2010: The Year of Islamist Infiltration


2010: The Year of Islamist Infiltration

Appeasement and outreach are no match for the enemy’s civilizational jihad.
December 30, 2010 – by Patrick Poole

At the end of last year I reflected here at Pajamas Media that 2009 represented a “tipping point for domestic terror.” Grimly, that assessment has borne out — recall the terror attacks aimed at New York City’s Times Square and Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Baltimore recruiting station bomber, and the virtual host of homegrown terror arrests racked up this year.

While the domestic terror trend has continued unabated, elements of pre-violent, or rather stealth, jihad are taking firm root in our government, military, judicial, and educational institutions, without the slightest opposition from the Obama administration and our homeland security agencies. In fact, if we’ve seen anything this year, it has been the willingness of government officials to lend their support to aid this stealth jihad.

The failure to recognize the “civilizational jihad” being waged against us is a bipartisan problem. Driven mainly by Muslim Brotherhood front groups and pushed by non-violent Islamist organizations in the West, the threat remains badly underrated by our national security establishment. But it was placed front and center by the report titled “Shariah: The Threat to America,” issued by the Team B II panel of national security experts including former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and former DIA Director Lt. Gen. Ed Soyster.

I was honored to participate in Team B II. To my dismay, this past year we have had an onslaught of examples demonstrating how far the stealth jihad outlined by Team B II has advanced:

  • January: Maine drops fine against Christian group for “inflammatory anti-Muslim message” following federal lawsuit. In a June 2009 exclusive Pajamas Media article I reported that the state of Maine had issued a fine against the Christian Action Network (CAN) for a laundry list of violations, including the claim that one of their mailings contained an “inflammatory anti-Muslim message.” CAN, aided by attorneys from Liberty Counsel, took the state of Maine to federal court, where the case was heard by Judge D. Brock Hornby. According to the hearing transcript, Maine Assistant Attorney General Thomas Knowlton argued that CAN “is not entitled to First Amendment protection,” to which Judge Hornby immediately replied, “Say that again?” Eventually, the state of Maine abandoned their absurd anti-constitutional position, admitted that fining CAN for their exercise of free speech was an error, and settled out of court. This case demonstrated that not only would state officials act to enforce preferential shariah prohibitions on defamation of Islam and blasphemy in violation of the First Amendment, but that critics who run afoul of the sensibilities of politically correct bureaucrats must turn to the federal courts and expend considerable resources (in this case, more than the fine imposed) to defend their most basic First Amendment rights.
  • January: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano meets with terror-tied groups. Based on internal DHS emails obtained through FOIA by Judicial Watch, DHS officials put together a two-day meeting including Secretary Napolitano with representatives from several groups named as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, and also groups that have openly supported terrorist organizations. One participant, Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks in a Los Angeles radio station interview — on the day of the terror attacks. MPAC has also called for the U.S. government to delist Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations. After reviewing the 300+ pages of emails and documents obtained concerning the “interfaith” meeting, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said, “I fail to see how consorting with radicals helps the DHS protect the United States.”
  • March: L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca defends Hamas front CAIR before Congress. Testifying before a House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Terror Risk Assessment, Sheriff Baca was asked by Rep. Mark Souder about his appearances at fundraisers held by the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and at what point such endorsement gives legitimacy to the group’s well-known activities in support of Hamas. Baca reacted angrily, saying that he would attend 10 more CAIR fundraisers. When Souder pressed Baca about FBI testimony that CAIR was a front for Hamas, Baca interrupted the congressman, claiming that his patriotism (rather than his judgment) was being questioned. He later told the Los Angeles Times, “When you attack CAIR, you attack virtually every Muslim in America.” Unfortunately for Sheriff Baca, not only has the DOJ confirmed CAIR’s Hamas support to members of Congress, but that assessment has been seconded by federal Judge Jorge Solis based on evidence submitted by the DOJ in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial.
  • April: Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Hajjaj leads prayers on Capitol Hill for congressional Muslim staffers. As part of an ongoing investigation into a long line of extremists invited to preach on Capitol Hill by the Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA), I reported here exclusively about the appearance of Anwar Hajjaj as a speaker at CMSA’s Friday jummah prayers inside the U.S. Capitol. Hajjaj is the former head of the Taibah International Aid Association, which was listed by the U.S. government in May 2004 as a designated global terrorist organization for its financial support of al-Qaeda. A video essay by Roll Call recorded Hajjaj leading the April 16th CMSA event. A subsequent report published by Fox News chronicled a long list of recent CMSA prayer leaders who cultivate terrorist ties, who have made statements in support of terrorism, and who are known foreign agents.
  • May: White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan defends jihad as “legitimate tenet of Islam.” As documented in our Team B II report (p. 155), since the publication of the 9/11 Commission’s report, where “jihad” was invoked 126 times and Islam cited 322 times, both terms, along with “al-Qaeda,” “Hamas,” “Hezbollah,” “Caliph,” and “shariah” have been entirely purged from all recent national security documents at the request of Muslim Brotherhood-backed groups claiming that the use of such terms legitimizes terrorism. But White House counterterrorism czar John Brennan went a step further, claiming in a speech that jihad was a legitimate tenet of Islam. When questioned about his claim after reiterating it in a sit-down interview with the editors of the Washington Times, Brennan stormed out, saying, “I’m not going to go into this sort of history discussion here.”
  • May: Boston-area public school children on a field trip to terror-tied mosque pulled from group to participate in afternoon prayers. An undercover video released by Americans for Peace and Tolerance showed students on a field trip to the extremist Islamic Society of Boston mosque being pulled out of their student group and being led in offering prayers to Allah during an ongoing prayer service. As reported by APT, the teachers did not intervene and the parents were never told. Only when the video was released and parents began complaining did school officials apologize for the event. Just days before the field trip, Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick appeared at the mosque, despite video taken in March showing the mosque’s imam calling for supporters to “grab onto the gun, and the sword” in defense of local terror suspects Aafia Siddiqui and Tarek Mehanna. One founding trustee of the mosque is currently serving a 23 year prison sentence, and at least three others mosque attendees and supporters have fled the county to avoid prosecution.
