Friday, February 11, 2005

ON THE RECORD

Islamist Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, in an exclusive interview, discusses the rationale for 9/11, the Christians he most respects, and the Jesus he defends.
Interview by Anthony McRoy | posted 02/01/2005 9:00 a.m.

Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad is the leader of one of the most controversial Islamist groups in the U.K., Al Muhajiroun (which means "the emigrants" in Arabic). He attracted global media scrutiny on the first anniversary of 9/11 by staging a meeting entitled "A Towering Day in History," and unveiled a poster that depicted the second airplane advancing toward the World Trade Center.

This month in Britain, Scotland Yard officials said they were investigating Sheikh Omar on suspicion of his support for "global jihad," including inciting Muslim youth to join the insurgency in Iraq. Omar, a Syrian, resides in Britain, which granted him political asylum years ago.

Omar is not a stranger to Britain's Christian community. In 1999, apologist Jay Smith of Hyde Park Christian Fellowship debated Sheikh Omar and called on him to "condemn any form of religious violence, whenever and wherever it is perpetrated in the name of God." Though differing with Smith on many issues, Omar nonetheless deeply respects him.

Christianity Today thought readers would want to better understand Omar's radical views on jihad and on his take on the Christian faith. Anthony McRoy, a London-based scholar of Islam, and a religion journalist, recently interviewed Omar Bakri Muhammad. Naturally, we don't defend Omar's views, but only present them to help Christians better understand Omar's brand of Islam, which is so prevalent in the world today.

Since the time Sheikh Omar granted this interview, he has issued a statement officially dissolving Al Muhajiroun. A later report in the Muslim Weekly, emanating from the Luton Council of Mosques (which opposes him), suggested that plans are afoot to re-brand the group as Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaah. Other British Muslim groups, such as the Muslim Council of Britain, frequently denounce Sheikh Omar.

Why do you believe hatred toward the United States could lead to the 9/11 attacks?

Islam is the final revelation, therefore those believing in it submit to Allah—the only One worthy of obedience in every sphere of life. To understand 9/11, we must go back to Tawhid— the exclusive worship of God in every sphere—religious, political, social, etc. Every human action must relate to this. 9/11 was undoubtedly an unpleasant moment for its targets or their relatives (Muslims and non-Muslim), but those committing it acted as a result of the predestined divine decree (although God does give man free will).

The "Magnificent 19" or "terrorists" are personally accountable for their actions. If these were based on God's commands, they will be rewarded; if against his commands, they will be punished.

The 19 referred to a divine text, Surah AL-Baqara 2:190: "Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you … " Muslims believe that non-Muslims are kaffir—those disbelieving in Islam. This is not an insult; it is a description. The God in whom we believe did not come from the womb of a mother. The USA is a kaffir state—and kaffir includes those U.S. Muslims who ally with non-Muslims, e.g. in the U.S. Army, as in Iraq, and are therefore legitimate targets of jihad.

Americans should listen to Muslims who believe in 9/11 and not to those Muslims who do not! "Terrorism" can be either positive or negative—i.e., for or against God. U.S. terrorism in Iraq is anti-God. U.S. voters have joint liability with the government they choose, as do Russian voters in regard to the actions of their government in Chechnya—yet they voted for Putin. Complicity in the acts of one's rulers makes one a legitimate target.

America is hated because they are aggressors against Muslims in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Palestine, or by supporting corrupt, puppet Muslim regimes such as the Saudis, Egypt, the Gulf states, and the Shah of Iran. After World War II, America effectively declared war on Muslims and Islam—replacing the British and French Empires, controlling ex-British puppet rulers, but especially by giving military, financial, and diplomatic support to the Israelis. America uses its U.N. veto against Muslims. It establishes U.S. bases across the Muslim world—itself an act of aggression.

Do you believe that 9/11 was in any way Islamically justifiable?

Speaking objectively as a Muslim scholar, and not inciting such acts, jihad can be effected outside the battlefield—it is not restricted by time, place, building, event, people, transport food, water (both of which may be legitimately poisoned in jihad), or by clothing—there is no need to wear a uniform.

Any weapons are legitimate in jihad. Even animals may be used as "suicide bombers"! It is not restricted by target—even Muslims or children, if used by the enemy as human shields, can be killed. Only one thing can restrict jihad—a Covenant of Security [Treaty]. Non-combatant women, children, elders, clergy, insane, disabled are restricted, and non-Muslim children go to Paradise. However, if such are killed in crossfire or if used as human shields, they become collateral damage.

Again, speaking objectively as a Muslim scholar, and not inciting such acts, 9/11 was justifiable because America had no Covenant of Security with the Muslims, although Muslims in the U.S. are under a Covenant of Security whereby they may not act militarily against America. Only qualified scholars in fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] could have planned this—because the 19 used non-Muslim aliases to enter the country (which legally allowed them to act in jihad).

When I heard about it, I prayed to God that no Muslims in America did it because such is haram [forbidden in Islam]. After Al Qaeda admitted responsibility, it was obvious that qualified ulema [Islamic scholars] were behind it. Thus, Al-Qaeda has revived the culture of terrorism in Islam after 200 years.

What about the hostage-taking and massacre of schoolchildren in Beslan, Russia, in September 2004?

As stated, there is no restriction on place (it could even occur in Mecca)—so schools are legitimate targets of jihad, but it is up to local mujahedeen [those who engage in jihad] to decide the best strategy.

Killing women and children never was and never will be part of the jihad in Islam, whether that be the women or children of the Muslims or non-Muslims. So if Chechen mujahedeen killed women and children in Beslan, I would condemn it. The children of non-Muslims, such as those at Beslan, who die in such circumstances go to Paradise.

Would you characterize Al Qaeda's jihad as being anti-Christian as well as being Anti-American?

