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FBI’s Latest Outreach Outrage

by Steven Emer­son

Much has been writ­ten about the U.S. gov­ern­men­t’s cur­rent bout of schiz­o­phre­nia in its out­reach to the Amer­i­can Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty, specif­i­cal­ly relat­ed to the Depart­ment of Jus­tice. While fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors in Dal­las have labeled sev­er­al Islamist orga­ni­za­tions as unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tors – describ­ing them as front groups for Hamas and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood — in the ter­ror­ist financ­ing tri­al against the Holy Land for Relief and Devel­op­ment (HLF), the FBI is meet­ing with the very same groups to hold out­reach events and the Civ­il Rights Divi­sion of the DOJ is set­ting up booths at their con­fer­ences.

As wrong­head­ed and short­sight­ed as these poli­cies are, they do not hold a can­dle to a recent out­reach event held by the FBI’s Detroit field office at the end of last month. As report­ed in the Detroit Free Press (see: Detroit’s FBI chief: Vio­lence extrem­ism cuts across reli­gions), two top FBI offi­cials from that office “spoke to about 50 Mus­lims inside the Islam­ic Orga­ni­za­tion of North Amer­i­ca, or Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi.” The Free Press described the orga­ni­za­tion as mere­ly “a Sun­ni mosque with a pri­mar­i­ly Pak­istani con­gre­ga­tion” and tells us that the meet­ing was noth­ing more than “part of an effort by the FBI to reach out to Mus­lims and oth­er com­mu­ni­ties.”

While out­reach to the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty remains an impor­tant endeav­or, offi­cials at the FBI and oth­er law enforce­ment agen­cies have become far less dis­cern­ing in deter­min­ing who the gate­keep­ers and spokes­men for the Amer­i­can Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty should be.

Israr Ahmad

Take this recent meet­ing with Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi, a group found­ed in Pak­istan in 1975 and head­ed by a man named Dr. Israr Ahmad. The FBI might be unaware, but Ahmad is often cred­it­ed with ini­ti­at­ing the vicious rumor, spread through­out the Mus­lim world, that Israel was respon­si­ble for the 9/11 attacks. On the heels of the attacks, he sent fax­es to var­i­ous U.S. mosques and Islam­ic cen­ters, stat­ing:

The secret Israeli ser­vice Musad [sic] orches­trat­ed these ter­ror­ist attacks ... [which] are a vital link in the chain of events that the Jews are under­tak­ing to ful­fill their dream of world dom­i­na­tion.

It turns out that Dr. Ahmad is a rather pro­lif­ic writer on such top­ics, and anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries per­me­ate his writ­ing. Canada’s Nation­al Post report­ed in 2006 that, accord­ing to Ahmad:

Islam’s renais­sance will begin in Pak­istan … because the Arab world is liv­ing under sub­ju­ga­tion. Only the Pak­istan region “has the poten­tial for stand­ing up against the nefar­i­ous designs of the glob­al pow­er-bro­kers and to resist the ris­ing tides of the Jewish/Zionist hege­mo­ny.”

And that’s just the tip of the ice­berg when it comes to Ahmad’s opin­ions about Jews. Also report­ed in the Nation­al Post:

Anoth­er of his books repeats the Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pop­u­lar among neo-Nazis, claim­ing that Jews have “a deeply ingrained ten­den­cy to con­spire and to maneu­ver things sur­rep­ti­tious­ly for their own gain.”

The Jews exert a “wicked web of con­trol and exploita­tion” through their own­er­ship of banks, insur­ance com­pa­nies and stock exchanges, he claims.

He com­pares Jews to par­a­sites, calls the Holo­caust “Divine pun­ish­ment” and fore­sees the “total exter­mi­na­tion” of Jews at the hands of Mus­lims.

Ahmad lives in Pak­istan and did­n’t attend the meet­ing. But what’s the best that can be said about the FBI, whose offi­cials meet with mem­bers of a group found­ed by such a hate-filled man?

Ahmad’s views are not lim­it­ed to anti-Jew­ish rhetoric. He’s also a lead­ing advo­cate of Islam­ic suprema­cy and the revival of the Caliphate. A sim­ple trip to the Islam­ic Orga­ni­za­tion of North Amer­i­ca’s web­site would have led the FBI to arti­cles call­ing for this. Some of the links are now defunct (per­haps due to bad press from the Nation­al Post), but their con­tent can be judged clear­ly by their titles. Accord­ing to the Nation­al Post, the Tanzeem-e-Islami’s “goal is to estab­lish the sys­tem of social jus­tice of the Caliphate [Islam­ic state] first­ly in Pak­istan and then in the whole world,” and that Ahmad’s “ide­al state” would include the fol­low­ing three prin­ci­ples:

“(1) Sov­er­eign­ty belongs to Almighty Allah alone; (2) No leg­is­la­tion can be done at any lev­el that is total­ly or par­tial­ly repug­nant to Koran and Sun­nah, and; (3) Full cit­i­zen­ship of the state is for the Mus­lims only.”

