Dar al-Hijrah, Turkish Government Mosque, Rally for Tariq Ramadan

Two Washington, D.C. area mosques hosted programs last weekend calling for the release of celebrity Islamist Tariq Ramadan, who has been in a French jail since February on rape charges.

He is the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.

Rallies at Virginia's Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center and the Turkish government run Diyanet Center in Lanham, Md. were sponsored by the Aafia Foundation. It is named for convicted Pakistani terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, aka "Lady Al-Qaida," a Pakistani convicted of opening fire on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The foundation also led a march Monday to the French Embassy in Washington demanding Ramadan's release.

Though a French court cleared him of raping one of the women last month, France considers Ramadan a flight risk. He remains imprisoned pending the outcome of the investigation into the other women's allegations.

Aafia Foundation president Mauri Saalakhan, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist who defended former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, moderated the weekend programs.

Dar al-Hijrah has long been suspected of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and has been home to numerous terrorism suspects. Imam Sheikh Shaker Elsayed, known for defending female genital mutilation last year, defended Ramadan.

"His enemies know his value and his effectiveness, and that's why they acted swiftly," Elsayed said.

Ramadan's case is a "cause for every Muslim," Elsayed said.

"We know that every Muslim leader in the West has a sign on his back and forehead saying [they are] a target. If not by Western intelligence, by those who are afraid of Islam and there are some who are Islamophobes," Elsayed said. "Do not let your leaders fall. When they do, our community falls right behind."

Shelina Merani, a friend of Ramadan's who spoke at both rallies, called him a "political prisoner" who is being treated like a terrorist. Saalakhan compared Ramadan's case to Siddiqui's, saying both are falsely accused.

"The only thing that comes close to what we are dealing with this case of what's going on with Dr. Tariq Ramadan is that of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui," Saalakhan said. "It's the only other issue that comes close."

Once again we have a case of pro-terrorist radicals working together to circle the wagons around one of their own.

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By John Rossomando  |  July 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm  |  Permalink

Economic Crisis Triggers Massive Iranian Protests

Chants of "Death to Palestine," "Help us, not Gaza," "Our enemy is right here, they lie and say its America" and "Leave Syria alone and deal with Iran" reverberated through Iran's capital Monday. Tehran merchants protested the collapse of their country's currency, the rial, which has lost half its value this year.

Other demonstrations broke out in other Iranian cities.

The chants show discontent with the government's indifference toward Iran's economy and its insistence on spending billions of dollars on foreign wars and on terrorism. Iran received more than $100 billion in sanctions relief under the Obama administration's nuclear deal, but ordinary Iranians have not seen the benefits.

Iran announced plans this week to set the official currency exchange rate at 42,000 rials to the dollar. A dollar bought 70 rials after Iran's 1979 revolution. Sanctions announced last month by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could further worsen the situation.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) dominates Iran's economy. It also forms the backbone of Iran's terror support around the world, from Hizballah and the Shiite militias in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The IRGC's investment in terrorism is directly connected to the plummeting rial, exiled Iranian journalist Babak Taghvaee told the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Protesters spontaneously filled Tehran's Grand Bazaar Monday, marched on the parliament and clashed with IRGC riot police.

The magnitude of the protests rivals those of 1978 that brought the current regime to power.

While the protests caught the regime off guard, they are not expected to lead to its overthrow, Taghvaee said. Unlike the shah's regime, which acquiesced to foreign pressure in the face of demonstrations, the Islamic Republic will fight to keep its power.

"This regime is not acting softly like [the] shah. As they always say: 'We have not come to the power that easily, to leave quickly,'" Taghvaee said.

But if it did fall, the repercussions would extend far beyond Iran's borders, Commentary magazine writer Sohrab Ahmari wrote.

"Hamas and [Hizballah] and Palestinian Jihad can kiss their Iranian funding goodbye if the regime falls," Ahmari said.

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By John Rossomando  |  June 25, 2018 at 5:32 pm  |  Permalink

Report: U.S. Stops Palestinian Aid Payments

The United States has halted aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until further review, i24News reports, two months after Congress passed the Taylor Force Act.

The act mandates that the U.S. freeze assistance to the Palestinian territories "that directly benefits the PA," unless the Palestinian government adheres to several stipulations, including the termination of financial transfers to terrorists and denouncing and investigating Palestinian terrorist attacks.

