Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Power Of CAIR

In re: Michael Graham's suspension from D. C. talk-radio station WMAL

CAIR's official website, however, provides some interesting information in their news release of Friday, July 29, 2005, excerpted below:

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a Washington, D.C., radio station’s decision to suspend without pay a talk show host who stated repeatedly that 'Islam is a terrorist organization.' CAIR said WMAL-AM morning host Michael Graham should be fired for his Islamophobic remarks, for other statements made before and after the most recent controversy and for his refusal to apologize for those comments.

"When first contacted by CAIR, WMAL stood behind Graham, but changed its position after hundreds of people responded to the group’s action alerts bycontacting the station and its sponsors. In a statement, WMAL President and General Manager Chris Berry said that Graham would be suspended... 'We do not condone his position and believe his statements were irresponsible,' said Berry. (WMAL is owned by the Walt Disney Co.)....

"The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group this week initiated a public campaign against WMAL and the station’s advertisers after receiving complaints from Muslim listeners who heard Graham..."

Yesterday, Michael Graham posted the following on his website:

"As a talk show host, author and columnist, I've repeatedly criticized the current state of Islam and called for its reform. As for the "controversial" statement that 'Sadly, as it is constituted today, Islam IS a terrorist organization, but the good news is that the major of Muslims--who don't support terror--can change that and take back their religion,' I first made that statement on the air last Thursday.

"Did I get suspended Thursday? No. Friday? No.Monday? No.

"It wasn't until CAIR launched its campaign against me in the mainstream media..."

On his website, Graham gives information as to how to support him and also states,

"Trust me: CAIR is not playing games. They are making threats and shaking down our advertisers and trying to intimidate everyone concerned. The worst part is that, in the past, it has almost always worked for CAIR. They've managed to scare a lot of people into silence.

"But not everyone."

Graham is correct that not everyone is scared into silence. Just look at the blogosphere! Whether or not CAIR's tactics will work in Graham's case remains to be seen. Could it be that, this time, citizens will check into exactly what kind of organization CAIR is? Or will Americans' short memories allow Graham's case to be forgotten?

At the end of the CAIR news release is a list of contacts, the first of which is Ibrahim Hooper.

According to Daniel Pipes,
"Ibrahim Hooper...told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 4, 1993: 'I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.'"

Mr. Pipes also has provided information about other individuals affililiated with CAIR:

"Randall Royer, CAIR's communications specialist and civil rights coordinator, was indicted on charges of conspiring to help Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to battle American troops in Afghanistan. He later pled guilty to lesser firearm-related charges and was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

"Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR's Texas chapter, was convicted in July 2004 along with his four brothers of having illegally shipped computers from their Dallas-area business, InfoCom Corporation, to Libya and Syria, two designated state sponsors of terrorism. In April of 2005, Elashi and two brothers were also convicted of knowingly doing business with Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader and Specially Designated Terrorist. He continues to face charges that he provided more than $12.4 million to Hamas while he was running the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), America's largest Islamic charity.

"Bassem Khafagi, CAIR's community relations director, pleaded guilty in September 2003 to lying on his visa application and for passing bad checks for substantial amounts in early 2001, for which he was deported. Khafagi was also a founding member and president of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an organization under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for terrorism related activities.

"Rabih Haddad, a CAIR fundraiser, was arrested on terrorism-related charges and deported from the United States due to his subsequent work as executive director of the Global Relief Foundation, a charity he co-founded; in October 2002, GRF was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for financing Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. According to a CAIR complaint, Homam Albaroudi, a member of CAIR's Michigan chapter and also a founding member and executive director of the IANA also founded the Free Rabih Haddad Committee.

"Siraj Wahhaj, a CAIR advisory board member, was named in 1995 by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as a possible unindicted co-conspirator in connection with the plot to blow up New York City landmarks led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman.

"Ihsan Bagby, a future CAIR board member, stated in the late 1980s that Muslims' can never be full citizens of this country,' referring to the United States, 'because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.'

"Omar Ahmad, CAIR's chairman, announced in July 1998 that 'Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.'"

CAIR presents itself as a representative of mainstream Islam. Do those statements represent mainstream Islam? If so, we are in deep, deep trouble.I urge interested readers to visit the above article written by Daniel Pipes. If you visit, have a look at the comments too.

Friday, July 29, 2005

WMAL suspends Michael Graham

By now, the blogosphere knows that WMAL Radio suspended Michael Graham for the comments he made about Islam. Read the post No Freedom of Speech for Michael Graham on contributor Always on Watch's own blog.