And Dr. Ahmad is not shy about his objec­tive. An offi­cial bio states:

For the last forty years or so, Dr. Israr Ahmad has been active­ly engaged not only in reviv­ing the Qur’an-cen­tered Islam­ic peren­ni­al phi­los­o­phy and world-view but also reform­ing the soci­ety in a prac­ti­cal way with the ulti­mate objec­tive of estab­lish­ing a true Islam­ic State, or the Sys­tem of Khi­lafah.

And Tanzeem extrem­ism is not an abstract threat. There are real time exam­ples on North Amer­i­can soil. Just last month, the New York Times report­ed on an Islam­ic extrem­ist in North Car­oli­na, 21-year old Samir Khan, in an arti­cle titled, “An Inter­net Jihad Aims at U.S. View­ers.” As report­ed in the Times, before hook­ing up with Tanzeem, Khan:

[m]irrored his teenage peers, from their slang to their bag­gy pants, until August 2001 when, at age 15, he said, he attend­ed a week­long sum­mer camp at a mosque in Queens, which was spon­sored by a fun­da­men­tal­ist but non­vi­o­lent group now known as the Islam­ic Orga­ni­za­tion of North Amer­i­ca (IONA).

“They were teach­ing things about reli­gion and broth­er­hood that cap­ti­vat­ed me,” Mr. Khan said. He said he went back to school know­ing “what I want­ed to do with my life: be a firm Mus­lim, a strong Mus­lim, a prac­tic­ing Mus­lim.”

And now Khan is a lead­ing jiha­di web­mas­ter. And Dr. Ahmad would be proud of Khan, as Ahmad him­self came to the Unit­ed States to spread his rad­i­cal ver­sion of Islam, speak­ing at a con­fer­ence spon­sored by the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA) in 1995 – the same group that’s list­ed as an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor in the HLF Hamas fundrais­ing tri­al, and whose 2007 con­ven­tion in Illi­nois includ­ed a booth spon­sored by the Civ­il Rights Divi­sion of the Depart­ment of Jus­tice.

At the 1995 con­fer­ence, Ahmad report­ed­ly told the audi­ence, “The process of the revival of Islam in dif­fer­ent parts of the world is real. A final show­down between the Mus­lim world and the non-Mus­lim world, which has been cap­tured by the Jews, would soon take place. The Gulf War was just a rehearsal for the com­ing conf
lict.” Ahmad said that all Mus­lims, includ­ing those in the room and the rest of the Amer­i­can Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty, should be ready for just such a bat­tle.

Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi mem­ber and stu­dent of Ahmad, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, was the “prayer leader” at the Al-Rah­man Islam­ic Cen­ter and alleged spir­i­tu­al leader of a 17-mem­ber cell that pur­chased three tons of ammo­ni­um nitrate to bomb sev­er­al tar­gets in Ontario includ­ing the par­lia­ment build­ing in Ottawa, and the CN Tow­er and Cana­di­an Secu­ri­ty and Intel­li­gence Ser­vice offices in Toron­to. The arrests of Abdul Jamal and his fol­low­ers were a part of a series of raids in Europe and North Amer­i­ca – that began in Bosnia with the arrest of a two-man cell charged in a plot to attack the British embassy in Sara­je­vo – all con­nect­ed to a world­wide Inter­net ter­ror­ism net­work with links to al Qae­da in Iraq, among oth­er ter­ror­ist ele­ments.

Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi mem­bers have also part­nered with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group, the Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety (MAS), whose Pres­i­dent was forced to resign in Sep­tem­ber from his appoint­ment on the Vir­gini­a’s Com­mis­sion of Immi­gra­tion, when his rad­i­cal speech­es were post­ed on the Inter­net. The groups issued a joint press release in 2004 dis­cussing their “uni­ty of pur­pose.” As fur­ther evi­dence of their coop­er­a­tion, recent­ly, both groups became mem­bers of an out­fit call­ing itself the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Islam­ic Coun­cil.