President Trump signed the Taylor Force Act into law in March. It was named for Taylor Force, an American citizen murdered in March 2016 in Jaffa by a Palestinian terrorist. Shortly after the attack, the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party glorified the terrorist who killed Force.

"Our understanding is that US funding to the West Bank and Gaza is on hold pending an administration review," a Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide told i24NEWS.

The USAID office overseeing the Palestinian territories reportedly lacks a formal budget for the next fiscal year. The freeze has also led to the suspension of some development programs overseen by international aid agencies. A HALO trust official, for example, told i24NEWS that the U.S. suspended transferring money at the end of May.

Withholding financing for third-party projects, in addition to USAID, suggests that the administration is adopting a broader view of the Taylor Force Act and what constitutes assistance that "directly benefits" the PA.

According to a Palestinian official, the Trump administration informed the PA in mid-January that it would re-evaluate its Palestinian assistance budget. That official also claims that the United States told the PA that aid was being suspended, pending review, following an Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting in May.

Under the PA, Palestinian terrorists and their families receive payments that are far higher than welfare recipients.

Payments to current and former Palestinian prisoners fall under the budget's "fighting sector" category and terrorists' families receive a "monthly salary," while poor families receive quarterly "monetary aid."

A terrorist's socioeconomic status is not factored into the salaries. Payments to released prisoners and jailed Palestinians are based on the length of a prison sentence, which reflects the severity of their actionsy. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money a Palestinian prisoner gets.

The Trump administration pressured Abbas on several occasions last year to stop the terrorist payments. A top PA aide at the time called the idea "insane," while Abbas referred to this practice as a "social responsibility."

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By IPT News  |  June 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm  |  Permalink

"New Rules of Engagement": Hamas Provokes Israel with Incendiary Aerial Devices

Hamas is attempting to create "new rules of engagement" in its war against Israel, as the terrorist organization recognizes that Israel's military will likely avoid direct responses against terrorist cells launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israel territory. This tactical and strategic shift is outlined in a new Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report.

On Tuesday, Israel's air force struck several Hamas' military targets after terrorists deployed incendiary kites and balloons that caused severe fires in Israeli communities on the Gaza border. Hamas escalated the violence by launching 45 mortar shells and rockets at Israel. Two days earlier, Hamas fired three rockets into Israel following Israeli strikes responding to Palestinian arson terrorism.

This Hamas-provoked tit-for-tat resembles similar sequences of events that took place two weeks ago in a violent escalation between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Israel.

Israel has increasingly relied on drones in an attempt to take down incendiary kites and balloons. Yet many of these devices continue to land on Israeli territory, sparking destructive fires that burn thousands of acres of crops and natural forest area. Containing the fires is a major strain on Israel's resources and significantly disrupts civilians' lives. So far, Israel relies on firing warning shots at Palestinians launching incendiary devices.

Hamas and PIJ spokesmen have referred to the terrorist rocket fire as a "new equation" with Israel and "an attack in return for an attack." The terror groups' military wings released joint messages - in Arabic and Hebrew - stressing this approach. The main Palestinian terrorist groups present themselves as a "resistance" to Israeli "aggression," but are the ones provoking these latest rounds of fighting by flying incendiary devices into Israel in the first place.

Hamas began encouraging and planning this new method of arson terrorism since the onset of violent border riots on the Gaza border at the end of March.

The vast majority of Palestinian fatalities during violent demonstrations on the Israel-Gaza border were members or affiliates of terrorist organizations – primarily Hamas.

Of the 112 reported deaths from March 30 to May 14, 93 people (83 percent) belonged to or were associated with terrorist groups.

The findings, supported by official statements from Hamas leaders, prove that Hamas was the driving force behind the deadly protests.Hamas also orchestrated several attacks at the border and encouraged Palestinians to infiltrate into Israel.

Any attempts to portray the riots as "peaceful protests" defies the evidence and Hamas's own leadership.

Click here to read the full Meir Amit report.

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By IPT News  |  June 21, 2018 at 2:39 pm  |  Permalink

Candidate to Replace Keith Ellison May Be Even More Hostile to Israel

Within three short hours of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison's announcement that he would leave Congress to run for Minnesota Attorney General, Minneapolis state Rep. Ilhan Omar became a candidate to replace him in Washington. Omar became the first Somali Muslim legislator in 2016, defeating 22-term state Rep. Phyllis Kahn.

