Recent News from ACT! for America

POLITICO
By: Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins
February 9, 2012 09:26 PM EST

More than two years ago, Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army-trained psychiatrist, entered the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, with two loaded pistols and opened fire. He still faces charges of murder and attempted murder in the shootings that left 13 dead and 32 wounded.

Shock gave way to anger when it was reported that Hasan had shown, long before he was stationed at Fort Hood, that he had been radicalized into a violent Islamist extremist. He was a “ticking time bomb,” according to two colleagues. His Army superiors and some in the FBI knew about it.

As chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, we investigated what had gone wrong — and concluded that both the FBI and Defense Department had had enough evidence to prevent the tragedy. Our final report, issued a year ago this month, offered recommendations to improve our counterterrorism defenses.

Had our recommendations been in place before Nov. 5, 2009, they probably would have led to Hasan’s dismissal from the Army and prodded the FBI, already interested in Hasan, into continuing its investigation, rather than ending it prematurely.

The FBI and Defense Department have made progress in correcting weaknesses highlighted by the attack. But key reforms remain undone — putting our nation at continuing risk of homegrown terrorism.

We found flawed practices and communications, both within and between the FBI and Defense Department, which allowed Hasan to remain in the military — and even be promoted — despite many warning signs that he was becoming radicalized and unfit for military service.

The FBI and Defense Department have now implemented a number of our recommendations, including information-sharing protocols about service members who come under suspicion, and correcting investigative capabilities that hampered the FBI’s ability to react to Hasan’s radicalization.

But two years later, four key recommendations remain unfulfilled:

First, the military needs to better train its leaders in the specific warning signs of violent Islamist radicalization — just as it does with specific signs of white supremacism. This way, a service member who is clearly radicalizing can be dealt with quickly.

In front of colleagues and superiors, Hasan had asserted that suicide bombings were justified; that U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were wars against Islam; that Muslim-American service members might engage in fratricide; and that his loyalty to his religion was greater than his obligation as a military officer to defend the Constitution.

 

But, astoundingly, Hasan’s colleagues and superiors did nothing — believing he was just communicating tenets of his faith, they felt that he would still perform adequately as a psychiatrist, provided he had oversight. Their failure to act most likely allowed Hasan’s radicalization to fester and then explode.

Better training about the difference between the religion of Islam and the violent political ideology of Islamist extremism also could protect the thousands of Muslim-Americans in our military from unwarranted suspicion as they practice their religion.

Second, the FBI must clarify the responsibilities of its various counterterrorism units, including the way disputes among its 56 local field offices are resolved. Our investigation found that the FBI’s inquiry into Hasan led to a dispute between two field offices concerning how aggressively to investigate him. This dispute was never elevated to FBI headquarters — and never rationally resolved. Clarity of missions is needed for the FBI to be effective in countering the terrorist threat nationally by integrating the efforts of multiple FBI field offices and headquarters.

Third, while Director Robert Mueller has led the FBI forward in transforming the bureau into an excellent intelligence-driven agency, it must continue raising the stature of its intelligence analysts in relation to its traditional agents. We found that analysts were not sufficiently integrated into the FBI’s investigation of Hasan — contributing to the bureau’s misunderstanding of Hasan’s communications with the suspected terrorist.

Fourth, the FBI needs to improve information-sharing with federal agencies that work with its Joint Terrorism Task Forces to ensure pre-emptively that problems similar to those between the FBI and the Defense Department in the Hasan case do not occur with other agencies.

Fort Hood was a tragedy that should never have happened. To fully honor those who died that day, we must learn from mistakes that were made so we can and will detect and disarm the next “ticking time bomb” before it goes off.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) serves as chairman and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=47F24DFB-C957-405A-88D4-A4FC173A4859
 
The Christian Institute
1/18/2012

The use of Sharia ‘courts’ is on the increase in Britain with thousands using Islamic law to settle disputes, according to the BBC.

 

The news comes as a leading barrister claims that Sharia law is compatible with human rights, and beneficial to communities.

However, critics say the courts discriminate against women and should not operate as a parallel legal system.

Tripled

A Bill has been brought before the House of Lords by Christian humanitarian, Baroness Cox, to curb the growth of Sharia courts.

Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad, a representative of the Islamic Sharia Council at Leyton, told BBC Asian Network that his caseload at the east London council had “easily more than tripled” over the past three to five years – dealing with up to 300 disputes a month.

And earlier this week leading barrister Sadakat Kadri, also a Harvard Law School contemporary of Barack Obama, called for the UK to become more Sharia-literate.

Acknowledged

Regarding Sharia law councils, Mr Kadri said: “It’s very important that they be acknowledged and allowed to exist.”

He also told the Guardian that the courts were good for “the community as a whole”.

In 2009, think-tank Civitas reported that an estimated 85 Sharia councils could be operating in Britain.

