Iran has drastically increased financial support for its Lebanese-based terrorist proxy Hizballah since the Iran nuclear deal was signed two years ago, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Iran secured $100 billion in frozen assets and sanction relief in January 2016 as a result of the deal with the United States and European countries. Flush with cash, Iran immediately increased its support for terrorist proxies in the region and nefarious activities worldwide. Hizballah was receiving $200 million from Iran. Now, it's $800 million.
Last month, Hamas terrorist leader Yahya Sinwar admitted that "relations with Iran are excellent and Iran is the largest supporter of the [Hamas military wing] Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades with money and arms." Iran reportedly provides Hamas with about $60-$70 million.
Both Hizballah and Hamas remain dedicated to Israel's destruction and continue to invest considerable resources to fight the Jewish state. Iran also spends hundreds of millions of dollars for Shi'ite militias in Syria and Iraq, while increasing support for Houthi militants in Yemen.
Shortly after the July 2015 nuclear deal was signed, Iran expanded its presence in regional conflicts and even increased its own intervention in Syria's civil war, leading to mounting Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) casualties.
Iran also increased efforts to subvert its neighbors. In March, Bahrain security authorities arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell, accusing them of planning to assassinate senior government officials. The IRGC reportedly provided military training to several cell members.
Proponents of the Iran nuclear deal, including many within the Obama administration, argued that the agreement would moderate Iran's behavior. On the contrary, Iran immediately enhanced its support for terrorist organizations, while extremist factions within Iran gained more influence. Two years later, Iran has proved to be even more emboldened to pursue its regional hegemonic ambitions, drastically increasing financial and military support to terrorist organizations and cells worldwide.
Belgian authorities investigated 58 mosques and 61 Islamic associations in 2016 in an effort to counter the spread of radical Islamist ideology, according to the country's justice minister and reported by the Brussels Times.
The data suggests that one in five mosques in Belgium are a cause for concern among domestic intelligence services.
Mosques in Belgium attract inspections for various reasons, including imams who may be delivering radical sermons and for particular mosque attendants who catch the eye of security agencies. State authorities focus their efforts on threats related to "extremism, the radicalisation process and terrorism."
The country is increasingly targeted for terrorist attacks. On Friday, a man of Somali origin stabbed and wounded two soldiers in Brussels in an attack claimed by ISIS. He reportedly yelled "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) during the attack. One of the soldiers shot the attacker twice, killing him.
According to Belgium's migration minister, the man was granted asylum in 2009 before acquiring Belgian citizenship in 2015.
Belgian soldiers regularly patrol Brussels after major Islamist terrorist attacks striking Europe, including Paris in 2015 and Belgium in 2016.
Last year, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for simultaneous terrorist bombings targeting Belgium's airport and its Metro system, killing 32 people.
Palestinian terrorists and their families are receiving far higher payments than welfare recipients, according to an analysis of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) budget by The Middle East Media Research Institute.
A family on welfare receives less than $170 per month, while the PA pays Palestinian prisoners a maximum monthly payment of roughly $3,340 – more than 20 times more than a needy Palestinian family. By amending the Palestinian Prisoners Law in 2010, PA President Mahmoud Abbas increased monthly installments from approximately $275-$1,110 per month to $390-$3,340.
Payments to current and former Palestinian prisoners fall under the "fighting sector" category and terrorists' families receive a "monthly salary," while poor families receive quarterly "monetary aid."
The practice triggered a civil lawsuit by American victims of Palestinian terrorism. A jury awarded the victims $210 million in damages, which under law would be tripled. Evidence indicated that payments from the second Palestinian intifada were approved by then-PA President Yasir Arafat. But an appeals court found the U.S. District Court in New York lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case, wiping out the judgment.
