Report: Iran May Send Hamas to Fight ISIS

Iran is reportedly planning to deploy Hamas operatives to fight the Islamic State in Mosul, according to a-Sharq al-Awsat and reported by the Jerusalem Post.

The report suggests that Iran still maintains significant influence over the Palestinian terrorist organization. In the battle for Mosul, Hamas terrorists would fight with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Lebanese Hizballah, and Shi'ite Houthi militias.

Hizballah and Houthi fighters remain bogged down in the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars. Nevertheless, their main benefactor, Iran, continues to exploit its main terrorist proxies to pursue its regional hegemonic ambitions at the expense of local considerations.

Now Hamas is reportedly expected to divert its forces to the Iraqi theatre, despite Gaza's economic woes and growing Salafi-jihadist internal threat.

According to the report, Hamas would also help take over Kirkuk, the oil-rich city under Kurdish control since June 2014, in order to destabilize the Kurdistan region in pursuit of Iran's interests.

This development would further signal that the Palestinian terrorist organization prioritizes its relationship with Iran and its terrorist ambitions over the domestic needs of Gaza's population.

Hamas continues to divert significant resources in rebuilding and enhancing its underground tunnel network to attack Israel instead of investing in civilian reconstruction projects.

Moreover, Hamas claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem last week, as the terrorist group seeks to enhance its presence in the West Bank and reignite a violent Palestinian uprising targeting Israelis.

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By IPT News  |  April 25, 2016 at 3:01 pm  |  Permalink

Prosecutors: ISIS Ebook Helped Inspire Aborted Attack on Pamela Geller

An Islamic State (ISIS) ebook, "How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid's Guide," may have contributed to a plot by two accused Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists from Boston to behead free-speech advocate Pamela Geller, federal prosecutors say. Boston police killed a third conspirator on June 2 before they could carry out their attack against Geller.

David Dawoud Wright, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim and Nicholas Rovinski answered ISIS's call to commit terrorist acts in Western countries beginning in January 2015, a superseding indictment issued Thursday said. The three were inspired by the terrorist organization's online magazine Dabiq and also looked to "How to Survive in the West" for guidance in forming a sleeper cell after it appeared in March 2015.

Wright wrote organizational documents for a "Martyrdom Operations Cell" in April 2015. He also researched firearms, tranquilizer guns and law-enforcement capabilities. His search queries included: "what is the most flammable chemical;" "Which tranquilizer puts humans to sleep instantly;" and "how to start a secret militia in [the] US."

Most of these topics are also found in "How to Survive in the West."

Rahim communicated with several ISIS members abroad, including Junaid Hussain, also known as "Abu Hussain al-Britani." Hussain was a British hacker who helped ISIS recruit jihadis and identify targets in the West prior to his death in a drone strike last August.

By May, the plotters wanted to behead Geller, who was organizing a draw Muhammad contest in Garland, Texas. Geller was targeted for murder in a May 6 ISIS fatwa. Hussain told Rahim to kill Geller because she had insulted Muhammad, and Rahim passed along Hussain's instructions to Wright. He also told Rahim to carry a knife if the "feds" tried to arrest him.

The plot moved away from Geller and the group allegedly discussed attacking closer to home. Rahim was killed by police in June after intercepted conversations indicated he was about to attack police officers. Hussain hailed Rahim as a "martyr" on Twitter.

Independent of this plot, Geller was targeted by two other ISIS-inspired terrorists, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi. Both men were killed by a Garland traffic police officer during a shootout.

"How to Survive in the West" also includes instructions to kill anyone who depicts Muhammad in a manner Muslims find blasphemous.

"Allah is asking us; why don't you fight a people who broke their covenant of peace (with the Muslims) first, then reviled our religion (by promoting insulting pictures of Prophet Muhammad) and started (Arabic: bada'*) the attack against you first?" a passage from How to Survive in the West said. [Emphasis original.]," "How to Survive in the West" says.

Disturbingly, Rovinski continued to support ISIS from behind bars after he was arrested. Prosecutors say Rovinski reaffirmed his support for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in August. He also tried to recruit other prisoners to commit terrorist acts.

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By John Rossomando  |  April 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm  |  Permalink

Video Captures Palestinians Hailing Jerusalem Bomber

In recent weeks, we at the Investigative Project on Terrorism have emphasized the difference between Israeli and Palestinian reactions to violent attacks.

