Saturday, August 07, 2004

GLOBAL JIHAD AND THE SENSE OF CRISIS: AL-QA`IDAH’S OTHER FRONT

William's Note: here's another great article by Reuven PAZ from Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S)


By Reuven Paz*

*Reuven Paz is founder and director of the Project for Research of Islamist Movements (PRISM), GLORIA Center, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzeliya. Prism was founded in 2002, in order to combine academic and field research of new developments of radical Islam and Islamist movements.
PRISIM web site is -- www.e-prism.org


The war against Iraq – apocalyptic visions
The war against Iraq and the period of preparations for it and the international debate over it, is naturally accompanied by reactions of Qa`idat al-Jihad, its front groups, and its many supporters and sympathizers in the Arab and Muslim world. It serves also as an important element in recruiting and creating more anti-American, anti-Western, and anti-Jewish feelings among much wider circles of Arabs and Muslims. Furthermore, it is also a source of apocalyptic visions for many Muslim youngsters, who express their views freely through the “virtual global Jihad” of the Internet.

Many of these supporters look at Qa`idat al-Jihad and the Taliban, as “those who raise the black banners” (Ashab al-rayat al-sud), who would come from the East on the eve of the Islamic victory and proclaim the end of the world, to pave the way for the appearance of the Mahdi. The longest article on this topic so far, based on many Islamist sources, was placed on the net in March 9th 2003, by its author Usamah Azzam1. The author based his consequences not just on primary sacred Islamic sources, but also on the writings of contemporary scholars, mainly Abu Qutadah al-Filastini2 , one of the leading scholars of global Jihad in the Arab world and Europe, and his famous book Ma`alim Al-Tai’fah al-Mansurah (Characteristics of the secured community).

Azzam’s main conclusions are:

1. We are facing the coming end of the world:
“Following the above said, is there anyone that still doubts that we are approaching the end of the world? Does anyone think that the hour is far? We are on the eve of the total dismantling that would be followed by our clear victory”.


2. The characteristics of “the owners of the black banners and the secured community” are identical to al-Qa`idah and the Taliban:
“I have no doubt that the leaders of the Mujahidin of Al-Qa`idah and the Taliban are the owners of the black banners who will assist the Mahdi.”



The reader should decide whom to support: Qa`idat al-Jihad, Taliban, and the Mujahidin? The Arab and Muslim governments and their clerics and Islamic establishments, which insist on naming themselves Muslims? Or the Crusader West and the enemies of Allah on earth.

“Who is going to support the Mahdi except these men and clerics, and their followers? After this war, which has no precedence in human history and in the fight between the community of the believers and the Devil and its followers, does anyone doubt that these are the days of the Mahdi?”


1 Usamah Azzam, Hal Taliban wal-Qa`idah hum ashab al-rayat al-sud? 9 March 2003. See on-line in: www.dawh.net/vb/showthread.threadid?php=12125

2 Omar Mahmoud Abu Omar “Abu Qutadah” was arrested in London in November 2002, after the British authorities were looking for him for about a year. He resides in the United Kingdom since 1993, under political asylum. Abu Qutadah, with his Jordanian-Palestinian colleague Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (now under arrest in Jordan), are the leading ideologues of the neo-Tawhid movement that supports Qa`idat al-Jihad, which stood behind the suicide bombing in Jerba/Tunisia in April 2002, and several plans for terrorist operations in Jordan

Another platform for these apocalyptic views that attracts many Islamic youngsters these days, is an on-line forum of “the Jinn and the Demons”3 It includes a special sector for interpretations of dreams and visions.4 These days, the forum is naturally full of apocalyptic visions that result from the war in Iraq and the growing Anti-American feelings in the Arab world. Many of these visions deal with the end of the United States, as the Saudi supervisor of the sector wrote:

These visions and their alike, which many of them were sent to me, propagate the destruction of this evil country and the punishments, disasters, and dismantling, that will occur there. This is the way Allah deals with oppressors…. The punishment of this super oppressor is very close. We ask Allah to heal the hearts of the believers from its influence, and grant the Muslims all of its finance and equipment as booty.

The apocalyptic visions seem to be unwanted by the Salafi scholars of Qa`idat al-Jihad. In an unsigned article published in al-Qa`idah’s main web site of The Center for Islamic Studies and Research in February 2003, there was an attempt to block these ideas. The article – “Allah has not assigned our nation to know the person of the Mahdi prior to his appearance”5 – criticizes those who are looking for the Mahdi to establish the Islamic state, but in the meantime do nothing to promote its establishing. Those that believe in this Islamic principle “have fallen into a lot of exaggerations… and based their religion on false issues, until their religion turned feebler than the nest of a spider.” Moreover, the anonymous author who officially writes on behalf of Qa`idat al-Jihad, attacks the theories of “the Black Banners that will appear from the East”, as based on very weak Hadith stories. His main source of support is Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi of the 14th Century, one of the leading sources for the Wahhabi doctrines.

The author mentions just once the name of Osamah bin Ladin in regard to these false theories, but his message is clear:

3 Muntada al-Jinn wal-`Afarit: http://www.jazanvoice.net/vb/index.php?s=d6e3962ff3363e10e6ffa799fdc8e284
4 See: http://www.jazanvoice.net/vb/forumdisplay.php?s=09676bd441afa83467c79a96220906c1&forumid=32
5 The Center for Islamic Studies and Research, Nahnu Ummah lam yukallifna Allah bi-ma`rifat al-Mahdi qabla khurujihi, February 2003. See on-line in:
www.conrado.net/_vit_inf/print.php?id=989&ty=pr&img=no (the addresses of this website changes frequently. This address was valid while writing this article).

We recommend our brothers not to twist the texts and mingle the weak and the well-based [Hadith], in order to make them suit reality. We also recommend all our brothers to act and say what might benefit the nation… You should support the Jihad against Allah’s enemies rather than harm the Jihad and the Mujahidin by nonsense ideas, which have no benefit.

The issue of such apocalyptic visions and the sense of an Armageddon might be natural on the eve and during the war against Iraq. This war is perceived by many in the Arab and Muslim world, primarily youngsters whose knowledge of Islam is poor, as a global attack against Islam, and part of a global conspiracy. The expectations from Bin Ladin to launch further attacks by Qa`idat al-Jihad, and on American soil, are enormous. The search for a new Salah al-Din al-Ayubi to confront the Crusaders is playing an important role for Arab Islamists. Yet, the more interesting issue is the denial of such perceptions by Bin Ladin and Qa`idat al-Jihad.

The reaction of al-Qa`idah might be first of all a result of the pure Wahhabi nature of the Saudi element of the organization. Another reason could be the personality of Bin Ladin, who so far did not make attempts to build an image of an Islamic savior. The idea of al-Qa`idah is to establish a new generation, front, or movement, which are not dependent upon individuals or miracles but on the hard work of a community, and the struggle of communities.

But, it might be also a consequence of another front of the Islamist struggle of Bin Ladin and his followers: the passivity of the Arab world towards the war, and even cooperation with the United States, and not just by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or other Gulf States. One of the symbols of this passivity of Arab governments is the apocalyptic expectation for salvation from the East. The front against governments of the Arab world is as important for Qa`idat al-Jihad as the global fight against the United States, Israel, or Western culture.



Bin Ladin and Arab governments
In February 2003, Bin Ladin distributed two audiocassettes, one to the Iraqi people6 and the other, on the occasion of the holiday of `Id al-Adha and his longest so far (53 minutes), to the Arab governments and clerics. In both cassettes, the American administration was very fast in declaring the authenticity of Bin Ladin’s voice, contrary to the previous cassette of November 2002, where it took it two weeks of technological examinations to decide.

Both cassettes were analyzed by supporters of Al-Qa`idah. The Saudi scholar Lewis Atiyyat Allah analyzed the first, addressed to the Iraqi people.7 The second, the holiday address, was analyzed by Abu Ayman al-Hilali, and appeared in the radical Islamist on-line magazine Al-Ansar. 8

The audiocassette of `Id al-Adha has not been circulated by Al-Jazirah TV but through several web sites on the Internet. It is very long, compare to previous addresses by Bin Ladin, and just recently it was circulated in full text in the form of a publication called Al-Nafir.

Bin Ladin is using in this last speech a new element by presenting a partial survey of American defeats by various Islamic forces, and not just by Qa`idat al-Jihad. He starts with the bombing of the headquarters of the American Marines in Beirut in October 1983 by Hizballah, where over 240 American troops were killed. Then he moves in the 1990s to the attacks in Somalia and Aden. The next attack he mentioned was in November 1995 in Riyadh, which was “a clear message from the people of this region, protesting against the American policy in support for the Jews and the occupation of Saudi Arabia.” Then he mentioned the attack in Khobar/Dhahran in Saudi Arabia in 1996, which “made the Americans move their forces from the big cities to bases in the desert.” The last attack was carried out by the Saudi Shi`i Hizballah. Then came the attacks against the two American embassies in East Africa in August 1998, and the suicide operation against the USS Cole in Aden, in November 2000. Bin Ladin ends his survey with the September 11th attacks.

There is no reference to the attacks that followed September 2001. This attack on American soil, which proved to the whole world that “the United States can be targeted on its soil by focusing on its most prominent points of weakness.”

If we hit just one percent of these points the United States would shrink and retire from leading the world and oppressing it…. Few Muslim youngsters managed to prove to the world, despite the international alliance against them, the capability to fight the super power… more than fifty governments, peoples, and countries in the Islamic world. That is since they held the Jihad as the means to save their religion.”

