Teen Suicide Bomber Who Blew Herself Up at Turkish Police Station Radicalized Thru Social Media

Submitted by Emily on Sun, 2015-01-18 12:06

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2015 Could Be the Year of the Jihadist

Taliban fighters (Photo: © Reuters)

Taliban fighters (Photo: © Reuters)

Tarek Fatah

Not since America’s humiliating defeat in Vietnam has that country faced such a comprehensive failure of objectives as in Afghanistan, where last Friday the NATO flag was lowered to mark the end of a 13-year war.

While the ignominious April 30, 1975 American retreat from Saigon was a public debacle, best captured by the scene of the last U.S. helicopter lifting off from its embassy in the South Vietnamese capital, the withdrawal from Kabul was a quieter but sorry ceremony.

The event marking the end of America’s longest war was held in a basketball gym inside NATO headquarters in Kabul.

As a brass band played and a colour guard marched, the U.S. commander, Gen. John F. Campbell, uttered words that sounded hollow to many.

“Our commitment to Afghanistan endures … We are not walking away,” he said.

Officially, the American-led NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is shifting to a support mission for training the Afghan army and police.

But the Taliban, predictably, saw the lowering of the flag as an admission of defeat.

In an e-mail to journalists, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, “ISAF rolled up its flag in an atmosphere of failure and disappointment without having achieved anything substantial or tangible.”

Mujahid promised the Taliban would come back to power in Kabul.

If statistics from the last year are any indication of what is in store for 2015, the Taliban commander may be right.

In 2014 alone, the Taliban killed nearly 4,600 Afghan soldiers and policemen and murdered 3,200 Afghan civilians.

If this was the outcome in the presence of NATO, one can only imagine how things will fare in its absence.

And with elements of the Pakistan military on the border now free to help the Taliban, 2015 may very well become the year we see Mullah Omar back in power in the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.”

These developments, along with the rise of jihadi groups across the globe, do not bode well for Canada and its NATO allies, or for any country that shares our liberal democratic values, from India to Australia.

The nature of our mutual enemy, the international jihadist movement driven by the supremacist ideology of Islamism, is such that after enduring 13 years of war, it stands stronger than the day it attacked the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on 9/11.

Instead of draining the swamps to cure the malaria, the West has been shooting down one mosquito at a time, refusing to admit the existence of this ideological swamp.

In a rare, candid admission of not knowing what motivates the jihadists, Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, said:

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it. We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

He was referring to the Islamic State (ISIS), but ISIS is not the only example.

Pakistan is the original “Islamic State”, the mother lode of the pan-Islamist movement, while the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia together with the Muslim Brotherhood and its sponsor, Qatar, are all ISIS-like in varying degrees.

I wish I could say Happy New Year to you, but I can’t, for I feel 2015 isn’t going to be one.


Tarek Fatah is a Canadian writer, broadcaster and anti-Islamist Muslim activist. He is the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.

Jihadism: Tracking a Month of Deadly Attacks

Submitted by Emily on Mon, 2014-12-15 05:23

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Can 'Deradicalization' Programs Stem Flow of European Jihadists?

Submitted by Emily on Mon, 2014-09-29 10:17

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Time to Face the ISIS Inside of Us

ISIS militants massacre Iraqis.

ISIS militants massacre Iraqis.

Dr. Elham Manea

“We are ISIS.”

A startling statement? Yet this was the title of an article written by former Kuwaiti Minister of Information, Saad bin Tafla al Ajami, published by the Qatari newspaper al Sharq on August 7, 2014. He was not celebrating the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), nor the atrocities it is committing against civilians and minorities in Iraq and Syria.

He was reminding us that ISIS, while condemned by the majority of Muslims, is a product of an Islamic religious discourse that dominated our public sphere in the last decades – a mainstream discourse!

ISIS “did not come from another planet," he said. "It is not a product of the infidel West or a bygone Orient,” he insisted.

No, “the truth that we can not deny is: ISIS learned from our schools, prayed in our mosques, listened to our media… and our religious platforms, read from our books and references, and followed fatwas (religious edicts) we produced.”

He is right.

It would be easy to insist that ISIS does not represent the correct teachings of Islam. It would be very easy to do that. And yes, I do believe that Islam is what we, humans, make of it. Any religion could be a message of love -- or a sword for hatred by the people believing in it.

But the fact remains that the actions of ISIS have been ideologically mainstreamed long time ago: in mosques that curse "Christians-the Crusaders," "Jews" and "unbelievers" in every Friday sermons. By religious figures, who greet us every day through TV programs, preaching a message of hatred and intolerance against the ‘other’, regardless of whom this ‘other’ is. In schools that teach us that the penalty for converting from Islam is death; that Christians and Jews are "protected people," who should pay a tax to be left alone or they could face war. The fate of members of ‘other religions’ is left untold, but we can read it between the lines. In these classes we were never taught that a citizen has the right to choose his or her religion, or that a citizen is equal before the law regardless of religion or beliefs.