Ellison's tenure has been marked by concerns he is hostile to Israel, something compounded by the Investigative Project on Terrorism obtaining a 2010 recording in which Ellison complains that Israel enjoys disproportionate influence over U.S. foreign policy.

But given what she says on social media, including comments before she ran for office, Omar appears explicitly and openly hostile toward Israel.

In the wake of last month's violence at the Israel-Gaza border, Omar blasted what she called "Israeli crimes" and called Israel's response a massacre. Palestinians and their advocates tried to cast the violence as unprovoked, and coming amid peaceful protests. In fact, a senior Hamas official admits the Palestinian border protests were "not peaceful resistance" and another Hamas leader bragged that the overwhelming majority of casualties were part of the terrorist group.

Omar has not commented on those facts or lamented the damage Hamas does to everyday life in Gaza in order to invest in future terrorist operations. Instead, she lets stand claims that Israel alone is to blame.

She also has worked with people and groups which share her enmity toward Israel. Omar served on the advisory board for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Minnesota chapter and has spoken at numerous CAIR events with Zahra Billoo and Linda Sarsour.

Internal records seized by the FBI show that CAIR was formed by Muslim Brotherhood officials in the United States to serve a broader Hamas-support network called the Palestine Committee. Billoo has repeatedly argued that there is no moral distinction between ISIS and the Israeli army. Sarsour is a rabid anti-Zionist who literally embraced convicted Palestinian terrorist bomber Rasmieh Odeh and hails ultra-conservative clerics.

Omar also appears in a new video by the pop music act Maroon 5. That prompted a Twitter exchange in which a writer called her a "Jew hater."

"Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews," Omar shot back.

The video always features Israeli actress and "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot, an Israeli citizen and veteran of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

During the last round of Gaza violence in 2014, Gadot shared a picture of her with her daughter lighting Shabbat candles. "I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens," she wrote. "Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children...We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom!"

It's not clear whether Omar knew she would share the screen with Gadot, or whether that might have caused her to reconsider participating. As this new campaign begins, we might soon find out.

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By IPT News  |  June 7, 2018 at 12:51 pm  |  Permalink

Violent Threats Against Star Argentina Player Results in 'Peaceful' BDS Win

Argentina's national soccer team canceled a friendly match with Israel this week following "pressure" from pro-Palestinian activists.

"BIG NEWS: Argentina's national team, led by Captain Lionel Messi, cancelled its June 9 World Cup warmup match with Israel," The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement wrote on Facebook.

"This might be the biggest boycott, divestment and sanctions win – ever. Congratulations to all the activists around the world who made this happen!" the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) posted on Facebook.

Even Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, thanked Argentina for cancelling the friendly soccer match via twitter.

But other reports dispel the BDS narrative, exposing an ugly truth. The match was scrapped due to death threats targeting Argentina's star player Lionel Messi. Argentina's foreign minister described the threats as "worse than ISIS," the Washington Post reported.

Palestinian Football Association chief Jibril Rajoub led a campaign against Messi specifically, inciting those to "burn his picture and his shirt and to abandon him," if he played in Israel.

"A small group of youths wearing Palestine soccer scarves demonstrated outside the [Argentine] representation office [in Ramallah] and attempted to set fire to an Argentinian flag," Reuters reported.

But the intimidation and the extortion tactics used should not be touted as a win for BDS activists.

"The cancellation of a friendly match in Jerusalem with Argentina's national soccer team was not the result of pressure applied by Israel boycott activists, but was rather a capitulation to terrorism," said Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev.

It's a form of diplomatic terrorism, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor argued. The BDS activists "tr[ied] to create a change in the political, public, and civil attitude towards Israel. It's not about a legitimate political debate – it's about undermining Israel's legitimacy," Prosor wrote.

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By Ariel Behar  |  June 7, 2018 at 11:47 am  |  Permalink

Ayatollah Thinks United Nations Should Investigate U.S. Human Rights

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei attacked alleged American human-rights violations on his website and on social media Wednesday. His statement coincided with the Trump administration's announcement a new round of sanctions targeting Iranian government officials and offices accused by the U.S. of engaging in human-rights abuses and censorship.