  • June: Ohio Homeland Security official fired for lying about previous job with Jordanian government. In March, Ohio Homeland Security community engagement director Omar Alomari was testifying before Congress on radicalization, notwithstanding his open support for terror-tied organizations in taxpayer-funded literature. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy described Alomari’s publications as “classic Islamist propaganda.” But just weeks after his appearance before Congress, Alomari was fired for lying to investigators about his previous work experience, including his prior tenure as a high-ranking official for the Jordanian government, which he conveniently failed to disclose in his background check documentation.
  • August: State Department funds Ground Zero mosque imam’s tour of Middle East despite extremist statements and widespread public opposition. My Pajamas Media colleague Claudia Rosett broke the news that the State Department was sponsoring a trip of the Middle East by Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Rauf despite reported statements made by Rauf comparing the United States to al-Qaeda. “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims,” Rauf claimed during a 2005 conference in Australia. After inquiries had been made about the State Department’s sponsorship of Rauf’s tour, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told Fox News, “We are aware of those remarks.” Emails from New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s office released in just the past few weeks show coordination between the Ground Zero mosque developers and Bloomberg staffers, including drafting statements for mosque officials and pledges to “give political cover” to Landmarks Preservation Commission officials who greenlit the project. Bloomberg’s office still has not released all of the emails and documents requested by Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice.
  • September: FBI gives U.S. Hamas official guided tour through top-secret NCTC and FBI Academy. During the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, Chicago Imam Kifah Mustapha was named unindicted co-conspirator in the case by federal prosecutors, and FBI agent Lara Burns testified that Mustapha was part of a singing troupe that glorified Hamas and encouraged the killing of Jews. Earlier this year, Mustapha was removed as an Illinois State Police chaplain in the wake of media reports noting his terrorist support activities. That didn’t prevent the FBI Chicago field office from hosting Mustapha in a six-week Citizen’s Academy course, which included a guided tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the FBI Academy at Quantico. After I first reported that Mustapha had been given the NCTC tour, including a picture of Mustapha standing in the NCTC lobby, the FBI initially denied my report and claimed the photo had been fabricated. Two days later, they admitted to Fox News that he had in fact participated in the program and the photo was authentic — but defended the decision, saying that he was “a prominent figure in the community.” One former FBI official told the Washington Times that Mustapha was “a known senior Hamas guy.” When FBI Director Robert Mueller was questioned about the Hamas figure’s participating in the program after a speech the following week, Mueller defended the program but said that “I am not going to talk about any particular individual.”
  • September: Group raided by FBI in terror support probe had received nearly $500k in taxpayer funds and was invited to White House meeting in April. At the same time the FBI Chicago field office was attempting to explain their inclusion of a senior Hamas figure in one of their programs, they were raiding the home of Hatem Abudayyeh as part of a grand jury investigation into terrorism support for Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Just days after the raids, it was reported that Abudayyeh’s organization, the Arab-American Action Network, had received at least $457,000 in taxpayer funds from the city of Chicago for “after-school programs.” That news was followed by a Politico report that Abudayyeh had been invited to the White House earlier this year to participate in a meeting on immigration issues and civil rights. Abudayyeh had also been the subject of a glowing PBS Independent Lens program. Several of Abudayyeh’s associates who were subpoenaed by the federal grand jury in the case have refused to appear.
  • October: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano swears in radical Islamist Mohamed Elibiary to Homeland Security Advisory Council. On the same day that I submitted an article concerning Mohamed Elibiary’s participation in the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group and a December 2004 conference honoring Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini (an event that the Dallas Morning News described as a “disgrace”), unbeknownst to me, DHS Secretary Napolitano appointed Elibiary to serve as the only Muslim member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Recently Elibiary has billed himself as a “deradicalization expert,” despite abundant evidence of his previous defense of terrorist support organizations, his praise for jihadist authors, and his threats made against a Dallas journalist who repeatedly exposed his extremist views.
  • November: U.S. smbassador to UK visits extremist East London Mosque as part of Obama administration’s “Muslim outreach.” Stirring international outrage, Louis B. Susman, American ambassador to Britian, visited the East London Mosque, well known as a longtime hotbed of extremism and terrorist incubator (it produced Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, last year’s underwear bomber). In January 2009, the mosque hosted a conference featuring wanted al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi via telephone. Just a few weeks before Susman’s visit, the mosque chairman had defended Aulaqi’s participation in the conference, calling it an act of “fairness and justice.” The visit by the U.S. ambassador was slammed in the Wall Street Journal by Shiraz Maher of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College, who described the mosque as “among Britain’s most extreme Islamic institutions.” Maher concluded that “Mr. Susman’s visit illustrates the blunders Western politicians often make by reaching out to the wrong Muslim ‘dialogue partners,” and that the attendance of such a high-ranking diplomat to the mosque “emboldened robed reactionaries at the expense of their more moderate counterparts.”