Today, a terrorist's socioeconomic status is not factored into the salaries. Payments to released prisoners and jailed Palestinians are based on the length of a prison sentence, which is a function of their action's severity. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money a Palestinian prisoner gets. Even jailed Israeli Arabs receive terror salaries – almost $140 more than prisoners with PA residency. The detailed PA budget is concrete proof that the Palestinian government systematically incentivizes terrorism through financial compensation.
This comes as a U.S. Senate committee approved legislation earlier this month to suspend aid to the PA until it stops its financial support programs for Palestinian terrorists and their families. The PA budget clearly shows how the PA prioritizes segments of Palestinian society – people who try or succeed in killing Israelis above all else.
In June, Palestinian sources revealed that Abbas refused another U.S. demand to halt the practice of paying terrorist salaries. Reports in Arabic media, according to The Times of Israel, suggest that an American delegation eventually reduced its demands and insisted that the PA only cut payments to roughly 600 prisoners directly responsible for the Israeli deaths. The day after the meeting, Abbas defended issuing salaries to all Palestinian prisoners and terrorists as a "social responsibility."
In an effort to invigorate the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the group's leaders, Magdy Shalash, reminded supporters that the organization's main objective is establishing an "Islamic Caliphate" based on "Sharia" law.
"The Muslim Brotherhood was established for a general overall purpose, namely, the return of the comprehensive entity of the Umma (Muslim community)...the Islamic Caliphate, which is based on many Sharia proofs," Shalash wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday that was translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
While many Islamist apologists attempt to defend the use of terms like "caliphate" or "jihad" as purely religious and peaceful concepts, Shalash does not try to hide the Brotherhood's true colors.
He calls for "the return of all states Islam ruled, such as Andalusia and others, to the quarters of the coming Caliphate." Andalusia is part of today's Spain.
Islamist sympathizers who view the Brotherhood as a moderate force that only seeks to increase Islam's role in political life fail to acknowledge the organization's core mandate – to establish Sharia law and firm rule over all territories ever controlled by Islamic governance, no matter how long ago.
Shalash praised the "Ottoman Caliphate" since it "eliminated a state of pluralism and fragmentation in name of a plurality of Islamic countries..."
He wants internal Brotherhood elections to establish a unified leadership since "theorizing about something other than the overall goal (establishing the Caliphate)... puts the group in a state of fragmentation and division..."
Official Muslim Brotherhood statements in Arabic tend to reflect the group's core motivations and goals more than sanitized statements in English.
The Brotherhood called for an "Islamic Intifada" – a violent uprising – against Israel July 14 following a deadly Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
The statement reaffirmed the organization's extremist and divisive worldview, labeling any Muslim a "traitor" if they fail to join the uprising against Israel: "The Muslim Brotherhood stresses that defending holy places, and blood and goods is a Sharia duty and a duty to every Muslim, which cannot be ignored except by a traitor or someone submissive."
Palestinian terrorist organizations Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad followed the Brotherhood's lead and called for Palestinians to "escalate the Quds Intifada" which fueled days of heightened tensions between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem.
Pro-Palestinian Islamist organizations and Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in the United States organized anti-Israel protests throughout the country since the Temple Mount crisis unfolded, featuring vehemently anti-Semitic chants and radical statements.
"With life, with blood/we sacrifice for you Al Aqsa" and "the gate of Al Aqsa is of iron [Hadid], no one can open it but a martyr [Shahid]." These chants, translated by IPT, show how U.S. Islamist groups cultivate an atmosphere where terrorism and violence against Israel is openly encouraged.
Saudi Arabia has made progress in ridding its school textbooks teachings hostile toward other faiths, former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said last week in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. But, more needs to be done, including more steps to ensure teachers aren't promoting "a more radicalized version of Islam."
Wolf expressed concern that educational material used by the Saudi government-funded Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia may have potentially been responsible for inspiring terrorism. He cited the example of Ahmed Abu Ali, a former valedictorian from the school, who is currently serving out his sentence in the supermax in Colorado for plotting to assassinate a former U.S. president.