That includes an Iranian prison where the Treasury Department said serious human-rights abuses take place; an organization that creates social media monitoring and disruption software; and people who allegedly blocked information aimed at people protesting against the Iranian regime.

These sanctions follow Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's promise last week that new, crushing sanctions against Iran were about to take effect. They also come in the wake of last winter's uprising by Iranians fed up with corruption, a poor economy, war abroad and repression. Iranian security forces attacked and killed protesters, and Iran's government cracked down on the internet to disrupt the demonstrations.

Khamenei tried to push back by citing alleged American human-rights abuses ranging from the 1993 Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas that left 76 people dead, mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, gun violence and U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.

"The Islamic Republic's statements are cogent, logical and provable," Khamenei said. "In all the areas that we mentioned, if we are accusing the US, we have cogent and convincing reasons ... There are logical reasons behind the things that we demanded from the UN as well."

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By John Rossomando  |  May 30, 2018 at 5:07 pm  |  Permalink

New Analysis Confirms Hamas Organized Violent Gaza Border Riots

The vast majority of Palestinian fatalities during violent demonstrations on the Israel-Gaza border were members or affiliates of terrorist organizations – primarily Hamas.

Of the 112 reported deaths from March 30 to May 14, 93 people (83 percent) belonged to or were associated with terrorist groups, according to a new analysis from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Most of the dead connected to terrorist groups – 63 people – were Hamas members. This figure is consistent with assessments offered by two senior Hamas officials as the violence played out. Salah Bardawil claimed that Hamas members represented half of the total deaths and boasted that of 62 people killed on May 14, 50 were Hamas members. Hamas political chief Yayha Sinwar claimed more than 60 Hamas deaths on that day.

Members from other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Fatah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), also were killed in the clashes but played a less prominent role in organizing the demonstrations.

Click here for the full Meir Amit report, which includes details concerning the terrorists' affiliations. It used social media accounts and Palestinian websites to match the names of the dead to terrorist groups.

The findings, supported by official statements from Hamas leaders, prove that Hamas was the driving force behind the deadly protests, which were depicted as peaceful demonstrations.

Hamas orchestrated several attacks at the border and encouraged Palestinians to infiltrate into Israel. Other rioters threw pipe bombs at the fence and deployed Molotov kites, sparking fires in Israeli fields near the border. Some terrorists engaged in shooting attacks and planted improvised explosive devices.

Any attempts to portray the riots as "peaceful protests" defies the evidence and Hamas's own leadership.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar acknowledged that the Gaza demonstrations were "not peaceful resistance" and Hamas's efforts at the border are "bolstered by a military force and by security agencies."

"This is a clear terminological deception [i.e. "peaceful resistance"]. When you are in possession of weapons that were able to withstand the occupation in the wars of 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2014... This is not peaceful resistance... so when we talk about 'peaceful resistance,' we are deceiving the public," Al-Zahhar said in a May 13 interview.

Even though the riots have waned since May 14, Palestinian violence escalated significantly Tuesday morning.

Gaza-based terrorists fired 28 mortar shells at communities in southern Israel, injuring one civilian and striking a kindergarten yard just before children were due to arrive for school.

The Israeli military believes PIJ is responsible for the rocket barrage, but Israel tends to hold Hamas responsible for terrorist activity emanating from Gaza.

Hamas at times tries to restrain rival Palestinian groups from firing missiles at Israel to avoid sparking a wider war. Instead, Hamas developed a new tactic to violently confront Israel: forcing Palestinian civilians and terrorists to swarm and attack Israel's border, under the guise of peaceful protest, to exploiting the inevitable casualties for propaganda purposes.

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By IPT News  |  May 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm  |  Permalink

Hamas Leader Acknowledges Iranian Support Amid Fall-Out From Gaza Clashes

While many analysts and most of the international community refuses to acknowledge Iran's role in fueling tensions on Israel's border with Gaza, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar this week boasted of his organization's "strong and warm" ties with Iran and Hizballah.

In an interview Monday with Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV channel, Sinwar admitted that Iran funnels "a lot of money, equipment and expertise" to Hamas' military wing and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations, reports the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI),

For helping Hamas develop its capabilities, Sinwar thanked "first and foremost the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has provided the Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas' military wing) and the other factions of the resistance a lot of money, equipment, and expertise," adding that "our ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, with brother Qasem Soleimani and the other brothers in the IRGC leadership are very strong, powerful, and warm. Our relations with the Islamic Republic are excellent."