Yet, the main focus of his speech was not the United States but the Arab governments and the Islamic clerics that support them and supply their legitimacy. Here is also a new element in his speeches: the conflict with these Arab governments is eternal and cannot be solved, since they are excommunicated from Islam.

The rulers that want to solve our problems, of which the most important is the Palestinian one, through the United Nations… have betrayed Allah and his messenger are no longer Muslims… The Muslims should acquit themselves from these oppressing rulers. The acquitting from the evil rulers is known to be one of the two pillars of Tawhid, which are vital for the belief.

The other element targeted by Bin Ladin was the Muslim clerics of the Arab world. Here, Bin Ladin differentiated between two kinds of clerics: those who are loyal to their rulers and legitimize their decisions by rulings; and those who support the true Islamic doctrines but refrain from Jihad as a result of fear of the oppressing governments. “This fear, created by the Arab countries against their own people, has destroyed every possible field of life including the religious one.”

Following the clerics, Bin Ladin divides also the Arab Islamic movements into three parts:

a. Those that are loyal to their governments;

b. Those that decided that they could not defend their interests, groups, and schools, or promote the Da’wah, and joined the supporters of these governments. They started to circulate false interpretations and misled a large public;
c. Those who fought against their governments for the true Islamic principles, but could not endure the oppression, and did not adhere to the Jihad and resistance.



6 See the text of the cassette in: http://www.conrado.net/_vit_inf/?subject=1&rec=998
7 Lewis Atiyyat Allah, Qira’ah fi khitab al-Sheikh Osamah lil-Sha`b al-`Iraqi, March 2003. See his analysis on-line in:
http://www.conrado.net/_vit_inf/?subject=11&rec=1011&tit=&pa=
8 Abu Ayman al-Hilali, Khutbat al-Imam Ibn Ladin wama`alim al-hall al-Islami, Al-Ansar, vol. 26 (March 3, 2003), pp. 19-29. See on-line in: http://alanssar.topcities.com/



The crisis of Islamic leaderships
The messages of Bin Ladin, which are quite rare under the circumstances of his whereabouts, cannot serve efficiently the doctrines of Global Jihad, and derive more thorough backup by the growing group of Islamist scholars, clerics, and intellectuals, most of them from the Saudi Islamist opposition.

Two of these supporters followed Bin Laden’s speech by thorough critical analysis. The first, Dr. `Abd al-`Aziz al-Qari’, published in March 23rd 2003, an article titled “The crisis of leaderships of the Islamic world,” which was circulated in several Islamist web sites.9 He started his article with total disqualification of the political Arab and Muslim governments:

“There are only two kinds of governments: one was created by Imperialism… which keeps the interests of its master… When they will be no longer effective, they would be thrown to the garbage… The second type has virtues and weaknesses, but it is too weak to confront the new Imperialist and its power.

In fact, the two kinds are nothing but weak fa?ades that cannot defend the interests of the nation… If to conclude the absurd and bitter scene, look at those two famous associations: the “Arab league” of the Arab rulers, and the Muslim Conference” of the rulers of the Islamic world… What a shame for a nation represented by those two paralyzed associations.”

Yet, if in the field of the political Arab leaders the author does not have any expectations, then his more serious criticism is on the Arab Islamic movements. Those are “in part, led by people who are not clerics and have poor knowledge of Islamic law, and do not consult clerics…. Take for example one of the most important Islamic movements – the Muslim Brotherhood – and compare Hasan al-Bana and Sayyid Qutb to the present leaders, and you would understand their deterioration.”

9 Dr. `Abd al-`Aziz al-Qari’, Azmat al-qiyadat fi al-`Alam al-Islami. See on-line in: http://www.islamtoday.net/print.cfm?artid=1972



The leading role of the `Ulamaa’
The author goes on accusing the generation of great Islamic leaders in neglecting their duty to bring up a second generation of leaders who could promote their movements. But his surprising conclusion is:
“Neglecting this duty always results in weakening the movement and leads to its decay, since then the leadership falls in the hands of the incapables. When the leadership in not in the hands of the clerics (`Ulamaa’) there is no hope and no good…. If this is the situation of the leaderships of the [Islamic] movements, and the political leaderships are corrupted, the responsibility of leadership should be transferred to the `Ulamaa’. They are here but they are spread in various places, and there is no contact or coordination between them, not even a clandestine one. They are oppressed and there is an effort to exclude them from power and influence, primarily from the leadership. Moreover, some oppressive and vicious governments in the Islamic world attempt at eliminating them. These clerics must take the responsibility. The nation is exposed with no leadership.

How they should move and act? I don’t want to sketch here any plans. Their duty is to act, and first of all by building connections, consult, and communicate with each other. That might lead to coordination and hence, the establishing of one clandestine or public front, or even both.”

After historical survey of the crucial role of the Islamic clerics in both the survival of the Islamic nation, and in inspiring the emergence of victorious political and military leaderships, the author concludes:

And so happened in modern times. When the Islamic world confronted the second Crusader campaign of the European imperialism…. Those who started its struggle for freedom were the clerics, such as Sheikh `Abd al-Hamid bin Badis in Algeria, al-Sanusi in Libya, al-Mahdi in the Sudan, Sheikh Muhammad bin `Abd al-Wahhab in the Arabian Peninsula, or Muslim clerics in India.

And in our days, history repeats itself, and the Islamic world is facing the third Crusader campaign, this time it is American. The `Ulamaa’ must therefore, take their role in strengthening the nation, and maintain its spirit, faith, and unity, and prepare new leaders, or prepare the nation for the “ultimate” leadership!”

This is not the Iranian revolutionary idea of Vilayet-I-faqi or the Islamic government, but there is a new line of thought among Saudi Salafi scholars, which might be followed.


Reforming the Islamic way of thinking
Another article was published in two parts, in March 15th and 22nd, by the Saudi cleric and scholar Sheikh Salman bin Fahd al-`Awdah, in his web site Islamtoday under the title: “The duty of these times.”10 Al-`Awdah, one of the more popular Islamist Saudi scholars in recent years, whose articles are circulated frequently in many of those web sites, offers eleven recommendations for the coming Islamic agenda. He is calling for more reasonable and peaceful attitude of “the Muslim individual who is looking for a positive role in such stormy and crucial times.” He calls for a reasonable dealing with the news, analysis, statements, and the Media in general, and warns from spreading rumors, analysis, and news of pessimistic nature.
His surprising model is no other than “our first enemy – so-called Israel.” He views Israel, as “one of the most progressing countries in dealing with the Media, while we in the Islamic world do not possess even the minimum necessary ability for that.” Viewing the advantages and virtues of the enemy and learning from its lessons is not unique in the Arab world and among Islamic movements. We can find in writings of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s, a kind of envious look at the role of religion in the Israeli society and politics. The modern Islamic generations are generally affected consciously or unconsciously by Western worldviews and values, even though they come from the “infidel enemy.” Yet, in our times, such views are rare.

Sheikh Al-`Awdah is also encouraging the use of the Internet and the satellite channels, “which grant us a sense of freedom. We should study how to use this freedom.”

But, his main point is the need for reform within the Islamic societies:

We are not talking about beliefs or principle positions, but the practical field…. If we mean just to talk we can say about our enemies whatever we like. But if we want to move to the field of practice we have to choose our targets precisely…. We are longing to the glory and power of this nation. Yet, after a short while we start talking passionately about the United States and Israel, then Europe, then the Western world, then the entire world. Then we move to the Islamic world, starting with our rivals in opinion…. There is a vital need to revise our priorities, and consider the religious powers within the Islamic world.

His main conclusion is the need “to leave aside all our internal conflicts with our brothers in faith and religion. Abandoning these conflicts does not mean the neglect of the Da’wah, but establishing solid basis for it. We should not leave our differences of views but maintain a dialogue and refrain from the system of boycotting, and disdaining the other views.”

We should put aside the differences in viewing the governments between this group and the other. We should occupy ourselves with the greater issues, each group according to its project. If the Islamic world cannot agree upon a united position on the most important issues, let them walk in parallel lanes…. We should open the field of Ijtihad in a way that it would include all the people that works for the Da’wah, not just the clerics.

Sheikh al-`Awdah is actually calling for Islamic pluralism but within what he takes from the world of sports – “Team spirit.” “We grew up in our childhood and in our schools on the spirit of revenge and retaliation, and even with the closest relatives…. As we wash our faces and hands dozens of times a day, let us try this time wash our hearts.”


10 Salman bin Fahd al-`Awdah, Wajib al-Waqt. See on-line in: http://islamtoday.net/print.cfm?artid=1849 and http://islamtoday.net/print.cfm?artid=1967

Conclusion
The apocalyptic visions, the internal conflicts in the Arab and Islamic world, the crisis of leaderships, the diversity of Islamic movements, and the development of extreme radical views within the Islamist arena, seem to cause second thoughts among the wider circle of Islamist scholars. It might be a result of sparks of thought that Qa`idat al-Jihad has fulfilled its role by igniting the Islamist revolution, but, the movement and its extreme ideas cannot lead this revolution. The Arab Islamic world needs now a new generation of clerics that by Ijtihad – the formulation of new legal thinking in Islamic law – would bring the expected change.

