On Friday, two Islamic converts, radicalized while in prison, pled guilty to terrorism charges, after admitting plots to attack "United States military operations, "infidels," and Israeli and Jewish facilities in the Los Angeles area."
The cell leader, Kevin James, founded Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS) while incarcerated in Folsom prison, and began recruiting other converts. Levar Washington pled guilty, along with James last week, and a third cell member, Gregory Patterson, pled guilty on Monday.
A fourth JIS member, Hammad Samana, has been found unfit to stand trial, but is accused of having researched "targets and prepared a document called ‘Modes of Attack.' The document listed ‘LAX and Consulate of Zion,' ‘Military Targets,' ‘Army Recruiting centers throughout the county,' ‘Military base in Manhattan Beach' and ‘Campsite of Zion,'" on behalf of the cell.
The JIS plotters face 20 to 25 years in prison. The plots and guilty pleas come as no surprise to those who have closely followed prison chaplaincy programs, as all too often, those in charge of selecting imams have Wahhabist and radical links. Former NYC prison chaplain Warith Dean Umar has stated that the 9/11 hijackers should be remembered as martyrs, and Umar Abdul-Jalil, top Imam of the New York City Department of Corrections, has his own radical views. As reported by the NY Post, citing tapes provided by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), Abdul-Jalil spread his radical views at a Muslim Students Association conference in Arizona:
At one conference session, Abdul-Jalil charged that Muslims jailed after the 9/11 attacks were being tortured in Manhattan, according to the tape. "They [some Muslim inmates] are not charged with anything, they are not entitled to any rights, they are interrogated. Some of them are literally tortured and we found this in the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in Manhattan. But they literally are torturing people," Abdul-Jalil said.
Abdul-Jalil also accused the Bush administration of being terrorists, according to the tape. "We have terrorists defining who a terrorist is, but because they have the weight of legitimacy, they get away with it . . . We know that the greatest terrorists in the world occupy the White House, without a doubt," he said.
At another session, Abdul-Jalil urged American Muslims to stop allowing "the Zionists of the media to dictate what Islam is to us" and said Muslims must be "compassionate with each other" and "hard against the kufr [unbeliever]."
And still, despite deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated on U.S. soil, and the all too frequent instances of anti-American sentiment voiced by jihadists, the various usual suspects are intent on either underplaying the threat or pretending that none exists.
In a front page story in October 2006, titled, "F.B.I. Struggling to Reinvent Itself to Fight Terror," the New York Times dismissed out of hand the dangerous nature of the JIS cell in California (and called into question the validity behind other instances of U.S. based-terrorism cells), writing:
In that case, three men are charged with committing robberies to raise money for jihadist attacks on synagogues and military recruiting stations, in what Director Mueller has described as a bid to create "Al Qaeda in California." Their actions are said to have been directed by Kevin James, who headed a Muslim group behind bars.
But agents checked on more than 100 prisoners with links to Mr. James and charged none. And though Mr. James has been portrayed as the mastermind, reporters for The New York Times and "Frontline" were repeatedly able to visit him in jail in Santa Ana, Calif. Such access is almost never granted to people accused of terrorism because the authorities fear that they could direct a plot from prison.
In an effort to downplay the threat, the Times concludes that there must be some kind of conspiracy, when a more plausible explanation – mere incompetence – exists.
A month before, the Times was already on record downplaying the nature of the JIS threat, selectively seeking out experts to belittle the dangerous character of the plot. And the Times, found Thomas Kean, former Chairman of the 9/11 commission, who "said the (JIS) case threatened small-scale violence and should have been a routine police concern."
Yet what should concern everyone is not just the Times record of downplaying actual terrorist threats, even as yet again the Times editors find themselves with egg on their faces as the JIS plotters plead guilty, but that the Times consistently apologizes for radical Islam by flacking for domestic Muslim Brotherhood groups with a history of extremism. As I have documented in the past, the New York Times is a serial offender when it comes to giving an uncritical voice to the nation's most virulent Islamist fronts.
Monday's edition, unsurprisingly, has yet another glaring example, titled, "Boycotted Radio Host Remains Unbowed." The article quotes Ahmed Rehab and his organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), on radio host Michael Savage's lawsuit against CAIR. While the Times informs its readers that CAIR's "stated mission includes correcting mischaracterizations of Islam," it, of course, fails to tell its readers of CAIR's long history of extremism, support for terrorism and anti-Semitism, let alone CAIR's documented history as part of the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in the United States.
Rehab himself is on the record refusing to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups and supporting Hamas-linked defendants. CAIR-Chicago, Rehab's home branch, referred to the cases against Hamas operative Mohammed Salah as a "political persecution" and stated that Salah, and his codefendant and another Hamas operative, Abedelhaleem Ashqar, were "targeted" by "the Bush administration has attempted to criminalize charitable aid to Palestinians." Salah is serving nearly 2 years in prison for obstruction of justice for lying under oath about his Hamas connections in a civil trial, and Ashqar is serving 11 years in prison, for obstruction of justice and criminal contempt, for his refusal to testify in front of a grand jury investigating Hamas front groups in the U.S.
But when the Times reports on CAIR, you won't read about such instances. Nor does the Times, in this specific article and almost all others which mention the group, inform its audience that CAIR has been named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing case in U.S. history, named as a member of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that the same prosecutors have officially stated that CAIR is "affiliated" with the terrorist group Hamas.
And on Saturday, after Kevin James and Levar Washington pled guilty, the Times, after twice downplaying the JIS cell as not dangerous and nothing more than a criminal endeavor more than a year earlier, printed a very short, 100 word account lifted from the Associated Press:
Two men accused of plotting in prison to attack military sites, synagogues and other targets pleaded guilty to conspiring to wage war against the United States. The men, Kevin James, 31, and Levar H. Washington, 28, pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy charges. Mr. Washington also pleaded guilty to using a firearm to further that conspiracy. The authorities say Mr. James, Mr. Washington and two others were part of a California prison gang cell of radical Muslims. The police said they uncovered the plot in July 2005 while investigating gas station robberies that they say were committed to finance the attacks.
Even though James and Washington pled guilty, and copious information about the JIS plots have emerged, the Times still uses the phrases "authorities say" and "police said" to describe their actions. In reporting on Gregory Patterson's guilty plea, the Times yet again just picked up the AP story, also using the language "prosecutors said" and "officials said," rather than straight reporting on what the men have confessed to plotting. Despite the Times' motto, some news is apparently not fit to print, and sadly that includes not just information about the inner workings of a home grown terrorist cell, radicalized in prison, but any information that tarnishes America's "most prominent" Muslim Brotherhood front group.