WMAL has demonstrated that it doesn't care about its listeners and chose to cave into the Saudi-financed terrorism-enabling pressure group CAIR instead. Although CAIR advises its minions of writers to be polite (no doubt knowing the violent rhetoric and actions of Muslims), I can only surmise that WMAL was subject to threats and intimidation from the elements within the Muslim community.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Yemeni sheikh sentenced to 75 years

A follow-up to our March 17, 2005 posting Yemeni Cleric, Aide Convicted in New York:

Terror Supporter Gets 75 Years

Sheikh Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad was sentenced to 75 years in prison on Thursday for conspiring to support and fund al Qaeda and Hamas and fined $1.25 million in federal court in Brooklyn. Alhamdulillah.

Mohamed Alanssi, the man who set himself afire outside the White House last November, served as an FBI informant to lure al-Moayad to Germany. The CBS News article says that Alanssi said that the self-immolation was an effort to get more money from the FBI.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Muslim World League raided ... again

From the Washington Post via Robert Spencer's indispensable Jihad Watch, the FBI and DHS agents raided the offices of the Muslim World League at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church. As noted in the March 15, 2005 posting The Muslim Brotherhood's Conquest of Europe - Middle East Quarterly - Winter 2005 on this blog, the Muslim World League is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and is generously funded by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The WML was previously raided in 2002, but was not charged.

Also, Abdullah Alnoshan, 44, a Saudi citizen who worked at WML was charged with immigration fraud. No surprise that Ashraf Nubani, an occasional subject on Northern Virginiastan, is serving as Alnoshan's lawyer

CAIR targets WMAL Radio host

I have long regarded CAIR a pressure group that carries out witch hunts against anyone who dares to criticize Islam ... and that was long before several of its officials were sentenced for their roles in enabling terrorism. Now CAIR is training its sights on WMAL radio host Michael Graham. I do not listen to WMAL, and I don't fully agree with Graham's using the Boy Scouts as an analogy, as the BSA has an identifiable structure and Islam does not, but this story is typical of CAIR's tactics. With thanks to loyal friends from Springfield:
Muslims Call Comments by WMAL Host 'Hate-Filled'

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 26, 2005; C01

A local radio talk show host touched off complaints from an Islamic civil rights organization yesterday after repeatedly describing Islam on the air as "a terrorist organization" that is "at war with America."

The organization, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), asked the station to take disciplinary action against Michael Graham, who hosts WMAL-AM's late-morning call-in program.

A station executive, Randall Bloomquist, said yesterday that Graham's comments were "amped up" but justified within the context of the program. He said the station, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., had no plans to reprimand Graham.

The show host touched off the flap during a discussion of the Muslim community's response to recent acts of terrorism. Graham suggested the fault lies with Muslims generally because religious leaders and followers haven't done enough to condemn and root out extreme elements. "The problem is not extremism," Graham said, according to both CAIR and the station. "The problem is Islam." He also said, "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam."

CAIR denounced the comments yesterday as "hate-filled" and "Islamophobic" and asked its members to contact the station's advertisers to express their dismay.

"It's amazing," said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's communications director. "I talked with Mr. Bloomquist and asked him if he would reprimand someone who used the n-word on the air. He said yes. I asked him if he would reprimand someone who read [approvingly] from the [anti-Semitic] 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion.' He said yes. So I asked him if he would do the same if someone had called Islam a terroristic organization. Well, he said, it's all about context, but he never quite explained it to me."

Added Hooper, "The First Amendment allows people to be idiots and bigots. All you can do is embarrass people and have them defend their reputation. If WMAL doesn't feel embarrassed and doesn't want to defend its reputation in the face of anti-Muslim bigotry, then there's not much we can do about it."

Graham, who broadcasts locally, is one of several conservative hosts heard on WMAL (630). The station's daily lineup includes the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity programs.

After rising slightly during the months preceding the presidential election last year, WMAL's audience ratings have fallen precipitously. Exact ratings for Graham's 9-11:45 a.m. time slot are unavailable, but WMAL's morning programming, which includes part of Graham's program, are off 25 percent since last year. The station overall has lost 41 percent of its core 25-to-54-year-old audience in the past 12 months, dropping from 158,200 individual listeners per week to 116,600.