The call for the renewal of Ijtihad is not new in modern Islamic thinking. Yet, it is unusual among Saudi-Wahhabi scholars. The leading elements in calling for Ijtihad so far among the supporters of Qa`idat al-Jihad or its affiliated Jihadi-Salafi groups were so far Egyptians or Palestinians.

This line of thought might also result by second thoughts about the globalization of the Islamist struggle. The phenomenon of the Jihadi-Salafi movement, either Qa`idat al-Jihad or other groups and individuals, has always been an Arab one, and remained so. Arab Islamic and Islamists movements and groups also kept their independent infrastructure. A crisis of the global Islamist struggle might bring them “back home.” We should not be surprised therefore, if the above lines of thought, both about the role of the `Ulamaa’ and the Ijtihad of Arab Islamic movements within a pluralist agenda, are just vanguard views to be followed.

A Pakistani army brigadier, S. K. Malik, who elaborated on his country's philosophy of terrorism in his book The Islamic Concept of War, wrote there: "Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent's heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge.” 11

New thinking among Arab Islamists might be the start of decline of the Islamist terrorism of Qa`idat al-Jihad, at least in the global arena. Yet, even if it is going to shift back to the Arab world, it is going to be fed by anti-American and anti-Western views on one hand, but also by ambivalent feelings towards Western modernization, on the other.

11 Quoted by Dr. Ajai Sahni, in his article “War and the ‘deluge’ of Terror,” A commentary published in March 25th 2003. See on-line in: www.satp.org



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Pakistan 'still training Islamic militants'

william's note: This should give you a warm feeling when you consider the nuclear arsenal that is guarded by Islamist fanatics with a grudge against you and me.


By Peter Foster, South Asia Correspondent
London Telegraph

Pakistan was claiming victory in the fight against al-Qa'eda yesterday just as fresh evidence emerged that elements of the military establishment were still assisting in the training of Islamic militants.


General Musharraf: confident that he is winning the fight against terrorist networks
President Pervaiz Musharraf said he was confident that his intelligence services were on top in the fight against the terrorist network. "We are certainly winning, that's my assessment," Gen Musharraf told the Pakistani English-language newspaper Dawn.

But his remarks were undermined by an interview with a young Pakistani man, published in the New York Times, who was captured while fighting for the Taliban against American forces three months ago.

The 17-year-old prisoner said he had been trained in Pakistan's tribal areas, where several thousand militants are assisting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

Sidestepping the issue, the US state department instead heaped praise on Gen Musharraf, who has became an indispensable ally in America's war on terrorism.

However, there are several reasons to question whether Pakistan's commitment to the war on terror can always be taken at face value, despite the high-profile arrests of several key al-Qa'eda figures in the last month. Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency created the Taliban regime that gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden and other key al-Qa'eda operatives in the 1990s.

When Gen Musharraf accepted a US ultimatum to be "with us or against us" in the aftermath of September 11, large segments of Pakistan's military establishment did not support that decision.

Cynics in Pakistan are also quick to point out that for Gen Musharraf the war on terrorism has become the "goose that laid a golden egg". Last month Congress voted to give Pakistan $3 billion (£1.6 billion) in direct aid and debt relief over the next five years, including $300 million in this financial year for "military assistance".

Gen Musharraf's supporters in Washington cite recent military action against Islamic militants in Waziristan as evidence of Pakistan's determination to confront the threat from Islamic extremism.

But a report this year by the independent International Crisis Group said Gen Musharraf, far from tackling extremism, had completely failed to fulfil his promise of 2002 to rein in Pakistan's 10,000 madrassas, or Islamic schools, that serve as militant recruitment centres.





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Friday, August 06, 2004

Terrorists Don’t Often Fit Stereotype, Expert Says



Courtesy of PURE PURSUIT, a service to members of the Military and Air Defense Community with the purpose of offering relevant and timely information on defense, aviation, emergency, law enforcement and terrorism issues.]

From Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services

Posted on Web site of Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Most Americans have a false idea of the shadowy, worldwide terrorist network led by al-Qaida, according to a former CIA operative who collected the life histories of almost 400 members of the deadly movement.

The stereotype that these terrorists are poor, desperate, single young men from Third World countries, vulnerable to brainwashing, is wrong, Dr. Marc Sageman told an international terrorism conference in Washington last week.

Most Arab terrorists he studied were well-educated, married men from middle- or upper-class families, in their mid-20s and psychologically stable, said Sageman, a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Many of them knew several languages and traveled widely.

But when they settled in foreign countries, they became lonely, homesick and embittered, he said. They felt humiliated by the weakness and backwardness of their homelands. They formed tight cliques with fellow Arabs and drifted into mosques more for companionship than for religion. Radical preachers convinced them it was their duty to drive Americans from Muslim holy lands, killing as many as possible.

Sageman served as a CIA case officer in Afghanistan from 1987 to 1989, running agents against the Soviet occupation. In a book, "Understanding Terror Networks," published in May, he traced the roots of the movement to a centuries-old Islamic tradition dedicated to purifying Muslim lands of "infidels" and restoring the past glories of Islam.

He described al-Qaida and its global allies as "a violent Islamist social movement held together by an idea: the use of violence against foreign and non-Muslim governments or populations to establish an Islamist state in the core Arab region."

For its members, terrorism is "an answer to Islamic decadence _ a feeling that Islam has lost its way," he said.

Sageman drew his data from transcripts of legal proceedings against terrorists, unclassified government documents, police wiretaps, scholarly articles and news accounts. He acknowledged that his sources are incomplete and sometimes of questionable reliability. Because he dealt only with public records, he said, his sample may be biased toward the better-known, more prominent members of the movement.

Nevertheless, his work appears to be the most thorough profile of the members of the terrorist network available outside the walls of government secrecy.

Sageman didn't include in his sample the violent insurgents who are bedeviling Americans and their allies in Iraq. He also didn't count local terrorist networks in the Palestinian areas, Lebanon, Kashmir, Chechnya, Latin America and other radical nationalists in his survey. He focused on the sprawling collection of terrorist cells inspired by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida organization.

Sageman's findings about the social and psychological makeup of the terrorist network "sound perfectly plausible to me," said Jessica Stern, a former expert on terrorism at the National Security Council who's now at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. "It's consistent with my findings."

In a review of Sageman's book, Joshua Sinai, a veteran terrorism analyst in Washington, called it "one of the most insightful studies published so far" on the Islamic terrorists.

In her interviews with terrorists, Stern found a common thread to be a feeling of humiliation for the decline of their once-great Islamic culture. "If you're humiliated, you want to blame somebody and try to fix it," she said.

Following are some of Sageman's conclusions:

Until recently, the central staff or core leadership of the terrorist movement, headed by Saudi Arabia native bin Laden, consisted of about 38 members, two-thirds of them from Egypt, with a smattering of Saudis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians and other Middle Easterners. The Egyptians joined al-Qaida when it formed in the 1980s. They were mostly Islamic militants involved in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Since September 2001, about two-thirds of the original leadership has been killed or captured, and replaced by "younger, more aggressive new leaders," Sageman said. "The network has become more decentralized and more disconnected from the central staff. This has resulted in more frequent and more reckless operations."

The majority of the network is made up of Middle Eastern Arabs from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Kuwait, as well as North Africans from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. There's also a contingent of second-generation Muslim immigrants in France, Spain and other Western European countries.

A smaller group of Southeast Asians is centered in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Because of its decentralization, the network "provides no hard targets for military operations," Sageman said. "The war on this type of terror must be fought on many fronts."

He suggested police surveillance of local cells, interception of their communications and tracking terrorists' friends and relatives, since they are also likely to be members or supporters.

The leadership and the bulk of the members came from comfortable upper- and middle-class homes, challenging the argument that poverty breeds terrorism. Some were doctors, lawyers, engineers or other professionals.

Only a small percentage of Sageman's sample were poorly educated. Fewer than one-fifth lacked a high school education. Seventy percent had at least some college; several had master's or doctoral degrees. Except for the Southeast Asians, 90 percent went to secular schools.

Contrary to the view that terrorists are single, childless, immature young men, lacking any attachment to society, nearly three-quarters of the sample were married. Most had children.

Some people think terrorists are criminals or antisocial psychopaths. But Sageman found that most had normal childhoods without any trouble with the law. Those who later turned to petty crime did it to raise money for their actions, not for personal gain.

"The data suggest that these were good kids who liked to go to school and were often overprotected by their parents," he said. "They are not essentially evil, but they definitely act evil."

Copyright 2004 by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. All rights reserved.

http://www.ds-osac.org/view.cfm?key=7E4354434155&type=2B170C1E0A3A0F162820



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FBI counterterrorism agent: U.S. is fighting religious war

By BILLY BRUCE, Staff Writer
Naples Eagle
August 4, 2004

The battle against worldwide terrorism doesn't involve the Cold War strategies once used to stop the communist takeover of the world.

The country is facing a different enemy this time, but one that has similar aspirations, an FBI counterterrorism expert contends.

A small portion of Muslims believes America is an evil empire that must fall so that the world can live the Islamic way of life, Special Agent Michael DeLeon told the Marco Police Foundation on July 28.

DeLeon, a specialist in the FBI's Fort Myers regional office, said the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Justice had to restructure and reorganize after the Sept. 11 attacks brought the extremists' war to American soil.

"These people do not think of greed as a motive, but religion," DeLeon said during his presentation to the nonprofit group at the Radisson Suite Beach Resort on Marco Island. "Their belief is that we are an empire — like the Roman Empire or the Ottoman Empire — and that we will fall as did those empires.