Oppressive

But Sharia opponents believe it discriminates against women as well as rulings falsely claiming legal jurisdiction over criminal and family law.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, argued that the UK’s rule of law “must not be compromised by the introduction of a theocratic legal system operating in parallel.”

Last year Baroness Cox introduced the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill to the House of Lords, which aims to tackle discrimination suffered by Muslim women under Sharia law.

Coercion

If passed, it would firmly outlaw the practice of giving women’s testimonies half the weight of men’s and create a criminal offence of falsely claiming legal jurisdiction.

Speaking about Muslim women the Baroness said: “We must do all that we can to make sure they are free from any coercion, intimidation or unfairness”.

Under the 1996 Arbitration Act the rulings of religious arbitration tribunals, including the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, can be enforced in commercial and civil cases.

The BBC reports that Sharia councils have been operating in the UK since 1982, however these locally-appointed councils have no legal powers and cannot impose any penalties.

Link: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/use-of-sharia-courts-increasing-in-uk/

 

The Greeley Gazette
Jan 22, 2012
by Craig Masters

This past Friday the non-partisan, non-sectarian organization, "Act! for America," presented an informative lecture on the increase in successes of the multi-faceted Islamic jihad in America. The meeting was held at Johnson's Corner restaurant and was presented by a team of speakers brought to the area by the Colorado Conservative Union.

The presentation entitled, " Jihad in America, Under the Radar Across the Nation" began with a brief introduction of "Act! for America." The organization is nationally recognized as non-partisan, non-sectarian and founded by Lebanese immigrant, Brigitte Gabriel. Gabriel became an outspoken activist against Sharia Law and the Muslim Brotherhood after watching the destruction of her home and so much more of Lebanon by violent jihadists attempting to force Sharia Law upon the non-Muslims in Lebanon. The mission of the organization is to educate Americans about the truth of the threat of radical Islam to the freedom of all people in the world who would choose not to live under Sharia Law. The organization's speakers make no apologies for their frank descriptions of the bad things that happen in war - any war, all wars. And they make it clear that whether the politically correct Americans accept it or not, Islam is in a war to win - not to coexist.

The featured speaker, introduced only as Joe B for security purposes, was born and raised on what is called the Green Line in Beirut, Lebanon. He introduced the audience to Beirut through a series of photographs of where he lived; before and after the destruction of the neighborhood by the war between Christians and Muslims. He relayed the anguish of first-hand experiences of growing up and attending school with Muslim friends who became mortal enemies who would shoot to kill one another from apartment buildings virtually across the street dividing the East and West Beirut; geographically, culturally and politically.

Beirut is the capital of Lebanon, the only Christian country in the Mid-East. As a thriving "western" economy with climate and geography similar to Colorado's - including snow in the mountains - Lebanon's Christian areas offer the entertainment venues such as movies, nightclubs and women in clothing not available in the Muslim neighborhoods. Joe B explained that the very existence of much of the beautiful buildings and shopping in east (Christian) Beirut is due to the fact that Muslim men regularly enjoy the social opportunities found within the Christian areas. For this reason, much of the destruction and violence occurs in residential neighborhoods. His photos illustrated this point well.

The main emphasis of the evening's presentation was to inform the audience of the increasing power and influence of Islam in America. "Act! for America" has worked to create a nationwide network of chapters in order to more effectively inform, educate and mobilize Americans regarding the multiple threats of radical Islam. A key mission of the organization is to reach out and explain to all people who wish to remain free what they can and must do to protect themselves and their way of life against this very focused and determined enemy.

Americans have been told by leading Muslims that Islam is a "religion of peace." But Joe, who speaks and reads Arabic as well as or better than most of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims, explains that the words of Sharia and the Qur'an refer to a "peace" which can only come after every person on Earth is living under Sharia Law.

Through a series of informative slides and news articles, Joe B made clear the intent of Islam can only be identified through actions: never the words of Imams. Some actions are easier to see and understand than others. Violent jihad, for example is obvious when an airplane flies into a building and kills thousands. But stealth jihad comes in many forms. "Act! for America" chapters have worked to stop the advance of Sharia Law and educate Americans about the danger of allowing Muslim Brotherhood to use our unique invention of political correctness to accept them into America's tolerant society. These, he says, are examples of non-violent jihad.

Joe echoed the words of AtlasShrugs.com founder, editor and publisher Pamela Geller, in saying that there is no compromise ground between Islam, a political ideology, and Christianity, a religion. Americans, he explained, are only accepting a "Trojan Horse" into their neighborhoods by tolerating Mosques being built and accepting the lie that Islam is a religion that deserves protection under our Constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth, he explained. He cited the Arabic phrases from Sharia writings which clearly allow lying to protect and promote Islam.