When an Israeli soldier shot and killed a wounded Palestinian – after the Palestinian tried to stab someone – Israeli political and military leaders quickly condemned the act. The soldier has been charged with manslaughter.

Contrast that swift expression of outrage with the hero's treatment Palestinian demonstrators gave to Abdel-Hamid Abu Srour. He was a Hamas terrorist who blew himself up Monday on a Jerusalem bus. Twenty innocent people were wounded.

When Abu Srour's identity was released, hundreds of demonstrators marched near his home near Bethlehem.

[AV] 803 [/AV]

Among the chants, Palestinians told Abu Srour's mother "how lucky you are. I wish that my mother were like you." The dead terrorist was described as a hero: "From here we proclaim it, You are a star in its sky."

Before his death, Abu Srour, 19, often praised Hamas on social media, the Jerusalem Post reports. He singled out infamous Hamas bomb-maker Yahya Ayyash for adulation.

"Ayyash will come back," the marchers chanted.

Few government officials, if any, in the United States or Europe, will comment about the spectacle of a suicide bomber being hailed as a hero by a people that are supposed to be partners in a potential peace. Again, imagine if Israelis celebrated an attack on Palestinians in a manner remotely similar. Newspapers would spend days running front page stories, while governments expressed outrage over such wanton bloodlust.

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By IPT News  |  April 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm  |  Permalink

Report: German Refugee Program Money Given to Hizballah Operatives

Hizballah activists continue to operate freely in Germany and serve as senior employees of a German government-funded theater project intended to aid refugees in the country, according to the Berliner Zeitung daily and reported by the Jerusalem Post.

Two directors of the Refugee Club Impulse (RCI), sisters Nadia and Maryam Grassman, were central organizers of the annual pro-Iran/pro-Hizballah al-Quds Day rally in 2015 featuring "anti-Semitic slogans" and calls for "the abolition of Israel."

Video and photographic evidence showed Nadia chanting on a loudspeaker while Maryam disseminated fliers and posters and collected donations during the anti-Semitic rally. It is uncertain whether the donations were intended to fund Hizballah's terrorist operations in Syria and against Israel.

The RCI is expected to receive €100,000 ($113,260 USD) from the German government for the refugee project. Public taxpayer money has been transferred to the organization for several years.

There are roughly 250 active Hizballah operatives in Berlin and a total of 950 Hizballah members throughout Germany, according to a 2014 Berlin intelligence report summarized by the Jerusalem Post. Though the number of Hizballah supporters is believed to be far higher in Germany than listed in the report.

Radical Islamists are "the greatest danger to Germany...Germany is on the spectrum of goals for Islamic terrorists," said Hans-Georg Maassen, president of Germany's domestic intelligence agency – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).

In 2014, Germany closed down the Lebanon Orphan Children Project for providing money to the al-Shahid ("The Martyr") Association in Lebanon. Al-Shahid was "disguised as a humanitarian organization" and "promotes violence and terrorism in the Middle East using donations collected in Germany and elsewhere," German security expert Alexander Ritzmann said in a 2009 European Foundation for Democracy report.

While the European Union, including Germany, designated Hizballah's military wing as a terrorist entity, Germany allows Hizballah's political wing to operate freely in the country. The U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization entirely. Even senior Hizballah officials have noted the futility in distinguishing between its political and military wings, acknowledging that Hizballah is a hierarchical and bureaucratic organization with a clear chain of command. Therefore the organization's terrorist and military wings answer to its senior leadership and political echelons, including its main benefactor – Iran.

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By IPT News  |  April 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm  |  Permalink

Palestinians Praise Jerusalem Bus Bombing Targeting Israelis

Palestinian factions from across the political spectrum are celebrating the latest terrorist bombing of a bus in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon. An explosive device planted on the bus wounded 21 people, including two in serious condition, and set fire to another bus and nearby vehicle.

An armed Fatah-affiliated group praised the attack, claiming that the bombing ushers in a new phase for the Palestinian terrorist uprising, reports journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

Abu Toameh also tweeted a photo showing employees of Hamas' al-Aqsa TV channel rejoicing over the terrorist attack and holding a tray of celebratory sweets. Other Palestinians in Gaza also celebrated the bombing, handing out candies and sweets in the streets.

Moreover, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook glorified the attack on his official Facebook page, calling the bombing "a gift...for our heroic [Palestinian] prisoners," according to a translation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

"A message to the usurpers, the occupiers, and the settlers, that you will have no security until our people are secure, that injustice will not last, that right will prevail, and that the day of victory is soon," Abu Marzook wrote.