And then they will impose the Islamic way of life on us."

Most Muslims in the world don't support the extremists' call for Islamic jihad, or holy war, against the United States, DeLeon said.

"Ninety-five percent of the people are good people, but it's that 5 percent who are bad," he said.

FBI agents are learning the tenets of the Muslim faith by studying the Quran, the Muslim holy book, to understand the breadth of the worldwide threat of radical Muslim extremists, DeLeon said.

The agents also are integrating new communication channels with local law enforcement agencies, airport security, the Coast Guard, regional terrorism task forces and any other entity that needs to share information that will ultimately help the FBI achieve its new mission, he said.

The FBI still goes after most wanted criminals and fights corruption and white-collar crime, but now that radical Muslims are bringing the war to U.S.

soil, DeLeon said, the main mission is to prevent their success.

"Our mission is to detect and deter terrorism acts," he said.

DeLeon showed the luncheon attendees a short film on the war against terrorism, which documented several historical moments. The former Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan was the "ad hoc" beginning of radical Muslims' strategy to start a holy war against the United States, DeLeon said.

He named several active terrorist groups the FBI is watching, including the Iran-based Hizballah, the Palestinian Hamas in Israel and, of course, Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida.

Asked whether the FBI uses racial profiling, since all 19 terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks were Arabs, DeLeon said, "That's a political issue. Do we profile? We would like to look for things that would tip us off to something that might involve terrorism."

Keeping an eye on Southwest Florida International Airport keeps the FBI's Fort Myers office busy, DeLeon said.

There is a "no fly" list of people who are suspected as either supporters of terrorism or actual terrorists, he said.

"If we're contacted by the airport because they saw a name like Mohammed Aberjan, and that name was on the 'no fly' list, we'd go to the airport and interview him," DeLeon said. "It might be that he's not the same Mohammed Aberjan on the list.

If he missed his flight because of the interruption, we'd book him on the next flight out, but not until we've made sure everyone is safe."

Keeping an eye on local activity is critical to the FBI's "detect and deter" mission, DeLeon said.

The controversial Patriot Act is helping the FBI and other agencies find potential terrorists, and it is a necessary tool to detect potential attacks before they can be carried out, DeLeon said.

"It helps us figure out who is associated with these many groups," he said. "Don't forget — there's no hiding the fact that all 19 of the Sept. 11 terrorists came through (Florida).

Mohammed Atta stayed in Fort Myers and tried to purchase an airplane in Belle Glade. The others trained in Venice. We all need to be vigilant. Freedom isn't free."

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

From WETN Albany--Albany Men Arrested for Suspected Terrorism Activity

(updated: August 5th, 10:48am) Three men have been arrested in Albany and are being held on a criminal complaint for materially supporting terrorism. A trustee at the Majid Al Salam mosque tells NEWS10 a third man, Abdul Barr Shuaib, has also been taken into custody.

Officials say the men are linked to Ansar al-Islam, a group officials say is tied to al-Qaida.

Law enforcement officials say the men face charges of providing material support to terrorism. Officials say the men were involved in the money-laundering aspects of a plot to help a man they thought to be a terrorist buy a shoulder-launched missile.

The man was an undercover agent.

The men are identified as the imam (Yassin Aref) and one of its founders (Mohammed Hoosain).

Officials say the investigation isn't related to the latest boost in the terror alert level.

Federal and local officials raided the mosque and two residences this morning.

More details are expected later today in a Justice Department news conference.



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BBC-Al-Qaeda 'planned Heathrow raid'

Intelligence officials are probing reports claiming that a man arrested in Pakistan was helping to plan an attack on Heathrow airport by al-Qaeda.
Naeem Noor Khan is accused of being al-Qaeda's "dispatch boy" who passed coded messages between agents, including details of US terror targets.

The Times newspaper reports that Khan had detailed maps of the airport.

But a BBC correspondent in Pakistan says investigators have not confirmed the existence of a Heathrow plot.


The Times claims that Mr Khan visited Britain at least six times in recent years.

He had been in contact with senior al-Qaeda figures over the Heathrow plot, the paper alleges.

And an anonymous source has told the AFP news agency that information from the arrest has provided a "deep insight" into the workings of al-Qaeda.


If there had been a specific, credible threat then we would let the public know
Home Office spokeswoman

The source told AFP: "[Khan] was involved in planning for attacks at Heathrow airport London some time ago and was wanted by the US Government."
The source was unable to say exactly when the Heathrow attack was planned, but claimed that information from Khan's computers had been passed on to both US and UK officials.

Communications expert

The BBC's correspondent in Pakistan, Zaffar Abbas, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that nobody was going on the record connecting Khan to a Heathrow plot.

He said: "Even in the background briefings they have not suggested any plan about Heathrow."

He added that the Pakistani investigators had not revealed details of what they had found on Khan's computers.

He said: "All they have been saying is 'yes he was the communications expert working for al-Qaeda'.

"But the impression that was initially given by the investigators was that he was acting more as a post office or dispatch boy, getting information from one source, turning it into coded messages and passing it on to other sources."

The Home Office said it would not comment on specific intelligence but confirmed that there had not been a specific threat.

A spokeswoman said: "If there had been a specific, credible threat then we would let the public know."

Khan's capture is one of at least 18 arrests of suspected al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan since 12 July.

Information stored on Khan's CDs and computers is believed to have led to a raised terror alert in the US.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk/3537462.stm

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Band of Fanatics-- Part 2

by William Webb

HAMAS-Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia-The Islamic Resistance Movement

Hamas, which is both the Arabic acronym for The Islamic Resistance Movement and an Arabic word for courage and bravery, shares "A-Team" billing with Hezbollah as a powerful and dangerous terrorist force with worldwide connections. It employs its own shock troops, Al-Suad Al-Ramaya-the "throwing arm" for these purposes.

Formed in late 1987 by current spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Hamas is an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various Hamas elements have used both political and violent means, including terrorism, to pursue their goals. They are loosely structured, with some elements working clandestinely and others working openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities, and distribute propaganda.

According to the ICT, in the course of the Intifada, Hamas gained momentum, expanding its activity in the West Bank, to become the dominant Islamic fundamentalist organization in the Territories. It defined its highest priority as jihad for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of an Islamic Palestine "from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River." By its participation in street violence and murder, it boosted its appeal in the eyes of the Palestinians, further enhancing its growth potential and enabling it to play a central role in the Intifada.

According to a Congressional Research Service report "Hamas is reputed to be a more efficiently run organization than the widely dispersed and heavily structured PLO with its organizational overhead and diverse activities. The Hamas share of religious donations is rising in relation to the PLO. According to some sources, a large amount of money is coming from devout Muslims in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states who used to contribute to the PLO before it sided with Iraq during the Gulf war. Hamas also supported Iraq in the war but was much less conspicuous because it was so closely identified with the Palestinian population in the territories. Hamas wisely avoided open confrontation with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states."

The military wing of Hamas is known as the Izz al Din Qassam Brigades, the force behind most of the violence and killings attributed to Hamas. The cells operate under the control of four or five relatively independent geographical commands. In May 2002, Islam online published an interview with Salah Sh'hadeh, then- commander of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, who was assassinated by Israel on July 23, 2002.

The interview was a very matter-of-fact look into the running of a suicide bombing operation. Some of the interview included:

Q: "How do you choose who will carry out a martyrdom operation?"

Sh'hadeh: "The choice is made according to four criteria: First, devout religious observance. Second, we verify that the young man complies with his parents' wishes and is loved by his family, and that his martyrdom will not [adversely] affect family life-that is, he is not the head of the family and he has siblings, as we will not take an only child. Third, his ability to carry out the task assigned [to] him, and to understand its gravity; and fourth, his martyrdom should encourage others to carry out martyrdom operations and encourage Jihad in the hearts of people. We always prefer unmarried [men]. It is the regional leadership of the military apparatus of the Hamas movement that proposes his candidacy, and then decides whether to accept him."

Q: "How do you account for the stream of youths [coming] to join the ranks of perpetrators of martyrdom operations? And does this attest to [mental] health or to escape from the frustration and disappointment among the Palestinians?"

Sh'hadeh: "The stream of youths [who seek to] attain martyrdom shows [mental] health and the awareness of Palestinian society, and is not a mistake or an escape from a situation of despair or frustration. Many people come to Jihad, and they are willing to lay down their souls-which is the most precious thing a man has. There is a vast difference between someone who sacrifices money or an offering and someone who sacrifices his soul for the sake of Allah to bring happiness to the nation, and to remove its torment and distress. Nevertheless, we cannot provide everyone with a martyrdom operation because the targets are limited and the enemy positions we want to reach are highly fortified. If some of the youths do not follow the military apparatus's instructions, and [set out on operations on their own] without being linked officially to this apparatus, this proves that the [entire] nation has become a nation of Jihad on the threshold of liberation, and that it rejects humiliation and submission."

Q: "How does the military apparatus choose a target?"

Sh'hadeh: "We have surveillance groups whose role is to monitor Israeli and settler patrols and the movement of the enemy on the border. We utilize every breach we find in the enemy's security fence. Afterwards we define the target and the nature of the assault on it, whether it is a settlement, a military post, a military vehicle, or anything else. The target is filmed, and then [the video] is shown to a committee appointed by the General Staff of the Military Operations. After the target is approved, the martyrdom operation's perpetrator is trained.... Then the operation is ready to go, after a group of experts approves the plan and determines the factors for its success or failure."