"While it is impossible to say whether Mr. Abu Ali was directly radicalized by the textbooks used at the Islamic Saudi Academy, the use of books that promote religious discrimination and the justification of violence toward non-believers cannot be tolerated," Wolf said.
He expressed frustration that the State Department never met with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to translate textbooks used at the school.
During his House tenure, and since joining the Wilberforce Initiative in 2015, Wolf has been a leading voice against intolerance and incitement to violence promoted by Saudi Arabia's government-published textbooks.
Saudi Arabia's promotion and export of radical Wahhabism, including through its school textbooks, remains a concern. There's a reason more researchers aren't focused on the problem, Wolf said: "By funding top American university research centers, the Saudi government has been able to minimize the voices of those in academia who would otherwise have the best means of researching the effects of radical Wahhabism. In other countries such as Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo and Indonesia they have continued to promote radicalism."
He urged the government to follow USCIRF recommendations to annually review Saudi education textbooks to see if passages that teach religious intolerance have been removed, and press the Saudi government to try to eliminate older versions of Saudi textbooks containing material that teaches hatred and intolerance of others.
That's not a crazy over-reaction. But this routine safety precaution is being cast as an unprovoked intrusion on Muslims wishing to go to the mosque. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas broke off security cooperation with Israel. Protests turned violent, with three people dying Friday, and three members of an Israeli family being murdered in a West Bank terrorist attack.
Abbas condemned the horrific attack on the Temple Mount, but his Fatah party called for a "day of rage" over the metal detectors. None of these actions considers that, without the terror attack that killed the two police officers, none of this would be happening.
"It's hard to think of a worse debasement of a holy place than for armed gunmen in the middle of a shooting spree to flee to it for sanctuary," Bloomberg's Eli Lake wrote last week. "Add to this the fact the Jerusalem police now say there were guns hidden in the Temple Mount complex at the time."
For those who reflexively blame Israel, even when it suffered the attack, such context doesn't matter.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) issued a statement expressing unease over "the escalating tensions between Palestinians and Israeli police which led to the latter imposing unprecedented restrictions on worship at Masjid al Aqsa."
Similarly, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) claimed Israel's closure of Al Aqsa was "unacceptable." In a statement released Friday, it called the new security measures "proof Israel is using the current situation in Jerusalem as a pretext to divide the mosque and prohibit Muslims from accessing their holy site during certain days and/or periods."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) St. Louis chapter organized a march that cast metal detectors and security cameras as a "siege" of the mosque and featured chants of "free free Al-Aqsa."
"It's just another way to put [Palestinians] on a leash and try to control them," said CAIR intern Neveen Ayesh.
Anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour took to Facebook Saturday to salute protesters and claim that "Palestine will be free, it's not a question of if, its (sic) when."
Friday's West Bank terror attack, meanwhile, was the first in a series. A security officer at the Israeli embassy in Jordan was attacked Saturday evening. And Monday morning, another Palestinian carried out an attack "for al Aqsa" injuring an Arab-Israeli man he mistook for a Jew.
There have been no condemnations from any of the groups who see metal detectors as horrible injustices.
Canadian authorities have stripped two former affiliates of the Islamic Society of North America's Canada chapter (ISNA-Canada) of their charitable status after discovering financial ties between the Islamic organizations and a Pakistani militant group.
ISNA Islamic Services of Canada and the Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation lost their charity status for "non-compliance" following a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit, according to records acquired by Canada's Global News.
The CRA discovered several issues during the audit, including evidence that ISNA Islamic Services facilitated donations that may have ended up in the hands of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), a Kashmir-based militant group. According to the CRA report, the Toronto-based Jami Mosque raised and transferred funds to the ISNA Development Foundation "for remit" to the Relief Organization of Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM), a "charitable arm" associated with HM.
"Given the identified commonalities in directorship between ROKM and Jamaat-e-Islami and the Hizbul Mujahideen executive committee, concerns exist that the funds collected and disbursed as part of this relief fund may have been used to support the political efforts of Jamaat-e-Islami and/or its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen," the CRA said.