ISIS is the product of our religious discourse – a mainstream discourse.

It is a product of a political process. It started with the rise of political Islam’s ideology, propagated since 1973 by Gulf monarchies’ oil money and the Iranian revolution in 1979.

It is a product of a political strategy. State leaders take advantage of the phenomenon of political Islam, endorse certain Islamist groups rather than others, and forge political alliances with them. Their aim is political: to legitimize their rule in a religious sense or/and delegitimize that of their rivals.

The Machiavellian alliance comes with a price tag. In exchange for their support, Islamist groups are allowed to dominate the religious discourse with their ideology of hatred, exclusion, and intolerance – mosques, media and schools become a field to spread their ideology.

It is a product of political failure. States fail to fulfil their side of the social contract, unable to cover their citizens’ essential health, education and social needs. Islamist groups, flushed with money, fill the gap – with services packed in their ideological worldview.

It would be easy to insist that ISIS is a product of a foreign conspiracy. But even as we bury our heads in the sand, there is no hiding from the fact that ISIS is indeed our product. We mainstreamed it. And yet we seem surprised that it took the words of our religious discourse literally. Seriously?

Without acknowledging our responsibility, we will continue business as usual. Mosques will continue to curse the Jews, Christians and unbelievers every Friday. Preachers will continue to great us with their message of intolerance. And schools will continue to teach us that religion is the main marker of both identity and citizenship.

Just pause and think, ask yourself: How many women have been suppressed in the name of our religion lately? How many Pakistani Christians or Ahamadis have been targeted lately? How many Churches have been attacked in Indonesia and Nigeria? How many Egyptian Copts have been evicted from their villages? Their houses and shops torched? How many Sunnis are killing Shiites? How many Shiites are killing Sunnis? How many Baha’is have been brutally supressed in Iran? And how many British citizens have joined ISIS?

It would be easier to look the other way. It would be easier. But if we continue to blame the others, insist on our inaction and silence, it is we, we, no one else, who is letting our religion be hijacked by this fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.

ISIS is within us. It is time to face the ISIS inside of us.


Dr. Elham Manea was bon in Egypt and is a Swiss-Yemeni political scientist, author and journalist. She also works as a consultant for Swiss government agencies and international and human rights organizations. Her research interests include gender and politics in Arab states, democratization and civil society in the Middle East, and politics of the Arabian Peninsula. Her most recent publication is "The Arab State and Women's Rights: The Trap of Authoritarian Governance" (London: Routledge Studies on Middle Eastern Politics), June 2011

This article appeared originally on the Human Rights Blog of the Global Minorities Alliance

Sun, August 3, 2014 Chicago Imam: Violent Jihad Must be Waged Against Israel

Imam Mohamed Elimam of the Chicago Islamic Center.

Imam Mohamed Elimam of the Chicago Islamic Center.

Ryan Mauro

A video has emerged of an imam in Chicago preaching that Muslims should wage war against Israel and that paradise awaits those who die in jihad. The website of his mosque says it has hundreds of members and a full-time Islamic school for children.

Imam Elimam explicitly tells audience that violent jihad must be waged against Israel and refers to the fighters in Gaza (Hamas) as “the resistance:”

  • “Return to the battle of jihad in Palestine.”
  • “Oh, those of you who want to wage jihad for the sake of Allah, Palestine is calling you and Gaza is crying out for your help. If you are true believers, true mujahideen, hasten to Palestine.”
  • “Paradise belongs to you, oh martyrs, oh fighters, oh mujahideen, oh our beloved Gaza and wounded Palestine.

The objective of this jihad is not to stop Israeli military action in Gaza, but to eliminate the state of Israel and to force Israeli Jews to leave the area.

  • “Global Zionism is unadulterated evil besetting all people.”
  • “The enemy [Israel] was placed in the midst of the Arab nation…in order to be a thorn in the side of the Arab and Islamic nations. May Allah pull this thorn out, and stick it down their throats. May they be sent back to their countries in shame and disgrace, Allah willing.”

Elimam’s advocating of violent jihad is not just about Israel. He preaches that Muslims are required to participate in jihad against perceived enemies of Islam in general and those who do are rewarded with Paradise:

  • “Know that ‘Paradise lies beneath the shade of the swords.’”
  • “(The Quran says): ‘Prepare for them what force and steeds of war you can, to strike fear in the hearts of the enemy of Allah and of your own, and others besides them, whom you do not know, but Allah knows.’”