Q: "How much does a martyrdom operation cost?"

Sh'hadeh: "The cost of an operation varies.... Attack operations with automatic weapons cost the price of the weapon, which hold at least 250 rounds, and of the ammunition, and the price of about 10 hand grenades. But some of the operations cost much more and include transporting [the perpetrator]...buying a car, and bribing Jewish collaborators. There are operations that cost a great deal-between $3,500-$50,000, in accordance with the target."

Q: "What are the obstacles that the Al-Qassam Brigades face?"

Sh'hadeh: "The most significant obstacles are the scarcity of good-quality weapons, such as anti-aircraft and long-range missiles. Another significant obstacle is the haze obscuring the political position of the National [Palestinian] Authority. This causes confusion in the military wing [because] it does not set a [clear] position regarding the military operations-that is, whether it is for them or against them. Is it an authority for national liberation, or an authority for autonomy? This matter confuses many Jihad fighters.

"In addition, weapons prices have been raised by the bloodsucker arms dealers, so the price of an M-16 has reached $5,000, and each of its bullets now costs $1.50, and a Kalashnikov costs $2,000, and each of its bullets costs $4. The military apparatus has managed to meet the challenge of weapons scarcities by collecting donations from people who love supporting the path of Jihad for the sake of Allah. Similarly, the movement has succeeded in manufacturing some of the intermediate weaponry, thus reducing costs. The cost of a rocket [made by the movement] is less than 1 percent of its cost if we had to buy it."

Like with Hezbollah, there is a heavy Syrian connection. According to Gary Gambill, "Since the mid-1990s, Damascus has been the operational headquarters of the Hamas military wing and a nexus for the transfer of external funds to Hamas operatives in the territories. Syria and Syrian-occupied Lebanon have become major conduits for funneling weapons and explosives to Hamas and safe havens for training hundreds of its operatives. "In addition to greatly enhancing the movement's capacity to kill, Syrian sponsorship has fueled its willingness to kill, by weakening the internal leadership of Hamas vis-à-vis the external leadership, making the group's military cells less responsive to public disaffection with the costs of terror." There are also close ties between Hamas and Iran. By its own account they receive $3 million per year from Iran. While Hamas operations have killed Americans in the territories, Hamas, like Hezbollah, says it does not target Americans. But Hamas leaders have called for jihad against U.S forces in Iraq. They do participate in the propaganda warfare against the West, attacking the United States on their official and surrogate web sites.

Like PIJ, Hamas affiliations in the United States have been under scrutiny since 9/11. Hamas ties to United Association for Studies and Research, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Infocom Corporation, and the Islamic Association for Palestine have been covered by numerous legal and journalistic investigative entities. The war on terror has hurt Hamas funding and America, of course, is constantly to blame for the Israeli actions in Palestine. Whether a weakened Hamas would choose to align with Al-Qaida and strike at targets within the U.S. is a matter of conjecture. That Hamas has the experience and backing to do so is fact.

Al-Qaida and The Terror Franchise

With a blizzard of words already and to-be written on Al-Qaida, including a large part of this book, we will take a very quick look at the main organization and the franchises closely associated with it; Asbat Al Ansar, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jemaah Islamiya, and Al-Jihad. There have been many excellent books focusing on Al-Qaida, many which are included in the recommended resources section at the end of the book.

If Hezbollah and Hamas are the "A" Team of terrorism, then Al-Qaida has become the Muslim "World Team," jihadists sent by Allah to "fight the heretics, mainly the Christians leading the United States, but also against Muslims and corrupt apostates who spend their time in brothels and violate Muslim morals."

They love the spotlight, video taping most of their events and showing a great understanding of public relations and the finer points of propaganda. Although all members would deny it, there is an arrogance and air of invincibility that has set in, almost if the members have started to believe their own propaganda and reams of stories in the press. This attitude helped win three of their superstars, Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed a trip to solitary confinement.

As of today, their two infamous leaders remain at large. Sheik Osama bin Laden has risen to superhero status for Muslims worldwide. He has sent a veiled threat to "die a martyrs death in 2004," cynics believing this may occur before the first Tuesday in November. Ayman al-Zawahiri just returned to Pakistan from his yearlong hiatus in Iran. He has promised further spectacular attacks and tremendous suffering for the United States and other Western nations, although he published another book in 2002 that many Arab commentators said looked like a "last will and testament."

While there has been an enormous amount of success against Al-Qaida, beginning with its and the Taliban's defeat in Afghanistan, it is a mistake to assume that either the capture or death of bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, or any of their other leaders will end Al-Qaida's war against the West.

The Arab press and leaders such as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have warned there are 1,000 bin Ladens waiting in the wings. With continuing state support from countries like Iran and Syria, wealthy patrons across the globe and a flow of jihadists eager to experience the new Islamic awakening, Al-Qaida, or one of its present or future franchises are likely to wage war for a long time to come.

Asbat al-Ansar-The Band of Partisans

Asbat al-Ansar is a Sunni Muslim extremist group based in the Palestinian refugee camp Ayn al-Hilwah, near the port town of Sidon in southern Lebanon. Comprised of about 300 militants, mostly Palestinians who operate in Lebanon, the Sunni extremist group advocates Salafism, a return to the ancient caliphate system of government under a sole leader called the Prince of Believers. The group's members believe their struggle justifies violence against civilians. For many years they seemed to operate as a Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice on steroids, blowing up un-Islamic targets like churches, bars, and casinos. With the advent of an alliance with Al-Qaida in 2000, they graduated to bigger bombs, rocket attacks, and even a failed coup attempt in Tripoli, Lebanon with fellow fanatical organization members from Takfir wal-Hijra. While the group probably poses no immediate threat to the continental United States or other Western nations, it is dangerous due to the fact that it is under no one's control. The group constitutes a huge impediment to the peace process through its workings in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya-The Islamic Group

The Islamic Group, IG, officially became a part of the Al-Qaida franchise in the 1998 Declaration of War against Jews and Crusaders.

IG unofficially split into two factions; one that supports a cease-fire led by Mustafa Hamza, and another led by Rifa'i Taha Musa, calling for a return to armed operations.

Taha Musa published a book in early 2001 in which he attempted to justify mass casualty terrorist attacks. Musa disappeared several months thereafter, and there are conflicting reports as to his current whereabouts. In March 2002, members of IG's historic leadership in Egypt declared use of violence misguided and renounced its future use, prompting denunciations by much of the leadership abroad.

For members still dedicated to violent jihad, the primary goal is to overthrow the Egyptian government and replace it with an Islamic state. Jihadist IG members, such as those potentially inspired by Taha Musa or Abd al-Rahman, may be interested in carrying out attacks against U.S. and Israeli interests. Various intelligence sources confirm that members of the group still plot attacks on American soil in retribution for the jailing of Shaykh Rahman. There is an earlier video of bin Laden, Zawahiri, and Musa that shows them threatening the United States with unspecified violence if Rahman is convicted.

Harakat ul-Mujahidin-Movement of the Holy Warriors

HUM is a jihadist, Muslim fundamentalist group based in Pakistan that operates primarily in Kashmir. Many members of the groups are products of the Deobandi or Ahle Hadith-influenced madrassas, schools that teach an extreme interpretation of Islam with maniacal hatred toward the West. They particularly hate the ideas of democracy and equal rights for women, and at least the latter sin should keep them from the "freedom fighter,' designation of no-nothings like filmmaker Michael Moore. HUM officially became a part of the Al-Qaida franchise in the 1998 Declaration of War Against Jews and Crusaders. They trained thousands of jihadists in camps in eastern Afghanistan before the defeat of the Taliban. They are a very well-funded group with money flowing from the entire Arab world. According to South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP) in India, HUM was originally formed in 1985, to participate in the jihad against Soviet forces protecting the communist regime in Afghanistan. It was a formed by a group that walked out of another jihadi group, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI). With the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, the outfit turned its attention to Jammu and Kashmir, where Pakistan-supported outfits had unleashed terrorist violence in 1988. While not a direct threat to the continental United States, the group's influence with the government and military of Pakistan raises fears of potential nuclear proliferation from the Pakistani arsenal.

Jaish-e-Mohammed-The Army of Mohammed In February 2000, Maulana Masood Azhar, former HUM leader, known to have played a role in helping Somali militants attack U.S forces so vividly portrayed in the movie Blackhawk Down, strolled into the Binori mosque in Karachi and announced the formation of JEM. Azhar announced his allegiance to bin Laden and Al-Qaida and declared war on India and America. According to Yosri Fouda, his choice of the Binori mosque was significant. The mosque, filled with hard-line Deobandi adherents was the site of a meeting of more than 300 Muslim clerics who met to declare bin Laden a great Muslim warrior whose protection was a religious duty for all Muslims. JEM is well funded with support throughout the non-Shia Muslim world. Its connections into the political and religious environments of Pakistan are immense. While the State Department report lists JEM's area of operations as Pakistan and Kashmir, the group has the funding, organization, and deep-seated hatred of the United States to compliment a strike here. They have a long list of atrocities credited to them in their short lifetime, including several attacks on churches, bus bombings, the car bomb set off outside the U.S consulate in Karachi, a grenade attack on a hospital, and the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Like HUM, the group does not appear to present a threat to the continental United States, but Western intelligence officials still worry about collusion between these groups and Pakistani military or political figures sympathetic to the jihad. Particularly when these figures might be able to aid in some sort of nuclear proliferation whether from weapons or materials. It is also prudent to note that most terrorist leaders and operatives have lived and trained in Pakistan. While President Musharaff has done a very good job on cracking down on the extremists, the entire madrassas infrastructure continues to crank out thousands of West-hating terrorists every year.