In December, senior Hamas official Saleh Al-Arouri bragged about Hamas' ties with Iran and Hizballah, and formally credited the Islamic Republic for arming Palestinian terrorist groups.

"Who supports the resistance in Gaza and Palestine? Iran. It is Iran and Hizballah that confront that entity [Israel] along with us," Al-Arouri said in a Dec. 30 interview on Al-Quds TV.

He admitted that "the aid Iran provides to the resistance is not merely symbolic" and that "nobody but Iran gives us [Palestinian terrorist groups] any military support."

In his latest interview, Sinwar also discussed "excellent relations" with Hizballah and revealed that both terrorist groups "coordinate and are in touch on an almost daily basis."

This is the latest in a growing number of statements from senior Hamas and Hizballah leaders acknowledging that relations have reached new heights – to the point where Hizballah is helping Hamas build military infrastructure in south Lebanon to threaten Israel.

These connections and public admissions are ignored by Israel bashers in the West.

Prominent American Islamists, like Linda Sarsour, continue to propagate the narrative that Israel massacred peaceful, unarmed Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border in recent weeks. Even articles in respected policy outlets like Foreign Policy tow this view.

Hamas leaders, on the other hand, openly admit that they coordinated the violent demonstrations and orchestrated several attacks on the border with Israel.

"This is not peaceful resistance... so when we talk about 'peaceful resistance,' we are deceiving the public," Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said in a May 13 interview with Al-Jazeera, adding that Hamas' efforts at the border are "bolstered by a military force and by security agencies."

Iran and its main proxy Hizballah are actively supplying Hamas with weapons and talking on a near daily basis to coordinate terrorist operations against the Jewish state.

This nuance is largely omitted from mainstream media analyses – further promoting Hamas public deception campaign, knowingly or not.

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By IPT News  |  May 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm  |  Permalink

Pompeo Vows to 'Crush' Iran's Terror & Nuke Programs

New sanctions are around the corner that could help "crush" Iran's ability to fund terrorism and its nuclear program, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday in a speech at The Heritage Foundation. Pompeo promised the "strongest sanctions in history." He listed 12 demands that Iran would need to fulfill to have the sanctions lifted. These demands include an end to Iran's support for terror; carte blanche inspection of Iranian nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); and ending ballistic missile proliferation.

"We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hizballah proxies operating around the world and we will crush them," Pompeo said. "Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East."

On May 8, President Trump announced the end of U.S. participation in the Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). European governments, however, say they plan to remain in the agreement.

Pompeo slammed the Obama administration, which negotiated and pushed for the deal, for failing to listen to critics who argued that releasing approximately $100 billion in frozen assets to Iran would increase its ability to support terrorism.

"Remember, Iran advanced its march across the Middle East during the JCPOA," Pompeo said. Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force chief "Qasem Soleimani has been playing with house money that has become blood money. Wealth created by the West has fueled his campaigns."

Iran used the released money from the JCPOA to fund the IRGC, the Taliban, Hizballah, Hamas and the Houthis in Yemen, Pompeo said. Iranian backed militias under Soleimani's leadership control a wide swath of territory between the Iran-Iraq borders all the way to the Mediterranean. Israel recently launched retaliatory strikes on Iranian targets in Syria after Iranian rockets landed in the Golan Heights.

Al-Qaida leaders also continue to be harbored in Iran.

Not surprisingly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected Pompeo's demands, saying Iran will "continue our path with the support of our nation."

Last week, the Trump administration sanctioned the IRGC Quds Force and imposed sanctions on the head of Iran's central bank, which Pompeo said funded Hizballah and other terrorist organizations.

"The Iranian economy is already in free fall. That has to put a crimp in the regime's capacity to fund surrogates. If the administration follows through there certainly won't be more money to spread around," James Carafano, vice president and director of the Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

U.K.-based exiled Iranian dissident and author Babak Taghvaee criticized Pompeo's speech on Twitter for not including human rights as a condition for lifting sanctions.

"Iranians could have helped #US to not only achieve these twelve objectives rather more," Taghvaee told the IPT.

Other Iranians responded by creating #ThankYouPompeo and #IranRegimeChange hashtags on Twitter.

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By John Rossomando  |  May 21, 2018 at 5:20 pm  |  Permalink

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