Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Terrorists Close To Home

[Thanks to Dymphna at Gates of Vienna for alerting me to the article cited below]

Here is a paragaph sure to get the attention of Northern Virginia residents—except that, to my knowledge, the information hasn't appeared in the local newspapers. From the June 20, 2006 UK Times Online:
"In the Falls Plaza shopping mall, most preferred to chat about their historic city’s latest civic award for its floral displays and not its reputation as the jihad capital of America."
More from the UK Times on Line article "British Agents Trace 7/7 Terror Links to Smalltown America":
"BRITISH agents are operating in the United States to trace links with Islamic extremists from England who recruit Muslims to fight for terrorist groups abroad.

"The British-led investigation has played a part in identifying a number of US-based terrorists and helped the authorities in Washington to break up an al-Qaeda cell operating in Falls Church, Virginia.

"The agents are particularly keen to discover if the visitors included Mohammad Sidique Khan, leader of the July 7 suicide bombers, who is alleged to have travelled to America’s East Coast to meet fellow militants and stage a series of attacks on synagogues."
The article provides details about U.S.-born teacher and founder of the Falls Church Dar alArqam Center for Islamic Information Ali al-Tamimi. In January 2006, he was sentenced to life plus seventy years without possibility of parole for his role in attempting to recruit followers to go to Afghanistan to fight U.S. Forces.

The convictions go beyond that of al-Tamimi. A particular group of individuals known as "The Virginia Eleven" regularly attended the the Dar alArqam Center in Falls Church and have also been convicted of terrorism charges. A twelfth attendee of the center, Ahmed Abu Ali, member of Al-Qaeda, is serving a penitentiary term for plotting to assassinate President Bush.

Asi Asad Chandia, the most recently convicted of "The Virginia Eleven," was a teacher and personal assistant to al-Timimi. In addition, evidence appears to show that Asi Asad Chandia once worked as chauffeur to Mohammad Sidique Khan, leader of the 7/7 London bombers.

In the article, much is made of the fact that the Dar alArqam Center was a break-away from the Dar al-Hijrah Center, which we locals call "the Falls Church mosque." Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki, the former imam of that mosque, served as spiritual mentor to two of the 9/11 hijackers; he never faced any charges and is now in Yemen. The following is his comment about The Virginia Eleven:
"'They made inappropriate and irreponsible comments,' the imam said. 'Some did go to training camps but none fired a shot in anger, and once they were in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan and saw what it was really like, they soon had a change of heart and came home. They are guilty of thought crimes.'"
No word as to whether or not they might have fired a shot as participant in the highest jihad—killing infidels in the name of Allah.

Knowing that an al-Qaeda cell local to me has been broken up is comforting. But the UK Times Online article also contains the following statement:
"After al-Tamimi’s conviction, what was left of his group abandoned the Dar al-Arqam centre, which no longer has any links with fundamentalist groups. FBI sources say they are unsure what has happened to some of his followers."
The article concludes with the following:

Among the measures suggested by the task force which have yet to be taken up:

A public inquiry into 7/7 bombings

Rapid rebuttal unit to combat Islamophobia

National resource unit for development of curricula in mosques and madrassas, and guidelines for teachers

Programmes to “upskill” current imams

Muslim “beacon centres” to help small mosques and cultural centres

Set up and fund network of Muslim safety forums to promote meaningful partnership between community and police

Ministerial review of raids, stop and search and armed police activity

Correct the “alien” image of Islam in the national curriculum
Ah, the dhimmitude!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mosque At Quantico

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

From Paul Sperry's June 13, 2006 article in Front Page Magazine:
"Last week, military brass -- along with representatives from the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations -- dedicated the first Muslim prayer center for the Marines as a symbol of the military's 'religious tolerance' and 'respect' for the faith the enemy uses to attack us. Already, plans are in the works to build by 2009 a bigger mosque at the Marine base in Quantico so Muslim service members can have a 'proper place' to worship, and one that 'honors their religious heritage,' officials say, not realizing that the mosque can also be used by the enemy to build a Fifth Column inside the Marines.

"The idea for the center came from Navy Lt. Abuhena Mohammed Saifulislam, a young, smooth-talking Muslim chaplain, who wanted a permanent place of worship -- and 'education' -- for the growing number of soldiers who are interested in -- and converting to -- Islam.

"Quantico has only 24 Muslims on base..."
Twenty-four Muslims justifies having an Islamic prayer center on the Marine base? And there is already a mosque not too far away from Quantico--in Springfield, I think.

And who is the imam at the new center on the Marine base? His name is Navy Lt. Abuhena Mohammed Saifulislam. From the aforementioned article, a bit of background on Saifulislam:
"Saifulislam is clean-cut with a Colgate smile. The Pentagon gives him great latitude because he claims to be moderate.

"However, Saifulislam studied Islam at a hardline Wahhabi school in Virginia that was raided by federal authorities after 9-11. And one of his mentors is Taha Jaber Al-Alwani, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sami al-Arian terror case. Federal court records allege he gave at least $50,000 in jihad money 'to support suicide bombings' in Israel.