Jemaah Islamiya-Terror in the Far East

JI is a network of Islamic radicals extending across Southeast Asia, led by Indonesian nationals, with a loose structure characterized by four territorial divisions known as mantiqis that cover peninsular Malaysia and Singapore; Java; Mindanao, Sabah, and Sulawesi; and Australia and Papua. The foot soldiers are men from the pesantrens, religious schools that teach a strict form of Islam and hatred of Christians and the United States. They are most famous internationally for the Bali nightclub bombing that killed 180 and injured more. Both their spiritual leader Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, and their Al-Qaida link and commander, Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, now reside in jails. But as many news reports in the region have pointed out, the organization still thrives. While the State Department suggests the JIS membership is unknown but believed to be less than 500, the Singapore government says the number is in the thousands. According to reporter David Isenberg in The Asia Times, "In 1995 JI decided to set up training facilities in Mindanao in the Philippines to replicate the Afghan training as closely as possible, including using many of the same instructors. Regular 'cadets' went through a six-month course including weapons training, demolition and bombing, map reading, guerrilla and infantry tactics, field engineering, leadership and self-defense. It also included a religious curriculum, providing instruction in basic law, traditions of the Prophet, proselytization and jihad." While affiliated with Al-Qaida, many in the region would disagree that JI is an Al-Qaida franchise. But with the religious schools churning out potential jihadis, training camps for those already committed, and anti-Christian and anti-western passions inflamed, JI will remain a threat, particularly to those traveling throughout the region.

Al-Jihad-The New Jihad

Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, sentenced to life in prison in January 1996 for his involvement in a string of planned New York terrorist events, is Al-Jihad's most famous member.

Shaykh Rahman, Al Jihad's spiritual leader whose fiery sermons in mosques in Jersey City and Brooklyn attracted followers who were linked to the first World Trade Center attack, and a planned "Day of Terror" involving bombings of the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, United Nations headquarters, George Washington Bridge, and 26 Federal Plaza.

It officially merged with Al-Qaida in June 2001.

Al Jihad's primary goals are to overthrow the Egyptian government and replace it with an Islamic state and to attack U.S. and Israeli interests in Egypt and abroad. The Egyptian government has claimed Iran supports the group.

The Al Jihad group specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian government officials. The original Jihad was responsible for the assassination in 1981 of President Anwar Sadat. Unlike al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya, which mainly targets mid- and lower-level security personnel, Coptic Christians, and Western tourists, al-Jihad appears to concentrate primarily on high-level, high-profile Egyptian government officials, including cabinet ministers. The group claimed responsibility for the attempted assassinations of Interior Minister Hassan Al-Alfi in August 1993 and Prime Minister Atef Sedky in November 1993

In June 1992, after activists of the Islamic Jihad in Egypt murdered Faraj Fodah, an author who had openly supported Israeli-Egyptian peace, a "hit list" was revealed that had been prepared by organization activists and which included the names of tens of Egyptians to be killed by the Islamic Jihad, including the Interior Minister, General Moussa; the journalist Anis Mansour; and others. Since 1993 the group has not conducted an attack inside Egypt. However there have been repeated threats to retaliate against the United States for its incarceration of Shayk Umar Abd al-Rahman and, more recently, for the arrests of its members in Albania, Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom

Before September 11, most of the groups on the State Department's list had no meaning for the average American in the continental United States. Many Americans still believe that only Al-Qaida poses a threat-and the numbers are growing that believe Al-Qaida is in complete disarray. Unfortunately, this belief will more than likely be proven wrong in 2004, if not sooner. There are active terrorist cells within the United States and Canada plotting as you read this

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Letter by an Alleged Wife of a Martyr to the Wife of Paul Johnson--More Love from the religion of peace

Robert Sencer at Jihad watch posted this


Al-Qaeda jihadists spit on the memory of Paul Johnson and revile his widow. This is further indication that, in the view of Muslims such as those who murdered Johnson, Islam is a religion of compassion and mercy, but only for Muslims. From MEMRI:

The recent issue of Sawt al-Jihad ("Voice of Jihad"), which is identified with Al-Qa'ida, published an article titled "A Letter to the Wife of the Slain Pagan Paul Johnson from the Wife of One of the Martyrs." [1] This letter celebrates the murder of the American hostage Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia. The anonymous letter is attributed to the wife of one of the terrorists killed by the Saudi Security forces. The following are excerpts from the letter: [2]
'The Blood of Your Husband is the Blood of a Dog because He is an Idolatrous Infidel'

"I have heard that you appeared on television feigning innocence and wondering haughtily what was your husband's sin and what was his crime. I believe you are not ignorant of the fact that he was one of the greatest criminals indeed, although he is not considered that according to your standards, you infidels. For you call the criminal innocent and the innocent one, defending his rights – criminal. Or else, what was the purpose of your husband's work with the Apache helicopters? Have you ever believed that these helicopters hover over Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq to shower flowers and sweets over the heads of our children there? Or do you know that they throw on them rockets and bombs in order to turn their streets and homes into ashes upon which their corpses become coal? Is his work above reproach, then? Or was he innocent, while he worked on this kind of airplane [sic]?...

"You should know that our brethren whom you detain in your prisons and our brethren whom your husband used to burn with his helicopters are not alone. Rather, there are hearts pounding with love for them, just as you have demonstrated that you have loved your slain husband. Nay, we love them more than you can imagine because the blood of a Muslim is for us more precious than the Ka'ba , but the blood of your husband is the blood of a dog because he is an idolatrous infidel."

'The Corpse of Your Husband shall be followed by Mountains of Corpses'

"Do you know that we have not done anything [yet] about the blood of Muslims and the blood of my husband that was shed for no reason. We are just getting started and the corpse of your husband shall be followed by mountains of corpses of his countrymen, until they leave the country of our Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace upon him, lowly and humiliated. How can you claim innocence for your husband, Allah's curse on him, while you have been hearing the warnings of the Mujahideen calling you to leave our country that is forbidden for you? You however shut your ears and went obstinately with your wrongdoing. This is your penalty. May you shed tears mixed with blood, just as we wept blood because of your airplanes and your troops.


There is more, but you get the idea. This is a cannily written piece. It focuses on grievances that Europeans and American Leftists will love -- the occupation of Iraq, alleged Western targeting of non-combatants -- and suggests that Muslims will fight against Americans until they leave Iraq. This implies that the jihad will then end, which is the view of many analysts today on the Left and the Right: if we just stop bothering the Muslims, they'll stop bothering us. Unfortunately, this doesn't take into account the traditional Islamic teachings about offensive jihad: the necessity to wage war to establish the hegemony of Islam. It is affirmed often (here by South African Mufti Ebrahim Desai), but gets hardly any attention from taqiyya-addled Western analysts. Yet it is not something that will be mitigated by the removal of any or all points of contention.


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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Band of Fanatics--Part 1 of 2

The cooperation among several Islamist terrorist groups is known in the intelligence community but certain special interests groups and factions within the U.S government don't want the connections to be too visible yet. I predict you will see evidence of this cooperation presented after the next strikes within the U.S.

By William Webb

“On that basis, and in compliance with Allah’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, ‘and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,’ and ‘fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.’ We—with Allah’s help—call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.”[i] The February 1998 declaration of war against Jews and Crusaders signed by The World Islamic Front Leaders.

There are hundreds of terrorist groups in the world today, motivated by a myriad of causes and grievances that would take books to truly investigate. This article presents a space-conscious, high-level overview of the Muslim terror and liberation groups recognized by the U.S. Department of State.

Some would argue that many on this list pose no immediate threat to the United States or other Western countries. Up to now, this has been the case. While Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad actively conducted fund-raising, operations[ii]and recruitment in the United States prior to 9/11, they have so far, gone out of their way to make it clear their operations are conducted against Israel, not other Western nations, and particularly not the United States.
This is not completely true of course. Hezbollah has been tied to the American embassy bombing in Beirut, the slaughter of 241 marines and sailors while they slept in 1983, the kidnapping and killing of CIA station chief William Buckley and marine Lt. Col. Richard Higgins, and most recently, many suggest, the Khobar Tower bombings of American military personnel in Saudi Arabia in 1996.
Up to now, common wisdom has suggested these groups do not work together. However, now with the global jihad against America and the West waged openly, the groups have indeed started collaborating.

