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Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's official arm in Syria, is quickly entrenching itself in the north and east of Syria, where the Assad regime's rule has collapsed. Jihad will spread outwards to the region, then threaten global security -- possibly with biological and chemical weapons.

Al Qaeda is quickly constructing its main regional Middle East base in Syria, from where it plans to export terrorism and Islamic radicalism to neighboring states, then to the West, a new report released by an Israeli security research institute warned.

The jihadis later aspire, according to the report, to turn "Greater Syria" -- an old geographic term encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories -- into an Islamic caliphate.

The exhaustive study took a year to compile, according to researchers at the Tel Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which released it.

The Center itself is a part of the Israeli Intelligence and Heritage Commemoration Center, founded in the 1980s by leading members of the Israeli intelligence community.

The report identified the Al Nusra Front as Al Qaeda's official arm in Syria; they added that the organization is quickly entrenching itself in the north and east of Syria, where the Assad regime's rule has collapsed.

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Fighters from Al Nusra Front pose for a photograph

According to Dr. Reuven Erlich, the head of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the Al Nusra Front is entrenching itself in Syria at a rate several times faster than the time it took Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to become a serious international terrorist presence.

Erlich, who served in several posts in IDF Military Intelligence, also cautioned that Syria's location in the heart of the Middle East, its proximity to Europe, and its border with Israel mean that geopolitically, the jihadi threat from Syria is more central than the one from Afghanistan or Pakistan.

He compared Al Nusra's activities in Syria today to the incubation period of a virus, before it begins spreading and infecting other hosts. Later, Erlich warned, the plague of jihad will spread outwards from Syria to the region, then go on to threaten global security.

The researchers who composed the report assessed the chances of Al Nusra realizing its goal of building a caliphate as low, due to Syria's diverse sectarian, ethnic, and religious population, and strong tradition of secular Arab nationalism.

Nevertheless, they said, the group is on course to become one of the most prominent rebel entities, and will play a key role in shaping a post-Assad Syria, while using its growing presence as a springboard to launch international terrorist attacks.

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The Gatestone Institute
By: Yaakov Lappin
September 30, 2013

 

 
Boko Haram is the deadly al-Qaeda affiliate operating in Nigeria.

Suspected Muslim terrorists ambushed a Nigerian college's students as they slept in their dorm rooms early Sunday morning. Nigerian officials say at least 50 students, all males, were killed by the armed gunmen.

The marauders are believed to be members of the radical Muslim terrorist organization, Boko Haram, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrab (AQIM).

The terrorists attacked sleeping college students at Yobe State's College of Agriculture and brought some of them outside of the dormitory before killing them execution-style. The Islamists also shot students who attempted to flee, according to counterterrorism analyst Steven Hodges, who has followed the group's jihad for at least three years.

As with other radical Muslim groups, Boko Haram seeks the creation of an Islamist-controlled section of Nigeria's north. And, as with other al-Qaeda affiliates, Boko Haram has increased the frequency and severity of their terrorist attacks, according to Hodges, a former member of a police terrorism task force.

Several schools, seen as the focus of Western-style education and culture, have been targeted this year in Nigeria by the same terrorist group, he noted.

President Goodluck Jonathan said that the attack was "the creation of the devil" and he alluded to the fact that his security forces may need to revise their counterterrorism tactics.

Boko Haram and its Islamist groups such as the al-Qaeda-linked Ansaru are Nigeria's biggest threat especially to its oil exports.

The United States and European Union are fast becoming more and more concerned over the African jihadists throughout the continent. Last week's al-Shabaab attack on a Kenyan shopping mall shocked the world with the terrorists' brutality. Al-Shabaab is also an ally of al-Qaeda and a radical Muslim organization based in Somalia, according to an Examiner news story.

The Islamic jihad in Nigeria started as a riot in 2009 by members of Boko Haram. That first encounter turned into a full-blown gun-fight between Boko Haram and its supporters and the police and the military.

Since 2010, Islamists have perpetrated drive-by shootings and suicide bombings that have killed 1,548 people. Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege," has said it wants its imprisoned Islamists released and for the current Nigerian government to institute Sharia law throughout the nation.

The Examiner
By: Jim Kouri
September 29, 2013

 

Objective observers should be rightfully concerned by the "International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media" held by the Turkish government's Directorate General of Press and Information (DGPI or BYGEM in Turkish) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) this past September 12-13 in Istanbul's Grand Tarabya Hotel. Conference participants substantiated all too many threats emanating from various Muslims and their allies, calling into question their respect for free speech and freedom of expression.

The conference website defined "Islamophobia" according to the Greek suffix phobia as a "groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims." By "culminating in hate speech and attitudes towards Muslims," this phobia is "detrimental to international peace." There should be "recognition of Islamophobia as a hate crime and Islamophobic attitudes as human rights violations."

In Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his well-known meme (see here and here) that "Islamophobia" as a "kind of racism" is a "crime against humanity." "No monotheistic religion," Erdoğan elaborated, "adopts, supports, permits or leads terror."

"If Christianity and Judaism cannot be mentioned with terrorism," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç seconded in his remarks, "then our noble religion Islam cannot be defamed this way either." Arinç discerned the main cause of "Islamophobia" in the belief that "Islam and democracy are not compatible," yet "Muslims are democrats in essence."