Elimam is not the only American Islamist leader supporting violent jihad against Israel. The National Campus Coordinator of American Muslims for Palestine, Taher Herzallah, posted photos of injured Israeli soldiers on his Facebook and wrote underneath, “The most beautiful site in my eyes.” The post was removed after it got attention.

In another Facebook conversation about Hamas’s rocket fire on Israel, he said the terrorist group’s violence is justifiable legally and morally. He characterized it as a meager defense against an enemy dedicated to genocide:

“Hamas’ rockets are an oppressed people’s audible cry for help. An attempt to resist the brutalization, degradation, humiliation and extermination of the Palestinian identity. An act of resistance that shows that no matter what Israel does to the embattled people of Gaza, they will never submit.”

The Chicago Islamic Center should have banned Elimam as a preacher immediately after his first jihadist sermon. Its continuance indicates that the ideology of the mosque itself is radical; an observation that becomes exponentially more disturbing when you juxtapose his preaching with the video of children learning at the mosque’s school.

The ideology pushed by Elimam should repulse all peace-seekers. The belief that Israel must be destroyed through jihad is a recipe for endless war with mounting casualties for both Israelis and Palestinians. That mindset, more than anything else, is responsible for the pain that Elimam and other Islamists decry.

The preaching also poses a direct threat to the U.S. By teaching that Paradise is offered to jihadists who die fighting perceived enemies of Islam, Elimam opens the door for targets other than Israel. And no other country is described as an enemy of Islam more than the United States. That logic sets the stage for attacks on the U.S. and its interests and soldiers abroad.

For the sake of peace and security, Elimam’s ideology must be acknowledged, addressed and ultimately defeated by Muslims and non-Muslims.

Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.

Tue, July 29, 2014 Leading Salafi Charities Grooming Jihadists in UK

An Islamist protest in Britain. (Photo © Reuters)

An Islamist protest in Britain. (Photo © Reuters)

Samuel Westrop

This article originally appeared on Gatestone.

"These boys were groomed [at the Al Manar Centre] ... so that they are satisfied that what they go to do is right ... once they're groomed, all it takes is someone to say come and I'll take you." — Source close to the Yemeni Community, Cardiff, U.K., as reported in The Telegraph.

All these preachers share one thing in common: they are favorites of the two leading government-subsidized Salafi charities in Britain.

The British government, on June 26, banned Sheikh Mohammad Al Arifi from entering the United Kingdom, after reports in the British media linked the Saudi preacher to the radicalization of British youth now fighting for ISIS in Syria.

Arifi's sermons at the Al Manar Centre in Cardiff in particular, have been linked to the radicalization of three young British Muslims: brothers Nasser and Aseel Muthana and their friend, Reyaad Khan.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Mohammad Al Arifi denied the charges and voiced condemnation for those who incite Muslims to fight in Syria. His denial, however, was clearly at odds with his earlier declarations. In 2010, Arifi stated in a television broadcast that:This ban demonstrates the British government's growing acceptance that Islamist preachers actually do play an important role in driving Muslim youth toward terrorism.

"There is no doubt that a person whom Allah enables to sacrifice his soul, and to fight for the sake of Allah, has been graced with a great honor.
"Devotion to Jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer.
"The Koranic verses that deal with fighting the infidels and conquering their countries say that they should convert to Islam, pay the jizya poll tax, or be killed. If the Muslims had implemented this, we would not have reached the humiliation in which we find ourselves today."

In a statement to the media, the British Home Office said: "The UK Government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they represent a threat to our society. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who seek to subvert our shared values."

Barak Albayaty, a trustee of the Al Manar Centre, has claimed that the Muthana brothers chose to fight with ISIS not because they were radicalized by speakers visiting the mosque, but "by the internet."

Mohammad Al Arifi was not, nevertheless, the only extremist preacher to give sermons at the Al Manar Centre. Now that the government appears to have accepted that Arifi's presence in Britain serves to radicalize young Muslims, will it also focus on other extreme preachers already in Britain?

Haitham Al Haddad, for instance, is an Islamist preacher who describes Jews as "apes and pigs" and "enemies of God," quotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and speaks of a "conflict" between Muslim and Jews. Haddad has spoken at the Al Manar Centre on at least four occasions, two of which took place in 2014. Haddad's written work has also been promoted on the Al Manar Centre's Facebook page. Ali Hammuda, an Islamist preacher at Al Manar, describes Haddad as the "beloved Sheikh Haitham."

Abu Usamah ad-Dhahabi, who has spoken at the Al Manar Centre, calls for the killing of apostates. He has said: "If I were to call homosexuals perverted, dirty, filthy dogs who should be murdered, that's my freedom of speech, isn't it?" Dhahabi, according to a report by the Centre for Social Cohesion, also "advocates holy war in an Islamic state; preaches hatred against non-Muslims; that apostasy and homosexuality are punishable by death; and that women are inferior to men."