PRAVDA reported that a meeting of “Islamic fundamentalists” from more than 50 countries occurred in the Bosnian town of Travnik in the summer of 2002. On the guest list were terrorists from Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Active Islamic Youth, and Al-Qaida. “In Travnik, Islamic delegates reached an agreement on the ‘full consolidation’ of religious and political movements in the battle against ‘American aggression.’”[iii]
Some analysts and “terrorism experts” in the Western media stated that Al-Qaida Sunni group, and Hezbollah, a Shia group would not work together due to the differences between the two.
But investigations as early as 1996, initiated when Al-Qaida insider Jamal Al-Fadl defected, and subsequent 9/11 investigations found an interconnecting trail of training, money, and logistical support among all the organizations.
Al Fadl told FBI agents that Al-Qaida sent agents to the “Bekaa valley in Lebanon to cross train terrorists and learn how to make ‘big bombs.’”[iv]
Mike Boetthcher reported in November 2002 that “CNN learned from coalition intelligence sources that several top terrorist operatives met recently in the area—where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay intersect—to plan attacks against U.S. and Israeli targets in the Western hemisphere.
“Sources said the meetings, which took place in and around Ciudad del Este, were attended by representatives of Hezbollah and other groups sympathetic to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida terrorist network.”[v]
The fact that these terrorist groups are working together now has significant implications for your safety. As Boaz Ganor, executive director of the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, ICT, said, “I believe that the international community, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, finds itself in unprecedented peril. The danger is based on a combination of three main factors inherent in modern international terrorism: the very extreme ideology inherent in the Islamic radical worldview, the deadly methods used, and the possibility that these radicals will turn to non-conventional means. This is a scale of danger that humanity has not been accustomed to facing on a daily basis, and with which we do not yet have the tools to deal adequately.”[vi]

Thirty-six groups made the State Department’s “Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations” list for 2002.
Fifteen of the groups are not motivated by Muslim religious ideology. These include; Aum Shinrikyo, Spain’s ETA, Communist Party of the Philippines, Kahane Chai, Kurdistan Workers Party, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Mujahedin-e Khalq, Colombia’s ELN, Revolutionary Armed Forces and United Self Defense Forces/Group, Real IRA, Greece’s 17 November and Nuclei, Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front, and Sendero Luminoso.
Of the remaining 21 groups, eleven appear to be geographically centered. These include: Abu Nidal, whose namesake died in Iraq in November 2002; Abu Sayyef; Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade; Armed Islamic Group; Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; Lash Kar - e Tayyiba; Lashkar I Jhangv; Palestine Liberation Front; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; PFLP-GC; and the Salafist Group for the Call and Combat.
While it would appear none of these groups are actively targeting the continental United States, it should be noted that several have had contacts with jihadists and ‘Afghan Alumni,’ and could turn up in future terrorist operations. They pose enormous dangers to western civilians traveling through their area of operations. Abu Sayyef, Armed Islamic Group, Salafist Group for the Call and Combat and others not included on this particular list are known to have known Al-Qaida ties.
The remaining ten pose varying degrees of threats to the United States and other Western democracies.
These include: Al-Qaida and partners Asbat al-Ansar, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Jaish-e Mohammed, Jemaah Islamiya, and Al-Jihad. The remaining three, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are the largest and deadliest groups in the Middle East.
We will begin with the group a 2003 CBS report called “the A-Team of terrorism.” A group that Florida Senator Bob Graham said “has a significant presence of its trained operatives inside the United States waiting for the call to action.”[vii]
The group is Hezbollah.

Hezbollah—The Party of God

While Al-Qaida may be the rock stars of the current Muslim terrorist movement, many say the most dangerous is Hezbollah, a group that arose in the Bekaa Valley during the early 1980s to oppose the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. The “Party of God” has brought the world two leading terrorist inventions, mega-truck bombs, and suicide bombers. Until 9/11, they could claim killing more Americans than any other terrorist group.
Hezbollah is supported by both Iran and Syria, and it is the heavy connection to Iran that worries many Western observers. A high-ranking government official told me that, “when the Iranians finally get the bomb, Israel and the United States will face a far greater danger than the U.S. faced during the Cold War. Because, at least the Russians were sane.”
Hezbollah’s leader, the charismatic Sheik Hasan Nasrallah, is not well known outside the Shia Muslim community, but according to Vince Cannistraro, CIA Director George Tenet, and other intelligence professionals is a much more formidable opponent than bin Laden. His intelligence and charisma make him extremely loved and revered among the Shia population. Besides turning Hezbollah into a formidable fighting force, Nasrallah has turned the group into a potent political force as well.
According to Michael Donavon of the Center for Defense Information (CDI), “Hezbollah holds seats in the Lebanese parliament and runs a variety of social institutions, including schools and hospitals. Both the Lebanese government and people view its attacks on Israeli settlements as acts of legitimate resistance…. The group’s spiritual leadership quickly condemned the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, stressing that it did not share Osama bin Laden’s goal of a clash of civilizations.”[viii]

Nasrallah is a great orator and you don’t have to understand Arabic to appreciate his speeches that are regularly featured on the Hezbollah web site and radio station.[ix] He dismisses any suggestion that Hezbollah currently poses a threat to Americans. “I believe the Americans are just saying what the Israelis want them to say. I consider this to be an Israeli accusation coming out of an American mouth and nothing more,” Nasrallah told CBS news.[x]
While there is no doubt that the Israelis have a vested interest in the United States viewing Hezbollah as a sanctioned terrorist organization, there is little doubt within the intelligence community that Hezbollah hasn’t been dormant in attacks against the United States.
Former CIA operative Bob Baer outlined the progression in his book See No Evil. According to Baer, the CIA found evidence that members of Saudi Hezbollah traveled to Iran in 1991.[xi] The next year, the Iranian Pasdaran opened a training base in the Bekaa Valley to train Hezbollah terrorist cadres. Following a fatwa issued by an Iranian cleric, the Saudi National Guard facility in Riyadh was bombed on November 1995, killing five Americans. According to Baer, it was elements of Hezbollah that blew up the Khobar barracks on June 25, 1996 killing 19 Americans.
The Saudis conveniently executed all the Khobar participants they captured and the administration and State Department swept the Hezbollah and Iranian involvement under the diplomatic carpet.
There is also growing evidence of Hezbollah involvement in the jihad against American forces in Iraq.
Nasrallah spoke before a group of more than 150,000 in Beirut in March 2003 and said, “We say to the American administration ‘Don’t expect the people of this region to receive you with flowers and perfume. The people of this region will receive you with rifles, blood, arms, and martyrdom operations.’ In the past, when the Marines were in Beirut and their fleets were in the Mediterranean Sea, we screamed in the southern suburbs ‘Death to America.’ Today, the region is being filled with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and fleets and ‘Death to America’ was, is, and will stay our slogan.”[xii]
More links between Al-Qaida and Hezbollah are reported each day.
According to Avi Davis of the Freemen Center for Strategic Studies, “Western intelligence has now revealed a high level of cooperation between bin Laden and Imad Muganiyeh, the terrorist who masterminded some of Hezbollah’s most spectacular atrocities and kidnappings in Lebanon. According to reports, Muganiyeh first met with bin Laden as early as 1995 and those meetings have continued.
“More than this, since Al-Qaida fled Afghanistan at the end of last year,” the Sunday Telegraph reports, “between 80 and 100 Al-Qaida fighters were provided with false passports by Hezbollah before being relocated to southern Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. The same report acknowledges that Hezbollah, working hand in hand with Al-Qaida, has set up cells in the Far East including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.”[xiii]

There is at least one direct connection between the United States and Hezbollah cells. In 2002, two Muslim men were convicted of a running a multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling ring out of North Carolina with portions of the funds going directly to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The apparent growth of Hezbollah operatives around the globe has led CIA director George Tenet and Senator Richard Shelby to make public statements concerning the danger posed by Hezbollah to Americans.
It appears the conflict between people in the State Department who don’t want to bring heavy pressure down on both Iran and Syria for their patronage of Hezbollah, and hawks in the administration who would like to prosecute the war against terror to places like the two countries, will continue for time to come.
Last September, one of the few State Department hawks, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage sent a not-so-diplomatic warning to Hezbollah that once the U.S. finishes with Al-Qaida there will be a score to settle with Hezbollah. “They have a blood debt to us and we’re not going to forget it,” Armitage said.
.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad—The South Florida Connection

Palestinian Islamic Jihad—PIJ—is an international organization with cells or units located worldwide. It exists for the creation of a Palestinian state and according to its published manifesto, the destruction of the nation of Israel and the end to all Western influence of the Great Satan—America—in the Middle East regardless of the cost to the inhabitants. It is a jihadist organization nowhere near the size of Hezbollah or Hamas, but similarly supported by Iran and Syria.
PIJ was formed in 1979 by Islamic fundamentalist Fathi Shaqaqi and other radical Palestinian students in Egypt who had split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip, which they deemed too moderate. The 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran influenced the group’s founder, Shaqaqi, who believed the liberation of Palestine would unite the Arab and Muslim world into a single great Islamic state.
The PIJ began its terrorist campaign against Israel in the 1980s. In 1987, prior to the Intifada, it carried out several terrorist attacks in the Gaza Strip. In August 1988, the faction’s leaders, Shaqaqi and ’Abd al-’Aziz ’Odah, were expelled to Lebanon where Shaqaqi reorganized the faction, maintaining close contacts with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards unit stationed in Lebanon and with Hezbollah.
Although several other factions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad were formed in the 1980s, the main faction remains the group founded by Shaqaqi. After the 1993Oslo Peace Accords between Israeli and the Palestinians, Shaqaqi expanded the political connections of the organization to become a member of the new Syrian influenced Rejection Front.
It has carried out numerous suicide bombings in efforts to liberate Palestine from the “rivers to the sea.”

