-lev­el Touret­te’s syn­drome that caus­es him to blurt out hor­ri­ble state­ments that one might nor­mal­ly attribute to a Nazi. But he’s too embar­rassed to tell any­one and now he’s got a bunch of far right nut jobs fol­low­ing him around. It all makes sense and it’s quite trag­ic, real­ly.

    Although that still does­n’t explain all the alleged­ly non-far right mem­bers of the gen­er­al pub­lic that con­tin­ue to flock to move­ment led by a man with impulse con­trol issues that cause him say hor­ri­ble things:

    Deutsche-Welle
    Right-wing anti-Islamist PEGIDA move­ment is los­ing steam, says study

    The PEGIDA protest move­ment has sparked a fun­da­men­tal debate in Ger­many: the right to demon­strate. How­ev­er, the group’s dra­ma should­n’t be tak­en that seri­ous­ly, says lead­ing soci­ol­o­gist Dieter Rucht.
    Date 19.01.2015
    Author Gabriel Bor­rud

    Ger­man news out­lets were again jam-packed with com­men­taries and analy­sis of the right-wing “Patri­ot­ic Euro­peans Against the Islamiza­tion of Europe,” or PEGIDA, move­ment on Mon­day, this time fol­low­ing a ban on the group because of report­ed threats to its leader Lutz Bach­mann. Politi­cians of the high­est lev­el also joined the debate, with a spokesman for Chan­cel­lor Merkel call­ing the deci­sion to ban PEGIDA a “one-off.”

    Accord­ing to a study con­duct­ed by the Social Sci­ence Research Cen­ter in Berlin and pre­sent­ed Mon­day by its head, Dieter Rucht, PEGIDA could well be on its way out. Rucht and col­leagues from the uni­ver­si­ties of Bochum and Chem­nitz had spent the last week por­ing over data col­lect­ed online to come to their con­clu­sions.

    DW: In your expe­ri­ence with protest move­ments, have you ever seen any­thing like PEGIDA?

    Dieter Rucht: No, not real­ly. The pic­ture you get from Dres­den is very ambiva­lent. On the one hand, you have what looks like very ordi­nary peo­ple out on the streets. It could be your neigh­bor from around the cor­ner, for instance, and the marchers also seem to present them­selves in that light.

    Togeth­er in the same group, how­ev­er, you have what appears to be right-wingers march­ing along­side these “nor­mal peo­ple.” We have nev­er seen such a strange mix­ture like this, no. It makes you won­der why peo­ple who claim to be your neigh­bor and very ordi­nary mid­dle class cit­i­zens would want to go march­ing with right-wing extrem­ists.

    Is this a move­ment of the peo­ple?

    That’s what they say. “We are the peo­ple” is their most pop­u­lar chant. But this is not the case at all. They have absolute­ly no claim of rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and from our data and obser­va­tions, we could per­haps say that this group is pri­mar­i­ly right-wing pop­ulist, which con­tains pock­ets of gen­uine­ly racist and xeno­pho­bic peo­ple.

    Again, this fits with the incred­i­bly ambiva­lent nature of the demon­stra­tors and the way the demon­stra­tions are orga­nized. On the stage in Dres­den, if you lis­ten to the speak­ers, you hear very con­tra­dic­to­ry mes­sages, for instance: “We are the peo­ple, and we are ordi­nary and peace­ful, and we have noth­ing against for­eign­ers and asy­lum seek­ers,” and in the very next piece you hear the com­plete oppo­site.

    The results of your study sug­gest that PEGIDA won’t last long, that it may well already be los­ing momen­tum. Why is that?

    I must pref­ace by say­ing that our study is not rep­re­sen­ta­tive; only sev­er­al hun­dred peo­ple respond­ed to our online requests. From the respons­es we did receive, and from our expe­ri­ence with such protests, we believe the move­ment will slow­ly fade away. If it con­tin­ues the way it has over the past 13 weeks, it will become very repet­i­tive. In this way, per­haps, we could draw com­par­isons to the Occu­py move­ment. After a while, a kind of infla­tion­ary effect sets in. If noth­ing new hap­pens, the media will lose its inter­est, and once the media los­es its inter­ests, the peo­ple who were moti­vat­ed by media cov­er­age will no longer be moved to the streets. Then, PEGIDA will have hit its peak.

    And noth­ing could change that?

    Well, it’s impos­si­ble to pre­dict, but per­haps a ter­ror­ist attack could gal­va­nize the peo­ple. But again, there is no way of pre­dict­ing what cir­cum­stances or events could influ­ence the pop­u­lar­i­ty of such a move­ment.

    Do you think the rapid growth of PEGIDA will thwart its longevi­ty?

    I do think that. This is where the com­par­i­son to mod­ern protests such as the Occu­py move­ment becomes viable. Despite its com­plete dif­fer­ence with regard to social com­po­si­tion and polit­i­cal state­ment, PEGIDA was pow­ered by social net­work­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion via the Inter­net and extra­or­di­nary inter­est in the media. We saw for months the dra­mat­ic pic­tures of the Occu­py move­ments around the world, and as a result, the peo­ple who were active in the streets began to feel that they were the cen­ter of the world, or of his­to­ry.

    These peo­ple tru­ly believed they could make a change, and their over-eval­u­a­tion of their own impor­tance was a decid­ing fac­tor in their moti­va­tion. When the air comes out, that moti­va­tion dwin­dles. This could very well — or may, I must be care­ful — be the case with PEGIDA.

    ...

    “Well, it’s impos­si­ble to pre­dict, but per­haps a ter­ror­ist attack could gal­va­nize the peo­ple. But again, there is no way of pre­dict­ing what cir­cum­stances or events could influ­ence the pop­u­lar­i­ty of such a move­ment.” Huh. It does­n’t seem that hard.

    Still, as Rucht points out, it’s an over­all puz­zling sit­u­a­tion:

    On the one hand, you have what looks like very ordi­nary peo­ple out on the streets. It could be your neigh­bor from around the cor­ner, for instance, and the marchers also seem to present them­selves in that light.

    Togeth­er in the same group, how­ev­er, you have what appears to be right-wingers march­ing along­side these “nor­mal peo­ple.” We have nev­er seen such a strange mix­ture like this, no. It makes you won­der why peo­ple who claim to be your neigh­bor and very ordi­nary mid­dle class cit­i­zens would want to go march­ing with right-wing extrem­ists.

    Yeah, it does make you won­der very ordi­nary mid­dle class cit­i­zens would want to go march­ing with right-wing extrem­ists. It also makes you won­der why the best hope for PEGIDA fad­ing away is root­ed in its stun­ning­ly rapid growth that seems to be draw­ing in a large num­ber of main­stream pro­tes­tors march­ing side-by-side with far right extrem­ists as Dieter Rucht sug­gests.

    Of course, a Rucht also sug­gests:

    These peo­ple tru­ly believed they could make a change, and their over-eval­u­a­tion of their own impor­tance was a decid­ing fac­tor in their moti­va­tion. When the air comes out, that moti­va­tion dwin­dles. This could very well — or may, I must be care­ful — be the case with PEGIDA.

    So once the far right deter­mines it’s not as impor­tant as it thinks it is, the wind will be tak­en out of its sails and this will all blow over. Good to know.

    Also, it’s still feel­ing pret­ty windy out there...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 21, 2015, 1:31 pm
  2. King Abdul­lah of Sau­di Ara­bia died which means the Sau­di Queen is now ruler of the King­dom! Haha! No, it actu­al­ly it means it’s time for the West to keep ignor­ing its com­plic­i­ty in this hor­ri­ble mess:

    Think Progress
    The Truth About How King Abdul­lah Treat­ed Women, Includ­ing His Own Daugh­ters

    by Been­ish Ahmed Post­ed on Jan­u­ary 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    King Abdul­lah, 90, who died ear­ly Fri­day morn­ing, is being hailed as a reformer, despite con­don­ing human rights abus­es and for­ward­ing only very mea­sured efforts to pro­mote democ­ra­cy in his oil-rich nation.

    One of the most scru­ti­nized aspects of the Sau­di Arabia’s rights’ record is its so-called “male guardian­ship sys­tem,” women are not allowed to trav­el, obtain a pass­port, mar­ry, or con­tin­ue their edu­ca­tion with­out the approval of a male rel­a­tive.

    The King’s own daugh­ters are hard­ly an excep­tion to the harsh rule. Four of his daugh­ters claim that the are being forcibly held in a dilap­i­dat­ed palace with lit­tle in the way of food and water. “Our father said that we had no way out,” Sahar Al Saud, 42, wrote in an email to the British broad­cast net­work Chan­nel 4, “And that after his death our broth­ers will con­tin­ue detain­ing us.”

    “We are just an exam­ple of so many fam­i­lies, of what so many women, go through. Just a tiny, tiny exam­ple,” the princess who once enjoyed inter­na­tion­al ski­ing and shop­ping trips said.

    Adam Coogle, a Sau­di Ara­bia researcher for Human Rights Watch told ThinkProgress in an email, “It seems clear that the princess­es’ free­dom of move­ment has been restrict­ed, but we don’t have a lot of details beyond that.”

    While Sahar and her sis­ters claim they are being held because of their inde­pen­dent spir­its and crit­i­cal view towards some of their father’s social poli­cies, their deten­tion might have some­thing to do with their sup­port for Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cler­ic impris­oned in the pow­er­ful epi­cen­ter of Sun­ni Islam.

    And, while it’s not a top­ic they have raised in their inter­views with West­ern jour­nal­ists, Sahar appeared in a video last April in which she called for oppo­si­tion to her fathers’ regime and praised Nimr al-Nimr — a bold and pos­si­bly dan­ger­ous move.

    Despite his alleged repres­sion of reli­gious minori­ties, in a state­ment, Vice Pres­i­dent said he “appre­ci­at­ed” King Abdullah’s “efforts to move his coun­try for­ward,” and Sen. John McCain (R‑AZ) called him “an impor­tant voice for reform in Sau­di Ara­bia.”

    Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma praised the king for hav­ing “the courage of his con­vic­tions,” and for pro­mot­ing secu­ri­ty in the region, but steered clear of com­ment­ing on Sau­di Ara­bi­an social poli­cies.

    “In a very dis­creet way, he was a strong advo­cate of women,” Chris­tine Lagarde the head of the Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund said from the Davos Eco­nom­ic Forum in Switzer­land.

    Even news reports her­ald­ed King Abdullah’s track record on civ­il rights, though the lauda­to­ry lan­guage was often fol­lowed by only vague or con­tra­dic­to­ry exam­ples from his 9‑year tenure as the head of Sau­di Ara­bia.

    CNN called him “a cau­tious reformer” cit­ing “steps toward broad­er free­doms” with­out giv­ing clear exam­ples. The New York Times Dou­glas Mar­tin and Ben Hub­bard referred to the auto­crat­ic ruler as a “force of mod­er­a­tion,” although the already tem­pered phrase was fol­lowed by exam­ples in which the King failed to car­ry out the reforms he pub­licly vowed to car­ry out.

    While he did make it pos­si­ble for women to work as cashiers — a sig­nif­i­cant lib­er­al­iza­tion in the Sau­di con­text — the Times’ jour­nal­ists note that he walked back on what they called “a promise made to Bar­bara Wal­ters of ABC News in his first tele­vised inter­view as king in Octo­ber 2005” to make it legal for woman to dri­ve there.

    In the inter­view with Wal­ters, how­ev­er, King Abdul­lah nev­er explic­it­ly promised to shift pol­i­cy to allow women to get behind the wheel. He said only, “I believe it will be pos­si­ble.”

    ...

    In 2011, amid pres­sure from the rev­o­lu­tion­ary fer­vor sweep­ing Mid­dle East­ern states, King Abdul­lah announced that women would be allowed to run and vote in future munic­i­pal elec­tions. The move was blocked “because of the kingdom’s social cus­toms.”

    It’s not only Sau­di Ara­bi­an women who face heavy-hand­ed sen­tences for defy­ing the country’s strict laws around social order.

    Less than 10 per­cent of Saud­is are able to vote.

    Accord­ing to a report by the human rights orga­ni­za­tion Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al, more than 2,000 peo­ple were exe­cut­ed in Sau­di Ara­bia between 1985 and 2013. The orga­ni­za­tion claims that many of those who have been tor­tured or killed were advo­cates for social and polit­i­cal reform in the coun­try who were charged with vague offens­es like “dis­obey­ing the ruler.”

    On Fri­day, Sau­di author­i­ties again post­poned the flog­ging of the pro­gres­sive blog­ger Raif Badawi. Although the British for­eign sec­re­tary raised con­cerns about bru­tal sen­tence await­ing the blog­ger with the Sau­di ambas­sador to Britain prime min­is­ter was among those prais­ing King Abdullah’s com­mit­ment to his peo­ple.

    “He will be remem­bered for his long years of ser­vice to the king­dom, for his com­mit­ment to peace and for strength­en­ing under­stand­ing between faiths,” David Cameron said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 23, 2015, 3:57 pm
  3. Quite a reformer! Maybe the Pope will make him a saint, and maybe the U.S. could give him the medal of free­dom posthu­mous­ly.

    Posted by GK | January 25, 2015, 3:50 pm
  4. @GK–

    Do you mean Machi­avel­li?

    It is unclear who the “him” is in your com­ment.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 25, 2015, 6:27 pm
  5. @Dave
    Sor­ry for being unclear. I meant the late King Abdul­lah, and my com­ment was a reac­tion to the Kings unex­pect­ed pass­ing and Pter­rafractyl’s post­ing about the King in a pre­ced­ing com­ment on this thread. It was one of those death of a feel­ing things you’ve talked about, that was­n’t very good.

    Sor­ry,
    GK

    Posted by GK | January 30, 2015, 7:20 pm
  6. This is Bre­it­bart, so nat­u­ral­ly they leave out the fact that it was Norquist and Rove who brought these peo­ple into high DC places in the first place. Nor do they men­tion that the Mohammed Magid was the “token Mus­lim” at the Rea­gan funer­al. But it is a pret­ty good indi­ca­tor that the Broth­ers are not done in the White House. This is the Green Quest crowd, doing what they do best...

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/07/the-muslim-brotherhood-comes-to-the-white-house/

    The Oba­ma White House has final­ly released the names of the four­teen Mus­lim “lead­ers” who met with the Pres­i­dent this past week. Among the group — which includ­ed a come­di­an, along with a hijab-wear­ing bas­ket­ball play­er and a hand­ful of left wing activists — were a select few indi­vid­u­als with dis­turbing­ly close ties to the glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.

    As pre­vi­ous­ly uncov­ered by Bre­it­bart News, the White House con­firmed that Azhar Azeez, Pres­i­dent of the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA), was one of the Mus­lim lead­ers that met with Pres­i­dent Oba­ma. ISNA was found­ed in 1981 by mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. The group was list­ed as an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor in the Holy Land Foun­da­tion ter­ror­ism financ­ing tri­al. Fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors have pre­vi­ous­ly described how ISNA fun­neled its mon­ey to Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist group Hamas (via Inves­tiga­tive Project):

    ISNA checks deposit­ed into the ISNA/NAIT account for the HLF were often made payable to “the Pales­tin­ian Muja­hadeen,” the orig­i­nal name for the HAMAS mil­i­tary wing. Govt. Exh. 1–174. From that ISNA/NAIT account, the HLF sent hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to HAMAS leader…

    Azeez’s bio also reveals him as a found­ing mem­ber the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) Dallas/Fort Worth Chap­ter. CAIR has also alleged­ly fun­neled mon­ey to Pales­tin­ian ter­ror groups and was also start­ed by mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.

    In Octo­ber, 2014, Azeez signed a let­ter endors­ing Sharia Islam­ic gov­er­nance. Under the Sharia, non-Mus­lims are treat­ed as sec­ond-class cit­i­zens. The Sharia also endors­es the hudud pun­ish­ments in the Koran and Hadiths, which state that apos­ta­sy from Islam is pun­ish­able by death.

    Hoda Elshishtawy of the Mus­lim Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil (MPAC) was also in atten­dance at the Mus­lim lead­ers’ meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Oba­ma.

    MPAC, just like CAIR and ISNA, was found­ed by mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. The group has writ­ten and often endorsed a paper reject­ing the Unit­ed States’s des­ig­na­tion of Hezbol­lah and Hamas as ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions, and has insist­ed that the Jew­ish state of Israel be added as a state spon­sor of ter­ror­ism. The group’s for­mer pres­i­dent, Salam al-Maray­ati, has pub­licly encour­aged offi­cials to look at Israel as a sus­pect in the 9/11/01 attacks.

    He has said that Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel should be seen as “legit­i­mate resis­tance.” In a 1998 speech at the Nation­al Press Club, an MPAC senior offi­cial described the Lebanese ter­ror­ist group Hezbol­lah as one that fights for “Amer­i­can val­ues.” In an MPAC-spon­sored March 2009 protest to “Defend al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Quds,” par­tic­i­pants could be heard chant­i­ng slo­gans encour­ag­ing Pales­tini­ans to wipe out Israel. “From the riv­er to the sea, Pales­tine will be free. From the riv­er to the sea, Pales­tine will be free,” demon­stra­tors chant­ed.

    Mohamed Majid, who serves as Imam of the All Dulles Area Mus­lim Soci­ety (ADAMS), was also in atten­dance at the White House meet­ing with the Pres­i­dent, and senior advi­sors Ben Rhodes and Valerie Jar­rett.

    In 2002, ADAMS was raid­ed as part of a U.S. gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive called “Oper­a­tion Green Quest,” where fed­er­al agents sus­pect­ed the group of sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. Gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments said that the ADAMS Cen­ter was “sus­pect­ed of pro­vid­ing sup­port to ter­ror­ists, mon­ey laun­der­ing, and tax eva­sion.”

    Majid is also an offi­cial with the broth­er­hood-affil­i­at­ed Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA).

    He also signed the Octo­ber 2014 let­ter, along with White House meet­ing attendee Azhar Azeez, insist­ing that Sharia law should be an accept­able polit­i­cal sys­tem world­wide.

    It remains unclear why Pres­i­dent Oba­ma remains a stal­wart believ­er that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and its affil­i­ates should be treat­ed as legit­i­mate polit­i­cal enti­ties, when his­to­ry reveals the orga­ni­za­tion as one with rad­i­cal goals. The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was found­ed in 1928 by Islam­ic cler­ic (and Hitler admir­er) Has­san al-Ban­na after the col­lapse of the Ottoman Empire.

    The group seeks as its end-game to install a Sun­ni Islam­ic caliphate through­out the world. al-Ban­na said of his organization’s goals, “It is the nature of Islam to dom­i­nate, not to be dom­i­nat­ed, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its pow­er to the entire plan­et.” Both For­mer Al Qae­da leader Osama Bin Laden and ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr Al Bagh­da­di were mem­bers of the Broth­er­hood. Its cur­rent spir­i­tu­al leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has a knack for bash­ing Jews and prais­ing Nazis. The Mus­lim Brotherhood’s mot­to remains: “Allah is our objec­tive. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our high­est hope.”

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | February 10, 2015, 9:38 am
  7. Wow, America’s social media vig­i­lantes are at it again, because they cer­tain­ly know more about a 48 hour old case than the police or fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors. And, yes, sad­ly, the Mus­lim Broth­ers are ALL OVER this sto­ry. Also, some lib­er­al Amer­i­can com­men­ta­tors (and, yes, I’m a lib­er­al still) are say­ing this was “typ­i­cal white Nazi Chris­t­ian behav­ior”. The real­i­ty is that the alleged killer was actu­al­ly pret­ty far to the left and an avowed athe­ist. That angle is being very down­played. Hell, his pol­i­tics and antag­o­nism to reli­gion as a whole aren’t that far from my own! Except I’m not crazy and don’t bring weapons to park­ing dis­putes with my neigh­bors.
    And, no despite my ques­tions about this case and hos­til­i­ty towards the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, in NO WAY does that jus­ti­fy this hor­ri­ble slaugh­ter and this jerk deserves a life sen­tence. By most accounts, these were fair­ly mod­el Mus­lim Amer­i­cans and decent folks. How­ev­er… the Broth­ers lurk.

    http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/nation/2015/02/13/muslim-students-funeral/23337467/

    …U.S. Attor­ney Rip­ley Rand, the dis­tric­t’s top fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor, had said Wednes­day that there was no imme­di­ate evi­dence Mus­lims were being tar­get­ed.

    …Barakat and Yusor Abu-Sal­ha were new­ly­weds who met while help­ing to run a Mus­lim stu­dent asso­ci­a­tion before Barakat moved to Chapel Hill to study den­tistry at UNC.

    NOTE: A “mus­lim stu­dent asso­ci­a­tion”? You mean THE Mus­lim Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion, the col­lege cam­pus front of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. At least two of the vic­tims were mem­bers. This does not mean they sub­scribed to all the tenets of the Broth­ers, but they are cer­tain­ly in the back­ground of this sto­ry.

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/obama-condemns-murders-muslim-students-193919944.html#Ps1WF4v

    US Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma has con­demned the “bru­tal and out­ra­geous” mur­ders of three Mus­lim stu­dents in North Car­oli­na.
    “No one in the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca should ever be tar­get­ed because of who they are, what they look like, or how they wor­ship,” he said in a state­ment, offer­ing his con­do­lences.

    ….Mr Oba­ma’s remarks on Fri­day fol­low crit­i­cism from Turkey’s Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan, a devout Mus­lim, of his US coun­ter­part’s “telling” fail­ure to speak out about the killings.

    NOTE: Of course I agree with Obama’s remarks. But why even men­tion it when there is NO EVIDENCE yet that this was a killing based on big­otry? And I’m not assum­ing Oba­ma made these remarks in response to Erdogan’s crit­i­cism (and the fact that ANYBODY gives a shit what Erdo­gan thinks scares the hell out of me!), but it is an inter­est­ing jux­ta­po­si­tion.

    (con­tin­u­ing)

    …Chapel Hill police are also inves­ti­gat­ing whether the killings involved a hate crime but say a pre­lim­i­nary inves­ti­ga­tion points to a long-sim­mer­ing spat over parking.A woman who lives near the scene of the shoot­ings described Hicks as short-tempered.“Anytime that I saw him or saw inter­ac­tion with him or friends or any­one in the park­ing lot or myself, he was angry,” Saman­tha Maness said of Hicks. “He was very angry any time I saw him.”

    NOTE: Yep, just an angry psy­cho, it sounds like to me. Amer­i­ca is a vio­lent coun­try with a grow­ing Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion (not trends I’m inter­link­ing). Are we now going to assume that any time a Mus­lim is mur­dered here that it inevitably must be based on their reli­gion? Some­times it will be, per­pe­trat­ed by Nazi or KKK types and those should be inves­ti­gat­ed as thor­ough­ly as any oth­er mur­ders.

    OK, so here’s where things get inter­est­ing… remem­ber the plot to behead Marines at Quan­ti­co? Look at what mosque the plot­ters attend­ed. It’s the same damn one as the vic­tims in this weeks’ mur­ders! And, yes, this was blow­back from our role in the Koso­vo war and efforts to bring Koso­vars into the US. And they showed their appre­ci­a­tion for our war effort there…

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/north-carolina-terror-suspect-plotted-kill-witnesses-fbi-article‑1.1011549

    …Hysen Sher­i­fi, 27, was sen­tenced to 45 years in prison ear­li­er this month in what pros­e­cu­tors described as a con­spir­a­cy to attack the Marine base at Quan­ti­co, Va., and tar­gets abroad. Five oth­ers, includ­ing con­struc­tion con­trac­tor Daniel Patrick Boyd, have been sen­tenced to fed­er­al prison terms for ter­ror­ism charges relat­ed to rais­ing mon­ey, stock­pil­ing weapons and train­ing in prepa­ra­tion for jihadist attacks.

    …The affi­davit pro­vides no infor­ma­tion about the nature of the rela­tion­ship between Hysen Sher­i­fi and Elshiekh, but a woman with that same name was quot­ed in media reports from last year’s ter­ror­ism tri­al in New Bern. The names of the wit­ness­es alleged­ly tar­get­ed were redact­ed from the affidavit.Nevine Elshiekh is list­ed as a spe­cial edu­ca­tion teacher on the web­site for Ster­ling Montes­sori Acad­e­my, a char­ter school in Mooresville. Bill Zajic, the school’s exec­u­tive direc­tor, did not return a mes­sage from the Asso­ci­at­ed Press on Tues­day.

    No one answered the phone at Elshiekh’s Raleigh home Tues­day. The Sher­i­fi broth­ers and oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers emi­grat­ed from Koso­vo fol­low­ing the wars that rav­aged the for­mer Yugoslavia in the 1990s. A call to the Sher­i­fi fam­i­ly home in Raleigh on Tues­day was not returned.

    Hysen Sher­i­fi and oth­ers arrest­ed in the ter­ror­ism con­spir­a­cy were mem­bers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Raleigh, the largest Mus­lim con­gre­ga­tion in the Tri­an­gle. Sev­er­al mem­bers of the mosque also rou­tine­ly made the 4‑hour round trip for the tri­al in New Bern to sup­port the accused, who they described as inno­cent men being rail­road­ed by overzeal­ous fed­er­al authorities.Messages to the media con­tact list­ed for the mosque were not returned.