In addition, Muhammad Mustafa Al Muqri, the former spiritual leader of Gama'a Al Islamiyya, the Egyptian affiliate of Al Qaeda, was also invited to speak at Al Manar. One Islamic discussion forum refers to Al Muqri as being, at one point, the Imam of the Centre.

Ahmed Muthana, the father of the Muthana brothers fighting for ISIS in Syria, told the Daily Telegraph that his sons were "brainwashed" after they began attending the Al Manar Centre. He claimed visiting clerics put ideas in the heads of his boys.

The Telegraph further reported that a source close to the Yemeni community in Cardiff said, "These boys were groomed (at Al Manar) – obviously not to the stage to go, but so that they are satisfied that what they go to do is right. It all comes from the same school of thought. ... The teaching [at Al Manar] helped the people recruiting. ... once they're groomed, all it takes is someone to say come and I'll take you."

The Muthana brothers were not radicalized by just one visit from Muhammad Al Arifi. Their decision to wage jihad in Syria was, according to The Telegraph, the result of regular seminars and talks by the extremist preachers listed here.

All these preachers share one thing in common: they are favorites of the two leading government-subsidized Salafi charities in Britain: the Al Muntada Al Islami Trust (also known as the West London Cultural Centre) and the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), both of which are funded by the taxpayer through a "tax-back" scheme named Gift Aid, in which charities can claim the 20% basic rate tax back on every pound donated.

Mohammad Al Arifi has repeatedly spoken at Al Muntada's annual conference, "Month of Mercy;" Haitham Al Haddad was the former Imam of the Al Muntada mosque and still speaks at the charity's conferences, and Muhammad Al Muqri has taught weekly lessons at the Al Muntada Mosque.

The Al Muntada Trust claims to provide charitable aid across the world. It also runs two schools in the UK. Every year, the Al Muntada Trust runs a conference named "Month of Mercy," which features some of the most outspoken preachers of this kind from across Europe and the Middle East. Nigerian media has accused Al Muntada of direct links to Nigeria's Al-Qaeda affiliate, the terrorist organization Boko Haram.

Boko Haram recently made headlines after kidnapping 276 schoolgirls and murdering up to 300 people. Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian human rights lawyer, told US Congress that "Boko Haram's funding has been traced to … [the] Al Muntada Trust." Moreover, according to the Jamestown Foundation, Al Muntada is "associated with the official Saudi state charitable and da'wa institutions, the Muslim World League (MWL), World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), and Al Haramain Islamic Foundation. All these groups are alleged by American and international investigators to be terror-financing bodies."

Meanwhile, the other Al Manar speaker, Abu Usamah ad-Dhahabi, is an Imam in Birmingham at the Green Lane Mosque, which jointly organizes courses with the iERA. The Al Manar Centre itself, in fact, frequently runs courses with the iERA, and has provided a platform for iERA staff on multiple occasions.

The iERA is an extreme Islamist "da'wah" [proselytization] group, which tours hate preachers around Britain. Three iERA speakers have been banned from entering Britain: Bilal Philips, described by the U.S. an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Zakir Naik, banned from the UK for saying that "every Muslim should be a terrorist," and Hussein Yee, who openly preaches hatred against Jews, and claims that Jews in America were "happy" when the Twin Towers fell.

Both the Al Muntada Trust and the iERA have worked together in the past to organize a conference featuring extremist preachers, with the support of groups such as the World Association of Muslim Youth, a Saudi youth organization that US government agencies and officials claim has funded terrorism in places such as Bosnia and Israel, and which publishes and distributes anti-Shia and anti-Semitic publications.

Some of these conferences have also included British parliamentarians, such as Jeremy Corbyn MP. Stephen Timms MP, another example, is a former Treasury Minister who has spoken at Al Muntada fundraising events,alongside shadow Justice Minister Andrew Slaughter MP, Conservative Peer Lord Sheikh, and former deputy mayor of London, Richard Barnes.

That these Salafi groups are providing the preachers at institutions where young British Muslims are radicalized should not be ignored. Although most of these extremist preachers are residents of Britain and therefore cannot be banned from the country, there are other steps the British government could take, such as -- with Al Manar Centre, Al Muntada and the iERA -- granting greater statutory powers that would allow the Charity Commission to strip the organizations of their charitable status.

The failure of the British government to take proactive steps to counter these Islamist ambitions, especially when they are couched as charitable endeavors, looks set to produce many more Muthana brothers -- some who will die on the battlefields in Syria and Iraq, and others who will return to Britain to wreak havoc there.

Sam Westrop is a Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and also Director of Stand for Peace, a counter-extremism organization based in London. He appears regularly on television and radio to discuss the problem of Islamist, far-Left and far-Right extremism.

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