U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's 2010 comments about Israeli political influence, first reported Tuesday by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, are "deeply disturbing and disqualifying" to his bid to become head of the Democratic National Committee, the Anti-Defamation League announced in a statement Thursday afternoon.
In remarks given at a private fundraiser, Ellison, D-Minn. implied Israel enjoyed disproportionate and inappropriate control over U.S. foreign policy. The IPT obtained a recording of those comments:
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"The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?"
In Thursday's statement, ADL chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt said Ellison's comments expose a belief that American policy is driven not by the country's best interests, but by "religiously or national origin-based special interests ... Additionally, whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S."
Greenblatt defended Ellison last week against criticism of his past association with the Nation of Islam and his close relationships with Islamist groups like the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), both of which were created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ellison "long ago ... disassociated himself from the [Nation of Islam] and apologized for its anti-Semitism," Greenblatt wrote. And, "we have seen no concrete evidence of any link between Ellison and the Brotherhood."
"He has been outspoken about anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in his role as a congressman. Local Jewish leadership in his district speaks highly of him," Greenblatt wrote.
But the 2010 comments exposed by the IPT changed all that. Bipartisan support for Israel, "our most important ally in the region, a democracy whose emphasis on equality and commitment to the rule of law stands in stark contrast to the anarchy and authoritarian regimes that prevail in much of the Middle East" is vital, Thursday's statement said. The next head of the Democratic Party should "have fidelity to these timeless ideals at all times."
The DNC is expected to choose its next leader in early 2017.
A Brooklyn imam issued what appeared to be a call to behead Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi last Wednesday at an event sponsored by the pro-Muslim Brotherhood group Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ).
Sisi has led Egypt since a July 2013 coup toppled the Muslim Brotherhood government led by then-President Mohamed Morsi. Brotherhood supporters in the United States have condemned the move, which was prompted by massive street protests against Morsi's rule. They demand his reinstatement.
"[O]nce people pledge allegiance to a Muslim ruler, it is forbidden to struggle against him and remove him, and if anyone removes him, he should be beheaded," Islamic Society of Bay Ridge imam Sheikh Mohamed Elbar told the EAFJ gathering in Arabic. "Do you know who ought to be beheaded? Who should be stricken with the sword or hanged or detained? He who came to fight, and not the legitimate president [Morsi]."
The Investigative Project on Terrorism obtained a recording of the event, held at the Muslim American Society (MAS) Center in Brooklyn.
Qaradawi issued a similar threat against Sisi on Al-Jazeera shortly after the 2013 coup: "[I]f he, who has disobeyed the ruler, does not repent, then he must be killed. There is a legitimate ruler (in reference to Morsi) and people must obey and listen to him."
Elbar's mosque has a long track record of extremism dating back to the 1990s. "Brooklyn Bridge Shooter" Rashid Baz, killed Hasidic student Ari Halberstam in 1994 after hearing a sermon at the mosque calling for revenge on Jews for an incident in Hebron.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time EAFJ was connected to threats of violence against Egypt's military leaders.
In February 2015, EAFJ board members Hani Elkadi and Mahmoud El-Sharkawy, who appeared alongside Elbar and Sharaby at last week's event, each posted a communiqué from the Popular Resistance Movement (PRM) which has launched attacks against Egyptian police and other targets.
It features an image of a blood-red map of Egypt with a fist superimposed over it. It claims responsibility for targeting two police cars. "God, martyrs, Revolution," it said.
PRM claimed joint responsibility with ISIS's Sinai Province for an attack near Cairo that left eight police officers dead last May.
In an audio message allegedly posted by al-Qaida in Pakistan, a young girl jihadist calls on Malala Yousafzai to renounce Western education and adopt the path of Allah as laid out in the Muslim holy book Quran and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet Mohammad).
Yousafzai's activism on behalf of education for girls made her a target for radical Islamists. She was shot in the head by a masked Taliban gunman in 2012 while riding her school bus home.
In 2014, Yousafzai, then 17, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize for standing up against Taliban attacks on western education in her hometown in northwest Pakistan.
The new recording indicates Yousafzai remains a target, and that jihadists are indoctrinating children into supporting terror and opposing education.
"It takes a person close to Allah, only creator, and guides us to fulfill the purpose of our creation and that is to establish Khilafah on the earth of Allah," the girl jihadist, identified as Hafsa Khurasani, can be heard telling Malala.
Blogger Carol Anne Grayson identifies Khurasani as the 5-year-old daughter of Taliban commander Adnan Rasheed.
Only "following the law of Allah can bring happiness in our lives and peace in this world" and is the "right education," the girl said.