This list is not exhaustive. Certainly more examples could be cited. The Obama administration’s failure to understand the problem of Islamic radicalization and terrorism is fundamental, fueled with an outreach-to-anyone-at-any-cost policy that is perhaps best typified by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s July statements that his foremost mission was to improve relations with the Muslim world. What these twelve examples demonstrate is that our national security, intelligence, law enforcement, and diplomatic establishment are utterly defenseless before the stealth jihad that is attacking the heart of our Western society.

If 2009 was the tipping point for domestic terror, 2010 is sure to be remembered as the year that the “civilizational jihad” continued apace. Hopefully in 2011, it will be clear to at least some of our political, civic, and religious leadership that a dramatic change in national policy is urgently needed.

Patrick Poole is a regular contributor to Pajamas Media, and an anti-terrorism consultant to law enforcement and the military.

FrontPage’s Person of the Year: The Tea Party

FrontPage’s Person of the Year: The Tea Party

Posted By Nichole Hungerford On December 31, 2010 @ 12:50 am In FrontPage

Over the past few years, while atrophy of the welfare state system has spurred violent protests in Western Europe, the United States has experienced a parallel, but remarkably distinct phenomenon. In early 2009, desperate Greeks rioted in the streets to demand that their overextended government do more for them in the face of financial crisis. Americans, at the same time, rallied across the nation for their government to do less. More than any one individual alone in 2010, this movement, the Tea Party movement, wrought tremendous change over the political landscape, realizing a historic election and revitalizing the American zeitgeist. The title of FrontPage Magazine’s Person of the Year, therefore, must be bestowed collectively on these individuals, the formidable torchbearers of our beloved liberty and prosperity.

Two days after the newly-elected President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill) into law February 19th, the Tea Party movement found its voice — in the unlikeliest of places. A little-known CNBC analyst, Rick Santelli, embarked on a spontaneous rant while delivering a market forecast live on air. His harangue was precipitated by the federal government’s decision to stem the 2009 housing and financial crisis with a series of unprecedented “bailouts” for Wall Street and the banking industry, financed by taxpayer revenue. “How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage, that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?” Santelli wailed, turning to the gallery of traders on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. The crowd jeered. “President Obama, are you listening?” Apparently, he was not. Santelli proceeded to flippantly claim he was considering organizing a “Chicago Tea Party” to protest government spending and the apparent collectivization of wealth.

The clip was immediately picked up by the Drudge Report, a highly influential driver of conservative discourse. (For nostalgia’s sake, Santelli’s video clip is here [1].) Prior to this incident, there had been several large conservative-oriented rallies held around the country, some of which were publicized by conservative journalist and blogger Michelle Malkin. To our best reckoning, however, the “Tea Party” moniker had not been applied to this growing brand of conservative activism until after the Santelli clip “went viral.” Within hours of the rant’s debut, a number of “Tea Party” websites went live.

The notion of a Tea Party protest following the 2008-2009 financial crisis was completely felicitous at the time. It encapsulated at just the right moment, in just the right way, an ambient sense of unease, not just among steadfast Republicans, but among individuals erstwhile unengaged in the political process. By the time the Obama administration incestuously “bailed out” the auto-industry in March of the president’s inaugural year — or more precisely, bailed out the his union patrons — followed by the effective ousting of the presiding General Motors president, the political die had already been cast. President Obama’s throng of support quickly evaporate into a haze of resentment from the now not-so-silent majority.

The rancid reaction of the Left to the Tea Party is well known and not worth treatment here. What is important is setting the record straight on what the Tea Party really is. This is no straightforward task, to be sure, as the term “Tea Party” is essentially an umbrella label for numerous regional and national conservative activism groups. Members are predominately Republican voters, many of whom are disaffected and work largely outside the GOP establishment. Only 54% of Tea Party supporters had a favorable view of the Republican Party, according to an April 2010 New York Times/CBS News poll [2]. Polls consistently show the movement’s single greatest unifying principle is fiscal conservatism, including a desire for a smaller government and a concern over the federal deficit.  Social issues are mixed and far less uniform. According to the same poll, slightly more people favored civil unions for homosexuals compared to those who believed gay couples should receive no legal recognition (41% to 40%) and 45% are pro-choice (believing abortion should be available, but with restrictions), while only 35% believe abortion should not be available.

The movement’s focus on the virtues of fiscal conservatism in an atmosphere of immense economic uncertainty proved to be a political powder keg. In the afterglow of Barack Obama’s presidential victory, with both chambers of Congress controlled by the Democratic Party and headed by far-left leadership, many left-wing commentators believed the Republican Party was on the wane. And in fact, perhaps they were right. A large portion of Tea Party supporters, almost 40%, did not like McCain and slightly more had an unfavorable view of the Republican Party. Glenn Beck was more well-liked than both McCain and President George W. Bush. The Left’s pronouncements may have been accurate with respect to the political clout of the Republican Party, but conservatism was — and is — still very much alive. As the Democratic Party moved farther and farther away from economic matters after the stimulus bill was passed, and as beleaguered Republicans stood by impotently, worried fiscal conservatives took the only avenue left.