HM is designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union and India. In June, the State Department put HM's leader, Syed Salahuddin, on its terrorist designations list, citing his threats to train suicide bombers in Kashmir and HM's responsibility for several deadly terrorist attacks.
This development comes four years after Canadian authorities revoked ISNA Development Foundation's charity status for similarly raising funds that may have reached militants in Kashmir. In July 2013, the Toronto Star reported that ISNA-Canada may have funneled $280,000 to ROKM.
The 2013 CRA audit found numerous issues within the ISNA Development Foundation, including missing documentation, misleading financial reports, and sending donations abroad to unapproved groups. The ISNA affiliated organization engaged in these activities despite a stated purpose of serving the poor and needy in Canada.
A 2010 CRA audit found that ISNA-Canada itself misused more than $600,000 in donor funds.
A "very small portion ... is distributed to the poor and needy and the major portion is spent on the administration of the centre," concluded the 2010 audit. "Spending for personal expenses out of the charity's funds is unethical," the auditor wrote, saying it is "tantamount to misappropriation of funds."
The Muslim Brotherhood called for an "Islamic Intifada" – a violent uprising – against Israel Friday following the day's deadly Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
"The Muslim Brotherhood calls upon the sons of the Islamic Umma (nation), its Ulema (Muslim religious scholars), figures and blocs for an Intifada in order to stop the (alleged Israeli) violations of holy sites...," the Brotherhood wrote on its official Arabic-language website and translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
Palestinian terrorist organizations Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad followed the Muslim Brotherhood's lead with a joint statement on Monday, also translated by IPT, "calling on the masses of the Palestinian people to prepare and declare a general mobilization to defend al-Aqsa Mosque and to escalate the Quds Intifada."
The Brotherhood admitted its main motivation for "our intended uprising" is to "pressure all Western governments, Arab regimes and international organizations to intervene to stop violations by gangs of the Zionist entity..."
On Friday, three Israeli-Arab terrorists from Umm-al Fahm shot and killed two Israeli police officers of Druze descent at the Temple Mount. Other police officers shot the terrorists dead after they retreated into the Temple Mount compound. According to the Times of Israel, the attackers were reportedly members of the banned Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliated organization led by a radical Arab Israeli Raed Salah and former mayor of Umm al-Fahm.
The Jerusalem Post later interviewed several residents of Umm el-Fahm, many of whom believe that the al-Aksa mosque is under threat by Israel. Some of the respondents believe the Israeli-Arab terrorists were motivated to kill by this belief.
"They did this because of the feeling that al-Aksa is in danger," a young man told the Jerusalem Post. "Every year we used to have a festival on the theme 'al-Aksa is in danger.' Since the government banned the movement, we no longer have it, but a lot of people still support the movement."
The Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement controlled Umm el-Fahm for 21 years and maintains a strong support base in the area. "Al-Aksa is in danger" is the Islamic Movement's mantra.
The Muslim Brotherhood's statement reaffirms the organization's extremist and divisive worldview, labeling any Muslim a "traitor" if they fail to join the uprising: "The Muslim Brotherhood stresses that defending holy places, and blood and goods is a Sharia duty and a duty to every Muslim, which cannot be ignored except by a traitor or someone submissive."
Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi also issued a series of statements during the past couple of days inciting Muslims to join the struggle against Israel.
"It is incumbent on the Umma of Islam to leave aside minor issues and side battles, and be concerned with the primary cause of Islam: the cause of Palestine and what the prisoner al Aqsa Mosque is being subject to," Qaradawi wrote in a Twitter post Monday.
The most recent attack in Israel and the Brotherhood's subsequent call for an intifada is the latest example of Muslim Brotherhood-sanctioned violence.