Graham declined to comment when contacted yesterday, saying, "I'm saving all my comments for my show. You'll just have to listen." But in his weekly column, which will appear on WMAL's Web site today, he repeats the statement that "Islam is a terror organization" and makes the following analogy:

"If the Boy Scouts of America had 1,000 Scout troops, and 10 of them practiced suicide bombings, then the BSA would be considered a terrorist organization. If the BSA refused to kick out those 10 troops, that would make the case even stronger. If people defending terror repeatedly turned to the Boy Scout handbook and found language that justified and defended murder --and the scoutmasters responded by saying 'Could be' -- the Boy Scouts would have been driven out of America long ago.

"Today, Islam has whole sects and huge mosques that preach terror. Its theology is openly used to give the murderers their motives. Millions of its members give these killers comfort. The question isn't how dare I call Islam a terrorist organization, but rather why more people do not."

Bloomquist said his station had received more than 100 e-mails protesting Graham's comments, many of them, he said, apparently generated by CAIR's e-mails to its members. He went on to defend Graham, saying, "Remember that this is talk radio. We don't do the dainty minuet of the newspaper editorial page. It's not 'Washington Week in Review.' It depends on pungent statements to drive it. Michael is rattling the cage. It's designed to start and further a conversation, and it has certainly done that."

Graham made waves earlier this year when he scuffled with Montgomery County police after he tried to attend an event for illegal immigrants while wearing a T-shirt that read "INS (I Need Border Security)." He also recently led a rally in front of The Washington Post's building in the District seeking the dismissal of Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, who wrote a story that inaccurately reported on alleged abuses of the Koran in the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba (Newsweek is owned by The Washington Post Co.).

Graham has also clashed with CAIR in the past. The group last year cited him in a campaign called "Hate Hurts America" for what CAIR described as implicitly advocating violence against Muslims.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

Follow-Up To Posting Of July 23, 2005

Metro Bolsters Staff Training On Security
More Frequent Instruction To Include Janitorial Crew
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 27, 2005

All citizens should be on heightened alert and should take appropriate steps so as to prevent a terrorist attack of the same type as the 7/7 London bombings. Metro officials are now taking steps to promote more efficiency in their responses to reports of suspicious items. Excerpts from the Washington Post article state the following:

"Starting next month, Metro will give quarterly security training to more than 1,100 station managers, train operators and janitors, prompted by the bombings in London, transit officials said yesterday.

"Currently, those employees undergo security training when they are hired. The subway's 469 station managers receive yearly refresher courses, and its 475 train operators must know security procedures in order to be recertified every two years.

"But Steven A. Feil, Metro's chief operating officer for rail, said yesterday that the level of preparation is insufficient. 'You can't have awareness training every two years if you're in Code Orange,' Feil said. 'It's not enough.'

"The decision comes after an episode on a Blue Line train last week in which transit officials allowed an unattended backpack to travel on a train through two stations before inspecting it.

"The incident sparked panic among riders, some of whom ran from the train, and raised questions about Metro's response to potential threats during times of elevated fear about terrorism....

"Metro's investigation into last week's Blue Line incident continued yesterday, and officials said they had yet to take disciplinary action....

"The operator, who has been in her job for seven years, contacted Metro's central control and was ordered to inspect the backpack, [Metro spokeswoman] Smith said. The operator walked to the last car to look at the backpack, which was on the floor in the aisle, and decided that it did not pose a threat, Smith said. She made that determination based on Metro's criteria, which includes checking for exposed wires, leaking fluid and vapors.

"Satisfied that the bag was innocuous, the train operator returned to her cab and moved the train out of the station. Leaving the backpack untouched in the last car was mistake...

"'It appears the operator made an error in judgment after determining that the backpack was not suspicious,'" Smith said.

"'Instead, she should have either taken it herself to the end of the line and returned it to lost and found, or handed it off to the station manager at Federal Triangle. She also apparently did not clearly communicate to customers on the train."

Monday, July 25, 2005

Virginia man pleads guilty for lying on citizenship application

From Inside ICE: Volume 2, Issue 15, with thanks to loyal friends from Springfield:

Virginia Man Who Lied About Ties to Terror Pleads Guilty

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Virginia man investigated by ICE and FBI agents assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force has pleaded guilty to lying on his application for United States citizenship.

Maher Amin Jaradat, a 43-year-old Israeli-born Palestinian and naturalized U.S. citizen, entered a guilty plea July 14 to fraudulently procuring U.S. citizenship.

Jaradat submitted an application for U.S. citizenship with immigration authorities in March 1995, and in June 1995 appeared before immigration authorities where he swore under oath that the contents of the application were true, even though he knew the application contained false statements.

