At the end of last year I reflected here at PJ Media that 2009 represented a “tipping point for domestic terror.” Grimly, that assessment has borne out — recall the terror attacks aimed at New York City’s Times Square and Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Baltimore recruiting station bomber, and the virtual host of homegrown terror arrests racked up this year.
While the domestic terror trend has continued unabated, elements of pre-violent, or rather stealth, jihad are taking firm root in our government, military, judicial, and educational institutions, without the slightest opposition from the Obama administration and our homeland security agencies. In fact, if we’ve seen anything this year, it has been the willingness of government officials to lend their support to aid this stealth jihad.
The failure to recognize the “civilizational jihad” being waged against us is a bipartisan problem. Driven mainly by Muslim Brotherhood front groups and pushed by non-violent Islamist organizations in the West, the threat remains badly underrated by our national security establishment. But it was placed front and center by the report titled “Shariah: The Threat to America,” issued by the Team B II panel of national security experts including former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and former DIA Director Lt. Gen. Ed Soyster.
I was honored to participate in Team B II. To my dismay, this past year we have had an onslaught of examples demonstrating how far the stealth jihad outlined by Team B II has advanced:
- January: Maine drops fine against Christian group for “inflammatory anti-Muslim message” following federal lawsuit. In a June 2009 exclusive PJ Media article I reported that the state of Maine had issued a fine against the Christian Action Network (CAN) for a laundry list of violations, including the claim that one of their mailings contained an “inflammatory anti-Muslim message.” CAN, aided by attorneys from Liberty Counsel, took the state of Maine to federal court, where the case was heard by Judge D. Brock Hornby. According to the hearing transcript, Maine Assistant Attorney General Thomas Knowlton argued that CAN “is not entitled to First Amendment protection,” to which Judge Hornby immediately replied, “Say that again?” Eventually, the state of Maine abandoned their absurd anti-constitutional position, admitted that fining CAN for their exercise of free speech was an error, and settled out of court. This case demonstrated that not only would state officials act to enforce preferential shariah prohibitions on defamation of Islam and blasphemy in violation of the First Amendment, but that critics who run afoul of the sensibilities of politically correct bureaucrats must turn to the federal courts and expend considerable resources (in this case, more than the fine imposed) to defend their most basic First Amendment rights.
- January: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano meets with terror-tied groups. Based on internal DHS emails obtained through FOIA by Judicial Watch, DHS officials put together a two-day meeting including Secretary Napolitano with representatives from several groups named as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, and also groups that have openly supported terrorist organizations. One participant, Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks in a Los Angeles radio station interview — on the day of the terror attacks. MPAC has also called for the U.S. government to delist Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations. After reviewing the 300+ pages of emails and documents obtained concerning the “interfaith” meeting, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said, “I fail to see how consorting with radicals helps the DHS protect the United States.”
- March: L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca defends Hamas front CAIR before Congress. Testifying before a House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Terror Risk Assessment, Sheriff Baca was asked by Rep. Mark Souder about his appearances at fundraisers held by the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and at what point such endorsement gives legitimacy to the group’s well-known activities in support of Hamas. Baca reacted angrily, saying that he would attend 10 more CAIR fundraisers. When Souder pressed Baca about FBI testimony that CAIR was a front for Hamas, Baca interrupted the congressman, claiming that his patriotism (rather than his judgment) was being questioned. He later told the Los Angeles Times, “When you attack CAIR, you attack virtually every Muslim in America.” Unfortunately for Sheriff Baca, not only has the DOJ confirmed CAIR’s Hamas support to members of Congress, but that assessment has been seconded by federal Judge Jorge Solis based on evidence submitted by the DOJ in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial.
- April: Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Hajjaj leads prayers on Capitol Hill for congressional Muslim staffers. As part of an ongoing investigation into a long line of extremists invited to preach on Capitol Hill by the Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA), I reported here exclusively about the appearance of Anwar Hajjaj as a speaker at CMSA’s Friday jummah prayers inside the U.S. Capitol. Hajjaj is the former head of the Taibah International Aid Association, which was listed by the U.S. government in May 2004 as a designated global terrorist organization for its financial support of al-Qaeda. A video essay by Roll Call recorded Hajjaj leading the April 16th CMSA event. A subsequent report published by Fox News chronicled a long list of recent CMSA prayer leaders who cultivate terrorist ties, who have made statements in support of terrorism, and who are known foreign agents.
- May: White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan defends jihad as “legitimate tenet of Islam.” As documented in our Team B II report (p. 155), since the publication of the 9/11 Commission’s report, where “jihad” was invoked 126 times and Islam cited 322 times, both terms, along with “al-Qaeda,” “Hamas,” “Hezbollah,” “Caliph,” and “shariah” have been entirely purged from all recent national security documents at the request of Muslim Brotherhood-backed groups claiming that the use of such terms legitimizes terrorism. But White House counterterrorism czar John Brennan went a step further, claiming in a speech that jihad was a legitimate tenet of Islam. When questioned about his claim after reiterating it in a sit-down interview with the editors of the Washington Times, Brennan stormed out, saying, “I’m not going to go into this sort of history discussion here.”
- May: Boston-area public school children on a field trip to terror-tied mosque pulled from group to participate in afternoon prayers. An undercover video released by Americans for Peace and Tolerance showed students on a field trip to the extremist Islamic Society of Boston mosque being pulled out of their student group and being led in offering prayers to Allah during an ongoing prayer service. As reported by APT, the teachers did not intervene and the parents were never told. Only when the video was released and parents began complaining did school officials apologize for the event. Just days before the field trip, Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick appeared at the mosque, despite video taken in March showing the mosque’s imam calling for supporters to “grab onto the gun, and the sword” in defense of local terror suspects Aafia Siddiqui and Tarek Mehanna. One founding trustee of the mosque is currently serving a 23 year prison sentence, and at least three others mosque attendees and supporters have fled the county to avoid prosecution.