"Saifulislam, born in Bangladesh, insists he is only a Sunni Muslim and does not adhere to the faith's more orthodox and militant Wahhabi sect practiced by Osama bin Laden and his ilk. Still, his pro-jihad academic background should raise flags at the Pentagon."
The article concludes with the following:

"Several military officers chose to sit out the Quantico ceremony than hear deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England mouth 'salaams' to the Muslims in attendance. They think the mosque is misplaced, and don't trust its imam.

"'I have great concern about this young Muslim chaplain,' said Lt. Comm. Gary P. Stewart, also a Navy chaplain. 'I don't trust him.'

"The Pentagon's over-the-top gesture is only the latest sign that political correctness is running amok inside the military. Chief chaplains for the Navy, Army and Air Force routinely meet with top leaders from the Islamic Society of North America for PC powwows, even though ISNA is a Saudi-backed group with ties to terrorists. No matter, the Pentagon distributes ISNA literature on Islam and Muslims to help increase troops' 'sensitivity' toward Islam.

"The first principle of war is knowing your enemy and what motivates him. The PC-addled Pentagon seems to have forgotten that rule."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Trial in Maryland

Found via email notification from Jeffrey Imm of Washington, D.C. - Terrorism News...

Excerpt from Khaleej Times Online:
"ALEXANDRIA, Virginia - A third-grade teacher at a Muslim school in Maryland traveled to Pakistan shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, trained with a terrorist organization there and later served as chauffeur for one of that group’s leaders during his US travels, prosecutors said.

"Prosecutors and defense lawyers made their closing arguments Monday in the trial of Ali Asad Chandia, 29, who is charged with providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, an organization that supports Muslim control of the Kashmir territory on the India-Pakistan border. The US government declared Lashkar a terrorist organization in December 2001.

"Prosecutors have said that Lashkar served as a potential gateway for Americans and others who wanted to join the Taleban in neighboring Afghanistan in its fight against US troops in late 2001.

"The charges against Chandia stem from a government investigation of what prosecutors called a 'Virginia jihad network,' a group of young Muslim men who used paintball games in 2000 and 2001 as paramilitary training for holy war around the globe. Ten people have been convicted in that investigation, including the group’s spiritual leader, Ali al-Timimi, who was sentenced to life in prison for soliciting treason and urging group members to fight US troops in Afghanistan...

"The jury began its deliberations Monday afternoon."

Book Review: Future Jihad

In light of the recent arrests of terrorists on both sides of the Atlantic, the book reviewed here has assumed an important immediacy.

Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America, footnoted and indexed, is a riveting read. In its “Introduction,” Dr. Phares begins with a short and emotional description of the events of 9/11 and refers to the day as “The Pearl Harbor of Terrorism.” Having analyzed the jihad phenomenon for twenty-five years prior to 9/11, Dr. Walid Phares, an expert on the Middle East and a senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, seeks to answer ten questions:
(1) Why did the jihadists launch the attacks of September 11?
(2) Are the jihadists planning on future wars?
(3) What can we do about these jihadists?
(4) Are they at war with us? Why? Since when?
(5) What did they want to achieve?
(6) Why didn't we know about it?
(7) Who obstructed our knowledge of it?
(8) Are they planning on future wars?
(9) Have these wars already started?
(10) What can we do about them?
Future Jihad provides historical background and ideological information, but not in an overbearing or difficult-to-understand manner. The opening chapter points out that jihad, a religious duty within Islam, dates from the seventh century and was officially a state business. Perhaps the most chilling material in the book can be found in Chapters 13 and 15, “Projecting Future Jihad” and “America: Jihad’s Second Generation,” respectively. In his concluding chapter, Dr. Phares warns, with some urgency,
“At the end of the next decade, historians will be asking many questions and will face the dilemma of hindsight....[A] stalemate could have been reached as well, if by the middle of this decade several opportunities have been lost.”
This final chapter gravely advises that Americans need to go beyond what they learn in the “educational establishment, which is now becoming an isolated bastion of denial.”

Dr. Phares has done a lifetime of research and is fluent in Arabic, thus able to understand what is being said in various terrorist chat rooms. He believes that proper identification of the adversary and an orderly progression of steps offer hope. Nevertheless, he also points out that jihad is capable of mutation in that a rising generation of jihadists is capable of adaptation, thereby promoting a more sophisticated level of operations.

Dr. Phares' recent commentary on this generation of jihadists was published on June 5, 2006. Excerpt from the introduction to that interview:
"One of the greatest myths about the War on Terror is that our enemy is a static force. Instead, the facts show that since 9/11, Islamist terrorism has been growing and changing in a profoundly dangerous way...."
Dr. Phares’ web site is here, and he also contributes to Counterterrorism Blog, an informative site for current developments related to the topics raised in Dr. Phares' book.