He also failed to disclose that he had been a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) for 16 months beginning in 1980; that he had also studied bomb-making and the use of small arms at a training camp in Syria run by DFLP, an organization involved in terrorist activities; and that he had engaged in security duties in Lebanon. Jaradat also did not disclose that, beginning in 1981, he had also been a member of al-Fatah, an organization responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and airplane hijackings.

In addition, Jaradat falsely claimed that he had never been arrested, cited, charged, indicted, convicted, fined or imprisoned for breaking or violating any law or ordinance, when in fact, he had been arrested for assault and battery in the city of Alexandria, Va. in 1990.

“U.S. citizenship is a privilege. Those who attempt to gain it through fraud, especially by concealing their affiliation with violent militant groups, will be pursued vigorously by ICE,” said ICE Washington, D.C. Special Agent-in-Charge Allan J. Doody.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Insecurity On Metro Rail

After the second round of London mass-transit bombings within two weeks, a comforting headline appeared above the fold on the front page of the Washington Post on July 22, 2005:
Metro Patrols Grow As Security Tightens.

Much of the article focused on the feasibility of bag searches of the type which the NYC Police are conducting. Apparently, Washington, D.C., is going to wait to see how the random bag-searches work in New York before employing such searches here.

Meanwhile, Metro has issued some guidelines for the public to follow, including the following:
"Federal agents and police officials urged citizens to look for suspicious behavior on the area's Metro and rail systems..."

Metro's official guidelines contain these words, directed to the riders themselves:
"Be observant. Watch what people bring onto trains. Look to make sure they don't leave behind packages or bags....To report such incidents, use the intercoms, call transit police or call 911."

Yet, when, on the very next day, Metro riders reported one such package left behind, response on the part of Metro was delayed:
"Jittery about the bombings in London and told to be vigilant, Metro riders spotted an unattended backpack yesterday on the last car of a Blue Line train and did exactly as officials have been urging. They alerted the train operator.

"But the suspicious bag stayed on Train 401 as it rolled through two more stations Metro Center, a major hub, and McPherson Square, a few blocks from the White House -- before Metro officials took the train out of service and inspected the backpack...."
Blessedly, the abandoned backpack turned out to be a false alarm and contained two baseball bats belonging to a forgetful child. Nevertheless, the incident shows just how vulnerable Metro is--not only because it is a mass-transit system but also because the proper steps were not taken. In fact, when one of the riders contacted a security officer after the train had already proceeded unchecked through two stops, the officer contacted at that point admitted that he had received no previous notification of a suspicious package.

In what may be the ultimate irony, Donnelly had the following experience after the incident was resolved:
"Shaken by yesterday's incident aboard the Blue Line train, Donnelly sent an e-mail complaint to Metro. She received an automated reply, thanking her for her e-mail.

"The reply also reminded her to report anything suspicious on the Metro system."
Even before the incident cited above, Metro riders seemed to have adopted a fatalistic attitude, as found in the first article:
"At Metro Center yesterday afternoon, James Washington, 54, of Brookland changed trains for a trip to Silver Spring. He had heard about the bombings, but the news did not change his plans.

"'There's not much you can do,' Washington said. 'These people have shown thateven if you prepare for it, if they want to do something they're going to do it. It doesn't matter if you have all kinds of security or not. You have to keep going.'

"Nearby, Chad Pipan and his wife, Julie, of Modesto, Calif., said that they had just heard the news over lunch and that they hesitated only momentarily before getting on another train to head to Arlington National Cemetery.

"'If they want to bomb something, there's not really something we can do about it,' Chad Pipan said."
Is this an attitude one that our Founding Fathers would endorse? Just accept this way of life? Hunkering down for a crisis to pass is one thing; indefinitely living in a state of siege is another.

We must, somehow, turn around the crisis-management mode in which we've become locked.

Step One is the renewal of the Patriot Act. As Robin Leach said on Fox News on July 22, 2005:
"We are living in war conditions." In wartime, civil liberties sometimes have to be temporarily curtailed in the interest of national and personal security.

Step Two is to follow through on security guidelines. It is inexcusable for those who have sworn to enforce security to assume a lackadaisical attitude, even in the face of false alarms. Just because bombings such as London has endured have not occurred here does not mean that they won't. Denying the enemy soft targets requires constant vigilance from citizens and from security officials. Any break in the chain of security will eventually have fatal consequences.

Step Three is to employ criminal profiling. Seditious and treasonous words, including but not limited to what goes on inside mosques and Islamic centers, should result in rapid and effective prosecution. With free speech come responsibility and certain limitations, and in wartime, that responsibility and those limitations assume grave importance. Cutting off the funding of jihadists is a corollary to step three, and relying on Saudi oil-supplies funds to the Wahhabists.