"The one you call education is not the right education because you got it from the Kuffar [infidels] who are jahil [ignorant]."
The education Malala promotes "is producing men and women who are destroying the world," Khurasani said, while her path creates "men and women who are constructing the world" and "aspire to make the world a peaceful heaven."
The message concludes with Khurasani calling on Malala to "come back home" and join her and her sisters at their madrassa in Khorasan, a region dominated by hard-core al-Qaida jihadists that relocated to Pakistan following the 2001 defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
One year after jihadist commandos massacred 130 people in coordinated attacks across Paris, France remains under a state of emergency. Heavily armed gendarmes patrol the city streets, prepared for the next attack that even politicians admit is sure to come. And the one jihadist who survived the Nov. 13 attacks, Salah Abdeslam, rests in French prison, becoming more radicalized than ever.
This, at least, is what his former lawyer, Sven Mary, told Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant in a recent interview. "He has a beard now," Mary said. "He has become a real fundamentalist Muslim. He had been just a street kid with Nikes."
Abdeslam's brother Mohamed had a similar reaction when he visited Salah recently. "I had the impression he had radicalized further," he told French RTL radio, adding that Salah "was a different person now."
But where Mohamed Abdeslam blames prison conditions for his brother's retreat into radical Islam, Mary points to earlier influences. The Belgian-Moroccan Abdeslam, whose full role in the attacks has never been clearly determined, was arrested near his home in the Molenbeek district of Brussels on March 18, and extradited to France a month later. His Belgian jail cell was near that of Mehdi Nemmouche, the terrorist who murdered four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in June 2014. The two were able to communicate between their cells, shouting to one another.
Still, Mary agrees with Mohamed Abdeslam that French prison conditions may have played a role. "They're not physically torturing him," he told the Volkskrant, "It's not Guantanamo Bay. But they do punish horrors with mental torture."
Media attention also has helped stimulate his former client's radicalization in recent months, Mary believes. "People gave him a status of heroism by saying he'd been the brain" behind the attacks, he said, referring to early reports that Abdeslam may have been one of the organizers of the terror plot. "He's come to believe it himself. He's been placed in a position where he can only gain respect as a martyr. He's become the stereotypical terrorist."
As a result, Abdeslam refuses to speak to investigators. He won't talk to his attorneys, including Mary, who consequently quit the case in October. "He said that Allah will watch over him," Mary said at the time.
Fortunately, given the gravity of his crimes and the mass of evidence against him. Salah Abdeslam is unlikely ever to be released. But his silence leaves survivors of the attacks, and the families of the victims, struggling for answers they may never find. Worse, his deepened devotion to jihad means that he will likely never divulge what information he might hold of future plots. In this, a year after the attacks, the one surviving terrorist is not done fighting his jihad.
A growing number of radical Islamists are infiltrating Germany's military, the Bundeswehr, raising concerns of an insider attack, reports the UK Sun.
At least 80 suspected ISIS sympathizers were uncovered recently, forcing senior levels of Germany's military counterespionage service to issue a high-level probe focused on instituting background checks on all new recruits.
In the past, Germany's Ministry of Defense expressed concern that no background checks are required for soldiers in unclassified positions – a policy that enabled dozens of radical Islamists to enlist and receive military training and weaponry.
Military officials fear that a network of ISIS "sleepers" are joining the armed forces to eventually attack fellow soldiers and conduct sophisticated strikes against German society.
These reports come amid a rising ISIS threat to Germany, including deadly attacks in July and several terrorist plots foiled in the last few months.
On Thursday, German police apprehended a Syrian man suspected of planning a terrorist attack on an airport in Berlin. The man entered Germany last year as a refugee.
Several prominent examples of Islamist infiltration within the U.S. military also have caused immense concern.
A Muslim army soldier killed two comrades and injured 14 others after throwing a live grenade in a tent in Kuwait prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. In 2009, U.S. Army major and psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hassan shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood because he believed that no Muslim could faithfully serve in the U.S. military.
Three years later, Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo was arrested before he could carry out his plans to wage a second attack on Fort Hood personnel. Abdo saw it as a religious duty to retaliate for American military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi openly called for violence against Israelis Wednesday and promoted the destruction of the Jewish state on several online platforms.
"Will the usurped rights of our Umma [global Muslim community] and its wounded holy places the Jews despoiled be restored save by the might of the Mujahideen and the determination of sincere men? #Balfour_promise," wrote Qaradawi, according to an Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) translation.
Invoking the term "Mujahideen" blatantly signals Qaradawi's willingness to encourage Palestinians seeking to carry out violent jihad against Israelis. The accompanying photo features a masked Palestinian terrorist preparing to launch a rocket at Israeli communities.
