Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invoked a Muslim hadith commonly used by Hamas and other terrorist supporters to sanction killing Jews during a party convention Sunday.
"[T]hose who think they own #Jerusalem better know that tomorrow they won't be able to hide behind trees," Erdogan's said, according to a translation by dissident Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt. Last year, Erdogan shut down Bozkurt's former newspaper, Today's Zaman, which had Turkey's largest circulation.
"[This is] a veiled threat of killing each and every Jew with a shocking reference to apocalyptic prophecy of tree story," Bozkurt wrote.
The full hadith says, "The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews."
Erdogan invoked it during a Justice and Development Party (AKP) gathering days after President Trump proclaimed Jerusalem to be Israel's capital and pledged to move the U.S. embassy there. Erdogan also accused Israel of being a terrorist state.
Erdogan is more interested in appealing to his base's anti-Semitic sentiments than inspiring foreign jihadis to fight Israel, Bozkurt told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) via Twitter. His comments also distract the Turkish public from the New York trial of an Iranian gold trader named Reza Zarrab and Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who witnesses testified, worked with Erdogan to circumvent oil sanctions against Iran, Bozkurt said.
"It is a noise that will distract public from damaging revelations going on in the U.S. federal court where he was exposed for what he is: Corrupt, sanction buster, greedy politician," Bozkurt said.
Anti-Semitism has always been in the background in Turkish society, but Bozkurt said this marks the first time Turkey's head of state has publicly been involved with fueling it.
On Friday, protesters in Istanbul chanted slogans including, "Jerusalem is ours and will remain so!" and "Down with America" and "Down with Israel."
Former D.C. Metro Transit Police officer Nicholas Young had unusual political views, a federal prosecutor told jurors in Young's terrorist trial Monday.
He "was attracted to Nazis and Islamic terrorists at the same time," Gordon Kromberg said in his opening statement. "Both hate Jews."
Young, a 36-year-old Muslim convert and resident of Fairfax, Va., is charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS (Islamic State) and obstruction of justice.
According to court filings, Young gave misleading statements to the federal agents when interviewed about the whereabouts of a close associate who Young believed had traveled to Syria to join ISIS. Young also tried to give his associate gift cards codes to help ISIS recruit new members.
Young was a Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officer since 2003. He drew investigators' attention after a September 2010 interview with FBI agents in connection with the arrest of an acquaintance, Zachary Chesser.
Chesser was sentenced in 2011 to 25 years in prison for communicating threats against the writers of the South Park television show and for attempting to provide material support to the Somali terrorist group, Al-Shabaab.
Young used an Israeli flag as a doormat in his home, and his phone featured a picture of billowing smokestacks with the caption, "Together we can finish what Hitler started," Kromberg told jurors in the Eastern District of Virginia. Young has an SS tattoo on his shoulder, and after attending a neo-Nazi gathering, said, "Don't discount an alliance with Muslims to combat the Jews."
Nicholas Young in Nazi garb.
Young's internet browser featured bookmarks for anti-Semitic, Neo-Nazis, and pro-Hitler websites, along with sites related to Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and other radical Islamists.
"The FBI induced Nicholas Young, a distinguished officer to commit a crime that they created," lead defense attorney Linda Moreno said in her opening statement. "Nick Young never spoke to anyone in ISIS, never contacted anyone in ISIS."
To get past the entrapment defense, prosecutors will have to show that Young was inclined toward violence before his first contact with federal agents in 2010. The Nazi evidence becomes critical to the government's case because it predates Young's attraction to Islamist terrorism.
Young traveled to Libya twice in 2011 and associated with rebels attempting to overthrow the Muammar Qaddafi regime. Authorities found body armor, a Kevlar helmet, and several other military-style items in Young's baggage. Young also told a confidential informant that he served with the "Abo Salem Suhada Brigade" in Libya, which is a reference to the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade that has al-Qaida ties.
Young went to Libya because he was inspired by the Arab Spring, Moreno said, arguing his conduct was legal and her client openly talked to federal authorities about his trips to Libya because he was proud of them.
Sheikh Ramadan Elsabagh
While Sheikh Ramadan Elsabagh does not mention President Trump's proclamation Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and starting the process of moving the U.S. embassy there, it seems to be a clear reaction. The Investigative Project on Terrorism translated Elsabagh's Arabic chanting.