Another interesting fact about Sharia, which is accepted as law in 57 countries, is that these "laws" were never associated with Muhammed. They were written hundreds of years after the death of Muhammed. Powerful warlords of the mid-east had them created and used as the law of convenience to punish and enslave their enemies. But today, radical Islam insists that Muslims must live by Sharia as the ultimate law. Islamic leaders insist that Sharia comes from God, not man, and therefore, no man-made law such as the Constitution of the United States, can supercede Sharia.

Several sitting judges in the United States have accepted Sharia and applied English translations of these rulings as law in U.S. court cases. Tennessee and Oklahoma have recognized the need for laws that specify American law must be the only law accepted and enforced in American courts. According to the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which identifies and tracks jihad activities in America, many other states will be facing the choice to either accept or reject the claim by Muslims that Sharia is a higher authority than American law and the U.S. Constitution. Over the past year the Greeley Gazette has reported stories of judges allowing Sharia to take precedence over state law.

Winning the right to use Sharia is one example of what Joe identifies as 'Stealth Jihad'. Other examples were cited including investments in terrorist training camps funded by charities the U.S. has assigned tax exempt status because of their "religious" affiliation.

After identifying the clear connection to terrorist activities, the FBI raided three Jihadist training camps in Colorado in 2010. The Christian Action Network, Liberty News online, and many other sources indicate that the number of radical Islamist training camps continues to grow within the United States. Perhaps the most credible source of such information is from Sheikh Mubarak Gilani, leader of Jamaat ul-Fuqra (Muslims of America).

According to financial records obtained by Free Republic, “Muslims of America,” has purchased or leased hundreds of acres of property – from New York to California – in which Sheikh Mubarak Gilani boasts of conducting “the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare.”

In a recruitment video captured from Gilani’s “Soldiers of Allah,” he states in English: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America... Act like you are his friend. Then kill him,” says Gilani in the recruitment video, explaining how to handle American “infidels.”

The most widely known member of Gilani's "Soldiers of Allah" is probably Major Nidal Hasan, the shooter at the Fort Hood, Texas, Army base. In the days leading up to his jihad, Hasan gave infidels a copy of his business card which carried the letters "SoA" to proudly and openly identify himself as one of Allah's soldiers.

Joe B further explains that, in Arabic, Gilani's instructions are more graphic. He instructs his followers to befriend their enemy, work for him until he turns away and then stab him in the back. The Fort Hood jihad has raised many questions. Joe B reminded the audience that those who are informed will be safer than those who choose to pretend they will be left alone if they simply accept the presence of Islam in their neighborhood.

Link: http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=13006#

 
 Published January 18, 2012 | Associated Press

Moeed Abdul Salam didn't descend into radical Islam for lack of other options. He grew up in a well-off Texas household, attended a pricey boarding school and graduated from one of the state's most respected universities. 

But the most unlikely thing about his recruitment was his family: Two generations had spent years promoting interfaith harmony and combating Muslim stereotypes in their hometown and even on national television. 

Salam rejected his relatives' moderate faith and comfortable life, choosing instead a path that led him to work for al-Qaida. His odyssey ended late last year in a middle-of-the-night explosion in Pakistan. The 37-year-old father of four was dead after paramilitary troops stormed his apartment. 

Officers said Salam committed suicide with a grenade. An Islamic media group said the troops killed him. 

Salam's Nov. 19 death went largely unnoticed in the U.S. and rated only limited attention in Pakistan. But the circumstances threatened to overshadow the work of an American family devoted to religious understanding. And his mysterious evolution presented a reminder of the attraction Pakistan still holds for Islamic militants, especially well-educated Westerners whose Internet and language skills make them useful converts for jihad. 

"There are things that we don't want to happen but we have to accept, things that we don't want to know but we have to learn, and a loved one we can't live without but have to let go," Salam's mother, Hasna Shaheen Salam, wrote last month on her Facebook page.

The violence didn't stop after Salam died. Weeks after his death, fellow militants killed three soldiers with a roadside bomb to avenge the raid.

It is not clear to what extent Salam's family knew of his radicalism, but on his Facebook page the month before he died, he posted an image of Anwar al-Awalki, the American al-Qaida leader who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, beside a burning American flag. He had also recently linked to a document praising al-Awalki's martyrdom and to a message urging Muslims to rejoice "in this time when you see the mujahideen all over the world victorious."

After his death, the Global Islamic Media Forum, a propaganda group for al-Qaida and its allies, hailed Salam as a martyr, explaining in an online posting that he had overseen a unit that produced propaganda in Urdu and other South Asian languages.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said Salam's role had expanded over the years beyond propaganda to being an operative. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

The family, originally from Pakistan, immigrated to the U.S. decades ago. Salam's father was a pilot for a Saudi airline, and the family eventually settled in the Dallas suburb of Plano. Their cream-colored brick home, assessed at nearly $400,000, stands on a corner lot in a quiet, upper-class neighborhood.