Talking about understanding Islam and about reform within Islam is just so many words, not a proactive step. Furthermore, such reform is not a step we Westerners can take. Islam must reform itself. And those who are not jihadists cannot afford to wait too long for such hypothetical reform to take place. Reform is a process, not a definitive turning point in and of itself.

In the meantime, I won't be riding Metro.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Legal Issues In The Al-Timimi Trial

Renowned Middle Eastern scholar Daniel Pipes has commented on this recent trial here in Virginia. :

"Comment: The legal track is another theater – and one of the better ones, actually – for figuring out exactly what is the relationship of radical Islam to Islam, of ideology to religion. As Blum points out,

"'The case illustrates the difficulty in prosecuting suspected terrorists who subscribe to a form of militant Islam, without airing tenets of the religion itself before a jury. And it raises the question of how far is too far whenit comes to using a defendant's religious beliefs as evidence of criminal intent. The issue will likely continue to confront judges as more cases against accused terrorists come to trial.'"

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Praise be to Allah.

From Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch, news that Ali Al-Timimi, the spiritual leader for the Virginia jihadist "paintball" gang, has been sentenced to life in prison for exhorting his followers to engage in jihad against the U.S.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Putting Islam on the Stand

From Legal Times via Robert Spencer's Dhimmi Watch:

Edward MacMahon, the Middleburg lawyer who defended Ali Al-Timimi, is now trying to seek a new trial on the grounds that prosecutors secured the guilty verdict by appealing to religious bigotry against Muslims. The prosecutor told jurors that Al-Timimi would lie and couldn't be trusted to tell the truth on account of his religious belief.

Spencer cites the Quran 16:606:

any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief - except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty

In the Legal Times article, MacMahon draws equivalencies between verses from the Quran and verses from the Bible:

'Since the attacks of Sept. 11, MacMahon, who also represents convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, has received a crash course in Islam. But during a recent interview, it was a story from the Old Testament -- the violent tale of the Battle of Jericho -- that was on the 44-year-old Catholic's mind.

According to the Bible, Joshua leads a force of 40,000 to take over the land of Canaan. After sending spies into a brothel to gather intelligence, the force conquers the city and slaughters its inhabitants, claiming the land as its own.

"If I told the story to a crowd of Christians, would I be telling them to go lie or to kill or to seek out prostitutes? Would I be responsible for inciting a riot?" MacMahon asks.'

Of course not. The story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho is told as history, while Muslims believe that Allah is speaking directly to them (indeed, many of the verses are stated as imperatives). Another attempt to draw moral equivalencies between Islam on one hand and Christianity and Judaism on the other.

Read the whole of the Legal Times article. You'll be appalled at the proposals and suggestions, which will subvert the judicial system.

Vienna resident Louay Habbal pleads guilty to running unlicensed money transfer business

Northern Virginiastan has been tracking the case of Louay Habbal.

From the Washington Times (hat tip to friends in Springfield):

Virginian pleads guilty to illegal fund service
By Jerry Seper
Published July 9, 2005

A Virginia man arrested in March by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at Washington Dulles International Airport upon his arrival from Damascus, Syria, has pleaded guilty in federal court to operating an unlicensed money service business from his Vienna home.

Louay Habbal, 45, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Syria, entered the plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris scheduled sentencing for Oct. 7.

"We know that terrorists and other criminals use illegal money transfers to support themselves and to fund their operations," said U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty, whose office prosecuted the case. "While there is no evidence of a link to terrorism in this case, we aggressively prosecute unlicensed money transmitters to deprive terrorists and other criminals of a potential vehicle to facilitate their crimes."

Habbal was arrested March 15 by ICE agents and members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force after his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of operating Mena Exchange, an unlicensed money transmittal business, from his residence in Vienna.

As part of the guilty plea, Habbal agreed to forfeit $114,237 and admitted receiving more than $6 million from customers in the United States between December 2003 and March 2005. The money was deposited in bank accounts in Virginia and elsewhere.

Authorities said that after taking a portion of the deposits as a fee, Habbal transferred the remaining funds to other entities for further transfer to persons overseas who had been designated by his U.S. customers.

Habbal also admitted that he advertised his business through a Web site called, and that although he was aware he needed a Virginia state license to operate such a business, he operated without obtaining the license.