Al Qaeda comes from the Ahl-us Sunnah wa Jamaah sect—also known as Salafis or Al-Huruba [strangers], or "People of Tawhid" [Wahhabi branch of Islam], which explains why Zarqawi in Iraq uses the term. The jihad is not specifically anti-American.

In terms of Islamic jurisprudence, only Muslims are innocent—non-Muslims are not. By default, all non-Muslims are rebel criminals against God. Muslims who engage in interfaith [gatherings] are apostate. God discriminates among man on basis of faith. The jihad is not specifically anti-Christian—it is anti-kaffir.

Bin Laden says that his jihad is defensive. Could you explain this?

Salafis do not use these terms, but defensive jihad is the response to when Muslims are attacked. Offensive jihad is when Islam is brought militarily by the Islamic state in conquest, or when Muslims are arrested [for their belief].

9/11 was not an attempt to conquer America, but rather an act of retaliation. Its aim was to force America out of the Muslim world by inflicting the same pain on them as they inflict on Muslims.

Many Muslim scholars think that all Israelis, as "colonial dispossessors," but not all Americans or Russians, fit this category. What is the position of Islamic law? Is it halal (permitted by shari'ah law) to behead Western hostages in Iraq?

Women and children [i.e. boys under 15] or Muslims are not legitimate targets—nor are any noncombatants [clergy, disabled, insane, elderly, etc.]. Not even Israeli children or women, unless they serve in the military, which most do, or live in properties taken from dispossessed Palestinians (Muslim or Christian), which virtually all do.

However, if children are killed, the fault lies with the adult occupiers who brought them into a battlefield situation. There are two kinds of Jews in Palestine: firstly, the indigenous Palestinian Jews who always lived there with Muslims and Christians, with whom there is no problem unless they support the occupiers, and secondly, the illegitimate European colonists from Poland, Russia, etc., who are legitimate targets in jihad, because they dispossessed Muslims and covenanted [protected, indigenous] Christians.

Regarding beheading, it is halal to behead Muslim criminals! It is halal to kill hostages in a war zone. Regarding what can be done to secure their release, either they or their families could embrace Islam. Or, based on the principle in Islamic jurisprudence that what benefits Islam and the Ummah [global Muslim community] is best—such as when Salah ad-Din [Saladin] after the-recapture of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] said he would only restore the True Cross to the Crusaders if it benefited the Muslims—the relatives of hostages could offer to continually denounce the Crusades, the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided the Middle East between the French and British, the 1917 Balfour Declaration that handed Palestine to the Zionists, U.N. Resolution 181 that established the Zionist entity, and also American government support for what the Zionist regime does to the Palestinians, as well as condemn the situations at Guantanamo Bay, Umm Qasr, Bagran, and Abu Ghraib prisons.

The mujahedeen then might consider that the benefits of releasing the hostages outweigh those in killing them. What happened in Spain demonstrated this: when the government announced withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the mujahedeen responded positively. Muslims appreciate the antiwar marches in the West. Bin Laden called on European peoples to condemn their governments.

On what basis could America have peace? Could you explain the Hudaibiyya Treaty and its implications? Is it one-off or renewable?

What the U.S. 9/11 Commission Report stated was untrue—it is not necessary for America to convert to Islam to have peace. Muslims fight America because they are aggressors; we fight apostate Muslim governments because they are aggressors against Islamic law.

Peace could come if America withdrew its forces from the Muslim world, stopped exploiting Muslim resources such as oil, have decent relationships with Muslims, and stopped supporting the Zionist aggressors and Muslim puppet governments. In other words, "Hands off Muslim lands!" Muslims did not attack the USA—the reverse is true. 9/11 was an act of retaliation. As Bin Laden said, peace will come when the U.S. withdraws from the Muslim world.

The Hudaibiyya Treaty was a 10-year truce between Muslim Medina and the pagan Meccans, and it is a basis for today. It is also renewable. It establishes a Covenant of Security. However, this is not possible with occupiers—so it could not be established with the Zionists or their supporters.

Could you explain the concepts Bin Laden employs in his statements regarding 9/11 and other events: the House of War versus the House of Faith, and the other sphere, the House of Truce or Pact? Is the latter a basis for the end of hostilities? Can jihad ever end?

Dar al-Harb, which is somewhat misleadingly translated "House of War," refers to the sphere that wars against God or Muslims. The non-Islamic domain is either at war with Muslims or under treaty. Under Dar al-Ahad—the Domain of Security—the area becomes a suspended Dar al-Harb, because treaty prevents conflict, wherein there is freedom of speech, the right of religious propagation and no military aggression.

Today there is no Dar al-Islam—the whole world is Dar al-Harb because it is the sphere of non-shari'ah. There is Dar al-Harb in terms of military aggression and occupation.

The aim of the Khilafah [Caliphate]—the ideal Islamic State, which does not presently exist—is to conquer the world, either militarily or intellectually through people converting to Islam. Under the Islamic State there is no compulsion to convert to Islam, just to have an Islamic political order. If the right of religious propagation is forbidden, the USA becomes Dar al-Fitnah [Domain of Persecution]. There is also Dar al-Amen, where Muslims live in non-Muslim lands under a Covenant of Security. A Covenant of Security can be of two kinds: (1) a visa for sturdy, asylum, etc., and (2) original Shari'ah rules whereby the norm that the lives and property of non-Muslims are lawful for Muslims to take unless they embrace Islam are removed because of a Covenant of Security.

