Posted 01/06/2010 ET
As the new decade opens, the country is reeling: the year just past saw more attacks by Islamic jihadis directed against Americans than in any other year since 9/11. Several were discovered and stopped before they could claim any victims, including the Najibullah Zazi bombing plot, bomb plots in Illinois and Texas, and the case of the five American-born jihadi wannabes caught in Pakistan.
Two other attacks left Americans dead and injured outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark. and at Ft. Hood, Texas. That the Christmas Day terror attack by a Nigerian Muslim jihadi on board an intercontinental flight from Europe failed is due only to the incompetence of the al Qaeda bomb-maker who fashioned the device that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab carried on board NWA Flight 253 in his underwear.
Our national security agencies deserve credit for foiling any jihadi attacks. But the enemy is not just getting closer: he’s inside the gates. And the reason is because current U.S. national security policy is simply not adequate to the Islamic jihad challenge that’s coming at us.
How could that be, more than eight years after 9-11? It is so because counterterrorism policy is being formulated under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the lead international jihadist organization charged with “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…” It’s important to note that the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood coincide exactly with those of al Qaeda and every other Islamic jihadist organization in the world today: re-establishment of the caliphate/imamate and imposition of Shari’a (Islamic law) over the entire world.
Don Feder nailed it in a 4 January 2010 online posting to GrassTopsUSA, where he wrote that the ineffectual counterterrorism policies of President Obama and his administration “could have been designed by…Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR].” In many respects, they are.
Former North Carolina State Senator Larry Shaw, elected CAIR Board Chairman in March 2009 stated that he “looks forward to partnering with the Obama administration…” In case anyone failed to notice, CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terror funding case and an acknowledged affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood. So, just how close is that partnership?
The policy implications of Brotherhood influence are both startling and evident. For example, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano sets the tone for the Obama administration view of Islamic jihad, but in April 2009, she rejected any notion that the enemy is either Islamic or a jihadi. Absurdly, she even refused to even use the word “terror,” instead preferring the inane “man-made disaster.” She was joined in planting the collective U.S. national security leadership head firmly in the sand by senior counterterrorism advisor to the president, John Brennan, who, apparently oblivious of Islamic doctrine and law, claimed in August 2009 that the meaning of jihad is to “. . . purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal.”
Following the foiled Christmas Day airliner bombing, Brennan made a frenzied round of the Sunday talk shows, shocking most of us with the off-hand announcement that a plea deal was “on the table” for Abdulmutallab (who lawyered up and shut up the moment he’d been Mirandized). Treating Islamic jihad as a legal problem or as though it doesn’t exist cripples U.S. national security policy making.
Where did such ideas come from? How could our most senior officials entrusted with the defense of national security be so far off the tracks? It matters critically, because policy executed in ignorance of the essential linkage between Islamic doctrine and terrorism is bound to miss warning signals that involve Muslim clerics, mosques, teaching, and texts. A key indicator about our counterterrorism officials’ failures may be found in their advisors: their jihadi and Muslim Brotherhood advisors.
The inability of the National Counterterrorism Center (“NCTC”) to connect the dots is no accident. It is not meant to connect the dots. In the summer of 2008, the NCTC organized a conference on U.S. Counter-Radicalization Strategy. According to a 4 January 2010 posting by Patrick Poole at Pajamas Media, one of the leading speakers at that conference was Yasir Qadhi, a featured instructor at the AlMaghrib Institute in Houston, Texas. But by his own public admission, Yasir Qadhi was on the U.S. terror watch list!
Yes, a key speaker for an NCTC discussion about Counter-Radicalization Strategy is on the terror watch list. He’s obviously there for good reasons. For one thing, Qadhi’s Ilmquest media company featured audio CD sets of sermons by al Qaeda cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, on its website and for sale at Ilmquest seminars. Yes, that al-Awlaki — the one linked to both Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Muslim Ft. Hood shooter, and Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian Muslim would-be Christmas airline bomber.
To be sure, enemy influence within the Intelligence Community didn’t begin in 2009. In fact, the blueprint for the Muslim Brotherhood information warfare operation against the West goes back to a 1981 MB document called “The Project” that was discovered in a raid in Switzerland. More recently, the FBI discovered the MB’s 1991 U.S. Manifesto in a 2004 raid, a manifesto that not only confirmed the existence of the Brotherhood in the U.S., but outlined its organizational structure and agenda in this country.
The dozens of groups listed as associates in that document include a number who’ve succeeded in forging close relationships inside the structures of U.S. national security. One of them is the Islamic Society of North SoAmerica (ISNA, another unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial). The FBI itself has maintained a longstanding liaison relationship with ISNA officials and placed ads in its monthly publication seeking Muslim applicants to become agents. A top FBI lawyer named Valerie Caproni joined senior ISNA official Louay Safi on a 2008 panel discussion at Yale University for a discussion entitled “Behind the Blindfold of Justice: Security, Individual Rights, & Minority Communities After 9/11.” Worse yet, in the wake of the horrific November 2009 military jihad assault at Ft. Hood that took fourteen lives and left dozens injured, it was revealed that Louay Safi was at Ft. Hood providing seminar presentations about Islam to U.S. troops about to deploy to Afghanistan. That’s an amazing record of successful penetration. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As noted above, the influence of the enemy extends to the very words we use to describe that enemy and his campaign of conquest. Words matter because they shape the way we perceive the enemy and design the strategy to confront him. Back in 2008, the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued lexicon guidance to their employees, counseling avoidance of words like “jihad” or “ummah” or “Caliphate” when describing the enemy. They refused to identify the Muslim American sources who’d advised them on their decisions.
But it is enlightening to note the list of Muslim Brotherhood front groups that endorsed the vocabulary list once it had been issued: the Muslim American Society (MAS — founded by the Muslim Brotherhood); Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC — which lobbies to remove Hamas, Palestinian Jihad, and Hizballah from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations list); ISNA; and CAIR. When Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee, led by Congressman Peter Hoekstra, proposed an amendment to the 2009 Intelligence funding bill that would have prohibited the Intelligence Community “from adopting speech codes that encumber accurately describing the radical jihadist terrorists that attacked America and continue to threaten the homeland”, the Democratic majority rejected it outright.
Congressional Democrats would appear to be thoroughly influenced by the MB. In mid-2009, a group of seven House Democrats wrote Attorney General Eric Holder asking that he meet with representatives of Muslim Brotherhood affiliates including CAIR, ISNA, and the Muslim Students Association. The letter was signed by representatives from California, Ohio, and Northern Virginia who sit on the House Judiciary Committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Appropriations Committee subcommittee on defense, and the House Homeland Security Committee, among others.
Explanation of how such things could occur in the very halls of the U.S. Congress hit the bookshelves with damning revelations about CAIR’s penetration of Capitol Hill in the 2009 Muslim Mafia by David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry. A meticulously-referenced expose based on CAIR’s own documents, the Muslim Mafia documents an extensive and well-funded CAIR campaign to plant operatives and run influence operations inside law enforcement and on the staffs of congressional offices.
These are the Jihad wars, and they are nearly 1400 years old. The U.S. has only been confronting Islamic jihadis since our 18th century naval campaigns against the so-called Barbary pirates but liberal democracy will not see the 22nd century if we do not acknowledge and confront this enemy here and now in the 21st. Until and unless the United States proves capable of appointing and electing officials to the top ranks of our national security leadership who both understand and reject the influence of Islamic jihad groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, our country will be incapable of effective defense against either kinetic or stealth jihad attack. We can do better than this…..much better.
Ms. Lopez is the Vice President of the Intelligence Summit and a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies.
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