    NOTE: While the inter­net cer­tain­ly has played a role in the rad­i­cal­iza­tion of some West­ern jihadists, I sus­pect that is becom­ing a scape­goat and diver­sion, at least in some cas­es, from the real­i­ty that many of them are rad­i­cal­ized by imams that are HERE, work­ing in Broth­er­hood or Wah­habi-spon­sored mosques. I can’t count the num­ber of times I’ve read that a ter­ror sus­pect “was rad­i­cal­ized online, accord­ing to Imam Magid of the Islam­ic Cen­ter of____ (fill in the town)”. The media takes the quote and nev­er asks ques­tions about what is going on in the mosque. Then it turns out that the Islam­ic Cen­ter is direct­ly tied to the Broth­ers.

    This sto­ry claims that sup­port­ers of the defen­dants from the Mosque reg­u­lar­ly attend­ed the tri­al, claim­ing that the they were being “rail­road­ed”.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nc-terrorists-brother-pleads-guilty-in-beheading-plot/

    …The Sher­i­fi fam­i­ly fled Koso­vo in 1999 dur­ing a bru­tal sec­tar­i­an war between Serbs and eth­nic Alba­ni­ans. A nat­u­ral­ized U.S. cit­i­zen, Shkumbin Sher­i­fi lived at home with his par­ents and sis­ters, occa­sion­al­ly tak­ing class­es at a near­by com­mu­ni­ty col­lege and record­ing venge­ful rap music in his native Alban­ian.

    Ear­li­er deemed a flight risk by a fed­er­al judge, Sher­i­fi will remain in deten­tion until sen­tenc­ing.
    Elshiekh will remain free on bond pend­ing sen­tenc­ing. She and her lawyer declined com­ment as they walked out of the court­room.
    Born in the Unit­ed States to Egypt­ian par­ents, Elshiekh worked until her arrest as the direc­tor of spe­cial edu­ca­tion at Ster­ling Montes­sori Acad­e­my, a state-sup­port­ed char­ter school in Mor­risville. She had also served as a teacher at a reli­gious school affil­i­at­ed with the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Raleigh, the city’s largest mosque.

    The elder Sher­i­fi was one of six Raleigh Mus­lims con­vict­ed last year of being part of a home­grown ter­ror­ist plot to attack the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quan­ti­co, Va., and tar­gets over­seas. The case hinged large­ly on sur­veil­lance tapes made by con­fi­den­tial infor­mants paid by the FBI, with no direct evi­dence any of the men had actu­al­ly agreed to kill any­one.

    A fam­i­ly friend of one of the defen­dants, Elshiekh was among a group of sup­port­ers from the Raleigh mosque who attend­ed the month-long tri­al and claimed the men were being rail­road­ed by an overzeal­ous fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.

    NOTE: And here is the mosque’s web­site itself, where ser­vices are being held for the three vic­tims. Note who is spon­sor­ing the press release. MAS- Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. MPAC-Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety-Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Am I start­ing to sound like a bro­ken record yet? I think it is a good bet that all of these mosques are Broth­er mosques as well. And they will milk these mur­ders to the fur­thest extent pos­si­ble…

    http://www.raleighmasjid.org/index.html

    We call upon the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty to remem­ber and fol­low Deah, Yusor and Razan’s lega­cy of peace, ser­vice and car­ing. Please con­tin­ue to keep the Barakat and Abu-Sal­ha fam­i­lies in your thoughts and prayers.
    This press release is a result of coor­di­na­tion and work of the fol­low­ing orga­ni­za­tions:

    • Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Raleigh (IAR)
    • Apex Mosque
    • Masjid Ibad Ar-Rah­man of Durham
    • Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety (MAS)
    • Mus­lim Amer­i­can Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil (MAPAC)
    • Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Cary
    • Islam­ic Cen­ter of Mor­risville (ICM)
    • Unit­ed Mus­lim Relief

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | February 13, 2015, 5:19 pm
  8. This is a great arti­cle on the incred­i­ble man­age­ment of First Look/Intercept by Omid­yar and Green­wald from a for­mer employ­ee.

    How­ev­er, what real­ly stood out to me was that we ONCE AGAIN see Green­wald walk­ing in goos­es­tep with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. You won’t get what I’m refer­ring to until you read the sec­ond half of this post after Ken Silverstein’s arti­cle.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/02/ken-silverstein-the-intercept-115586.html#ixzz3TekTKMbm

    Where Jour­nal­ism Goes to Die
    Glenn Green­wald, Pierre Omid­yar, Adnan Syed and my bat­tles with First Look Media.

    By KEN SILVERSTEIN
    Feb­ru­ary 27, 2015.

    …The begin­ning of the end for me, though, came as The Inter­cept launched into what would turn out to be basi­cal­ly the biggest sto­ry of its short exis­tence: The Ser­i­al chron­i­cles.

    In my final months, I helped edit and write a few sto­ries for The Inter­cept with Natasha Var­gas-Coop­er about the wild­ly pop­u­lar pod­cast Ser­i­al. Natasha land­ed two key inter­views with fig­ures in the mur­der case and she wrote a series of sto­ries that I helped edit and shared a co-byline on two of them. The sto­ries chal­lenged, direct­ly and indi­rect­ly, the nar­ra­tive laid out in the unex­pect­ed pod­cast hit by the mak­ers of This Amer­i­can Life. The podcast’s nar­ra­tive fol­lowed the inves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion of Bal­ti­more teen Adnan Syed, who was con­vict­ed and is serv­ing a life sen­tence for the mur­der by stran­gu­la­tion of a teenage girl (and who dumped her body in a park in Bal­ti­more). Serial’s the­sis was straight­for­ward: Syed did not get a fair tri­al.

    Our sto­ries, though, showed the opposite—documenting the work of the pros­e­cu­tor and the star wit­ness. Giv­en the viral suc­cess of the show, our fol­low-up sto­ries were a huge success—possibly the biggest thing The Inter­cept has ever pub­lished. They were, though, huge­ly con­tro­ver­sial inside our orga­ni­za­tion. Why wouldn’t a huge edi­to­r­i­al suc­cess be cel­e­brat­ed inside The Inter­cept? Because we were sid­ing with The Man.

    Now I believe the Amer­i­can jus­tice sys­tem is bad­ly flawed and often racist, but in this instance, I firm­ly believe, the sys­tem worked. I believe Adnan Syed mur­dered Hae Min Lee and was right­ly pros­e­cut­ed for it.

    But I came to real­ize that the sys­tem work­ing correctly—and the right peo­ple going to jail—isn’t a good nar­ra­tive to tell at The Inter­cept.

    Pub­lish­ing the Ser­i­al sto­ries was a huge headache: There were con­stant delays and frus­tra­tions get­ting them out, even after it became clear they were draw­ing huge traf­fic. Our inter­nal crit­ics believed that Natasha and I had tak­en the side of the prosecutors—and hence the state. That sup­port was unac­cept­able at a pub­li­ca­tion that claimed it was entire­ly inde­pen­dent and would be relent­less­ly adver­sar­i­al towards The Man. That held true even in this case, when The Man suc­cess­ful­ly pros­e­cut­ed a killer and sent him to jail.

    Some col­leagues, like Jere­my Scahill, were upset after the first install­ment of Natasha’s inter­views with Jay, the state’s flawed-but-con­vinc­ing key wit­ness, and our co-bylined two-part inter­view with the lead pros­e­cu­tor, Kevin Urick, both of whom had refused to speak to Sarah Koenig for her Ser­i­al pod­cast. Jere­my even threat­ened to quit over the sec­ond install­ment, accord­ing to two of my col­leagues who wit­nessed what they described as his “tem­per tantrum” in the New York office. He told them he couldn’t believe that we’d so uncrit­i­cal­ly accept­ed the state’s view of the murder—even though our sto­ries were backed up by our own research, our unique report­ing and our read­ing of court doc­u­ments. One day at the office, frus­trat­ed, Natasha wrote “Team Adnan” on a sign on Jeremy’s office door.

    NOTE: I had pre­vi­ous­ly poked around some “odd­i­ties” in the phe­nom­e­non of Ser­i­al. I have only lis­tened to it a lit­tle bit, but the gen­er­al impres­sion I got was “reporter look­ing for sto­ry who finds one… kind of”. It was this below arti­cle that made things REAL inter­est­ing for me. Rabia Chaudry, who leads the “Free Adnan” move­ment, is NOT just any Mus­lim lawyer. Oh, no, she is big­time in the col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the Feds! As soon as I saw her name in one of the sto­ries about Ser­i­al, I freaked out. “THAT Rabia Chaudry?”

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/baltimore-insider-blog/bs-ae-rabia-chaudry-profile-20141218-story.html

    ....In one entry, Chaudry described her reac­tion when Koenig pre­sent­ed her with a doc­u­ment pros­e­cu­tors had com­mis­sioned from a con­sul­tant who dis­cussed Islam, hon­or killings and sex­ism.
    “I think I cursed a lot,” Chaudry wrote. “But I felt my face get hot and angry and was hop­ping around in my chair, gob­s­macked and hor­ri­fied.”
    Chaudry addressed the end of her post to the con­sul­tant.
    “Pak­istan, dear con­sul­tant, is not exact­ly what you think it is,” she wrote. “I take per­son­al excep­tion to your char­ac­ter­i­za­tion because it just so hap­pens that [I] was born there.”

    NOTE: Pak­istan is a coun­try where 75% of the women are in prison because they were RAPED and con­vict­ed of adul­tery for report­ing being raped. And because it takes FOUR male wit­ness­es to con­vict a man of rape under Islam­ic law, their rapists gen­er­al­ly go unpun­ished. I dont know enough about the case to com­ment on whether or not it was an Islam­ic hon­or killing, but there are approx­i­mate­ly 500 Islam­ic hon­or killings of women in Pak­istan each year, at least that are report­ed. No, Rabia, Pak­istan is exact­ly what the con­sul­tant thinks it is. Chaudry is a paid Mus­lim Broth­er­hood shill. I also note that she does­n’t live in Pak­istan.

    ...Chaudry’s fam­i­ly became friends with the Syeds through their mosque, The Islam­ic Soci­ety of Bal­ti­more. Both Syed’s par­ents and her own are Pak­istani natives who set­tled in Mary­land.

    NOTE: Islam­ic Soci­ety= Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front. This will become a theme in my post... Reporter is clue­less. No big deal, most of them are and I expect lit­tle else.

    ...Chaudry is accus­tomed to being involved in high-pro­file — and con­tentious — issues. She has led efforts to dis­pel neg­a­tive stereo­types of Mus­lims among law enforce­ment offi­cers while also work­ing to com­bat vio­lent extrem­ism with­in the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty.

    NOTE: Take that last part with a whop­ping grain of salt. She has also told Mus­lims not to talk to police about ter­ror cas­es.

    ...“Not a lot of com­mu­ni­ty peo­ple are will­ing to put their rep­u­ta­tion on the line and say the mes­sages com­ing out of ISIS and al-Qai­da are not mes­sages that rep­re­sent the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty,” said Haris Tarin, who as direc­tor of the Wash­ing­ton office of the Mus­lim Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil works close­ly with Chaudry. “She’s been will­ing to take that fight on.”

    NOTE: Again, Mus­lim Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil, you guessed it... Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front!

    A grad­u­ate of Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more Coun­ty and the George Mason Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law, Chaudry became involved in nation­al secu­ri­ty issues while work­ing as an immi­gra­tion attor­ney in Con­necti­cut. She heard com­plaints from Mus­lim clients, includ­ing an imam, that FBI agents were try­ing to force them to spy on oth­ers in their com­mu­ni­ty.
    Chaudry moved back to the Wash­ing­ton area with her hus­band and two daugh­ters and became a fel­low in a pro­gram for emerg­ing Mus­lim lead­ers.
    She found­ed an orga­ni­za­tion, The Safe Nation Col­lab­o­ra­tive, that pro­vides train­ing on the Islam­ic faith and coun­ter­ing vio­lent extrem­ism and fos­ters dia­logue between law enforce­ment and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties. She is a nation­al secu­ri­ty fel­low with the New Amer­i­ca Foun­da­tion, a non­par­ti­san think tank.

    NOTE: Safe Nation is a think­tank with all kinds of pow­er­ful fun­ders and sketchy con­nec­tions. Note also that George Mason U. is a front for Cato/Koch/libertarian inter­ests. Total­ly spooky. She also spoke at an ISNA con­ven­tion... the BIGGEST Mus­lim Broth­er front in the US. This is from Pam Geller, who is not my cup of tea, but is not known to mis­rep­re­sent the kinds of things that are dis­cussed at these con­ven­tions. Chaudry’s effort to rewrite train­ing man­u­als was DIRECTLY tar­get­ed to make it tougher for the feds and cops to detect signs of jihadism. One of Oba­ma’s biggest mis­takes in his admin­is­tra­tion, in my opin­ion.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/09/muslim-brotherhood-isna-convention-dont-talk-to-the-fbi

    Chaudry repeat­ed­ly made it clear that the FBI, NYPD ‑who she called the “Big Bad Wolf”- and oth­er agen­cies were not to be trust­ed. Chaudry works with the Sau­di-fund­ed front group Cen­ter for Mus­lim Chris­t­ian Under­stand­ing, serves as an immi­gra­tion lawyer, as well as a board mem­ber of the Con­necti­cut ACLU and is Pres­i­dent of the Safe Nation Col­lab­o­ra­tive. As Pres­i­dent of the col­lab­o­ra­tive, Chaudry is work­ing with the Oba­ma Admin­is­tra­tion to rewrite the train­ing man­u­als used to teach law enforce­ment per­son­nel about the Islamist threat to Amer­i­ca.

    CONCLUSION: Adnan Syed may be inno­cent... but hav­ing Chaudry as his main sup­port­er sure as hell makes me think he isn’t.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | March 6, 2015, 5:04 pm
  9. Fol­low­ing a ter­ror sui­cide attack in Paris by what appears to be a group of eight ISIS-affil­i­at­ed indi­vid­u­als, France respond­ed in exact­ly the way one would expect France to respond to an attack of that nature by ISIS: France declared war on ISIS:

    Asso­ciate Press
    Paris Attacks Blamed On Islam­ic State As Death Toll Ris­es To 127

    By ANGELA CHARLTON and SYLVIE CORBET
    Pub­lished Novem­ber 14, 2015, 6:09 AM EST

    PARIS (AP) — French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande blamed the Islam­ic State group for orches­trat­ing the dead­liest attacks inflict­ed on France since World War II and vowed Sat­ur­day to strike back with­out mer­cy at what he called “an act of war.”

    Hol­lande said at least 127 peo­ple died Fri­day night in shoot­ings at Paris cafes, sui­cide bomb­ings near France’s nation­al sta­di­um and a hostage-tak­ing slaugh­ter inside a con­cert hall.

    Speak­ing after an emer­gency secu­ri­ty meet­ing to plan his gov­ern­men­t’s response, Hol­lande declared three days of nation­al mourn­ing and raised the nation’s secu­ri­ty to its high­est lev­el.

    Hol­lande blamed the car­nage on what he called “a ter­ror­ist army, the Islam­ic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the val­ues that we defend every­where in the world, against what we are: a free coun­try that means some­thing to the whole plan­et.”

    As he spoke, French anti-ter­ror police worked to iden­ti­fy poten­tial accom­plices to the attack­ers known to have com­mit­ted the attacks.

    The per­pe­tra­tors, at least in pub­lic, remained a mys­tery: their nation­al­i­ties, their motives, even their exact num­ber. Author­i­ties said eight died, sev­en in sui­cide bomb­ings, a new ter­ror tac­tic in France. Police said they shot and killed the oth­er assailant.

    World lead­ers unit­ed in sym­pa­thy and indig­na­tion, New York police increased secu­ri­ty mea­sures, and peo­ple world­wide reached out to friends and loved ones in France.

    The vio­lence raised ques­tions about secu­ri­ty for the mil­lions of tourists who come to Paris and for world events rou­tine­ly host­ed in the nor­mal­ly lumi­nous cap­i­tal, where troops were deployed to sup­port police try­ing to restore order.

    One of Europe’s most heav­i­ly vis­it­ed tourist attrac­tions, the Dis­ney­land theme park east of the cap­i­tal, announced it would not open for busi­ness Sat­ur­day, a rar­i­ty.

    Pros­e­cu­tor’s office spokes­woman Agnes Thibault-Lecuiv­re said author­i­ties could­n’t rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that oth­er mil­i­tants involved in the attack remained at large.

    Hol­lande said France — which is already bomb­ing IS tar­gets in Syr­ia and Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coali­tion, and has troops fight­ing mil­i­tants in Africa — “will be mer­ci­less toward the bar­bar­ians of Islam­ic State group.”

    “It’s an act of war that was pre­pared, orga­nized, planned from abroad, with inter­nal help,” he said.

    Reflect­ing fears in oth­er Euro­pean cap­i­tals of the risk of coor­di­nat­ed or copy­cat attacks, the British gov­ern­ment sched­uled its own emer­gency COBRA intel­li­gence com­mit­tee over­seen by Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron. Italy said it, too, was rais­ing secu­ri­ty lev­els on bor­ders and major pub­lic places.

    Fri­day night’s mil­i­tants launched at least six gun and bomb attacks in rapid suc­ces­sion on appar­ent­ly indis­crim­i­nate civil­ian tar­gets.

    Three sui­cide bombs tar­get­ed spots around the nation­al Stade de France sta­di­um, north of the cap­i­tal, where Hol­lande was watch­ing an exhi­bi­tion soc­cer match between France and the defend­ing World Cup cham­pi­ons Ger­many. Fans inside the sta­di­um recoiled at the sound of explo­sions, but the match con­tin­ued amid ris­ing spec­ta­tor fears.

    Around the same time, fusil­lades of bul­lets shat­tered the clink­ing of wine glass­es in a trendy Paris neigh­bor­hood as gun­men tar­get­ed a string of cafes, which were crowd­ed on an unusu­al­ly balmy Novem­ber night. At least 37 peo­ple were killed, accord­ing to Paris Pros­e­cu­tor Fran­cois Molins.

    The attack­ers next stormed a con­cert hall, the Bat­a­clan, which was host­ing the Amer­i­can rock band Eagles of Death Met­al. They opened fire on the pan­icked audi­ence and took mem­bers hostage. As police closed in, three det­o­nat­ed explo­sive belts, killing them­selves, accord­ing to Paris police chief Michel Cadot.

    Anoth­er attack­er det­o­nat­ed a sui­cide bomb on Boule­vard Voltaire, near the music hall, the pros­e­cu­tor’s office said.

    The Bat­a­clan was the scene of the worst car­nage.

    ...

    “Very soon I smelled pow­der, and I under­stood what was hap­pen­ing. There were shots every­where, in waves. I lay down on the floor. I saw at least two shoot­ers, but I heard oth­ers talk. They cried, ‘It’s Hol­lan­de’s fault.’ I heard one of the shoot­ers shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ ” Syl­vain told The Asso­ci­at­ed Press. He spoke on con­di­tion that his full name not be used out of con­cern for his safe­ty.

    He was among dozens of sur­vivors offered coun­sel­ing and blan­kets in a munic­i­pal build­ing set up as a cri­sis cen­ter.

    Jihadis on Twit­ter imme­di­ate­ly praised the attack­ers and crit­i­cized France’s mil­i­tary oper­a­tions against Islam­ic State extrem­ists.

    Hol­lande declared a state of emer­gency and announced renewed bor­der checks along fron­tiers that are nor­mal­ly open under Europe’s free-trav­el zone.

    In a tele­vised Fri­day night address he appealed to cit­i­zens to main­tain “a deter­mined France, a unit­ed France, a France that joins togeth­er and a France that will not allow itself to be stag­gered, even if today there is infi­nite emo­tion faced with this dis­as­ter, this tragedy, which is an abom­i­na­tion, because it is bar­barism.”

    Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, speak­ing to reporters in Wash­ing­ton, decried an “attack on all human­i­ty,” call­ing the Paris vio­lence an “out­ra­geous attempt to ter­ror­ize inno­cent civil­ians.”

    A U.S. offi­cial briefed by the Jus­tice Depart­ment says intel­li­gence offi­cials were not aware of any threats before Fri­day’s attacks.

    ...

    France has been on edge since Jan­u­ary, when Islam­ic extrem­ists attacked the satir­i­cal news­pa­per Char­lie Heb­do, which had run car­toons of the Prophet Muham­mad, and a kosher gro­cery. Twen­ty peo­ple died in those attacks, includ­ing three shoot­ers.

    On Fri­day night they tar­get­ed young peo­ple enjoy­ing a rock con­cert and ordi­nary city res­i­dents cel­e­brat­ing the end of the work week and cheer­ing their nation’s soc­cer squad as it took on the defend­ing World Cup cham­pi­ons.

    France has seen sev­er­al small­er-scale attacks or attempts this year, includ­ing on a high-speed train in August when Amer­i­can trav­el­ers over­pow­ered a heav­i­ly armed man.

    French author­i­ties are par­tic­u­lar­ly con­cerned about the threat from hun­dreds of French Islam­ic rad­i­cals who have trav­eled to Syr­ia and returned home with skills to mount attacks.

    “The big ques­tion on every­one’s mind is: Were these attack­ers — if they turn out to be con­nect­ed to one of the groups in Syr­ia — were they home­grown ter­ror­ists or were they return­ing fight­ers?” said Bri­an Michael Jenk­ins, a ter­ror­ism expert and senior advis­er to the pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton-based RAND Cor­po­ra­tion. “That will be a huge ques­tion.”

    “The big ques­tion on every­one’s mind is: Were these attack­ers — if they turn out to be con­nect­ed to one of the groups in Syr­ia — were they home­grown ter­ror­ists or were they return­ing fight­ers?”
    That is indeed going to be a big ques­tion, espe­cial­ly in the con­text of a grow­ing Syr­i­an refugee cri­sis that’s cat­alyz­ing a surge in sup­port for the far-right across Europe. And while the iden­ti­ties are ori­gins of the attack­ers has yet to be pub­licly released, ear­ly reports indi­cate that, not sur­pris­ing­ly, it was a mix of home­grown and for­eign indi­vid­u­als:

    The Los Ange­les Times
    Paris ter­ror attacks were plot­ted by a small extrem­ist cell in Brus­sels, inves­ti­ga­tors sus­pect

    By Richard A. Ser­ra­no, Hen­ry Chu and Joe Mozin­go
    Novem­ber 14, 2015

    Fri­day night’s ter­ror attacks in Paris appar­ent­ly began with a small extrem­ist cell in Brus­sels, Bel­gium, where French author­i­ties believe that the attacks were planned out and the oper­a­tion financed, accord­ing to two U.S. fed­er­al law enforce­ment offi­cials who have been advised about the ongo­ing French probe.

    The U.S. sources, speak­ing con­fi­den­tial­ly because the inves­ti­ga­tion is just under­way, stressed also that the attack­ers like­ly had a sub­stan­tial under­stand­ing of French his­to­ry cul­ture and Paris in par­tic­u­lar, and that it was “high­ly pos­si­ble” some had lived in the French cap­i­tal.

    That, the sources said, was evi­dent in how they seam­less­ly moved about the vast Paris metrop­o­lis and set up coor­di­nat­ed attacks at six sep­a­rate tar­gets – from a sta­di­um to a the­ater to a restau­rant.

    French pros­e­cu­tor Fran­cois Molins said three teams of ter­ror­ists, car­ry­ing AK-47s and wear­ing explo­sive vests with the same det­o­na­tors, appeared to have coor­di­nat­ed the attacks across a swath of cen­tral Paris that killed 129 peo­ple and injured 352.

    ...

    “We are deter­mined to find out who were the attack­ers, who were the accom­plices,” he said. “How they were financed.”

    One of the ter­ror­ists who took the hostages was a 29-year-old man who has been arrest­ed eight times for “acts against the com­mon good,” but had not been linked to ter­ror­ists, said Molins.

    A sec­ond French­man was stopped and ques­tioned at the Bel­gian bor­der. He had rent­ed a black Volk­swa­gen Polo dri­ven by a man believed to be one of the gun­men who attacked con­cert­go­ers at the Bat­a­clan, Molins said.

    Author­i­ties were still look­ing for a black Seat believed to have been used dur­ing the attacks on sev­er­al side­walk cafes, he said.

    ...

    Author­i­ties across Europe moved swift­ly Sat­ur­day to iden­ti­fy pos­si­ble accom­plices to the sev­en attack­ers, with Bel­gian author­i­ties announc­ing they had made sev­er­al arrests.

    A spokes­woman for Bel­gian Jus­tice Min­is­ter Koen Geens told reporters that author­i­ties had arrest­ed “sev­er­al sus­pects,” though it was not clear what con­nec­tion, if any, they had to Fri­day’s attacks in Paris.

    Geens said the arrests came after a rental car with Bel­gian license plates was seen close to the Bat­a­clan the­ater in Paris, the scene of some of the worst vio­lence, on Fri­day night, the mag­a­zine De Stan­daard report­ed.