- June: Ohio Homeland Security official fired for lying about previous job with Jordanian government. In March, Ohio Homeland Security community engagement director Omar Alomari was testifying before Congress on radicalization, notwithstanding his open support for terror-tied organizations in taxpayer-funded literature. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy described Alomari’s publications as “classic Islamist propaganda.” But just weeks after his appearance before Congress, Alomari was fired for lying to investigators about his previous work experience, including his prior tenure as a high-ranking official for the Jordanian government, which he conveniently failed to disclose in his background check documentation.
- August: State Department funds Ground Zero mosque imam’s tour of Middle East despite extremist statements and widespread public opposition. My PJ Media colleague Claudia Rosett broke the news that the State Department was sponsoring a trip of the Middle East by Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Rauf despite reported statements made by Rauf comparing the United States to al-Qaeda. “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims,” Rauf claimed during a 2005 conference in Australia. After inquiries had been made about the State Department’s sponsorship of Rauf’s tour, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told Fox News, “We are aware of those remarks.” Emails from New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s office released in just the past few weeks show coordination between the Ground Zero mosque developers and Bloomberg staffers, including drafting statements for mosque officials and pledges to “give political cover” to Landmarks Preservation Commission officials who greenlit the project. Bloomberg’s office still has not released all of the emails and documents requested by Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice.
- September: FBI gives U.S. Hamas official guided tour through top-secret NCTC and FBI Academy. During the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, Chicago Imam Kifah Mustapha was named unindicted co-conspirator in the case by federal prosecutors, and FBI agent Lara Burns testified that Mustapha was part of a singing troupe that glorified Hamas and encouraged the killing of Jews. Earlier this year, Mustapha was removed as an Illinois State Police chaplain in the wake of media reports noting his terrorist support activities. That didn’t prevent the FBI Chicago field office from hosting Mustapha in a six-week Citizen’s Academy course, which included a guided tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the FBI Academy at Quantico. After I first reported that Mustapha had been given the NCTC tour, including a picture of Mustapha standing in the NCTC lobby, the FBI initially denied my report and claimed the photo had been fabricated. Two days later, they admitted to Fox News that he had in fact participated in the program and the photo was authentic — but defended the decision, saying that he was “a prominent figure in the community.” One former FBI official told the Washington Times that Mustapha was “a known senior Hamas guy.” When FBI Director Robert Mueller was questioned about the Hamas figure’s participating in the program after a speech the following week, Mueller defended the program but said that “I am not going to talk about any particular individual.”
- September: Group raided by FBI in terror support probe had received nearly $500k in taxpayer funds and was invited to White House meeting in April. At the same time the FBI Chicago field office was attempting to explain their inclusion of a senior Hamas figure in one of their programs, they were raiding the home of Hatem Abudayyeh as part of a grand jury investigation into terrorism support for Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Just days after the raids, it was reported that Abudayyeh’s organization, the Arab-American Action Network, had received at least $457,000 in taxpayer funds from the city of Chicago for “after-school programs.” That news was followed by a Politico report that Abudayyeh had been invited to the White House earlier this year to participate in a meeting on immigration issues and civil rights. Abudayyeh had also been the subject of a glowing PBS Independent Lens program. Several of Abudayyeh’s associates who were subpoenaed by the federal grand jury in the case have refused to appear.
- October: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano swears in radical Islamist Mohamed Elibiary to Homeland Security Advisory Council. On the same day that I submitted an article concerning Mohamed Elibiary’s participation in the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group and a December 2004 conference honoring Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini (an event that the Dallas Morning News described as a “disgrace”), unbeknownst to me, DHS Secretary Napolitano appointed Elibiary to serve as the only Muslim member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Recently Elibiary has billed himself as a “deradicalization expert,” despite abundant evidence of his previous defense of terrorist support organizations, his praise for jihadist authors, and his threats made against a Dallas journalist who repeatedly exposed his extremist views.
- November: U.S. smbassador to UK visits extremist East London Mosque as part of Obama administration’s “Muslim outreach.” Stirring international outrage, Louis B. Susman, American ambassador to Britian, visited the East London Mosque, well known as a longtime hotbed of extremism and terrorist incubator (it produced Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, last year’s underwear bomber). In January 2009, the mosque hosted a conference featuring wanted al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi via telephone. Just a few weeks before Susman’s visit, the mosque chairman had defended Aulaqi’s participation in the conference, calling it an act of “fairness and justice.” The visit by the U.S. ambassador was slammed in the Wall Street Journal by Shiraz Maher of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College, who described the mosque as “among Britain’s most extreme Islamic institutions.” Maher concluded that “Mr. Susman’s visit illustrates the blunders Western politicians often make by reaching out to the wrong Muslim ‘dialogue partners,” and that the attendance of such a high-ranking diplomat to the mosque “emboldened robed reactionaries at the expense of their more moderate counterparts.”
This list is not exhaustive. Certainly more examples could be cited. The Obama administration’s failure to understand the problem of Islamic radicalization and terrorism is fundamental, fueled with an outreach-to-anyone-at-any-cost policy that is perhaps best typified by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s July statements that his foremost mission was to improve relations with the Muslim world. What these twelve examples demonstrate is that our national security, intelligence, law enforcement, and diplomatic establishment are utterly defenseless before the stealth jihad that is attacking the heart of our Western society.
If 2009 was the tipping point for domestic terror, 2010 is sure to be remembered as the year that the “civilizational jihad” continued apace. Hopefully in 2011, it will be clear to at least some of our political, civic, and religious leadership that a dramatic change in national policy is urgently needed.