"Our Lord. Help holy Palestine," Elsabagh said. "... Oh Allah, be with your oppressed worshippers in Palestine, Oh Allah destroy the Zionists and their allies, and those who assist them, and those who allowed them into the abodes of the Muslims. By Your Power, Oh mighty one, Oh Mighty one, through Your Power and Might, Oh Allah deflect them with what You will, and however You will, for You are omnipotent, and with a response omnipotent."
"Oh Allah save [Al Aqsa] from the hands of the accursed violators, whom you have cursed in every Book, and cursed them through every prophet," he said in conclusion. "Oh Allah destroy them."
Elsabagh is listed as the head of the ISF Islamic Institute in Garland, Texas and is featured as a Quran reader on many internet sites.
The video drew several comments of "amen, amen," according to a Facebook translation. One came from Said Abbasy, a New York-based Muslim Brotherhood supporter. Abbasy mourned the death of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdul Rahman – considered the spiritual guide for the 1993 World Trade Center bombers who was convicted for a plot to attack other New York landmarks and assassinate high-profile targets.
"Oh God," Abbasy wrote on Facebook, "take vengeance on those who wronged him."
Japan had its Tokyo Rose. Vietnam had its Hanoi Jane. Now Iran's regime hopes it has its Tehran Janice.
Janice Kortkamp, that is. She previously worked closely with Virginia GOP State Sen. Richard Black, an outspoken advocate for Syria's Iranian-backed Assad regime. Now she's giving propaganda interviews to the Iranian press attacking Israel and the West, telling the unofficial state news agency Tasnim Sunday that "the western attitude is being manipulated to the point of control by Zionists."
The Leesburg, Va., resident praised Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's November 2015 letter to Western youth. The letter blamed America for fostering al-Qaida, the Taliban and for fostering jihadism.
"I read the Ayatollah's excellent letter with great respect for its rational, informed, compassionate message – in other words – its wisdom. I shared it on social media as many others did. The fact that it spread far and wide on Facebook and other alternate platforms is indicative of a high level of support I believe," Kortkamp told Tasnim.
The ayatollah's letter should be taught by every university in their history, religion and Middle East studies programs, she said. "All nuance was disregarded or hidden, even of such importance as the separation of true Islam from the Takfiris' twisted, violent ideology," Kortkamp said, referring to Muslims who accuse other Muslims of apostasy.
She might want to question her Iranian hosts about their support for these same Takfiri terrorists, including al-Qaida. We now know, thanks to documents captured from Osama bin Laden and elsewhere, that Iran has close ties with both al-Qaida and the Taliban, and it harbored ISIS founder Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
Last month, Kortkamp gave an interview to Iran's Press TV in which she accused the U.S. of relocating ISIS terrorists to justify its "illegal" operations in Syria in support of Israel's desires.
Among other things, she cited Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp commander Gen. Qassim Soleimani, considered by the U.S. government as specially designated terrorist, saying Israel, the West and the Saudis want Muslims killing each other.
"What 'Israel' did to Palestine has become the model for their hoped for 'Greater Israel' project that requires the muscle power of the West ... approving endless wars out of fear and ignorance," Kortkamp said.
Yet, reports suggest the IRGC has fanned the flames of Sunni-Shia tensions across the Middle East, especially in arming the Houthis in Yemen, using Hizballah and other proxies to fight on behalf of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and its support for the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq.
In some documented cases, the PMU engaged in activity similar to ISIS, such as burning a Sunni militiaman alive.
Back in September, Kortkamp also told Tasnim that Israeli influence over American policy was waning.
Americans sympathetic to Soviet communism once were called "useful idiots." it would seem that Iran is hopeful that Kortkamp can be theirs.
Islamist celebrity-scholar Tariq Ramadan is the star attraction at the weekend-long American Islam Dawah Retreat in Orlando. Judging from the immediate Facebook reaction to the program's announcement, many Muslim women are not happy about it.
Ramadan, an internationally known Islamic scholar and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, is among the prominent men accused of sexual harassment and assault in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. At least four women have come forward, prompting Oxford University to place him on a leave of absence. Ramadan's womanizing was well known, former French Interior Ministry official Bernard Godard told the French magazine L'Obs last month.
The allegations have barely registered a blip among American Islamists, so the invitation may not come as much of a surprise. Muslim women, however, are not as hesitant to express themselves. A couple posted emojis of someone vomiting. The following comments were posted in response to a Facebook page promoting the event.
Their comments speak for themselves:
The Facebook page appeared to have been taken down Monday afternoon.