Qaradawi also promoted an initiative outlined by the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine terrorist group. Among the initiative's recommendations for Palestinian leadership is "the withdrawal of recognition of the state of the Zionist entity," and "national liberation," an IPT translation of the post from Qaradawi's personal website said. For Palestinians, "the priority is to resist the Occupation," Qaradawi wrote.
Terms such as "resistance" are often code words for violence against Israeli military and civilian targets. "Occupation" to Qaradawi, the Islamic Jihad and many other radical Palestinians, refers to all of Israeli territory – not limited to the West Bank and Gaza.
By lending support to this manifesto, Qaradawi once again proves that the global Muslim Brotherhood movement is dedicated to the long-run erosion of the Jewish state.
Despite this incendiary rhetoric, Qaradawi is falsely hailed as a moderate by Islamists in the United States, Europe and their supporters.
Qaradawi has called for Muslims worldwide to take up arms against Israel on numerous occasions in the past. In 2014, he wrote: "For the sake of Al-Aqsa mosque, blood will flow, and Muslims will expend lives and money, and sons."
He also cited an apocalyptic hadith often invoked by Islamists inciting Muslims to kill Jews:
"The Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) has informed us, when he said: "The Hour will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, with Muslims fighting them until the Jew hides behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees saying: 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah, this Jew behind me, come kill him.'"
Israeli security intercepted a plot Wednesday involving two 8-year-old, knife wielding Palestinian children seeking to carry out a stabbing attack against Israelis.
The children "admitted to have been sent, armed with knives, in order to carry out a terror attack," the Israel Defense Forces said.
The boys were seen near a security fence and detained outside of a Jewish community in the West Bank, south of Jerusalem.
Over the last year, Palestinian terrorists have killed over 34 Israelis and wounded dozens. Some of the terrorists conducting stabbing attacks were as young as 11.
Mainstream U.S. media outlets continue to push the argument that Israel's military presence and Palestinian despair are the root causes of Palestinian attacks. Yet this line of reasoning cannot explain the terrorist motivations of 8-year-old boys. Hateful brainwashing and ideological radicalization is at the core of this phenomenon. Observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will find ample evidence that confirms systematic and societal-level brainwashing of young Palestinians, glorifying terrorists, and encouraging future generations to attack and kill Jews.
Over the years, Palestinian children have participated in terrorist promoting parades in the Gaza Strip and are taught to prepare for a holy war against the "Zionist enemy."
"Children in this world do not dream about becoming doctors, pilots or engineers," journalist Khaled Abu Toameh notes. "Rather, they dream of destroying Israel and 'liberating Palestine.' In fact, an entire generation of Palestinians, particularly those in the Gaza Strip, has been raised on the glorification of suicide bombers and anyone who kills a Jew."
Last week, students at Ramallah's Al-Quds University established a memorial for the school's "heroic Martyrs" who participated in deadly attacks targeting Israelis.
"Beware of natural death; do not die, but amidst the hail of bullets," reads text on the memorial stone and translated by Palestinian Media Watch. It remains Palestinian Authority (PA) policy to encourage young Palestinians to engage in terrorism, even if it means certain death. In July, the PA glorified Palestinian high school students killed while conducting terrorist attacks against Israelis, arguing that the youth took "the path to excellence and greatness" over completing studies and enhancing their lives.
Western governments, media outlets, and human rights organizations have yet to express outrage at the exploitation of young children to commit murder. Instead of focusing solely on Israel's presence, international actors could help young Palestinians by exposing and pressuring the forces that contribute to their desperation – the Palestinian politicians and institutions that consistently fuel societal incitement and violent brainwashing.
European leaders fear onslaught of jihadists fleeing from Mosul after Iraq's government and its allies kick ISIS out of the city.
Last year's Paris attacks and the Brussels attacks in March brought heightened awareness that ISIS established an underground network to move jihadis in and out of Europe at will. Thousands of European nationals traveled to Syria and Iraq to wage jihad for ISIS. An estimated 2,500 Europeans still belong to ISIS's fighting force.
"The retaking of (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's) northern Iraq stronghold, Mosul, may lead to the return to Europe of violent (ISIS) fighters," European Union Security Commissioner Julian King told The (London) Telegraph. "This is a very serious threat and we must be prepared to face it."
Iraqi forces, together with Iranian-backed Shiite militia and Kurdish pershmerga, aim to deal a deathblow to ISIS's caliphate in Mosul.
It is a day ISIS anticipated. In an online publication last December called Black Flags From the Islamic State, ISIS vowed to continue its fight.