PIJ has been responsible for the death of Americans visiting Israel, however inadvertently:

April 9, 1995, Kfar Darom and Netzarim, Gaza Strip. Two suicide attacks were carried out within a few hours of each other in Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. In the first attack a suicide bomber crashed an explosive-rigged van into an Israeli bus in Netzarim, killing eight, including U.S. citizen Alisa Flatow, 20, of West Orange, NJ. More than 30 others were injured. In the second attack, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb in the midst of a convoy of cars in Kfar Darom, injuring 12. The PIJ Shaqaqi Faction claimed responsibility for the attacks. U.S. citizens Chava Levine and Seth Klein were injured.
March 4, 1996, Tel Aviv, Israel. A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside the Dizengoff Center, Tel Aviv’s largest shopping mall, killing 20 people and injuring 75 others, including two U.S. citizens. Both Hamas and the PIJ claimed responsibility for the bombing. U.S. citizens injured included Julie K. Negrin of Seattle, WA.[xiv]


It also has the distinction of being partially run from the United States and many of its leaders were protected under the guise of academic freedom at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. Eight Muslim men were indicted in early 2003 in the United States District Court, Tampa Division for a variety of charges, and according to the indictment, “did secretly establish cells or sections of the PIJ in different countries, and in the United States utilize the structure, facilities and academic environment of USF to conceal the activities of the PIJ.
“The enterprise members would and did commit acts of violence, intimidation, and threats against Israel, its inhabitants and others, including murders and suicide bombings, and solicit others to do so, with the intent to drive Israel out of the territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and to end any influence of the United States in the Middle East.”[xv]
The eight conspirators, of which Sami Amin Al-Arian and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, two former USF professors, are the most well known, are charged with using USF as the instrument to bring other PIJ members and associates into the United States under the guise of academic conferences and other meetings.
They set up the World and Islam Studies Enterprise, WISE, Islamic Concern Project, ICP, Islamic Academy of Florida (IAF)—all to raise money, recruit and legitimize the conspirators’ true purposes.
The PIJ saga is an object lesson in freedom you take for granted being misused for terrorist purposes under the protection of academic and religious freedom. The conspirators well understood the leeway American freedoms gave them and actually encouraged others at conferences not to worry about prosecution.
It is also a warning and lesson on the religious insurgency you now face. Finally, it as an example of the how international terrorist groups move and operate freely across borders, raising money in one country, recruiting in another, and carrying out violence in yet another.

Using freedom of speech and assembly, the conspirators traveled the country raising money and encouraging other terrorist groups operating within the United States.
Some of the examples of the speech listed in the Tampa indictment included:

§ Ghassan Zayed Ballut told a Chicago audience in 1991 that there was no logic but the logic of jihad. He said the rifles must be raised in one direction, the chest of the enemy, and then advised the crowd that the enemy was in the desert of Kuwait and that coalition forces were going to kill their babies in Iraq.
§ Sami Al-Arian told the same conference that Jews were damned; that Allah had made them monkeys and swine and damned in this world and in the afterworld.
§ In a another conference in Chicago in 1991, attended by Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and several of the first World Trade Center bombers, Abd Al Aziz Awda advised participants to focus on the armed struggle and that they should not fear accusations of terrorism or extremism.
§ In a conference in Chicago in 1992, Shallah told the participants that the enemies were the United States, the Zionists, and the Arab governments. He said that Muslims should not be defensive or apologize for charges including those of terrorism, that jihad required Muslims to terrorize, devastate, humiliate, and degrade enemies, because they were enemies of Allah and that the Koran instructed Muslims to fight and kill those people.

Ramadan Abdullah Shallah came to the United States on an Egyptian passport in 1998. He arrived in Tampa in 1991, teaching politics and later Arabic classes at USF and joining the World and Islam Studies Enterprise, a think tank on Middle East issues affiliated with USF and founded by USF professor and co-conspirator Sami Al-Arian.
Steven Emerson’s 1994 PBS documentary “Jihad in America,” pointed out allegations of Shallah and Al-Arian’s involvement in PIJ. In May 1995, the Tampa Tribune ran a two-part article that questioned ties among USF, WISE, and the Islamic Committee for Palestine charity. Other media, academic, and Muslim groups within the United States savaged all the journalists involved in stories questioning Al-Arian’s activities.
Sometime in the spring of 1995, Shallah announced he was leaving Tampa to go home to be with family. His academic friends next saw him when he was announced as the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad after his predecessor, Fathi Shikaki, was assassinated in October 1995. Most believe that Israeli agents killed Shikaki, and Shallah now remains exclusively in Syria to avoid a similar fate.
Predictably, many were shocked to find the professor had duped them. “He did good scholarly work and there was never any evidence that he was active on the part of Islamic Jihad,” says professor Arthur Lowrie, a retired foreign service officer who helped coordinate academic conferences sponsored by USF and WISE.[xvi]

Emory political science professor Carrie Rosefsky Wickham who had recommended Shallah for another conference had her eyes opened when FBI agents called her. The agent asked, “What is your connection to Ramadan Abdullah?” she recalled. “I was actually quite disturbed,” she said—not so much that the FBI was calling, but because she just hadn’t considered that Shallah’s blunt criticisms of the United States and Israel would go that far beyond speech. “I felt deceived at some level,” she said. “He did not hide his very critical American policy perspective in the region, or what he viewed as Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. I guess I had just failed to understand someone could be a serious intellectual counterpart and condone terrorist acts on civilians. I did not think of him as a committed terrorist.”[xvii]
With Shallah popping up on television all over the Middle East and taking credit for a growing list of violence against Israel it was hard for anyone not to admit there had been a terrorist among us.
Not so for Al-Arian, a North Carolina State graduate who became the cause celebre for various liberal media, academic, and Muslim organizations. Al-Arian’s troubles were exacerbated in September 2001 when he, already under suspicion and investigation for his connections with Shallah, appeared on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor.
O’Reilly, armed with many statements Al-Arian had made during the good old days of not worrying about being called a terrorist or an extremist, faced the glare of the post 9/11 world and didn’t fare well. The predictable outrage following Al-Arian’s miserable performance hastened Al-Arian being put on administrative leave.
Journalists from The New York Times, Washington Post and other publications weighed in on the implications of the actions.
The American Association of University Professors wrote to USF saying they are interested in the case and whether it represented a violation of Dr. Al-Arian’s academic freedom.
Sami Al-Arian was finally arrested in February 2003, for charges in the words of his attorney Nicholas Matassini that are a “politically motivated” case against him. Matassini also called his client a “political prisoner”' and said al-Arian began an immediate hunger and medicine strike to protest his detention.[xviii]
This, by the way, is exactly the advice given in the Al-Qaida manual for detained operatives. This is not to suggest Al-Arian is connected to Al-Qaida—just that Muslim extremists understand who to manipulate the system.
The Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR, called a news conference, and Ahmed Bedier, the Miami office’s communication director worried the arrest would bring repercussions. “It’s not about Sami as a person,” he said. “It’s about a situation that could set a precedent for other Muslims across the country.”[xix]
That precedent, that you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, is true, and Al-Arian sits in a jail in South Florida preparing his own defense as he unwisely fired his court-appointed attorneys. As of October 2003, he had not been convicted—only indicted.
[i] “Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders,” World Islamic Front, February 23, 1998
[ii] Sami al Arian and several co-conspirators ran PIJ under cover of academic freedom in Tampa, Florida.
[iii] “Islamic Fundamentalists from Al-Qaida , Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad Meet in Bosnia,” PRAVDA, October 9, 2002
[iv] John Miller, Michael Stone, Chris Mitchell, “The Terrorist Who Came in From the Cold,” The Cell Chapter 10 page164, Hyperion, New York 2003
[v] Mike Boettcher, “South America’s ‘tri-border’ back on terrorism radar,” CNN, Friday, November 8 2002
[vi] Boaz Ganor, remarks from a lecture given at the Sydney Institute, Australia, August 2002.
[vii] Bob Graham in a CBS News 60 Minutes Story, “Hezbollah” A-Team of Terrorists, April 18, 2003
[viii] Michael Donavan “In the Spotlight: Hezbollah (Party of God),” CDI, February 25, 2002
[ix] The English website is http://www.hizbollah.org/english/frames/index_eg.htm. Al Manar -- the Arabic word for beacon -- is the official television station of Lebanon's Party of God.
[x] “Hezbollah” A-Team of Terrorists, CBS News 60 Minutes, April 18, 2003

[xi] Robert Baer, See No Evil, Page 250, Crown Publishers, New York, 2002
[xii] The speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the tenth day of Ashoura-13-3-2003, Hezbollah website and numerous media reports. March 13, 2003
[xiii] Avi Davis, “THE FRANCHISING OF HEZBOLLAH, Freeman Center for Strategic Studies. September 2003


[xiv] Sources: Chronology on Terrorist Incidents 1961-2001, State Department; "Patterns of Terrorism" reports 1995-2000; State Department Institute for Counter-Terrorism Database; Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya; Peacewatch, The Washington Institute for New East Policy; AIPAC; Ha'aretz, Republican Study Committee
[xv] United States of America V. Sami Amin Al-Arian, et al, Case Number 8:03-Cr, Section E. Overt Acts Article 5, United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, page 11
[xvi] Susan Aschoff, “Jihad leader emerged from shadows of USF,” St Petersburg Times, February 21, 2003
[xvii] Lee Shearer, “Panelist Becomes Terrorist,” Athens Georgia Banner Herald, October 21, 2001
[xviii] Phil Long and Gail Epstein Nieves, “professor Accused of Financing Terror,” The Miami Herald, February 23, 2003
[xix] Babita Persaud, “Local Muslims deny Al-Arian fits government description,” St Petersburg Times, February 21, 2003

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