    U.S. law enforce­ment offi­cials con­firmed that sev­er­al vehi­cles, par­tic­u­lar­ly black sedans, have been iden­ti­fied and at least one traced back to Brus­sels. One was found laden with high-pow­ered weapons, they said; anoth­er had been rent­ed.

    The sources con­firmed that one of the ter­ror­ists appeared to be a Syr­i­an, based on his fin­ger­prints and a Syr­i­an pass­port found near his body. Sev­er­al oth­ers, the sources said, are believed to have come from Iraq.

    Each of the ter­ror­ists who blew them­selves up was wear­ing “vests or belts” heavy with det­o­na­tors and met­al frag­ments, such as “nails and ball-bear­ings,” the sources said. All of the sui­cide bombs appeared to have been built the same, with the same com­po­nents. Oth­er ter­ror­ists were armed pri­mar­i­ly with high-pow­ered Russ­ian-made Kalash­nikov AK-47 rifles.

    “The French police were aware of at least one of them,” said one of the sources, “and had been fol­low­ing him at times but did not think he was oper­a­tional.” By that, the source meant that the local author­i­ties did not believe him to be a poten­tial ter­ror­ist. “The oth­ers we don’t think were on French police radar.”

    U.S. author­i­ties believe the sui­cide blasts at the soc­cer sta­di­um were meant to “send a state­ment” because the two teams – France and Ger­many – are Chris­t­ian coun­tries and because French Pres­i­dent Hol­lande was attend­ing the soc­cer match.

    “But the killing of hostages at the the­ater was a slaugh­ter,” said one of the U.S. sources. “It was about a high kill num­ber.”

    The U.S. sources said the mul­ti­ple sites and soft, crowd­ed tar­gets indi­cate the sig­na­ture of Al Qae­da rather than ISIS, and stressed that author­i­ties still are try­ing to pin down which orga­ni­za­tion was behind the attacks. Though they said they are lean­ing heav­i­ly toward ISIS.

    “Who planned this? Who paid for this? That’s what we want,” said one source. “And there is a rela­tion­ship to Brus­sels. One of the vehi­cles came from there.”

    The sources also said an arrest last month in Ger­many of an indi­vid­ual with a vehi­cle stocked with explo­sive devices and oth­er weapon­ry also may have had a role in the ear­ly plan­ning and could now be linked to the Paris attacks

    But if it is ISIS, the U.S. offi­cials said, the attacks in Paris show a whole new widen­ing of that ter­ror group. “They’re mov­ing into the West, and trans­fer­ring guns and peo­ple. And this kind of an attack is sober­ing in its sophis­ti­ca­tion. One per­son, OK. But a larg­er group with simul­ta­ne­ous sui­cide bombs is a whole new lev­el.”

    French author­i­ties iden­ti­fied one of the dead ter­ror­ists as a French­man, about 30 years old, who had pre­vi­ous­ly been tracked by author­i­ties in con­nec­tion with his Islam­ic rad­i­cal activ­i­ties, France Info radio report­ed.

    French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande has declared a state of emer­gency and a three-day peri­od of mourn­ing after the worst ter­ror­ist attacks in France since World War II.

    “Faced with ter­ror, France must be strong, it must be great, and the state author­i­ties must be firm. We will be,” he declared in a tele­vised address to the nation Fri­day.

    Pub­lic demon­stra­tions in Paris have been banned until Thurs­day, and French schools, which nor­mal­ly are in ses­sion on Sat­ur­day morn­ings, were closed until Mon­day.

    The extrem­ist group Islam­ic State appeared to claim respon­si­bil­i­ty Sat­ur­day for the attacks, say­ing in a state­ment that “youth who divorced from the world and went to their ene­my” had tar­get­ed “the hearts of the Cru­saders” and unleashed “hor­ror in the mid­dle of their land.”

    It said the attacks were in retal­i­a­tion for French airstrikes on Islam­ic State-con­trolled ter­ri­to­ry in the Mid­dle East, and that France would remain at the “top of the list” of its tar­gets.

    In Vien­na, where del­e­gates from across the Mid­dle East and Europe were meet­ing to dis­cuss a res­o­lu­tion to the long-run­ning war in Syr­ia, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry and Russ­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov said the Paris attacks strength­ened their com­mit­ment to fight extrem­ism.

    “What they do is stiff­en our resolve — all of us — to fight back, to hold peo­ple account­able, and to stand up for rule of law,” Ker­ry said.

    He described the attacks as “a kind of medieval and mod­ern fas­cism, at the same time, which has no regard for life, which seeks to destroy and cre­ate chaos and dis­or­der and fear.”

    Lavrov said he ful­ly agreed with Ker­ry.

    ...

    The iden­ti­ties of the alleged attack­ers were either not known or were not being released. Police said all sev­en assailants were dead.

    If the attack­ers turn out to be French-born, fears of more “home­grown” ter­ror­ism — already fanned by the Char­lie Heb­do mas­sacre, whose plot­ters were French — will like­ly increase.

    France’s Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty braced for a poten­tial back­lash. After the Char­lie Heb­do attacks, the coun­try saw a spike in acts of anti-Mus­lim aggres­sion, such as van­dal­ism of mosques. France is home to the high­est pro­por­tion of Mus­lims — 7.5% — of any coun­try in West­ern Europe.

    ...

    So it’s looks like fears of “home­grown” ter­ror­ism are like­ly to spike not just in France but across Europe in com­ing months. Which, of course, is exact­ly what groups like ISIS intend when they plan such attacks. Cre­at­ing an ‘us vs them’ “clash of civ­i­liza­tions” that sows para­noia and dis­cord between Europe’s Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions and the rest of soci­ety isn’t just in the inter­est of Europe’s far-right. Goad­ing the West into the kind of rage-induced response that ISIS can por­tray as a mod­ern-day Cru­sade is one of the best recruit­ment tools the group has, as they admit­ted in their state­ments claim­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for the attacks:

    ...
    The extrem­ist group Islam­ic State appeared to claim respon­si­bil­i­ty Sat­ur­day for the attacks, say­ing in a state­ment that “youth who divorced from the world and went to their ene­my” had tar­get­ed “the hearts of the Cru­saders” and unleashed “hor­ror in the mid­dle of their land.”

    It said the attacks were in retal­i­a­tion for French airstrikes on Islam­ic State-con­trolled ter­ri­to­ry in the Mid­dle East, and that France would remain at the “top of the list” of its tar­gets.
    ...

    And that’s part of why craft­ing a response to this attack is so tricky. Despite the claims that the attacks were in retal­i­a­tion for the French airstrikes that began in Sep­tem­ber, ISIS’s lead­ers, Assum­ing they were involved in plan­ning this attack, were obvi­ous­ly expect­ing that the results would be a dra­mat­ic esca­la­tion of France’s mil­i­tary involve­ment in Syr­ia. There’s just no oth­er response they could plau­si­bly expect. And giv­en the group’s reliance on the steady flow of young for­eign­ers to keep the ISIS meat-grinder run­ning, it’s not hard to imag­ine that a sig­nif­i­cant West­ern mil­i­tary esca­la­tion, one which could be por­trayed as a “Cru­sade” by ISIS’s pro­pa­gan­da out­lets, was exact­ly the goal.

    It’s all part of what makes ISIS’s such an unusu­al ter­ror­ist group. Unlike many groups that resort to ter­ror­ism but per­haps have at least a qua­si-legit­i­mate griev­ance that moti­vates their actions, even if their meth­ods for air­ing that griev­ance are rep­re­hen­si­ble, when it comes to ISIS, its non-ter­ror­ist day-to-day actions and ide­ol­o­gy, like geno­cide and sex slav­ery, are so rep­re­hen­si­ble that it’s hard to con­ceive of not respond­ing with with over­whelm­ing mil­i­tary action fol­low­ing some­thing like the Paris attacks because it was already hard to con­ceive of not respond­ing with mil­i­tary action even before the Paris attacks. Because ISIS has been con­sis­tent­ly that awful. France, like vir­tu­al­ly every oth­er coun­try, has a long his­to­ry filled with plen­ty of pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive con­tri­bu­tions to the world. Nation­al his­to­ries are like that. But in the few years that ISIS has exist­ed as an enti­ty, it’s hard to think of a sin­gle noble or pos­i­tive act that can be attrib­uted to the group.

    And yet, thanks to the sup­port for ISIS from the gov­ern­ments of Turkey and the Gulf monar­chies (who aren’t ide­o­log­i­cal­ly much bet­ter), com­bined with an ongo­ing black mar­ket oil and human-traf­fick­ing trade that has made it one of the wealth­i­est mil­i­tant groups ever(wealth that does­n’t actu­al­ly trick­le down to the locals), ISIS remains in pow­er and hold ter­ri­to­ry.

    How does one respond to a group that clear­ly ben­e­fits from an esca­la­tion of vio­lence and it will­ing to esca­late the vio­lence in order to real­ized that esca­lat­ed vio­lence? The answer isn’t obvi­ous. ISIS wants to rad­i­cal­ize young Mus­lims liv­ing in Europe and start a “clash of civ­i­liza­tions”. That’s clear­ly at least one of the goals here. And a mas­sive mil­i­tary cam­paign in response to these attacks that ISIS could have eas­i­ly pre­dict­ed is the obvi­ous means of achiev­ing that goal. At the same time, an esca­la­tion of the exist­ing bomb­ing cam­paign against ISIS is almost cer­tain­ly going to hap­pen and who can blame the French for doing it at this point.

    So if an increased bomb­ing from not just France but its allies too is high­ly like­ly at this point, some of the biggest ques­tions right now is about non-mil­i­tary respons­es. And not just the obvi­ous non-mil­i­tary response one like cut­ting off ISIS’s access to the oil mar­kets and weapon sup­plies. What about the ide­ol­o­gy that con­tin­ues to attract young dis­af­fect­ed Mus­lims? There’s clear­ly a great deal of appeal to ISIS’s ide­ol­o­gy for a deeply trou­bled sub­set of the Mus­lim youth, and yet coun­ter­ing that ide­ol­o­gy isn’t easy since it would sort of entail coun­ter­ing the strict fun­da­men­tal­ist Wah­habism pro­mot­ed by regimes like the Sau­di monar­chy as the only accept­able form of Islam.

    But while coun­ter­ing the pro­mot­ing of ide­ol­o­gy ISIS relies on isn’t read­i­ly attain­able (since that would simul­ta­ne­ous­ly entail coun­ter­ing the pro­found influ­ence the top ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive cler­ics in places like Sau­di Ara­bia), that does­n’t mean there aren’t plen­ty of things West­ern nations can do to lim­it the appeal of not just ISIS but all Islamist ide­olo­gies. For instance, how about try­ing to find ways to make life in gen­er­al suck less for young, sex­u­al­ly frus­trat­ed Mus­lim men. That’s it. Why might achiev­ing that goal reduce the appeal of groups like ISIS? Well, as the arti­cle below points out, when you exam­ine the young men that actu­al­ly join these groups, a con­sis­tent pat­tern you find is deep psy­cho­log­i­cal vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and a sense of of iso­la­tion from soci­ety result­ing from a strained rela­tion­ship with a deeply reli­gious par­ent who is both dom­i­neer­ing and non-atten­tive, man­i­fest­ing as a pro­found need for parental approval which is filled by seduc­tive rad­i­cal cler­ics:

    The Dai­ly Beast

    Sex­u­al Frus­tra­tion Dri­ving Kids to ISIS
    South Asian kids raised in the West are inter­est­ed in sex and sports like every­one else. But immi­grant par­ents who nev­er adjust­ed are dri­ving those kids into the arms of killers.

    Nico Hines
    06.15.15 5:04 AM ET

    LONDON—A gen­er­a­tion of dom­i­neer­ing South Asian dads are being blamed for exac­er­bat­ing the epi­dem­ic of young sex­u­al­ly frus­trat­ed kids in the West skip­ping town to go and fight for the so-called Islam­ic State.

    After two years spent with dozens of con­vict­ed ter­ror­ists, repen­tant Islamists and a for­mer fight­er known as the God­fa­ther of British Jihad, an Emmy award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary mak­er says there was a com­mon theme run­ning through almost every­one she inter­viewed: immi­grant fathers who couldn’t deal with the more open sex­u­al­i­ty of the West, and who took out their own frus­tra­tion on their chil­dren by abus­ing them and repress­ing their sex­u­al urges.

    “Nine times out of ten, look to the dad and you’re gonna find he did some­thing; beat them,” Deeyah Khan told the Dai­ly Beast. “I would blame the fathers absolute­ly.”

    Khan explores this sub­ject deeply in her new film, Expo­sure: Jihad which is pre­mier­ing on ITV in the U.K. Mon­day.

    Her­self a child of immi­grants from Pak­istan and Afghanistan, her film explores a host of oth­er fac­tors that con­tribute to the rad­i­cal­iza­tion of young men and women. But par­ents who strug­gled and failed to adapt to the West­ern world in which they were rais­ing their chil­dren showed up time and again.

    Strict fathers, and some­times moth­ers, often refuse to accept their sons’ fas­ci­na­tion with girls, sports and the rest of the mod­ern world—help­ing to cre­ate a sit­u­a­tion where they felt iso­lat­ed in their own homes just as they did as minori­ties in wider West­ern soci­ety. None of this forces young peo­ple into the arms of the jihadis, of course, but it helps to cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where rad­i­cal­iza­tion can flour­ish.

    Hate preach­ers and online ter­ror recruiters are adept at step­ping into the void. “These peo­ple end up being sur­ro­gate dads. So many of the guys, some of whom didn’t want to be on cam­era, said the same thing. ‘God, they real­ly cared; they would call to see if you got home OK. My Dad nev­er did that,’ one of the guys said,” Khan explained.

    One of the for­mer Islamists fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary is Alyas Kar­mani, now an imam in Brad­ford. He said charis­mat­ic rad­i­cals sucked him into the world of inter­na­tion­al jihad. “When some­one for the first time starts to under­stand you, emo­tion­al­ly sup­port you—put that arm around you show com­pas­sion and love for you—that’s unbe­liev­ably pow­er­ful and com­pelling,” he says in the doc­u­men­tary.

    One of the most obvi­ous gen­er­a­tional rifts between teenagers and their par­ents is sex. Young Mus­lims liv­ing in the West are caught in an invid­i­ous trap; their par­ents tell them sex before mar­riage is haram, for­bid­den, and they want a say in who they even­tu­al­ly mar­ry. And yet they live in the same sex­u­al­ized soci­ety as their non-Mus­lim school friends.

    “There’s a real sense of hate that you have, that I can’t do that,” Kar­mani says. “And that’s why I find a greater sense of sex­u­al dys­func­tion some­times in Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties.”

    “You know, I was talk­ing to my wife this morn­ing, and I said: ‘This is all about sex, every­thing all comes back to sex,’ And she said, ‘Oh you can’t say that.’ But that’s it. These guys just want girls, that’s all they want.”

    Join­ing ISIS promis­es to release these young men from parental pres­sure, minor­i­ty sta­tus and sex­u­al frus­tra­tion all at the same time. Kar­mani says mis­guid­ed teenagers fell for idea that head­ing for Iraq and Syr­ia would make them cool. “I’m there with my gun, which is more or less just a penis exten­sion, out there,” he says. “Look at me, I’m a mujahid now… I’m pow­er­ful now, I’m sexy now, girls are going to look at me, and there’s girls who would wan­na become my bride now.”

    Anoth­er British man, who was attract­ed to jihadism in the pre-ISIS era, told the doc­u­men­tary-mak­ers that even back in the 1980s there was a seduc­tive pow­er of the jiha­di war­riors.

    Munir Zamir became an acolyte of Abu Muntasir, a British mujahid who went to fight first in Afghanistan, then Pak­istan and Bur­ma in the 1980s and ’90s.

    “This man was famous. Infa­mous,” Zamir says. “A 6‑foot‑7 man who can pick up 10 non-Mus­lims and toss them over a tank—I had to meet this Abu Muntasir.”

    “Dressed in black—all black with a black tur­ban,” he con­tin­ues. “I’d nev­er seen any­one dressed like that in the U.K. Leg­endary father of jihad—I was in awe of that look. I thought to myself, this is what the war­riors look like.”

    ...

    The imagery of brave and right­eous jihadis was honed and bet­ter dis­sem­i­nat­ed first by al-Qae­da and then the even more extreme ISIS, which upped the pro­duc­tion val­ues and took their mes­sage into the homes of any­one who was inter­est­ed via Twit­ter, Face­book and Insta­gram.

    While the Islamist pro­pa­gan­da has undoubt­ed­ly improved, Khan argues that West­ern soci­ety and immi­grant fam­i­lies should be doing much more to stop South Asian or Mus­lim teenagers becom­ing vul­ner­a­ble to their videos and social media mes­sages.

    “They’re being failed by everybody—their fam­i­ly, their local com­mu­ni­ty and us,” she said. “The fact that some­body is able to sell them death and make death look appeal­ing to them and we’re not able to sell them life… That’s not just their fault that’s also a fail­ure on our part.”

    “They’re being failed by everybody—their fam­i­ly, their local com­mu­ni­ty and us...The fact that some­body is able to sell them death and make death look appeal­ing to them and we’re not able to sell them life… That’s not just their fault that’s also a fail­ure on our part.”

    Keep in mind that every pop­u­la­tion is going to con­tain at least some indi­vid­u­als that are sus­cep­ti­ble to vio­lent extrem­ist ide­olo­gies, as the appeal of the far right across the non-Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties in the West make abun­dant­ly clear. Sim­i­lar­ly, there’s always going to be fam­i­lies where the kids and par­ents don’t quite con­nect and we can’t start blam­ing the spread of ISIS sim­ply on parental issues. That would just be sil­ly.

    But if there is indeed a per­va­sive pat­tern where the of young rad­i­cal­ized Mus­lims of Europe tend to come from sit­u­a­tion where their only real sense of com­radery and parental bond­ing comes from a mil­i­tant cler­ic that’s try­ing to seduce them with the promise of reli­gious glo­ry, and women, well, that seems like a pret­ty obvi­ous place to start in terms of coun­ter­ing the mil­i­tant Islamist appeal. Espe­cial­ly giv­en the real­i­ty that the pri­ma­ry source of Islam­ic rad­i­cal­ism, the Wah­habist cler­ics of the world, aren’t about to stop spread­ing it.

    Of course, giv­ing a sense of com­mu­ni­ty and an alter­nate path for­ward for young, iso­lat­ed Mus­lim men is a lot eas­i­er said than done. Sure, end­ing the immoral and egre­gious aus­ter­i­ty poli­cies embraced by the EU that inevitably hits the poor­er immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties with already high rates of youth unem­ploy­ment is an obvi­ous option. But that’s clear­ly not enough and what Europe can do break that sense of iso­la­tion for young men caught between deeply fun­da­men­tal­ist cul­tures and the their West­ern host soci­eties isn’t clear either. Although there is one very obvi­ous solu­tion: embrace the refugees who are flee­ing the kinds of sociopaths that car­ried out the Paris attacks as fel­low humans that could be awe­some fel­low friends and neigh­bors. Make those refugees your Mus­lim friends and neigh­bors who are not just wel­comed in a soci­ety that rejects trib­al­ism and sec­tar­i­an­ism in all forms but cel­e­brat­ed as poten­tial­ly the best allies the world has against fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam. If any­one knows first hand what hap­pens when an al-Qae­da-like group takes over soci­ety and is free to help counter the fun­da­men­tal­ist mind-virus with­in Islam, it’s those refugees.

    So there are options for West­ern nations for com­bat­ing ISIS in addi­tion to the obvi­ous option of bomb­ing the hell out of ISIS, even if they aren’t par­tic­u­lar­ly pop­u­lar options at the moment. But those options are are there and while they aren’t remote­ly the kinds of short-term fix­es peo­ple are look­ing for and more of a gen­er­a­tional solu­tion, they’re still urgent.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 14, 2015, 6:39 pm
  10. Here’s a help­ful emer­gency response tip: If you come across a burn­ing build­ing with peo­ple inside, be sure bar all exit points. Doors, win­dows, any­thing that might let some­one out. The fire could have been start­ed by an arson­ist, after all, and you would­n’t want them escap­ing into the larg­er com­mu­ni­ty because that would be a dis­as­ter. Feel free to apply this same prin­ci­ple of harm reduc­tion to all sorts of emer­gency sit­u­a­tions:

    Reuters
    U.S. Repub­li­cans seek to shut door on Syr­i­an refugees after Paris

    By Scott Mal­one
    Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:46pm EST

    More than a dozen state gov­er­nors refused on Mon­day to accept Syr­i­an refugees after the Paris attacks, part of a mount­ing Repub­li­can back­lash against the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion’s plan to accept thou­sands more immi­grants from the war-torn coun­try.

    Lead­ing Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates called on Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma to sus­pend the plan to accept 10,000 Syr­i­an refugees in the com­ing year and some Repub­li­can law­mak­ers began moves in Con­gress to try to defund the pol­i­cy.

    The State Depart­ment said the admin­is­tra­tion would stand by its plan, reit­er­at­ing that the refugees would be sub­ject to strin­gent secu­ri­ty checks, and Oba­ma said that the ter­ror­ism prob­lem should not be equat­ed with the refugee cri­sis.

    But Repub­li­can lead­ers said it was too risky to allow a fur­ther influx of refugees after Fri­day’s attacks by the Syr­ia-based Islam­ic State group that killed 129 peo­ple.

    The Repub­li­can states reject­ing fur­ther Syr­i­an refugee set­tle­ments were South Car­oli­na, Okla­homa, Ida­ho, Maine, Nebras­ka, Texas, Arkansas, Ari­zona, Indi­ana, Louisiana, Mis­sis­sip­pi, Mass­a­chu­setts, Ohio, North Car­oli­na, Wis­con­sin, Geor­gia and Illi­nois. The gov­er­nors of Alaba­ma and Michi­gan had said on Sun­day they would no longer help set­tle Syr­i­an refugees. One Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nor, Mag­gie Has­san of New Hamp­shire, joined them in reject­ing Syr­i­an refugees.

    Experts in immi­gra­tion law said the gov­er­nors like­ly had no legal stand­ing to block the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment from set­tling refugees admit­ted into the coun­try, but not­ed that they could obstruct the plans by cut­ting fund­ing to pro­grams and cre­at­ing an atmos­phere of hos­til­i­ty.

    ...

    A Syr­i­an pass­port found near the body of one of the attack­ers showed that its hold­er passed through Greece in Octo­ber, rais­ing con­cern that the attack­ers had entered Europe amid the wave of refugees flee­ing that coun­try’s four-year civ­il war.

    “Texas can­not par­tic­i­pate in any pro­gram that will result in Syr­i­an refugees — any one of whom could be con­nect­ed to ter­ror­ism — being reset­tled in Texas,” Texas Gov­er­nor Greg Abbott said in an open let­ter to Oba­ma on Mon­day. “Nei­ther you nor any fed­er­al offi­cial can guar­an­tee that Syr­i­an refugees will not be part of any ter­ror­is­tic activ­i­ty.”

    Refugee advo­cates argued that the gov­er­nors and oth­er Repub­li­cans are tar­get­ing those who are over­whelm­ing­ly vic­tims rather than per­pe­tra­tors of extrem­ist vio­lence.

    “These are vic­tims of the same ter­ror that we’re so hor­ri­fied by,” said Melanie Nez­er, vice pres­i­dent of pol­i­cy and advo­ca­cy at Jew­ish non­prof­it refugee ser­vice HIAS. “The impact on peo­ple is going to be trag­ic and the impact on our rep­u­ta­tion as a glob­al human­i­tar­i­an leader is also going to be trag­ic.”

    LEGAL AUTHORITY UNCLEAR

    Repub­li­can con­cerns were to some extent echoed in Cana­da, where some provin­cial and munic­i­pal lead­ers said a plan by Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau to accept 25,000 Syr­i­an refugees by the end of the year does not allow for enough secu­ri­ty checks.

    The Unit­ed States admit­ted 1,682 Syr­i­an refugees in the fed­er­al fis­cal year that end­ed Sept. 30, a sharp jump from the 105 admit­ted a year ear­li­er, while Europe is strug­gling with an influx of hun­dreds of thou­sands. Texas, Cal­i­for­nia and Michi­gan accept­ed the largest num­ber of peo­ple flee­ing the war.

    Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry in Sep­tem­ber said the Unit­ed States would increase the num­ber of refugees it takes in from all nations by 15,000 per year over the next two years, bring­ing the total to 100,000 a year by 2017.

    “The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has the pow­er over immi­gra­tion. If they admit Syr­i­an refugees, they’re here,” said Deb­o­rah Anker, a pro­fes­sor of law at Har­vard Law School who spe­cial­izes in immi­gra­tion issues. “Peo­ple aren’t going to the (state) bor­der. The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment is going to bring them in.”

