"A long-running undercover police operation in the Bedfordshire town of Luton, which has contributed evidence to two recent counter-terrorism trials, helped build up an incredibly detailed picture of the depths of loathing for Britain felt by the men at the heart of the investigation. Kamal switches on the recorder and speaks into the microphone, stating the date, the time and where he's about to go. And then he leaves the house, leaves his true self behind, and walks towards danger."
Last year, Wired reported that 'The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”' (previously) The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded. After the President ordered a review, the FBI 'purged' the documents from training materials. Earlier this year Wired reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside]
To Profile or Not to Profile? A Debate between Sam Harris and Bruce Schneier.
“I want to be very frank here,” Qadhi said, his voice tight with exasperation. “Do you really, really think that blowing up a plane is Islamic? I mean, ask yourself this.” The New York Times' Andrea Elliott explores the fine line between Salafiya and contemporary American values. Multimedia slideshow. [auto-playing video] Qadhi, previously.
"Latino converts to radical Islam have been connected to terrorism cases in this country with increasing frequency — and officials are trying to understand why."
A Muslim American soldier battles on friendly ground. 'In his 23 months in the Army, Klawonn has consistently earned among the highest physical training scores in his unit. He's at the top in weapons qualifications and is the only one in his battalion to be invited to try out for the Special Forces. But the thing that stands out most, says Capt. Christopher Arata, his commander, is Klawonn's impossibly clean record. Not one reprimand. Never even late to a morning formation.' 'You watch your words and actions, censoring anything that could be interpreted as anger. You do so even as you try to ignore the names piled on you. Sand monkey. Carpet jockey. Raghead. Zachari bin Laden. Nidal Klawonn. But the hardest to shake off -- the name that cuts deepest, especially for a man who defied his family and community to become a U.S. soldier -- is this one: Terrorist. "To be looked upon by the people you serve with, by people you've trusted your life with, as the enemy," Klawonn says, sitting in his barracks a month after receiving the note. His voice trails off as he struggles to describe the anger he feels. "It's not right." [more inside]
Malaysian Catholic newspaper Herald was recently involved in a major lawsuit against the Malaysian government, stating that their constitutional rights were violated when they were stripped of their license to publish in East Malaysian indigenous language Kadazandusun. The ruling was overturned, amidst support by state ministers and protests by the Government, the Islamic Opposition party, and Muslim activists - some of whom have spent the past week attacking churches and convents through firebombs, Molotov cocktails, paint, and bricks thrown at glass. [more inside]
I was a fanatic...I know their thinking. If a British former muslim jihadist is to be believed, "the engine of [their] violence" is not western foreign policy, but certain fundamental tenets of islamic theology. Hassan Butt's previous MeFi appearance was two years ago (before he left the jihadist network in February 2006). Also, a video and transcript of a 60 Minutes interview.
22 basic suggested readings on the Middle East from history professor and informed commenter on Middle Eastern affairs Juan Cole.
The Muslim Brotherhood The Muslim Brotherhood Are they Islam’s version of the KKK or something much different? According to Robert Baer’s books on his experiences as a CIA agent in the middle east, the followers of the brotherhood are the one’s really responsible for the Lockerbie 747 terrorist attack, attacks against the embassies in Lebanon and Kenya, and very possibly 9-11. What is the history of the brotherhood and why have they been overlooked for so long? Britain seems to be taking an interest in them lately, what do they know that the U.S. refuses to acknowledge? Funded by the Saudis, supported by Iran, supporters of Hamas; by going after Al-Qaeda is the west on a wild goose chase that may end up with their own defeat? And finally, is this part of a secret war that Iran has waged against the U.S. since the embassy takeover after the Shah was forced to leave back in the late 1970’s? And finally, what does the Muslim Brotherhood have to say about all this?
The next terrorist attack on America may be perpetrated by Europeans. Radical Islam is spreading across Europe among descendants of Muslim immigrants. Disenfranchised and disillusioned by the failure of integration, some European Muslims have taken up jihad against the West. They are dangerous and committed -- and can enter the United States without a visa.
Muppet Diplomacy - USNews and World Reports has a new must-read article: "The White House has approved a classified new strategy, dubbed Muslim World Outreach, that for the first time states that the United States has a national security interest in influencing what happens within Islam. Because America is, as one official put it, "radioactive" in the Islamic world, the plan calls for working through third parties--moderate Muslim nations, foundations, and reform groups--to promote shared values of democracy, women's rights, and tolerance." This means surprising US-funded initiatives such as restoring historic Sufi (i.e. moderate, non-Wahhabist) mosques, saving 11th Century Uzbek Korans, and convincing Pakistani madrassah teachers to quietly add science and math to the curriculum. Oh, and it means we're funding secular and independent media, including "in what boosters are calling Muppet Diplomacy", an Arabic version of Sesame Street. Can cultural revitalization, increased educational access, nascent democratic movements, and adorable lil' Elmo--all paid for with US tax dollars--be an effective innoculant against the tentacles of Radical Islam? Daniel Pipes, The Progressive Muslims' Union, and Reason magazine weigh in. See also a related RAND Corporation report from March, 2004.
Gujarat rocked by a series of bomb blasts. "It appears that the bombs are crudely made bombs and intended to create a panic" says a police spokesman. About a dozen people were injured in three explosions in the city of Ahmedabad.
The Swastika & the Crescent The peculiar bond between white nationalist groups and certain Muslim extremists derives in part from a shared set of enemies Jews, the United States, race-mixing, ethnic diversity. It is also very much a function of the shared belief that they must shield their own peoples from the corrupting influence of foreign cultures and the homogenizing juggernaut of globalization. Both sets of groups also have a penchant for far-flung conspiracy theories that caricature Jewish power. This is not a direct link. This link takes you to a page titled "Intelligence Project." Once there, Click on "Intelligence Report." Scroll down a bit and click on "The Swastika & the Crescent."
Government raids pro-US Muslim organization? On Wednesday, federal agents raided Muslim organizations and homes in Virginia and Georgia, bearing search warrants looking for evidence of funding terrorist organizations. Ironically, the main target of the raids was the 20-year old International institute of Islamic Thought, an institution headed by Shaikh Dr. Taha Jaber al-Alawani, who, among other things, delivered a fatwa in October 2001 sanctioning American Muslim soldiers (.pdf) to participate in the War on Terrorism on Islamic religious grounds.
"Placing The Blame For Attacks On Muslims Is Wrong" This editorial appeared yesterday in the Ventura County Star, it was written by Roufeda Ebrahim of Ventura, a Muslim. The 18-year-old graduate of St. Bonaventure High School is a freshman at Ventura College, where she is studying journalism and English.