The Mujahedeen today feel that they are like Abu Basir after the Hudaibiyya Treaty. [The treaty required Muhammad to return any man coming from Mecca. Abu Basir, a new Muslim convert, went to Mecca, but was pursued by two Meccans who successfully demanded that he be handed over. On the way back he slew one of them, but Muhammad, in loyalty to his promise, refused to receive him. Then he fled to live a brigand-like life with others in his situation, killing Meccan pagans and taking their property. Eventually the Meccans asked Muhammad to receive his group into Medina]. Thus, the Mujahedeen, knowing there is no Covenant of Security, believe all lives and property to be halal for them. However, the norm is a treaty situation.

The USA ceases to be Dar al-Amen for Muslims in America if: (1) America declares Islam to be the enemy; (2) it starts arresting or killing Muslims; (3) it bans Islamic preaching. Muslims are not allowed to fight America from within its borders when they normally live there—they must leave and then fight.

There can be no end to jihad—a hadith [narration of Muhammad] states this, but treaties can be a form of jihad. An example is the treaty relationship established between Medina and the Christian state of Najran, or the Jewish entity of Khaybar, where both were self-governing, but within Dar al-Islam.

You have talked about the Islamic flag flying over Downing Street, and I have seen a hadith on your website saying that the end would not come until the White House is captured. How do you envisage these goals being achieved?

"The final hour will not come until the Muslims conquer the White House" is a hadith related by Tabarani, a great Muslim scholar. How?

The Khilafah is necessary for offensive jihad, though it could occur if Muslims warred to liberate captive Muslims. Realistically, it will probably occur through intellectual da'wah [Islamic missionary activity].

How would a Caliphate operate?

Under the Khilafah, authority is centralized, but not administration. The Caliph appoints ministers, judges, governors, army commanders, etc. Constitutionally, although all analogies are imperfect, the Khilafah is closer to the U.S. presidential system than to the U.K. parliamentary system with a Prime Minister, although the major difference is that the Caliph operates under a divine mandate.

There could be no non-Muslim judges. Effectively, the Qur'an and Sunnah [practice and narrations of Muhammad related in Hadith] are the Constitution, Shari'ah is the law. The Caliph is chosen by Muslims, whether by popular election, or selection by Majlis as-Shura [Consultative Assembly]. Non-Muslims can enter the Majlis to represent their own community.

What would be the rights of Christians in a restored Caliphate?

As citizens, in terms of welfare and security, education, etc., they will be equal. They will be exempt from national service, although they can volunteer. They will pay the Jizya poll-tax for security and signifying that they submit to Islamic law, except if they join the army. This need not be levied with humiliation. Nor is it levied on women, children, clergy, elderly, etc., only on mature, working males.

No private schools will be allowed, and there will be an Islamically influenced national curriculum. No new churches will be permitted, but existing ones will be allowed. Private consumption of alcohol will be permitted, but not its public sale. All state officials must be Muslims, save for the Caliph's assistants to advise him about relations with non-Muslim citizens. Muslims could not convert to Christianity on pain of execution. Evangelistic campaigns would be forbidden, but people would be free to present Christianity on TV, in debates, etc.

You have debated American evangelicals like Jay Smith. Do you only believe in debating or do you see a place for dialogue?

Debate and dialogue is the same. A treaty is dialogue. No inter-faith; religions are not the same. Debate is fine.

Talking of Jay, what do you think of him and other evangelicals that you have met?

I feel very comfortable with Jay—with him, what you see is what you get. He is no hypocrite, and neither are Salafis. His words and actions match his heart. He does not pretend by saying soft words about Islam. The Qur'an calls for debate.

Specifically, what do you think of U.S. evangelicals?

Most U.S. evangelicals refuse to debate Muslims, unlike the courage of Jay who boldly cries "Jesus is Lord!" I am always willing to meet him. However, I have no direct experience of most U.S. evangelicals, and I will not judge on the basis of what I see on TV. I am always skeptical of television.

You issued a fatwa some years ago sentencing the U.S. author of the "blasphemous" play Corpus Christi to death. What do you think of Christ?

In Islam, Jesus is called Al-Masih 'Isa [the Messiah Jesus]. He is a Messenger of Allah, miraculously born of the Virgin Mary. He spoke in the cradle, defended the message of previous prophets—Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc., preached the oneness of God, predicted the coming of a prophet called Ahmed [i.e., Muhammad], he denied the Trinity and being Son of God.

He will return before the Day of Judgment, and will be a Sign of the Hour. He will judge between Muslims and Christians, abolish jihad because his presence will be the point of conflict with the Dajjal [Antichrist], who will fight, allied with Jews and false Christians, against the Mahdi [Rightly-Guided one expected in Islamic eschatology] and Jesus.

The fatwa against the author of Corpus Christi was because it was an attack on Jesus, which is the same as an attack on Muhammad and God. Muslims have a duty to defend Jesus.

Copyright © 2005 Christianity Today.
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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Terrorists and WMDs: CIA Briefs Law Enforcement on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Threats

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by Jim Kouri, CPP

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[The Central Intelligence Agency recently released declassified reports to the National Association of Chiefs of Police regarding CBRN threats to the United States. The following is a synopsis of the information contained in these disturbing reports.]

Al-Qa'ida and associated extremist groups have a wide variety of potential agents and delivery means to choose from for chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attacks. Al-Qa'ida's end goal is the use of CBRN to cause mass casualties; however, most attacks by the group—and especially by associated extremists—probably will be small scale, incorporating relatively crude delivery means and easily produced or obtained chemicals, toxins, or radiological substances. The success of any al-Qa'ida attack and the number of ensuing casualties would depend on many factors, including the technical expertise of those involved, but most scenarios could cause panic and disruption.

Several groups of mujahidin associated with al-Qa'ida have attempted to carry out "poison plot" attacks in Europe with easily produced chemicals and toxins best suited to assassination and small-scale scenarios. These agents could cause hundreds of casualties and widespread panic if used in multiple simultaneous attacks.