    Flori­da Gov­er­nor Rick Scott said it was unclear if a gov­er­nor had the right to block refugees from enter­ing a state. Instead, he sent a let­ter to Con­gres­sion­al Repub­li­cans ask­ing for their help in block­ing Syr­i­an refugees from being reset­tled in his state.

    “We are ask­ing the U.S. Con­gress to take imme­di­ate and aggres­sive action to pre­vent Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and his admin­is­tra­tion from using any fed­er­al tax dol­lars to fund the relo­ca­tion ... with­out an exten­sive eval­u­a­tion of the risk these indi­vid­u­als may pose to our nation­al secu­ri­ty,” Scott wrote.

    Repub­li­can law­mak­er Bri­an Babin, a mem­ber of the con­ser­v­a­tive House Free­dom Cau­cus, cir­cu­lat­ed a let­ter to the Repub­li­can House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives lead­er­ship request­ing that Oba­ma’s plan be defund­ed as part of an upcom­ing spend­ing bill. By Mon­day, 14 mem­bers of the House, all Repub­li­cans, had signed the let­ter.

    Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates vowed on Mon­day to take a tougher approach toward Islam­ic State, with Don­ald Trump say­ing he would con­sid­er clos­ing some mosques and Ben Car­son say­ing that Con­gress should cut fund­ing for all pro­grams that bring peo­ple flee­ing vio­lence in Syr­ia

    ...

    The State Depart­ment denied that admit­ted refugees, who are all exten­sive­ly screened before being allowed into the coun­try, present any threat and said it would seek to alle­vi­ate the gov­er­nors’ con­cerns.

    “We take their con­cerns seri­ous­ly,” spokesman Mark Ton­er said of the gov­er­nors’ state­ments. “We dis­agree that these peo­ple, indi­vid­u­als frankly many of them the most vul­ner­a­ble (in the region), rep­re­sent any kind of real threat.”

    “Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates vowed on Mon­day to take a tougher approach toward Islam­ic State, with Don­ald Trump say­ing he would con­sid­er clos­ing some mosques and Ben Car­son say­ing that Con­gress should cut fund­ing for all pro­grams that bring peo­ple flee­ing vio­lence in Syr­ia”
    It will be inter­est­ing to hear which “tougher approach­es” the GOP can­di­dates for pres­i­dent end up propos­ing. Hope­ful­ly it will involve not doing exact­ly what ISIS has explic­it­ly said it wants:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post
    The Islam­ic State wants you to hate refugees

    By Adam Tay­lor
    Novem­ber 16 at 12:46 PM

    As the Syr­i­an refugee cri­sis mutat­ed from a region­al prob­lem to a glob­al one, secu­ri­ty con­cerns have increas­ing­ly been cit­ed as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for keep­ing bor­ders closed and refus­ing to reset­tle migrants. This argu­ment has gath­ered momen­tum in the wake of the attacks in Paris on Fri­day, after a Syr­i­an pass­port with the name Ahmad al-Moham­mad, a 25-year-old born in Idlib province, was found near the body of a sui­cide bomber. French author­i­ties say fin­ger­prints from the sui­cide bomber match those of some­one who passed through Greece in ear­ly Octo­ber.

    If one of the Paris attack­ers real­ly did make his way from the Mid­dle East, through Greece, and into West­ern Europe, it will raise big ques­tions on the con­ti­nent about the tens of thou­sands of oth­er refugees trav­el­ing along this route. In the Unit­ed States, 13 gov­er­nors had said as of mid-after­noon Mon­day that they will not allow Syr­i­an refugees to be reset­tled in their states.

    It is unde­ni­able that the huge num­bers of refugees and migrants reach­ing Europe do rep­re­sent some kind of secu­ri­ty threat — any­thing involv­ing that many peo­ple arriv­ing in such chaot­ic sit­u­a­tions would. How­ev­er, it is not only deeply unfair to paint all of those arriv­ing with the same brush — it is also self-defeat­ing.

    All of the oth­er sus­pects in the Paris attacks appear to have been Euro­pean cit­i­zens. In fact, large num­bers of cit­i­zens from France, Britain and oth­er West­ern nations have trav­eled to Syr­ia and Iraq to fight, sug­gest­ing that the prob­lem is not so much those com­ing from over there but those who are already here. Nor are these peo­ple nec­es­sar­i­ly the ones with famil­ial links to the Islam­ic world: There have been a num­ber of Euro­pean con­verts to Islam who have trav­eled to join the Islam­ic State, and vast num­bers of Euro­pean Mus­lims have repeat­ed­ly con­demned the actions of the Islam­ic State.

    Per­haps one of the most per­sua­sive argu­ments against equat­ing refugees with ter­ror­ists is sim­ple: It’s exact­ly what the Islam­ic State wants.

    The very same refugees enter­ing Europe are often the very same civil­ians who face the indis­crim­i­nate vio­lence and cru­el injus­tice in lands con­trolled by the Islam­ic State in Iraq and Syr­ia (though, it should be not­ed, many in Syr­ia are also threat­ened by the bru­tal actions of the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment). Glob­al­ly, stud­ies have shown that Mus­lims tend to make up the largest pro­por­tion of ter­ror vic­tims, with coun­tries such as Syr­ia and Iraq reg­is­ter­ing the high­est toll.

    If Mus­lim refugees come to Europe and are wel­comed, it deeply under­cuts the Islam­ic State’s legit­i­ma­cy. Aaron Zelin, a fel­low at the Wash­ing­ton Insti­tute for Near East Pol­i­cy, has help­ful­ly cat­a­logued some of the Islam­ic State’s mes­sages on the refugees pour­ing into Europe from the Mid­dle East. The mes­sages give the impres­sion of deep dis­com­fort and even jeal­ousy that the Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion the Islam­ic State so cov­ets for its self-pro­claimed “caliphate” would rather live in “infi­del” West­ern lands.

    “Would You Exchange What Is Bet­ter For What Is Less?” is the title of one video mes­sage. It sounds more than a lit­tle like a note from a jilt­ed ex.

    Writ­ing in The Post’s opin­ion pages this week­end, coun­tert­er­ror­ism ana­lyst Harleen Gamb­hir said the Islam­ic State had delib­er­ate­ly “set a trap” for Europe with the Paris attacks:

    The strat­e­gy is explic­it. The Islam­ic State explained after the Jan­u­ary attacks on Char­lie Heb­do mag­a­zine that such attacks “com­pel the Cru­saders to active­ly destroy the gray­zone them­selves. ... Mus­lims in the West will quick­ly find them­selves between one of two choic­es, they either apo­s­ta­tize ... or they [emi­grate] to the Islam­ic State and there­by escape per­se­cu­tion from the Cru­sad­er gov­ern­ments and cit­i­zens.” The group cal­cu­lates that a small num­ber of attack­ers can pro­found­ly shift the way that Euro­pean soci­ety views its 44 mil­lion Mus­lim mem­bers and, as a result, the way Euro­pean Mus­lims view them­selves. Through this provo­ca­tion, it seeks to set con­di­tions for an apoc­a­lyp­tic war with the West.

    ...

    Some have sug­gest­ed that the Islam­ic State delib­er­ate­ly sent some­one along this route to help sow dis­cord. Giv­en the avail­abil­i­ty of fake Syr­i­an pass­ports in Turkey and oth­er places, it is quite rea­son­able to pre­sume that the pass­port found near the body of one of the Paris bombers was plant­ed there to fur­ther inflame a tense Europe — an idea strength­ened by reports that a dif­fer­ent man was found trav­el­ing with the same pass­port in Ser­bia.

    What seems almost cer­tain is that the Islam­ic State wants you to equate refugees with ter­ror­ists. In turn, it wants refugees to equate the West with prej­u­dice against Mus­lims and for­eign­ers.

    The real­i­ty is that most of these refugees are already receiv­ing a pret­ty rough wel­come in the West. Syr­i­an refugees who arrive in the Unit­ed States face remark­able scruti­ny from mul­ti­ple gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing the FBI’s Ter­ror­ist Screen­ing Cen­ter, the State Depart­ment, the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, the Nation­al Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Cen­ter and the Defense Depart­ment. The screen­ing process can take years, leav­ing legit­i­mate refugees in lim­bo. It’s worth remem­ber­ing that mak­ing that wel­come worse may be exact­ly what the Islam­ic State wants.

    The strat­e­gy is explic­it. The Islam­ic State explained after the Jan­u­ary attacks on Char­lie Heb­do mag­a­zine that such attacks “com­pel the Cru­saders to active­ly destroy the gray­zone them­selves. ... Mus­lims in the West will quick­ly find them­selves between one of two choic­es, they either apo­s­ta­tize ... or they [emi­grate] to the Islam­ic State and there­by escape per­se­cu­tion from the Cru­sad­er gov­ern­ments and cit­i­zens.” The group cal­cu­lates that a small num­ber of attack­ers can pro­found­ly shift the way that Euro­pean soci­ety views its 44 mil­lion Mus­lim mem­bers and, as a result, the way Euro­pean Mus­lims view them­selves. Through this provo­ca­tion, it seeks to set con­di­tions for an apoc­a­lyp­tic war with the West.”
    For a group that bans music, ISIS sure is adept at play­ing reac­tionar­ies like a fid­dle.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 16, 2015, 3:56 pm
  11. @Pterrafractyl–

    Not to blow my own horn, but FTR #830 ana­lyzes the Char­lie Heb­do attacks only too accu­rate­ly.

    The ISIS strat­e­gy artic­u­lates in the most bru­tal­ly pre­cise strat­e­gy exact­ly what I said in the broad­cast to which you attached this com­ment.

    It will be MORE than a lit­tle inter­est­ing to see if there is an attack in the U.S.

    IF there is such an attack, that will prob­a­bly give the GOP some ammo to attack Oba­ma for being “weak.”

    Stay tuned!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 16, 2015, 8:35 pm
  12. @Dave: Part of what’s going to make the prospect of a ter­ror­ist attack in the US over the next year such an omi­nous pos­si­bil­i­ty is that, as the arti­cle below points out, the the GOP’s pri­ma­ry vot­ers are like­ly to reward can­di­dates for tak­ing posi­tions on issues like the Syr­i­an refugee cri­sis that may not actu­al­ly play out very were in the gen­er­al elec­tion. So we should prob­a­bly expect more and more of the GOP can­di­dates to mim­ic Ted Cruz’s pro­pos­al to estab­lish a reli­gious test for refugees and only accept non-Mus­lims flee­ing for their lives because in today’s polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment, set­ting up reli­gious lit­mus tests for refugees is good politics...at least in the GOP pri­maries:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post
    The Fix

    You might not like Repub­li­cans call­ing for a ban on refugees. But it’s smart pol­i­tics.

    By Chris Cil­liz­za
    Novem­ber 17, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    Over the past 24 hours, almost half of the nation’s gov­er­nors — all but one of them Repub­li­cans — have said they plan to refuse to allow Syr­i­an immi­grants into their states in the wake of the Paris attacks car­ried out by the Islam­ic State (no mat­ter that they can’t real­ly do that). Ted Cruz, a lead­ing can­di­date for the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, has announced plans to intro­duce leg­is­la­tion in the Sen­ate that would bar all Mus­lim Syr­i­an refugees from enter­ing Amer­i­ca.

    That stance has been greet­ed with wide­spread ridicule and dis­gust by Democ­rats who insist that keep­ing peo­ple out of the U.S. is anath­e­ma to the found­ing prin­ci­ples of the coun­try. “That’s shame­ful,” Pres­i­dent Oba­ma said in a speech address­ing the Paris attacks on Mon­day. “That’s not Amer­i­can. It’s not who we are. We don’t have reli­gious tests to our com­pas­sion.”

    Think what you will, but one thing is clear: The polit­i­cal upside for Repub­li­can politi­cians push­ing an immi­gra­tion ban on Syr­i­ans and/or Mus­lims as a broad­er response to the threat posed by the Islam­ic State sure looks like a polit­i­cal win­ner.

    The Pew Research Cen­ter did an in-depth poll look­ing into Amer­i­cans’ view on Islam­ic extrem­ism in the the fall of 2014 — and its find­ings sug­gest that politi­cians like Cruz have vir­tu­al­ly noth­ing to lose in this fight over how best to respond to ISIS’s lat­est act of vio­lence.

    More than 7 in 10 Repub­li­can vot­ers said they were “very con­cerned” about the rise of Islam­ic extrem­ism in the Unit­ed States. That’s 25 per­cent­age points high­er than Democ­rats (46 per­cent) who said the same and 21 per­cent­age points high­er than inde­pen­dents who expressed great con­cern about Islam­ic extrem­ism in Amer­i­ca.

    ...

    It’s safe to say that in the inter­ven­ing year — par­tic­u­lar­ly in the wake of the Paris attacks that have been plas­tered all over every TV screen and news­pa­per home­page for the last 96 hours straight — Repub­li­can vot­ers’ views on nation­al secu­ri­ty broad­ly and the Islam­ic State in par­tic­u­lar have not waned and are very like­ly to have grown more stri­dent.

    Giv­en that, the posi­tions of these Repub­li­cans gov­er­nors, as well as Cruz and sev­er­al oth­er peo­ple run­ning for pres­i­dent, amount to a polit­i­cal layup. Call­ing for a ban on Mus­lim refugees from Syr­ia hits two sweet spots: 1) The con­cerns among the Repub­li­can elec­torate about the threat posed by Islam­ic extrem­ists and 2) The unhap­pi­ness among GOP­ers for how Oba­ma has han­dled ter­ror­ism broad­ly.

    The mes­sage these Repub­li­cans are send­ing is sim­ple: Oba­ma has not act­ed. We will.

    “A big part of the rea­son we are not effec­tive­ly com­bat­ing rad­i­cal Islam­ic ter­ror­ism indeed as the pres­i­dent read­i­ly acknowl­edged he has no strat­e­gy to do so, is because he will not acknowl­edge the ene­my we are fight­ing,” Cruz told con­ser­v­a­tive radio host Hugh Hewitt on Mon­day. “And so Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and Hillary Clinton’s pro­pos­al to bring tens of thou­sands of Syr­i­an Mus­lim refugees to Amer­i­ca is noth­ing short of luna­cy.”

    Like it or not, that is a mes­sage vir­tu­al­ly cer­tain to win Cruz vot­ers — or at least nod­ding heads — with­in the Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry elec­torate he is try­ing to con­vince to be for him. The pol­i­tics of such mes­sag­ing in a gen­er­al elec­tion is far more dicey. It open up Cruz as well as the Repub­li­can par­ty as a whole to alle­ga­tions of xeno­pho­bia not to men­tion poten­tial­ly fur­ther­ing the idea that the GOP remains unfriend­ly to immi­grants of all sorts — a belief that is already huge­ly prob­lem­at­ic for Repub­li­cans with the broad­er elec­torate.

    That, of course, is a Repub­li­can wor­ry for anoth­er day. For now, expect more rhetoric of the sort com­ing from Cruz and his brethren, not less.

    “Like it or not, that is a mes­sage vir­tu­al­ly cer­tain to win Cruz vot­ers — or at least nod­ding heads — with­in the Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry elec­torate he is try­ing to con­vince to be for him. The pol­i­tics of such mes­sag­ing in a gen­er­al elec­tion is far more dicey. It open up Cruz as well as the Repub­li­can par­ty as a whole to alle­ga­tions of xeno­pho­bia not to men­tion poten­tial­ly fur­ther­ing the idea that the GOP remains unfriend­ly to immi­grants of all sorts — a belief that is already huge­ly prob­lem­at­ic for Repub­li­cans with the broad­er elec­torate.”
    Part of what makes the polit­i­cal cal­cu­lus that jus­ti­fies calls for reli­gious lit­mus tests so alarm­ing is that Ted Cruz’s mes­sage isn’t just going to res­onate with the GOP’s pri­ma­ry vot­ers. It’s going to res­onate with ISIS too. If, for some strange rea­son ISIS was­n’t favor­ing a GOP pres­i­dent before, they sure will now! Just imag­ine what Pres­i­dent Ted Cruz would do for the pop­u­lar­i­ty of not just ISIS but Islamist groups every­where after he basi­cal­ly frame any and all anti-Islamist ter­ror efforts as some sort of anti-Mus­lim cru­sade. The “I told you so“ ‘s from mil­i­tant extrem­ists across the world would be deaf­en­ing.

    And as you point out, it’s just going to take a hand­ful of suc­cess­ful attacks to sway the US elec­torate, so the temp­ta­tion to ISIS for suc­cess­ful­ly attack­ing the US over the next year is going to be poten­tial­ly high­er than ever. If they do it, and the US elec­torate reacts pre­dictably, hel­lo Pres­i­dent Ted Cruz and Holy War!

    It all rais­es a grim­ly fas­ci­nat­ing ques­tion: Who does ISIS pre­fer in the GOP pri­ma­ry? Ted Cruz has a very obvi­ous appeal. But he does have com­pe­ti­tion. For exam­ple, John Kasich just pro­posed cre­at­ing a gov­ern­ment agency ded­i­cat­ed to pro­mot­ing Judeo-Chris­t­ian val­ues around the world and Chris Christie would­n’t even allow 5 year old Syr­i­an orphans into the US if we was pres­i­dent. And then, of course, there’s The Don­ald, who not only pledged to send back any Syr­i­an refugees that are already here should he get elect­ed, but he also has psy­chic pow­ers and can just ‘feel’ when ter­ror­ism is com­ing (he actu­al­ly said this).

    So ISIS has a vari­ety of options for their pre­ferred future US President/geopolitical foil. And thanks to the cur­rent com­pe­ti­tion among those can­di­dates to out-‘anti-Muslim’ each oth­er that isn’t going to end any time soon (or at all), it’s hard to imag­ine ISIS view­ing any of them becom­ing pres­i­dent as any­thing oth­er than a big step towards their much desired War of Civ­i­liza­tion.

    And as you say, if there is such an attack, it will prob­a­bly give the GOP quite a bit of polit­i­cal ammo. It’s all a reminder that the GOP Clown Car will prob­a­bly become less and less of a laugh­ing mat­ter in a grow­ing num­ber of ways the clos­er we get to Novem­ber 2016 elec­tion.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 17, 2015, 7:55 pm
  13. If there’s one thing that’s inevitable in any con­tem­po­rary GOP pri­ma­ry, it’s that new lows won’t just inevitably be reached, but repeat­ed­ly reached. Here’s the lat­est iter­a­tion of the inevitable:

    Time
    Trump: U.S. May Have to Do ‘Unthink­able’ in Light of Paris Attacks

    Nov. 19, 2015

    Don­ald Trump said that U.S. may need to take extreme mea­sures to keep the coun­try safe after Friday’s Paris attacks, includ­ing pos­si­bly requir­ing Mus­lims to have nation­al ID cards or be reg­is­tered in a data­base.

    In an inter­view with Yahoo News, Trump was asked about how he would want to increase sur­veil­lance on Amer­i­can Mus­lims.

    “We’re going to have to do things that we nev­er did before,” he said. “And some peo­ple are going to be upset about it, but I think that now every­body is feel­ing that secu­ri­ty is going to rule. And cer­tain things will be done that we nev­er thought would hap­pen in this coun­try in terms of infor­ma­tion and learn­ing about the ene­my. And so we’re going to have to do cer­tain things that were frankly unthink­able a year ago.”

    Yahoo asked specif­i­cal­ly if Trump would require reg­is­ter­ing Mus­lims in a data­base or giv­ing them iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards. The busi­ness mogul dodged, but did not rule them out.

    “We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very close­ly,” he respond­ed. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very care­ful­ly.”

    Trump said ear­li­er in the week that he would con­sid­er shut­ting down mosques that sup­port extrem­ism.

    “And some peo­ple are going to be upset about it, but I think that now every­body is feel­ing that secu­ri­ty is going to rule. And cer­tain things will be done that we nev­er thought would hap­pen in this coun­try in terms of infor­ma­tion and learn­ing about the ene­my. And so we’re going to have to do cer­tain things that were frankly unthink­able a year ago.”
    Well, yes, Mus­lim ID cards would indeed be quite unthink­able. And, for­tu­nate­ly, fol­low­ing a back­lash to Trump’s com­ments that even includ­ed his fel­low GOP can­di­dates, it turns out that set­ting up a spe­cial Mus­lim data­base and issu­ing reli­gious ID cards is still large­ly unthink­able. So now we have Don­ald Trump walk­ing back his remarks and assert­ing that he was­n’t refer­ring to a Mus­lim data­base at all. Whether or not we’re look­ing at a real pull back from our new new low or just a polit­i­cal-decen­cy dead cat bounce, remains to be seen:

    Chica­go Tri­bune
    Don­ald Trump tries to pull back from sup­port for Mus­lim data­base

    By Tri­bune Wire Reports
    Novem­ber 21, 2015, 2:04 PM | Wash­ing­ton

    Don­ald Trump on Sat­ur­day tried to back away from his sup­port for a gov­ern­ment data­base to track Mus­lims in the Unit­ed States, an idea that drew sharp rebukes from his Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial rivals and dis­be­lief from legal experts.

    For­mer Flori­da Gov. Jeb Bush called the prospect of a reg­istry “abhor­rent.” Flori­da Sen. Mar­co Rubio said the idea was “unnec­es­sary” and not some­thing Amer­i­cans would sup­port. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has large­ly avoid­ed crit­i­ciz­ing Trump through­out the 2016 cam­paign, said, “I’m not a fan of gov­ern­ment reg­istries of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens.”

    “The First Amend­ment pro­tects reli­gious lib­er­ty, and I’ve spent the past sev­er­al decades defend­ing the reli­gious lib­er­ty of every Amer­i­can,” Cruz told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa.

    The first ref­er­ence to a data­base came in a Trump inter­view with Yahoo News pub­lished Thurs­day. When asked about requir­ing Mus­lims to reg­is­ter in a data­base or car­ry a form of spe­cial iden­ti­fi­ca­tion not­ing their reli­gion, Trump said, “We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very close­ly.”

    Trump was pressed on the idea of a reg­istry by an NBC News reporter Thurs­day evening while the can­di­date cam­paigned in Iowa. Asked if there should be a data­base sys­tem for track­ing Mus­lims in the Unit­ed States, Trump said, “There should be a lot of sys­tems, beyond data­bas­es.” The reporter asked if that was some­thing Trump would put in place as pres­i­dent. Trump replied: “I would cer­tain­ly imple­ment that. Absolute­ly.”

    Trump also told the reporter that Mus­lims would “have to be” reg­is­tered and said that the reg­is­tra­tion process could occur at “dif­fer­ent places.”

    In an inter­view on Fox News Chan­nel on Fri­day evening, Trump tried to clar­i­fy his posi­tion. “I want a watch list for the Syr­i­an refugees that (Pres­i­dent Barack) Oba­ma’s going to let in if we don’t stop him as Repub­li­cans,” he said.

    He said he had trou­ble hear­ing the NBC reporter’s ques­tions. He was not asked specif­i­cal­ly if he dis­avowed a gen­er­al reg­istry for Mus­lims liv­ing in the coun­try, and he did not con­demn the idea on his own.

    “I want to have watch lists. I want to have sur­veil­lance. I mean, we’re not a bunch of babies,” he said.

    He once again addressed the issue dur­ing a ral­ly in Birm­ing­ham, Alaba­ma, Sat­ur­day after­noon, telling a crowd in a ram­bling speech that reports on his pre­vi­ous state­ments were inac­cu­rate.

    “I do want sur­veil­lance. I will absolute­ly take data­base on the peo­ple com­ing in from Syr­ia if we can’t stop it, but we’re going to,” he told the crowd.

    Trump also voiced sup­port for addi­tion­al sur­veil­lance, both of arriv­ing refugees and cer­tain mosques.

    “So here’s the sto­ry just to set it clear: I want sur­veil­lance of these peo­ple. I want sur­veil­lance if we have to and I don’t care,” said Trump. “I want sur­veil­lance of cer­tain mosques, OK. If that’s OK? I want sur­veil­lance. And you know what? We’ve had it before and we’ll have it again.”

    Trump has also voiced sup­port for clos­ing cer­tain mosques as a way to con­tain the ter­ror­ist threat in the U.S.

    ...

    The House passed leg­is­la­tion this past week essen­tial­ly bar­ring Syr­i­an and Iraqi refugees from the Unit­ed States. Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Mitch McConnell, R‑Ky., has slot­ted the bill for pos­si­ble Sen­ate con­sid­er­a­tion, though it’s unclear whether the cham­ber could get enough votes to over­ride a threat­ened veto by Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma.

    The Repub­li­can can­di­dates’ uni­fied crit­i­cism of Trump was strik­ing.

    His rivals have vac­il­lat­ed in how they have han­dled oth­er inflam­ma­to­ry com­ments from Trump, appar­ent­ly wary of alien­at­ing his sup­port­ers while increas­ing­ly con­cerned that he has held his grip on the race deep into the fall.

    Civ­il lib­er­ties experts said a data­base for Mus­lims would be uncon­sti­tu­tion­al on sev­er­al counts. The lib­er­tar­i­an Cato Insti­tute’s Ilya Shapiro said the idea vio­lates basic pri­va­cy and lib­er­ty rights.