These are the words and threats from a leader of a designated terrorist organization that notorious U.S. Islamists – including Linda Sarsour – treat as a legitimate political party.

As we often say, imagine if the roles were reversed and Israeli political officials celebrated a terrorist attack targeting unarmed Palestinians. It would dominate the news for days on end and the international community would leap to condemn the bloodthirsty sentiment.

But when it comes to attacks targeting Israelis or Jews, statements by Palestinian officials glorifying terrorism gets limited to no traction in the media.

In response to the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: "we will find whoever prepared and dispatched the explosives, as well as those who helped them. We will settle accounts with those terrorists."

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By IPT News  |  April 18, 2016 at 6:19 pm  |  Permalink

Underground Hamas Tunnels Continue to Threaten Israeli Civilians

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) discovered a cross-border tunnel leading into Israel from the Gaza Strip, proving that Hamas maintains underground terrorist infrastructure dedicated to the kidnapping and murder of Israeli civilians.

"The IDF and security forces thwarted a serious disaster...it is important to note that, this single tunnel had one goal: to murder innocent women and children in Israel," Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, said Sunday.

Lapid also referred to the existence of underground tunnels as an equivalent to a "land invasion of Israel."

The tunnel stretched about 30 yards into Israel, opening up near a farming community. "The working assumption is that this is not the only tunnel penetrating into Israel, that there are others," said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

Israeli officials believe the tunnel was built since the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, suggesting that technological means incorporated in Israel's counter-tunnel efforts are somewhat effective.

Since the war ended, Hamas has openly invested significant amounts of resources to the reconstruction of its offensive tunnel capabilities. The terrorist organization devotes roughly 1,000 operatives – working 24 hours a day, six days a week – and millions of dollars per month solely on its underground tunnel network.

During the 2014 war, Hamas sent 13 heavily armed terrorists through a similar tunnel that opened near a kibbutz, hoping to launch a major attack on Israelis. The IDF detected the attempt and was able to kill many of the terrorists.

Despite some Israeli successes in combatting Hamas' underground activities, this latest development suggests that activity continues undetected. Israel's military and intelligence agencies are constantly trying to expose the tunnels. IDF bulldozers continue working at the Gaza border, searching for other offensive tunnels dug into Israeli territory.

Covert attempts at stifling Hamas' activities also play an important role. Palestinian reports claim that a Hamas operative is being interrogated by the Shin Bet, Israel's domestic intelligence service, after crossing into Israel.

According to IDF assessments, Hamas will try to gain control of an Israeli border town through its tunnels in an attempt to kidnap Israeli civilians as hostages. Moreover, the terrorist organization will continue digging tunnels in an effort to overcome its military inferiority with Israel.

A recent World Bank report confirms that only 9 percent of Gaza homes destroyed in the 2014 war have been rebuilt, confirming that Hamas continues to divert cement and reconstruction material to rebuild its terrorist infrastructure at the expense of its civilian population.

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By IPT News  |  April 18, 2016 at 10:46 am  |  Permalink

ISIS Chant Praising Brussels Attacks Could Attract Recruits, Herald More

A recent "nasheed" – or Islamic chant – posted by ISIS celebrating the Brussels attacks, could serve as a recruitment tool for ISIS to persuade potential jihadists to fight on the continent.

"We Destroyed Belgium" features ISIS's self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, speaking in the beginning, proclaiming the international nature of his group.

"Allah is our destination. He is our goal. Our Sheikh al-Baghdadi proclaimed the banner of jihad ... With the strength of belief our weapons are raised ... We destroyed Belgium ... Infidels and hypocrites. With slaughter we come to you. No, no agreement And if they say, terrorist. I say, the honor is mine," the nasheed says.

This nasheed comes amid ISIS threats of further attacks. The terror organization released a video last week threatening to strike against London, Berlin or Rome. Other ISIS threats in the wake of the Brussels attacks similarly featured Berlin and London.

"Plans are afoot as we read these words now," said ex-jihadi and counter-terrorism expert Mubin Shaikh. "It is well within the scope of this thinking, to insert coded messages into some of these nasheeds."

ISIS frowns on issuing open orders like "start the job" to sleeper cells in the field to commence operations, which is a lesson it learned from Al-Qaida, according to its manual "Safety and Security guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen." It insists on total silence and lack of communication prior to an operation; however, an innocuous coded message akin to the Japanese message "Climb Mt. Nitaka" sent prior to Pearl Harbor would go largely unnoticed by security services.