Al-Qa'ida is interested in radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) or "dirty bombs." Construction of an RDD is well within its capabilities as radiological materials are relatively easy to acquire from industrial or medical sources. Usama Bin Ladin's operatives may try to launch conventional attacks against the nuclear industrial infrastructure of the United States in a bid to cause contamination, disruption, and terror. A document recovered from an al-Qa'ida facility in Afghanistan contained a sketch of a crude nuclear device.

Spray devices disseminating biological warfare (BW) agents have the highest potential impact. Both 11 September attack leader Mohammad Atta and Zacharias Moussaoui expressed interest in crop dusters, raising our concern that al-Qa'ida has considered using aircraft to disseminate BW agents.

Analysis of an al-Qa'ida document recovered in Afghanistan in summer 2002 indicates the group has crude procedures for making mustard agent, sarin, and VX.

Chemical Agents

Terrorists have considered a wide range of toxic chemicals for attacks. Typical plots focus on poisoning foods or spreading the agent on surfaces to poison via skin contact, but some also include broader dissemination techniques.

Terrorists have considered using a number of toxic cyanide compounds. Sodium or potassium cyanides are white-to-pale yellow salts that can be easily used to poison food or drinks. Cyanide salts can be disseminated as a contact poison when mixed with chemicals that enhance skin penetration, but may be detected since most people will notice if they touch wet or greasy surfaces contaminated with the mixture.

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and cyanogen chloride (ClCN) are colorless-to-pale yellow liquids that will turn into a gas near room temperature. HCN has a characteristic odor of bitter almonds, and ClCN has an acrid choking odor and causes burning pain in the victim's eyes. These signs may provide enough warning to enable evacuation or ventilation of the attack site before the agent reaches a lethal concentration.

Both HCN and ClCN need to be released at a high concentration—only practical in an enclosed area—to be effective, therefore, leaving the area or ventilating will significantly reduce the agent's lethality. Exposure to cyanide may produce nausea, vomiting, palpitations, confusion, hyperventilation, anxiety, and vertigo that may progress to agitation, stupor, coma, and death. At high doses, cyanides cause immediate collapse. Medical treatments are available, but they need to be used immediately for severely exposed victims.

Mustard Agent is a blister agent that poses a contact and vapor hazard. Its color ranges from clear to dark brown depending on purity, and it has a characteristic garliclike odor. Mustard is a viscous liquid at room temperature.

Mustard is not commercially available, but its synthesis does not require significant expertise if a step-by-step procedure with diagrams is available. Initial skin contact with mustard causes mild skin irritation, which develops into more severe yellow fluid-filled blisters. Inhalation of mustard damages the lungs, causes difficulty breathing, and death by suffocation in severe cases due to water in the lungs. For both skin contact and inhalation, symptoms appear within six to 24 hours. There are only limited medical treatments available for victims of mustard-agent poisoning.

Sarin, tabun, and VX are highly toxic military agents that disrupt a victim's nervous system by blocking the transmission of nerve signals.

These agents are not commercially available, and their synthesis requires significant chemical expertise. Exposure to nerve agents causes pinpoint pupils, salivation, and convulsions that can lead to death. Medical treatments are available, but they need to be used immediately for severely exposed victims.

There are a wide range of toxic industrial chemicals that—while not as toxic as cyanide, mustard, or nerve agents—can be used in much larger quantities to compensate for their lower toxicity.

Chlorine and phosgene are industrial chemicals that are transported in multi-ton shipments by road and rail. Rupturing the container can easily disseminate these gases. The effects of chlorine and phosgene are similar to those of mustard agent.

Organophosphate pesticides such as parathion are in the same chemical class as nerve agents. Although these pesticides are much less toxic, their effects and medical treatments are the same as for military-grade nerve agents.


Biological Agents

Anthrax or Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, is capable of causing mass casualties. Symptoms usually appear within one to six days after exposure and include fever, malaise, fatigue, and shortness of breath. The disease is usually fatal unless antibiotic treatment is started within hours of inhaling anthrax spores; however, it is not contagious. Few people are vaccinated against anthrax. Anthrax can be disseminated in an aerosol or used to contaminate food and water.

Cutaneous anthrax can be caused by skin contact with B. anthracis. This form of the disease, which is easily treated with antibiotics, is rarely fatal.

Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which occurs naturally in the soil. Crude but viable methods to produce small quantities of this lethal toxin have been found in terrorist training manuals. Symptoms usually occur 24 to 36 hours after exposure, but onset of illness may take several days if the toxin is present in low doses. They include vomiting, abdominal pain, muscular weakness, and visual disturbance.
Botulinum toxin would be effective in small-scale poisonings or aerosol attacks in enclosed spaces, such as movie theaters. The toxin molecule is likely too large to penetrate intact skin.

Ricin is a plant toxin that is 30 times more potent than the nerve agent VX by weight and is readily obtainable by extraction from common castor beans. There is no treatment for ricin poisoning after it has entered the bloodstream. Victims start to show symptoms within hours to days after exposure, depending on the dosage and route of administration.

Terrorists have looked at delivering ricin in foods and as a contact poison, although we have no scientific data to indicate that ricin can penetrate intact skin. Ricin will remain stable in foods as long as they are not heated, and it will have few indicators because it does not have a strong taste and is off-white in color.

Radiological and Nuclear Devices

Radiological Dispersal Device or RDD is a conventional bomb not a yield-producing nuclear device. RDDs are designed to disperse radioactive material to cause destruction, contamination, and injury from the radiation produced by the material. An RDD can be almost any size, defined only by the amount of radioactive material and explosives. A passive RDD is a system in which unshielded radioactive material is dispersed or placed manually at the target.

