Islamist Groups Push Conspiracy Theories in Homegrown Terror Cases

“Our Koran is off limits,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Los Angeles chapter. “Our youth, who they try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them, ‘We’re not going to let this happen anymore.’”

The above statement, taken out of context, might read like a condemnation of radical Islamists who target young American Muslims. It’s not. The “they” and “them” in the quotation above refer not to al-Qaeda, but to the FBI. That such a conflation is possible is indicative of how leaders of “mainstream” American Muslim organizations have distorted the critical issue of confronting homegrown terrorism.

Ayloush was responding to the arrest in February of Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, a naturalized American of Afghan descent who is accused of perjury, naturalization fraud, misuse of a passport obtained by fraud, and making false statements to a federal agency, including denying that he had met with Amin al-Haq, his brother-in-law and Osama bin Laden’s former security coordinator, in Pakistan in 2005.

Instead of dealing with the facts of the case, the Islamists at CAIR and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California attacked the credibility of the state prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Deirdre Eliot, and the government’s primary witness, 46-year-old FBI informant and father of four Craig Monteilh. In their magazines and in the blogosphere, the Islamists accuse Eliot of anti-Muslim sentiments and note that Monteilh has served time in prison. The facts of the arrest itself are relegated to later paragraphs or not mentioned at all.

In Focus, CAIR’s magazine, asserts that Eliot “runs the risk of being guilty by association herself for supporting a right-wing group that has promoted anti-Islamic rhetoric on its websites.” The group the magazine is referring to is the Lincoln Club of Orange County, an organization dedicated to “limited government, free enterprise, the rule of law, and the preservation of individual liberty.” Defaming Islam, apparently, did not make the cut.