ISIS published dozens of nasheeds aimed at urging recruits to join them on the battlefield. This nasheed celebrating Brussels and similar nasheeds that appeared online prior to the Paris and Brussels differ in that they are more narrowly aimed at operations in Europe.

Two weeks before the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, ISIS's Raqqa-based Al-Hayat Media released a French-language nasheed titled "Avance, Avance," which the Middle East Media Research Institute's (MEMRI) French-language service first reported.

It told ISIS's followers in France to "Advance, Advance" and to "Kill apostates that the devil has lost, People with the false war is declared ... Either you kill them or they kill you, that profit ... Finish him with a bullet to the head."

ISIS released an audio statement claiming responsibility hours after the Paris attacks. It used the same "Avance, Avance" nasheed.

Al-Hayat Media released another French nasheed on Feb. 28 titled "Pour Allah," which could have signaled an impending attack on a European target. It proclaimed: "For Allah we sacrifice, for Allah we terrorize."

"Pour Allah" appeared in an ISIS video celebrating the Brussels attacks was released on March 24, two days after the assault on the Brussels airport and Metro. The same video also included the "Avance. Avance" nasheed.

A source alerted the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) about each of these two nasheeds prior to the Paris and Brussels attacks, warning that in his opinion that preparations for an attack may have been underway.

"I would suggest monitoring the nasheed sharing places and doing content analysis of the lyrics," Shaikh said. "It is possible that they have not thought of this yet but then again as an analyst I ask: why would you wait until they did and you could have prevented a major attack?"

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By John Rossomando  |  April 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm  |  Permalink

Report Suggests Radical Islamists Infiltrating German Military to Receive Training

A growing number of Islamist radicals are infiltrating Germany's military, the Bundeswehr, with an estimated 30 former soldiers later joining international terrorist organizations, reports German press agency DPA International.

Germany's military counterintelligence service (MAD) says 65 active soldiers are under investigation for suspected Islamist tendencies. Since 2007, 22 soldiers designated as Islamists have been discharged or left the military. Moreover, 29 former soldiers have left for Syria and Iraq to join Islamist terrorist organizations.

"We perceive a risk that the Bundeswehr may be used as a training ground for potentially violent Islamists," says MAD leader Christof Gramm.

German intelligence believes that the Islamic State is actively recruiting operatives with a military background. Moreover, Germany's Ministry of Defense expressed concern that no background checks are required for soldiers in unclassified positions.

"Like all armies, the Bundeswehr can be attractive to Islamists seeking weapons training...," Hans-Peter Bartels, the parliamentary commissioner for the military, told the DPA. Bartels added that Islamists in the German army pose "a real danger that needs to be taken seriously."

Following the January 2015 Paris attacks targeting the Charlie Hebdo satirical publication, Gramm became increasingly concerned since the terrorists appeared to have professional military training.

"It would be negligent of a MAD president not to ask what would happen if a Bundeswehr-trained Islamist did something like this, and we had failed to notice anything," Gramm said.

In one case, a German convert to Islam, called Sascha B for anonymity, gradually began exhibiting signs of increased religiosity and extremism. He began growing his beard, wearing Middle Eastern attire, and even going AWOL at times.

Sascha B eventually refused to train reservists after soldiers in his unit were deployed to Afghanistan. He justified his position by arguing that weapons could be used against other Muslims. During interrogation by MAD officials, Sascha B proclaimed that sharia law should override Germany's constitution.

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.

Hassan exhibited signs of increased radicalism for a significant period of time prior to the terrorist attack. "It's getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims," Hasan said during a 2007 presentation at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Three years later, Army Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo was arrested for planning an attack on a popular restaurant frequented by Fort Hood troops. He plotted to set off an explosives device in the restaurant, then shoot and kill as many survivors as possible.

When his mother asked her son why he would commit the terrorist attack, Abdo replied: "The reason is religion, Mom."

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By IPT News  |  April 13, 2016 at 11:43 am  |  Permalink

Study Shows Many UK Muslims Hold Extremist, Anti-Semitic Views

The former head of Britain's Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips, argued that Muslims are establishing "nations within nations" in the West and admitted that he "got almost everything wrong" about immigration, in a column for the Sunday Times.

Phillips analyzed the findings of the most comprehensive study on Muslim attitudes in the United Kingdom (U.K.), which will serve as the foundation for a documentary commissioned by Britain's Channel 4 entitled "What British Muslims Really Think."