    Mar­ci Hamil­ton, a Yeshi­va Uni­ver­si­ty legal expert on reli­gious lib­er­ty, said requir­ing Mus­lims to reg­is­ter appears to be a clear vio­la­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion’s pro­tec­tion of reli­gious free­dom.

    “What the First Amend­ment does and what it should do is dri­ve the gov­ern­ment to use neu­tral cri­te­ria,” Hamil­ton said. “You can use neu­tral cri­te­ria to iden­ti­fy ter­ror­ists. What it can’t do is engage in one-reli­gion bash­ing. That won’t fly in any court.”

    ...

    “I do want sur­veil­lance. I will absolute­ly take data­base on the peo­ple com­ing in from Syr­ia if we can’t stop it, but we’re going to”.

    So the pro­posed data­base for all Mus­lims in the US has been scaled back to just a data­base of Syr­i­an refugees which, of course, would exist any­ways since they all have to go through an exten­sive vet­ting process which would obvi­ous­ly involve a data­base of ALL the refugees’ names, regard­less of reli­gious affil­i­a­tion. Again, this could just be a polit­i­cal-decen­cy dead cat bounce which new lows rapid­ly on the way in keep­ing with the tenor of the GOP pri­ma­ry thus far, but who knows, maybe we’ve seen the last of the Mus­lim data­base idea for the cur­rent cam­paign sea­son. We can always dream!

    Either way, let’s hope this whole notion of declar­ing all Mus­lims poten­tial ter­ror­ist isn’t sim­ply refut­ed but actu­al­ly used to high­light a key tac­tic that could be used to under­mine the ideas under­pin­ning ISIS’s appeal to dis­af­fect­ed youths that is large­ly ignored by the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty. Putting aside mil­i­tant Jihadist groups like ISIS and al Qae­da that obvi­ous­ly need to be coun­tered in every way pos­si­ble, there is actu­al­ly one group of Mus­lims that real­ly needs to be sin­gled out by the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty and asked to change their ways. And for­tu­nate­ly it’s a very tiny group. And a pow­er­ful one: the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly:

    The Guardian
    Sau­di Ara­bia is right to be anx­ious over its ide­o­log­i­cal links with Isis

    Bri­an Whitak­er
    The Sau­di author­i­ties have con­demned Islam­ic State, but they fear the desta­bil­is­ing effects of any detailed exam­i­na­tion of their shared prin­ci­ples

    Tues­day 6 Jan­u­ary 2015 08.16 EST

    In a pre-dawn raid on Mon­day, mil­i­tants attacked a Sau­di bor­der post from the Iraqi side of the fron­tier. The result­ing clash left three sol­diers and four mil­i­tants dead, accord­ing to the Sau­di gov­ern­ment news agency.

    It lat­er emerged that one of the dead sol­diers was no ordi­nary bor­der guard but the com­man­der of Sau­di Arabia’s north­ern bor­der forces, Brigadier Gen­er­al Awdah al-Bal­awi. This sug­gests that the attack, far from being ran­dom or oppor­tunis­tic, had been care­ful­ly tar­get­ed and per­haps based on inside infor­ma­tion regard­ing the general’s where­abouts.

    The attack has been wide­ly attrib­uted to Islam­ic State, with some reports say­ing the rebel group has now claimed respon­si­bil­i­ty for it. This might be viewed sim­ply as a reprisal for Sau­di par­tic­i­pa­tion in the US-led bomb­ing cam­paign against Isis, but Isis has also been seek­ing to extend the cur­rent con­flict in Syr­ia and Iraq into Sau­di ter­ri­to­ry.

    There is no doubt that Isis has both sym­pa­this­ers and active sup­port­ers inside the king­dom – it claimed respon­si­bil­i­ty for shoot­ing a Dan­ish cit­i­zen in Riyadh last Novem­ber, for exam­ple – but whether it will be able to estab­lish a mil­i­tary foothold is anoth­er ques­tion. Isis tends to flour­ish mil­i­tar­i­ly in places where cen­tral gov­ern­ment is weak, but that is not the case in Sau­di Ara­bia.

    In mil­i­tary terms, the Sau­di secu­ri­ty appa­ra­tus is prob­a­bly capa­ble of sup­press­ing Isis on its own ter­ri­to­ry, just as it did with al-Qae­da a decade or so ago, but it is in no posi­tion to con­front Isis at the ide­o­log­i­cal lev­el. The prob­lem here is that Isis and the Saud­is’ Islam­ic king­dom are ide­o­log­i­cal­ly sim­i­lar, so attempts to chal­lenge Isis on ide­o­log­i­cal grounds risk under­min­ing the Sau­di state too. As Heba Saleh and Sime­on Kerr not­ed in the Finan­cial Times last Sep­tem­ber:

    “Some of the fea­tures of Isis ide­ol­o­gy, such as its hatred of Shia Mus­lims and appli­ca­tion of strict pun­ish­ments such as limb ampu­ta­tions, are shared with the purist Salafi thought that defines Sau­di Wah­habism. Isis has explic­it­ly ref­er­enced ear­ly Wah­habi teach­ers, such as Mohammed ibn Abdul­wah­hab, to jus­ti­fy its destruc­tion of Shia shrines and Chris­t­ian church­es as it cuts a swath through Iraq and Syr­ia. Thou­sands of Sau­di nation­als have been recruit­ed to its ranks.
    “Yet, in con­trast to the tac­it offi­cial encour­age­ment of more lib­er­al voic­es after 9/11, any debate with­in Sau­di Ara­bia over the role of its offi­cial creed in fos­ter­ing the group’s extrem­ism has been timid and large­ly con­fined to social media ...
    “The Sau­di author­i­ties have been quick to con­demn Isis. But, accord­ing to observers, they are anx­ious to avoid a poten­tial­ly desta­bil­is­ing exam­i­na­tion of com­mon ide­o­log­i­cal links between the extrem­ist group and the Sau­di reli­gious school whose sup­port under­pins the legit­i­ma­cy of the roy­al fam­i­ly.”

    The under­ly­ing issue, there­fore, is the rival claims of king and would-be caliph. In the words of two Sau­di gov­ern­ment sup­port­ers: “To restore the ‘caliphate’, [Isis] would ulti­mate­ly need to implant itself at the epi­cen­tre of Islam­ic life, the two holy mosques in Mec­ca and Med­i­na. There­fore, [Isis’s] road to the caliphate runs through the king­dom of Sau­di Ara­bia.”

    ...

    So far, Sau­di efforts to con­front Isis ide­o­log­i­cal­ly have main­ly tak­en the form of denun­ci­a­tions from tame cler­ics – fig­ures who have no prospect of influ­enc­ing Isis sup­port­ers and sym­pa­this­ers – but it is dif­fi­cult to see what else they might do with­out call­ing their own state sys­tem into ques­tion.

    The king and his princes have dug a hole for them­selves by har­ness­ing reli­gion in the pur­suit of pow­er. Reli­gious cre­den­tials bol­stered their claim to legit­i­ma­cy and helped them assert their author­i­ty. For a long time, those cre­den­tials served them well, but now they are becom­ing a lia­bil­i­ty and it may be too late to unfas­ten the har­ness.

    “The king and his princes have dug a hole for them­selves by har­ness­ing reli­gion in the pur­suit of pow­er. Reli­gious cre­den­tials bol­stered their claim to legit­i­ma­cy and helped them assert their author­i­ty. For a long time, those cre­den­tials served them well, but now they are becom­ing a lia­bil­i­ty and it may be too late to unfas­ten the har­ness.”
    Har­ness­ing reli­gion in pur­suit of pow­er is pret­ty much always an awful idea. But as his­to­ry has shown over and over, it’s quite effec­tive too. But in the case of the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly, that pow­er includes who rules over Mec­ca and sit on the largest oil reserves in the world, that domes­tic polit­i­cal and finan­cial pow­er gets trans­lat­ed into a pro­found theo­crat­ic influ­ence on how Islam is prac­tices and taught around the globe. And it’s a lit­tle hard to get the globe to ral­ly around the idea that ISIS is com­plete­ly insane when one of the most pow­er­ful clans are the plan­et has spent decades and bil­lions of dol­lars aggres­sive­ly pro­mot­ing ideas that are only some­what less fanat­i­cal.

    At the same time, it’s a lit­tle hard to take seri­ous­ly the idea that all Wah­habist are poten­tial ter­ror­ists since peo­ple have been liv­ing under zany author­i­tar­i­an ide­olo­gies and the­olo­gies (that they were most­ly just born into) since the dawn of civ­i­liza­tion, and it’s pret­ty obvi­ous that the vast vast major­i­ty of any group of peo­ple just want to live their lives in peace regard­less of what they’re born into. That said, the ideas embed­ded in Wah­habism and their aggres­sive pro­mo­tion by not just the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly but all the Gulf monar­chies as the only accept­able form of Islam have clear­ly played a major role in the rise of group of ISIS and its long string of al Qae­da-like pre­de­ces­sors.

    It’s pret­ty obvi­ous that the most con­ser­v­a­tive sects of Sun­ni Islam are long over­due for a peri­od of reform and mod­ern­iza­tion that the roy­al clans won’t allow to hap­pen. Feat of los­ing a the­o­log­i­cal­ly-backed grip on pow­er is a pret­ty pow­er­ful moti­va­tor for let­ting noth­ing change. So, bar­ring just wait­ing for these scle­rot­ic regimes to col­lapse (while hop­ing that an ISIS-like group does­n’t replace them), how can the rest of the world help con­vince the roy­als to allow and even cat­alyze that peri­od of reform? That’s unclear, although it might help to recall that the Sau­di roy­als, in par­tic­u­lar, are in store for a num­ber of major reforms that are going to threat­en their grip on pow­er whether or not there’s a the­o­log­i­cal renais­sance, because the Sau­di king­dom isn’t just reliant on the the­o­log­i­cal back­ing of Wah­habist cler­ics to main­tain its claim to legit­i­ma­cy. It’s also reliant on oil. And unlike reli­gious fer­vor, the Saudi’s sup­ply of cheap oil isn’t end­less, and even if it was, we still need to all stop using it:

    Finan­cial Times
    King­dom built on oil fore­sees fos­sil fuel phase-out this cen­tu­ry

    Pili­ta Clark in Paris
    May 21, 2015 7:44 pm

    Sau­di Ara­bia, the world’s largest crude exporter, could phase out the use of fos­sil fuels by the mid­dle of this cen­tu­ry, Ali al-Nai­mi, the kingdom’s oil min­is­ter, said on Thurs­day.

    The state­ment rep­re­sents a stun­ning admis­sion by a nation whose wealth, pow­er and out­size influ­ence in the world are pred­i­cat­ed on its vast reserves of crude oil.

    Mr Nai­mi, whose com­ments on oil sup­ply rou­tine­ly move mar­kets, told a con­fer­ence in Paris on busi­ness and cli­mate change: “In Sau­di Ara­bia, we recog­nise that even­tu­al­ly, one of these days, we are not going to need fos­sil fuels. I don’t know when, in 2040, 2050 or there­after.”

    For that rea­son, he said, the king­dom planned to become a “glob­al pow­er in solar and wind ener­gy” and could start export­ing elec­tric­i­ty instead of fos­sil fuels in com­ing years.

    Many in the ener­gy indus­try would find his tar­get of a 2040 phase-out too ambi­tious. Sau­di Ara­bia is the largest con­sumer of petro­le­um in the Mid­dle East, and more than 25 per cent of its total crude pro­duc­tion — more than 10m bar­rels a day — is used domes­ti­cal­ly.

    A 2012 Cit­i­group report said that if Sau­di oil demand con­tin­ued to grow at cur­rent rates, the coun­try could be a net oil importer by 2030.

    But while acknowl­edg­ing that Sau­di Ara­bia would one day stop using oil, gas and coal, Mr Nai­mi said calls to leave the bulk of the world’s known fos­sil fuels in the ground to avoid risky lev­els of cli­mate change need­ed to be put “in the back of our heads for a while”.

    “Can you afford that today?” he asked oth­er con­fer­ence speak­ers, includ­ing British econ­o­mist, Nick Stern, author of a 2006 UK gov­ern­ment report on the eco­nom­ics of cli­mate change. “It may be a great objec­tive but it is going to take a long time.”

    With more than 1bn peo­ple glob­al­ly still lack­ing access to elec­tric­i­ty, there would be strong demand for fos­sil fuels for years to come, he said, adding that more work was need­ed to find ways to burn oil, coal and gas with­out releas­ing warm­ing car­bon diox­ide.

    Sau­di Ara­bia, like oth­er Gulf states that burn a lot of oil domes­ti­cal­ly, has long said it plans to use more renew­able pow­er.

    Offi­cials in the king­dom declared three years ago they had plans to build so many solar plants they would be able to export solar elec­tric­i­ty. But the recent fall in oil prices has increased doubts about the fate of such schemes.

    Mr Nai­mi said he did not think low­er crude prices would make solar pow­er uneco­nom­ic. “I believe solar will be even more eco­nom­ic than fos­sil fuels,” he said.

    The minister’s com­ments come as Paris pre­pares to host UN talks in Decem­ber where near­ly 200 coun­tries are due to agree a glob­al cli­mate pact.

    Ahead of that meet­ing, the lead­ers of Ger­many and France have called for an end to car­bon emis­sions this cen­tu­ry.

    World lead­ers have already agreed in pre­vi­ous UN talks to curb emis­sions enough to avoid glob­al tem­per­a­tures warm­ing more than two degrees Cel­sius com­pared with pre-indus­tri­al times.

    But Mr Stern said the action coun­tries had pledged in the lead-up to the Paris meet­ing so far would not be enough to put the world on a path to meet­ing the two degree tar­get. It was there­fore cru­cial for any agree­ment signed in Paris to include mea­sures that required coun­tries to ramp up their cli­mate actions in future, he said.

    ...

    Yes, the Sau­di gov­ern­ment is read­ing the wall about its own abil­i­ty to export oil which it seems to accept:

    A 2012 Cit­i­group report said that if Sau­di oil demand con­tin­ued to grow at cur­rent rates, the coun­try could be a net oil importer by 2030.

    but also the writ­ing on the wall over the world’s urgent need to cut back on fos­sil fuels, which it does­n’t seem to find so accept­able:

    But while acknowl­edg­ing that Sau­di Ara­bia would one day stop using oil, gas and coal, Mr Nai­mi said calls to leave the bulk of the world’s known fos­sil fuels in the ground to avoid risky lev­els of cli­mate change need­ed to be put “in the back of our heads for a while”.”

    Whether or not the world kicks its oil addic­tion, earth shat­ter­ing changes to how the Sau­di regime finances itself are prob­a­bly on the way with­in the next quar­ter cen­tu­ry. And it’s pret­ty clear that those earth shat­ter­ing changes just might include the over­throw of the Sau­di regime if that pre­vi­ous­ly end­less sup­ply of oil mon­ey dries up (not to men­tion its water sup­plies). Don’t for­get that the unem­ploy­ment rate for ages 16–29 is almost 30 per­cent and two thirds of its pop­u­la­tion is under 30 and a quar­ter of the pop­u­la­tion lies below the pover­ty line. And the IMF released a report last month on Sau­di Ara­bi­a’s finances: The coun­try could go bank­rupt by 2020. In oth­er words, the Sau­di regime is a tick­ing time bomb. And it knows it.

    So how about, as a counter-pro­pos­al to Don­ald Trump’s pro­pos­al to demand that all Mus­lims in the US reg­is­ter them­selves for a data­base, we see the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty do the oppo­site and make one tiny, but very pow­er­ful and influ­en­tial, group of Mus­lims a free offer that could end up help­ing exact­ly the Mus­lims Don­ald Trump wants to vil­i­fy: If the Sau­di roy­als and oth­er Gulf monar­chies pro­mote a peri­od of Sun­ni Islam­ic renais­sance that explic­it­ly involve of rapid mod­ern­iza­tion of Wah­habism and a tran­si­tion towards democ­ra­cy and the kinds of oth­er vital social reforms, the West will com­mit itself dur­ing this long tran­si­tion peri­od to eco­nom­i­cal­ly assist a regime that is oth­er­wise doomed. And yes, demo­c­ra­t­ic rule would poten­tial­ly threat­en the roy­al fam­i­ly’s grip on pow­er. But it’s not like a democ­ra­cies won’t vote for insane­ly rich guys.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 21, 2015, 6:54 pm
  14. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/deep-concern-over-return-of-anti-muslim-pegida-protests-a-1057645.html

    This is a long arti­cle and one may read it and become con­cerned of a poten­tial­ly fas­cist polic­ti­cal shift in Ger­many. The key excerpt is at the end:

    “In Bavaria, offi­cials at the state chap­ter of Ger­many’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, the Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, which mon­i­tors extrem­ist activ­i­ty, are speak­ing of a “mas­sive ver­bal esca­la­tion” on the part of the anti-Mus­lim scene. The agency found it of par­tic­u­lar con­cern that that the right-wing extrem­ists had clear­ly begun reach­ing pre­vi­ous­ly untaint­ed peo­ple with their “cam­paigns of hate.” This group, too, could become a future source of “xeno­pho­bia-inspired attacks,” they warn. The clos­ing of ranks between right-wing extrem­ist par­ties and Ger­man cit­i­zens irate over the refugee influx is a phe­nom­e­non that is wor­ry­ing offi­cials at vir­tu­al­ly every domes­tic intel­li­gence agency in the coun­try. Now offi­cials at the Fed­er­al Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion are hop­ing to find ways to track down ring­lead­ers of the NPD and oth­er neo-Nazi par­ties like Die Rechte (“the Right”) and The Third Way and to find ways to unset­tle the scene.”

    “Some­thing is head­ing our way,” says one high-rank­ing mem­ber of Ger­man domes­tic intel­li­gence. “We need to try and stop it.”

    Posted by Der Spiegel | November 29, 2015, 12:43 pm
  15. It’s worth not­ing that an arms deal­er who spe­cial­ized in buy­ing and then mod­i­fy­ing starter guns that shoot blanks and sell­ing them on the Dark­net prob­a­bly sold the Paris attacks four of the assault rifles used in the attacks:

    AFP
    Ger­man arms deal­er ‘probed over pos­si­ble link to Paris attacks’

    Novem­ber 27, 2015 11:42 AM

    Berlin (AFP) — Ger­man pros­e­cu­tors said Fri­day they were inves­ti­gat­ing whether an ille­gal arms deal­er had sold four assault rifles to a per­son in the French cap­i­tal and whether there were “pos­si­ble links to the attacks in Paris”.

    The 24-year-old Ger­man nation­al from the south­west­ern town Magstadt was arrest­ed Tues­day on charges of hav­ing con­vert­ed starter guns which shoot blanks into dead­ly firearms and ille­gal­ly sell­ing them online.

    Police had found sev­er­al hand­guns dur­ing a search of his home, said pros­e­cu­tors in the near­by city of Stuttgart.

    “Inves­ti­ga­tions so far sug­gest that the accused could have sold four assault rifles to a buy­er in Paris in Novem­ber,” said the pros­e­cu­tors’ state­ment.

    ...

    Ear­li­er Fri­day, the mass-cir­cu­la­tion Bild dai­ly report­ed that the arms deal­er, whom it iden­ti­fied as Sascha W., had sold two AK47s and two Zas­ta­va M70s on Novem­ber 7 to an Arab cus­tomer in Paris.

    “French inves­ti­ga­tors believe that the weapons were alleged­ly used in the attacks in Paris,” said Bild.

    Bild said the sus­pect was accused of hav­ing hawked the weapons on the Dark­net — a hid­den net­work used for both legal and illic­it ends — using the name “DW Guns”.

    Four emails on his smart­phone had shown that he sold “four Kalash­nikov assault rifles to an Arab in Paris”, added the news­pa­per.

    The pros­e­cu­tor’s office said the man was arrest­ed Tues­day on sus­pi­cion of con­vert­ing starter guns into dead­ly weapons and sell­ing them on the Dark­net.

    “He is believed to have built the parts for this him­self,” the spokesman said, adding that only pis­tols had been found.

    “Four emails on his smart­phone had shown that he sold “four Kalash­nikov assault rifles to an Arab in Paris”, added the news­pa­per.”
    That’s sure sounds like inves­ti­ga­tors found their man. But, of course, there were more than four rifles used in that attack. So it’s also worth not­ing that the plot­ters prob­a­bly did­n’t need the Dark­net to acquire the rest of their weapons.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 2, 2015, 7:08 pm
  16. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma gave his Oval Office address tonight fol­low­ing the attacks by an appar­ent­ly ISIS-inspired San Bernardi­no cou­ple to soothe the per­pet­u­al­ly freaked out Amer­i­can pub­lic over grow­ing anx­i­ety over why not just ISIS has­n’t been mag­i­cal­ly defeat­ed yet via some sort of spe­cial­ly ISIS-ver­sion of “The War on Ter­ror” (and that does­n’t involve a mas­sive ground-inva­sion and long-term occu­pa­tion of Syr­ia since the pub­lic does­n’t want that either).

    Dur­ing the address, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma use the anal­o­gy for the con­flict between US and groups like al Qae­da and ISIS that’s worth exam­in­ing: The con­flict between groups with ISIS-like ambi­tions and the US is like “a can­cer that has no imme­di­ate cure”.

    Beyond the obvi­ous com­par­i­son of can­cer to the kinds of vir­u­lent ideas (memet­ic oncovirus­es) that enable groups like ISIS to recruit the Islamist equiv­a­lent of the Jok­er’s street­gang and grow the tumor, it’s a use­ful anal­o­gy in ways that may not seem appar­ent at first. If you think about it, many of the caus­es of can­cer (chron­ic stress, pover­ty, pol­lu­tion, etc) are quite often cat­a­lyst for the kind of luna­cy and despair that dri­ves extrem­ism and allows a group like ISIS or al Qae­da to thrive. Can­cer is a diverse dis­ease, and while some tumors can aggres­sive­ly grow on their own soon after becom­ing a tumor, oth­er tumors need a lot of “help”, in terms of chron­ic stress, meta­bol­ic dis­rup­tions, car­cino­gens, and oth­er bio­chem­i­cal insults. And a tumor like ISIS isn’t going to pop out of the blue and start grow­ing. It’s too messed up. The ISIS tumor needs a REALLY messed up body to grow and thrive. It needs help. Help that goes far beyond oil, arms and new fight­ers. Peo­ple aren’t nor­mal­ly sui­ci­dal and that’s why the ISIS tumor of mil­i­tant irra­tional­ism and fun­da­men­tal­ism needs per­va­sive con­flict and despair. And boy has that tumor received the help it needs!

    But while it’s easy to iden­ti­fy many of the envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors that are help­ing to dri­ve the growth of the ISIS tumor, there’s still anoth­er basic prob­lem that that these easy-to-iden­ti­fy prob­lems are often intractable. And that intractable nature of, for instance, the civ­il war in Syr­ia or hyper sec­tar­i­an polar­iza­tion of Iraq that’s, para­dox­i­cal­ly, going to be crit­i­cal to keep in mind when craft­ing a ther­a­peu­tic response to the ISIS tumor. Why is it para­dox­i­cal? Well, because intractable prob­lems tend to be despair induc­ing, and that’s exact­ly what’s grow­ing the tumor. And yet it’s still vital we rec­og­nize the intractable nature of the prob­lem because, as Josh Mar­shall points out below, there’s anoth­er anal­o­gy that works to describe the nature dif­fi­cul­ty in craft­ing a response to some­thing like ISIS: Intractable prob­lems are intractable because they’re para­dox­i­cal too. Effec­tive solu­tions to para­dox­es are extreme­ly hard to come by and the obvi­ous solu­tions tend to aggra­vate the prob­lem. It’s like the Chi­nese fin­ger trap of reac­tionary despair:

    TPM Edi­tor’s Blog

    The Conun­drum

    By Josh Mar­shall
    Pub­lished Decem­ber 5, 2015, 11:55 PM EST

    As you like­ly are too, I’m watch­ing con­ver­sa­tions unfold among friends on Face­book and in real life about the ter­ror­ist attack in San Bernardi­no and what the Unit­ed States should be doing in response. Depend­ing on your point of view, the argu­ment is framed as one between Amer­i­can val­ues and big­otry or polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and get­ting tough on rad­i­cal Islam. Admit­ted­ly, these are extreme for­mu­la­tions, in each case using one side’s car­i­ca­ture of the oth­er. But all of this ignores the cen­tral conun­drum we face when we think about counter-ter­ror­ism, espe­cial­ly ones of the lone wolf vari­ety or even more orga­nized ones like the recent mas­sacre in Paris.

    The kinds of sur­veil­lance and scruti­ny which inevitably fall on sus­pect pop­u­la­tions as part of a height­ened counter-ter­ror­ism pos­ture are exact­ly the kinds of stric­tures which over time are like­ly to cre­ate the kind of social iso­la­tion and alien­ation which seems, from the evi­dence we have from Europe, to cre­ate a breed­ing ground for rad­i­cal­iza­tion. So get­ting the bal­ance right is very dif­fi­cult. And this is entire­ly apart from the very legit­i­mate and press­ing dis­cus­sion about what poli­cies are Amer­i­can val­ues and our con­sti­tu­tion will or should allow. Throw all of that out the win­dow and you’ve still got a very com­plex bal­anc­ing act on your hands.