An explosive RDD—often called a "dirty bomb"—is any system that uses the explosive force of detonation to disperse radioactive material. A simple explosive RDD consisting of a lead-shielded container—commonly called a "pig"—and a kilogram of explosive attached could easily fit into a backpack.

An atmospheric RDD is any system in which radioactive material is converted into a form that is easily transported by air currents. Use of an RDD by terrorists could result in health, environmental, and economic effects as well as political and social effects. It will cause fear, injury, and possibly lead to levels of contamination requiring costly and time-consuming cleanup efforts.

A variety of radioactive materials are commonly available and could be used in an RDD, including Cesium-137, Strontium-90, and Cobalt-60. Hospitals, universities, factories, construction companies, and laboratories are possible sources for these radioactive materials.

Improvised Nuclear Device or IND is intended to cause a yield-producing nuclear explosion. An IND could consist of diverted nuclear weapon components, a modified nuclear weapon, or indigenous-designed device. INDs can be categorized into two types: implosion and gun assembled. Unlike RDDs that can be made with almost any radioactive material, INDs require fissile material—highly enriched uranium or plutonium—to produce nuclear yield.

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency, National Association of Chiefs of Police

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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

More Arab States May Have Received Nuclear Technology From Khan Black Market Network

Global Security Newswire
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U.S. officials are investigating whether the international nuclear network formerly headed by top Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan might have been used to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, Time magazine reported this week (see GSN, Feb. 3).

U.S. investigators have submitted questions to Khan, who has been under house arrest since confessing last year to orchestrating the network that transferred nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, as to whether Tehran and Pyongyang may have retransferred such items, according to Time. The fear is that one of the client nations might have passed nuclear technology or know-how to terrorists.

Pakistan, however has not allowed either the United States or the International Atomic Energy Agency to question Khan directly.

During a White House meeting in December, U.S. President George W. Bush told Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he believed Khan had not provided full information on the network, according to sources. While Musharraf agreed, he still would not allow non-Pakistani officials to interrogate Khan, Time reported.

Most of the nuclear network is still in place, according to sources close to the Khan Research Laboratories, Pakistan’s top nuclear facility, and a recent investigation of the facility discovered 16 containers of uranium hexafluoride gas missing, sources close to the laboratory said.

“Nothing has changed,” a former aide to Khan said. “The hardware is still available, and the network hasn’t stopped” (Powell/McGirk, Time, Feb. 14).

Pakistan today denied Time’s report that the Khan network might have been used to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

“The story is without facts and baseless,” Information Minister Sheikh Rashid said (Agence France-Presse/SpaceWar.com, Feb. 7).

Time also reported this week that Khan might have been caught through the aid of a mole inside his organization — the man described as the managing director of the network, Sri Lankan national Buhary Syed Abu Tahir.

“(The U.S.) made a compromise with him,” said a Libyan source. “He will be safe. They won’t touch him, but he had to cooperate.”

Tahir was arrested in Malaysia last year and has been held under a law allowing for infinite detention of those deemed to pose a security threat. He has provided a large amount of information to local authorities on the network, especially in regard to Iran and Libya, Time reported. Malaysia has decided to allow IAEA investigators to directly interrogate Tahir, the agency said last week (Time).


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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Denying Terrorism

by Daniel Pipes

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/2396
http://www.nysun.com/article/8881

Anyone following the investigation into the mid-January slaughter of the Armanious family (husband, wife, two young daughters), Copts living in Jersey City, N.J., knows who the presumptive suspects are: Islamists furious at a Christian Egyptian immigrant who dares engage in Internet polemics against Islam and who attempts to convert Muslims to Christianity.

The authorities, however, have blinded themselves to the extensive circumstantial evidence, insisting that "no facts at this point" substantiate a religious motive for the murders.

Somehow, the prosecutor missed that all four members of this quiet family were savagely executed in the ritualistic Islamist way (multiple knife attacks and near-beheading); that Jersey City has a record of Islamist activism and jihadi violence, and that an Islamist Web site, carried multiple threats against Hossam Armanious with postings such as: "We are going to track you down like a chicken and kill you."

Law enforcement seems more concerned to avoid an anti-Muslim backlash than to find the culprits.

This attitude of denial fits an all-too-common pattern. I previously documented a reluctance in nearby New York City to see as terrorism the 1994 Brooklyn Bridge ("road rage" was the FBI's preferred description) and the 1997 Empire State Building shootings ("many, many enemies in his mind," said Rudolph Giuliani). And the July 2002 LAX murders were initially dismissed as "a work dispute" and the October 2002 rampage of the Beltway snipers went unexplained, leaving the press to ascribe it to such factors as a "stormy [family] relationship."

These instances are part of a yet-larger pattern.

The 1990 murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane by the Islamist El Sayyid Nosair was initially ascribed by the police to "a prescription drug for or consistent with depression."

The 1999 crash of EgyptAir 990, killing 217 - by a co-pilot not supposed to be near the aircraft's controls at that time who repeated 11 times "I rely on God" as he wrenched the plane down - went unexplained by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The 2002 purposeful crash of a small plane into a Tampa high-rise by bin Laden-sympathizer Charles Bishara Bishop went unexplained; the family chimed in by blaming the acne drug Accutane.

The 2003 murder and near-decapitation in Houston of an Israeli by a former Saudi friend who had newly become an Islamist found the police unable to discern "any evidence" that the crime had anything to do with religion.

Nor is this a problem unique to American authorities.

The 1993 attack on foreign guests dining at the Semiramis Hotel in Cairo, killing five, accompanied by the Islamist cry "Allahu Akbar," inspired the Egyptian government to dismiss the killer as insane.

The 2000 attack on a bus of visibly Jewish schoolchildren near Paris by a hammer-wielding North African yelling "You're not in Tel-Aviv!" prompted police to describe the assault as the result of a traffic incident.