Many Muslims maintain significantly different values from the rest of society and prefer to live in separation, Phillips claimed.

The Channel 4 program is based off an ICM poll. It finds that more than 20 percent of British Muslims believe the country should be governed by sharia law, while close to 40 percent of Muslims – both male and female – believe a woman should always be obedient to her husband. About a third of Muslims respondents say it is okay for a man to have more than one wife, while more than half want homosexuality outlawed.

Moreover, two-thirds of British Muslims surveyed would not inform the police if they believed that someone they know became involved with terrorists. The findings also show that more than 100,000 Muslims in Britain sympathize with terrorists and suicide bombers.

Click here to see the ICM survey data on British Muslim attitudes.

The poll also revealed that British Muslims were more likely to have anti-Semitic beliefs than other British citizens. Over a third of Muslims in Britain believed that "Jews have too much power in the U.K." and dominated the media and financial institutions. More than 25 percent questioned believe Jews are responsible for most of the world's ongoing wars and 27 percent reported that people "hate" Jews because of their behavior.

In 1997, Phillips commissioned a report about Muslims in Britain which introduced and popularized the 'Islamophobia' label that is now synonymous with any criticism of Islam or Muslims. He now admits that report failed to predict many individuals within Muslim communities hold radical views and do not seek to integrate into British society.

"It's not as though we couldn't have seen this coming. But we've repeatedly failed to spot the warning signs," Phillips wrote in the Times.

In a Daily Mail article, Phillips describes a "life-and-death struggle for the soul of British Islam," arguing that extremists have infiltrated in some Muslim communities and drowned out moderate Muslim voices.

"Indeed, a significant minority of Britain's three million Muslims consider us a nation of such low morals that they would rather live more separately from their non-Muslim countrymen, preferably under sharia law," Phillips says.

Phillips also warned of Islamist hardliners taking over UK schools and imposing a radical agenda, as evidenced by the 'Trojan Horse' case in Birmingham. These developments led Phillips to call for more robust measures and strict monitoring to mitigate the emergence of "ghetto villages," or ethno-religious enclaves that remain separate from the remainder of society.

Radical sentiments among Britain's Muslim community reflect research from across Europe that suggests Muslim attitudes are becoming more extreme, particularly among younger generations.

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By IPT News  |  April 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm  |  Permalink

Appellate Court Hears Arguments in Palestinian Authority Terror Civil Suit

The fate of a $655 million judgment against the Palestinian Authority (PA) is in the hands of a federal appellate court.

Judges at New York's 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in the case of Sokolow v. PLO, et al., in which jurors found the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization liable for a series of terrorist attacks in 2001-2004 that were part of the Palestinian intifada.

Those attacks killed or wounded members of 11 American families who filed the lawsuit under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). During a six-week trial last year, jurors saw internal PLO and PA records showing payments to terror cells that were part of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which was created by the PLO. Families of PA and PLO employees killed carrying out terrorist attacks, or who were imprisoned after attacks, also received monthly payments.

The PA's defense hinges on an argument that U.S. courts do not have the jurisdiction to hear such a lawsuit. The United States does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, they argued, and the PA's activities here fail to meet the standard for being "at home."

In arguments Tuesday, PA attorney Mitchell Berger said the Manhattan district court was "plainly wrong" to hear the case.

"Their own experts said the brunt of the injury, which is the key question, was on Israel, not the United States," he said. In his brief, Berger also pointed to three similar lawsuits that were dismissed by federal judges in Washington, D.C. for a lack of jurisdiction.

Attorneys for the victims say the PA is within reach of U.S. courts because of its activities here. They also point to internal records which made it clear that the attacks were waged in part to influence American policy. In addition, the PA "chose to enter" the United States and "can be charged with knowledge of its laws" because it appointed a representative under the Foreign Agent Registration Act ('FARA')."

Overturning the judgment threatens to turn the ATA into "a dead letter, inapplicable to the very fact pattern Congress designed it to address. Under Defendants' theory, they may come to the United States to extract funds from our government on the understanding that they will live up to their promise to renounce terror, open a lobbying office in Washington, D.C., then murder U.S. citizens and support U.S. designated FTOs to provide teeth to their U.S. lobbying efforts— and yet avoid facing justice in the U.S. courts. That position is as meritless as it is offensive, and this Court should reject it."

Read the full plaintiffs' brief here. The PA's appeal is here.

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By IPT News  |  April 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm  |  Permalink

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