    Let’s take the case of West­ern Europe. Over a cou­ple decades and par­tic­u­lar­ly since 9/11 we’ve had abun­dant evi­dence that Mus­lims in Europe, and par­tic­u­lar­ly Mus­lims whose ances­try is in Mus­lim major­i­ty coun­tries in the Mid­dles East, North Africa and South Asia appear to be sub­stan­tial­ly more prone to rad­i­cal­iza­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion is mass casu­al­ty ter­ror attacks than immi­grants and descen­dants of immi­grants from those coun­tries now liv­ing in the Unit­ed States. We have lots of evi­dence for this both in jour­nal­is­tic and aca­d­e­m­ic stud­ies. And we have lots of evi­dence in a vol­ume of ter­ror­ist attacks. The 9/11 attacks stand alone in terms of death count. But the Paris attacks, ghast­ly as they were, come after Lon­don, Madrid, Char­lie Heb­do, var­i­ous indi­vid­ual attacks, assas­si­na­tions, one-off attacks on Jews in France, Bel­gium, the Nether­lands and oth­er coun­tries in West­ern Europe. Vir­tu­al­ly every­one who has stud­ied the mat­ter con­cludes that it is this social iso­la­tion that is at the root of the greater propen­si­ty toward rad­i­cal­iza­tion and will­ing­ness, albeit for a tiny sub­sec­tion of the pop­u­la­tion, to com­mit acts of vio­lence.

    Now, this isn’t only a mat­ter of prej­u­dice or Islam­o­pho­bia. And it’s cer­tain­ly not just a response to counter-ter­ror­ism sur­veil­lance since the phe­nom­e­na long pre­dates all the post-2001 mea­sures. One key issue is that West­ern Euro­pean coun­tries sim­ply have much less his­tor­i­cal expe­ri­ence with mass immi­gra­tion or the mix of eth­nic diver­si­ty and assim­i­la­tion that it brings with it and requires. Anoth­er too lit­tle dis­cussed issue is that the great major­i­ty of these immi­grants in France and the Unit­ed King­dom are immi­grants from or descen­dants of immi­grants from coun­tries which France and the UK once ruled as colonies. In the case of France, remem­ber that many of the assailants in recent ter­ror attacks are the descen­dants of Alger­ian immi­grants. And Alge­ria was for decades not a colony, at least tech­ni­cal­ly speak­ing, but an inte­gral part of the French Repub­lic — Oran was just as much part of France as Mar­seilles, but with the vast major­i­ty of Mus­lims lack­ing full civ­il and polit­i­cal rights. That is a whole oth­er issue. And it’s beyond the scope of this post to address. But I think it must play some role in the way Mid­dle East­ern and North African immi­grants in France for instance remain a peo­ple apart in a way that seems pro­found­ly dif­fer­ent from in the Unit­ed States.

    What does it all mean?

    It means that one of our key strate­gic defens­es against the gen­er­al con­fla­gra­tion of the Mid­dle East and Mus­lim South Asia spilling over onto the main­land Unit­ed States is and has been the rel­a­tive­ly high lev­el of inte­gra­tion of Amer­i­can Mus­lims. Talk to any coun­tert­er­ror­ism expert in law enforce­ment, the US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty or aca­d­e­mics and they will tell you this is true. Not nut­balls on Fox News or oth­er more main­stream out­lets — but peo­ple actu­al­ly charged with keep­ing Amer­i­cans safe. The best way to change that is to turn Amer­i­can Mus­lims into a sus­pect pop­u­la­tion, walled off from the main­stream of Amer­i­can life by fear, big­otry and even well-inten­tioned broad and aggres­sive sur­veil­lance.

    I don’t say this as just some big plu­ral­ism Kum­baya. This is a real threat. And the fact that we also have far-right, revan­chist white extrem­ists and over­lap­ping anti-abor­tion extrem­ists in the US does­n’t make it less of a threat. I also want to be clear that I’m not brush­ing aside the con­sti­tu­tion­al stric­tures and Amer­i­can val­ues of plu­ral­ism. My point is that even if we did do that, even if we col­lec­tive­ly said, ‘okay enough, it’s too dan­ger­ous not to final­ly crack down’ and do all the stuff the Islam­o­phobes want we’d like­ly be sow­ing more trou­ble. We’d end up like France. As I not­ed just after the Paris attacks, we need to real­ize that while Assad is a big prob­lem, he’s not some­thing or some­one that pos­es any press­ing and imme­di­ate threat to the US. ISIS is that kind of threat. And we need to order our Syr­ia pol­i­cy around elim­i­nat­ing that threat. That’s impor­tant and nec­es­sary. And yet, our real objec­tive needs to be not so much with­draw­ing from the Mid­dle East as cau­ter­iz­ing our­selves off from the soci­etal col­lapse which is engulf­ing it.

    On all these fronts we face some­thing like a a Chi­nese fin­ger puz­zle: the things we do to arrest the prob­lem draw us deep­er into it, para­dox­i­cal­ly deep­en the threats fac­ing us. The conun­drum requires a mix of force and restraint, vig­i­lance and plu­ral­ism. It is gen­uine­ly com­pli­cat­ed and a bal­ance our pol­i­tics — any demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety’s pol­i­tics — is chal­lenged to sum­mon.

    “On all these fronts we face some­thing like a a Chi­nese fin­ger puz­zle: the things we do to arrest the prob­lem draw us deep­er into it, para­dox­i­cal­ly deep­en the threats fac­ing us. The conun­drum requires a mix of force and restraint, vig­i­lance and plu­ral­ism. It is gen­uine­ly com­pli­cat­ed and a bal­ance our pol­i­tics — any demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety’s pol­i­tics — is chal­lenged to sum­mon.”
    How does one extri­cate them­selves from a fin­ger trap that demands absolute obe­di­ence to its death cult or it will hunt you down and blow you up and only seems to ben­e­fit from your attempt to stop it? Well, there is one obvi­ous solu­tion, albeit not an easy one: tran­scend the fin­ger trap. For instance, mov­ing in 4‑dimensonal space should do the trick. Or, in the case of the ISIS fin­ger trap, tran­scend ISIS’s appeal to iso­lat­ed, dis­af­fect­ed Mus­lim youths by being more appeal­ing:

    ...
    It means that one of our key strate­gic defens­es against the gen­er­al con­fla­gra­tion of the Mid­dle East and Mus­lim South Asia spilling over onto the main­land Unit­ed States is and has been the rel­a­tive­ly high lev­el of inte­gra­tion of Amer­i­can Mus­lims. Talk to any coun­tert­er­ror­ism expert in law enforce­ment, the US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty or aca­d­e­mics and they will tell you this is true. Not nut­balls on Fox News or oth­er more main­stream out­lets — but peo­ple actu­al­ly charged with keep­ing Amer­i­cans safe. The best way to change that is to turn Amer­i­can Mus­lims into a sus­pect pop­u­la­tion, walled off from the main­stream of Amer­i­can life by fear, big­otry and even well-inten­tioned broad and aggres­sive sur­veil­lance.
    ...

    Yep, using the US’s free­dom of reli­gion and secu­ri­ty as a “safe space” for Mus­lims to come from around the world and cre­ate com­mu­ni­ties that stand as non-fun­da­men­tal­ist mod­els for the world is one of the best pos­si­ble strate­gies the US can use. It’s a point that, sad­ly, has become par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant giv­en the end­less polit­i­cal whin­ing over Oba­ma not explic­it­ly declar­ing that the US is “at war with rad­i­cal Islam”.

    And yes, there are inevitably going to be extrem­ists with­in the US Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty giv­en the influ­ence of groups like the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood who may not be quite as bad as ISIS the­o­log­i­cal­ly but are still push­ing a strain that is obvi­ous­ly in need of pro­found reform. But, again, as Josh point­ed out, the best way to pro­mote any of the var­i­ous strains of rad­i­cal Islam is to “turn Amer­i­can Mus­lims into a sus­pect pop­u­la­tion, walled off from the main­stream of Amer­i­can life by fear, big­otry and even well-inten­tioned broad and aggres­sive sur­veil­lance.” Sure, author­i­ties should­n’t play dumb in the face of real threats, but it’s hard to see how the grow­ing GOP calls for aggres­sive sur­veil­lance aren’t going to fos­ter exact­ly the kind of iso­la­tion and despair that groups like ISIS rely on.

    Instead, an embrace and cel­e­bra­tion of mod­ern­ized Islam, cou­pled with a col­lec­tive eye-roll and “*sigh* not these nut jobs again” response every time there’s a mil­i­tant Islamist attack, is actu­al­ly going to be a far more effec­tive approach to cre­at­ing the kind of envi­ron­ment that not only pre­vents the kind of iso­la­tion in the US that pro­motes the spread of mil­i­tant Islamist sen­ti­ments but also real­ly changes the envi­ron­ment groups like ISIS are oper­at­ing in glob­al­ly by allow­ing a non-fun­da­men­tal­ist com­mu­ni­ty to real­ly thrive as a mod­el to the world. In oth­er words, ran­dom hugs for Mus­lims in the face of Islamist ter­ror is a crit­i­cal ingre­di­ent to defeat­ing groups like ISIS. Or how about no hugs at all because there’s no spe­cial “oth­er­ing”, pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive, that takes place because we’re the kind of appeal­ing soci­ety that does­n’t do stuff like that? Would­n’t that be part of the long-term solu­tion to groups lie ISIS? Yes, being a real­ly real­ly nice, for­giv­ing, under­stand­ing, patient, and not big­ot­ed soci­ety is key send­ing the ISIS tumor into remis­sion.

    It’s all quite para­dox­i­cal, except not actu­al­ly.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 6, 2015, 9:55 pm
  17. Well, if any Amer­i­can mem­bers of ISIS fight­ing over in Syr­ia decide to send in an absen­tee bal­lot in the upcom­ing US elec­tions we can be pret­ty sure who their can­di­date of choice is going to be:

    TPM Livewire
    Trump Calls For Total Ban On Mus­lims Enter­ing The U.S.

    By Tier­ney Sneed
    Pub­lished Decem­ber 7, 2015, 4:29 PM EST

    GOP fron­trun­ner Don­ald Trump released a state­ment Mon­day call­ing for “a total and com­plete shut­down” of Mus­lims immi­grat­ing into the Unit­ed States in light of recent ter­ror­ist attacks.

    “With­out look­ing at the var­i­ous polling data, it is obvi­ous to any­body the hatred is beyond com­pre­hen­sion. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to deter­mine,” Trump said in the state­ment. “Until we are able to deter­mine and under­stand this prob­lem and the dan­ger­ous threat it pos­es, our coun­try can­not be the vic­tims of hor­ren­dous attacks by peo­ple that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of rea­son or respect for human life. If I win the elec­tion for Pres­i­dent, we are going to Make Amer­i­ca Great Again.”

    Trump spokesman Corey Lewandows­ki con­firmed to the AP the pro­pos­al would apply to Mus­lims who are tourists as well as those seek­ing immi­gra­tion visas. Anoth­er cam­paign spokes­woman told The Hill the ban would also apply to Mus­lim-Amer­i­cans trav­el­ing abroad.

    ...

    Trump’s state­ment comes as recent attacks in Paris and in San Bernardi­no, Cal­i­for­nia, have inflamed anti-Mus­lim rhetoric and prompt­ed fears about immi­grants, par­tic­u­lar­ly con­cern­ing the U.S.‘s Syr­i­an refugee pro­gram. Trump’s state­ment to end all Mus­lim immi­gra­tion goes fur­ther than pre­vi­ous GOP pro­pos­als, includ­ing Sen. Rand Paul’s (R‑KY) call that immi­gra­tion from the Mid­dle East should be halt­ed..

    ...

    “Trump spokesman Corey Lewandows­ki con­firmed to the AP the pro­pos­al would apply to Mus­lims who are tourists as well as those seek­ing immi­gra­tion visas. Anoth­er cam­paign spokes­woman told The Hill the ban would also apply to Mus­lim-Amer­i­cans trav­el­ing abroad.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 7, 2015, 5:22 pm
  18. French inves­ti­ga­tors appear to be get­ting clos­er to answer­ing the ques­tion of whether or not Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouh­lel, the man who drove the 19-ton truck through the Bastille Day cel­e­bra­tions in Nice, France, had out­side help or was a true “lone nut”. Based on the sev­en peo­ple arrest­ed so far, it appears he had help. At a min­i­mum, he had an arms deal­er who appar­ent­ly accept­ed orders via text mes­sages:

    The Tele­graph

    ‘Bring me more weapons’: Nice attacker’s texts lead to arrest of sus­pect­ed arms sup­pli­er

    David Chaz­an, Tom Mor­gan and Camil­la Turn­er, | July 18, 2016 9:26 AM ET

    A man was arrest­ed in Nice yes­ter­day (Sun­day) on sus­pi­cion of sup­ply­ing arms to the Bastille Day killer, who sent a chill­ing text mes­sage demand­ing weapons min­utes before the seafront mas­sacre.

    The 37-year-old man is thought to have been the recip­i­ent of the mes­sage sent from the mobile phone of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouh­lel 18 min­utes before he plowed a 19-ton truck into hol­i­day crowds, killing 84 peo­ple.

    It read: “Bring more weapons, bring five of them to C.” More than 200 inves­ti­ga­tors were urgent­ly work­ing to deter­mine the sig­nif­i­cance of “C” and whether the killer had accom­plices or links with a ter­ror­ist net­work.

    Sev­en peo­ple, includ­ing a woman, were in cus­tody last night after the arrests ear­li­er in the day of an Alban­ian cou­ple sus­pect­ed of aid­ing Bouh­lel, described by the so-called Islam­ic State as one of its “sol­diers”.

    Bouh­lel sent a flur­ry of texts short­ly before the attack. One say­ing “I’ve got the mate­r­i­al” was sent to one of the men in cus­tody, whose iden­ti­ties have not been made pub­lic.

    The killer fired a 7.65mm auto­mat­ic hand­gun at police before they shot him dead on Thurs­day night. Oth­er weapons in the truck were fakes or repli­cas.

    CCTV cam­eras on the Prom­e­nade des Anglais, the scene of the mas­sacre, cap­tured Bouh­lel twice in the two days before the attack dri­ving the truck as he scru­ti­nised his sur­round­ings, appar­ent­ly prepar­ing before the attack. He sold his car and emp­tied his bank account and report­ed­ly sent up to pounds 84,000 to rela­tions in Tunisia – a huge amount for a man who had worked as a low-paid deliv­ery dri­ver.

    Bouhlel’s broth­er, Jabeur, said in Tunisia that the killer sent him a self­ie tak­en among the crowds on the Prom­e­nade des Anglais, show­ing him smil­ing, just hours before the attack.

    Jabeur claimed his broth­er had phoned him around the same time. “He said he was in Nice with his Euro­pean friends to cel­e­brate the nation­al hol­i­day,” Jabeur said. “He seemed very hap­py and pleased. He was laugh­ing a lot.” How­ev­er, Jabeur declined to show the pho­to­graph.

    The image of a man cold-blood­ed­ly plan­ning an act of car­nage that tar­get­ed hap­py fam­i­lies con­trast­ed with ear­li­er descrip­tions of him as men­tal­ly unsta­ble and prone to vio­lent fits of rage.

    He is said to have fre­quent­ly beat­en his wife, and after she left him shred­ded his daughter’s ted­dy bear with a knife. His estranged wife, the moth­er of his three chil­dren, was released from cus­tody yes­ter­day. She was not a sus­pect but was ques­tioned about Bouhlel’s pos­si­ble links with Islamist extrem­ism. One of those arrest­ed told inves­ti­ga­tors that the 31-year-old Tunisian, who set­tled in France at the age of 20, had become sud­den­ly rad­i­calised in the weeks before the mas­sacre.

    ...

    “Sev­en peo­ple, includ­ing a woman, were in cus­tody last night after the arrests ear­li­er in the day of an Alban­ian cou­ple sus­pect­ed of aid­ing Bouh­lel, described by the so-called Islam­ic State as one of its “sol­diers”.”

    It does­n’t look like Bouh­lel oper­at­ed alone. And while poten­tial ISIS influ­ences and con­tacts are indeed dis­turb­ing, it’s arguably less dis­turb­ing than the idea the guy spon­ta­neous­ly plot­ted and exe­cut­ed this him­self as part of an ISIS copy­cat attack. At least, it’s not obvi­ous what sit­u­a­tion is a worse sign. Is a cen­tral­ized Jok­er’s Army of crazy peo­ple worse than a decen­tral­ized Jok­er’s Army of crazy copy­cat peo­ple?

    Anoth­er ques­tion raised by the text mes­sages for more guns just min­utes before his ram­page is whether or not he thought he was going to dri­ve that truck to a loca­tion where he would meet accom­plices who would then use all those extra guns. Con­sid­er­ing that most of the weapons found in the truck were fake you also have to won­der if they were obvi­ous fakes, like toy guns, or Bouh­lel wound up buy­ing fake guns or being giv­en fake guns by accom­plices. In oth­er words, was Bouh­lel told by ISIS or some oth­er group that he was part of a big mul­ti-per­son attack and his job was to first dri­ve the truck through the crowd to a loca­tion for an even big­ger final shootout and then giv­en fake guns? At this point it’s a pos­si­bil­i­ty that’s hard to rule out because it’s not like ISIS has a prob­lem using their recruits as explo­sive human sac­ri­fices.

    But if Bouh­lel was coor­di­nat­ing with ISIS only recent­ly and real­ly only had his reli­gious con­ver­sion in the last few months, it will be inter­est­ing to learn more about whether or not the 84,000 pounds he sent back home real­ly was the sav­ings he had accu­mu­lat­ing over the time he’s been work­ing or if he sud­den­ly received a mys­te­ri­ous cash wind­fall. Does ISIS offer cash-for-sui­cide-attack com­pen­sa­tion? It’s hard to see why ISIS’s ‘death and destruc­tion at all costs’ style would have a prob­lem with that. At least if the mon­ey is avail­able.

    Either way, it’s a reminder that if your vio­lence-prone acquain­tance who recent­ly expe­ri­enced a mil­i­tant reli­gious con­ver­sion sud­den­ly gives you their life sav­ings to pass along to their fam­i­ly, as was the case with Bouh­lel who gave acquain­tances the 84,000 pounds in cash to give to his fam­i­ly Tunisia days before the attack, maybe that’s a good time to call the cops.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 19, 2016, 1:16 pm
  19. You have to won­der what’s under this rock. There’s an unfold­ing mys­tery in New Mex­i­co that ties to the shows on the far right’s encour­age­ment of school shoot­ers to strate­gi­cal­ly desta­bi­lize soci­ety (see FTR#1002, #1003, and #1011), but in this case it involves a group of appar­ent Mus­lim extrem­ists:

    There was a makeshift com­pound dis­cov­ered in New Mex­i­co that was recent­ly raid­ed over child abuse con­cerns. Author­i­ties dis­cov­ered 5 adults and 11 chil­dren liv­ing in filthy con­di­tions. That alone is pret­ty dis­turb­ing, but it gets much dark­er and weird­er.

    It turns out three of the adults were chil­dren of Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj of Brook­lyn’s Masjid At Taqwa mosque: Sir­aj Wah­haj (same name as father) and his sis­ters Hujrah Wah­haj and Sub­han­nah Wah­haj. The two oth­er adults, Allen Morten and Jany N. Lev­eille, are the hus­bands of Hujrah and Sub­han­nah. So these 11 kids are appar­ent­ly Imam Sir­aj Wah­ha­j’s grand­chil­dren.

    Recall that Imam Sir­ah Wah­haj was named an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor in the 1993 bomb­ing of the World Trade Cen­ter and tes­ti­fied as a char­ac­ter wit­ness for Omar Abdel Rah­man (the “Blind Sheikh”). Also recall how the social media accounts of Ismaaiyl Brins­ley, the guy who set out to kill police offi­cers in 2014 and suc­ceed­ed in killing two NYC police offi­cers, indi­cat­ed that he had attend­ed the Masjid At Taqwa mosque.

    It’s pret­ty dis­turb­ing sce­nario so far. And it gets worse. The 11 chil­dren were found to be starv­ing and liv­ing in squalor. The com­pound lacked elec­tric­i­ty or plumb­ing. It also appeared to have a makeshift shoot­ing range and what could be an escape tun­nel.

    The decom­pos­ing remains of one child was also found. And while they have haven’t yet iden­ti­fied the body, sus­pi­cions are that dead child is Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj, the son of Sir­aj Wah­haj who was abduct­ed from his moth­er by Sir­aj nine months ago. Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj had severe brain con­di­tion and suf­fered from seizures.

    But it gets even worse. Accord­ing to a fos­ter par­ent who took in one of the chil­dren, the kids were being trained in the use of assault rifles in prepa­ra­tion for future school shoot­ings. Yep.

    So we have a makeshift com­pound dis­cov­ered in New Mex­i­co where the adult chil­dren of Imam Sir­aj Wah­hag were liv­ing with 11 chil­dren, a shoot­ing range, an escape tun­nel, and claims by one of the chil­dren that they were being trained for future school shoot­ings. Again, you have to won­der what’s under this rock:

    CNN

    New Mex­i­co com­pound sus­pects were train­ing chil­dren for school shoot­ings, pros­e­cu­tors say

    By Eric Lev­en­son, Scott McLean and Sara Weis­feldt, CNN
    Updat­ed 11:08 PM ET, Wed August 8, 2018

    (CNN)The five sus­pects accused of abus­ing 11 chil­dren at a New Mex­i­co com­pound were train­ing them to com­mit school shoot­ings, pros­e­cu­tors said Wednes­day.

    If the defen­dants were to “be released from cus­tody, there is a sub­stan­tial like­li­hood defen­dant may com­mit new crimes due to his plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion for future school shoot­ings,” the court doc­u­ments said.

    The fil­ings did not pro­vide fur­ther details about the alleged train­ing. The makeshift com­pound appeared to have a shoot­ing range on the prop­er­ty and loaded firearms were found on the prop­er­ty, author­i­ties said.

    A fos­ter par­ent of one of the chil­dren also said, “The defen­dant had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in prepa­ra­tion for future school shoot­ings,” accord­ing to the court fil­ings.

    Alle­ga­tions against the sus­pects come in the wake of the dis­cov­ery that 11 starv­ing chil­dren had been liv­ing in a filthy com­pound in Amalia, New Mex­i­co, that lacked elec­tric­i­ty or plumb­ing.

    Author­i­ties raid­ed the com­pound on Fri­day as part of their search for Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj, a child with severe med­ical prob­lems who was alleged­ly abduct­ed from Geor­gia by his father, Sir­aj Wah­haj, about nine months ago.

    A boy’s remains were found at the com­pound on Mon­day, police said, although it is not yet clear whether the remains are those of 4‑year-old Abdul-Ghani.

    The five defen­dants — Wah­haj; his sis­ters, Hujrah Wah­haj and Sub­han­nah Wah­haj, who are thought to be the chil­dren’s moth­ers; Lucas Morten and Jany Lev­eille — were each arraigned Wednes­day in a Taos, New Mex­i­co, court­room on 11 counts of child abuse relat­ed to the neglect and abuse of the chil­dren.

    ...

    Fam­i­ly mem­bers of the sus­pects said they did­n’t know any­thing of the alleged train­ing for school shoot­ings.

    Wah­ha­j’s father, Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj, a con­tro­ver­sial New York imam, said he has “no knowl­edge” of the alleged train­ing, said spokesman Imam Al-Hajj Tal­ib Abdur-Rashid.

    The imam was the first Mus­lim to offer an open­ing prayer before the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, the Mus­lim Alliance in North Amer­i­ca said. He was also a char­ac­ter wit­ness for con­vict­ed 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing mas­ter­mind Omar Abdel-Rah­man.

    Shariyf Muham­mad, attor­ney for Abdul-Ghani’s moth­er, Haki­ma Ramzi, said she “has no knowl­edge of any train­ing for school shoot­ings.”

    Ramzi has not been charged in the case. She report­ed her son miss­ing to Clay­ton Coun­ty, Geor­gia, author­i­ties in Decem­ber after the younger Wah­haj took their son to the park and nev­er returned, accord­ing to a police report.

    Police ini­tial­ly did­n’t file a child abduc­tion report because Wah­haj and Ramzi were mar­ried; she filed for divorce in Decem­ber, Clay­ton Coun­ty court doc­u­ments show. But a juve­nile court judge in Jan­u­ary issued an arrest war­rant for Wah­haj for fail­ing to let Ramzi know where he’d tak­en their son.

    ———-

    “New Mex­i­co com­pound sus­pects were train­ing chil­dren for school shoot­ings, pros­e­cu­tors say” by Eric Lev­en­son, Scott McLean and Sara Weis­feldt; CNN; 08/08/2018

    “The five sus­pects accused of abus­ing 11 chil­dren at a New Mex­i­co com­pound were train­ing them to com­mit school shoot­ings, pros­e­cu­tors said Wednes­day.”