The 2003 fire that gutted the Merkaz HaTorah Jewish secondary school in a Paris suburb, requiring 100 firefighters to douse the flames, was described by the French minister of the interior as being merely of "criminal origin."

The 2004 murder of a Hasidic Jew with no criminal record as he walked an Antwerp street near a predominantly Muslim area left the Belgian authorities stumped: "There are no signs that racism was involved."

I have cited 13 cases here and provide information on further incidents on my weblog. Why this repeated unease acknowledging Islamist terrorism by the authorities, why the shameful denial?

And for that matter, why a similar unwillingness to face facts about right-wing extremists, as in the 2002 murder by a cursing skinhead of a Hasidic Jew outside a kosher pizzeria in Toronto, which the police did not find to rate as a hate crime? Because terrorism has much greater implications than prescription drugs going awry, road rage, lunatics acting berserk, or freak industrial accidents. Those can be shrugged off. Islamist terrorism, in contrast, requires an analysis of jihadi motives and a focus on Muslims, steps highly unwelcome to authorities.

And so, police, prosecutors, and politicians shy away from stark realities in favor of soothing and inaccurate bromides. This ostrich-like behavior carries heavy costs; those who refuse to recognize the enemy cannot defeat him. To pretend terrorism is not occurring nearly guarantees that it will recur.

To comment on this article, please go to http://www.danielpipes.org/article/2396#comment
To see the Daniel Pipes archive, go to http://www.DanielPipes.org

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Finding WMD will only get harder

By David Kay

The ultimately futile search I led after Operation Iraqi Freedom to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or the far more successful search I led after the first Gulf war hold important lessons for the future.
Both efforts were far easier than challenges in the years ahead to determine if there are WMD in countries of concern or if such weapons are being smuggled into the U.S. hidden within the cascade of legitimate daily commerce of a truly global economy and transportation system.
In both Iraqi cases, the country had lost a war, and the United States, exercising the victor's power, imposed intrusive inspections with far-ranging rights of search and seizure. The teams I led had great inspection powers, which can only be expected after a country has been defeated.
The future is much likelier to present the far more difficult challenges of determining if an undefeated state has a WMD program or if a terrorist cell inserted WMD in a shipping container, airline luggage or cargo, or created the ultimate suicide bomber — a passenger with a lethal contagious disease.
Most of the technology used by arms inspectors was never designed for the purposes for which we now use it.
Basic radiation detectors work well in laboratories, but subject them to high heat and humidity, dirt, dust, sand or daily transport over spine-jarring roads, and you usually end up with a useless piece of electronics. I have yet to have an alpha or neutron detector whose reliability is anywhere near that of an Apple Powerbook or iPod. Biological detectors are even worse.
In post-invasion Iraq, slow and unreliable equipment necessitated repeatedly revisiting sites.
In countries such as Iran, where inspectors operate at the grace of the inspected, one cannot expect either an ideal environment or acquiescence to demands for repeated access. Unless we provide inspectors with reliable tools, we should not expect reliable results.
In trying to detect clandestine efforts to smuggle WMD into the United States, the demands on the technology only grow. The number of potential locations is huge, and the time and tolerance for inspection is finite. If we are to take seriously the possible smuggling of WMD into the United States, we need a major technology development and deployment effort.
At present, we lack the technical tools to prevent terrorists from smuggling WMD into the United States and to ensure that rogue states are not gaining WMD capabilities. We need to stop kidding ourselves that countermeasures can be had cheaply or by simply reworking the normal tools of scientific investigation and work-place safety. This effort will require major and multiple scientific and engineering breakthroughs.
And these breakthroughs will not come from the scientific efforts of scattered federal labs or the Homeland Security Department's underfunded research and development.
Nothing short of a centralized, Manhattan-type project is likely to give us the tools to deal with a WMD future. The question is: Will the president take this on to achieve his desired legacy of a safer, more secure America?

David Kay is a senior research fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and a weapons proliferation analyst for several news organizations. He is the former U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq. This article reprinted with permission from McGraw Hill's Homeland Security magazine.