"If they win this battle, they will capture a lot of weapons, and their soldiers morale will be boosted. Now they will have control over land and will be able to train more people to fight the enemy. If they continue the fight, they will keep winning, but if they start to lose and give up, their leadership will hide in the deserts and mountains again, only to start the: Lone wolf -> Clandestine Cells -> Insurgency -> Army technique, all over again," Black Flags From the Islamic State promised.
Jihadis without a home base pose a direct threat to Europe and menace security officials around the world, warned Raffaello Pantucci, director of the International Security studies at the Royal United Services Institute.
This especially concerns France, which suffered the Paris attacks last November that claimed 130 lives at the hands of ISIS jihadis who fought in Syria. An estimated 400 French nationals are still fighting jihad in warzones.
"We've had hundreds returned to our country [UK.] Some estimates say it's a thousand. We can't monitor the people that are here. So, it is really important that they sit round the table, because there are potentially 9,000 ISIS jihadists sitting in Mosul at the moment, who are also looking to move across," European Parliament member Janice Atkinson told Russia Today.
The conflict against ISIS is moving into a new, unpredictable phase that has Europe on edge worrying about what comes next.
Threats from Russia fill the news these days, from hacking to military assertiveness in Syria.
It's all a product of American failure in Syria and the Obama administration's inability to stand up to Moscow, Lina Khatib, head of the Middle East and North Africa program at London's Chatham House, said Friday at a conference on democracy in the Arab world.
"The U.S. basically has paved the way for Russia to become a superpower once more," Khatib said at the Arab Center Washington, DC conference. "This poses the U.S. [with] a much bigger problem because it has to do with the standing of the United States in the world."
Europe is imperiled by the Syrian civil war and resulting flood of immigrants, she said. "Europe was really waiting for the U.S. to play the lead on Syria, but Russia has sought to weaken Europe. And Brexit is a manifestation of this," Khatib said.
"The whole world order is at risk of being changed and not for the better, and the roots of this do go back to the Syrian conflict."
The U.S. missed a golden opportunity to take a leading role in Syria early on, she said, particularly when it came to Russian support for dictator Bashar al-Assad's regime and Obama's red line on chemical weapons.
President Obama declared Assad needed to go in August 2011. Visits by then U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford to anti-Assad demonstrations at the time raised hopes, but the support required never materialized.
"The U.S. failed the protesters in Syria who were longing for decent change," Khatib said.
Obama's red-line declaration – that the U.S. would take action if Assad used chemical weapons – showed Assad the U.S. was not a credible threat.
This was compounded by the Obama administration's failure to support moderate non-Islamists opposed to the Assad regime, which opened the door for Islamists to gain an upper hand.
"Russia gained confidence as a result of that, and used it as leverage in peace talks and ever since," Khatib said.
ISIS attacks around the world showed that Obama's policy of containing the terrorist group had failed.
"All of this paved the way for Russia to come into the picture and take an increasingly central role in the Syrian conflict to the degree that now no solution to the Syrian conflict can happen without Russian blessing," Khatib said.
A Palestinian man shot dead Sunday after waging a terrorist attack that killed two people in Jerusalem and wounded five others was hailed as "the Lion of Jerusalem" and a martyr by an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Mesbah Abu Sbeih, 39, engaged in "self-defense," Deek wrote Monday on Twitter. That is "...*not* an attack. Reporting otherwise perpetuates a false propaganda."
As we have shown, this kind of glorification of violence, when directed at Israelis, is consistent for Deek, an attorney who serves on the board for CAIR's New York chapter. She has called Israel "the genocidal zionist regime."
In this case, she reposted a video tribute to Sbeih on Facebook, describing him as "this mountain of a man, how they envied him." The video shows footage of the shooting attack and its aftermath, including a Palestinian taping on his cell phone from a distance shouting, "Allahu Akhbar."
Deek's organization, CAIR, has roots in a Hamas support organization in the United States created by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Witnesses and documents establish these connections, but CAIR officials refuse to confront the issue directly.
Deek is joining a series of Palestinian groups and people in canonizing Sbeih. A Palestinian soccer team posed with a photo of the terrorist hailing him as a martyr and hero. Giant posters displaying his image appeared on buildings. The Palestinian Authority called for a general strike Sunday to honor his "martyrdom."
Sbeih was supposed to begin a four-month jail sentence stemming from a 2013 assault on a police officer.
"[T]hey thought he'd walk into the zionist dungeon meekly," Deek wrote. "He chose resistance and dignity instead."
A 60-year-old woman, Levana Malihi, was one of the victims of this act of "dignity."
He killed an innocent woman. Deek offered one wish for his legacy: "May he live forever a thorn in the eye of every zionist colonizer and hostage taker," she wrote.