    5 adults train­ing 11 chil­dren in squalid con­di­tions to com­mit future school shoot­ings. That’s pret­ty much the worst kind of child abuse:

    ...
    If the defen­dants were to “be released from cus­tody, there is a sub­stan­tial like­li­hood defen­dant may com­mit new crimes due to his plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion for future school shoot­ings,” the court doc­u­ments said.

    The fil­ings did not pro­vide fur­ther details about the alleged train­ing. The makeshift com­pound appeared to have a shoot­ing range on the prop­er­ty and loaded firearms were found on the prop­er­ty, author­i­ties said.

    A fos­ter par­ent of one of the chil­dren also said, “The defen­dant had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in prepa­ra­tion for future school shoot­ings,” accord­ing to the court fil­ings.
    ...

    In addi­tion, a boy’s remains were found, which is pos­si­bly the body of 4‑year-old Abdul-Ghani who was tak­en by his father Sir­aj Wah­haj from his moth­er last year:

    ...
    Alle­ga­tions against the sus­pects come in the wake of the dis­cov­ery that 11 starv­ing chil­dren had been liv­ing in a filthy com­pound in Amalia, New Mex­i­co, that lacked elec­tric­i­ty or plumb­ing.

    Author­i­ties raid­ed the com­pound on Fri­day as part of their search for Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj, a child with severe med­ical prob­lems who was alleged­ly abduct­ed from Geor­gia by his father, Sir­aj Wah­haj, about nine months ago.

    A boy’s remains were found at the com­pound on Mon­day, police said, although it is not yet clear whether the remains are those of 4‑year-old Abdul-Ghani.

    The five defen­dants — Wah­haj; his sis­ters, Hujrah Wah­haj and Sub­han­nah Wah­haj, who are thought to be the chil­dren’s moth­ers; Lucas Morten and Jany Lev­eille — were each arraigned Wednes­day in a Taos, New Mex­i­co, court­room on 11 counts of child abuse relat­ed to the neglect and abuse of the chil­dren.
    ...

    So all of these adults were either the chil­dren or in-laws of Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj of Brook­lyn’s Masjid At Taqwa mosque:

    ...
    Fam­i­ly mem­bers of the sus­pects said they did­n’t know any­thing of the alleged train­ing for school shoot­ings.

    Wah­ha­j’s father, Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj, a con­tro­ver­sial New York imam, said he has “no knowl­edge” of the alleged train­ing, said spokesman Imam Al-Hajj Tal­ib Abdur-Rashid.

    The imam was the first Mus­lim to offer an open­ing prayer before the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, the Mus­lim Alliance in North Amer­i­ca said. He was also a char­ac­ter wit­ness for con­vict­ed 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing mas­ter­mind Omar Abdel-Rah­man.
    ...

    And as the fol­low­ing arti­cle points out, the com­pound appeared to have a makeshift shoot­ing range and what appeared to be an escape tun­nel:

    KOB4

    Makeshift shoot­ing range, escape tun­nel found on north­ern NM com­pound

    Ryan Laugh­lin
    August 06, 2018 02:30 PM

    AMALIA, N.M. – It’s been months since a U.S. Army vet­er­an cou­ple bought a 10-acre plot in rur­al north­ern New Mex­i­co with plans of build­ing a get­away cot­tage.

    Instead, two men on a near­by plot set up a hap­haz­ard camp rem­i­nis­cent of a com­pound in a devel­op­ing nation, cross­ing onto Tanya and Jason Bad­ger’s prop­er­ty.

    On Fri­day that com­pound was raid­ed by a Taos Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s Office response team, lead­ing to the dis­cov­ery of 11 starv­ing chil­dren and three women liv­ing in “filthy” con­di­tions. Author­i­ties were look­ing for a Geor­gia boy abduct­ed by his father in Decem­ber.

    The boy was­n’t there, but the father was arrest­ed, along with anoth­er man accused of har­bor­ing a fugi­tive.

    ...

    On Sun­day KOB got a clos­er look at the makeshift com­pound, and the con­di­tions its occu­pants were endur­ing.

    Bul­let cas­ings cov­ered parts of the ground on the site, and an impro­vised shoot­ing range was set up behind a bar­ri­er of shat­tered glass.

    Also on the site was a 150-foot “escape tun­nel,” as described by the Bad­gers. The tun­nel’s exit was across prop­er­ty lines.

    The kids were liv­ing in these con­di­tions for months, author­i­ties say. The landown­ers said Lucas Mor­ton and Sir­aj Wah­haj – the father of the miss­ing boy – set up camp some­time after Christ­mas last year.

    ‘WHERE IS HE?’

    For months the Bad­gers have been try­ing to get Mor­ton and Wah­haj to either sell the land or kick them out. But their attempts failed; an evic­tion notice was dis­missed in court in June.

    But now that’s the least of the Bad­gers’ wor­ries.

    “Where else could he (be), if not with them? Where is he?” Tanya Bad­ger asked, refer­ring to the miss­ing 3‑year-old from Geor­gia, Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj. “It’s not fair, you know. Kids can’t fight for them­selves.”

    A tac­ti­cal team with TCSO over­took the heav­i­ly armed com­pound Fri­day, though the Bad­gers said they believe it should’ve been a lot soon­er.

    The cou­ple said that back in Feb­ru­ary they believe they saw the still-miss­ing 3‑year-old months before learn­ing from Geor­gia news report that he was abduct­ed. When that dis­cov­ery was made, they report­ed it to Taos Coun­ty deputies.

    TCSO offi­cials said they did­n’t have enough hard proof to go into the com­pound, even though the site was tech­ni­cal­ly there ille­gal­ly. Instead, they began sur­veilling the prop­er­ty to spot the boy.

    When that did­n’t work, Jason Bad­ger told KOB he was approached and asked if he would wear a hid­den cam­era to take part in the ongo­ing recon mis­sion.

    He did­n’t take that request light­ly.

    “When you think about it that’s f***ing b***s***,” he said. “You ask me to do it when you’re afraid to send cops up there. You tell me all this, (that) they’re rad­i­cals, (that) they’ve got guns, you’re afraid to go up there, but you ask me to go up there and do it?”

    TCSO offi­cials would­n’t com­ment on whether or not they asked a pri­vate cit­i­zen to wear sur­veil­lance equip­ment, cit­ing the ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion.

    The Bad­gers said they want more resources ded­i­cat­ed to search­ing the prop­er­ty.

    “At this point, with the resources that we had, we did a thor­ough search of that com­pound,” Rael said.

    How­ev­er, hours after Rael said that to KOB, the Bad­gers pro­vid­ed us with pho­tos of more items still at the com­pound on Sun­day, includ­ing firearms and a tac­ti­cal vest. They also said they spot­ted video cam­eras and a lap­top still at the site.

    ———-

    “Makeshift shoot­ing range, escape tun­nel found on north­ern NM com­pound” by Ryan Laugh­lin; KOB4; 08/06/2018

    “On Sun­day KOB got a clos­er look at the makeshift com­pound, and the con­di­tions its occu­pants were endur­ing.”

    So a local news out­let takes a clos­er look at the com­pound with the neigh­bors, Tanya and Jason Bad­ger:

    ...
    Bul­let cas­ings cov­ered parts of the ground on the site, and an impro­vised shoot­ing range was set up behind a bar­ri­er of shat­tered glass.

    Also on the site was a 150-foot “escape tun­nel,” as described by the Bad­gers. The tun­nel’s exit was across prop­er­ty lines.
    ...

    And it sounds like the Bad­gers had been try­ing for months to get Wah­haj to either sell the land or get them kicked out. They even spot­ted the still-miss­ing Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj there back in Feb­ru­ary and told author­i­ties, but these attempts to get the author­i­ties to inter­vene failed. An evic­tion notice was dis­missed in court back in June, despite the site being tech­ni­cal­ly ille­gal. But author­i­ties did start sur­veilling the com­pound and even asked the Bad­gers to go in under­cov­er with a hid­den cam­era:

    ...
    The kids were liv­ing in these con­di­tions for months, author­i­ties say. The landown­ers said Lucas Mor­ton and Sir­aj Wah­haj – the father of the miss­ing boy – set up camp some­time after Christ­mas last year.

    ‘WHERE IS HE?’

    For months the Bad­gers have been try­ing to get Mor­ton and Wah­haj to either sell the land or kick them out. But their attempts failed; an evic­tion notice was dis­missed in court in June.

    But now that’s the least of the Bad­gers’ wor­ries.

    “Where else could he (be), if not with them? Where is he?” Tanya Bad­ger asked, refer­ring to the miss­ing 3‑year-old from Geor­gia, Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj. “It’s not fair, you know. Kids can’t fight for them­selves.”

    A tac­ti­cal team with TCSO over­took the heav­i­ly armed com­pound Fri­day, though the Bad­gers said they believe it should’ve been a lot soon­er.

    The cou­ple said that back in Feb­ru­ary they believe they saw the still-miss­ing 3‑year-old months before learn­ing from Geor­gia news report that he was abduct­ed. When that dis­cov­ery was made, they report­ed it to Taos Coun­ty deputies.

    TCSO offi­cials said they did­n’t have enough hard proof to go into the com­pound, even though the site was tech­ni­cal­ly there ille­gal­ly. Instead, they began sur­veilling the prop­er­ty to spot the boy.

    When that did­n’t work, Jason Bad­ger told KOB he was approached and asked if he would wear a hid­den cam­era to take part in the ongo­ing recon mis­sion.

    He did­n’t take that request light­ly.

    “When you think about it that’s f***ing b***s***,” he said. “You ask me to do it when you’re afraid to send cops up there. You tell me all this, (that) they’re rad­i­cals, (that) they’ve got guns, you’re afraid to go up there, but you ask me to go up there and do it?”

    TCSO offi­cials would­n’t com­ment on whether or not they asked a pri­vate cit­i­zen to wear sur­veil­lance equip­ment, cit­ing the ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tion.

    The Bad­gers said they want more resources ded­i­cat­ed to search­ing the prop­er­ty.

    “At this point, with the resources that we had, we did a thor­ough search of that com­pound,” Rael said.
    ...

    And note that, while the com­pound was­n’t hooked up to the elec­tri­cal grid, there were video cam­eras and lap­tops spot­ted there:

    ...
    How­ev­er, hours after Rael said that to KOB, the Bad­gers pro­vid­ed us with pho­tos of more items still at the com­pound on Sun­day, includ­ing firearms and a tac­ti­cal vest. They also said they spot­ted video cam­eras and a lap­top still at the site.
    ...

    And it was­n’t just local author­i­ties who inves­ti­gat­ed and sur­veilled this com­pound. As the fol­low­ing arti­cle notes, the FBI has been inves­ti­gat­ing for the past two months, and sur­veilled the com­pound sev­er­al weeks ago, but did not find prob­a­ble cause to con­duct a search:

    Asso­ci­at­ed Press

    Man at com­pound accused of train­ing kids for school attacks

    By MORGAN LEE and MARY HUDETZ
    08/10/2018

    TAOS, N.M. (AP) — A father arrest­ed at a ram­shackle New Mex­i­co com­pound where 11 hun­gry chil­dren were found liv­ing in filth was train­ing young­sters to com­mit school shoot­ings, pros­e­cu­tors said in court doc­u­ments obtained Wednes­day.

    The alle­ga­tions against Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj came to light as author­i­ties await­ed word on whether human remains dis­cov­ered at the site were those of his miss­ing son, who is severe­ly dis­abled and went miss­ing in Decem­ber in Jones­boro, Geor­gia, near Atlanta.

    The doc­u­ments say Wah­haj was con­duct­ing weapons train­ing with assault rifles at the com­pound on the out­skirts of Amalia, a tiny town near the Col­orado bor­der marked by scat­tered homes and sage­brush.

    “He pos­es a great dan­ger to the chil­dren found on the prop­er­ty as well as a threat to the com­mu­ni­ty as a whole due to the pres­ence of firearms and his intent to use these firearms in a vio­lent and ille­gal man­ner,” Pros­e­cu­tor Tim­o­thy Has­son wrote in the court doc­u­ments Wednes­day.

    Author­i­ties raid­ed the com­pound Fri­day in an inves­ti­ga­tion that has yield­ed a series of star­tling rev­e­la­tions — includ­ing the dis­cov­ery of the 11 chil­dren in rags and word that Wah­haj want­ed to per­form an exor­cism on his son because he thought the boy was pos­sessed by the dev­il.

    Pros­e­cu­tor Tim­o­thy Has­son filed the court doc­u­ments while ask­ing that Wah­haj be held with­out bail after he was arrest­ed last week with four oth­er adults at the com­pound fac­ing child abuse charges.

    Pros­e­cu­tors did not bring up the school shoot­ing accu­sa­tion dur­ing ini­tial court hear­ings Wednes­day for the abuse sus­pects. A judge ordered them all held with­out bond pend­ing fur­ther pro­ceed­ings.

    In the court doc­u­ments, author­i­ties said a fos­ter par­ent of one of the chil­dren removed from the com­pound had told author­i­ties the child had been trained to use an assault rifle in prepa­ra­tion for a school shoot­ing.

    Taos Coun­ty Sher­iff Jer­ry Hogrefe pre­vi­ous­ly said adults at the com­pound were “con­sid­ered extrem­ist of the Mus­lim belief.” He did not elab­o­rate, say­ing it was part of the inves­ti­ga­tion.

    Aleks Kos­tich of the Taos Coun­ty Pub­lic Defender’s Office ques­tioned the accu­sa­tion of a school shoot­ing con­spir­a­cy, say­ing the claim was pre­sent­ed with lit­tle infor­ma­tion beyond the expla­na­tion that it came from a fos­ter par­ent.

    Kos­tich believes pros­e­cu­tors are not cer­tain about the cred­i­bil­i­ty of the fos­ter par­ent, whom he has no way of reach­ing to ver­i­fy the claim, he said.

    ...

    Ear­li­er this year, his grand­fa­ther, Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj, post­ed a plea on Face­book for help find­ing his grand­son.

    The elder Wah­haj heads the Masjid At-Taqwa in Brook­lyn, a mosque that has attract­ed rad­i­cal speak­ers over the years. He met Mah­mud Abouhal­i­ma when he came to the site to raise mon­ey for Mus­lims in Afghanistan. Abouhal­i­ma lat­er helped bomb the World Trade Cen­ter in 1993.

    In a Geor­gia arrest war­rant, author­i­ties said 39-year-old Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj had told his son’s moth­er that he want­ed to per­form an exor­cism on the child. He lat­er said he was tak­ing the child to a park and didn’t return.

    He is accused in Geor­gia of kid­nap­ping the boy.

    The arrest war­rant issued there says the miss­ing boy has a con­di­tion caused by lack of oxy­gen and blood flow around the time of birth. He can­not walk and requires con­stant atten­tion, his moth­er told police.

    For months, neigh­bors wor­ried about the squalid com­pound built along the remote New Mex­i­co plain, say­ing they took their con­cerns to author­i­ties long before sheriff’s offi­cials raid­ed the facil­i­ty described as a small camp­ing trail­er in the ground.

    The search at the com­pound came amid a two-month inves­ti­ga­tion that includ­ed the FBI. Hogrefe said fed­er­al agents sur­veilled the area a few weeks ago but did not find prob­a­ble cause to search the prop­er­ty.

    That changed when Geor­gia detec­tives for­ward­ed a mes­sage to the sher­iff that he said ini­tial­ly had been sent to a third par­ty, say­ing: “We are starv­ing and need food and water.”

    Author­i­ties found what Hogrefe called “the sad­dest liv­ing con­di­tions and pover­ty” he has seen in 30 years in law enforce­ment. He said Wah­haj was armed with mul­ti­ple firearms, includ­ing an assault rifle. But he was tak­en into cus­tody with­out inci­dent.

    The group arrived in Amalia in Decem­ber, with enough mon­ey to buy gro­ceries and con­struc­tion sup­plies, accord­ing to Tyler Ander­son, a 41-year-old auto mechan­ic who lives near­by.

    He said he helped them install solar pan­els after they arrived but even­tu­al­ly stopped vis­it­ing.

    Ander­son said he met both of the men in the group, but nev­er the women, who author­i­ties have said are the moth­ers of the 11 chil­dren, ages 1 to 15.

    “We just fig­ured they were doing what we were doing, get­ting a piece of land and get­ting off the grid,” Ander­son said.

    As the months passed, he said he stopped see­ing the small­er chil­dren play­ing in the area and didn’t hear guns being fired at a shoot­ing range on the prop­er­ty.

    Jason Bad­ger, who owned the prop­er­ty where the com­pound was built, said he and his wife had pressed author­i­ties to remove the group after becom­ing con­cerned about the chil­dren.

    The group had built the com­pound on their acreage instead of a neigh­bor­ing tract owned by Lucas Mor­ton, one of the men arrest­ed dur­ing the raid.

    How­ev­er, a judge dis­missed an evic­tion notice filed by Bad­ger against Mor­ton in June, court records said. The records did not pro­vide fur­ther details on the judge’s deci­sion.

    After the raid, Ander­son looked over the prop­er­ty for the first time in months.

    “I was flab­ber­gast­ed from what it had turned into from the last time I saw it,” he said.

    ———-

    “Man at com­pound accused of train­ing kids for school attacks” by MORGAN LEE and MARY HUDETZ; Asso­ci­at­ed Press; 08/10/2018

    “For months, neigh­bors wor­ried about the squalid com­pound built along the remote New Mex­i­co plain, say­ing they took their con­cerns to author­i­ties long before sheriff’s offi­cials raid­ed the facil­i­ty described as a small camp­ing trail­er in the ground.”

    For months, the neigh­bors took their con­cerns to author­i­ties. And it was­n’t just local author­i­ties involved. The FBI had been inves­ti­gat­ing for the last two months and was sur­veilling the area a few weeks ago, but did not find prob­a­bly cause to search the prop­er­ty:

    ...
    The search at the com­pound came amid a two-month inves­ti­ga­tion that includ­ed the FBI. Hogrefe said fed­er­al agents sur­veilled the area a few weeks ago but did not find prob­a­ble cause to search the prop­er­ty.

    That changed when Geor­gia detec­tives for­ward­ed a mes­sage to the sher­iff that he said ini­tial­ly had been sent to a third par­ty, say­ing: “We are starv­ing and need food and water.”

    Author­i­ties found what Hogrefe called “the sad­dest liv­ing con­di­tions and pover­ty” he has seen in 30 years in law enforce­ment. He said Wah­haj was armed with mul­ti­ple firearms, includ­ing an assault rifle. But he was tak­en into cus­tody with­out inci­dent.
    ...

    Recall that the Bad­gers appar­ent­ly told author­i­ties they saw the miss­ing child there back in Feb­ru­ary, so if there was no prob­a­bly cause for search­ing the com­pound that’s a pret­ty remark­able find­ing.

    Also note that the verac­i­ty of the alle­ga­tions that they were train­ing these kids for school shoot­ings is unclear. The pros­e­cu­tors did not bring it up dur­ing the ini­tial court hear­ing:

    ...
    Pros­e­cu­tors did not bring up the school shoot­ing accu­sa­tion dur­ing ini­tial court hear­ings Wednes­day for the abuse sus­pects. A judge ordered them all held with­out bond pend­ing fur­ther pro­ceed­ings.

    In the court doc­u­ments, author­i­ties said a fos­ter par­ent of one of the chil­dren removed from the com­pound had told author­i­ties the child had been trained to use an assault rifle in prepa­ra­tion for a school shoot­ing.

    Taos Coun­ty Sher­iff Jer­ry Hogrefe pre­vi­ous­ly said adults at the com­pound were “con­sid­ered extrem­ist of the Mus­lim belief.” He did not elab­o­rate, say­ing it was part of the inves­ti­ga­tion.

    Aleks Kos­tich of the Taos Coun­ty Pub­lic Defender’s Office ques­tioned the accu­sa­tion of a school shoot­ing con­spir­a­cy, say­ing the claim was pre­sent­ed with lit­tle infor­ma­tion beyond the expla­na­tion that it came from a fos­ter par­ent.

    Kos­tich believes pros­e­cu­tors are not cer­tain about the cred­i­bil­i­ty of the fos­ter par­ent, whom he has no way of reach­ing to ver­i­fy the claim, he said.
    ...

    Also note that the pres­ences of lap­tops and video cam­eras is prob­a­bly explained by a neigh­bor who helped them install solar pan­els:

    ...
    The group arrived in Amalia in Decem­ber, with enough mon­ey to buy gro­ceries and con­struc­tion sup­plies, accord­ing to Tyler Ander­son, a 41-year-old auto mechan­ic who lives near­by.

    He said he helped them install solar pan­els after they arrived but even­tu­al­ly stopped vis­it­ing.

    Ander­son said he met both of the men in the group, but nev­er the women, who author­i­ties have said are the moth­ers of the 11 chil­dren, ages 1 to 15.

    “We just fig­ured they were doing what we were doing, get­ting a piece of land and get­ting off the grid,” Ander­son said.

    As the months passed, he said he stopped see­ing the small­er chil­dren play­ing in the area and didn’t hear guns being fired at a shoot­ing range on the prop­er­ty.
    ...

    So what even­tu­al­ly led to the raid on the com­pound? Appar­ent­ly it was mes­sage sent over Face­book from one of the women there to a man in Atlanta. The mes­sage said “we need food, we’re starv­ing.” The man passed along the mes­sage to Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj. The imam says he passed the infor­ma­tion on to the police after he learned the loca­tion of the com­pound and that’s what trig­gered the raid:

    CNN

    Imam says he helped lead police to his son on New Mex­i­co com­pound

    By Emanuel­la Grin­berg, CNN

    Updat­ed 1:35 PM ET, Fri August 10, 2018

    (CNN)The imam says the plea for help came through Face­book: We need food, we’re starv­ing.

    Sir­aj Wah­haj said his daugh­ter sent the mes­sage to a man in Atlanta who passed it on to him.

    “What I do? I said, ‘Find out where to send the food,’ ” the promi­nent New York imam told reporters Thurs­day.

    As soon as they learned the loca­tion, they shared it with police, Wah­haj said, prompt­ing the raid of a New Mex­i­co com­pound where 11 mal­nour­ished chil­dren were found on August 3. Nine of them were the imam’s “bio­log­i­cal grand­chil­dren,” he said Thurs­day.

    The miss­ing boy for whom author­i­ties were search­ing — a child of the imam’s son — was not found in the raid.

    “That’s why the police came in, because of infor­ma­tion that we gave them,” the imam said in his first pub­lic com­ments since his son, also named Siarj Wah­haj, and two daugh­ters were arrest­ed in last week’s raid with two oth­er adults.

    The imam said he has not spo­ken with his son since late 2017. Nor had he heard direct­ly from his two daugh­ters, Sub­han­nah Wah­haj and Hujrah Wah­haj, in months, he said. The three adult chil­dren had “cut ties” with the rest of their fam­i­ly, he said.

    “Those who know them say this is strange, so we want to find out what hap­pened,” he said in a news con­fer­ence in his office at Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brook­lyn. “I feel bad as a par­ent that they did­n’t feel com­fort­able enough to come to me.”

    The elder Sir­aj was the first Mus­lim to offer an open­ing prayer before the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, accord­ing to the Mus­lim Alliance in North Amer­i­ca. He was also a char­ac­ter wit­ness for con­vict­ed 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing mas­ter­mind Omar Abdel-Rah­man.

    Search for miss­ing boy leads to 11 starv­ing chil­dren

    New Mex­i­co pros­e­cu­tors say that at least one of the chil­dren found at the com­pound was being trained to com­mit school shoot­ings. Beyond that, ques­tions abound about how the fam­i­ly end­ed up in New Mex­i­co and what hap­pened to Sir­aj Wah­ha­j’s miss­ing son, Abdul-Ghani.

    The boy’s moth­er, who lives in Jones­boro, Geor­gia, last saw him in Novem­ber, when his father said he was tak­ing him to the park. Because the cou­ple was mar­ried — she filed for divorce in Decem­ber — an arrest war­rant was not issued for him until Jan­u­ary.

    Near­ly two weeks after Abdul-Ghani’s dis­ap­pear­ance, his father flipped a Ford Explor­er on Inter­state 65 in Alaba­ma. Accord­ing to a police traf­fic report on the Decem­ber inci­dent, a 5‑year-old boy and Jany Lev­eille were tak­en to a hos­pi­tal. Six oth­er chil­dren were in the car, rang­ing in age from 3 to 15. The birth date list­ed for the 3‑year-old does not match Abdul-Ghani’s birth­day.

    ...

    The five sus­pects each face mul­ti­ple counts of child abuse. Morten is also charged with har­bor­ing a fugi­tive, Sir­aj Wah­haj, on sus­pi­cion of know­ing that he was com­mit­ting cus­to­di­al inter­fer­ence with Abdul-Ghani.

    Abdul-Ghani, whose fourth birth­day was on Mon­day, was not among the 11 chil­dren found dur­ing the raid. Two days lat­er, author­i­ties found the remains of a young boy whose body has yet to be pos­i­tive­ly iden­ti­fied.