The family obtained American citizenship in 1986. Salam attended Suffield Academy in Connecticut, a private high school where tuition and board currently run $46,500. He graduated in 1992.

A classmate, Wadiya Wynn, of Laurel, Md., recalled that Salam played varsity golf, sang in an a cappella group and in the chamber choir, and that he hung out with a small group of "hippie-ish" friends. She thought he was a mediocre student, but noted that just being admitted to Suffield was highly competitive. 

Salam went on to study history at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated in 1996. His Facebook profile indicated he moved to Saudi Arabia by 2003 and began working as a translator, writer and editor for websites about Islam. 

"Anyone can pick up a gun, but there aren't as many people who can code html and understand the use of proxies," said Evan Kohlmann, a senior partner a Flashpoint Global Partners, which tracks radical Muslim propaganda.

Salam, who had apparently been active in militant circles for as long as nine years, arrived three years ago in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, and became an important link between al-Qaida, the Taliban and other extremists groups, according to an al-Qaida operative in Karachi who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is wanted by authorities.

Salam traveled to the tribal areas close to the Afghan border three or four times for meetings with senior al-Qaida and Taliban leaders, the operative said. He would handle money and logistics in the city and deliver instructions from other members of the network.

Back in the United States, Salam's mother is a prominent resident of Plano, where she is co-chairwoman of a city advisory group called the Plano Multicultural Outreach Roundtable, as well as a former president of the Texas Muslim Women's Foundation.

The founder of the latter group, Hind Jarrah, said Shaheen and her husband are too upset to speak with anyone.

"She's a committed American citizen. She's a hard worker," Jarrah said, calling her "one of the nicest, most committed, most open-minded" women she had ever met.

Salam's brother, Monem Salam, has traveled the country speaking about Islam, seeking to correct misconceptions following the 9/11 attacks. He works for Saturna Capital, where he manages funds that invest according to Islamic principles — for example, in companies that do not profit from alcohol or pork. He recently moved from the company's Bellingham, Wash., headquarters to head its office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

After the 2001 attacks, he and his wife made a public-television documentary about his efforts as a Muslim man to obtain a pilot's license. They also wrote a column for The Bellingham Herald newspaper that answered readers' questions about Islam.

Both Salam's parents and his brother declined numerous interview requests from The Associated Press.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, dozens of U.S. citizens have been accused of participating in terrorism activities, including several prominent al-Qaida propagandists, such as al-Awalaki and Samir Khan, who was killed alongside him. Perhaps best known is Adam Gadahn, an al-Qaida spokesman believed to be in Pakistan. 

Of 46 cases of "homegrown terrorism" in the U.S. since 2001, 16 have a connection to Pakistan, according to a recent RAND Corporation study. Salam's background as college-educated and from a prosperous family isn't unusual among them.

Salam divorced his wife in October, but was contesting custody of their three sons and one daughter. The children were staying with him in the third-floor apartment when a squad of paramilitary troops known as Rangers arrived around 3:30 a.m.

Officers said they pushed through the flimsy door, and Salam killed himself with a grenade when he realized he was surrounded. 

The Islamic media group and the al-Qaida contact in Karachi disputed that account, saying Salam was killed by the troops. 

Through the windows, blood splatter and shrapnel marks were visible on the wall close to the dining table. There were boxes of unpacked luggage, a treadmill and two large stereo speakers. Residents said Moeed had only been living there for five days. 

Neighbor Syed Mohammad Farooq was woken by an explosion. Minutes later, one of the troops asked him to go inside the apartment and see what had happened, he said.

"He was lying on the floor with blood pooling around him. One of his arms had been blown off. I couldn't look for long. He was moaning and seemed to be reciting verses from the Koran," he said. "I could hear the children crying, but I couldn't see them."

Hours later, Salam's wife and father-in-law, a lawyer in the city, came to collect the children from the apartment in Gulistane Jauhar, a middle-class area of Karachi, Farooq said. On the night he died, Salam led evening prayers at the small mosque on the ground floor of the apartment building.

"His Koranic recitation was very good," said Karim Baloch, who prayed behind him that night. "It was like that of an Arab."

___

Johnson reported from Bellingham, Wash., and can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle. Brummitt reported from Islamabad, Pakistan, and can be reached at https://twitter.com/cjbrummitt.

___

AP news researcher Jennifer Farrar contributed to this report, along with reporters Ashraf Khan in Karachi, Pakistan; Zarar Khan in Islamabad; Adam Goldman in Washington; Danny Robbins and Linda Stewart Ball in Plano, Texas; and Paul Weber and Will Weissert in Austin, Texas.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/18/family-dead-al-qaida-operative-promoted-peace/print#ixzz1jpRvBcNC

 

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