Updated, 5:55 p.m.: In addition to taking down the Facebook page, a page promoting the event has been altered to remove Tariq Ramadan's name and image. It is not clear whether he no longer will participate in the event, or whether organizers have chosen to minimize the controversy. Here's the original image:
An Islamist ideologue credited with inspiring al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden is "misunderstood," a California State University professor claimed in a speech last week.
Imad Bayoun claimed Sayyid Qutb's writings, such as his manifesto Milestones, were "largely misunderstood" in remarks at the Muslim American Society of Greater Los Angeles' 20th Annual "Agents of Change" convention last week.
Federal prosecutors in 2008 described MAS as the "overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America."
Bayoun, whose biography describes him as a "lecturer for the Muslim American Society," lamented Qutb's execution in 1966 by Egypt's Nasser regime. He praised Qutb's explanation of how the Quran was revealed to Muhammad. Bayoun's talk closely follows Qutb's own words in Milestones, saying that Muhammad "liberated" the Arab world from occupation by the Byzantines and the Persians for Allah.
The 9/11 Commission Report describes Qutb as a major inspiration for bin Laden.
Qutb declared that the Islamic world entered a state of apostasy; that jihad needed to be waged to end this state of affairs; and that apostate rulers should be toppled. He wrote in Milestones that shariah was the only acceptable form of law.
His commentary, In the Shade of the Quran, taught that the violent verses in the Muslim holy book take precedent over peaceful verses. In contrast with many Muslim apologists, Qutb believed that a jihad of the sword should be fought to spread Islam throughout the world.
"Therefore prepare for Jihad and be the lovers of death. Life itself shall come searching after you," Qutb concluded in Milestones.
Bayoun also praised Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, saying he worked to restore Islam at a time when religion was looked upon as backward.
Bayoun is not the only MAS speaker to invoke al-Banna recently. Kifah Mustapha, of Chicago's Mosque Foundation mosque and a speaker at last month's MAS-Islamic Circle of North America convention, invoked al-Banna in an Oct. 8 sermon posted on his Facebook page.
Al-Banna agreed with Qutb that jihad was not just for defense. In his tract On Jihad, he wrote that it meant "the slaying of the unbelievers, and related connotations, such as beating them, plundering their wealth, destroying their shrines, and smashing their idols."
"...[It] is obligatory on us to begin fighting with them after transmitting the invitation [to embrace Islam], even if they do not fight against us," al-Banna wrote.
This holding up the founder fathers of modern jihadism as authorities on Islamic thought tells observers all they need to know about MAS.
Hamas and Hizballah have restored military cooperation, a top Hamas leader told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
Ties between the two groups became strained after Hizballah intervened in Syria on behalf of Bashar Al-Assad and Hamas sided with the Muslim Brotherhood-influenced Free Syrian Army and provided training for the rebels.
"Regardless of the nature of the military secrets, but we differed at a moment regarding the Syrian issue," said Hamas political official Salah al-Bardawil. "[Hizballah] and Iran were angry, even though we only meant for them to stay out of the muddled situation in Syria and not interfere-- we offered this as a recommendation.
"Nevertheless, we do not deny that cooperation exists between '[Hizballah]' and 'Hamas.'"
Al-Bardawil also reaffirmed that calls by Fatah to disarm Hamas' military wing in exchange for reconciliation between the two Palestinian factions were a non-starter.
Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced last month that his group sent Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles to Hamas in Gaza.
Israeli strategists anticipate that the Jewish state could face a two-front war against both Hizballah and Hamas in a future conflict. In addition to Hizballah, Israel faces the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other Shiite militias based in Syria.
"There are no more one-front wars. That is our basic assumption. That is what we are preparing the military for," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in last month.
A two-front war could prove costly for Israel because it means all of Israel would be in range of terrorist rockets. A 2015 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) assessment found that Hizballah could rain 1,000 rockets per day onto Israeli cities, causing hundreds of civilian casualties.
That's not to mention the threat from ISIS in the Sinai where Egypt is losing its fight to contain the jihadis. ISIS – whose fighters in Sinai have been trained and armed by Hamas – launched a rocket attack against southern Israel in October.
Israel's next war will be very different from anything it's faced in decades, as the Jewish state hasn't fought a two-front war since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Canadian prosecutors have appealed a judge's ruling acquitting a Palestinian Muslim of sexual assaulting his own wife because of cultural beliefs that the wife had to consent any time he wanted, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
It appeared the deadline for such an appeal passed last week, but that may have been due to some technical legal issues, including those protecting the identities of the people involved, said Scott Newark, a former Alberta Crown Prosecutor and Vice Chair of the Ontario Office for Victims of Crime, who has written about the case for the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The ruling, he wrote earlier this month, placed religious and cultural beliefs above secular law. And it ignored provisions in Canadian law which say ignorance of the law is not a defense.