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Monday, February 07, 2005

HATE GROWS IN BROOKLYN

NYSun Editorial

In his inaugural address, President Bush told Americans that “We have seen our vulnerability — and we have seen its deepest source,” which he identified as “ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder.” If this is true — and we think it is — then Saudi Arabia must be counted among America’s chief enemies. No other country or organization is as responsible as the Saudi government for publishing and promoting hate-filled, violent propaganda abroad. The Saudis’ brand of fundamentalist Islam, Wahhabism, is perhaps the greatest obstacle to promoting democracy in the Muslim world. As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Senator Kyl, has concluded,“A growing body of accepted evidence and expert research demonstrates that the Wahhabi ideology that dominates, finances and animates many groups here in the United States, indeed is antithetical to the values of tolerance, individualism and freedom as we conceive these things.”
On Friday, Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom released an important new report that adds to this research.The report, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques,” compiles the results of a year-long study of documents published or distributed by the government of Saudi Arabia and available at mosques throughout America. “We have ascertained that as of December 2004, Saudi-connected resources and publications on extremist ideology remain common reading and educational material in some of America’s main mosques,” explain the researchers, who compiled documents from more than a dozen American mosques — including a prominent one in New York, Brooklyn’s Al-Farouq Mosque. The mosques maintain libraries or racks of literature for parishioners, and often run religious schools for Muslims.
The doctrine they teach is one of unending conflict. “It is basic Islam to believe that everyone who does not embrace Islam is an unbeliever and must be called an unbeliever, and that they are enemies to Allah, his Prophet, and the believers,” reads one document published by the Saudi government and available to worshippers at a San Diego mosque. “That is why the one who does not call the Jews and the Christians unbelievers is himself an unbeliever.”
Unsurprisingly, the Saudi government also publishes and distributes anti-Semitic tracts. It may be a bit of a surprise to find them in Brooklyn, where researchers found a book, The Truth About the Original Sin, published in English by the King Fahd National Library in Riyadh, which says of the Jews, “They broke their Covenant; they rejected Allah’s guidance as conveyed by His messengers; they killed Allah’s messengers and incurred a double guilt which included murder and deliberate defiance of Allah’s Law; and they imagined themselves arrogantly self-sufficient, which means a blasphemous closing of their hearts forever against the admission of Allah’s grace.” Not only that, but “by means of usury and fraud they oppressed their fellow men.”
A Saudi government textbook for seventh-graders, found at the Saudi-sponsored Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., instructs children that Jews “are worse than donkeys.” A fourth-grade text, available at the Islamic Center of America in East Orange, New Jersey, teaches pupils about the “sinful conspiracy” of Israel and promises that “the Muslims will not rest until they cut off this disease and purify the land of Palestine from the plague of Zionism.”
Saudi works on Islamic theology also preach the incompatibility of liberal democracy and Islam. One book published by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, also found at the Al-Farouq Mosque in Brooklyn, even authorizes Muslims to kill converts to Islam who tolerate homosexuality.
More threatening is the danger of “foreign ideologies,” such as human rights and democracy. “The freedom to which the enemies of the religious laws call us requires a coup against Islam and a revolution against the Prophet Mohammed,” explains a publication of the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, which was at one time sponsored by the Saudi government.
We all know where these ideas are supposed to lead. A book for high school juniors, published by the Saudi Ministry of Education and accessible at the Islamic Center of Oakland in California, makes it explicit: “To be true Muslims, we must prepare and be ready for jihad in Allah’s way. It is the duty of the citizen and the government. The military education is glued to faith and its meaning, and the duty to follow it.”
We trust that most Americans are not as easily susceptible to the Saudi government’s hateful propaganda against Christians, Jews, women, and other of their neighbors as the Saudis may think.Teaching such hatred to children, however, may be more dangerous. But there is a more important lesson here. As the director of the Center for Religious Freedom, Nina Shea, points out in the report’s introduction, a government that advocates religious hatred violates the religious freedom and tolerance provisions of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If such unlawful incitement is going on within America’s borders, one can be certain to find violent, Saudi-sponsored tracts at schools and mosques worldwide. If Mr. Bush is to be serious about combating the hate-filled ideologies that promote terrorism, he cannot avoid a confrontation with the dictators in Saudi Arabia.


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Taking Border Patrol Into Their Own Hands

Criticizing Bush's handling of migration, hundreds volunteer to stand watch in Arizona.
By David Kelly
Times Staff Writer

DENVER — Fed up with illegal immigration and eager to send a message to federal lawmakers, hundreds of volunteers from across the nation will spend the month of April patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border, helping to apprehend migrants coming into the U.S.

"This is a direct challenge to President Bush," said Chris Simcox, an organizer of what's being called the Minuteman Project. "You have continued to ignore this problem. Our state officials, senators and congressmen will do nothing. So this is a last-ditch effort to roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves."


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FOR THE RECORD:
Volunteer border patrols —An article in Section A on Wednesday about volunteers planning to patrol the Arizona-Mexico border for illegal immigrants said the Tombstone Tumbleweed, a weekly newspaper, was in Tumbleweed, Ariz. The newspaper is in Tombstone, Ariz.

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Arizona is the nation's busiest gateway for illegal immigrants, with about 580,000 arrests last year — more than in California, Texas and New Mexico combined. Most of the activity occurs in the southeast part of the state near Tucson. Last year, Arizona received $10 million in federal aid and hundreds of additional border and customs agents. Many immigrants now choose to go through New Mexico, but traffic in Arizona remains high.

Simcox — the founder of Civil Homeland Defense, which runs its own border patrols — said 416 people from 41 states had volunteered to take up positions between the Arizona towns of Naco and Douglas and around Coronado National Forest. A rally is planned for April 1, when organizers expect 2,000 people to park their cars along the border, forming a gantlet to repel illegals.

"We have a no-contact policy. We are acting only as eyes and ears," said Simcox, who also runs the Tombstone Tumbleweed, a weekly newspaper in Tumbleweed, Ariz. "We work within the law. We spot and find illegal immigrants and report them to the Border Patrol."

The Minuteman Project was launched in October by James Gilchrist, a retired accountant from Aliso Viejo, Calif.

"We want to bring national awareness to the illegal alien crisis," he said. "For years, people have been cringing in the corner like mice, afraid to speak out because of political correctness. I think a lot of Americans feel they have been muzzled, and I have tapped into that."

Gilchrist said he'd been overwhelmed by the response to his project in Arizona but wanted to be sure those taking part were not troublemakers.

"We are worried about being framed down there, so we want to vet everyone who is coming," he said. "If anyone causes trouble, they will be asked to leave."

Federal agents and local officials also have expressed concern.

"We worry about any person or private group that takes the immigration laws into their own hands," said Andy Adame, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson sector. "This is a violent area. We deal with drug smugglers every day. We don't want to say we don't want the public's help; we just don't want it in this format."

Adame said it was fine for civilians to report illegal immigrants, but detaining them would raise legal problems.

"These people need to be aware that we will forward any violations of the law to local prosecutors," he said.

Douglas Mayor Ray Borane has called the citizens' border effort racist. "You are going to get every misfit, everyone with a warrant out for their arrest, everyone who needs new scenery or climate out here," he said. "If they come into this community, it could lead to an international incident."

