As previously discussed, in addressing the strategic planning to fight Jihad, any blueprint strategy for national security must define Jihad, must address it within the national security threat, and must also define a national policy on the ideology of political Islamism. The 9/11 Commission report defines Islamism as follows: "an Islamic militant, anti-democratic movement, bearing a holistic vision of Islam whose final aim is the restoration of the caliphate." Yet the United States still has no foreign policy or strategic position on this ideology, even though the 9/11 Commission report has stated "Islamist terrorism is an immediate derivative of Islamism."
Recent news reports state that resources to conduct such strategic planning are being threatened for not being sensitive to Islamist-linked organizations being sought in Defense Department "outreach" efforts. The following provides context for these recent news reports regarding Major Stephen Coughlin.
In his July 7, 2007 report, "To Our Great Detriment" -- Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad, Stephen Coughlin points out that "we need to reconsider how we determine what motivates and animates the enemy in order to clarify the jihadi threat". On September 14, the Washington Times reported that Stephen Coughlin "stated in a Sept. 7 memorandum that many U.S. Muslim groups viewed as moderate by the Justice Department and other government agencies secretly are linked to the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. The groups also are engaged in influence and deception operations designed to mask their true aims, he said."
The September 14 Washington Times article went on to quote Stephen Coughlin as stating the documents entered as exhibits in the Holy Land Foundation trial "are beginning to define the structure and outline of domestic jihad threat entities, associated nongovernmental organizations and potential terrorist or insurgent support systems" and that a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum "describes aspects of the global jihad's strategic information warfare campaign and indications of its structure, reach and activities". The article continued to quote Stephen Coughlin that "consequently, outreach strategies must be adjusted in the face of credible information that seeming Islamic humanitarian or professional nongovernmental organizations may be part of the global jihad with potential for being part of the terrorist or insurgent support system."
Since then, the Washington Times reported on December 28, 2007 that Stephen Coughlin was being pressured, after a meeting with Hasham Islam, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England's close aide, "to take a softer line on Islam and Islamic law elements that promote extremism". The Washington Times reported that this was because "Mr. Coughlin came under fire from pro-Muslim officials after a memorandum he wrote identified several groups that are being courted by Mr. Islam's community outreach program as front organizations for the pro-extremist Muslim Brotherhood."
On January 4, the Washington Times reported that Major Coughlin was being fired for his work and was "accused directly by Mr. Islam of being a Christian zealot or extremist 'with a pen,' according to defense officials."
On January 11, the Washington Times reported that some "Pentagon and military leaders, along with lots of working-level officials, are quietly rallying to support" Stephen Coughlin. On January 11, Diana West of the Washington Times defended Stephen Coughlin, and Douglas Farah provided a commentary on Islamist views of the Qu'ran published by Tariq Ramadan, and why non-Islamist views of Qur'an and Islamic law needed to be studied by individuals like Stephen Coughlin. On January 12, JihadWatch published an analytical "summary piece on Coughlin's firing, its implications, and what must be done next."
January 11, 2008 - The Implications of the Dismissal of Stephen Coughlin, Joint Staff, Pentagon -- JihadWatch.org
January 11, 2008 - The Islamist Argument on the Koran -- The Counterterrorism Blog -- by Douglas Farah
January 11, 2008 - The Washington Times: "Foul Play" - Commentary by Diana West
January 11, 2008 - The Washington Times: "Coughlin Backed" - by Bill Gertz
January 4, 2008 - The Washington Times: "Coughlin Sacked" - by Bill Gertz
December 28, 2007 - The Washington Times: "Muslim pressure" - by Bill Gertz
October 26, 2007 - Jihad, Islamism, and the Challenge of Anti-Freedom Ideologies -- The Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm
September 14, 2007 - The Washington Times: "Jihadist Threat" - by Bill Gertz
September 14, 2007 - Report: Muslim Brotherhood U.S. Front Groups a Threat -- The Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm
September 10, 2007 - U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Groups Called "Threat Organization" in DOD Memo -- The Counterterrorism Blog -- by Douglas Farah
Evidence submitted in the Dallas federal courtroom shows that ISNA was established in 1980 by American members of the Muslim Brotherhood
July 7, 2007 - Stategy Center Summary: "To Our Great Detriment" -- Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad, Stephen C. Coughlin, Esq.
July 7, 2007 - Full Report (Acrobat PDF Format): "To Our Great Detriment" -- Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad, Stephen C. Coughlin, Esq.
9/11 Commission Report Footnote on "Islamism"
Wikipedia Topic: Islamism