    ‘We want to find out what hap­pened’

    Abdul-Ghani’s moth­er, Haki­ma Ramzi, said the boy suf­fers from hypox­ic ischemic encephalopa­thy. He can­not walk and suf­fers from seizures, requir­ing con­stant care and med­ical atten­tion, she said.

    The New Mex­i­co search war­rant used to enter the prop­er­ty said inves­ti­ga­tors had rea­son to believe Wah­haj planned an exor­cism and was deny­ing Abdul-Ghani his med­ica­tion.

    The elder Wah­haj said his son and his wife had become “con­cerned” with the idea of pos­ses­sions. But he knew noth­ing about plans for an exor­cism, he said.

    He resist­ed the Taos Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of his son’s reli­gious beliefs as extreme. But he said his son’s behav­ior could be “extreme” and described him as high-strung, the kind of per­son who became angry when stopped at the air­port by immi­gra­tion offi­cers, he said.

    But “to do some­thing as extreme as this does­n’t make sense,” he said.

    He said his fam­i­ly has been coop­er­at­ing with law enforce­ment since his son dis­ap­peared with his grand­son. That’s why he went to police with the mes­sage from the com­pound, he said.

    Like oth­ers, he wants to know the truth, he said.

    ...

    ———-

    “Imam says he helped lead police to his son on New Mex­i­co com­pound” By Emanuel­la Grin­berg; CNN; 08/10/2018

    “The imam says the plea for help came through Face­book: We need food, we’re starv­ing.

    It was a plea for help over Face­book’s mes­sag­ing ser­vice that allowed the Imam to learn the loca­tion of the com­pound. And it was when the Imam passed this infor­ma­tion to police that the raid hap­pened:

    ...
    Sir­aj Wah­haj said his daugh­ter sent the mes­sage to a man in Atlanta who passed it on to him.

    “What I do? I said, ‘Find out where to send the food,’ ” the promi­nent New York imam told reporters Thurs­day.

    As soon as they learned the loca­tion, they shared it with police, Wah­haj said, prompt­ing the raid of a New Mex­i­co com­pound where 11 mal­nour­ished chil­dren were found on August 3. Nine of them were the imam’s “bio­log­i­cal grand­chil­dren,” he said Thurs­day.

    The miss­ing boy for whom author­i­ties were search­ing — a child of the imam’s son — was not found in the raid.

    “That’s why the police came in, because of infor­ma­tion that we gave them,” the imam said in his first pub­lic com­ments since his son, also named Siarj Wah­haj, and two daugh­ters were arrest­ed in last week’s raid with two oth­er adults.
    ...

    Of course, local and fed­er­al author­i­ties were already well aware of the loca­tion of the com­pound since they already had it under sur­veil­lance so it seems like­ly that the pleas for food and pres­ence of chil­dren were what trig­gered the raid.

    And that’s part of what makes this sto­ry so bizarre: after all the sur­veil­lance and warn­ings from neigh­bors about the com­pound, and the spot­ting of the miss­ing child there back in Feb­ru­ary, it was appar­ent­ly Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj, who him­self has ter­ror ties, who even­tu­al­ly forced the raid on the com­pound after con­tact the police with infor­ma­tion about the plea for help, lead­ing to the raid of the com­pound and sub­se­quent rev­e­la­tion that they may have been train­ing these kids to become school shoot­ers. WTF is going on here?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 10, 2018, 1:55 pm
  20. It looks like the bizarre case of the New Mex­i­can makeshift com­pound start­ed by the chil­dren of Imam Sir­ah Wah­haj, where the chil­dren were alleged­ly being trained to become future school shoot­ers, is get­ting weird­er. There’s also con­flict­ing accounts about what this group was up to accord­ing to inter­views of their rel­a­tives.

    First, a quick cor­rect on the pre­vi­ous com­ment on this sto­ry: Jany Lev­eille is one of the women at the com­pound and not one of the hus­bands and is the cur­rent wife of Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj (recall that the moth­er of Sir­aj Ibn Wah­ha­j’s dead son divorced him in Decem­ber). Most of the fol­low­ing arti­cle cen­ters around Jany.

    The broth­er of Jany, Von Chelet Lev­eille, claims he talked to her every day and she described incred­i­ble events tak­ing place in the desert. Events like see­ing a face appear in the sky or clouds tak­ing the shape of winged crea­tures. Janey appar­ent­ly also told her broth­er that the now-deceased child of Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj would soon come back to life as Jesus. So that rais­es the obvi­ous ques­tion as to whether or not they were using hal­lu­cino­gens or some­thing like that. And if they were being drugged, there’s still the ques­tion of whether or not they even real­ized it. Giv­en the cult-like nature of the sto­ry, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of brain­wash­ing and hal­lu­cino­gens prob­a­bly should­n’t be rules out. Espe­cial­ly if they real­ly were train­ing these kids to be school shoot­ers.

    It’s also worth recall­ing how Islamist ter­ror­ists who car­ried out the 2008 sui­cide assaults in Mum­bai, India, were found be large­ly street chil­dren recruit­ed by Lashkar-e-Tai­ba and trained using LSD and cocaine, which was found in their sys­tems after the attack. So if it turns out this New Mex­i­can com­pound real­ly was train­ing these kids to be ter­ror­ists it would­n’t be the first time we’ve heard about an Islamist ter­ror train­ing pro­gram involv­ing hal­lu­cino­gens.

    Von Chelet also tells us that it was a recent trip to Sau­di Ara­bia by Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj that made the group real­ize how dif­fer­ent life can be liv­ing only among Mus­lims. So they went out to the desert to get away from sec­u­lar soci­ety. Sir­aj Ibn Wah­ha­j’s father, Imam Sir­ah Wah­haj, was appar­ent­ly against this move.

    An FBI agent who tes­ti­fied dur­ing a bond hear­ing claimed that the chil­dren were told the dead child would come back as Jesus and then instruct them which “cor­rupt insti­tu­tions” to elim­i­nate. The FBI agent also told the court that Jany Lev­eille told oth­ers at the camp she believed the child had already been dead and was only still ani­mat­ed because he was pos­sessed by demons. Tariq Abdur Rashid, an asso­ciate of Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, denies this and asserts they were all very peace­ful (keep in mind there was a gun range on the com­pound).

    The FBI also assert that Jany was try­ing to use “black mag­ic” to rid her son of his ail­ments. Rashid also sug­gests that Jany did actu­al­ly prac­tice “black mag­ic” and claims that Jany once buried a leather patch or pouch in the ground as part of a rit­u­al. Von Chelet denies that Jany ever prac­ticed black mag­ic. Rashid and Von Chelet both told the reporter that the oth­er one was lying. So there’s a black mag­ic angle to this sto­ry already, as well as a ‘ris­ing from the dead to be Jesus’ angle.

    Von Chelet also pushed back on the asser­tion that they were train­ing the kids to be school shoot­ers and said two of the kids had asked to learn how to shoot but it was all inno­cent. So it sounds like the old­er kids were indeed being taught to shoot.

    And in per­haps that weird­est part of this entire case, the judge order all the adults to be released on bond except for Sir­aj because he is want­ed on kid­nap­ping charges. They appar­ent­ly did­n’t pose any sort of poten­tial threat.

    So, yeah, one of the weird­est cas­es of puta­tive Islamist ter­ror in a while some­how got a lot weird­er:

    The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion

    Broth­er: Atlanta fam­i­ly saw mirac­u­lous sights in New Mex­i­co desert

    By Joshua Sharpe
    Aug 15, 2018

    Before his sister’s arrest, Von Chelet Lev­eille says he talked to her every day and she told him about incred­i­ble things hap­pen­ing on her seclud­ed desert com­pound.

    Lev­eille, 37, who lives in Haiti, even heard about the death of a 3‑year-old boy there, believed to be a Clay­ton Coun­ty child report­ed miss­ing. He also said his sis­ter Jany Lev­eille, 35, told him the child would soon come back to life as Jesus.

    “At first,” the broth­er told The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion, “it sound­ed ridicu­lous to me.”

    But as weeks turned to months of the compound’s occu­pants watch­ing the body, which had been placed in a tun­nel, even the broth­er began to won­der if it would be true. It didn’t seem as far-fetched when he thought of the sto­ries they’d been telling him — and the pho­tos they sent — from the camp, such as the time a face appeared in the sky, or when the clouds took on the shape of a winged crea­ture and they all cried.

    His sis­ter had gone from Atlanta into the desert around Decem­ber with her Islam­ic hus­band, Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, and his son from anoth­er wife. Wah­haj was want­ed in Clay­ton Coun­ty where his legal wife had report­ed he took their 3‑year-old son, Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj, with­out per­mis­sion.

    Also at the com­pound were three oth­er adult rel­a­tives from metro Atlanta and 12 of their chil­dren, ages 1 to 15.

    Author­i­ties, who raid­ed the com­pound on Aug. 3, allege the adults were plot­ting vio­lence, with extrem­ist Mus­lim views guid­ing them. None of the five adults are charged with harm­ing the dead child. They each face 11 counts of child cru­el­ty, one for every child found alive at the prop­er­ty.

    Pros­e­cu­tors in the case, which is draw­ing nation­al atten­tion, also sug­gest that Jany Lev­eille believes in “black mag­ic” and encour­aged rit­u­als per­formed on the child to rid him of his ail­ments, includ­ing seizures. A body believed to be that of the miss­ing boy, Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj, was found wrapped in a sheet in a tun­nel on the prop­er­ty after the raid. Pros­e­cu­tors believe he could’ve died because the adults didn’t give him med­i­cine or med­ical atten­tion.

    The broth­er said the group is mis­un­der­stood.

    “I don’t know my sis­ter to prac­tice any black mag­ic,” he said in a phone inter­view from Port-au-Prince. He said she, like many Mus­lims, does believe black mag­ic exists and doesn’t sup­port it.

    Von Chelet Lev­eille also pushed back on alle­ga­tions from pros­e­cu­tors that the adults were teach­ing chil­dren to use guns so they could become killers and com­mit school shoot­ings. He said two of the old­er chil­dren asked to be taught to shoot, and that the family’s use of firearms was legal and inno­cent.

    He said the group went to the desert because they no longer want­ed to live as “Amer­i­can Mus­lims” in a soci­ety most­ly pop­u­lat­ed by non-Mus­lims. They’d long lived in sec­u­lar Atlanta and New York City, where Abdul-Ghani’s grand­fa­ther, Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj, runs a large mosque. The imam has said he was against the trip to the desert and tried to stop it.

    Von Chelet Lev­eille said it was a recent trip to Sau­di Ara­bia by the Clay­ton toddler’s father, Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, that made the group real­ize how dif­fer­ent life can be liv­ing only among Mus­lims.

    But an FBI agent who tes­ti­fied Mon­day in a bond hear­ing for the adults, gave a wild­ly dif­fer­ent account of what the group was doing. Agent Travis Tay­lor said the chil­dren were told the dead child would come back as Jesus and then instruct them which “cor­rupt insti­tu­tions” to elim­i­nate.

    Jany Lev­eille alleged­ly told oth­ers at the camp she believed the child had already been dead and was only still ani­mat­ed because he was pos­sessed by demons, the agent said.

    The broth­er said the agent’s alle­ga­tions aren’t true.

    Tariq Abdur Rashid, who stud­ied under Abdul-Ghani’s grand­fa­ther and said he knows Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj well, also doesn’t believe the accu­sa­tions about the group plot­ting for vio­lence. The whole fam­i­ly is peace­ful, he said.

    Rashid said it sound­ed that the rit­u­al per­formed on Abdul-Ghani was an Islam­ic prac­tice called a ruqya, which is meant to rid a body of evil spir­its. A ruqya, he said, wouldn’t be extreme.

    What was extreme was alleged­ly not giv­ing the boy his med­i­cine. In addi­tion to seizures, Abdul-Ghani had suf­fered from brain dam­age caused dur­ing birth, as well as cog­ni­tive and devel­op­men­tal delays.

    “We do believe in med­ica­tion,” Rashid told The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion. “That kid had a phys­i­cal ail­ment. He had med­ica­tion he’s been on.”

    Rashid said Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj had recent­ly trav­eled to vis­it­ed an imam in Eng­land to learn a ruqya and might’ve sin­cere­ly thought he was doing the right thing to help his son.

    “With sin­cere think­ing, he can be sin­cere­ly wrong, which he was,” Rashid said.

    Long before the desert trip, Rashid recalls going to a mosque on the west side of Atlanta to pray with Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj every morn­ing. After, they’d talk about how to help their com­mu­ni­ty.

    Wah­haj, who worked as a body guard and secu­ri­ty guard, start­ed a food pantry, and Rashid recalls him dri­ving around Atlanta with Jany Lev­eille pass­ing out food to the home­less.

    Rashid said he also recalls sus­pect­ing Jany Lev­eille of per­form­ing black mag­ic.

    He said he believed she once buried a leather patch or pouch in the ground as part of a rit­u­al. (Speak­ing with the AJC, Rashid and Von Chelet Lev­eille both accused the oth­er with not being truth­ful.)

    But Rashid is most con­cerned with what hap­pened to the miss­ing Abdul-Ghani. Tests are still under­way to con­firm the iden­ti­ty of the body found in the desert com­pound, but the fam­i­ly and author­i­ties agree the body is most like­ly his.

    Pros­e­cu­tors believe he stopped breath­ing dur­ing a rit­u­al, in which his father placed a hand on the boy’s head while read­ing from the Quran.

    On Mon­day, a state dis­trict court judge in New Mex­i­co, Judge Sarah Backus, grant­ed each adult arrest­ed at the com­pound a $20,000 sig­na­ture bond to allow their release from jail.

    She said the evi­dence sub­mit­ted by inves­ti­ga­tors was trou­bling but not enough to con­vince her that the group, uncon­ven­tion­al as it may be, is dan­ger­ous. Under con­di­tions she set, they must wear ankle mon­i­tors until they find sta­ble hous­ing in Taos Coun­ty, New Mex­i­co, where the com­pound was locat­ed, and they can have only super­vised vis­its with their chil­dren.

    The New Mex­i­co gov­er­nor has spo­ken out against the judge’s bond deci­sion and, accord­ing to Albu­querque news sta­tion KOB4, the judge has received death threats. One led to the evac­u­a­tion of the coun­ty cour­t­house Tues­day.

    Mean­while, none of the sus­pects have been released.

    Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, 40, can’t be because he is being held on a war­rant from Clay­ton Coun­ty in the miss­ing child case.

    Jany Lev­eille, who was born in Haiti, has been trans­ferred to immi­gra­tion author­i­ties, a jail work­er said Wednes­day morn­ing. Her broth­er said she had been in the process of get­ting U.S. cit­i­zen­ship but hadn’t com­plet­ed it.

    Still held on bond are: Hujrah Wah­haj, 37, Sub­han­nah Wah­haj, 35, both sis­ters of Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, and Sub­han­nah Wahhaj’s hus­band, Lucas Allen Mor­ton, 40.

    The dis­trict attorney’s office on Wednes­day said it was appeal­ing the judge’s deci­sion.

    Rashid hopes none of them get out. They need to sit and get their minds in order, he said.

    ...

    ———-

    “Broth­er: Atlanta fam­i­ly saw mirac­u­lous sights in New Mex­i­co desert” by Joshua Sharpe; The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion; 08/15/2018

    “Before his sister’s arrest, Von Chelet Lev­eille says he talked to her every day and she told him about incred­i­ble things hap­pen­ing on her seclud­ed desert com­pound.”

    Incred­i­ble things were hap­pen­ing at the com­pound. Sirha­j’s son, Abdul-Ghani, died, but he would return as Jesus. And once a face appeared in the sky:

    ...
    Lev­eille, 37, who lives in Haiti, even heard about the death of a 3‑year-old boy there, believed to be a Clay­ton Coun­ty child report­ed miss­ing. He also said his sis­ter Jany Lev­eille, 35, told him the child would soon come back to life as Jesus.

    “At first,” the broth­er told The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion, “it sound­ed ridicu­lous to me.”

    But as weeks turned to months of the compound’s occu­pants watch­ing the body, which had been placed in a tun­nel, even the broth­er began to won­der if it would be true. It didn’t seem as far-fetched when he thought of the sto­ries they’d been telling him — and the pho­tos they sent — from the camp, such as the time a face appeared in the sky, or when the clouds took on the shape of a winged crea­ture and they all cried.
    ...

    Pros­e­cu­tors assert that Jany believed in “black mag­ic”, and was try­ing to use rit­u­al on her son to rid him of his ail­ments:

    ...
    His sis­ter had gone from Atlanta into the desert around Decem­ber with her Islam­ic hus­band, Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, and his son from anoth­er wife. Wah­haj was want­ed in Clay­ton Coun­ty where his legal wife had report­ed he took their 3‑year-old son, Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj, with­out per­mis­sion.

    Also at the com­pound were three oth­er adult rel­a­tives from metro Atlanta and 12 of their chil­dren, ages 1 to 15.

    Author­i­ties, who raid­ed the com­pound on Aug. 3, allege the adults were plot­ting vio­lence, with extrem­ist Mus­lim views guid­ing them. None of the five adults are charged with harm­ing the dead child. They each face 11 counts of child cru­el­ty, one for every child found alive at the prop­er­ty.

    Pros­e­cu­tors in the case, which is draw­ing nation­al atten­tion, also sug­gest that Jany Lev­eille believes in “black mag­ic” and encour­aged rit­u­als per­formed on the child to rid him of his ail­ments, includ­ing seizures. A body believed to be that of the miss­ing boy, Abdul-Ghani Wah­haj, was found wrapped in a sheet in a tun­nel on the prop­er­ty after the raid. Pros­e­cu­tors believe he could’ve died because the adults didn’t give him med­i­cine or med­ical atten­tion.
    ...

    Von Chelet coun­ters that he did­n’t know of his sis­ter prac­tic­ing black mag­ic, although she did believe in it. Instead, Von Chelet asserts that the group was peace­ful. The old­er chil­dren being taught to shoot had asked to learn and it was inno­cent. Also, the whole rea­son they decid­ed to go live in the desert was due to a trip to Sau­di Ara­bia Sir­aj took that made him real­ize how dif­fer­ent life could be just around Mus­lims. They want­ed to get away from a soci­ety most­ly pop­u­lat­ed by non-Mus­lims:

    ...
    The broth­er said the group is mis­un­der­stood.

    “I don’t know my sis­ter to prac­tice any black mag­ic,” he said in a phone inter­view from Port-au-Prince. He said she, like many Mus­lims, does believe black mag­ic exists and doesn’t sup­port it.

    Von Chelet Lev­eille also pushed back on alle­ga­tions from pros­e­cu­tors that the adults were teach­ing chil­dren to use guns so they could become killers and com­mit school shoot­ings. He said two of the old­er chil­dren asked to be taught to shoot, and that the family’s use of firearms was legal and inno­cent.

    He said the group went to the desert because they no longer want­ed to live as “Amer­i­can Mus­lims” in a soci­ety most­ly pop­u­lat­ed by non-Mus­lims. They’d long lived in sec­u­lar Atlanta and New York City, where Abdul-Ghani’s grand­fa­ther, Imam Sir­aj Wah­haj, runs a large mosque. The imam has said he was against the trip to the desert and tried to stop it.

    Von Chelet Lev­eille said it was a recent trip to Sau­di Ara­bia by the Clay­ton toddler’s father, Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, that made the group real­ize how dif­fer­ent life can be liv­ing only among Mus­lims.
    ...

    The FBI agent who tes­ti­fied at the bond hear­ing backed up the claim that Jany believed the dead child would return as Jesus. And he was appar­ent­ly going to then instruct which “cor­rupt insti­tu­tions” need to be elim­i­nat­ed:

    ...
    But an FBI agent who tes­ti­fied Mon­day in a bond hear­ing for the adults, gave a wild­ly dif­fer­ent account of what the group was doing. Agent Travis Tay­lor said the chil­dren were told the dead child would come back as Jesus and then instruct them which “cor­rupt insti­tu­tions” to elim­i­nate.

    Jany Lev­eille alleged­ly told oth­ers at the camp she believed the child had already been dead and was only still ani­mat­ed because he was pos­sessed by demons, the agent said.

    The broth­er said the agent’s alle­ga­tions aren’t true.
    ...

    Tariq Abdur Rashid, who stud­ied under Imam Wah­haj and knows Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj well, also asserts this group was entire­ly peace­ful. He said the rit­u­als sound like a ruqya, a Mus­lim rit­u­al meant to rid a body of evil spir­its. Rashid also says Wah­haj had recent­ly vis­it­ed an imam in Eng­land to learn how to do this rit­u­al:

    ...
    Tariq Abdur Rashid, who stud­ied under Abdul-Ghani’s grand­fa­ther and said he knows Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj well, also doesn’t believe the accu­sa­tions about the group plot­ting for vio­lence. The whole fam­i­ly is peace­ful, he said.

    Rashid said it sound­ed that the rit­u­al per­formed on Abdul-Ghani was an Islam­ic prac­tice called a ruqya, which is meant to rid a body of evil spir­its. A ruqya, he said, wouldn’t be extreme.

    What was extreme was alleged­ly not giv­ing the boy his med­i­cine. In addi­tion to seizures, Abdul-Ghani had suf­fered from brain dam­age caused dur­ing birth, as well as cog­ni­tive and devel­op­men­tal delays.

    “We do believe in med­ica­tion,” Rashid told The Atlanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion. “That kid had a phys­i­cal ail­ment. He had med­ica­tion he’s been on.”

    Rashid said Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj had recent­ly trav­eled to vis­it­ed an imam in Eng­land to learn a ruqya and might’ve sin­cere­ly thought he was doing the right thing to help his son.

    “With sin­cere think­ing, he can be sin­cere­ly wrong, which he was,” Rashid said.
    ...

    Inter­est­ing­ly, though, Rashid also recalls sus­pect­ing Jany was indeed per­form­ing black mag­ic:

    ...
    Rashid said he also recalls sus­pect­ing Jany Lev­eille of per­form­ing black mag­ic.

    He said he believed she once buried a leather patch or pouch in the ground as part of a rit­u­al. (Speak­ing with the AJC, Rashid and Von Chelet Lev­eille both accused the oth­er with not being truth­ful.)

    But Rashid is most con­cerned with what hap­pened to the miss­ing Abdul-Ghani. Tests are still under­way to con­firm the iden­ti­ty of the body found in the desert com­pound, but the fam­i­ly and author­i­ties agree the body is most like­ly his.

    Pros­e­cu­tors believe he stopped breath­ing dur­ing a rit­u­al, in which his father placed a hand on the boy’s head while read­ing from the Quran.
    ...

    So Rashid dis­miss­es the notion that Sir­aj Wah­haj was per­form­ing black mag­ic, but did recall Jany doing so.

    And final­ly, the judge is poten­tial­ly going to allow the adults to be released on bond, except for Sir­ah who is held on a war­rant over the miss­ing child case. Although none of them are released yet:

    ...
    On Mon­day, a state dis­trict court judge in New Mex­i­co, Judge Sarah Backus, grant­ed each adult arrest­ed at the com­pound a $20,000 sig­na­ture bond to allow their release from jail.

    She said the evi­dence sub­mit­ted by inves­ti­ga­tors was trou­bling but not enough to con­vince her that the group, uncon­ven­tion­al as it may be, is dan­ger­ous. Under con­di­tions she set, they must wear ankle mon­i­tors until they find sta­ble hous­ing in Taos Coun­ty, New Mex­i­co, where the com­pound was locat­ed, and they can have only super­vised vis­its with their chil­dren.

    The New Mex­i­co gov­er­nor has spo­ken out against the judge’s bond deci­sion and, accord­ing to Albu­querque news sta­tion KOB4, the judge has received death threats. One led to the evac­u­a­tion of the coun­ty cour­t­house Tues­day.

    Mean­while, none of the sus­pects have been released.

    Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, 40, can’t be because he is being held on a war­rant from Clay­ton Coun­ty in the miss­ing child case.

    Jany Lev­eille, who was born in Haiti, has been trans­ferred to immi­gra­tion author­i­ties, a jail work­er said Wednes­day morn­ing. Her broth­er said she had been in the process of get­ting U.S. cit­i­zen­ship but hadn’t com­plet­ed it.

    Still held on bond are: Hujrah Wah­haj, 37, Sub­han­nah Wah­haj, 35, both sis­ters of Sir­aj Ibn Wah­haj, and Sub­han­nah Wahhaj’s hus­band, Lucas Allen Mor­ton, 40.

    The dis­trict attorney’s office on Wednes­day said it was appeal­ing the judge’s deci­sion.

    Rashid hopes none of them get out. They need to sit and get their minds in order, he said.
    ...

    So we’ll see if they do end up get­ting released.

    We’ll also see how much weird­er this sto­ry gets before it’s done. We’ve already got claims of faces in the sky, black mag­ic, and a dead child return­ing as Jesus. Can it even get and weird­er? We’ll see. We’re already in ‘Pet Ceme­tery Mus­lim Jesus’ weird­ness ter­ri­to­ry here. That’s a pret­ty high bar.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

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