Douglas, an 86% Latino town of about 14,000, sits across from the Mexican city of Agua Prieta. Mexicans routinely shop in Douglas, and the lives of the two communities often intersect. Americans have family on the Mexican side, and vice versa. Douglas officials deal with their Mexican counterparts on a variety of issues, including business, schools and law enforcement.

But Borane believes the illegal migration is out of control and that the presence of vigilante groups demonstrates how bad things have become.

"As long as the government doesn't address it, it will lend itself to these sorts of things," he said.

"The solution is political and diplomatic. I don't know what it is, but they can't just let it fester down here."



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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Arab News: "With Islam We Fight Terrorism"

This from Robert Spencer:

I was going to add "Taqiyya alert" to the title of this piece, but this one tends more to kitman. Taqiyya is the Islamic concept of religious deception; kitman is a related Islamic concept that is more akin to mental reservation. For the author of this piece, Nourah Abdul Aziz Al-Khereiji, isn't saying anything that is factually false; he just doesn't give the whole picture. From Arab News, with thanks to Nicolei:

Some non-Muslims, especially those who do not know the basic principles and teachings of Islam, may wonder about the title of this article as Islam has been wrongly used as a synonym for terrorism and most Westerners consider Muslims terrorists.
Actually, Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Terrorism is an international phenomenon and is found in every country and society. All divine religions have categorically rejected terrorism.

Terrorism briefly can be defined as aggression committed by individuals and groups or countries against people including their religions, intellect, honor and land. Terrorism and extremism are the products of wrong thinking. Socioeconomic factors as well as enmity also breed terrorists.


In contrast, I would define terrorism as the targeting of civilians in order to incite fear in a larger population, but never mind. The word "terrorism" is too elastic to be much use; that is why this site is called Jihad Watch instead of Terrorism Watch. Terror is just a tactic used by jihadists. What we are facing is a global Islamic jihad, and until we face that, we aren't fighting the correct foe.

In this article I would like to focus on Islam, which has been unjustly described by those who are uninformed as a religion of violence and oppression. Actually, if we had learned its teachings as explained in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah and practiced them in our lives there would be no terrorists in our midst.
Islam was the first religion to combat terrorism and corruption on earth. It prohibited killing and terrorizing people in their homes and countries. The Holy Qur’an says: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: Execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land.” (Qur’an — 5:36)

Another verse emphasizes this point further.

“If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is hell.” (4:93)


Note that that verse only refers to killing believers, not unbelievers. But Nourah Abdul Aziz Al-Khereiji also argues for a wider prohibition. However, if you look closely, he is allowing for the "protection" of unbelievers only under the provisions of the Islamic protection contract, the dhimma -- which mandates discrimination and harassment of non-Muslims:

Allah honored human life in general. Nobody is allowed to kill a man without a genuine reason.
“On that account we ordained for the children of Israel that if any one slew a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would as if he slew the whole humanity. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole humanity.” (5:35)

Allah says: “We have honored the sons of Adam.” (17:70)

In this verse, Allah did not restrict his honor to Muslims, rather it covers all mankind. The rights of non-Muslims living in Islamic countries are protected as long as they follow the rules and regulations. Islam has taught us to be tolerant and good not only in our dealings with our Muslim brethren but with all mankind in general.


What are some of those "rules and regulations"? "The subject peoples," according to a manual of Islamic law endorsed by Al-Azhar University in Cairo, must "pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)" and "are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar); are not greeted with ‘as-Salamu ‘alaykum’ [the traditional Muslim greeting, 'Peace be with you']; must keep to the side of the street; may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed; are forbidden to openly display wine or pork . . . recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals or feastdays; and are forbidden to build new churches." ('Umdat al-Salik, o11.3, 5).

Also, Nourah Abdul Aziz Al-Khereiji is mainly upset about terrorism not because it victimizes the innocent, but because it gives people a bad picture of Islam:

In order to promote civilization and realize common interests it is essential for us to establish good relations with non-Muslim communities and give them a good impression of our religion. In this way, we attract individuals, groups and nations into the fold of Islam.
On the other hand, violence and terrorism present a bad picture of Islam, and we give enemies a weapon to use to attack our religion as well as our Prophet (peace be upon him). It will also drive away many people from our faith.

Islam advises us to exhibit good behavior even when preaching our religion. The Qur’an says: “Invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching.” (16:125)

“It is part of the mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee.” (3:159)

Moreover, the Qur’an teaches us how to hold dialogue with people of other faiths. “And dispute yet not with the People of the Book, except with means better.” (29:46)


Now this part does shade into outright deception:

Islam believes in difference of opinion and allows others to express their views freely without any fear. Even in matters of jurisprudence it did not impose any particular opinion. Differences of opinion among scholars have been considered a blessing.
I have no right to call those who do not follow my school of thought (madhab) as infidels. It’s Allah who decides who must enter Paradise or Hell among His slaves. Nobody else is given the power to decide.

Freedom of religion has been clearly mentioned in the Qur’an. “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error.” (2:256)

The Holy Book also says: “The truth is from your Lord, let him who will believe and let him who will reject it.” (18:29)

Allah has prohibited Muslims from abusing the deities being worshipped by other communities. “Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance.” (6:108)

The aforementioned points and references emphasize the tolerance of Islam and its teachings. Islam respects all human beings despite the differences in their faiths and ideologies as long as they do not attack Muslims.


Note that he is allowing for differences of opinion among Muslims only: "I have no right to call those who do not follow my school of thought (madhab) as infidels." Non-Muslims, remember, must follow the "rules and regulations." Here's another: the "protection" contract between the Muslim community and the dhimmis is violated, leaving the dhimmi subject to execution, if he "mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam," ('Umdat al-Salik 011.10(5).)

Posted at February 6, 2005 08:20 AM


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