"Internal procedures aside," Newark said Friday, "this is very good news for the people of Ontario and indeed Canada as it means this critically important issue is still before the Courts and that the Government of Ontario is defending our secular rule of law."
The identity of the couple involved is protected under Canadian law. The case generated after they separated and, during custody talks, the wife described a 2002 incident in which she said her husband forced her onto a couch, pulled of her clothes and forced sex on her despite three instance in which she told him to stop.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith described her as a credible witness and found the husband's testimony unreliable. But he acquitted the husband anyway, saying that prosecutors failed to prove he had the required criminal intent – that he knew the assault was a crime despite any cultural or religious mores.
"Marriage is not a shield for sexual assault. However, the issue in this trial is whether, considering the whole of the evidence, the Crown has proven the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt."
Every time I see the name Mohamed Harkat in the news, I am reminded of that great country-and-western song, "How Can I Miss You When You Never Go Away."
Harkat is the Algerian refugee detained by Canada in 2002 due to his links to terrorist groups and activities. Along with four other people, Harkat was detained under Canada's security certificate program which, instead of expediting his removal as intended, has resulted in never ending delay.
Harkat has repeatedly and recently been deemed inadmissible on security grounds but the hold up on removal is his claim that he'd be at risk of being roughed up if returned to Algeria. But Algeria formally agreed he will not be subject to abuse and Canadian officials have a lawful intercept of him discussing going back there to get a second wife.
In a 2010 ruling, a judge found that Harkat "maintained contacts and assisted Islamist extremists, and used some methodologies typical of a 'sleeper agent.'
Federal Court Judge Simon Noel agreed that officials have "reasonable grounds to believe Mohamed Harkat has engaged in terrorism, is a danger to the security of Canada and is a member of the Bin Laden Network."
Harkat was back in the news last week seeking looser bail conditions. As I read the media reports, it struck me that the case of Djamel Ameziane, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee that Canada denied refugee status to in 2000, who later went to Afghanistan and Pakistan where he was captured by U.S. forces, might be relevant.
This is the guy that Dennis Whitling, one of Omar Khadr's lawyers, is helping to sue Canada because our people interviewed him twice while in Guantanamo Bay.
Disproving a theoretical situation is difficult but comparing it to a real case is useful. Ameziane has even greater terrorist stain, captured as he was and detained in Guantanamo for a decade plus. But wait, he's filed his lawsuit against Canada from where he now safely resides which is ... Algeria. If Ameziane is okay there, then why wouldn't Harkat be okay?
This might be useful factual information in moving the removal process along. Who knows, we might just end up humming "Hit the Road Jack."
The leader of the largest Muslim group in the United States, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), addressed a radical Asian Islamist group during a trip to India.
Jamaat-e-Islami is an Asian version of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Its leaders advocate laws that criminalize blasphemy against Islam. Its constitution calls for "the reconstruction of society" and the formation of an Islamic State. It tells Muslims to avoid going to "un-Islamic" courts to settle dispute except under "compelling necessity."
Founder Maulana Maududi declared that insufficiently Islamic regimes should be destroyed and replaced by an Islamic State and eventually a caliphate. Maududi inspired Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini and ISIS's self-appointed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Still, Azeez used a Twitter post to show that he met with Jamaat-e-Islami's leadership in Delhi. ISNA was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. The group has tried to distance itself from that past and present itself as the representative of mainstream American Muslims. But its conferences have featured radical Islamist speakers, and this year, it tossed a gay-friendly group called Muslim for Progressive Values from its annual gathering.
In Asia, Jamaat-e-Islami's leaders encourage boycotts against the Ahmadiyya Muslim minority, which led to Ahmadiyyas being evicted from their homes and fired from their jobs.
Jamaat-e-Islami branches in Kashmir and Bangladesh have been tied to terrorist activities.
Bangladesh executed top former Jamaat-e-Islami leaders for war crimes committed during its 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.
JIH supported terrorism against American troops and in the Middle East. It praised "the historic victory against Israeli aggression in Lebanon by the Hezbollah led Lebanese National resistance" in a March 2007 statement in conjunction with other Muslim groups.
Azeez's speech to a Jamaat branch, and his desire to promote it, reinforces the perception that ISNA's attempts at moderation are superficial.