Exac­er­bat­ing this abject igno­rance of some FBI offi­cials are the remarks by Spe­cial Agent in Charge Andrew Are­na to Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi mem­bers describ­ing the dan­gers of extrem­ists in every reli­gion. Accord­ing to the Free Press, Are­na told the assem­bled audi­ence, “There are plen­ty of peo­ple out there in my faith, the Chris­t­ian faith, who use these extrem­ist views to sup­port their thoughts on racial supe­ri­or­i­ty, be it the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazis, Aryan Nation, all these peo­ple, these groups...they’re all based on a reli­gious view.” So aside from pro­vid­ing an Islam­ic suprema­cist sect with more ammu­ni­tion to jus­ti­fy its own anti-West­ern views, what exact­ly is Are­na hop­ing to accom­plish with his meet­ing?

Iron­i­cal­ly, Agent Are­na could not have been more obliv­i­ous to the nature of the group he was address­ing. The same sto­ry states, “Are­na said after the meet­ing that in ‘every reli­gion, you have indi­vid­u­als who try to hijack the faith...the Mus­lim faith, the Jew­ish faith, the Chris­t­ian faith.’ ” In case the exam­ples of Ahmad’s hatred and Islam­ic suprema­cy list­ed above are not enough to con­vince Agent Are­na just who the hijack­ers in this sce­nario are, here are some more of Dr. Ahmad’s reli­gious stylings:

In an arti­cle titled, “Why Israel Is Unac­cept­able,” Ahmad refers to Israel as a dis­ease, assert­ing:

Pak­istan was born nine months ear­li­er than Israel. In my opin­ion this was not a coin­ci­dence. For, in accor­dance with a say­ing of the Prophet (SAW) — “Allah (SWT) has not cre­at­ed a dis­ease with­out cre­at­ing its cure” — Pak­istan was cre­at­ed as an “anti­dote” to the state of Israel and will face up Israel in the final con­fronta­tion of Truth and false­hood.

And he engages in more of his trade­mark, vir­u­lent anti-Semi­tism, writ­ing:

It is a his­tor­i­cal fact that Jews have always exploit­ed their friends and allies to their own advan­tage.

Dr. Ahmad delves fur­ther into Nazi rhetoric, inform­ing his read­ers that:

[t]he Jews have exploit­ed the Protes­tants to accom­plish most of their ill-con­ceived objec­tives, such as: the pro­mo­tion of sec­u­lar­ism and the estab­lish­ment of inter­est-based bank­ing sys­tem. The bank­ing sys­tem was used as a bait to clutch the whole of Chris­t­ian world into the jaws of inter­est-based lend­ing and, thus, into per­pet­u­al debt.

And, unsur­pris­ing­ly, he views the Arab-Israeli con­flict through a, some may say, “hijacked” reli­gious lens:

We need to under­stand that the con­flict over Pales­tine is not between the Arabs and Israel, instead, it is between Mus­lims and Jews.

Lest FBI offi­cials claim that the mem­bers of Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi should not be held respon­si­ble for the hate-filled rant­i­ngs of its leader, a Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi pub­li­ca­tion call­ing for the restora­tion of the Islam­ic Caliphate titled, “Why Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi?” (pub­lished in Flush­ing NY in 1997), has a page for a signed “Oath of Alle­giance For Join­ing Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi” which includes a “pledge to Dr. Israr Ahmad, Ameer of Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi.”

It seems obvi­ous that many gov­ern­ment offi­cials are hard­ly dis­cern­ing when it comes to deci­sions regard­ing Mus­lim out­reach and part­ner­ship pro­grams. After all, head­quar­ters-direct­ed FBI out­reach poli­cies, of which this inci­dent is symp­to­matic, require rou­tine meet­ings and coop­er­a­tion with mem­bers of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front groups like the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) and ISNA. Even so, the Detroit field office’s meet­ing with a Tanzeem-e-Isla­mi chap­ter stands out as high­ly dubi­ous, giv­en its founders’ unapolo­getic brand of anti-Semi­tism and anti-Amer­i­can­ism.

Meet­ing with orga­ni­za­tions such as the Islam­ic Orga­ni­za­tion of North Amer­i­ca accrues no ben­e­fits to the FBI and only serves to empow­er extrem­ists such as Ahmad in his quest to spread his puri­tan­i­cal, hate­ful, and intol­er­ant ide­ol­o­gy. These FBI out­reach poli­cies imposed by head­quar­ters are under­min­ing our nation­al secu­ri­ty by reach­ing out to rad­i­cals in our midst.


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