Early portents of Tea Party power came in the form of Massachusetts junior senator Scott Brown, who assumed “liberal lion” Ted Kennedy’s seat in the January 2010 special election, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first Republican governor to be elected in New Jersey in 12 years. Both enjoyed a wellspring of support from Tea Party activists within and outside their respective states. From this standpoint, the 2010 midterm election looked like it would be a good year for conservatives

Few predicted that the election would be as historic as it actually was, surpassing even the “Gingrich Revolution” of the 1990s. In terms of immediate political success, however, the impact of the Tea Party was a wild card in some cases. While candidates like Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Nikki Haley, governor-elect of South Carolina, were able to use Tea Party support to beat not only their liberal opponents in the election, but their Republican establishment opponents in the primaries, others, such as Christine O’Donnell of Delaware, Sharon Angle of Nevada, and Joe Miller of Alaska could not manage the same success. In these cases, personal foibles and eccentricities played a significant role in their defeat.

Although the Tea Party may have been an obstacle to conservative victory in select races, if the conservative voter “enthusiasm gap” can be identified with the Tea Party phenomenon, and indeed, conservative Tea Party supporters were by far the most enthusiastic voters in the midterm election, then the presence of the Tea Party was an overall boon to the Republican Party. The charge that “less electable” Tea Party candidates may have cost Republicans a few seats is unfortunate (if true), but it is overshadowed by a new competitiveness among conservative candidates and that, as conservatives say, makes us better.

The Tea Party has also helped bring much needed aesthetic diversity to the face of conservatism — and serious new political talent to the fore. The favored liberal characterization of the GOP, which was regrettably presented in excelsis by 2008 presidential contender John McCain, was “pale, stale, and male.” This image was shattered during the 2010 midterm election by a much more diverse stock of high profile candidates, either in gubernatorial or congressional races. Many of these individuals may have serious political futures ahead of them. South Carolina governor-elect Nikki Haley exacted a huge upset over not just her Democratic opponent, but also many in the SC Republican establishment. Haley faced serious opposition in the gubernatorial primary, but was a Tea Party favorite. Rising star Marco Rubio, the “un-Obama,” was largely supported by Tea Party forces, and made short work of both Obama-ally, incumbent Kendrick Meek and the (presumably) top Florida GOP leader, Governor Charles Crist. Rubio’s political gifts cannot be overstated, and the maturity of his political career will be fascinating to watch.

The 2010 election proved the Tea Party’s strength. In many ways, the movement has done enough to fall complacently back into slumber. So, what is on the horizon for the Tea Party? Does the it have the fortitude to face President Obama head on in 2012? Most of the front-runners for 2012 GOP presidential candidates — Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin — fall short of the adequate support needed to defeat Obama. Yet, recall the low opinion Tea Party supporters generally had of John McCain (and his party). If Tea Partiers can maintain movement enthusiasm, and if an actually inspiring candidate emerges, President Obama has every reason to be concerned. The battle for the presidency in 2012 will likely be very competitive.

Commentator Arthur Brooks has described the Tea Party as a new front of a culture war. “America [can] continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise — limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces,” Brooks said in the Washington Post, “[or] America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.” The problem is, the Tea Party notwithstanding, the outcome of this war is nowhere certain. Even under Republican leadership, the size and scope of government has increased every year. The government spends more, controls more, takes more. And to some extent, polls have shown, the populace is in favor of this direction. Can it be stopped? Or are we inevitably headed toward European decline? Perhaps most importantly, the Tea Party represents the hope that our fate of joining the other corpses of Westernism is not sealed — that we will always be a society that protests for the government to do less and not more. As recent events have shown, there is plenty of room for optimism

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