In April, senior Muslim Brotherhood member 'Izz Al-Din Dwedar called for an "intifada" targeting Egyptian embassies around the world in a Facebook post translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
In protest of death sentences handed to members of the Brotherhood in Egypt, Dwedar suggested for violent action on May 3.
Egyptians abroad should "protest [outside] Egyptian embassies and lay siege to them, and steadily escalate [their actions], up to and including raiding the embassies in some countries, disrupting their work and occupying them if possible, in order to raises awareness to our cause," Dwedar wrote.
Friday's terrorist attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem provided yet another example of how apologists avoid acknowledging the reality of Palestinian violence.
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television's first headline made it seem like three Palestinians were shot dead for no particular reason. "At least three Palestinians killed in shooting in Jerusalem's Old City," the network posted on Twitter.
The three were killed after they shot and killed two police officers and wounded a third in an unprovoked attack.
In the United States, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which claims to want a safe and secure state for both Israelis and Palestinians, reacted to the terrorist attack by sharing a Facebook post posting a video about the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip. "The news today of armed Palestinians killed by Israeli occupying police near Al Aqsa mosque is grim, sad and frightening but won't include the backdrop of Gaza in the dark, its undrinkable water, children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder... each day becoming more unlivable," JVP wrote.
This apparent rationalization of a terrorist attack that killed two Israeli police officers by Israeli Arabs who opened fire after prayer on the Temple Mount is not a surprising move by Jewish Voice for Peace.
A Palestinian activist at a JVP conference earlier this year urged the audience to become "freedom fighters" by utilizing "guerilla disobedience" because activism against the occupation was not enough.
At another panel on Zionism, JVP argued that Israel is an apartheid state ignoring equal rights and opportunities of Israeli Arabs, while also pushing the notion that Zionism should not exist. Zionism was a movement aimed at the reestablishment of a Jewish state.
JVP championed the case of convicted terrorist Rasmieh Odeh, who was responsible for a 1969 grocery store bombing that killed two Israeli students. JVP invited Odeh to speak at its conference in April, just after she pleaded guilty to naturalization fraud and agreed to be deported. Odeh claims her Israeli terrorism conviction resulted from weeks of torture. Though she has no evidence to support this, JVP embraces it as truth.
For a group supposedly inspired by their faith to work for justice and equality for both Israelis and Palestinians, Jewish Voice for Peace is disturbingly quiet about condemning terrorist violence targeting Israelis.
Palestinian terrorist Rasmieh Odeh likely will be deported shortly after a federal judge formally sentences her next month for naturalization fraud. Her supporters are planning one final bash in her honor featuring radical political activist Angela Davis.
A promotion for the Aug. 12 event in Chicago notes it costs $5 – $6.17 with service fees – and promises "a night of music, poetry, and struggle."
Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner
Her plea agreement with federal prosecutors calls for no additional jail time, but it includes a stipulation stripping Odeh of her American citizenship and says "she will not be allowed to remain in the United States" and can never return.
Her supporter blindly accept Odeh's claim that her Israeli conviction resulted from weeks of vicious torture, even though the only evidence to support this claim is Odeh's word. A Red Cross monitor declared her Israeli trial fair, and her father was in contact with U.S. diplomats at the time and reported no such abuse.
Further, her sworn plea agreement included language that renders the torture claims moot:
"At the time she made the false statements, [Odeh] knew the statements were false," the plea agreement says. She "also admits that all of these false statements were material ... She made the false statements intentionally and not as a result of any mistake, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or any other psychological issue or condition or for any innocent reason, and not withstanding any other statement or testimony Defendant Odeh may have made at any other time regarding those answers."
Nevertheless, Odeh stood by her story days later, calling the government's case "a phony immigration charge" and blasting "the racist nature of the justice system in this country."
Her followers appear to have no second thoughts about whether their hero is an honest person, let alone an unrepentant killer. While it's one last hurrah for Odeh, the Aug. 12 event offers yet another example proving that, for Israel haters, facts really aren't important.