Representing the OIC's 57 Muslim-majority states (including "Palestine"), a fellow Turk, OIC Secretary General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, reprised themes from the OIC'slongstanding attempts to restrict criticism of Islam. Ihsanoglu decried the "exploitation....of freedom of speech."

The conference's first session featured internationally renowned Islam scholar and regular Islamist apologist John Esposito. Esposito cited "irrational fear" being behind "anti-Sharia legislations" in the United States. Turning toward Egypt, Esposito criticized those who "think it is legitimate to overthrow a democratically elected government."

Joining Esposito on the panel to compare anti-Semitism with "Islamophobia" was Norman Gary Finkelstein. The Jewish child of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein has a long record of comparing Israel to Nazism and supporting groups such as Hezbollah while having his views of fellow Jews celebrated among anti-Semites.

Nathan Lean appeared at the conference as well. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jeffrey Taylor has criticized Lean's recent "maladroit, bungling critique" of atheist Richard Dawkins as an "Islamophobe." Bête noir among Lean's ilk, Islam scholar Robert Spencerhas likewise condemned various sloppy errors in Lean's public correspondence. Spencer has also condemned Lean as a "stalker" for threatening to release publicly supposed pictures of Spencer's home and family.

Joining Lean on a panel were American and Iranian professors Stephen Sheehi and Saied Reza Ameli. During a 2011 visit to the University of Florida, Sheehi had defined "Islamophobia" as merely being a "hatred of brown people." Ameli, meanwhile, was afounder and leading member of the United Kingdom's Islamic Human Rights Commission(IHRC), a "radical Islamist organization" in the assessment of Israel's Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism.

The self-proclaimed Turkish "Marxist academic" Ali Murat Yel and his American colleagueHatem Al Bazian were also in Istanbul. Yel has praised Erdoğan's ruling AKP party for having "paved the way for…a democratic society" in Turkey despite Islamist concerns. "The West," Yel has also opined, "may come to appreciate the Muslim experience of both Andalusia and the Ottoman past in dealing with their religious minorities." The "outspoken anti-Zionist" Bazian, meanwhile, has in the past stated notoriously genocidal Islamic hadith against the Jews.

Turkish academic Bülent Şenay oversaw the conference declaration drafting. In a 2010 presentation to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Senay deemed "Islamophobia" as "today…the strongest form of hate crime," extending to the "psychological terror" of "cultural terrorists." Şenay condemned "hate speech…targeting all the tenets and adherents of Islam…under the banner of the freedom of expression." Additionally, "hate crimes originate from hate speeches," Şenay argued in another 2010 OSCE presentation. Şenay is the founder of the European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO), an entity prominent in the past for seeking OSCE opposition to "Islamophobia" speech (see here, here, and here).

Dahlia Mogahed rounded out the conference participants. This Esposito protégé and Obama Administration appointee has had numerous associations with MB-linked groups in the United States. She has also downplayed the extent of violent extremism among Islamists globally as well as the dangers of sharia.

Distinguishing between "legitimate criticisms…and hate-filled or irrational criticisms" was for BYEGM Director General Murat Karakaya in the conference final statement a "fundamental question." Yet the conference did not inspire the confidence that freedom of expression was a consideration in the discussion, particularly in light of host country Turkey's own harsh treatment of irreverence towards freedom of expression (see here andhere). The Istanbul agenda is yet another example of Islamists seeking to internally codify blasphemy under Sharia.

Middle East Forum
By: Andrew Harror and Sam Nunberg
September 28, 2013

 
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The Council on American Islamic Relations repeatedly tried to stop a Minnesota community leader from warning about the dangers al-Qaida-linked group posed to the Somali-American community prior to the Kenyan mall massacre.

“I tried to warn America,” Abdirizak Bihi, a Minnesota-based Somali community leader, explained to The Daily Caller.

Minnesota residents were reportedly among the attackers in the grisly assault by al-Shabaab terrorists on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The Twin Cities are home to the largest Somali community in the United States.

Bihi has been working to stop radicalization of Somali-Americans for years. He has testified before Congress about the dangers of radicalization in the U.S. Somali community, working alongside the FBI and the Justice Department. His involvement is personal. Bihi’s nephew was radicalized by al-Shabaab and joined the group in 2008. He was killed the following year.

But he told The Daily Caller the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has blocked his efforts for years, telling law enforcement agencies by telling them that he doesn’t know the Somali community and calling him “an Islamophobe” in a recent report.

“They say that I am a bad person, that I am anti-Muslim, and that I don’t represent a hundred percent the Somali community,” Bihi said. “They lie about my life most of the time and try to destroy my character, my capability, and my trust in the community.”

Bihi, director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, also says CAIR has tried to bring Somalis into the organization and denies the threat that terrorism poses.

The Daily Caller
reported this week on how CAIR illegally collects millions in donations from foreign governments. A Justice Department inspector general report rebuked the FBI for defying a ban on working with the terror-connected Muslim advocacy group.

Despite its claim to represent all Muslims, CAIR represents mostly Arabs, Bihi told TheDC. “They don’t represent us. They have nothing to do with us. They don’t provide social services or anything to our community. They treat us like we are animals who don’t speak English.”

“CAIR boasts that it’s a Somali organization,” says Bihi. “They can’t find a Somali to work with them.”

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The Daily Caller
By: Charles C. Johnson      
September 23, 2013

 

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