Authorities said the Web site described Mena Exchange as a service provided by Mena First Capital LLC, which transmitted funds between the United States, the Middle East and North Africa.

"This case demonstrates the threat posed by unlicensed money transmittal businesses," said ICE Agent Allan Doody, who heads the agency's Washington field office. "Any criminal or terrorist can come to these underground businesses and have their millions wired anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds with no questions asked."

The case was investigated by the Annandale HIDTA Money Laundering Initiative, an ICE-led group composed of task force officers from the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Virginia State Police, the Virginia Attorney General's Office, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Metropolitan D.C. Police, Prince William County Police, Arlington Police and Alexandria Police.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Mellin and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lombardo.

Who's Minding the U.S. Universities?

The blogosphere is aroil with articles about the July 7, 2005 London bombings. This day of atrocity happened "across the pond," but signs points to the strong possibility that another 9/11 will happen here in the United States.

According to the following excerpts from an article in the U.K.'s Times Online, univerisites are fertile ground for the recruitment of terrorists:

"AL-QAEDA is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country, leaked Whitehall documents reveal.

"A network of 'extremist recruiters' is circulating on campuses targeting people with 'technical and professional qualifications', particularly engineering and IT degrees....

"Most of the Al-Qaeda recruits tend to be loners 'attracted to university clubs based on ethnicity or religion' because of 'disillusionment with their current existence'. British-based terrorists are made up of different ethnic groups, according to the documents.

“They range from foreign nationals now naturalised and resident in the UK, arriving mainly from north Africa and the Middle East, to second and third generation British citizens whose forebears mainly originate from Pakistan or Kashmir.

“In addition . . . a significant number come from liberal, non-religious Muslim backgrounds or (are) only converted to Islam in adulthood. These converts include white British nationals and those of West Indian extraction.”...

"The former Scotland Yard chief, who retired earlier this year, said that on one weekend more than 1,000 undercover officers had been deployed, monitoring a group of suspected terrorists. He said that he believed last week’s attackers were almost certainly British-born, 'brought up here and totally aware of British life and values'.

“'There’s a sufficient number of people in this country willing to be Islamic terrorists that they don’t have to be drafted in from abroad,' he said."

Take the above excerpts and selectively substitute American for British. Then think about all the universities in the D.C. Metro area.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Washington Times profiles Shaker Elsayed

Today's Washington Times featured an article about our old buddy Shaker Elsayed, now imam at Dar Al Hijrah Mosque AKA the 9-11 mosque (hat tip to Always on Watch and friends from Springfield):

Activist imam puts politics into sermons

The voice of the new imam at one of the largest mosques on the East Coast rang loud from the pulpit during Friday services: "The call to reform Islam is an alien call."

People who do not understand Islam are the ones seeking to change it, said Shaker Elsayed, the new spiritual leader at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church.

"Ignorance comes from outside circles who know nothing about us," Mr. Elsayed said during noon services to more than 500 men and women, with women worshipping in a separate room. It was one of three services Dar al-Hijrah holds every Friday.

Mr. Elsayed, who assumed duties as imam of the mosque June 1, is well known in the Muslim community for his political activism.

He has served as secretary general of the Muslim American Society, an advocacy group that some accuse of promoting a fundamentalist strain of Islam.

He also has served as an unofficial spokesman for the family of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who is accused of joining al Qaeda while studying overseas and plotting to assassinate President Bush. Mr. Abu Ali grew up in Falls Church and worshipped at Dar al-Hijrah.

Mr. Elsayed has accused the Justice Department of unfairly targeting Mr. Abu Ali and other young Muslims for prosecution.

Perhaps not surprisingly then, Mr. Elsayed's sermons take a political tone.

"Islam forbids you to give allegiance to those who kick you off your homeland, and to those who support those who kick you off your homeland," he told worshippers. "We do have license to respond with all force necessary to answer our attackers."

Mr. Elsayed explained after the sermon that opposition to U.S. policy in the Middle East is different than viewing the American people as the enemy.

Asked his views on militant groups such as Hamas, which the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization, Mr. Elsayed compared Hamas to Nelson Mandela's African National Congress -- organizations that resorted to violent resistance only after decades of injustice.

"Everybody jumps on Hamas," Mr. Elsayed said. "When did Hamas first emerge? 1990 or so? Look at how long Israel has occupied [Palestinian lands]. How long did it take to say enough is enough?"

Still, he said support for Hamas' objectives does not mean he always supports the group's tactics, which have included suicide bombings.

"Islam calls for the minimum effective response to aggression," Mr. Elsayed said.